The SKYRC MC3000 Universal Multi-Chemistry Bluetooth Smart Battery Charger was acquired in AliExpress Feetech RC Store. It is considered the most advanced loader today, supporting batteries of various types of chemistry: NiMH, NiCD, NiZn, Eneloop, RAM, Lithium-Ion, Lilo4.35, LiFePO4, and LTO. The firmware is upgradeable, so that it can support batteries with new chemicals that will be created.
The load can be monitored by applications to Android and IOS, and also for an application for PCs with Windows, which generates graphs of the entire process. Are 4 slots that support batteries of many different sizes: AAAA, AAA, AA, Sub-C, C, D, 10340, 10350, 10440, 10500, 12340, 12500, 12650, 13450, 13500, 13650, 14350, 14430, 14500, 14650, 16340, RCR123, 16500, 16650, 17350, 17500, 17650, 17670, 18350, 18490, 18500, 18650, 18700, 20700, 21700, 22500, 22650, 25500, 26500, 26650, 26700, 32600, 32650, and 32700.
The charging current is configurable from 50 mA to 3 A and the download is 50 mA to 2 A, reaching a total of 50W of power in the load and 15W of power in the discharge. Charges batteries 100 mAh up 50.000 mAh. Weighs 600 grams, excluding the power source. It also has a USB output of 5 V e 2,1 A.
When I was a kid I already knew that there were rechargeable batteries, but I’ve never seen one in person. I didn't know who, never even seen one for sale. I only knew that the instruction manual for my remote control cart suggested using them. I could only play when I had batteries, when they got weak, put them in the fridge and after “rest” a little over there they would work again for a little while. It even scared you when you put really new batteries and saw how much the cart was running.
There in the middle of the years 90 rechargeable batteries started showing up here and I bought my first: I was a Panasonic NiCD, size AA. I used them on my walkman. The charger was very simple, without any “intelligence”. I put the batteries in it and waited a few hours for the slow charge.
I later purchased a quick charger. With a load of 200mA, he could charge a NiCD battery in 3 hours. But his intelligence was apparently limited to counting the time. After 3 hours it turned off the green LED and was on a slower charge.
NiCD batteries were great for those who only had disposable batteries before, but they had their own problems, like the memory effect, that occurred if they were recharged without having been fully discharged.
When NiMH batteries started to become popular and I bought my first digital camera, there at the beginning of the millennium, I tried to buy NiMH batteries to be able to use it. And then I needed another charger because mine were only for NiCD. I bought a pack from Sony, that came smart charger and batteries. A while later I bought another, Also Sony, the first with LCD display to indicate the charge status and function refresh, that allowed the batteries to be completely discharged before charging.
I later discovered purchases in China and 9V rechargeable batteries. I needed a charger for them, because my charger that supports 9V batteries was only for NiCD. So I ended up acquiring the BTY GN-96, whose review I did here on the Skooter Blog in 2008.
When I started buying lanterns from China, I got interested in lithium ion batteries, such as 14500, that is the size of an AA, but they offer higher voltage and more light in the lanterns that support them. I needed a specific charger for them and bought an Ultrafire, whose review I did here on the blog at 2010.
Later came 9V lithium-ion batteries, much better than the NiMH I had previously. Of course, the new chemistry also required a new charger, so I acquired a Soshine Battery Charger, that already came with a pair of 9V 500mAh SC-V1 Rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries. I reviewed it here on the Skooter Blog at 2012.
In 2009 I lived in Canada for a while. I didn't take chargers, and I took the opportunity to purchase a charger La Crosse, model BC-9009, then considered the best charger on the market, with options of refresh and battery test. He is smart, with mechanisms for detecting temperature and voltage variation. Works with NiCD and NiMH in AA and AAA formats, from 200 mA a 1 A.
It also has a very nice function to recover batteries “tired”, that no longer hold the nominal load. It does loading and unloading cycles in sequence, so that in each cycle the battery will recover a little of its capacity. It stops when it cannot recover.
I later left this BC-9009 for my parents and bought its update, at La Crosse Technoly Alpha Power BC1000, whose review I did here on the Skooter Blog in 2013.
When I needed more 9V lithium-ion batteries, I realized that it was cheaper to buy the version that came with a charger than to buy separate batteries. And so came another Soshine charger, whose review I did here on the Skooter Blog in 2017. This already supports LiFePO4, plus NiMH.
In 2014 eu bought 3 batteries pairs 18650 mistakenly. The intention was to buy Batteries 14500 for my flashlights, but confuse me. Not to waste them, then a purchase Lanterna Ultrafire 503B for use-the. It turned out that this is the best flashlight I have and the one I use today.
To load Batteries 18650, I had been using the my old WF-139 charger Ultrafire, that comprei em 2010. Despite it being compatible with Batteries 18650, they are the size limit that it accepts and enters with some difficulty. The point is that the protected batteries, like mine 18650, They are a bit longer than the non-protected due to the protection circuit. With time the WF-139 to spoil a couple of my 18650 because of the difficulty in fitting.
I thought it was time to buy a new charger for these lithium ion batteries, and that's when I got the Nitecore Digicharger D4EU. Although it carries AA and AAA also, I kept the La Crosse BC1000 for this function, because it is much more complete.
But earlier this year the BC1000 presented problems. One of the slots no longer works. I put any batteries in it and it indicates 200 Current mA at start, but it will drop until zero. I then started using the Nitecore D4EU to charge AA and AAA also.
The Nitecore D4EU is a competent charger for new NiMH batteries. But it does not have advanced functions like the BC1000 to retrieve the oldest ones. Furthermore, he is not very fast, limited to 375 mA when you are with 3 or 4 slots ocupados.
Choice of SKYRC MC3000
When my BC1000 pifou, I went to check if La Crosse had already launched a replacement for him. And I found that there. Seven years after I bought mine, it is still in line and is still the most advanced model. It even surprised me, after all electronics usually stay on the market for a short time until they are replaced by new models, although with very small changes.
I searched quickly and several sites (maybe outdated) still indicated the La Crosse BC1000 as best charger. I even thought of buying another, but I wasn’t excited and left the idea aside. I continued using the Nitecore D4EU.
Recently there was a discussion about chargers in a group of Telegram and I went back to researching the subject (thank you, Brother Wallace). Then I got to know the SKYRC MC3000. At first I discarded it. I found it very expensive. But then I was thinking better: if you add everything I've ever spent on chargers, should arrive or even pass the price of SKYRC MC3000. And they all ended up being replaced because they were obsolete. Suddenly it's worth investing in an upgradeable charger.
Furthermore, rechargeable batteries are not cheap. With battery restrictions on flights it was difficult to buy abroad. And in Brazil the prices are high, as always. It ends up paying off to have a charger that recovers tired batteries, that other shippers would not be able to recover and would end up in the trash early.
Of course, before buying, I did my homework. I read all reviews that I found on the SKYRC MC3000. I downloaded the instruction manual on the manufacturer's website. At the long discussions in forums. I was aware that it has powerful hardware, but somewhat weak usability. I wasn't intimidated! At 8 ~ 10 years old I was already programming the VCR from home, at Sharp two-headed. There was no on-screen display (OSD), just a small LCD display of pre-defined segments. I just read the manual, understood, and did. The manual MC3000 it's very detailed. Challenge accepted!
Unboxing and First Impressions
There were some ads from the SKYRC MC3000 on AliExpress. I opted for the Feetech RC Store because he had the lowest price. The store was a little slow in shipping, leading 10 days to post. Sent on the last day of the system term. I asked them to ship with the European plug (compatible with the Brazilian standard) and I was attended.
When the package arrived I was surprised by the size. The box is big! It seems that some other sellers ship the product without a box, more to Feetech RC Store not only sent the product in the original box but also placed it in another cardboard box. So the packaging arrived perfect. And even with the entire volume it was not taxed.
The packaging highlights the main features of the equipment. Inside we have, beyond the charger, power supply, the instruction manual and the power cord. There is no USB cable. Anyone who wants to connect the charger to the PC must provide their own cable with a Micro-USB plug. The power supply accepts 100V to 240V as input, and provides 15V and 4A output, totaling 60W.
Unlike all other chargers I've ever had, the SKYRC MC3000 does not start charging as soon as a battery is placed in it. Instead it just measures the voltage and waits for a program to be selected. There is no standard charging mode as with other models.
But this is even justified, because the charger supports many different chemicals, and there is no way to deduce what type of chemistry is electronically. The measured voltage can reduce the number of alternatives, but not defining the chemistry exactly. De fate, the charger complains and does not accept the selection of a program with a battery type incompatible with the measured voltage.
Check out the photos and videos of unboxing and testing of the SKYRC MC3000 Smart Battery Charger:
My SKYRC MC3000 already came with the latest version of firmware, so I didn't have to update it. He has 3 different operating modes: Dummy, Simple and Advanced. The mode Dummy only charges NiMH and LiIon batteries. The user only needs to select the current, and the only mode available is charging. I see no reason to buy such a charger and use it in this mode.
The modes Simple and Advanced release all chemicals and all functions of the device, but only the mode Advanced releases all options. It’s just him I’ve used so far, although I didn’t bother to adjust options like shear stresses, term, delta peak, etc. because I imagine the default values are good enough. I was just in the simplest adjustments, like the capacity ones, cutting time, and current.
I have almost always used a current that corresponds to half the rated capacity of the battery. For example, for a battery of 2000 mAh, I use a 1A load. This gives a load of approximately 2 hours, for any battery. I only intend to go beyond that if I'm in a hurry, after all, very fast charges heat the battery and can reduce the battery life. Very slow loads, on the other hand, run the risk of not having that voltage variation that indicates the end of the load.
It is worth noting that the SKYRC MC3000 it's full of protections, and it's all configurable: it stops if the battery temperature is too high, it stops if the program time is exceeded, it stops if the battery capacity is exceeded.
Moreover, here is a warning: at first I thought it should provide the nominal capacity of the batteries in the programs, and that the charger would add a margin to ensure a full charge before cutting. But the manual makes it clear that the margin is up to the user. I have put 50% most, in other words, on a battery of 2000 mAh, I put 3000 mAh. That's just for security, because typically the load will terminate at the target voltage (lithium, NiZn) or the negative delta rule (NiMH NiCD e). Or the temperature, because NiMH batteries heat up when they are fully charged. In the past this method was even the most used to detect the end of charge in them, instead of the voltage delta.
I put the fan on the SKYRC MC3000 not so “auto” that, according to the manual, uses an algorithm “super smart” to calculate the threshold for my environment. In my use, he only called a few times when the 4 slots were busy and loading / unloading was being done with high current. Although the manual emphasizes that the fan is not noisy, it is audible and stands out even with my PC beside it.
The SKYRC MC3000 beeps when each battery is fully charged. It is a useful resource, but those who use the charger in the bedroom during the night will probably prefer to switch off. I kept connected, since I have not used programs that take more than two or three hours.
Another cool feature that the developers don't seem to have thought about when implementing it is the screen saver: it shows a little ball (around pixels) moving and bouncing at the corners of the screen. There is also a brand logo and, every time the ball hits the logo, it moves and the charger emits a beep at a random frequency (or maybe deterministic, I do not know, but it is usually different each time). The problem is that there is no way to remove the sound, so it’s impossible to work or sleep with the screen saver activated. The way was to disable it.
Perhaps the screen saver beeps are a warning not to forget the connected charger, but unplugging it is not enough to turn it off, you must also remove the USB cable connected to the PC, otherwise it stays on, issuing a low power warning.
The device modes are five: load, refresh, break-in, download, cycle, and storage. The refresh is equivalent to test from the La Crosse. It charges the battery, download, and then upload again, with intervals between each step, and showing the load values obtained. So we know how much charge a battery actually supports (no download pass) and at the end of the process the battery is complete.
The mode break-in uses industry standards, doing 5 charge / recharge cycles to see if a new battery delivers the capacity it promises. The manual explains exactly all the parameters used.
The mode cycle allows successive loading and unloading cycles, allowing to reactivate old and tired batteries. A negative point I saw in this mode is that it does not have an option to stop automatically when the capacity no longer increases, as it exists no La Crosse. The number of cycles must be pre-defined.
Por fim, or so storage is suitable for lithium batteries, and allows to leave them with a tension suitable for long-term storage. I thought the ideal thing was to keep them with a full load, but apparently there is an ideal voltage that is lower.
The SKYRC MC3000 also has the ability to maintain a low current after a full charge, for those who prefer to leave the batteries in the charger, always ready to use. It is an optional feature, only available for NiCD / NiMH batteries, and it is neither necessary nor recommended for low self-discharge batteries.
As Eneloop has a special treatment in SKYRC MC3000. Although they are not a type of chemistry, but only a Panasonic battery model, they are listed along with the chemicals. When selecting Eneloop like chemistry, the capacity option disappears and gives way to the model, where there are several models of Eneloop.
Application for Android
The application for Android allows you to monitor the operation of the device, with graphics and other information. You can also configure, record and start programs on your phone, that are independent of the programs saved on the device.
It’s more practical to set up and use the charger on your phone, but the Bluetooth connection is somewhat inconsistent. Falls frequently. If the program goes into the background it invariably gets lost and you need to close the program and open it again.
Check out some screens of the Android application of SKYRC MC3000:
Windows PC application
The USB connection is also no wonder, sometimes it's hard to work. But once connected it doesn't lose the connection. The Windows application is one of the coolest features in the SKYRC MC3000. With it you can view graphs of the status of each slot, with tension, current, capacity, temperature and time. The charger's LCD display also shows graphics but, even because of the resolution, they are very rudimentary close to what you can do with the Windows application.
The application can save graphics in BMP format, and saves in parallel a CSV file with all the data, that can be imported by other software to make other types of graphics. Regardless of where the BMP file is saved, the corresponding CSV is always in the same directory where the application's executable is. It's a bug! Maybe it will be fixed in the next version.
There is a lot of talk in an application called DataExplorer, free software that connects to various carriers, but I was unsuccessful in using it, nor importing CSV files into it. Other users have succeeded, so I must be doing something wrong, but I didn’t go very deep into this problem.
In the Windows application you can also read the device settings, reprogram them at will and send them back to the charger, however it is not possible to save the programs on the PC, different from what happens in the Android. So I prefer to select a program on the device itself and use the software just to monitor the status and graphics.
Some criticisms of the Windows application include the fact that it cannot be resized. He uses 990 x 696 pixels, and on high resolution monitors it can get a little small.
Check out some screens of the MC3000 Monitor V1.05, the application for Windows:
See also some graphics that I saved with the application, various tasks performed with the charger:
These are the package tracking information with the SKYRC MC3000 Smart Battery Charger, obtained from the AliExpress system:
2020.08.14 16:08 (GMT-7): Delivery successful 2020.08.10 13:08 (GMT-7): Accepted by Last Mile Carrier 2020.08.09 04:10 (GMT-7): Arrived at destination country 2020.08.08 10:10 (GMT-7): Departed country of origin 2020.08.08 10:10 (GMT-7): Departed country of origin 2020.08.05 17:08 (GMT-7): Shipment arrived at country of origin post office 2020.08.04 13:33 (GMT-7): Shipment left country of origin warehouse 2020.08.04 11:02 (GMT-7): Shipment at country of origin warehouse 2020.08.03 21:29 (GMT-7): Shipment dispatched
And these are the information obtained on the site of the station:
14/08/2020 16:07 [REMOVED] / SP Object delivered to the recipient 14/08/2020 10:41 [REMOVED] / SP object out for delivery to the recipient 13/08/2020 11:19 INDAIATUBA / SP Objeto encaminhado de Unidade de Tratamento em INDAIATUBA / SP for distribution Unit in [REMOVED] / SP 12/08/2020 08:30 CURITIBA / PR Objeto encaminhado de Unidade de Distribuição em CURITIBA / PR for Treatment Unit in INDAIATUBA / SP 12/08/2020 08:28 CURITIBA / PR finalized Customs supervision 10/08/2020 13:59 CURITIBA / PR Objeto recebido pelos Correios do Brasil Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports 06/08/2020 14:01 HONG KONG / Objeto encaminhado de País em HONG KONG / countries in International treatment unit / BR Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports 05/08/2020 17:04 HONG KONG / Objeto postado Informar nº do documento para a fiscalização e entrega do seu objeto. Click here My Imports
The package was sent by Hong Kong post, and it just took 11 running days to get my hands on. When everyone works well, including post office and IRS, things work. Too bad it's not always like that.
Por fim, This is the table-summary of purchase:
|Product Name:||SKYRC MC3000 Universal Multi-Chemistry Bluetooth Smart Battery Charger|
|Name Original:||SKYRC MC3000 50W Smart blue toothAPP Control Multi-chemistry Universal Battery Charger Accurate Analyzer for Ni-MH Ni-Cd Battery|
|Store:||AliExpress Feetech RC Store|
|Current value:||R$ 796,78 (US $133,69)|
|Payment Method:||Credit Card Visa International|
|Shipping Type:||Aliexpress Standard Shipping|
|Package Home Country:||China|
|Time in Transit:||11 days|
|Declared content:||Model Parts & Acc|
|Type Marked Content:||Commercial Sample|
|Declared Value:||CNY 33.69|
The SKYRC MC3000 Smart Battery Charger is certainly the most complete charger today. There are many adjustments that can be made to do exactly what the user wants. I am quite satisfied with it.
It is not a charger for anyone, be it for the price, either by usability. Those who have few rechargeable batteries and / or have no interest in knowing how a recharge process occurs can opt for simpler and cheaper equipment.
The SKYRC MC3000 it is an excellent equipment for enthusiasts, who always want to learn something more and don't mind reading the manual to understand all the features. It is a device for those who are curious to view the voltage / current / temperature / battery charge graphs. It is an equipment for those who do not want to worry about having to buy another charger as soon as a new type of battery comes out that needs a slightly different charging process., because it is upgradeable.
Usability and applications for Windows and Android could be better. I haven't tested the iOS app. It is possible that these problems will be addressed in future updates, but I wouldn't count on that much, because MC3000 has been on the market for a few years. He received firmware and software updates at that time, but it seems that it was nothing so radical.
Since the SKYRC MC3000 arrived, ele se tornou o meu carregador principal tanto para minhas baterias NiMH quanto as LiIon. E espero que continue sendo por muitos anos. Apenas as baterias de 9V e as baterias proprietárias (câmeras fotográficas) é que continuarão sendo carregadas com outros carregadores.