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View Full Version : The Best Charger? Triton vs. Ice


Slent thndr
08-20-2005, 04:05 PM
Hi guys I am looking for a good peak charger in the $100 - $150 range. It needs to be able to charge, discharge and cycle at least 6-8 Cell NiCd and NiMh, and 2-3 Cell LiPo batteries. I have always planed on getting the triton because it has lots of cool features and almost everyone I know has it. Just recently I was looking at the DuraTrax Ice too. It looks as good if not better than the triton for the same price ($129), but there must be a catch I donít know about because hardly anyone uses it. I like the big screen and all the data it shows. I also like the fact that the triton (I donít know about the ice) shows how many mah are put into the battery.

Any suggestions? I am hesitant to buy the Ice because I kicked myself last time a chose a charger other than the triton, but it looks better. I do need to decide before Monday.

Red Scholefield
08-20-2005, 05:20 PM
Take a look at the Multiplex LN5014. Good write up by Bob Aberle in October issue of Model Airplane News. I've been reviewing one and concur with all of Bob's findings.

Red S.
The R/C Battery Clinic
Model Aviation

Wingdoctor
08-20-2005, 05:26 PM
Never tried the ICE, but have had great luck charging LIPO's, NiMH's with the Triton.

The Accu-Cycle Elite by Hobbico is also supposed to be a good charger for the type charging you mentioned and it allows you to use AC or DC for a power source.

Happy Flying!

Slent thndr
08-20-2005, 05:53 PM
I dont know about the Multiplex LN5014. I just dont feel comfortable buying another 'oh but it looks almost as good' charger. My instinct is to go with the highly reputable triton, but i dont know because the Ice looks better. It has good reviews too. Has anyone on this forum tried the Ice?

Steve
08-20-2005, 06:01 PM
I just got a Triton and think it's fantastic. I also go the temp probe which gives me an extra level of security when charging. There's always something else out there. Get the Triton, you won't be disappointed.

Slent thndr
08-20-2005, 06:08 PM
All right thanks guys, I will just go with my instinct. It looks like the Ice is mainly for Professional RC car racers and stuff who want all those fancy 4 step impulsive and reflexive charge systems.

My only concern is that when looking at the Ice reviews one of the complaints was that the discharge rate of 10A max was too low. Then looking at the Triton the Max discharge was 3A. Is this a big issue? What is the ideal discharge rate for an 8 Cell 1500 Mih NiCd?

debhicks
08-20-2005, 06:10 PM
Use Astro Flight 110D and 109 just started using the Multiplex LN5014 and it's just cool. And inexpensive.

Don't know about the Triton. But do know Red is the man to go to for advice on battery maintenance, and devices to do it with. He is the man. IMHO

ragbag
08-21-2005, 12:07 PM
Red showed me the first silver sausage I have ever seen.:)

Believe it was an Astro Charger.

By George

Red Scholefield
08-21-2005, 01:33 PM
All right thanks guys, I will just go with my instinct. It looks like the Ice is mainly for Professional RC car racers and stuff who want all those fancy 4 step impulsive and reflexive charge systems.

My only concern is that when looking at the Ice reviews one of the complaints was that the discharge rate of 10A max was too low. Then looking at the Triton the Max discharge was 3A. Is this a big issue? What is the ideal discharge rate for an 8 Cell 1500 Mih NiCd?

The only reasons for discharging a pack is to check the capacity against the rated to see how the pack is holding up or to see how much id left after a flying session to check your "miles per gallon" mAh consumption on a given set up. Manufacturers rate the batteries at the C/5 rate so a charger with a 3 amp discharge capability is more than enough to check the packs that are 15 Ahrs or less. If you want to grade cells for some reason and require higher discharge rates then the West Mountain Radio CBA-II will give you 150 watts of discharge capability. This unit is discharge only, but is the best I've encountered for the modeler that wants to chart and overlay discharge information using his computer.

Red Scholefield
08-21-2005, 01:43 PM
Red showed me the first silver sausage I have ever seen.:)

Believe it was an Astro Charger.

By George

No George, it was actually a Kokam 402 that I had set for 2 cells when just charging a single cell. :o The Astro 109 has been known to jump a cell count- this is very rare and happens only when the pack is fully charged and you have the current pot turned up BEFORE you start the charge. It was reported to me that this had happened and I had to really work at it to make it occure If you follow the directions that comes with the charger and watch it for a minute or so when it starts you will have no problem - there are much easier ways to make silver sausages. :).

Duster52
08-21-2005, 02:55 PM
I have had NO problems with the Triton. I have had others, but not the others mentioned here. My only complaint is the SINGLE charge port. I would like to be able to charge two at a time.

I have the Hobbico MkII, also. It does just fine for charging. Won't discharge. However, with Li-Po's it will not give a totally full charge. Always comes up just a little short. It will charge two at a time and I use it if I am doing a lot of flying. It's better to be a little undercharged than overcharged or no charge at all!:D I can charge three at a time and if I want one of the batteries to be FULLY charged I just put it on the Triton.

Sorry I can't help on the others.

Slent thndr
08-21-2005, 03:02 PM
Well I'm not interested in testing or graphing battery performance. I was planning on using it for the monthy deep cycles on my nickel based batts and for cycling new ones a few times to break them in. Is this not the intended use?

Duster52
08-21-2005, 03:04 PM
Red, I have been thru your rcbatteryclinic several times and have recommended it to others. I like it. However, I may have missed it, but I can't find the actual 'minimum low volt per cell of Li-Po's listed anywhere. Can you tell me? The reason I ask is that a friend asked me about an ESC that listed the auto cutoff on a two cell Li-Po to be 7.6 volts and he had been told it should be three volts per cell. I suggested it may be that way because under load the cells will show lower volts than they actually have. I wasn't sure the reason and told him I would find out. Isn't 2 volts + per cell the critical point?

Would appreciate your help.

Thanks

ragbag
08-22-2005, 12:49 AM
No George, it was actually a Kokam 402 that I had set for 2 cells when just charging a single cell. :o The Astro 109 has been known to jump a cell count- this is very rare and happens only when the pack is fully charged and you have the current pot turned up BEFORE you start the charge. It was reported to me that this had happened and I had to really work at it to make it occure If you follow the directions that comes with the charger and watch it for a minute or so when it starts you will have no problem - there are much easier ways to make silver sausages. :).


OOPS wrong again!!!!:(

2dogrc
08-22-2005, 03:08 AM
My vote for Hobbico Elite! Best charger for the money. Since you can charge 2 completely different batteries at a time, the cost is really only about $60 a charger!!! I would not trade mine for anything!

phil007
08-22-2005, 08:03 AM
The Accu-Cycle Elite by Hobbico is also supposed to be a good charger for the type charging you mentioned and it allows you to use AC or DC for a power source.
Accu-Cycle Elite by Hobbico is a GREAT charger! Power supply is included, never had to use an automotive battery with this system and charging 2 at a time.

Phil

Slent thndr
08-22-2005, 12:49 PM
I was looking at that charger, but the reviews said it was designed for rx and tx batts and could not supply much amps.

Red Scholefield
08-22-2005, 01:36 PM
Red, I have been thru your rcbatteryclinic several times and have recommended it to others. I like it. However, I may have missed it, but I can't find the actual 'minimum low volt per cell of Li-Po's listed anywhere. Can you tell me? The reason I ask is that a friend asked me about an ESC that listed the auto cutoff on a two cell Li-Po to be 7.6 volts and he had been told it should be three volts per cell. I suggested it may be that way because under load the cells will show lower volts than they actually have. I wasn't sure the reason and told him I would find out. Isn't 2 volts + per cell the critical point?

Would appreciate your help.

Thanks

The higher the discharge rate the lower you can go on the cutoff voltage. But I would not go below 2.5 volts/cell, 3 volts is conservative and will lessen the chance for driving one cell in an unbalanced pack below the critical level.

Unbalanced prop
08-22-2005, 04:27 PM
I have both the Ice and Triton chargers. I like the Ice a little better then the Triton. The Triton will do more round cells then the Ice. The Triton will charge up to 24 NiCD or NiMH cells (at 5.0 amps) while the Ice will only charge up to 10 cells (at 8.0 amps). This is not a factor for me because I don't use large round cell packs.

The Triton's biggest draw back for me is a maximum of 2.5 amp charge for lithium batteries while the Ice will charge up to 8.0 amps maximum. Since a lot of my packs are all between 4000 and 6000 mah, the Ice can charge my lipoly packs a lot faster. I also like the screen and ease of use of the Ice over the Triton. The Ice also has a lot of cool features that the Triton doesn't. They are both good chargers, I just prefer using the Ice. I don't think you can go wrong with either one, just depends on what your charging needs are. For what it's worth just my $.02.

Doug

Slent thndr
08-22-2005, 04:49 PM
Well I allready ordered the triton. I dont use big Lipo packs or big nickel based packs, so I saw little differance between the two. I went for the triton because it has a huge reputation, in fact all of my flying buddies use them as their main chargers.

Tom Frank
08-22-2005, 08:59 PM
Well I allready ordered the triton. I dont use big Lipo packs or big nickel based packs, so I saw little differance between the two. I went for the triton because it has a huge reputation, in fact all of my flying buddies use them as their main chargers.I went through the same struggle you did, but went with the ICE... if it had gotten to market before the Triton, everyone would be using those IMHO. The graphic realtime display alone is enough reason to go with the ICe (for me)... I use it all the time to see what is going on inside the box!

Slent thndr
08-22-2005, 09:26 PM
:( whoops too late, I guess I would have been better off with the ICE. Oh well. I figured the Triton was my safest bet. I will probably never use the really advanced features of ether

Unbalanced prop
08-22-2005, 09:50 PM
Don't worry, the Triton is a good charger! I have had mine for a couple years, and it does exactly what it is suppose to do.....charge any kind of battery you want dependably.:)

Doug

uglyplane
08-23-2005, 09:56 PM
My vote for Hobbico Elite! Best charger for the money. Since you can charge 2 completely different batteries at a time, the cost is really only about $60 a charger!!! I would not trade mine for anything!

I'm with you on that. I use the regular 2 port Hobbico that cost about $50-55 and have been very happy. I also have several AF's and a Triton, but the Elite seems to be the best bang for the buck, when you consider the free AC adapter, 2 ports, charge all 3 batt types, dig display, discharge and cycling. Also goes up to 10 cells on nicad/nimh. I may have to get one for my travelling charger, then I don't have to tote a 12vdc psu along anymore...

Slent thndr
08-23-2005, 10:06 PM
but isn't it mainly designed for reciever and transmitter batts, and cant supply alot of amps?

Rcflyer4
08-23-2005, 10:20 PM
You may not want to overlook the Hobbico Accu-Cycle Elite, it does everything the Triton does plus comes with a bonus in the form of an AC power supply so you can use it from a 12 volt car battery or house hold current,mighty handy!

2dogrc
08-23-2005, 10:45 PM
You may not want to overlook the Hobbico Accu-Cycle Elite, it does everything the Triton does plus comes with a bonus in the form of an AC power supply so you can use it from a 12 volt car battery or house hold current,mighty handy!

I forgot to mention that! I sell a lot of Dualsky batteries, and they have their own charger, but I still recommend either the Hobbico Elite or Mark II to my customers. You can not beat the price, and with 2 chargers you can fly twice as much!

Slent thndr
08-24-2005, 03:37 AM
But when i read the review for the hobbico elete i thought it said that it was not a hige enough amperage

Rcflyer4
08-24-2005, 08:58 PM
The charge rate goes up to 2.0 amps for lipo's, and at that rate you would probably fry your lipo's pretty fast. From everything ive read I think 1.0 is the maximum you would want to use with .05 to .07 being ideal.

Slent thndr
08-24-2005, 09:03 PM
well I use mostly nickel based packs. Whats the max amps for that?

Rcflyer4
08-24-2005, 09:13 PM
I think the max is 2.0 on nickel too. Sorry, I thought you were asking about lipo's. Once you try that lipo you probably won't be running nickel much longer.

Slent thndr
08-24-2005, 09:49 PM
very true... but my cars too, lol not even the pros get lipo on there cars. I think the races require Nickel or something.

Jason T
08-25-2005, 01:26 AM
You won't be disappointed with the Triton.

Unbalanced prop
08-25-2005, 07:07 PM
The charge rate goes up to 2.0 amps for lipo's, and at that rate you would probably fry your lipo's pretty fast. From everything ive read I think 1.0 is the maximum you would want to use with .05 to .07 being ideal.

That is 1C charge rate, not 1 amps. Lipols can be safely charged at a 1C charge rate and some think it is easier on the packs to charge at .7C. My 5000 mah packs can be safely charged at 5 amps which is 1C charge rate. A .7C charge would be 3.5 amps.

Doug

Slent thndr
08-25-2005, 07:14 PM
Uh... What is a C rate exactly? Is it a way of measuring the amperage per mAH? In which case what Amperage would be a 1000 mAH batt at 1C?

rcers
08-25-2005, 07:41 PM
What is a C rate exactly? Is it a way of measuring the amperage per mAH? In which case what Amperage would be a 1000 mAH batt at 1C?
C=Capacity. So 1c is 1xcapacity. So for your 1000mAh pack is 1000 mA (or 1amp).

I too charge at .7c so 700 mA in the case of your pack.

Mike

Slent thndr
08-25-2005, 08:38 PM
So for example you would charge a Nickel based pack at 1.5C or 2C. Cool. And a lipo at .7 C so my 1500 lipo should go at 1.1 Amp?

rcers
08-25-2005, 08:45 PM
Yep you got it. 1.1 is close enough.

Mike

Unbalanced prop
08-25-2005, 08:53 PM
Kokam, TP and others are working on releasing lipols that will safely charge at 2C and 3C with no loss of cycles.:cool: That should take charge times down to about 20 to 30 minutes! The only problem would be finding a charger to supply the larger packs with high enough amperage.

Doug

Slent thndr
08-25-2005, 10:49 PM
Wow that would be cool. Right now the only solution is to have lots of packs and lots of chargers lol. But yeah 5.0A Isn't gonna be enough. What is the highest mAH lipo? I've heared of them up to like 6000 I think.

rcers
08-25-2005, 11:05 PM
What is the highest mAH lipo? I've heared of them up to like 6000 I think. Most of the vendors will make whatever size you need, Tanic, TP both will.

Mike

wevets
08-27-2005, 09:32 PM
I bought an ICE several weeks ago after a pretty thorough review of what's available, prices, etc. I'm quite happy with my choice. The display, allowing one to track what's happening during charge, on the ICE is very nice. I don't think you can go too far wrong with either of these chargers, but for my money, I like the ICE a bit better.

wevets

Slent thndr
08-28-2005, 01:01 AM
:) My Triton came the other day and its great. Perhaps the Ice would have been better, but the Triton has no major shortcomings that I can see. I am happy with my choice too:rolleyes:

gman
05-09-2009, 04:11 PM
I too have used the Multiplex LN5014 for years. I has been the perfect charger for anything I've asked it to do.