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Old 12-12-13, 03:22 PM   #1
no1mad
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I need a new charger for my 18650 cells

I used to have a charger, but I can't find it anywhere in the house. I think it may have been tossed out in a bit of "spring cleaning" .

Though I got the last one from shiningbeam, I am anticipating some Amazon credit and would like to use that. Thing is, I'm not sure what is total junk and what is worth a gamble. Needs to be able to handle at least 2 cells.

TIA
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Old 12-12-13, 04:42 PM   #2
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This one works well for me. At least, it looks identical to the one I got from DX that works well

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DCOQ8W
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Old 12-12-13, 04:44 PM   #3
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This one works well for me. At least, it looks identical to the one I got from DX that works well

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DCOQ8W
I have that one...It is good.
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Old 12-13-13, 05:13 PM   #4
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Do yourself a favor, buy yourself a nice battery charger. One that'll work with all types of rechargeable batteries. I personally use the triton 2. The electronics in those cheap battery chargers are scary inadequate, and most of the time are a fire hazard.

Not only that, but a nice battery charger will make your rechargeable cells last longer and often offer smart charging, so they can possibly charge your batteries faster.

That said, if you ONLY have these batteries, it's not really worth it.

I consider my battery charger one of the more...sensible purchases I've made in the past few years. Once you get enough rechargeable batteries, the charger will pay for itself in no time.
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Old 12-13-13, 05:17 PM   #5
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http://www.orbtronic.com/batteries-c...harging-speeds
Will be good as the power goes up.
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Old 12-13-13, 06:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMeThis one works well for me. At least, it looks identical to the one I got from DX that works well

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DCOQ8W



I have that one...It is good.
Me too - so far, it's lasted longer than the DX one I had, which one day sparked and went dead.

oops, mine is a different cheap Amazon one, without the cord. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B1BR24, lasted over a year so far.

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Old 12-13-13, 06:33 PM   #7
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This one works well for me. At least, it looks identical to the one I got from DX that works well

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DCOQ8W

ME TOO! ....going on two years of DAILY USE...Its smart, I treat it like its fragile and had no problems. Swap out my commuter light 18650s every day.
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Old 12-13-13, 09:09 PM   #8
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XTAR or Nitecore. Both are highly regarded.
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Old 12-24-13, 02:48 AM   #9
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i've got one of these, no problems - http://dx.com/p/digital-li-ion-18650...y-charger-6105

i also have a couple of XTAR MP1 chargers, which are getting more use as i do more solar/USB charging.

both of those chargers work well with protected and unprotected cells.
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Old 12-24-13, 01:49 PM   #10
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Not familiar with the numbers .. sized different than AA? still 1.2v output, when charged?

http://www.all-battery.com/li-ioncyl...batteries.aspx
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Old 12-24-13, 05:28 PM   #11
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Output is 3.6v to 4.2v. Much better than crappy AA ni-mh rechargeables.
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Old 12-24-13, 06:28 PM   #12
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Not familiar with the numbers .. sized different than AA? still 1.2v output, when charged?

http://www.all-battery.com/li-ioncyl...batteries.aspx
The name is the size.
18560
18 mm diameter
65 mm long

Thats nominal sizing, they vary a bit. 18650 is the most common size for flashlights and bike lights but there are many other standard sizes.

Last edited by znomit; 12-24-13 at 07:27 PM. Reason: 65 not 650!
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Old 12-24-13, 06:57 PM   #13
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Not familiar with the numbers .. sized different than AA? still 1.2v output, when charged?
As mentioned, the 18650 designation gives the nominal size in mm (18mm diameter x 65mm long). This is slightly larger than AA which would be 14500 under the same system. The 18650 cells are Li Ion chemistry which has a nominal voltage of 3.7V as compared to AA cells that vary somewhat: 1.2V for NiCd and NiMH, 1.5V for alkaline, and 1.9V for Lithium/IronDisulfide (the latter two are primary cells - not rechargeable).
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Old 12-24-13, 08:19 PM   #14
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Output is 3.6v to 4.2v. Much better than crappy AA ni-mh rechargeables.
The quality of batteries is not measured by voltage output but by power capacity (total watt hours, not mAH). You use the proper battery for the job. NiMH isn't crappy, it's just different. They aren't the best in cold weather but for many purposes they are just fine. It is true that LiIon packs more watt hours per gram and per cc, but not that much more.

LiIon cells pack 100 to 250 watt hours per kilogram. NiMH gets 60 to 120 watt hours per kilogram. So they even overlap a little. Also it should be noted that the high end of the LiIon range is occupied by pretty high end, expensive cells, like ones used in aerospace applications, not bike lights. More typically you'd be looking at 100 for NiMH, probably 140 for LiIon. So not really that much different.

If you look at power per volume, they're a little closer still. LiIon gets 250-730 watt hours per liter, NiMH gets 140-300 watt hours per liter. Again, the high end of LiIon is for extremely expensive, mil-spec or aerospace cells.
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Old 12-24-13, 09:58 PM   #15
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The quality of batteries is not measured by voltage output but by power capacity (total watt hours, not mAH).
True.

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NiMH isn't crappy, it's just different.
It's crappy to me. I don't use AAs anymore. A single 800 lumen flashlight with 18650 is much better than a similar 800 lumen flashlight with AA NiMH cells. In this day and age, li-ion is the way to go. Laptops, cellphones, mp3 players, GPS, and most portable electronics use li-ion. The only place I use NiMH cells is remote controls, wireless input devices, and tail lights with AAA batteries, and I'm gradually phasing out AAA taillights with dynamo taillights and 18650 flashlights as taillights.

Last edited by mrbubbles; 12-24-13 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:40 AM   #16
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It's crappy to me. I don't use AAs anymore. A single 800 lumen flashlight with 18650 is much better than a similar 800 lumen flashlight with AA NiMH cells. In this day and age, li-ion is the way to go. Laptops, cellphones, mp3 players, GPS, and most portable electronics use li-ion. The only place I use NiMH cells is remote controls, wireless input devices, and tail lights with AAA batteries, and I'm gradually phasing out AAA taillights with dynamo taillights and 18650 flashlights as taillights.
Sure, if you are buying something new, buy LiIon if available. NiMH is used by equipment that is designed to take AA cells. If that's what you have, then you can't really use LiIon. LiIon is better in every respect, so if you have a choice, use that. it's extremely rare to have something that gives you a choice, but when you're buying something new, choose LiIon.

The ONLY exceptions would be if you are going to be in locations where you can buy AA cells but have absolutely no way to charge a battery.
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Old 12-27-13, 07:43 AM   #17
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I had UltraFire WF-188. Very poor charger. Problems with spring contacts (probably inside the device), improper cut-off voltage, sometimes charger claimed, that cell is full, while it had 3.9-4.0V. I thow it away and bought Sysmax/Nitecore Intellicharge I4 V2. No problems.
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Old 12-27-13, 09:14 AM   #18
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That looks like a pretty sweet charger. I've bookmarked it in case I ever need another charger.
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Old 12-27-13, 09:27 AM   #19
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I've to add that it's crucial to get V2 version. V1 had a design flaw (100-230V power supply circuit was faulty). Rumor has it that sometimes plugging V1 into AC network caused a smoke... I think that V1 is no longer on sale anywhere.
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Old 12-27-13, 03:30 PM   #20
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Do yourself a favor, buy yourself a nice battery charger. One that'll work with all types of rechargeable batteries. I personally use the triton 2.
You mean the Great Planes Triton 2 R/C charger?

It's a good charger -- I've got three of the original Tritons -- but it's not really a solution to this problem. You can make a battery holder to charge 18650 cells just by connecting your leads to some magnets and sticking them to the battery, but it can only charge one cell at a time unless you put them into parallel (which only works well if they were carefully matched in charge level before.)

Fortunately, 18650 and other single cell lithium-ion cells are really easy to charge -- just feed them 4.2 volts with a current capped at 1 amp or less. It's not hard to get a charger to get this right, and that's why we can find decent chargers for two of these cells for under $10.

The Triton is nice for oddball batteries like that 12v lead acid battery or a NiCd pack for your drill that you lost the charger, or for R/C packs -- but for this I'd suggest a dedicated charger. It's not like they're expensive.
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Old 12-27-13, 05:28 PM   #21
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I have both the Nitecore/Sysmax i4 and the XTAR SP2. The Nitecore is neat if you are still using a mix of NiMH and LiIon batteries, but its charging current drops to 350ma if you try to charge more than two batteries at once (or fewer depending on which slots you use). Even at its max potential current of 700ma its still pretty much an overnight charger.
The SP2 is the opposite. Most 18650s can't safely take the 2A rate (and if you bought cheap-butt Ultrafires the 1A rate is already risky), but if you're using the latest 3400mAh Panasonics its a great charger. Build quality on both is reasonably good. The springs on the i4 sometimes get jammed open and your battery won't charge (check the blinking lights to ensure proper comtact). The SP2 won't charge smaller 16340 batteries (Lezyne Mini Drive) and the contacts are very flat, making contact sometimes dodgy on flat-top batteries.
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