Charger Nitecore Intellicharger new i2 2016
Nitecore has fixed the problems, click here for the updated review
The i2 charger gets an update once in a while, this time with support for multiple chemistries, higher charge current and larger cells. The design it also updated.
The cardboard box lists lot of specifications, battery types and features.
The box contains the charger, a mains cable, manual and a warranty card.
The charger has two power connectors, one for mains input (100-240VAC 50/60Hz) and one for 12 VDC input.
The user interface has changed completely, now it has buttons and the leds are place behind a dark cover.
It has the usual 3 status leds, this time in green and a red led to signal full current (1A). The status led also has a secondary function, they are used as indicators for selected voltage.
The charger is a bit special with current selection, usual it will select current depending on battery length and chemistry, but it can be overridden in one case: Two long LiIon batteries can be charged at 1A, but then they will be charged in sequence, not simultaneously.
To change voltage or current the button above that slot must be pressed shortly, next hold the C or V button down to select (Look at leds) and release when the correct value is shown. Press again shortly on the button above the slot or wait for timeout.
The slots uses the usual construction and works well. They can handle batteries from 27mm to 71mm long.
Notice the long bar at the plus end, due to this the charger can handle anything up to D or 32xxx size.
The charger can easily handle 70 mm long batteries, inclusive flat top cells.
- Power consumption when idle is 0.35 watt
- Will charge a LiIon with 0.15mA when charging is finished.
- Will discharge a NiMH with 0.15mA when not powered
- Will discharge a LiIon with 0.5mA when not powered
- Change between long/short cell at around 58mm
- Below 1V the charger will report error (All leds flashing) and charge with about 1mA.
- Above 1V regular charging is used.
- Will assume LiIon above 2.0V
- Charger will not restart if battery voltage drops.
- Power cycling and insertion of a battery will restart charging.
4.2V LiIon charging
The charger uses a CC/CV charge curve with termination a around 350mA. This termination current makes the charger fast, but also means the batteries are not completely filled.
The second channels looks the same.
Different capacity, means different charge time.
The two other small batteries are also charged fine, the charger automatic selects 0.5A charge current, but the termination current is not changed, this means these cells are even less filled.
With two long batteries the charge rate will be 0.5A if charging simultaneously, it is possible to select 1A and charge the two cells in sequence.
Using an external 12 volt supply the charger uses below 0.6A.
M1: 43,7°C, M2: 44,3°C, M3: 55,3°C, M4: 49,2°C, HS1: 70,5°C
The charger starts very fast.
3.6V LiIon charging (LiFePO4)
There is the same high termination current here and the charge voltage is a bit above 3.6V.
This one looks the same.
4.35V LiIon charging
It charges to 4.35V as expected, but the 350mA termination current is the same.
This NiMH battery is filled and also gets an hour extra charge, not very good.
Strange termination with 10 minutes at half current.
But the other channel do not exactly fill the cells, it stops way early.
All the different cells get the extra hour charging.
The AAA cell stops a bit early, no 1 hour extra charge.
Even a full cell gets the extra one hour.
With two batteries in the charger it maintains the 0.5A charge rate.
The input current is around 300mA while charging two NiMH batteries, notice that the secondary slot stops after about 1 hour (Same as the test above on slot #2).
M1: 43,3°C, M2: 42,7°C, M3: 58,9°C, M4: 47,4°C, M5: 42,7°C, HS1: 63,4°C
The charger gets fairly warm, but the batteries are not too hot.
The charger is also fast to start with NiMH batteries.
I did take a look on the short spikes in the charge chart, they a about 4ms long.
Testing with 2830 volt and 4242 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.
Usual the i2 has been a fairly good charger, but this time around it is not. The high termination current on LiIon means the batteries will not be filled completely. With NiMH one slots over chargers and the other slot do not fill much into the battery.
Until Nitecore has fixed this the charger is not very good.
The charger was supplied by a Nitecore for review.
2014 version, Review of old i2 (V2)
Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger