DSD Charger for Lithium Ion 18650 and 123a

This is a note to self type of article related to my hobby of  collecting and playing wit expensive state of the art LED flashlights.  Lights use batteries so eventually those of my kind get delicate lithium ion rechargeable batteries, which in turn require chargers. I have  the infamous DSD charger for charging 18650’s and 123’s liIon batteries for lights. It gets a lot of hits for bad quality control from the Candlepower website hobby community,  which are fully justified.   The first unit I got never worked.  The replacement unit worked for a while, then the power supply brick crapped out.  Since this happens to virtually everyone who owns this unit, it is  common knowledge  that a Nokia compatible charger (which I have in my junk box)  is a reliable substitute.  This thing is cheap; $15 full price;  you get what you pay for.  Once you locate your Nokia charger  and luck out with a unit that actually works you’re good to go.  It’s based on the CS213 chip, which is amazingly difficult to find information about.  You get the feeling that it was a chinese knock-off that made the rounds in the early days of Li-ion embedded batteries.  It does however work.

From CPF  the “DSD board basically just implements the application circuit shown in the CS213 datasheet. Based on that, the charging behavior one should expect from the DSD is constant current charging until the cells reach 4.30V +/-0.04V. The charger then shuts off (no constant voltage phase with the DSD), with a nominal 150ms detection delay upon reaching the overcharge voltage limit. If you leave the cells in the charger, when the cells drop below 4.10V +0.06V/-0.04V, the charger starts to charge again. Once the overcharge voltage limit is reached again, the charger shuts off. And the cycle continues. The charge current level is determined by the power supply that you plug into the DSD.”

At some point, I am likely to  replace this relic with an expensive  “hobby” charger ( I already have two good RC chargers) that can charge anything.  Until then, this will do.

CPF article:


This link for the data sheet worked as of March 2010:



2 Responses to “DSD Charger for Lithium Ion 18650 and 123a”

  1. I wonder if I can feed it a constant current from one of my other chargers, like e.g. 1/10 C and use it as a cell protector to cut off at 4.3v…

  2. marksun Says:

    I recently bought the standard upgrade to the DSD charger, which is the PILA IBC, a true constant current / constant voltage charger with two independent charging bays. It is a safer charger to use than the DSD since the Lithium Ion rechargeable cells are notorious for their delicate chemistry.

    The cells must operate within a well defined voltage range between 3.5 and 4.2 V for all discharge and recharge modes of operation. If the cells are allowed outside of this range by over-discharge or overcharge, the cell can be damaged and at best lose capacity, at worst become unstable, vent, burn up internally, start a fire or explode.

    A good charger is not a got have item if you know these limitations and work around them, but they are good to have for purposes of convenience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: