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Charging at the field - Question

Old 08-04-2007, 06:24 PM
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BD Flyer
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Default Charging at the field - Question

Hi,

Right now, I only have NiMH and NiCd batteries and a NiMH and NiCd AC/DC charger. So I don't have a power supply. In a month or so, i'm going to switch to LiPo's and i'm going to start charging batteries at the field. So, I figured that the only thing I need is a charger (specifically the CellPro 4s) and a power supply to charge the batteries at the field. But now that i'm looking at all the power supplies, I noticed they have to be plugged in. I always though that they didn't need to be plugged in. So this is my question... What do I have to buy in order to charge my batteries at the field?

Okay, that's my stupid question...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:37 PM
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Hi BD,

No stupid questions here. Normally, the chargers are set up with a cigarette plug and you plug them in to your power outlet in the car. Or, you can buy one of the car jump starters that has a power port on it and plug in to that. The only issue with that is you don't get a lot of charges then you have to charge the baterry to charge your batteries.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:39 PM
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Bill,

I use the Hobbico AccuCycle Elite, and it has banana plugs to go to the power supply. I have 2 ways I charge at the field. Both use the same plug I made, with stuff I got from Radio Shack.

1. I plug it right into a lighter plug in my car;

2. I use a Husky 12 volt car jump start system that has a 12VDC plug receptacle on it, as well as the jumper cables.

If I can find the part I use from RadioShack I will post a link. It makes it simple.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Hi BD,

No stupid questions here. Normally, the chargers are set up with a cigarette plug and you plug them in to your power outlet in the car. Or, you can buy one of the car jump starters that has a power port on it and plug in to that. The only issue with that is you don't get a lot of charges then you have to charge the baterry to charge your batteries.

OK I was a little slower that King Green Thingy; one point about the charger I use. It is rated at 17 Amp Hours, and I have never depleted it to past half-capacity. But, YMMV.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:48 PM
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Wow, that was fast! Thanks guys!

So, what if the charger comes with alligator clips (I think that's what they're called)? I sure don't want to hook it up to a car battery...

But if the charger comes with that lighter plug, I can just plug that into the lighter adapter in the car and charge my batteries?
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:51 PM
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OK here are two possibilities. The first is super simple:

This plugs in and has the banana jacks right there, convienent if the plug is easy to get to, like if you have one in the back of your vehicle.

If you want some reach, I bought a lighter plug with a 8-10 foot cord, and soldered on THIS.

Then I can plug it in and run the power to where I need it. I simply stripped the wires, attached them to the posts, tightened the nuts, and soldered for good measure, and put heat shrink tubing on them just to be super safe. It works great. If you go this route, make sure you get one with a fuse in the plug, rated for your application.

As for the Husky Jump Start system I use, THIS is it; I got it from Home Depot.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BD Flyer View Post
Wow, that was fast! Thanks guys!

So, what if the charger comes with alligator clips (I think that's what they're called)? I sure don't want to hook it up to a car battery...

But if the charger comes with that lighter plug, I can just plug that into the lighter adapter in the car and charge my batteries?
Hopefully, if it uses alligator clips, they slide on/off banana plugs. If not, I would get a set of alligator clips that DO, and the banana plugs, that way you can use it with BOTH (in case you are using someone else's power supply).

And, you are welcome. We are all here to help each other. Heck, we even help Flying Monkeys.....right Tom?
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:54 PM
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Okay, thanks. I think I understand it now...
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:42 PM
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Red Scholefield
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I soldered 5/32 ID brass tubing to the alligator clips in order to use banana plugs to a power supply or the clips to the car battery.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Scholefield View Post
I soldered 5/32 ID brass tubing to the alligator clips in order to use banana plugs to a power supply or the clips to the car battery.
Red,

That, sir, is an excellent idea. Thanks much, I will file that in the back of my head.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Red,

That, sir, is an excellent idea. Thanks much, I will file that in the back of my head.
Just make sure the banana plug fits this size. I have been known to screw up dimensions on rare occasions.:<
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BD Flyer View Post
Wow, that was fast! Thanks guys!

So, what if the charger comes with alligator clips (I think that's what they're called)? I sure don't want to hook it up to a car battery...

But if the charger comes with that lighter plug, I can just plug that into the lighter adapter in the car and charge my batteries?
I don't get it...why don't you want to hook your Cellpro charger up to a car battery with the alligator clips? That's what they're for. That's what I do with my Cellpro; it works just fine. What you need a power supply for is for when you use the Cellpro at home, to convert wall outlet AC to 12V DC. I got one for $23, and I don't need banana jacks or cigarette lighter adapters or anything like that, either at home or in the field. (link).
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by herk_1 View Post
I don't get it...why don't you want to hook your Cellpro charger up to a car battery with the alligator clips? That's what they're for. That's what I do with my Cellpro; it works just fine. What you need a power supply for is for when you use the Cellpro at home, to convert wall outlet AC to 12V DC. I got one for $23, and I don't need banana jacks or cigarette lighter adapters or anything like that, either at home or in the field. (link).
Well,

For me, having my charger under the hood of my car seems silly when I can access my vehicle's 12VDC system with a shielded plug.

But, thats just MHO.
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:59 AM
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It's also alot easier to use the extra power plug in the back of the car when you have the hatch open and working out of the back.
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Old 08-05-2007, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
It's also alot easier to use the extra power plug in the back of the car when you have the hatch open and working out of the back.
True.....thanks Tom....We have a guy who opens the liftgate and bungee-straps a tarp to it for shade. Makes for a great area for him to service his aircraft. Much cooler than working under the hood.
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