Charger NiteCore UM4

DSC_4055

This is a USB QC powered 4 cell universal charger with adjustable current.

DSC_4056 DSC_4057

DSC_3845 DSC_3846 DSC_3847 DSC_3848

The cardboard box lists lot of specifications, battery types and features.

DSC_4050

The box contains the charger, a USB cable, manual and a warranty card.

DSC_4058

The charger has the USB connection on the back together with a plastic heat sink.

DSC_4060

The charger has two switches:
C: A short press will change slot and longer press will enter the charge and battery menu.
V: Step between displayed values and change settings in menu.

DSC_4192 DSC_4193
DSC_4194

When charging it will show chemistry (Li-ion), algorithm (CV), charged capacity, internal resistance, current, voltage and time.
The "Quick Charge" is present when the charger is power from a QC charger.

DSC_4196 DSC_4198

The charger supports 4.30V, this will undercharge 4.35V batteries slightly. LiFePO4 is shown as 3.7V and NiMH is shown as NiMH/NiCd with -dv/dt algorithm.

DSC_4197

Error.

DSC_4059

The yellow label has the important specifications and is easy to read.

DSC_4061 DSC_4062

The slots uses the usual construction and works well. They can handle batteries from 30mm to 79.8 mm long, the new 21700 with protection will fit in the charger.

supportedBatteryTypes

supportedBatterySizes

DSC_4280 DSC_4281 DSC_4282 DSC_4283

DSC_4286 DSC_4287 DSC_4284 DSC_4285
DSC_4288 DSC_4289 DSC_4290 DSC_4291

The charger can handle 79.8 mm long batteries, inclusive flat top cells.



Measurements

LiIon charging

Current can be adjusted from 0.3A to 1.5A in 0.1A step. Default is 1A with long batteries and 0.5A with short batteries.

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28SA18650-33%29%20%231

This is a nice CC/CV charge curve with about 150mA termination current.
Display shows 2820mAh, 3:38, 232mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28SA18650-33%29%20%232
Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28SA18650-33%29%20%233
Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28SA18650-33%29%20%234

The 3 other slots are similar, but there is a minor voltage difference.
Display shows 2907mAh, 3:44, 210mOhm for #2
Display shows 2815mAh, 3:54, 110mOhm for #3
Display shows 2847mAh, 3:51, 202mOhm for #4

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28SA18650-26%29%20%231
Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28PA18650-31%29%20%231

The two other capacities are also charged fine.
Display shows 2350mAh, 2:58, 163mOhm and 2610mAh, 3:25, 152mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28BE18650-26%29%20%231

This old cell is handled fine.
Display shows 1794mAh, 3:44, 500mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20%28AP18650-26%29%20%231
Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20%28SA18650-33%29%20%231
Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20%28SA20700-30%29%20%231

Increasing charge current to 1.5A works without problems.
Display shows 2628mAh, 2:17, 176mOhm for AP18650
Display shows 3076mAh, 2:57, 161mOhm for SA18650
Display shows 2918mAh, 2:15, 112mOhm for SA20700

Nitecore%20UM4%200.5A%20%28SA18650-33%29%20%231

A lower current also works fine, but with the same termination current.
Display shows 2778mAh, 6:05, 258mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%200.3A%20%28AW18350-IMR%29%20%231

This old and worn down cell I charged at lowest setting., the charger works fine, but a lower termination current would have worked better.
Display shows 116mAh, 0:32, 375mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%200.5A%20%28KP14500-08%29%20%231

A 14500 with 0.5A charge current works, but again a lower termination current would have been better. The termination is also at the minimum voltage.
Display shows 604mAh, 1:39, 500mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20QC%20%28AP18650-26%29%20%231

Boosting input voltage to the charger with QC do not make single cell charging faster.
Display shows 2640mAh, 2:08, 157mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%200.5A%20%284xSA18650-33%29

With four cells in the charger the current is reduced to 0.5A for each cell.
Display shows 2966mAh, 6:56, 126mOhm for #1
Display shows 2880mAh, 6:38, 117mOhm for #2
Display shows 2896mAh, 6:55, 128mOhm for #3
Display shows 3003mAh, 6:47, 94mOhm for #4

Nitecore%20UMS4%202A%20QC%20%284xSA18650-33%29

With QC power the charge speed is faster, in this case around 1 hour is saved.
Display shows 3101mAh, 5:31, 164mOhm for #1
Display shows 3016mAh, 5:13, 111mOhm for #2
Display shows 3038mAh, 5:29, 120mOhm for #3
Display shows 3028mAh, 5:13, 167mOhm for #4

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%200.5ohm%20%284xSA18650-33%29

Using a 0.5ohm resistor in series with 5V power to simulate a weak charger or long cable makes the charger real slow, but it will charge the batteries.
Display shows 2712mAh, 19:22, 223mOhm on #1
Display shows 2672mAh, 18:02, 146mOhm on #1
Display shows 2581mAh, 19:23, 229mOhm on #1
Display shows 2704mAh, 17:46, 123mOhm on #1

Temp6360

M1: 41.5C, M2: 43.1C, M3: 42.9C, M4: 42.1C, M5: 45.8C, HS1: 51.9C

Temp6361

M1: 48.4C, HS1: 52.9C

PoweronLiIon

The charger need some time to start a charge. The charger measured voltage with current off.

PoweronLiIonQC

Using QC do not change much, the charger is a bit faster to start, probably because the QC request is answered.

Charge1%2B3LiIon

The charger will timeshare the charging circuit when multiple slots are used, this means average charge current is halved.

CurrentChangeLiIon

When entering the current change menu the current is turned off and first resumed when leaving the menu.

Charge%20Solar%20LiIon

The charger has a small problem with a unstable power supply.



4.30V LiIon charging

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28LG18650-30%29%20%231

The charger charges fine to 3.0V, but most "high voltage" batteries are 4.35V and they will be undercharged slightly.
Display shows 2564mAh, 3:10, 236mOhm



IFR (LiFePO4) charging

Nitecore%20UM4%200.5A%20%28SO14500-LiFePO4%29%20%231

Display shows 439mAh, 1:05, 560mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%2818650-LiFePO4%29%20%231

LiFePO4 is charged fine.
Display shows 1104mAh, 1:25, 185mOhm



NiMH charging

Current can be adjusted from 0.1A to 1A in 0.1A step both with USB and QC power supplies. Default is 0.5A

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28eneloop%29%20%231

This is a nice -dv/dt charge curve with a very short top-off at the end (Only a few minutes).
Display shows 1706mAh, 1:47, 480mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28eneloop%29%20%232
Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28eneloop%29%20%233
Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28eneloop%29%20%234

The 3 other channels looks similar.
Display shows 1986mAh, 1:52, 423mOhm on #2
Display shows 1748mAh, 1:49, 500mOhm on #3
Display shows 1740mAh, 1:49, 263mOhm on #4

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28eneloopPro%29%20%231
Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20%28leise25%29%20%231

The two high capacity cells are also handled nicely.
Display shows 2506mAh, 2:36, 500mOhm for Pro
Display shows 2581mAh, 2:41, 142mOhm for Leise

Nitecore%20UM4%200.5A%20%28eneloop%29%20%231

Termination works fine at 0.5A charge current on AA.
Display shows 1748mAh, 3:38, 464mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%200.5A%20%28eneloopAAA%29%20%231

This makes it easy to charge a AAA battery.
Display shows 714mAh, 1:30, 500mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201A%20full%20%28eneloop%29%20%231

A full cell is detected in about 10 minutes, this is fairly fast for a -dv/dt charger.
Display shows 139mAh, 0:10, 197mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20%28eneloop%29%20%231

The 1.5A charging also wors fine.
Display shows 1898mAh, 1:19, 223mOhm

Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20%284xeneloop%29

With four batteries I may select 1.5A, but the actual current will be around 0.75A
Display shows 1923mAh, 2:43, 480mOhm on #1
Display shows 1815mAh, 2:34, 266mOhm on #2
Display shows 1932mAh, 2:43, 187mOhm on #3
Display shows 1965mAh, 2:39, 204mOhm on #4

Nitecore%20UM4%201.5A%20QC%20%284xeneloop%29

There is no bonus for using a QC power supply here.
Display shows 1798mAh, 2:32, 313mOhm
Display shows 1898mAh, 2:40, 177mOhm
Display shows 1956mAh, 2:39, 208mOhm
Display shows 1940mAh, 2:42, 209mOhm

Temp6373

M1: 46.2C, M2: 48.2C, M3: 48.3C, M4: 47.2C, M5: 50.8C, HS1: 66.2C

Temp6374

HS1: 63.9C

PoweronNiMH

The charger needs some seconds to initialize before it will start charging.

PoweronNiMHQC

Using QC do not change it.

Charge1%2B3NiMH

The charger will timeshare the charging circuit when multiple slots are used, this means average charge current is halved.


CurrentChangeNiMH

Charging is turned off while adjusting current.

Charge%20Solar%20NiMH

Unstable power supply do not work perfectly with NiMH either.



Internal resistance

The internal resistance measurement is not very impressive on this charger.

RiLiIon

This is for LiIon

RiNiMH

And NiMH.
Some of the readings are probably correct, but there are to many sporadic readings.



Conclusion

The charger works well with good default LiIon currents, it is possible to select a lower or higher current with some button presses. There is also the detail about time sharing, this means with 3 or 4 batteries in the charger the current is halved.
The internal resistance measurement do not work very well.

I will rate the charger as good.



Notes

The charger was supplied by a Nitecore for review.

Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger