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Old 04-17-2012, 03:10 AM   #1
Laowai
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Default Car battery connectors: Melted!

Hi, there!
Well, I am the very proud owner of a PL8 with MPA. It works like a dream and charges my twin 6s 5200mah at 40A. That's about 10 minutes, so I found out that I only need two packs as I can charge faster than I can fly
At the field I plug the PL8 to the battery of the car and leave the engine running. The alternator produce 110A at idle so it is just like at home. I used those cheapo $1 clamps with no issues at all until I decided to change to the FMA ones I saw in the website. After all, I reasoned, these products are of outstanding quality and so this will work better and much safer, right?
Wrong!!!
The very first time I used, after charging just four packs, the red clamp just melted to the point to be unusable!
Sure I was charging at 40A, but I would suppose that if they sell them with the PL8 they would be designed to withstand PL8 specs.
So heads up. Me, I better buy another $2 set of clamps (I threw the previous ones to the trash with disdain at the very moment the fancy FMA stuff arrived to my door. Life's irony) if I want to keep charging at the field.
Cheers!
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:17 AM   #2
Wildflyer
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For safety I would suggest doing what I have done to my truck.

I have a fused high current capacity wire ( mine is 6 ga, could handle a 100 amp load for a short time) running to a convenient point, then is terminated in connectors rated for a 60 amp load.

Many years ago, I inadvertently made a spark close to the top of a car battery, it felt like it almost blew my hand off, it hurt so bad I was terrified to look at my hand.
Apparently because my hand was in direct contact with the top of the battery, the pieces could not turn and cut me. It sound like a gun shot, and hurt like h$%%.

If your melted clamp had ignited the hydrogen, you may have needed a ride home.

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
When you have flying skills like mine,
You become a master at repair.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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Build Review

Well, I could wire it to the 90A main fuse in the engine fuse box, but that is not the point. I just was expecting the same quality as that of their other products. Hence my disappointment.
And modern batteries luckily have no hydrogen issues. In fact, mine sits enclosed in a box, complete with a nice lid and a insulating blanket
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
Hi, there!
Well, I am the very proud owner of a PL8 with MPA. It works like a dream and charges my twin 6s 5200mah at 40A. That's about 10 minutes, so I found out that I only need two packs as I can charge faster than I can fly
At the field I plug the PL8 to the battery of the car and leave the engine running. The alternator produce 110A at idle so it is just like at home. I used those cheapo $1 clamps with no issues at all until I decided to change to the FMA ones I saw in the website. After all, I reasoned, these products are of outstanding quality and so this will work better and much safer, right?
Wrong!!!
The very first time I used, after charging just four packs, the red clamp just melted to the point to be unusable!
Sure I was charging at 40A, but I would suppose that if they sell them with the PL8 they would be designed to withstand PL8 specs.
So heads up. Me, I better buy another $2 set of clamps (I threw the previous ones to the trash with disdain at the very moment the fancy FMA stuff arrived to my door. Life's irony) if I want to keep charging at the field.
Cheers!

If a 6S is being charged at 40A the 12V draw is going to be a lot more than 40a.

Dave
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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12v or 3v, the PL8 will charge at maximum 40a...
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
12v or 3v, the PL8 will charge at maximum 40a...
Is the 6S battery being charged at 40A? That is, 40 amperes being sent into the battery?

If so, and if you are powering the charger with 12V, the current supplied by the 12V source must be greater than 40A.

For example, if you were charging a 24V battery at 40A the 12V source would need to supply 80A.

Dave
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
Hi, there!
Well, I am the very proud owner of a PL8 with MPA. It works like a dream and charges my twin 6s 5200mah at 40A. That's about 10 minutes, so I found out that I only need two packs as I can charge faster than I can fly
At the field I plug the PL8 to the battery of the car and leave the engine running. The alternator produce 110A at idle so it is just like at home. I used those cheapo $1 clamps with no issues at all until I decided to change to the FMA ones I saw in the website. After all, I reasoned, these products are of outstanding quality and so this will work better and much safer, right?
Wrong!!!
The very first time I used, after charging just four packs, the red clamp just melted to the point to be unusable!
Sure I was charging at 40A, but I would suppose that if they sell them with the PL8 they would be designed to withstand PL8 specs.
So heads up. Me, I better buy another $2 set of clamps (I threw the previous ones to the trash with disdain at the very moment the fancy FMA stuff arrived to my door. Life's irony) if I want to keep charging at the field.
Cheers!
Hi:

First off, sorry to hear about your incident. I can assure you the large plastic clips are designed to handle the max current of 60A the PL8 can draw. They are rated for 80A. The most likely cause of the failure of the clip is human error. During the process of assembling the clips, two important things must occur:

1) The wires are soldered into ring terminals. Then a piece of heat shrink gets installed over the connection. If the heat shrink is a bit too long, it gets between the ring terminal and the brass tooth of the plier clip. When this happens, there is not enough contact area between the ring terminal and the tooth. The part overheats.

2) The teeth get mounted into the plastic housing using a nut and a bolt. If the nut and bolt are not tight enough, the contact is intermittent. The part overheats.

You should request an RMA, and return the cable assembly with a copy of this post. We will make good on this cable. We have sold many thousand PowerLabs and up until the time we started putting EC5 cables on the input, every single unit went out with the plastic plier clips soldered directly to the PL8's PCB. We do not have a systemic problem with these clips. I can guarantee you that.

Tim Marks
FMA, Inc.
Revolectrix Partner
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