XTAR VC2L Review Universal Battery Charger For li-ion nimh and nicd batteries

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Most chargers on the market ignore over discharged batteries but the XTAR VC2L charger doesn't! It can revive an over discharged dead battery and bring it back to life!
The XTAR VC2L charger has a neat trickle charge function can restore a severely drained battery (in the 0 volt range) by charging it very gently so, it will not overheat. The trickle function is part of the VC2L charger intelligent three-stage charging process, which is designed to protect the health of the battery. The VC2L charger starts the charging process slowly and gradually increasing charging current until the battery is fully charged. Slow charging is, without question, the best way to charge any battery as it maximizes the life cycle of the battery and, it is safer than fast charging, which is convenient but degrades the life of the battery a lot faster.

 The three stage charging process starts out with 50mA trickle charging (0.05 amps) when the XTAR VC2L charger detects the battery voltage is below 2.9 volts. When voltage reaches 2.9 volts, the XTAR VC2L charger automatically increases the charging current to 0.5 amps (or 1 amps depending on the battery) until the battery is around 90%. Then, the XTAR VC2L charger will automatically decrease current again down to 80mA (0.08 amps) until the battery reaches 4.2 volts (full charge).

The XTAR VC2L charger has built-in timers too to minimize potential overheating hazards. The VC2L charger will stop charging an over discharged battery that does not reach 2.9 volts in 10 minutes. The charger will also turn off when it detects the charging battery has not reached 4.2 volts (full charge) within 2 hours. 
Essentially, the VC2L charger uses a low charging current phase to initiate and terminate the charging process and a constant current phase, which does most of the charging. During the constant current phase, the charger is capable of charging 1 battery at 4.2V/2A and 2 batteries at 4.2V/1A.
The XTAR VC2L charger can work plugged into a computer USB port (0.5A), although it is better using a 5V 1000 mA (5V/1A) or 5V 2000 mA (5V/2A) charger (not included). The charging cable is included, which is a premium Xtar branded cable. The XTAR VC2L charger is entirely made of flame-retardant plastic and uses spring-loaded metal cradle arms to hold the batteries in place. 
The USB-C charging port is located on the front and there is also a clicky button designed to change the current level from 0.5A, 1A or 2A (when charging 1 battery). When charging 2 batteries, you can only adjust between 0.5A and 1A. When charging NiMH, NiCD and mixed batteries the maximum charging current you can select is 0.5A.
Safety features include thermal protection, short-circuit protection, overcharge protection, overheating protection and reverse polarity protection, which is handy if you insert the batteries the wrong way around. The VC2L charger can charge 3.6V and 3.7V li-ion batteries of any capacity and sizes (no longer than 75 mm long) and types (IMR, INR and ICR) including 10440, 14500, 14650, 16340, 17500, 17670, 18350, 18500, 18650, 18700, 20700, 21700 (protected and unprotected), 22650, 25500, 26650. 
The XTAR VC2L charger also supports 1.2V NiMH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries and NiCD (Nickel Cadmium) batteries, including AAAA, AAA, AA, A, SC, CD and D. You can mix and charge battery types (e.g. NiMH + Li-Ion) at the same time.

The blue backlit LCD can be turned off and has an odometer style reading that shows in real time charging current, battery voltage (5-10% accuracy range, which is good) and charging capacity information so, you can tell when charging is complete. The XTAR VC2L charger can be laid horizontally or vertically. Dimensions are 13.5cm long, 6.5cm wide and 3.5cm high. The LCD display measures 4.5cm horizontally and 2cm vertically. You can buy the XTAR VC2L universal battery charger for li-ion nimh and nicd batteries from Xtar Direct. The Xtar battery seen pictrured works with the Xtar R30 1200 flashlight.

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