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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 06-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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Question Good PSU Match For The Power Lab 6?

Best PSU for Power Lab 8 ?? Hello Everyone I am English but have lived in Norway for 10 years + I married a Viking who looks after me very well..as my health is poor.I am diving in at the deep end with Rc heli`s and being a bit uncoventional

I was told by some very experienced Rc heli Pilots that just because 600 Logo`s & SAB are for the seriouse 3D flyers..there is no reason if you like the look and the spec you to can not fly a tamed down version of the above,with the right set up e.t.c.also the RX can be set up to help you as well so go for it..


I am 99% convinced that when I do eventually end up flying RC Heli.
hopefully a LOGO 600SE with DJI.I will go for the powerlab 6 would this be a good and sensible choice?most folk seem to think it would be ideal.

if so what PSU is considered the best to partner it?
must add I will only ever be flying the ONE Rc heli (for good rational reasons) so everything must be geared to the one Heli.I have read lots of threads and posts regarding Charger PSU matching so forgive me for yet again asking a question which as being asked many times before..

and because I am only ever going to fly(fingers crossed) the one heli then it should have the best of everything,from batteries to servos and everything in between.

I do not wish to bore you guys to much but for reasons medical there will not be any thought of (3D or aerobatics?) again logical reasons for this to.
I am trying to achieve something here which if sucsessful will be more wonderful than I could express..and my learning curve as to be faster than would be normally advised?

therfore I would be more than happy to be able to hover at all positions..and do circuits...with something like the Lego 600se & similar heli`s .

so really it is charger/Balancer & PSU choice advice I need

many thanks in advance

Steve
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
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Kristiansand is a beautiful place, i visited a couple of times on business several years ago.

Good luck with your heli, I'd advise finding a good instructor. I've flown fixed wing for years but have pretty much decided that heli's are impossible to fly. Anyone who says they can fly them is lying and the sightings of RC helis flying are either mass hallucination or trickery with mirrors.

ok.. possibly a little tongue in cheek with some of this, but the advice on finding an instructor is real.

As for power supplies. You will need a very high output power supply if you want to use your Powerlab to it's full extent. Converted computer server redundant power supplies are impossible to beat IMHO. Not only do they offer more power than any other option but they are a fraction of the price of hobby power supplies.

Steve
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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Question PS ?

Hi JetPlaneFlyer,
Have read quite a few post by you very interesting..i really thank you for your advice

I sure am finding a good instructor and taking an intense course to at least to try and avoid bad habbits...
I had a choice what I may fly and chose Heli`s because they are difficult and I wanted to set a big life challenge

Anyone who says they can fly them is lying and the sightings of RC helis flying are either mass hallucination or trickery with mirrors.
very good like it

You will need a very high output power supply if you want to use your Powerlab to it's full extent. Converted computer server redundant power supplies are impossible to beat IMHO. Not only do they offer more power than any other option but they are a fraction of the price of hobby power supplies.
Well until a few minutes ago I was convinced of the PL6 would do a great job now I am seeing from other threads and replies to look at i Charger can`t remember which one it was though..
I just want the best charger there is for a 600 heli....so anymore feedback on icharger appreciated.

as for PSU i was looking at
MEANWELL SE 1000-24V
PS JUNSI S1200
IOTA
E.T.C.

but I had started to read several posts on these server batteries and even one guy in UK who makes them up to order HP ones I think so may have a look at that.

How come these pc/lab batteries are so much better than the others?

all help & advcie very much appreciated

I have time before I have to choose finally

all the best Steve
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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Check out http://www.progressiverc.com/ for a good range of power supplies.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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The biggest thing that makes the server power supplies so much better is the price per watt ratio.

I've got a 24V 1150W power supply made out of two HP DPS600PB server supplies. The power supplies were 5 (8$) each (used in a server but like new). Nearest equivalent hobby unit is the Junsi S1200.. that comes in at about $300.

The server power supplies are also designed to load share so if you want more power you can very easily make a quad unit with 2300W capacity! You can also get power supplies with greater output than my DPS600PB. Modification of the DPS600PB is very easy, personally I wouldn't pay more than a few bucks extra to buy one pre-modified.


Steve
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
The biggest thing that makes the server power supplies so much better is the price per watt ratio.

I've got a 24V 1150W power supply made out of two HP DPS600PB server supplies. The power supplies were 5 (8$) each (used in a server but like new). Nearest equivalent hobby unit is the Junsi S1200.. that comes in at about $300.

The server power supplies are also designed to load share so if you want more power you can very easily make a quad unit with 2300W capacity! You can also get power supplies with greater output than my DPS600PB. Modification of the DPS600PB is very easy, personally I wouldn't pay more than a few bucks extra to buy one pre-modified.


Steve
I've build two, 24 volt supplies from the same server supplies, and believe me, if one can afford it, the Junsi 1200 is a much more "elegant" solution. It is quiet, perfectly configured and provides amperage and voltage readouts, along with variable voltage. So, I agree that the home-made jobs are great, but the Junsi is terrific.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:07 AM   #7
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Question

Good Morning Turner~Jet Plane Flyer & Spad

firstly many thanks for the replies


jetplaneflyer

price per watt ratio
so if I am correct this is the main reason to go with server power supplies? how big an issue is price per watt ratio..is it so big?only matched by the Junsi S1200 @ $300

Spad

moves nicely on to spads contention that the Junsi S1200 could be a better bet?

I have being looking at JUNSI & of course my favourite(til now) Power Lab6 is the JUNSI the better of the two? maybe not a fair or easy question.I know the power lab as more safety features and the MPA

Turner

I followed a link in another thread to progresssiverc and was very impressed..I had not seen a web site with such a good choice of top Chargers & PSU

all the best Steve
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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I'll concede that the Junsi is slightly more 'elegant'. But the noise doesn't have to be an issue as the fans on the server supplies can be turned down very easily. As for amp and voltage readouts; well I guess that's 'nice' but I cant see any real practical use, for powering a PL8 you would just turn it to 24v and never adjust it again.

The server supplies also provide two voltage output, one at 12v and one at 24v, so you can use low and high power chargers at the same time, that's something the Junsi I don't think provides?

Anyway the real advantage is the bang for buck ratio. Both types have pretty much the same basic specification but the server supply type costs about $25 and the Junsi about $300.

If money is no object by all means get the Junsi (or similar), but if you budget is limited the server solution saves you $275 which you can spend on something that actually adds to your enjoyment of the hobby.

Steve
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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Regarding the Powerlab to icharger comparison. I have a icharger 3010b and I'm delighted with it. The PL8 has higher output which could come in handy if charging multiple packs in parallel because i sometimes max out the 30A charge limit on the icharger (the PL8 has a 40A capacity).

I guess again it comes down to bang for buck, plus availability. In the UK the icharger is far from cheap but the PL8 is 50% more expensive again and in any case unavailable, so the choice for me was simple. If you can get hold of the PL8 and money is no object then it's probably the one to go for.

The power lab 6 is limited to 6s charging and I needed 8s, so that was a non starter.

Steve
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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I've had a number of Ichargers: over the course of a year of so, each failed. If you want to buy something that will likely fail, buy an Icharger.

While this is truly subjective, I love my Junsi 1200, and though I modified and replaced my fans in each server supply (now silent), the Junsi is my supply of choice!
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #11
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Just to add another choice at a medium price range. I don't need elegance for $200 more bucks!

http://feathermerchantrc.com/

He has the 24v 47amp supplies ready to go. James is a fellow club member and have seen his stuff running his setup and others in the club. They are quiet supplies too so the fans are not super loud.

Mike
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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I agree feather has a great supply for the money.

Now, guys, there is nothing "wrong" with "elegance" or whatever you want to call it.

I can afford to drive nice cars, and I do. I can afford nice things, and I buy them. As I said, I built two of the 24 volt supplies and modified them, and they are somewhat crude compared to the Junsi which is purposefully designed to quickly and easily use up to 3 chargers concurrently, and YOU NEVER have to worry about getting shocked! Yes, Virginia, even the "best" server supply "homebrew" carries that risk.

Each to his own-I don't imply anthing about you guys from your use of the homebrew supplies so please afford me the same.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:23 PM   #13
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No harm no foul - I agree there is a reason Toyota has Lexus and Honda Accura. No question - and I totally get it.

I still buy Honda. LOL!

Mike
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #14
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And, I'll keep driving fast, expensive cars.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by spad View Post
Yes, Virginia, even the "best" server supply "homebrew" carries that risk.
Why would that be?

PS.. I don't think anyone said or implied anything critical of you for using the Junsi PSU It looks like a nice unit. Personally I'd rather put the extra $275 to other uses, each to his own though.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #16
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Just one more thought.... I have a PL6 and it will display the input voltage and current for you. (The power supply output) I think you must be actively charging for that page to be available, but that's really the only time you need it.

Again, the power supply you need is really a function of the batteries you want to charge. How many cells (voltage) and what charge rate (amps) are you going to charge at. But since you are just getting started this maybe still in question. I too am a fixed wing guy and I do not know what type of batteries are in a high end heli... My guess is you want to be able to parallel charge a few of those batteries (I'm assuming lipos.)

I just have this power supply with my PL6
http://www.hobbypartz.com/77p-g350-powersupply.html

The biggest batteries I have are some 4S 2650 mAh and typically I'm just charging a bunch of 3S 2200 mAh batteries. So far it is keeping up with my needs, but the PL6 can do much more with a more powerful power supply.

Good luck!

Steve

Growing the fleet!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #17
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Hi everyone
I have being reading your replies with great interest..
and I am not any wiser if truth be known
My heli(hopefully) will be a LOGO or SAB 600 size with DJI e.t.c.
rembering these will be set up and tamed down from there 3D modes.

There is a guy in the UK building custom PSU for all kinds of RC uses and he as many satisfied customers...but I do not know how his or any of the Server PS stack up against the opposition Meanwell,Junsi s12oo
Iota e.t.c.

Icharger/PL6 & 8 and i suspect there are others..the REVO MPA looks very good with the self setting fuses...

Many folk love iCharger and just as many PL6 &8 can anyone see why I may need the PL8 in the future if I am only intending flying the 600?

I just want the best charger/PSU combo?

remeber guys I am really new to all this,so sorry if my questions sound a bit odd

all the best Steve
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:44 PM   #18
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O.K., just to muddy the water: since the PL 6 and 8 are far more than chargers, and each will operate with less than 40 amps just fine, you can start with a "cheap" power supply and survey for your needs! Sum: you don't need 1200 watts to use either, just enough watts for your intended use!
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by spad View Post
O.K., just to muddy the water: since the PL 6 and 8 are far more than chargers, and each will operate with less than 40 amps just fine, you can start with a "cheap" power supply and survey for your needs! Sum: you don't need 1200 watts to use either, just enough watts for your intended use!
Hi:

Actually, this is exactly why we put what we term Smart Power Management into the PowerLab series. One of the first things we discuss and reference a number of times in the user guide is the importance of setting the input current limit to protect your power supply. Set this number a little lower than the max rating of your PSU, the PL will never draw more than what you tell it, regardless of where the output charge current is set. We knew people would want to use a wide range and quality of power supplies, and we wanted to make it easy for them. Smart Power Management stores profile settings for a power supply as well as an input Pb battery. Then it asks you one time which one your using on startup.

Tim Marks
FMA, Inc.
Revolectrix Partner
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 1heli View Post
There is a guy in the UK building custom PSU for all kinds of RC uses and he as many satisfied customers...but I do not know how his or any of the Server PS stack up against the opposition Meanwell,Junsi s12oo Iota e.t.c.
Most likely they are used server supplies. These things are very high quality and although they are use still have quite a bit of life in them. The reported failure rate of used server supplies is very low. I have number of them and have been using them without an issue for several years now.

Only downside, if you can call it that, is that to get 24v two supplies need to be configured in series. While there is a lot of, sometimes scary, internet posts about doing this, its really quite trivial when done correctly by a knowledgeable individual. There are guys which are doing this work and providing them ready-to-go.

The other thing to be aware of is the inclusion of active power factor correction. This reduces the load on the AC supply for the same output. Iotas and some Meanwells do not have this. This feature adds about $100 to the cost. That feature is included in all server supplies.

Many folk love iCharger and just as many PL6 &8 can anyone see why I may need the PL8 in the future if I am only intending flying the 600?
If you never planning on going above 6s then the Powerlab6 may be a better fit. If you need more charging capacity, add a second Powelab6 and run it in expansion mode with the first.

The Powerlab8 will give you twice the discharge power, is little larger and using a 24v supply it will give you a little more output. Plus, if the hobby moves to 14s or 16s, you'll be ready to go.


I just want the best charger/PSU combo?
At this point I would focus the bulk of your budget on the charger. Power supplies come and go and if you can solder and are good with ebay, you can swap out or upgrade supplies with relative ease and low cost. Most chargers can be run on various size supplies. For instance, when I travel with my 450, I take single 12v 45 amp supply with my Powerlab8. With this setup I can get 40 amps of output and charge six 3s packs at 3c each. That particular supply cost me $9.45 shipped to my door. If you need to save money, you can start with a smaller supply that can meet todays charging needs and add a bigger one later.


Other threads of interest

Powerlab 6 or 306B?
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=385269

What is your charger of choice?
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=389676&

PL6 Maximum output with an inexpensive supply
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1525834&page=17#post20578347
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:28 PM   #21
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Question Charger/PSU Combo Suggestions?

Hi Gregor,
Must thank you for taking the time to give such a good reply, much obliged to you.

with regards to these server psu I have seen some on sale with 24volts I would not be able to make them up..

The other thing to be aware of is the inclusion of active power factor correction. This reduces the load on the AC supply for the same output. Iotas and some Meanwells do not have this. This feature adds about $100 to the cost. That feature is included in all server supplies.
this I have being reading and is a terrific saving over the opposition.

If you never planning on going above 6s then the Powerlab6 may be a better fit. If you need more charging capacity, add a second Powelab6 and run it in expansion mode with the first.

The Powerlab8 will give you twice the discharge power, is little larger and using a 24v supply it will give you a little more output. Plus, if the hobby moves to 14s or 16s, you'll be ready to go.
The above is a very difficult one to answer I do not intend to go beyound 500/600 size Heli LOGO/SAB or similar..I get stuck
If you need more charging capacity, add a second Powelab6 and run it in expansion mode with the first.The Powerlab8 will give you twice the discharge power, is little larger and using a 24v supply it will give you a little more output. Plus, if the hobby moves to 14s or 16s, you'll be ready to go.
can you or anyone see any scenarios where I might just regret not getting the PL8 instead of the 6? and I am only guessing but withe 8 I would not need a second charger to act as a expansion unit? sorry for dum questions I struggle a bit with the above questions...

At this point I would focus the bulk of your budget on the charger. Power supplies come and go and if you can solder and are good with ebay, you can swap out or upgrade supplies with relative ease and low cost. Most chargers can be run on various size supplies. For instance, when I travel with my 450, I take single 12v 45 amp supply with my Powerlab8. With this setup I can get 40 amps of output and charge six 3s packs at 3c each. That particular supply cost me $9.45 shipped to my door. If you need to save money, you can start with a smaller supply that can meet todays charging needs and add a bigger one later.
for reasons I will not bore you with I would like to go for the best I can from day one so whichever charger/PSU combo I choose will be it.
The following are ex server PSU made up to order..and the guy as sold I think about 80+cheaper for me to buy from UK thatn US.so unless any of the opposition can offer a much better PSU option I may well go for the above.

would love a bit more info on the charger front though
Gregor thank you very much for the links one I had seen two others I had not....I see the FMA PL came out top in the Poll but that is not scientific...

best wishes Steve

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Old 06-10-2012, 12:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by 1heli View Post
can you or anyone see any scenarios where I might just regret not getting the PL8 instead of the 6? and I am only guessing but withe 8 I would not need a second charger to act as a expansion unit?
Like I said, 100 watts of discharge, larger case, up to 8s and the full 40 amps on 24v. The Powerlab6 is 50 watts of discharge and around 34-36 amps on 24v. Not to doubt your long term heli plans, but just about everyone helicopter pilot I know eventually increases their fleet and usually goes up in size. The Powerlab8 would give you more flexibility in case on of those models would run on 14s or 16s. But given the current high voltage ESC issues, I'm guessing it will be a while before that is main stream.

To help make the case for the Powerlab6, they are less expensive and cheaper when you buy two. I would not say that getting a Powerlab8 would prevent you from wanting a second one. That alone is not a reason to move the PL8.

I have two Powerlab8s. The reason I added a second was twofold. First I was adding a 700 to my fleet and wanted more charging capability. I do not like to charge and home and generally only keep two to three flight packs per model. That means the charger is constantly going when I'm at the field. Keeping a 600 and 700 in the air, it made sense to expand the charging fleet. Plus I have a backup now, not that I expect to need it.

The second reason is so I when I am not rushed I can reduce my dependence on parallel charging. My 600 takes two 6s packs which can be charged in parallel, or one on each charger, if both are free.


for reasons I will not bore you with I would like to go for the best I can from day one so whichever charger/PSU combo I choose will be it.
Then it comes down to budget. "Best you can get" varies by individual. An awesome package would be two Powerlab6s and two Meanwell RSP-1500-27 supplies. Add two MPAs and you've got a very good package from day one. I guessing once you see the prices, especially for the supplies, the server supplies will look more appealing.


The following are ex server PSU made up to order..
I'm not seeing anything. If you posted a link I'm not seeing it.

would love a bit more info on the charger front though
Happy to help. Let me if there is anything specific you are interested in hearing about.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:19 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
The other thing to be aware of is the inclusion of active power factor correction. This reduces the load on the AC supply for the same output. Iotas and some Meanwells do not have this. This feature adds about $100 to the cost. That feature is included in all server supplies.
This power factor issue can get a little technical on what's involved. For example the power factor is a non-issue when you turn on an standard old lightbulb with the tungsten filament. (The power factor is "1.0")

If you've got a lot of AC motors on your home, these motors have a lagging power factor that results in somewhat higher amperes flowing through your AC power breaker box to your motor. Higher amperes at least as compared to if the AC motor could have a "1" power factor.

But, and this is a big but, you only pay for the actual watts going through your homes electric utility meter, regardless of what the power factor is. The average home has a lot of AC motors such as the airconditioning systems that cause a LOT more power factor issues than a single computer power supply might have.

So, that power factor is more of an issue with the electric power company for their big power transformers than it is for the average home user. And, in fact if you drive along a country road following a three phase power line, you might find giant capacitor banks connected across the three phases every so often. Those capacitor banks are used to correct the power factor back to the ideal "1.0" for that powerline feeder.

(Power factor involves the voltage and current going through a powerline being exactly in phase. There are people out there that sell quack units (yup, capacitor banks) that supposedly reduce the current going into an home electric motor. All these things are doing is correcting power factor which does reduce the motor current. But, those gadgets have absolutely nothing to do with reducing the actual cost in kilowatt hours going into those electric motors.)

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Old 06-10-2012, 02:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
So, that power factor is more of an issue with the electric power company for their big power transformers than it is for the average home user.
While this true from a billing perspective, power factor is an issue for a modeler running off a generator. Also, when you get into these larger charger setups you can trip the breaker on a 120 AC outlet even with APFC supplies. Without APFC you'll trip the breaker much sooner.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:43 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
While this true from a billing perspective, power factor is an issue for a modeler running off a generator. Also, when you get into these larger charger setups you can trip the breaker on a 120 AC outlet even with APFC supplies. Without APFC you'll trip the breaker much sooner.
Yeah thought of that while responding above. I've got a Cellpro Powerlab 8 that can pull up to 1000 watts, or 500 watts at 12 VDC input. That's about 5 Amps at 120 VAC, way below my 3500 watt generators 15 amp breakers.

But to get rid of all the hassle, take a look:

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