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        Discussion FMA Cellpro - fantastic job

#1 Red Scholefield Apr 05, 2006 03:21 PM

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).


--
Red S.
Red's R/C Battery Clinic
http://www.rcbatteryclinic.com
Check us out for "revolting" information.

#2 no stick Apr 05, 2006 10:17 PM

All that and it doesn't change cell count. Priceless. :p

Ed

#3 Blaze.45 Apr 05, 2006 10:19 PM

lol, In mid-charge at that. :D

#4 Red Scholefield Apr 06, 2006 04:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by no stick
All that and it doesn't change cell count. Priceless. :p

Ed

It's hard to do that when you are charging each cell individually. :rolleyes:

I'll keep beating on it to see if I can get it to hickup.

#5 coro Apr 06, 2006 04:40 AM

Red, I am sure that Cellpro design as described is perfect. I was so glad to see that such charger comes to market.. I look forward for results of independent test, as I care about precision and accuracy of this unit.
However, to be clear, I hope that it is not one of parallel chargers. There is much more in description of Cellpro charger, comparing it with simple parallel approach to charge. It brings aditional features, which finally should result in correct behaviour in any imaginable situation. It was Skyvolt 6s charger (now BalancePro HD 6s) which was first of all honoured by name "correct" in my personal knowledge, however I was missing display on that unit.
Pack which is getting older, still usable, but with highly aged mid cell of a 3s, is perfect example to show the difference. If You can create pack containing 1st and 3rd cell new and high C rated, and 2nd, middle cell old or cheap low current one (if possible the same capacity), and graph cell voltages during charge on ordinary chargers, difference should be clearly visible. I think that it is oversized but real example of real older pack, which can be usable in parkflyer plane, however it is damaged and disposed off if charged by any ordinary charger including ordinary balancers.

#6 Fred Marks Apr 06, 2006 09:44 AM

Over 30 featrures contribute to CellPro
 
[QUOTE=coro]Red, I am sure that Cellpro design as described is perfect. I was so glad to see that such charger comes to market.. I look forward for results of independent test, as I care about precision and accuracy of this unit.
A poster on the FMA Forum, upon reading Red's post asked: why is it so good? Anawer: 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.

#7 2dogrc Apr 06, 2006 10:16 AM

Quick Question,
In the manual mode you can set any charge rate regardless of the cell? We are testing some 1.5C and 2C charge rates and would like that option. If it does, it looks like I found a replacement for the Astro109!

2dogrc

#8 Red Scholefield Apr 06, 2006 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2dogrc
Quick Question,
In the manual mode you can set any charge rate regardless of the cell? We are testing some 1.5C and 2C charge rates and would like that option. If it does, it looks like I found a replacement for the Astro109!

2dogrc


Yes, in manual mode you can set charge currents up to 3.0 amps in .250 Amp steps - regardless of the cell capacity.

#9 Fred Marks Apr 06, 2006 11:06 AM

CP 4S in manual set
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2dogrc
Quick Question,
In the manual mode you can set any charge rate regardless of the cell? We are testing some 1.5C and 2C charge rates and would like that option. If it does, it looks like I found a replacement for the Astro109!

2dogrc

That is correct. Fires and ballooned cells are history. No funny stuff of "put your left pointer finger in your right nostril and count to 100 to be sure she doesn't jump cell count." I was concerned that a user would forget to reset the charge current and therefore damage a small cell by fast charging at too high amperage. Therefore, tests were run to confirm that no cell would be harmed. CellPro/BalancePro automatically account for cell capacity. The product was validated by fast charging at 3C some low-priced packs, including a 90mAh pack. Even those packs took the fast charge from CellPro for 150 cycles before losing caapcity to 80%.

The CellPro can charge at 3C for packs up to 1AH. For 3C for packs of, say, 2AH, you need BalancePro. Does the same thing as CellPro, just more of it!

BTW- we have been pleasantly surprised at the advocacy amongst our BalPro customers for the high quality connector that gives BP its name.

#10 everydayflyer Apr 06, 2006 11:12 AM

Quote:

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.
So it will auto detect and set rate at 50 mA fo a 50 mAh battery but manual selection is limited to 250 mA steps?

Perhaps the 50 is a typo and was suppose to be 500.


Charles

#11 Fred Marks Apr 06, 2006 11:41 AM

Not the way it works
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by everydayflyer
So it will auto detect and set rate at 50 mA fo a 50 mAh battery but manual selection is limited to 250 mA steps?

Perhaps the 50 is a typo and was suppose to be 500.


Charles

No. The charger takes care of it automatically. How it does it is proprietary. I worried about this when Astrobob told me at the NEAT Fair two years ago about forgetting to reset the 109 when he followed charge of a 2Ah pack with a 340 pack and ended up with the 340 glowing on the floor! We wanted to make absolutley sure this would never happen.

#12 rroback Apr 06, 2006 11:46 AM

too bad it doesn't go to 10s.

r

#13 Giz Apr 06, 2006 12:51 PM

Fred,

That's very interesting. I hadn't spotted that the BalancePro did this. I wasn't aware that it could charge non-FMA packs either.

I was just about to spend $100 on a TP-210V balancer but I'm now thinking that the BalancePro might be a better option. The info on the web site says the BalancePro can charge packs of 2000mah to 9600mah. Can it do smaller packs? Does it have the same charge current settings as the CellPro?

#14 brucewillman Apr 06, 2006 01:59 PM

Question for Mr. Marks:

It is just a personal preference, but I prefer to charge my packs at ~ .5C. Can I set the CellPro to do this, and still be protected against accidentally charging at too high amperage?

Thanks,
Bruce

#15 CaptEvo Apr 06, 2006 02:10 PM

Does it come with cable that will fit PolyQuest, Apex charge connectors ?
I'm more interested in Apex (that's what I'll be using with)


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