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Old 10-16-2012, 03:14 AM #1
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Default Review - Best charger Pila or XTAR SP2 for Li-Ion (32650/32600)

Chargers are just one of those things people don't think about until their house burns down.

I needed a charger for my 32650 (D size) Li-Ion batteries. My Pila charger was nice for my little "wuss" Li-Ions with its 600mA. Right so a 32650 (6000 mAh) would need 10 hours to fully fill with the Pila. That is not true since you are not going to go under 3V right All the same with the CC-CV the constant voltage ending could drag out over an hour alone though

A little more digging and it did not take long to find out about the XTAR SP2. Not to be confused with the old semi crappy WP2 II. The SP2 is new charger with a TC-CC-CV” algorithm that will do 2A! Well you can choose 500mA, 1000mA or 2000mA. I'll show you in a video below.





Raw data taken during testing.

A bunch of charts and tests done on XTAR SP2 showing the TC-CC-CV at work

Other users over at candlepowerforums
**NEW** XTAR SP2, 2-bay Li-ion Charger

Best of all I could pop a Fei Long 32650 in. Only because the Fei Long has a huge positive terminal though. My other 32650 needed a coin to “reach” up to the positive terminal.

So what is this yammering about TC? Well it seems you can bring back some “dead” (went to low in voltage) Li-Ions with a pre-charge method like this guy is showing in this video here at 6:40 . From what I hear there is a slow ramping of current in the case of the SP2. You can also see this in the URL above with the charts etc.

Useful Über Geekery



XTAR says the TC at the beginning of the charging also avoids the impact of huge current blasting your battery lifespan.

I don't know about you, but for some reason this * feature * made me wonder::
-SP2 shell is made of ABS FIREPROOF material … em why would I need that ? Oh my house burned down but at least my charger shell is OK?

Well they sure know how to brag about being the “greatest” thing since strip clubs! Under “Features” you can read the following “Is no doubt the best 3.7V Li-ion charger in the market today.” They also claim to be a professional charger not a hobby charger. The coolest part of it all was I got a VIP Membership for ... em ... XTAR?! I got a little card to prove it. Actually you get an extended 6 month guarantee etc. I wouldn't brag about it to your girlfriend/wife though :P

So I wasted no time. Popped in a 32650 (6000 mAh) with the coin



put the thing on 2A.



The charge went really fast.

I then measured the voltage across the li-ion. Wow 4.197 volts! The Fluke 8060A is a rather reliable meter to say the least. Interestingly the voltage dropped down to 4.192 volts after about 10 min. Not sure why.



I thought I was going to have to buy this thing from Asia or Ebay but it turned out I could buy them here in Sweden. Cost about $43 USD. Good thing was the plug fit into my wall. Also good to know its not a fake. I hear you can buy them in Germany, USA and the UK too. XTAR make US UK EU plugs. Found links in the candlepowerforums in the URL I gave above.

Pros : Does all that it claims. Really good for my bigger batteries. Zero trickle, All sorts of safety features for Li-Ions i.e. tries to sense if a battery is "dangerous" and won't charge it. True CC-CV algorithm. Cheaper then Pila. Works with 3.6 and 3.7 Li-Ions. Can pump out 2A!

Cons: need spacers for my tiny 16340s 18350s. At $43 USD its not made out of pure gold!

So would I buy this charger again. Yes without a doubt. Has all the reliable features of the Pila but a lot more flexibility, better price, and loves any Li-Ion you can toss into it. I would take the SP2 over the Pila any day. In fact I just gave my Pila to much deserving friend. I won't be needing it

All the best
Onryo


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Old 10-19-2012, 01:57 AM #2
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Default Re: Review - Best charger Pila or XTAR SP2 for Li-Ion (32650/32600)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onryo View Post

I don't know about you, but for some reason this * feature * made me wonder::
-SP2 shell is made of ABS FIREPROOF material … em why would I need that ? Oh my house burned down but at least my charger shell is OK?
They do this in case the battery DOES get very hot. It'll prevent the plastic itself from burning and reduces the risk of fire. Just reduces it. If the li-ion is on fire and it's away from the wall enough well, the plastic won't catch, thus preventing the fire from spreading.

Overall, nice review!
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:31 PM #3
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Default Re: Review - Best charger Pila or XTAR SP2 for Li-Ion (32650/32600)

The big batteries don't really seem to get hot at all. Then I tried a few of my IMR AW that are 16340 at 1A. They did get hot. Heard the "cant go wrong rule" is to charge at about 1/2 C. The guy in the the video I posted mentioned it. So I guess a 6000mAh should be charged with 3000mA while a IMR AW 18350 (700mAh) at 350mA. So while you can charge a smaller 16340 with 1A its going to get hot ... a good idea to have a charger that monitors the battery health in real time and shuts off if something is not right.

BTW anybody know if the IMR AW really are just unprotected Panasonics?

Glad you like the review

All the best
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Last edited by Onryo; 10-20-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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