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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 10-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
KeninAZ
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Default Charger Dead~What To Buy To Replace It??

I had a 4 port Hitec for a number of years and it gave me pretty good service.
But this AM when I plugged it into my 35 amp PS to charge up some batteries I had a dead short in the charger.
I pulled it apart and found nothing obvious.
When I bought it I was worried about putting all my eggs in one basket in that if anything went wrong like this I could lose the whole thing.
I guess for the time of service I got it was not that bad cost wise but I am not sure at this point I want another like it.
It appears that I can buy separate chargers to have 2 or 3 just as cheap today and that what if one craps out I can just replace it.
I will charge no more than 5S cells.
What can you recommend?
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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I personally have had good luck with the Icharger 206B . After having my car broken into and my flight bag and GP Escapade stolen, I ordered another one from EP Buddy. Progressive RC is another good source. Will handle up to 6S no problemo.

Always hate mooching a charge at the field. LOL

Lots of good ones out there. Some swear by the Cell Pro. It's kind of like ice cream. What's your favorite flavor?

Good luck,

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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I think I am just going to go cheap and order some individual chargers and not have all my eggs in one basket.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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I really like my PL6 with a feather merchant 24V47A PS. If I were to get another it would be a Icharger or a Hyperion Duo.

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Old 10-26-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KeninAZ View Post
I had a 4 port Hitec for a number of years and it gave me pretty good service.
But this AM when I plugged it into my 35 amp PS to charge up some batteries I had a dead short in the charger.
I pulled it apart and found nothing obvious.
When I bought it I was worried about putting all my eggs in one basket in that if anything went wrong like this I could lose the whole thing.
I guess for the time of service I got it was not that bad cost wise but I am not sure at this point I want another like it.
It appears that I can buy separate chargers to have 2 or 3 just as cheap today and that what if one craps out I can just replace it.
I will charge no more than 5S cells.
What can you recommend?
The Cellpro Multi4 is a good charger for the $$$$. It's only good for four cells though. Their Cellpro 10xP is used by several of my club members, they all like it. I've got two of the Cellpro Powerlab 8 chargers. Also very good units, but way more than is needed for a 5S battery. This thing is capable of charging at 1400 Watts! These Cellpro chargers pretty much are dedicated to charging one battery, unless you buy the special cabling for charging batteries in parallel.

Cellpro Multi4
http://www.store.revolectrix.com/Pro...pro-Multi4_256

Cellpro 10xP (This might be the only charger you'd need, good unit)
http://www.store.revolectrix.com/Pro...llpro-10XP_140

Two members have the Hitec charger capable of charging four different batteries at once. Good charger.

Is this unit brand new??? Little $$$$, but its got four 120 watt outputs. Its rated for 1 to 6 cells, so at 6 cells, max current per port is about 4 3/4 Amps.
http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...er-HRC44186#t1

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Old 10-27-2013, 03:07 AM   #6
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Heli Jim has a cellpro multi 4 for sale here if you are interested he might still have it.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72123
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:59 AM   #7
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Pick up a few of these chargers, Everyone likes them

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...cessories.html


http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...e9b774846d5146

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Old 10-27-2013, 04:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
I've got a couple of those wired to a PC power supply for my field charger. Great for the 1600-3000 mAH 3s batteries I typically use.

They are only 50W however.

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Old 10-27-2013, 04:44 AM   #9
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I like this one:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...r_Charger.html
The main reason is that it has a large readout,which i can see without my glasses.
I also have an Icharger 106B,which is nice.
I cannot recommend the fairly popular Imax B6.Mine developed some flaky behaviour within a couple of months of purchase.
I also have the Turnigy 50w just as a field charger in my flight box.
I use an emergency car starter pack as a mobile power source.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pmullen503 View Post
They are only 50W however.
Exactly, 50W (or 5 Amp) limit is very restrictive unless you only fly small models and dont own many batteries.

Before deciding what charger to buy first you have to decide exactly what you need from your charger.
  • How many cell batteries might you use in the future?
  • How large mAh capacity?
  • How many batteries (of same cell count) do you want to charge simultaneously?
  • Do you want to charge different cell counts simultaneously?
  • How long do you want it to take to charge?
  • Do you want to be able to discharge to storage voltage in reasonable time?

Unless your requirements are very modest on all fronts then a 50W charger really isn't going to hit the spot.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:18 PM   #11
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For Only $22.99 this is a very great value, yes its only 55 Watts or 5 amps max, At 1C charging rate at 5 amps, you can charge a 5000mah lipo, not to many people have lipos that big, and it will charge up to a 6 cell lipo. not to many people have 6 cell lipos too, So for a Inexpensive Charger and if a person wants a few chargers, this is a great value, most people use 3500mah lipos and smaller, this charger will handle them just fine, most of my friends use this charger and love it, i need to pick up a couple myself for charging batteries at the field, I have a couple of the old astro flight 109 chargers, they are a good charger, but you have to stay on top of them, because sometimes changing from one of the three charge modes, it will sometimes detect a larger cell count, and it will damage your lipo, had that happen twice, so i really stay with it. a upgraded 109 charger chip is $16.00, so i would rather put that money into a new charger.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...cessories.html

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
For Only $22.99 this is a very great value, yes its only 55 Watts or 5 amps max, At 1C charging rate at 5 amps, you can charge a 5000mah lipo, not to many people have lipos that big, and it will charge up to a 6 cell lipo.
Yeah it will charge a 5000mAh lipo but if you say, for example, a 6s 5000mAh size lipo, then a full charge limited to 55Watt output would take about two hours and fifteen minutes. If you were flying a large heli and had two of those batteries to make up one flight pack then that's four and a half hours charge time for every flight.

In comparison the charger I use would charge both of those batteries simultaneously in ten minutes.

As I said; you need to figure what you want from your charger before deciding what charger you want. Cheapest is not always best.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:03 PM   #13
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I have the CellPro 4 and 10S, love them both, but navigating the menus with one button is annoying.

A couple of friends have the B6's, and they like them...I did have to break them open and resolder the power input to the board though. I have the Turnigy Accucel and have had no real issues with it. It's fine for normal use. Anyone that is constantly charging 5s+ or 3500mah+ batteries should invest in a better charger though. I know a guy that flies 6s powered helis and uses 2 of the Accucel-6 chargers. It gets the job done, but he constantly complains it takes too long to charge...but although he'll spend thousands of dollars on a new heli, he won't spend $150 to buy a decent charger....

My Triton died a couple weeks ago after at least 5 years of service, and I'm looking at what to replace it with. The problem I have with most chargers is they only discharge at .5-1 amp. I have some 4000-5000 mah packs, and it takes a long time to get them down to storage voltage.

But I had the same issue you're talking about...I like the idea of the Hitec x4-80, but I can buy several of the Imax or Turnigy chargers and replace them individually if need be. I have enough charging power-I have an old Astro 109, Cellpro 4 and 10, and an Accucel, in addition to the little dedicated chargers that come with RTF planes...Honestly the Astro 109 is still my favorite.

Just have to look at what you want/need. The B6 or Accucel would do most people that don't go much over 5s and 3000mah. If you go to larger stuff, you'll want to get something up past the 80w range.


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Old 10-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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Couple other chargers. I have the 106B and I like it. Going to opt for the 20 or 30 amp soon.

I-Chargers

http://www.valuehobby.com/power-syst...rger-206b.html
http://www.valuehobby.com/power-syst...e-charger.html

DF aka Bill
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:30 AM   #15
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I have a Hyperic 730i Duo and a Tunigy Mega 2x200W. Both work great! YMMV.

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Old 10-28-2013, 09:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Yeah it will charge a 5000mAh lipo but if you say, for example, a 6s 5000mAh size lipo, then a full charge limited to 55Watt output would take about two hours and fifteen minutes. If you were flying a large heli and had two of those batteries to make up one flight pack then that's four and a half hours charge time for every flight.

In comparison the charger I use would charge both of those batteries simultaneously in ten minutes.

As I said; you need to figure what you want from your charger before deciding what charger you want. Cheapest is not always best.
I'm with Chellie .... and also I'm with OP's choice of multiple chargers ...

I thought about buying a higher power charger with multiple outlets etc. but plumped for another 50W B6 to go by side of my existing B6 ... why ?

a) it does the job for most packs used by me .. 3S 800 up to 5S 3000
b) I don't like idea of thumping in high charge rates into packs ... to me it's like discharging at high rates - must affect battery over time.
c) Is not so powerful that field use of car ciggy socket is not a worry

We all tell newbies .. best way to avoid ground time waiting for charger - is to get enough packs to avoid being without a pack. I apply that to whatever size pack ... so if I feel 5S 3000 is too much cost for me in modelling to have at least 2 packs ready to go ... then I don't model with such...

I agree that higher capability is better ... but I also like to look at overall practical side .. having redundancy in charger by dividing duty between more than one is better than having one do all ... Ask Boeing or Airbus why they have multiple parallel systems on their aircraft instead of just multiple on one cable etc. !!

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Old 10-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by crash_out View Post
.................
My Triton died a couple weeks ago after at least 5 years of service, and I'm looking at what to replace it with. The problem I have with most chargers is they only discharge at .5-1 amp. I have some 4000-5000 mah packs, and it takes a long time to get them down to storage voltage.
.....................
The discharge rate is a killer on most chargers TBH ... so I built a simple discharger has rates of about 5A for various cell count packs ... 2S up to 6S ... cost about $15 all in and 2 hours to make.

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I'm with Chellie .... and also I'm with OP's choice of multiple chargers ...
Each to his own of course but multiple cheap chargers soon adds up to the cost of a top quality unit. I'd need forty 50W chargers to match the watts of my single iCharger! In fact Watt for Watt high end chargers are actually much cheaper.

What swings it for me is I can up to charge twelve medium size batteries simultaneously in less than 15 minutes which gives me the option of flying whenever I want and without having batteries stored charged. It's just not practical or even possible to do that with budget price 50W chargers.

The quality charger is also far more future proof. A real world example; I recently got hold of a large heli that flies on 12s power, it takes 2 x 3300mAh 6s batteries. Six months ago Id never have guessed that Id be using batteries this big. If I'd gone the multiple cheap 50W charger route I'd now be having to upgrade my chargers or face 3 or 4 hour per flight charge time. As it is with the iCharger it's no problem, I can charge both batteries in 10-15 minutes.

Then you have all the other advantages of a quality charger which are too many to easily list but they include fast discharge to storage, so no need for home brew discharger contraptions.

Of course not everyone can justify blowing hundreds of bucks on a high end charger, that's perfectly understandable.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by KeninAZ View Post
I had a 4 port Hitec for a number of years and it gave me pretty good service.
But this AM when I plugged it into my 35 amp PS to charge up some batteries I had a dead short in the charger.
I pulled it apart and found nothing obvious.
When I bought it I was worried about putting all my eggs in one basket in that if anything went wrong like this I could lose the whole thing.
I guess for the time of service I got it was not that bad cost wise but I am not sure at this point I want another like it.

It appears that I can buy separate chargers to have 2 or 3 just as cheap today and that what if one craps out I can just replace it.
I will charge no more than 5S cells.
What can you recommend?
My Suggestion was based on Ken not wanting to put all of his Huevos into 1 Basket and having multiple inexpensive chargers, so if one goes bad, just toss it and get another inexpensive charger to replace it with.
Having said that, I also agree that a Good Quality Charger that will last and do multi functions at higher rates is nice to have, If you Can afford it. go for it.
I would like to have a Cellpro 10s Charger, but i cant afford the $175.00 price, so I buy Good used chargers at a bargain, I think my last astro flite 109 charger I bought from firemanBill here at a reasonable price, and again its all about what a person needs are for their fleet of planes and batteries, Take care, Chellie

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:33 PM   #20
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+1 on the icharger. Just ordered my replacement after mine was stolen from my car. Didn't even consider looking around at others. Combined with a 350W PS, it's all the charger I'll ever need. But it's somewhat like choosing ice cream. Do you like chocolate or vanilla?

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Each to his own of course but multiple cheap chargers soon adds up to the cost of a top quality unit. I'd need forty 50W chargers to match the watts of my single iCharger! In fact Watt for Watt high end chargers are actually much cheaper.

What swings it for me is I can up to charge twelve medium size batteries simultaneously in less than 15 minutes which gives me the option of flying whenever I want and without having batteries stored charged. It's just not practical or even possible to do that with budget price 50W chargers.

The quality charger is also far more future proof. A real world example; I recently got hold of a large heli that flies on 12s power, it takes 2 x 3300mAh 6s batteries. Six months ago Id never have guessed that Id be using batteries this big. If I'd gone the multiple cheap 50W charger route I'd now be having to upgrade my chargers or face 3 or 4 hour per flight charge time. As it is with the iCharger it's no problem, I can charge both batteries in 10-15 minutes.

Then you have all the other advantages of a quality charger which are too many to easily list but they include fast discharge to storage, so no need for home brew discharger contraptions.

Of course not everyone can justify blowing hundreds of bucks on a high end charger, that's perfectly understandable.
Each to their own ... and I respect each persons choice. Many people and I would think a large % do not need to charge 12s system packs ... and are in the more common 3s ... 4s region. You only have to look at pricing to see the more popular sizes.

As to myself - I have 3 large boxes of LiPos running from small to medium range that does push the limits of the 50W charger - I agree ......... but I have a regime that I stick to and that means the argument you use is only partially valid. I do not delay going flying as some may expect ... well nothing more than maybe 1/2hr at most.

I do not like putting 'eggs in one basket' I'm afraid and having spent significant time in China in the Industrail regions ... and know various people who have the knowledge ... price is no guarantee of quality. I know that if my charger fails - I have fall back on another same charger ...

On board ships - they have racks of UHF walkie talkies ... you can imagine that size of the ships means the old shout is no good !!
Do they have a multi-bank battery charger for them ? No. They have individual chargers or at least a number of dual chargers so they do not get left with dead WT's if charger fails. These are high quality Motorola's of significant price ... EX and WP tested ... not your average PMR rubbish.

I will say this also ... go to any safety conscious environment and they will always have separate alternative systems to back up and not rely on one item. I regard charging in the same way ... without it - I'm *****d !



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Old 11-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #22
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I have several chargers including a HK 4x charger. They have done the job OK buy I want to start discharging for storage and they are lacking in that aspect. So now I'm looking at the Powerlab 6 and 8 and also the new I charger duos. Powerlab has a new duo coming out also. Maybe overkill but I have plenty of planes and want something that can discharge fairly quick also. I don't want to build a lightbulb discharger. I fly mostly 3s and 4s but have a few 5s and will be picking up some 6s packs in the future. Don't ever see going higher than 6s as I would do a serial hookup first. I also like the new parallel boards that are available MPA and V3 for charging multiple lipos.
May be some deals coming for black Friday on chargers....I can hope I guess.

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Old 11-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #23
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Just my thoughts, but why not discharge with the motor?
Seems like a logical choice to me anyway.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bluzjamer View Post
I have several chargers including a HK 4x charger. They have done the job OK buy I want to start discharging for storage and they are lacking in that aspect. So now I'm looking at the Powerlab 6 and 8 and also the new I charger duos. Powerlab has a new duo coming out also. Maybe overkill but I have plenty of planes and want something that can discharge fairly quick also. I don't want to build a lightbulb discharger. I fly mostly 3s and 4s but have a few 5s and will be picking up some 6s packs in the future. Don't ever see going higher than 6s as I would do a serial hookup first. I also like the new parallel boards that are available MPA and V3 for charging multiple lipos.
May be some deals coming for black Friday on chargers....I can hope I guess.
Yeah, the Powerlab 6 and 8's are good units. I've got two of the Cellpro Powerlab 8's, and use both at the same time to charge the 12S2P A123 packs in my giant scale models. They are charged as two separate 6S2P units at 15 Amps each, so recharging is done in about 15 minutes, plus or minus.

Those A123's don't even get warm doing that. My other 6S2P A123 packs are charged at 20 Amps.

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