Luc V4 vs Nitecore D4

Discussion in 'Chargers' started by zaroba, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    chargers.JPG

    Just a small review and comparison for using these with 18650s

    The Luc V4 and Nitecore D4 are said to be the top chargers available.
    Both are good chargers and dependable, but neither are without miner faults.

    The Luc V4 has a much nicer display then the Nitecore D4. It shows the voltage on all the batteries at once, whereas you have to hit a button to cycle the display on the D4 to select which battery to show info on. I like that the D4 will actually say 'ALL' when all the batteries in it are fully charged.

    The Luc V4 is compatible with a wider range of batteries then the D4. However, this also causes an issue. The slots are bigger on the Luc V4 so it can accept 26650 batteries. This means that 18650s wont fit snugly in the slots and I have found that it can misread the battery voltage if they are not put in the slots perfectly. Often times I will have 1 battery reading up to a few tenths of a volt higher then the other until I remove and replace them a few times.

    The negative contacts on the Luc V4 are much easier to slide down to put batteries in the charger. Whereas the stiffer ones on the Nitecore D4 hold the batteries tighter in place. The stiffness of the negatives on the Nitecore can cause issues though, I have had them bend over time (just a millimeter or two) from sliding them down when putting batteries in it, making them not contact the battery negative. It takes 6+ months of daily usage and they are easy to bend forward back into place though. Another minor issue is that with the stiff springs, it is easy for them to 'fling' the battery out of your hand if your not holding it tight enough when pulling them out if you lift the positive out first. Whereas if you pull the negative out first it is easier for the springs to make the negative terminals scrape the side of a battery and possibly damage the wrap.



    Overall, it is really hard to say which I like better.
    But my opinion is leaning more towards the Nitecore due to how it holds 18650s in place.
    It's a bit of a pain having to wiggle the batteries around and slide them down and up to reconnect them in the Luc V4 to get it to show proper voltages. This makes me wonder if it is fully charging the batteries which can be an issue when using married pairs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  2. Jon@LiionWholesale

    [email protected] Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Good review.

    Some other things maybe you don't know about:
    1) The Efest can charge at much faster rates than the D4 and is selectable. You can charge up to 2A if you're in a hurry. The D4 only does a setting comparable to the Efest's slowest setting.
    2) The Efest can act as a portable power pack for a USB device like a cell phone. You can put one of your batteries in there and use it for portable USB power powered from the battery. Just one of those cool features that every now and then can be pretty handy.
     
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  3. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Thanks for the additions.

    I completely forgot about #1. I have enough batteries that I never have to charge some in a hurry so never paid attention to that.

    Didn't know about #2. But, it would be far more convenient if it had some type of a lid to keep the batteries in it so it could be carried around.
     
  4. Jon@LiionWholesale

    [email protected] Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Agreed some kind of latch would make that feature quite a bit more awesome. They're held in place pretty well though, as long as you're not running or something I think it would be fine.

    Since I work from home pretty frequently I have lots of test batteries around in my house. When we're about to have Snowmaggedon or whatever and there are concerns about power outages I just charge up a bunch of them and have them on reserve and I feel comfortable that I will not run out of phone/kindle/etc. power for at least a few years ;).
     
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  5. Robert B

    Robert B Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    What batteries can the Luc charge that the D4 can't? My nitecores charge 18650, 18350, 26650, 14500, AA & AAA's. I guess I don't use anything else.
     
  6. Markw4mms

    Markw4mms #Team Jimi Supporter Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years ECF Refugee

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    Nice review. I have both, and like them a lot. I do like that the LUC4 can charge faster if I'm in a hurry for batteries. One thing I do love about the D4 is if you take the batteries out of it, it will turn the display off and go into standby mode. The LUC 4 has to be turned off manually.
     
  7. Angrygod50

    Angrygod50 Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Ni-MH / Ni-Cd: AA, AAA, AAAA, C
    Charging these other types of batteries gives an edge to the Nitecore for me.
     
  8. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Honestly, I was only assuming the nitecore only took 18650s (or shorter) due to the slot size.
    Didn't realize it could also take 26650s etc. How do they even fit in the slots? Sticking out a bit with the contacts barely making a connection?
     
  9. Markw4mms

    Markw4mms #Team Jimi Supporter Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years ECF Refugee

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    26650's will only fit in the outer 2 slots if I remember correctly.
     
  10. DED420

    DED420 Silver Contributor

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    I just Googled it, after sifting through a bunch, found this. I guess it can, just 2 at a time though, wouldn't fit four 22650s[​IMG]
     
  11. sk7175

    sk7175 New Member

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    can either one, or both be left safely over night?
     
  12. DED420

    DED420 Silver Contributor

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    I use my LUC v2 and LUC v4 overnight all the time, they stop charging the batteries when they're done, been doing this for months without issue, but I still keep it on a fireproof surface away from other stuff, just to be safe.

    And the portable battery pack feature is a nice touch, although it is only one slot that allows for charging. LUC v2&v4 will only charge devices from Battery Slot 2, not from all the Battery Slots, and will display an upside-down battery in the center of the screen, showing the battery level left in Slot 2. I'm unsure if this feature is available with the LUC v6.
     
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  13. NinoCappuccin0

    NinoCappuccin0 Bronze Contributor

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    29.99, same price as those others, is the XTAR VC4. Best there is. I can even revive completely discharged batteries. Better and cooler display than those others and I've had issues with nitecore chargers before. XTAR VC2 is the 2 bay version
     
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  14. Angrygod50

    Angrygod50 Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I have the I2 not the D2 or 4 but I charge over night all the time.
    Opinions being worth what they cost - nothing - Jon's is the one I would take seriously because he sells the stuff and always seems to have good advice.
     
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  15. NinoCappuccin0

    NinoCappuccin0 Bronze Contributor

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    All 3 can be left over night honestly
     
  16. lemann

    lemann New Member

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    Nitecore UM20 is the best option available when it comes to chargers.
     
  17. sk7175

    sk7175 New Member

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    what makes it the best? is it only a 2 battery option?
     
  18. DED420

    DED420 Silver Contributor

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    I would hardly call it the best, but it has a nice little feature for techies. It has data transfer capabilities, which allow you to sync data between PC/Tablets/Phones/Etc.
     
  19. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Only thing special that I can see about that is the data transfer. Which honestly doesn't look special to me.

    Plug the phone into the charger via usb and then the charger into the laptop via usb?
    Why not just plug the phone directly into the laptop via usb?
    Then you can both charge the phone and transfer data between the two.

    seems like just a pointless 'fluff' feature to me.
     
  20. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Curious thing I notice though is the power input method being a 5 volt micro usb.
    Makes me wonder a few things:
    Could be plugged into a laptop or pc for charging 18650s?
    Does it use a standard micro usb to full size usb cord like cell phones use?
    Do you need to buy a separate outlet usb adapter for it or would any standard one work?

    What format is the USB? 1.0? 2.0? 3.0? All 3?
    What's the usb amp limit? 0.5amp? 0.9 amp? 1.5 amp? Variable? The same 0.5 / 1 amp as batteries use?
    These last two things will play a big role in usefulness and flexibility.

    What if it only has a USB output of 1.5 amps and somebody plugs in a usb charging mod that is only rated for 0.5 amps? will it cause the mod to catch fire? I have to wonder if this is the reason for some usb charging mods catching fire while being charged since outlet usb adapters come with different power ratings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  21. ChappyOfOz

    ChappyOfOz New Member

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    Has anyone had issues with batteries not holding a charge with the Lux V4?
    I went from the Nitecore D4 to the Lux. Loved the D4, just needed another charger for the girlfriend. Never had a problem with the D4, everything was flawless.
    Now I get the Lux and now my batteries are lasting maybe one tank at 75 watts. Charging them at .5 amps. Even opened never used batteries to see if the batteries themselves were just getting old. Naw, still draining these things super quick. Tried them in several different mods and with several different tanks and wattage ranges.
    Has anyone had a similar issue?
     
  22. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Could be related to the 3rd thing in the main post.
    I've noticed that sometimes when putting married pairs of 18650s in the slots, the charger would read one at a higher voltage unless it was wiggled around a bit or removed and reinserted a few times. If it thinks the voltage is higher then what it really is, then theoretically it wouldn't charge it as much because it would think it was full when it really isn't. Main reason I've gone back to using my D4 as my primary charger and now only use the Luc V4 if I need to charge more then 4 batteries at once.
     
  23. DED420

    DED420 Silver Contributor

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    1. Yes, it can be used through your PCs USB connections.
    2. Yes, it uses a Micro-USB to USB-A (standard USB connector) adapter .
    3. You can use any USB wall adapter, although a lower Voltage adapter will result in slower charging speeds. It's recommended to use a 5V USB wall charger, but not absolutely necessary.
     
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  24. ChappyOfOz

    ChappyOfOz New Member

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    So it's just a connection issue making it think the voltage is higher thus charging it less?
    They all say the same voltage after they're fully charged though, so that's why I am confused.
    I'll keep the Luc around but that is completely useless to me. I'm gone 12+ hours a day and so I need some fully charged batteries.
     
  25. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    If it thinks the 'dead' battery is at 3.6 volts when it's really at 3.4 volts, then it might also think the battery is 4.2 volts and fully charged when it's really only at 4 volts.
     
  26. ChappyOfOz

    ChappyOfOz New Member

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    Okay that makes sense. Furthur evident by the Evic VTC Mini showing half battery life but also saying 'weak battery' when fired.
    Thanks man! :)
     
  27. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Although, 0.2 volts is quite a difference. I commonly see less then 0.1 volt difference.

    For example, battery AC2 is 0.07 volts higher then AC1 in the LUC v4, but the D4 shows battery AC2 at 3.51 volts:
    error.JPG
     
  28. sk7175

    sk7175 New Member

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    is there much of a difference between the I4 and the D4?
     
  29. DED420

    DED420 Silver Contributor

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    The D4 has an LCD display, the I4 doesn't. That's about it.
     
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  30. sk7175

    sk7175 New Member

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    ty, I'm in the market for a charger and haven't decided yet
     
  31. DED420

    DED420 Silver Contributor

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    I would recommend the LUC line of chargers. They are inexpensive, but work great. They can handle all sorts of batteries, they have 2A charging capability, they have LCD displays with very easy to read UI, they have USB output charging, and they can act as a portable power bank (put a cell into slot 2 and you can charge your phone/etc with it). I haven't had any issues with mine (have the LUC V2 and V4).
     
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  32. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I own both of these chargers, and must say, the Efest is the main charger I use, I do like the D4 for it's recovery features though, just very slow if you want to charge in all 4 slots.

    Plus the Efest does my 26650's in the middle slots at 2A, or 4 18650's at 1A, so I do really like it. Simple to use too, just one button press to change charge current.
     
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  33. shadowd

    shadowd New Member

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    Luc now has the blu6 it's a 6bay charger with bluetooth. It connects to your phone so you can read battery levels without having to go check the charger all the time. I'm not a heavy vaper my star vc2 works great for me and I like that it measures the mah the charger puts into the battery.

    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
     
  34. bwsbmw

    bwsbmw New Member

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    Has the overcharging been fixed on the newer LUC v4. Efest supposedly released a second version that took care of the over charging issue. People were having it charge in upwards of 4.28volts. also find it odd that in the specs for the LUC v4 still says auto cut off: 4.23v (+ or - .05) are people having any issues with the new chargers bought after 2014-15? I have a Nitecore d2 that works flawlessly, I don't want to have to worry about wiggling my batteries to get the correct voltage to read as I have read earlier in this forum.
     
  35. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I have been using an Efest LUC4 almost exclusively for around a year now if memory serves me correctly.

    I have not noticed any overcharge problems myself, although I do understand this was an issue with earlier units. A quick google search showed that this seems to have been fixed, and it was models in 2014 that had this issue.

    I also own a Nitecore I2 (First charger) then got a D4, and got the Efest due to the slow charging when using 4 bays in the D4. There will be a +- amount with any charger to give some room for slight error, but understand your worries of overcharging.

    As long as you get a newer model, which I expect every store to have now, you will be fine. You can always check with a multimeter the end voltage if worried, and if it is indeed overcharging cells, get it exchanged for another.
     
  36. martnargh

    martnargh Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    I use nitecore exclusively and have never had any problems.

    Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
     
  37. Jim_MDP

    Jim_MDP Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I've used my Luc V4 for a year or so as well...

    Everything said is accurate, I prefer having the 4x1A for my 18650s and even the 2x2A charging on occasion for the 26650s. Neither option is available with Nitecore or Xtar 4 bay chargers (IIRC).

    I do roll or spin the cells to get the voltage reading to settle, and to my knowledge I've had no overcharging issues. Works well, does what it says on the tin and doesn't damage the wraps. Good enough for me.


    However...
    It doesn't handle NiMh chemistry so... I have a Black Friday sale ($17) Xtar VC4 enroute because I recently purchased a bunch of rechargeable AA and AAAs for remotes, BT keyboard, etc. and needed a new, better charger for them. ;)

    I can live with it's slower 18650 charging as a second device and to get the NiMh function... and I believe the Xtars have a slightly higher quality reputation among the three brands (Conan and I actually discussed that over a year ago).

    But if I had seen a sale on Opus chargers... I might have gone that route instead. :D
     
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  38. bwsbmw

    bwsbmw New Member

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    Thank for your reply, I ended up going with the LUC v4 due to the d4 having a slow charge rate while charging 4 18650's. I appreciate your response and info, makes me feel a lot better.
     
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  39. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    @bwsbmw good choice, I am sure you will be very pleased with the charger. Unlike their batteries, their chargers are actually pretty highly regarded. (For some reason even their batteries are favoured over at the BLF, I joined when I wanted a cheap, bright torch/flashlight, caused a bit of a storm when I 'insulted' Efest batteries lol).

    @Jim_MDP , I do remember speaking about the chargers quite a while ago, I am pretty sure that was when I picked up the LUC4 to replace the D4.

    I do keep the D4 for AAA's and AA's however, that is the only real downside to the Efest charger, and I should of remembered that myself, but if it is just for vaping use the Efest will keep you more than happy.

    I hope the Xtar you have on the way is good though, you got it for a great price at just $17. I just had a look at the specs on that specific charger, I like that it can fit even 32650's in it, and also has a 0V 'rescue' function. I wouldn't recommend saving deeply overcharged batteries for vaping, but for something like a remote control or wall clock it could be handy.
     
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  40. bwsbmw

    bwsbmw New Member

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    Excellent, the LUC v4 will be strictly for changing 18650's for vaping, Ill keep my D2 in rotation just because Its been a work horse. The D4 is lacking in charge current while charging 4 batteries, 350mah is just to slow. So I have high hopes for the LUC4. I actually am a fan of the new efest tear resistant 18650's/3000mah. In my Laisimo l3 and l1, I get 250/3-4sec puffs @ 72watts before it's time to swap them out. My imren 3200 green 40a/10amp continuous, same life as the efest 35a/20amp continuous about 250/3-4sec puffs, 72watts. Thanks guys for the info about the LUC4! -Brandon
     
  41. Jim_MDP

    Jim_MDP Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I hope those examples are in a dual cell mod. Hell, I wouldn't regularly throw 70w at my Sammy 25Rs in a single cell mod and those are real 20A CDR cells... who knows what the Efests are but they ain't that (don't know the Imrens).

    And it's oddly true that Efest knows their way around a charger, unlike their batteries.
    Were they a charger/electronics firm before they caught the "rewrap" bug?
     
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  42. conanthewarrior

    conanthewarrior Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Sounds a good idea, I do still use my D4 myself, I have given the I2 to my fiancee so she can charge her batteries at home (She also vapes as well).

    350MAH is a bit too slow, I didn't know myself until very recently that charging batteries at too slow a rate is almost as bad as too fast, I was under the impression that 'gentle' charging was better for batteries.
    I found this is untrue though to an extent, as at too slow a charge rate the battery can spend too long in a different state, and can build up lithium-plating on the anode, so it is best to charge as close to the manufacturers recommended rate as possible.
    For a 25R, which quotes 1.3A, with the Efest 1A would be close enough, you could even use the 2A speed if you wanted a faster charge, with no real issues apart from a possible slightly reduced lifespan, as their fast charge is double that.

    I would be careful of Efest batteries, the older non metallic wrapped '35 A' cell was in some cases a MJ1, which was a 10A cell.

    I am not sure what the newer ones are, but they seem to be very close to a 30Q from moochs tests, https://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/f...s-accurately-rated-20a-looks-like-30q.749545/ .

    It is of course up to you which batteries you use, but for higher capacity I would suggest Samsung 30Q's, or LG HG2's. They will be cheaper than Efest batteries, and you know exactly what you are getting, while with Efest things can change and you will not know.
     
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  43. ShowerHead

    ShowerHead Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee

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  44. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Minor update, guess you could call it long term testing.

    when I originally posted this topic, I think I had just bought a 2nd D4 to replace the first one I had, which was a year old and starting to have issues. The 2nd one has now somewhat failed as well. So, two different chargers, both with regular daily use charging 4-8 batteries a day, both only lasted about a year.

    The first one works fine, but there is so much friction on the outer slots that the springs wont make the contacts slide against the batteries. Push them out and they just stay put and I have to use just as much force to close them as I did to push them out. Tried spraying a little wd40 on one of the slides, but it didn't help. The two inside slots are perfectly fine and not suffering from this issue. The odd thing about this is that the 2 inside slots were used just as much as the 2 outside slots. If I was only charging 2 batteries at once, I would put them in slots 1 and 3 or in slots 2 and 4. So there is no reason for slots 1 and 4 to be messed up while 2 and 3 are fine.

    The 2nd charger had slot 1 fail completely. It just wont charge any battery inserted. It will read them when inserted, detect their voltage, but just not charge them.



    I just got two more LUC v4s so will see how they work over the next year.
     
  45. Mike H.

    Mike H. Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Ive got the Nitecore i2 and a D2...The i2 ive had for over 1 year easily and the D2 I bought from a co worker who got out of vaping...Both charge to the batteries fullest potential...I like the slower .5 amp charging as it creates less internal heat within the battery during charging and is better for overall battery life...Ive been wanting to get an Xtar charger and ordered one but gearbest cant ship to a PO box Via DHL so I havnt gotten one as of yet...Xtar seems to be the feature packed charger for great charging and battery life as well as reconditioning some batteries the nite core and efest cant do.
     
  46. Lefty

    Lefty Silver Contributor

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    Yes.
     
  47. zaroba

    zaroba Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Something I already found annoying about the LUC v4 since getting the two of them to use in my semi.

    The things have a damn brick on the plug. Even at the end of a power strip, you can't use the outlet before it.
    The nitecore d4 was just a straight cord with no brick.
     
  48. Jim_MDP

    Jim_MDP Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    That's a pain... you usually never know what you're going to get. Or at least I never pay attention.

    I keep forgetting to look for those "Octopus" style power strips when I'm in stores. I should probably just order one.
    There's another strip style I've seen online... each receptacle rotates around the long axis.
     
  49. freemind

    freemind Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    I have had 3 nitecore chargers. I2 I4 and a D4. All three had bay failures in less than a year of ownership.

    I now use a VC4 Xstar. I'll only own Xstar or Opus from now on. Jon had commented to me before that he has never had that problem with all the Nitecores he has sold. You are the second person that had told me they have had the same problem.

    I'll never buy another Nitecore product again.
     
  50. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Phantom Pilot Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years

    Blog Posts:
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    Feb 23, 2015
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    17,778
    I have a Nitecore i4, that was shelved in favor of an xstar vc4
    No regrets at all.
    The i4 was hinky, one bay wouldn't always contact.
    I still have it as a backup for my backup but it hasn't seen a battery in over a year

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
    freemind likes this.

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