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FLIR E4 + others - external battery charging - Hahnel UniPal plus.

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The official FLIR external charger for the Ex series is anything but cheap. In the UK it costs something like £130  :(

I was fortunate enough to be gifted an additional battery and external charger when I reviewed the E4 for a company.
Having had a look inside it (teardown is on this forum) I cannot see why it should be so expensive as it is nothing clever or special for the task.

I have been looking at universal Lithium Ion chargers for a while now. I am interested in them for two reasons...

1. As a charger for the various Li-Ion battery packs that I have collected that do not have a dedicated charger or the original host equipment.

2. As a source of universal battery holders for use with battery discharge analysers that I own.

Having used these units to maintain my orphan Li-Ion batteries I decided to try one on my FLIR E4 battery. The Ex series battery is just a standard 18650  cell with a protection PCB. There is no 'gas gauge' in this battery as that is inside the camera.

The Universal Li-Ion battery charger that I have been using is the INOV8. This has a spring loaded clamp that holds the battery in place, and the contacts are adjustable to match the battery format and contact positions. The contacts are blades to enable use with batteries with fully enclosed blade type receptacles.

Whilst the INOV8 has performed well, its contact positioning system is a bit 'agricultural' in its design. I was looking for other universal Li-Ion charger options and found the products made by Hahnel. These are named the UniPal and the UniPal plus. Both will charge single or dual cell Lii-Ion batteries and one or two AA/AAA Ni-Mh cells.The units come supplied with a mains power pack and car adapter.

The adjustment of the contacts on these Hahnel products iw quire well engineered, much better than the INOV8. A pair of thumb wheels drive worm feeds to position the contacts independently of each other.

I have been testing the UniPal and UniPal plus today and both work well. The 'plus' model includes an LCD battery state display that can both show remaining charge and the charge state during the charging process. I also found the contact positioning mechanism of the 'plus' model to be smoother in operation.

The Ex series battery fits into the Hahnel charger very easily and neatly and the charger automatically detects contact polarity, battery type and charge state. The standard model uses a pair of LED's to indicate its state.

I prefer the ergonomics of the Hahnel plus model over the INOV8. I bought my Hahnel plus on ebay for £22.95 delivered from Ireland. I see that Maplin sell the INOV8 for just under £30.

Hahnel plus:


The UniPal and UniPal plus both provide a USB port for charging USB devices at up to 500mA.

Pictures attached of all three chargers I have been testing.


E4 Battery charging  using the Hahnel UniPal plus and standard models.

The battery is held in place by the cover using rubber grip pads and strong springs.


As a follow up - I'm planing to hack an expired Flir E4 battery casing, and replace its 18650.
Before I start, any hitches here ?

Search the E4 teardown thread. It contains the details and pictures you require.

The battery does not contain any 'gas gauge' electronics, only the cell protection that such batteries normally have. Others have fitted a replacement Li-Ion cell without problems.


I have searched and finally found the postings on replacing the E4 Battery Cell (18650) - thanks to member "pomonabill221" !

So for the benefit of others, here is the starting point:


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