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FMA Cellpro - fantastic job

Old 04-05-2006, 09:33 PM
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Red Scholefield
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Thumbs up FMA Cellpro - fantastic job

To All LiPo users.

FMA has one heck of a product in the Cellpro 4s Charger (received it yesterday). I added banana plugs to the power lead as soon as I got it, as I will probably use it more in the shop where there are a number of 12 volt outlets (banana jacks). Have a cigarette lighter plug to match the banana plugs.

The quote from a popular TV add, "The operation is so simple even a Neanderthal could do it.". There is no way one could screw up this charger or their battery pack. Polarity protection coming and going. No knobs to turn, buttons to push - only one button to manually set the charge rate if you don't use the Auto mode. This same button lets you scroll through the displays - giving you % charged, charge rate, capacity input, source voltage and individual cell voltages during the charging and balancing operation. It brings Lithum charging for the modeler to same SAFE level enjoyed by cellphone and laptop users.

I was so impressed with the simplicity of the operation that I set about modifying every lithium pack I have to take advantage of the Cellpro, either adding the appropriate connector or making up adapters. I found that two JWS connectors CAd together to form a 4 pin connector makes a good interface for many of the 3 cell pack balancing connectors I have from other vendors, and the male part (without shell) of a Futaba J connector works fine for 2 cell packs. I made this up using one Cellpro connector Y'd into the 3 and 4 pin connectors. (For the Neanderthals - don't hook up two packs at once.)

Instruction manual (8 pages) apparently written by someone that has actually used the charger - a gold mine of good information, particularly the part on Estimating Performance factors.

While the Charger viewer software is a free download from the FMA web site you really don't need to hook it to your computer to take advantage of its full potential. Having the option is a nice feature for the techies that want to view the charge graph and store the information.

My prediction is that the Cellpro will blow away the Lithium charger market. They should be shipping this month (April).
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:47 PM
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So does that mean they have them now?
I've been waiting for them to get in
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:09 PM
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Thanks for the heads up!

I hope the Big Brown Truck shows up at my door any day now with my FMA CellPro 4S charger.

In my case I won't be needing any adapters since I have switched my entire fleet over to FMA CellPro Li-Pos already.
 
Old 04-05-2006, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by skiman762 View Post
So does that mean they have them now?
I've been waiting for them to get in
They said shipping in April - It is April, but did they mention what year? I expect the demand will keep them on a very tight stocking level at the start. Unless I missed something in my short testing time they have a winner at $69.95. They could easily have made it $99.99 and it still would have been a good deal.

Mine, supposedly a prototype, had an overall clear heat shrink rather than a closed case. This is the only nit I could pick right now.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:46 AM
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Oooooh. That seals the deal then. I wants one.

Thanks for the report Red.
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:35 AM
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Red, how long does a charge take? The usual hour? I just need to know how many of them I need to buy to keep me flying every half hour, with four or five 2100mAh batteries.
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by fabricator View Post
Red, how long does a charge take? The usual hour? I just need to know how many of them I need to buy to keep me flying every half hour, with four or five 2100mAh batteries.
They will reach 95% charge on anything up to 3 Ah in 50 minutes. Max charge rate is 3A.
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Scholefield View Post
They will reach 95% charge on anything up to 3 Ah in 50 minutes. Max charge rate is 3A.
Not bad, I need at least two then.
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:46 AM
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What makes it so good?

John
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:53 AM
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Answered my own question. Next question, will TP plug to charger adaptor become available?

http://www.fmadirect.com/support_docs/item_1215.pdf

John
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jonnyjetprop View Post
What makes it so good?

John
The balancing feature.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyjetprop View Post
Answered my own question. Next question, will TP plug to charger adaptor become available?

http://www.fmadirect.com/support_docs/item_1215.pdf

John
They will be releasing an adapter "bay" that will feature a pig tail that plugs into the CellPro 4S, on the other end is a PC board (I call it a bay) that has six female adapter jacks that fit many brands of Li-Po packs currently available.

Here is a link to a picture of it:
http://www.fmadirect.com/new_applications/comingsoon/images/CPtoTPolyQAdapt.BIG.gif
 
Old 04-06-2006, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyjetprop View Post
What makes it so good?

John
Having the features and capabilities not even available in chargers costing 100s of $ in a package that is $69.95. We invite comparison.
http://www.fmadirect.com/detail.htm?...116&section=45
OVER 3O FEATURES OF CELLPRO 4S CHARGERS

1)Adjustable current from 0.25A to 3A in ľ amp increments. It can charge any size battery.
2)Auto Amp feature detects current of all sized packs. You can charge a 50mAh pack right after a 6400mAh pack without making any adjustments.
3)Can charge up to 24Ah packs in a single charge.
4)Low Voltage Restore repairs over discharged packs. Over discharge down to 0.5 volt per cell will be repaired to 98%.
5)Charges 1 to 4 cells individually just like a cell phone charger. That means it is impossible to start a fire.
6)Display is accurate to 10mV.
7)Cell Balance is accurate to 10mV. (That is 10/1000 of a volt!)
8)Shows Charge Amps and Amp Hours accurate to 1%.
9)Runs on 10 to 16 volt power supplies up to 5 amps.
10)Charges competitors batteries with the appropriate adapter. The will balance just like the Kokam cells.
11)Can charge thru the node connector without the Deans. This is convenient for top off charging in the aircraft.
12)Charge and control accuracy not degraded by charge lead length. Use up to six feet if you choose.
13)Can charge 1Ah and smaller packs at 3C for a 20 min to 95% charge. Full charge is 28 min!
14)Fuel gauge eliminates the guessing of battery capacity. It shows 0 to 100% and is accurate to 5%.
15)Fuel gauge instantly tells the state of the battery and allows quick 15 min fast charges in between flights.
16)All LiPos can be topped off without any danger of overcharge.
17)Can charge physically damaged packs without the danger of fire.
18)Cold weather charge mode protects batteries from over charge in the winter.
19)PC viewer software allows graphing of individual cell performance.
20)Can be directly tied with the West Mountain discharger for complete cell by cell analysis.
21)Input and output are reverse polarity protected.
22)Shows 21 different error codes to describe any problem.
23)Error codes can be reset with the press of a button.
24)Three screens show individual cell voltages, amps, amp hours, fuel gauge and charger operating mode.
25)Total plug and play without any user intervention.
26)Over temperature protection allows operation in any climate.
27)Charger runs at 90% efficiency, which means it generates very little heat.
28) The charger will handle continuous 3 amp current indefinitely up to 100 deg F ambient. Then there is a high temperature mode that drops the current down to 1.5 amps max. So, if someone tries to charge in the hot sun, the charger wonít be damaged from overheating.
29) The fuel gauge maintain 5% accuracy over the entire voltage range.
30) Charges one to four cells in series.
31) High performance microprocessor makes 14 safety checks per clock cycle even down to validating connector pin integrity.
32) Does all the above seamlessly and automatically. If you donít care and donít want to know, then all you need to know is that you can plug in a pack and leave the unit to do its job and never worry about fires, unbalanced cells, or swollen packs.
THIS CHARGER MAKES LI POs SAFER THAN THE MANY MILLIONS OF CELL PHONE & LAP TOP LI IONs IN THE FIELD.
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:41 PM
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Hi Fred,

I'm just getting started into this electric stuff and am getting ready to make my first Lipo battery and charger purchase. Are these now availabe? I don't need it immediately as I just received my plane yesterday and my radio won't be here till next week. Are you in production ramp up mode right now? It looks like you better hang on to your shorts cuz this looks like a slam dunk!

Tom
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for all the info Fred and Red! Are there any plans to make a Cellpro charger with more output? Be nice to have a charger with these features and be able to charge larger packs at higher then 3 amps.

Doug
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Unbalanced prop View Post
Thanks for all the info Fred and Red! Are there any plans to make a Cellpro charger with more output? Be nice to have a charger with these features and be able to charge larger packs at higher then 3 amps.

Doug
Doug: That is our BalancePro that handles up to 6S and up to 10 amps. We presently have a 30 amps balancePro in qualification for a military project. Of course, it charges a 30 AH pack! A V2 BalPro is likely to include the display that we use in celLPro.
http://www.fmadirect.com/new_applica...shPG/index.htm
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:13 PM
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Thanks Fred. I really would like a screen to display cell info. Any ETA on "V2" BalancePro and ballpark price?

Doug
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Unbalanced prop View Post
Thanks Fred. I really would like a screen to display cell info. Any ETA on "V2" BalancePro and ballpark price?

Doug
Preliminary, not in the production stage for some time. The BalPro has all the display capability for pack analysis using your computer. Our techs use it every day. A typical plot is attached.
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:34 PM
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Default It is a slam dunk!

Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Hi Fred,

I'm just getting started into this electric stuff and am getting ready to make my first Lipo battery and charger purchase. Are these now availabe? I don't need it immediately as I just received my plane yesterday and my radio won't be here till next week. Are you in production ramp up mode right now? It looks like you better hang on to your shorts cuz this looks like a slam dunk!

Tom
The first run of the CP 4S is in production and scheduled for arrival in inventory. Watch www,fmadirect.com for ship dates. Orders are being accepted now.
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Unbalanced prop View Post
Thanks for all the info Fred and Red! Are there any plans to make a Cellpro charger with more output? Be nice to have a charger with these features and be able to charge larger packs at higher then 3 amps.

Doug
I can make you a dual port Cellpro 4s X2 for US$ 140 plus shipping.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:02 AM
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Fred I think you might wanna place a second order with the factory. This sounds like it is going to be hard to keep in stock. I will be ordering one.

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Old 04-12-2006, 09:33 PM
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Has anybody that ordered one of the chargers heard anything yet?
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by fabricator View Post
Has anybody that ordered one of the chargers heard anything yet?
Hi Fab,

I got a reply this morning to an e-mail I sent them Monday morning regarding my FMA Cellpro 4S charger order status. While not firm on availability date I have a notion it might begin shipping last week of April, though I was not given a firm date.

I don't mind waiting for something that promises to eliminate the nightmares of Li-Po battery charging. YES! A nightmare Li-Po charging can become. Regardless of how many gadgets one inserts between an expensive Li-PO charger and the battery pack being charged, stuff can and invariably will happen.
 
Old 04-12-2006, 11:48 PM
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Thanks for the reply quban, I guess I'm not going to order anything until they have actual units in stock, I know FMA is a good solid company, but these product releases where there is no actual product yet are getting old in a hurry.
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Old 04-13-2006, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by fabricator View Post
Thanks for the reply quban, I guess I'm not going to order anything until they have actual units in stock, I know FMA is a good solid company, but these product releases where there is no actual product yet are getting old in a hurry.
I don't mind waiting for a product from a company that's willing to test, re-test and QC their products to death before shipping them out.
 

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