XTAR VC4S 4Bay Charger - Review by Stompie

Discussion in 'Battery & Charger Reviews' started by StompieZA, 7/5/19.

  1. StompieZA

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    Hi everyone, So for this next review we are looking at the new range of chargers from XTAR. I was sent this charger to review and test and I have put my nitecore I2 away and ive only been using this charger for the past 2 and half weeks and love it. So here with my review.

    Item Name : XTAR VC4S 4 Bay Charger
    Manufacturer: @XTAR
    Website: https: http://www.xtar.cc/
    Cost: N/A

    *DISCLAIMER: This product was supplied to me by @XTAR for the purpose of reviewing the product for them and providing my personal feedback and opinion. I am not a Charger or battery specialist so i review this charger as a normal user.

    Let’s start off with some pictures:

    IMG_20190506_171204.jpg

    IMG_20190506_171212.jpg

    IMG_20190506_171309.jpg

    IMG_20190506_170809.jpg

    IMG_20190506_170835.jpg

    IMG_20190506_170912.jpg

    IMG_20190506_170946.jpg

    What’s inside the box you ask?

    1x Charger
    1x Carry Bag
    1 x USB Cable
    1 x User Manual

    VC4S Charger Technical Specs:
    • Model : VC4S
    • Input : QC3.0 (5V-3A / 9V-2A)
    • Constant Current : 3Ax1 / 2Ax2 / 1Ax4 / 0.5Ax4)
    • Cut-Off Voltage : 4.2 +- 0.05V / 1.45 +- 0,1V
    • Cut-Off Current : <120mA
    • Operating Temp : 0-40deg C
    • Size : Length 149mm x Width 115mm x Hight 35mm
    • Weight : 212 Grams

    What types of batteries can you charge, plenty!

    10440/14500/14650/16340/17335/17500/17670/18350/18490/

    18500/18650/18700/20700/21700/22650/25500/26650/23650

    1.2V Ni-MH / Ni-CD:

    Sizes: AAAA / AAA / AA / A / SC / C / D

    *This charger cannot charge protected 20700 & 21700 Batteries.


    What do I think about this Charger?

    After searching for a QC3 charger which I found my Huawei phone uses, I plugged the charger in, and I was greeted with this bright LED screen with loads of info. I used this charger for around 3 weeks, and I have been charging either 4 batteries or 2 batteries and testing even AA batteries with this charger. The LED screen provides the user with all the needed information and shows you exactly what is happening with each battery separately.

    The display shows each battery current volts, the amps its being charged at and the current mAh level. Charing 4 batteries at 1amp charges really quick but 2 batteries at 2 amps each is super-fast! No more charging batteries through the night as this charger will charge a set in around 1 to 2 hours which is great.

    Modes and Functions

    The charger has 3 modes which can be selected.

    1. Normal charging with self-identifying function and it will set the amps accordingly and charge the batteries with automatic cut off once the batteries are fully charged.

    2. Storage mode will charge or discharge batteries to maximize battery life. One can discharge batteries if for storage or transportation which I think is nice!

    3. Grading mode will test the real capacity of the battery by “Charging->discharging->fully charging the battery so that you can see the true capacity of a battery and if its overstated by the manufacturer.

    Capacity (Left Button) - This will show you the current capacity of the battery to which it is charged to

    IMG_20190506_171004.jpg

    Current (Left Button) - Shows the current of the battery at any moment

    IMG_20190506_171017.jpg

    Internal Resistance (Left Button) - Shows the batteries internal resistance

    IMG_20190506_171023.jpg

    Grading Mode (Right Button) - This mode will grade the battery by fully charging the battery, then discharging the battery and then fully charging the battery again. This will basically test the batteries actual capacity to see if the ratings of a battery is over stated by the manufacturer.

    IMG_20190506_171030.jpg

    Storage Mode (Right Button) - This will charge or discharge batteries to their rated voltage to maximize battery life for when the batteries are going to be stored for a long time or you are planning on traveling with the batteries making them safer.

    IMG_20190506_171037.jpg

    What about Looks?

    Offering a huge LED screen that is bright and easy to understand make this a great charger. Rectangular and plain in shape it’s probably not the best-looking shape compared to some of their other more modern designs chargers but it’s not the shape that charges the batteries so as long as it charges the batteries quick and efficiently the I’m happy with it!

    My Pro's
    • Bright and informative wide LCD Screen
    • Compatible with a wide range of batteries and sizes
    • Charges really quick (2x18650 batteries takes around 1 hour at 2Amps)
    • Micro USB makes it portable and allows you to charge anywhere!
    • Test batteries true capacity with the Grading mode
    • Can revive overcharged and 0V batteries.
    • Intelligently Auto detect’ s battery type and size
    • QC3.0 Quick Charge and can charge a single battery at 3 amps (Dependant on input charger)
    • Easy to use with 1 display button and 1 mode button
    • Shows FULL on screen if a battery is charged with the battery mAh
    • Stops charging if a battery is fully charged, so no overcharging.
    • Bulky but Portable!
    • Flame retardant material is used in the whole construction
    My Cons's
    • Does not include a QC3.0 USB Charger so you must use your smart phone charger or buy a QC3.0 charger to use the charger at its full potential.
    • Included USB cable could have been slightly longer but that’s just me.
    • The battery sliders seem a little flimsy and loose compared to my Nitecore i2 which has no side to side movement.
    • Manual does not explain each function and mode in to detail, could have been more detailed.
    • Cannot manually change the Amps for charging a single battery and the charger will start charging at 3 Amps on a single battery which isnt great for 18650.
    • Removing batteries are a pain! There is no gap and you need to grip batteries from the sides. So removing 4 batteries makes it difficult.
    My Verdict?

    I haven’t used my nitecore since I powered on this charger, It works great and charges batteries fast and efficient and offers high amp charging. The charger offers multiple protection for safe charging and the LED screen provides more than enough information to know what is going on at any time.

    It would have been great if it came with its own QC3 charger but that’s not a train smash, but using a non QC charger will see you charging batteries at only 0.5amp and will take much longer.

    Would I buy one or recommend one? Yes, I would gladly recommend this charger to any vaper!!

    I would like to thank @XTAR for giving me this oppertunity to do this review and also Thanks to you all for reading my reviews. Please give me some feedback, tips or ideas and maybe a like if you will

    Cheers!
     

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    Last edited: 9/5/19
  2. RainstormZA

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    Interesting, what are protected batteries?
     
  3. Norman Anderson

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    Just a question, is it not better for the lifespand of the battery to be charged slower at a lower amps?
     
  4. StompieZA

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    From google i get the following : Protected Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries have a small electronic circuit integrated into the cell packaging. This circuit protects the battery against common dangers, such as overcharge, over discharge, short circuit/over current, and temperature.
     
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  5. StompieZA

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    This charger automatically evaluates each battery's internal resistance separately once inserted and according to the health of the battery the charger will choose the best current to charge at which it feels safe.

    Charging is also dependent on the input charger you connect, If you only connect a DC charger with 1Amp output, you will only charger batteries at 0.5amps each.

    I would not recommend charging a single battery at 3Amps though as this charger has the capability to do so.
     
    Last edited: 7/5/19
  6. Silver

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    Thanks for the review @StompieZA
    Great to see the charger in action and all the photos
     
  7. zadiac

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    Seeing that you have one of these, please check this for me. When you insert a battery, what is the default amps when it starts charging? (without you changing anything).
     
  8. StompieZA

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    Will do once i have a set of flat batteries bud

    Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk
     
  9. zadiac

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    Please let me know. I also have an Xtar charger, but it's default is 4.2A when batteries are inserted and have to change it manually to 1A. The default cannot be changed. I've had PM discussions with Xtar about it.
    So everytime you remove the batteries, it resets to the default of 4.2A. Once I forgot to check the amps when I put the batteries in and my batteries got so hot I thought I'd lost them forever, but they still work.
     
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  10. Jean claude Vaaldamme

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    I have a different brand charger that also use a usb charger. It is only a 2bay. I have burned out two cellphone/Tablet chargers because they cant handle the amps these chargers want. It should be even worse in this 4bay if you insert 4 batteries. Had to pay another R400 for a charger that can run up to 7amps to plug the charger in. Now its great, but these companies should include a proper charger
     
  11. Christos

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    Just a pity these are not available.
    I feel like your review is wasted because getting one locally is like me getting myself pregnant....
     
  12. zadiac

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    Well, with modern technology, you'll never know..................:p
     
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  13. Christos

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    Its such an effort to order a charger from overseas especially since I have 3 chargers and I really dont want to fight with customs over silly things like power plugs etc....

    Edit: oh I get it now :D
    Do you think I could also compete in the women's category for sports? :D
     
  14. StompieZA

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    Ok so i tested this last night and it will charge a single battery at 3Amps but im finding it difficult to figure out how to manually change the current? However if you change the input charger to a lower amp then im sure this will go down as well but i didnt test that yet.

    What i have noticed with this charger is, when charging two flat batteries the charger starts off by charging at 2Amp but as the battery is charged the amps will drop down to 1amp per battery and before reaching full charge drops to 0.5amps.

    The manual isnt very informative so will need to play around and see how or if one can set the current.

    Surely they wont make a charger capable of charging at 3amps if this was not safe or good for the battery? (im asking cause im not 100% sure)
     
  15. Silver

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    Thanks @StompieZA
    Are you saying that when you put in one battery it starts off at 3A and there is no way of changing that?
     
  16. StompieZA

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    I tried pressing both buttons, Holding both buttons in and holding each button separately and didnt seem to change the amps. I tested and reviews the charger using either two or 4 batteries as i only have married batteries. Will contact Xtar today and ask them. But to me the only way to get it to charge 1 battery at a lower current is by using a 1amp charger it seems.
     
  17. StompieZA

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    UPDATE after googling and viewing some other reviews:

    No way of changing the amps manually for charging.
    1 Battery will charge at 3 Amps,
    2 Battery's will charge at 2 Amps
    4 Batteries will charge at 0.5 to 1 Amps.

    But the Charger will also automatically change the current as it measures and charges the batteries and will up or down the amps it seems.

    So there is no way of changing it to charge at a specific amp and from what it seems according to Mikes Vapes, he also does not recommend charging a single 18650 at 3 Amps so i will only use this charger for two or more batteries to be safe. Mike Vapes however does say that 21700 batteries can handle 3Amps on a single battery.
     
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  18. zadiac

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    I'm not saying it's not safe, but if you feel how hot the batteries get charging at that rate then you have to agree that it can't be healthy for the batteries if this happens regularly.
     
  19. zadiac

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    This is my idea of ideal charging conditions for batteries:

    18650 - 0.5A to 1A
    20700 - 1A to 2A
    21700 - 1A to 4A

    I'm no expert, but I have charged all of the above at those rates and temperatures were acceptable. Only slightly lukewarm. The 21700's actually handles the 4.2A of my Over4 Slim Xtar charger quite well, but I only use it if I'm in a hurry and forgot to charge the batteries, otherwise I always charge at 1A for the 20700's and 21700's and 0.5A for the 18650's.
     
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  20. StompieZA

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    Hi guys, So @XTAR contacted me and their online store is currently having a up to 33% discount on different Chargers.

    Visit their Aliexpress Store here for great savings on different models of their chargers or to buy seeing that they arent readily available here in SA yet.
     
  21. XTAR

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    Hello zadiac,
    I guess your charger is Over 4 slim, because XTAR has only one charger with an initial default value of 4.2A. This charger is designed for fast charging and is specially developed for customers who need fast charging. This charger also has a smart mode, when your battery is not combined with 4.2A charging, it will automatically reduce to 2A charging. And you can try other XTAR smart chargers, and their features are great too.