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Batteries & Chargers Discuss Li-P, Li-Ion, NiMh, Nicad battery technology and the chargers that juice 'em up!

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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Default Best (Cheapest/Safest) way to charge multiple batteries at the same time ??

How and what chargers are people using to charge multiple LiPos at the same time?? Id like to charge 4 batteries at once so I can come home from work, charge and still have time to fly. From what I have seen looking around on the web is that there are two ways to do this.

1. Use a 4 channel dedicated charger. Something like this from HobbyPartz: http://www.hobbypartz.com/75p-t6-multi-charger.html

2. Or use a parallel charging system. Something like this from ProgressiveRC: http://www.progressiverc.com/paralle...xh-t-plug.html with a high current charger like some of the iCharger or CellPro chargers.


Someone at my club was using an iCharger with the parallel board and swore by it. From what I have read as long as you are charging the same number of cells and start with all packs at similar voltages it works great. Right now I only have 3S batteries, but Id like to protect for larger sizes.

Does anyone have any experience using these types of setups and have any recommendations??

Steve

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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You can't go wrong with Hitec, BUT I started parallel charging with I chargers several years ago, and "graduated" to the FMA PL-8, which is capable of almost anything!

I recommend you use the appropriate "paraboard" and, if you are willing to risk poor quality control, an Icharger.

You can always start with a lower wattage power supply and work your way up, if needed, but I recommend buying the highest wattage/amperage charger you can afford.

While the Hitec device is nice, you may find you need more amps in the future, either because of what you use, or because you parallel charge 6 or more batteries, with H C charge capacity (less time).

Remember, when parallel charging, multiply the C rated charge (for example 1 C of a 1,000 mah battery is 1 amp) times the number of batteries, i.e., if charging 6 in parallel, 6 amps. So, as you can see, as charge rates (in C) increase and 2,3 or 5 C charge rates become common, you will need MORE AMPS to save MORE TIME.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
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I've been looking at the hobbyparts charger you posted,it doesn't look like the individual cell voltage readouts are on there like the cellpro4 shows.

this is what i did with 2 cellpros so i could charge 2 batts at once.


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Old 08-04-2011, 01:49 AM   #4
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I've been using two Triton EQs, and did OK but still took some pre-planning if I was going to fly for awhile, or just charge further ahead before I flew, and leave them sit charged.
One of my Tritons died last week, only about 1 1/2 year old so that was a little disappointing. Bought one of the HiTec 4X charges and like it pretty well thus far, easy to use and I think will handle all I want for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully the life span will be reflected in the price
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:58 AM   #5
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I'm looking to do about the same thing, except that all batteries are not the same size/capacity on my bench, so it appears the parallel charging idea isn't the way to go.

Do most of the multi-channel chargers handle different outputs and possibly different chemistries on each channel?

Is there a decent multi-channel charger out there that goes beyond 50 Amps per channel?

-Case

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Old 08-04-2011, 02:39 AM   #6
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Default

IMHO the Hitec X4 is a great multi charger
http://www.troybuiltmodels.com/items/HSCHARGER.html



But i think using 4 seperate chargers is The Best (Cheapest/Safest) way to charge multiple batteries at the same time
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...cessories.html


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Old 08-05-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone for the thoughts. They are pretty much what I've been thinking.... All of these methods of charging will work.

I like the how clean the paraboards are for keeping the connections straight, but you can only charge batteries of the same cell count together.

The complete 4 channel setups lke the Hitec X4 look good as well.

But 3 more small chargers like the AccuCell6 is still cheaper.... Even when buying seperate power suppiles....


One of my issues as well is space, which makes the multi and parallel chargers attractive.

Per usual in electric RC. More methods to do something than I can get my mind around...

Steve

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:47 PM   #8
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as for power supplies, just convert a PC power supply and power all your chargers from one.

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
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This is the setup I use. 4 chargers. Connected to a pc power supply. I have cables that allow me to hook it up to my car batt at the field. Even added a cigarette type plug in case someone else needs it. And have 2x3s pack adapters to charge 2 3s packs on one charger. It all fits well on a fold up dinner table. Can charge up to 8 packs at a time as is.


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