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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 03-08-2014, 06:41 PM   #1
Bald Paul
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Default Recommendation for new charger

With all the chargers out there, it's hard to tell from the ads which ones are best. My old charger died, so I'm in the market for a new one.

I'm looking for an AC/DC powered charger for LiPo batteries, capable of charging two batteries wired in parallel. A balancer board would be a requirement. Most of my batteries are 3 cell packs. A strict DC powered charger would be okay (I can grab a power supply for AC charging).

I'd appreciate any suggestions based on actual experiences you may have.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:33 PM   #2
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powerlab 6 by revolextric fma. they make great chargers and are well worth the money what with all the safety features that will hopefully prevent issues while charging.

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Old 03-08-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tobydogs View Post
powerlab 6 by revolextric fma. they make great chargers and are well worth the money what with all the safety features that will hopefully prevent issues while charging.
Agreed with that, those Cellpro Chargers are good units. I've got two of the Cellpro Powerlab 8 chargers, and use them to charge anything from a 180 Mah two cell LiPo to a 6S4P A123 battery pack at 30 Amps.

Don't know for certain, but my impression is that chargers that operate on both 120 VAC and 12 Volts DC may not have high power capabilities. Wattflyer readers???

Power supplies are available from a wide variety of places. Plan on about $50 for one, depending on current capacity.

Meanwell power supplies are high quality units.
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/sto...001_2101497_-1

For higher power
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/sto...0001_374011_-1 (I've got one of these, very nice unit.)

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Old 03-08-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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We all have our favourite charger but the one that's right for you depends on what you need it for and very importantly your budget.

If you can answer a few questions it makes it easier to narrow down the options:
  • How many batteries do you need to charge and how large capacity are they?
  • Do you want to charge them quickly (how quickly)?
  • Do you see yourself moving toward larger models in the future?
  • Do you want the ability to charge different cell count batteries simultaneously?
  • How much do you have to spend?
  • would you like the ability to discharge to storage voltage in reasonable time?
  • Where are you? (availability of certain charger brands depends where you are)
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:42 PM   #5
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Hitec X4. Note there are 3 versions. One is AC/DC. One is DC only 50 watts per port and I forgot the specs of the 3rd.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Hitec X4. Note there are 3 versions. One is AC/DC. One is DC only 50 watts per port and I forgot the specs of the 3rd.
A quick google search showed these chargers have a 50 watt rating on each port. So, with a 6S LiPo battery, that would be 4.2 Volts per cell or 4.2X6 is 25.2 Volts. With that, your maximum charge rate on a 6S LiPo battery would be 50 Watts divided by 25.2 Volts, or just under two Amps. So, a 6S 4000 Mah LiPo battery would take two hours to recharge.

If you've got smaller batteries, this Hitec unit would be just fine. Several of my club members have them, and are well satisfied. They mostly use them to recharge LiFe receiver battery packs.

My club members using big LiPo battery packs for electric motor power generally have the Cellpro chargers.

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Old 03-08-2014, 09:44 PM   #7
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I recommend never buying a 6S pack. Buy 2X3S and put them in series. The 6S's center cells can't cool. I've had the center 2 cells go bad early in every 6S pack I have had.

For my 12S setups I use either 3 X 4S packs or 4 X 3S packs in series. Pull the packs immediately and space them out so they can cool after a flight. surface temp of the packs from the big EDF is typically 110 to 115 F when I pull them and 120 to 130 f 3 minutes later... that's the heat moving from inside the cells to the surface.
The bigger the pack the harder it is for that heat to get out.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tobydogs View Post
powerlab 6 by revolextric fma. they make great chargers and are well worth the money what with all the safety features that will hopefully prevent issues while charging.

VIEW FLYER

Love this charger nothing like charging 6 batteries at once in a short time. I use a server power supply with mine setup for 12v or 24 volts depending on what I need.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
We all have our favourite charger but the one that's right for you depends on what you need it for and very importantly your budget.

If you can answer a few questions it makes it easier to narrow down the options:
  • How many batteries do you need to charge and how large capacity are they?
  • Do you want to charge them quickly (how quickly)?
  • Do you see yourself moving toward larger models in the future?
  • Do you want the ability to charge different cell count batteries simultaneously?
  • How much do you have to spend?
  • would you like the ability to discharge to storage voltage in reasonable time?
  • Where are you? (availability of certain charger brands depends where you are)
All very valid questions.
I only need to charge a few packs, and recharging speed isn't that important. I'd rather spend the money for an extra battery than to fast charge.
I doubt I'd ever go much beyond a 3000mah pack. Right now, I'm looking to charge two 2200mah 3s 50C packs in parallel. Charging different capacity packs isn't that important. Discharging to storage voltage is no rush, either.
Budget? I've always believed that you get what you pay for. I don't mind spending the money on a quality unit with the features I want.
And finally, I'm in the USA. (Central Massachusetts - does that count?)
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:30 PM   #10
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Paul here's one for you I have had mine for 2 years, and still going strong, and this guy is great to do business with. Buy it today you would have it by wed. they ship fast plus the customer service is excellent.

http://www.buddyrc.com/icharger-106b.html
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
All very valid questions.
I only need to charge a few packs, and recharging speed isn't that important. I'd rather spend the money for an extra battery than to fast charge.
I doubt I'd ever go much beyond a 3000mah pack. Right now, I'm looking to charge two 2200mah 3s 50C packs in parallel. Charging different capacity packs isn't that important. Discharging to storage voltage is no rush, either.
Budget? I've always believed that you get what you pay for. I don't mind spending the money on a quality unit with the features I want.
And finally, I'm in the USA. (Central Massachusetts - does that count?)
Then for those requirements you really don't have to spend a lot. Something like this one would tick all your boxes and leave plenty of spare cash for more LiPos: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._US_Plug_.html


Nothing wrong with the Cellpro, it's a very fine charger. But for what you say you want, and by the time you have added a suitable power supply to the Cellpro, then the one i linked to above would save you at least $200, and it would still do all you asked for.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Then for those requirements you really don't have to spend a lot. Something like this one would tick all your boxes and leave plenty of spare cash for more LiPos: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._US_Plug_.html
Yup
FYI, a 100 Watt charger is able to charge a 6S LiPo at about 4 Amps. That would allow charging a 6S 4000 Mah LiPo in about an hour.

For $50 or so, not bad.

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Old 04-20-2014, 06:52 PM   #13
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Has anyone have any information on this charger Turnigy MEGA 400Wx2 is it worth the money
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Then for those requirements you really don't have to spend a lot. Something like this one would tick all your boxes and leave plenty of spare cash for more LiPos: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._US_Plug_.html


Nothing wrong with the Cellpro, it's a very fine charger. But for what you say you want, and by the time you have added a suitable power supply to the Cellpro, then the one i linked to above would save you at least $200, and it would still do all you asked for.
Now that I like ... even I could be tempted on that one !

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Old 04-20-2014, 07:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by egrave1 View Post
Has anyone have any information on this charger Turnigy MEGA 400Wx2 is it worth the money
I've no personal experience of that charger but going by the spec it seems to be a lot of charger for the money, and the reviews are very good. It looks like a great deal.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:19 PM   #16
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Personally I most fond of the I-charger 206B w/ 350 PS. EPBuddy and ProgressiveRC have them. On power supplies, one of our club members, an Engineer at Verizon has a very successful side business supplying powerful power supplys.

Inexpensive and very robust. Worth checking out: http://feathermerchantrc.com/
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