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Thread: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

  1. #61
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    Yes. That's my requirement for any chargers moving forward. The percentage thing is useless to me. I love my VP2, being able to throw a cell in and do a quick voltage read. During charging it's obviously reading higher, but good enough.
    I do quick voltage reads with a DMM

  2. #62
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Be aware of one "feature" of the charger: it has no memory. In case you charge a small battery that is capable of 0.25A charging current and power supply cuts off and then recovers, the charger defaults to 1A charging. In worst case scenario you may get fireworks... I guess In any case that would be no good to the battery.
    Last edited by vadimax; 12-09-2016 at 05:56 PM.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    [...] it has no memory. In case you charge a small battery that is capable of 0.25A charging current and power supply cuts off and then recovers, the charger defaults to 1A charging. In worst case scenario you may get fireworks....
    That's a fairly serious design flaw. If this can occur while charging Li-ion cells then that could prove to be quite dangerous, since charging Li-ion at too high current is one of the primary causes of thermal runaway.

    It would be very helpful if reviewers tested charger behavior in exceptional cases like this. Typically reviewers do not perform such testing. Yet knowing how chargers handle such exceptions is essential knowledge required in order to properly assess their performance across the entire safety spectrum.

    This is especially a concern for chargers like this that are designed to make automatic choices (for novices, or for convenience, etc). Often, as above, they do not have access to information required to make decisions, so they are forced to choose between making very conservative (but inconvenient) safe, default choices, vs. agressive (more convenient), but possibly dangerous default choices (e.g. default charge current). And, what's worse, in some cases the designer may not have even considered some exceptional conditions, which increases the chance that unsafe (default) choices might be made by the firmware.

    With competent design you get a plug-n-play charger. But with incompetent design you get a plug-n-pray charger. To accurately distinguish the two requires much more extensive reviews that test performance in cases like these.

    This is an area where everyone can contribute,since many such tests do not require any special knowledge or equipment. Rather, it requires only that we devise some standard safety test [procedures (tweaked as need be based on the features of each chargers).
    Last edited by Gauss163; 12-12-2016 at 11:04 PM.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    Be aware of one "feature" of the charger: it has no memory. In case you charge a small battery that is capable of 0.25A charging current and power supply cuts off and then recovers, the charger defaults to 1A charging. In worst case scenario you may get fireworks... I guess In any case that would be no good to the battery.
    This is a BIG reason why it is a good idea to have multiple chargers. I feel like the Rocket is probably best reserved for rapid charging of larger cells. Although the Rocket has .25A and .5A settings, it is probably better used for cells that can tolerate a 1A or 2A charge. For smaller cells, something like the VP series might be better.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    So, would this be the charger to get for solely charging an 18650(AW protected 3400), if I can get one for under $20?

    I've read nearly every @HKJ review.

    This'll be my first charger, so safety and simplicity are important to me.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    It would be a good charger for 18650 only, as 1A is perfect for them. And you can currently get this charger for under $20 at Illumn.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by StorminMatt View Post
    It would be a good charger for 18650 only, as 1A is perfect for them. And you can currently get this charger for under $20 at Illumn.
    Thanks, appreciate your help.

    Now I just need to get up $50, otherwise the shipping from www.illumn.com adds about 60% back to the cost.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by scintillator View Post
    I am using this charger exclusively now.
    About 2 months ago the spring broke on one of the sliders.
    Rather than go to the hassle of returning the thing for a new one I decided to fix it.
    Removed rubber feet,unscrewed the bottom and revealed the problem.
    The little plastic post the spring fixes to broke.(this plastic post is way underdesigned flimsy very poor)
    I was able to drill a hole in the PC board just behind the broken post and attached the spring in the hole.
    Better than new.
    Just my 2 cents
    I just had this happen to me too. I was charging a pair of 18650s and a few minutes after the start I suddenly heard a loud click/pop from that direction that startled the heck out of me, and now the slider is completely loose (grrrr). Thank you so much for your great idea scintillator, I might try doing that myself.

  9. #69

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    [IMG][/IMG]

  10. #70

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Thanks for the picture scintillator, very helpful!

    EDIT:
    I ended up going back to Illumn.com with this (my purchase point) and they have shipped me a replacement (I'll be sending the broken one back to them, they'll take care of shipping). I'm satisfied with their resolution - next time I think I'll try what you did above, it would probably be easier.
    Last edited by Sherbona; 02-25-2017 at 02:48 PM. Reason: update

  11. #71

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Just got my SV2. Very happy so far.

  12. #72
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Some news from Xtar: asked them via e-mail regarding SV4 and the answer was "yes". But no details about "when".

  13. #73
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    And, by the way, I decided to use the authority of the CPF for the evil cause
    Dear Michael,


    I am a CandlePowerForums member and there are a couple of issues detected with the SV2 model:


    1. When there is a power outage the charger has no memory and defaults to 1A charging that is absolutely no good for small batteries.


    2. Sliders' internal spring connect points are too weak and tend to snap broken. As a result people have to open a charger and drill new connect points in the electric board:



    Would you be so kind as to address these problems in the upcoming SV4 model?


    Yours faithfully, Vadim.


  14. #74

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    So I'm not very happy with my charger any more! The one slot spring also broke out while I was inserting a battery!

    I really hate it when manufacturers create a product with an excellent algorithim, but the construction is poor.

    I hope the retailer can sort this out for me.

  15. #75

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Yeah same thing with the replacement SV2 that I got (post 70). After about a month and a half a slot spring broke while inserting a battery. So now it's happened twice for me with two different units. Bad Xtar!

  16. #76

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    I really hope they correct this on the new models going forward. Hearing stuff like this makes my hard earned money go somewhere else.

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    I realize this is an older thread but I had a question maybe HKJ or someone could answer about this charger or has an opinion on this.

    I purchased this SV2 Rocket primarily for NiMH c & D cells as I still use quite a few of them. Now I will admit my C & D NiMH cells are quite old, maybe almost 10 years but they've always charged up nicely. The D cells are Powerizer 9500mAh and the C cells are Powerizer 4500mAh. They continue to read right at 1.2V off the charger.

    The first couple of times I charged them in the SV2 at 2A as recommended, at the end of the charging cycle, they were quite warm but not overly so. This last time I charged them in the SV2, at the end of the cycle, they were very, VERY warm. I noticed a couple of the C cells and a couple of the D cells negative bottoms were very slightly bowed out. I had never noticed this before. They still read 1.2V and still work fine in my devices but I know very, very warm is not good for any cells. It took them awhile to cool down.

    I realize this is a fast charger and has no cooling fan and cells will get warm using it but even though these cells seem to charge up to just about 100% and still work fine, I'm wondering if the charger may be defective and charging at a higher rate or maybe the cells are just wearing out. Any thoughts?

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    I'm not HKJ, but...
    I'd order some replacement cells.
    It's more likely the cells than the charger. Charging at a significantly higher rate is unlikely. Some heating towards the end of the charging cycle is normal (terminating on temperature rise has actually been suggested for NiMHs), but it's hard to comment over the 'net on if the heating is normal or not. It sounds likely to be more heating than expected though. Bulging of the bottom isn't exactly a good sign either. ;-)
    It could even be simplified: after 10 years, they've had a good run. No matter how you look at this, their life is probably nearing an end.

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    I can guess at two reasons for the cells getting warm:
    1) The internal resistance has increased over age, this will generally mean a warmer cell when charging at the same current.
    2) The -dv/dt signal is very weak due to age/wear and the charger has problem detected the full cell. This means it will continue to charge for some time on a full cell where all the energy is converted to heat.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: lygte-info.
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  20. #80
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    I'm not HKJ, but...
    I'd order some replacement cells.
    It's more likely the cells than the charger. Charging at a significantly higher rate is unlikely. Some heating towards the end of the charging cycle is normal (terminating on temperature rise has actually been suggested for NiMHs), but it's hard to comment over the 'net on if the heating is normal or not. It sounds likely to be more heating than expected though. Bulging of the bottom isn't exactly a good sign either. ;-)
    It could even be simplified: after 10 years, they've had a good run. No matter how you look at this, their life is probably nearing an end.
    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    I can guess at two reasons for the cells getting warm:
    1) The internal resistance has increased over age, this will generally mean a warmer cell when charging at the same current.
    2) The -dv/dt signal is very weak due to age/wear and the charger has problem detected the full cell. This means it will continue to charge for some time on a full cell where all the energy is converted to heat.
    Good info and thanks so much!

  21. #81
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    I guess, those cells aren't that expensive that you decide to either be hit with a shrapnel or put your house on fire

    Personally for me it was enough of more than normal heating and chemical odor to dump a cell. Well, there was a headache as well to be true. That chemical smell was poisonous I guess.
    Last edited by vadimax; 08-28-2017 at 08:32 AM.

  22. #82
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Question can each channel be set to a different charge rate, say 250ma for an AAA nimh and 2000mah for an 3400mah 18650 or do both channels have to be the same rate??

    thanks

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  23. #83
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    Question can each channel be set to a different charge rate, say 250ma for an AAA nimh and 2000mah for an 3400mah 18650 or do both channels have to be the same rate??
    No, both channels use same charge rate.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: lygte-info.
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  24. #84
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    No, both channels use same charge rate.
    Thanks Henrik, saved me again.

    John.
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  25. #85

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar SV2 Rocket

    Quote Originally Posted by scintillator View Post
    I am using this charger exclusively now.
    About 2 months ago the spring broke on one of the sliders.
    Rather than go to the hassle of returning the thing for a new one I decided to fix it.
    Removed rubber feet,unscrewed the bottom and revealed the problem.
    The little plastic post the spring fixes to broke.(this plastic post is way underdesigned flimsy very poor)
    I was able to drill a hole in the PC board just behind the broken post and attached the spring in the hole.
    Better than new.
    Just my 2 cents
    The same thing happened to me, after about six months of daily use of that charger (I had two of them), and on two separate occasions (both times, with a 26650 battery in the well).

    The first time, I just went into the store, with the charger, in all of the original packaging, and they immediately exchanged it, no questions asked.

    The second time (maybe with the other unit..who knows), they were out out of stock, but set me up with a loaner charger, apologized for the problems, said they would advise XTAR of the problem; and a few weeks later, I had the replacement unit (Which I also picked up at the store, when they still had a storefront to go to lol.

    These guys have always taken care of me, so I've never had any reservations about buying XTAR chargers.

    Now, I'm enjoying four of these babies - among others :-)

    Last edited by david57strat; 09-22-2017 at 04:40 PM.

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