This car charger doubles as an emergency device

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Nitecore VCL10 car charger.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I’m usually very good at reviewing and highlighting products that I find useful, but sometimes things slip through the cracks.

One of these products is the Nitecore VCL10 car charger. I’ve had it for a few years, and I’ve neglected it because it lives in my car, and I keep forgetting to put it inside.

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“Not another car charger!” I hear you say. After all, I love my car chargers.

But it’s a car charger that I keep less in my car to charge – although it’s a decent enough charger – but more because it’s a great safety tool to have when I’m on the go.

Before exploring the specifics of the Nitecore VCL10, let’s take a look at what it offers as a USB charger.

Technical specifications Nitecore VCL10

  • Port: 1 x USB-A
  • To input:
    DC 12V 2.5A (max)
  • Production:
    DC 5V 2.4A (max)
    Quick Charge 3.0: DC 3.6V-12V 2.4A (Max)
    Quick Charge 2.0: DC 5V/9V/12V 2.4A (Max)
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 78.5 x 24.5 x 23mm
  • Construction: Polycarbonate
  • lester: 44.5g
  • Impact Resistance: 1 meter
  • Certificates: RoHS, CE, FCC and CEC
  • Safety devices: Overvoltage, undervoltage, overcurrent and short circuit protection, and transformer loss compensation (TLC) voltage smoothing

OK, so a pretty decent single-port USB charger.

But wait, there’s more!

At one end of the VCL10 are white and red LED warning lights.

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A single button is used to switch between the white work light and the strobe red safety light.

Nitecore VCL10 car charger with red strobe light on.

Red strobe light in action.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

A photodiode light sensor built into the VCL10 can detect the change in ambient lighting and change the flashing of the red warning light from 1 Hz (1 flash per second) to 10 Hz (10 flashes per second) if an approaching vehicle is detected. .

The head can be tilted 90° to allow you to direct the light where you want it, and there is also a magnet to allow it to be attached to the body of a car.

Nitecore VCL10 car charger with LED light on

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The white light has an output power of 25 lumens giving it a 7 meter beam and has a runtime of around 3 hours, while the red strobe is rated at 350 mW (which is quite bright) and has autonomy of 20 hours. Duration.

And what’s great is that because the VCL10 lives in the car’s 12V accessory port, it’s always charged ready to go.

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But wait, there’s even more!

At the other end of the VCL10 is a tungsten steel emergency window breaker, which could be used to fashion an escape or help rescue someone else who might be trapped in a vehicle.

Close up of the glass breaker on the Nitecore VCL10 car charger

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Granted, it’s not something you’ll need often – or probably not at all – but better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Close-up of the Nitecore VCL10

The Nitecore VCL10 is an excellent embedded security tool.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And because it sits in your car’s 12V accessory port, it’s always close at hand and unlikely to be thrown around the vehicle in the event of an accident.

You can buy the Nitecore VCL10 alone, or you can buy it with a rechargeable LED headlampgiving you the perfect on-board safety kit to deal with breakdowns or punctures.

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