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

I need a new charger....any advise?

Old 01-03-2008, 12:52 AM
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Heli Jim
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Default I need a new charger....any advise?

I need to get a charger. What I want is one that will charge 2,3, and 4 cell LoPo's. I would like one that will charge thru the balance tap and monitor each cell. I also would like one that will tell me what was put back into each cell for mAh's.

I have a DN charger now that does everything except tell me what I put back into the battery so the only way I know how much I used is to work off the remaining voltage. I suppose that is OK but I'd like to do a better job of monitoring the battery.

I have a 5 Amp DC power supply to use to power it
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:37 AM
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Red Scholefield
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FMA CellPro 4S, nothing else even comes close.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:52 PM
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*JCB*
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Hey Red,

Just out of curiosity, what makes that charger superior? I am rather new to LiPo technology. I have been using a triton for the few lipo's that i have with seemingly good results.

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:33 PM
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Red Scholefield
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Originally Posted by *JCB* View Post
Hey Red,

Just out of curiosity, what makes that charger superior? I am rather new to LiPo technology. I have been using a triton for the few lipo's that i have with seemingly good results.

Thanks!
Price $74.05 Plus . . . . .
FMA’s newest 4 AMP Cellpro 4s Charger is part of a revolutionary new lower-cost Li battery and charge system for R/C aircraft. With included AUTO 3C charge rate of up to 4 amps, the charger brings your Cellpro compatible packs up to charge with unprecedented safety and in record time! No knobs, buttons, or jumpers to set - the cell count cannot be wrong!

4 AMP Cellpro 4s Added Features

* Supports up to 4A maximum charge rate using AUTO charge modes based on Fuel Gauging technology, or custom selectable fixed charge rates ranging from 0.25A to 4A.

* New AUTO charge modes designed from the ground up for safe fast charging. Charger includes 1.0C, 2.0C, and 3.0C AUTO fast charge modes.

*New upgraded LCD (also available in the 3A version now shipping)

A123 Version Added Features

All Cellpro 4s chargers have all the same great features as the original product but also contains two new modes.

* One mode is for charging A123 battery packs equipped with the Cellpro Node connector (available separately from FMA Direct)

* another new mode added for STORAGE charging. The STORAGE charging mode is designed for standard LiPo chemistry (not for use with A123) and will charge the battery pack to 50% capacity using our exclusive Fuel Gauge technology.

* Accessing the new modes is as easy as pressing a button. Press and hold the MODE button to cycle through fixed charge rates, followed by 1.0C, 2.0C, 3.0C, STORE, and A123 modes.

* The A123 charge mode is designed for a fixed current limit of 4A which is the maximum setting the 4 AMP Cellpro 4s charger can provide. The A123 cells can accept currents as high as 10A charge.

* Several additional software enhancements have been added to the Cellpro 4s A123 version to enable it to seamlessly and safely handle packs whose cells are at or near 0 volts. Anyone who has had difficulties charging fully depleted A123 batteries on other lithium chargers will find this new Cellpro 4s charger a refreshing improvement!

Other Standard Features

A built-in, recently upgraded LCD shows you charging information and a pack fuel guage.

The PC interface allows for a complete graphical display of each cell in the pack using the free FMA 4s Charger Viewer Software.

FMA’s Cellpro Node Connector is a key part of the system. It enables the charger to monitor individual cells and independently charge each cell to its optimum level.

Charge protection dramatically improves pack performance, pack life and charging safety. The Cellpro 4s charger may be used to charge any brand of Lithium pack using either the Cellpro adapters or pigtails.

The charger will handle continuous 4 amp charge current indefinitely up to 100 degrees F ambient temperature. When the temperature is above 100 degrees F, the high temperature mode drops the charge current down to a lower current setting. This feature is useful when charging in the hot sun as the charger won’t be damaged from overheating.

A cold-weather mode kicks in at around 55 degrees F where the charger will not fully charge the battery to 4.2v but keeps it pinched back to 4.0v per cell. In cold weather conditions, a 4.2v cell has shortened pack life to around 10 cycles. At 4.0v per cell in cold weather, the battery life is not affected.

The active integrated balancing is microprocessor controlled so the balancing is done continuously as the cells charge. This is why the Cellpro charge time is much shorter and safer than that for other shunt-type balancers. Shunts do not guarantee that a cell will not go over 4.2v.

I have four of them.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:16 PM
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rcflyair
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That's a lot of charger for the money....
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:37 PM
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*JCB*
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about this CellPro - as i am fairly inexperienced with LiPo's - i'm not sure i fully comprehend what this charger is offering.

If i gather things correctly, it can detect cell count as well as the capacity of the battery

Also, i got out of all the info is that it can charge lipo's faster given that it keeps track of the voltage of each cell more accurately...

am i on the right track here? I am just used to the Triton where i input the voltage and amperage that the cell needs to be charged at. Therefore i don't fully understand the benefits of getting this charger

thanks!!
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:33 PM
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CHELLIE
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Originally Posted by *JCB* View Post
about this CellPro - as i am fairly inexperienced with LiPo's - i'm not sure i fully comprehend what this charger is offering.

If i gather things correctly, it can detect cell count as well as the capacity of the battery

Also, i got out of all the info is that it can charge lipo's faster given that it keeps track of the voltage of each cell more accurately...

am i on the right track here? I am just used to the Triton where i input the voltage and amperage that the cell needs to be charged at. Therefore i don't fully understand the benefits of getting this charger

thanks!!

The cell pro charges each cell individually, and balances each cell seperate, its like having 4 chargers in one, if you have a 3 cell lipo then 3 of the 4 built in chargers are working to charge your lipo seperatly, thats about the easiest way to explaine it, thats why it will charge faster too, rather than, one charger charging all 3 cells of a lipo, and turning off and on to balance the lipo, with a balancer, hope that helps, Chellie

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17659

http://www.fmadirect.com/products.htm?cat=45&nid=4
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:00 PM
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Murocflyer
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I also concur on the FMA Cellpro 4S.

No better charger for the money.

Frank
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:49 PM
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Heli Jim
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OK---I'm pretty well convinced that I need this charger!

Just a couple more questions:

When the charger is done charging the pack, does it "beep" or something so I know it's done? If not, does the charger shut itself off so I don't end up over charging the pack?

Most all of my batteries are Eflite batterys or they all have the balance plug configured like Eflite packs. Will the Cellpro accept this plug or will I need to get an adaptor??

Thanks for the help, experts!!
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:43 AM
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Smiky
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The Cellpro 4s is without doubt the best charger for up to 4s packs. Its the best because its
  • The Smartest
  • The Safest
  • The most Idiot Proof
  • The most Informative
It is NOT 4 chargers in one as CHELLIE eluded to, it is in fact a straight 'Bleed Balance Charger', the difference is that it can bleed a whole lot more current that other chargers in this price bracket (1Amp), this in turn allows A) The charge to complete quicker. B) ability to charge at a higher rate SAFELY.

Its a high quality charger at a great price that really is Plug and Play.

Jim, yes it beeps when charge is complete and knocks its self off. Yes you will need an Adapter Board, $10 I think.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:17 AM
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Since I am still "trying" electrics, I have been using the LiPo chargers that come with the kits. I have one that came with my Blade CX2 which is a balancing charger that puts out .65 maH and another one that came with my ParkZone T-28 and it is also a balancing charger which is variable up to 2000 maH... they both charge and balance 2 and 3 cell packs.

Someone told me that these chargers were not worth it and that I should buy - everyone has their own favorites - but instead I bought a "Blinky" to test the batteries after charging them with my "cheap" chargers... to my surprise, the cheap chargers worked pretty good - at least that is what the "Blinky" results are telling me... the only investment I had to do was to buy a $24.95 "Rubbermaid - Travel Mate" which converts AC to DC and provides 6 Amps max. I use this to power the ParkZone charger since it is only a 12V charger. The 6 amps provided is plenty to charge the type of batteries I use. My 2200 maH batteries charge in 1 hour and they are balanced when done... the 850maH batteries, which I charge with the .65maH charger (safe current), take about 80 minutes... I could cut that time if I used the other charger and increased the charge current to 1C.

Anyway, if I do stay with electrics perhaps I will buy some better? (expensive) equipment but for now, what I have is working just fine at home and at the field.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:24 PM
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Heli Jim
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The blinky is a good investment and I have read about the power supply that you bought, too. Sounds like you're on the right track.

Yes, you would get faster charges on the smaller batteries if you were charging them at .8A instead of .6A but you aren't hurting anything by charging at slightly less than 1C

There are a lot of good chargers out there and a lot of them are under $100. I will be buying a cellpro in the future, I think. From what's written above in this thread, I think it's the best buy for the buck!
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:05 PM
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jecchile
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HI! Heli Jim...
Yes, I know about the "Cellpro", a very nice charger but I think I will get the Hobbico Accu-Cycle Elite as it would take care of all my needs including "cycling" the Radio System once in a while. SInce I already have the "Blinky" I can balance the cells with that.
Electrics have a lot going for them but Glow is a lot less complicated and less expensive... since Glow was all I did for about 24 years before, I don't think it'll be too much of a problem for me.
I'm still undecided on which way to go.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:15 PM
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elcamino
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buy the best charger you can if your going to charge lipoly buy one for lipoly only. I have a hobbico charger and i wont use it on lipos it wont charge them all the way they only go to 7.2 volts probly for saftey and it false peks on nimh & nicd i carry it just for my glow plane reciver batt. if your going to buy good lipos then you better buy a good charger i have a astro 109 and it was worth every penny its 5 years old and still works great. the cellpro charger looks real good for the money I think they have one that does 10 cells lipo to but its big $$$$. remember buy cheap buy twice
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:14 AM
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I hear what you say but then again, there are various Hobbico chargers... the one I mentioned in my previous message seems to work fine as there are a couple of guys at the club that own them. They are about $139.95 - so they are not "cheap"...

Anyway, when the time comes, if I decide to continue with electrics, I will get one that I have investigated and liked.
Thanks for your input...

Last edited by jecchile; 01-28-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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