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Nitecore D4 Digicharger Review

Rivem

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I recently decided to get a good 4 channel charger that could replace my old 4 channel NiMH charger and my cheap 1 channel Lithium charger. Both of which were old, cheap, and feature-lacking. I was looking for one that could also handle LiFePo4 cells, and the D4 seemed like the only good option at $24 (as low as $20 elsewhere online).

Anyway, here are some nice features:
  • LiFePO4 charging.
  • Constant individual cell charge level readouts without having to cycle through them on the LCD.
  • It can charge every slot individually, so odd numbers of cells are okay without causing weird current issues.
  • Able to charge Nickel cells at the same time as Lithiums.
  • Looks very cool to me. I'd want an 8 channel wall-mount in my workshop.
  • Takes 12 volts as well as wall power.
  • You can lower the charge current for slots individually to protect smaller cells.
  • The cool LEDs can be disabled to make it darker.
Here are some issues:
  • The charge current decreases with the number of batteries you put in. 350mA is the max at 3 or 4.
  • 26mm, C, or D cells probably won't fit well in this one at all despite descriptions.
  • Similarly, 10440 and even 14500 cells are a little loose and might not make contact with the charger without lining them up a bit. Not a huge issue compared to other chargers.
  • The stock power cable seems a little short at 3-4 feet.
  • There aren't discharge/analysis features despite the fancy screen. Price is significantly lower than the ones that do though.
  • Charge current can't go over 750mA for 1 or 2 larger cells. Other comparable chargers can.
Something you need to be aware of is the fact that LiFePO4 cells must be manually selected and won't be automatically detected. The charger can confuse them for other Lithium cells and overcharge them unless you activate LiFePO4 mode.

Also, to use 750mA charging one or two batteries must be loaded on the same side of the charger. Otherwise, the charger will limit the current to 350mA as if there were four cells in it.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase, and it seems to work great. Since there are faster charging and more feature-rich Lithium chargers out there, I think I'd recommend the D2 over the D4 if you can go with a 2 channel. Otherwise, you might want to consider a 4 channel that can put out higher currents with all 4 slots taken to charge faster. Of course, I think these are the best options if you want to do LiFePO4 cells since that's a somewhat rare feature that most comparable chargers lack.

Source: You can buy this product from Gearbest HERE.

Edit: Photos
Size, style, and startup screen:


Popped the first battery I found into it:


Cord compared to common USB phone cable to show length:
 
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Pman

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It's a pretty nice unit and I've got a bunch of Nitecore ones if you look in my sig including a couple of those. You do have to make sure about the LiFe cells as you mentioned and make sure it says that. It's too bad it can't tell what's what. I use those as my main chargers and then the Opus BTC-3400 for testing and for cells bigger than an 18650 as you can charge at up to 2000 with #1 and #4 slot at the same time or all 4 slots at 1000mA at the same time if I want to do 4 18650.
 
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Rivem

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It's a pretty nice unit and I've got a bunch of Nitecore ones if you look in my sig including a couple of those. You do have to make sure about the LiFe cells as you mentioned and make sure it says that. It's too bad it can't tell what's what. I use those as my main chargers and then the Opus BTC-3400 for testing and for cells bigger than an 18650 as you can charge at up to 2000 with #1 and #4 slot at the same time or all 4 slots at 1000mA at the same time if I want to do 4 18650.
I was very close to buying the Opus, but I realized that I do have a bunch of LiFe l cells as they're very good for little microcontroller projects. Plus, I've got a balance charger that I could use for testing if I was inclined to.

Testing is valuable though, so I'd really recommend anybody considering a new charger that's a heavy rechargeable battery user check them out. The Opus and other analyzing chargers do tests that aren't quick or straightforward with a multimeter. Not very important if you've only got a few things that use rechargeables, but it's great if you're dealing with a lot of them.
 
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Cyparagon

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How much of this is stuff you read from elsewhere, and how much of this is stuff you tested personally?

What is the open-circuit voltage after charging of the various battery types? What is the minimum cell voltage it will charge? Is there reverse polarity protection? What is the temperature rise? Is there any current regulation? What is the input voltage range that the device is functional? What is the temperature rise? Do you have a picture of the inside?
 

Rivem

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How much of this is stuff you read from elsewhere, and how much of this is stuff you tested personally?

What is the open-circuit voltage after charging of the various battery types? What is the minimum cell voltage it will charge? Is there reverse polarity protection? What is the temperature rise? Is there any current regulation? What is the input voltage range that the device is functional? What is the temperature rise? Do you have a picture of the inside?
I haven't really gone into serious technical details since there are plenty on CPF, but everything I've said so far has been verified by usage. I have simply tested voltage and current.

In order to verify that it was indeed safe to use with nickel, lithium, and life cells, I checked the voltage it was putting out for each setting. It was in line with what the screen displayed and on par with what the respective cells should have.

The currents are accurate as well.

Constant voltage works as it should, holding voltage steady. CC works.

I don't have a logging meter to measure -dV/dt well, but the NiMH aren't overcharged, so I'd assume it works.

There is reverse polarity protection verified with a meter to make sure the screen wasn't lying.

Temps stay fairly cool at full current, but not metered yet.

One major thing that I've recently noticed is that two batteries must be loaded together on one side of the charger for the full 750mA current. Otherwise, it'll limit the current as if there were four.

I'd be willing to take it apart and abuse it a bit for more of the technical information, but this is literally the only decent charger I've got, so I'm not going to do it now.
 

Pman

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I will say that all my Nitecore and the Opus charger fully charge under the 4.2V they are supposed to by .02-.04V as verified by my Fluke meters. I think the Opus is the one that is .04 under.
I believe it's in the manual that 1&4, 2&3 go together for the Nitecore D version but I also believe it is 1&3, 2&4 for the I version. I labeled mine but I don't feel like getting out of bed to check;)
 

paul1598419

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I will say that all my Nitecore and the Opus charger fully charge under the 4.2V they are supposed to by .02-.04V as verified by my Fluke meters. I think the Opus is the one that is .04 under.
I believe it's in the manual that 1&4, 2&3 go together for the Nitecore D version but I also believe it is 1&3, 2&4 for the I version. I labeled mine but I don't feel like getting out of bed to check;)
Yeah my Opus charger charges to a lower voltage than my Nitecore D also. Sometimes I like to over charge a battery if it is not charging up to its potential or has a high ESR. Seems to revive them sometimes.
 

Pman

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Well they must do it on purpose to cover their butt safety wise. I am annoyed by it though.
 

acelazy

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Look like you no longer need to keep many chargers for different batteries.
 

Rivem

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Look like you no longer need to keep many chargers for different batteries.
Yeah. It's nice to minimize the amount of chargers. Before, I'd pull them out of a box as needed. Now, I just leave this one out and pop whatever cell I want in when I need a charge.
 

paul1598419

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I still have a box full of chargers. I have quite a few actually, including the Opus and Nitecore. I use each of them depending on what I'm trying to do. I have some that do overcharge batteries slightly above 4.2 volts. Sometimes that is what I want to do. I never try to limit my options.
 

Rivem

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I still have a box full of chargers. I have quite a few actually, including the Opus and Nitecore. I use each of them depending on what I'm trying to do. I have some that do overcharge batteries slightly above 4.2 volts. Sometimes that is what I want to do. I never try to limit my options.
That's what I'd do if I had a bunch of good ones, but this is it for now. I don't trust the cheap ones enough to keep, but I'll probably keep my NiMH chargers.

Got to go back to dorms next year, so I'll probably just bring this.
 

Alaskan

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A bit late, but thanks for the review.
 




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