& All regular contributors,
I have not actively been writing here at all, but have been following this thread every now and then. I have to say that you guys are doing excellent job by letting the community see your progress, listening to people's comments and to provide answers and product upgrades and improvements based on what is being discussed.
Bright, clever and better than anybody else as far as I have seen. This is the way to provide excellent products and also hopefully be able to make business with it.
I have been thinking of buying one of your chargers, but have not got that far just yet...
Therefore I do not have first hand experience with iChargers. I will nevertheless drop in my 2 (Euro) Cents of suggestions and the resolutions....
Temporary modification to charge settings
Add ability to change charge rate during the charge but does not become a permenate charge( does not become permenate unless saved to a memory slot).
Some of end users has suggested us to modify it, and we will take it into consideration.
I second Charles's wish to provide means to do changes during a charge session and not making them permanent. I also propose showing a small indication on the screen about modified settings being effective.
IR measurement during charge
Be able to read cell IRs during the charge. Cell IRs change with state of charge and with temperature changes.
We thought it will be better, but we do not have a clear idea about how to realize it till now.
What about (and now - excuse for possible misunderstandings, because I do not have first hand experience with these chargers) providing a separate menu that can be used during the charge time for:
- Selecting which data is showed on the display. (Selecting on-the-fly-IR measurements would add IR measurements to the charger's duty cycle.)
- Modifying charge settings - like current or number of charge/discharge cycles, etc.
- Modifying basically all setting that are relevant for the current, on-going charge.
The list above certainly calls for a second and a third thought....
Oh, and if there was an IR display during charge, I would wish to have the data also logged.
Global vs. chemistry specific vs. charge run specific settings
Global setting for C or F , Safety Time Out , Max. Capacity Cut Off , Beep On Time, Termination Voltages with ability to over ride Global setting on a per Memory bases.
Our engineer thought it will be better to save these individually, which will be more flexible.
My take here would be a suggestion to carefully analyze which settings are tied to which context. For instance, Celcius vs. Farenheit as temperature scales are tied to the user's culture or environment. I would definately make such settings global. If a user is used to think Celcius when talking about temperature, that is unlikely to change on battery pack basis. Max Capacity cut-off is tied to a certain battery pack. It can also be global, if the user happens to have only very similar batteries to charge. Termination Voltage is to most extent a battery chemistry based parameter.
Actually this and the previous item (about IR measurement --> on the fly configuration) do go hand in hand here: both features do call for analyzing which parameters make sense at which situation.
Added later: The challenge is not what is possible to do technically but how to do it so that the user is in control of how the device is performing. User getting lost or confused in menus is a bad thing.
Displaying the selected memory
Change so that when a Memory is Loaded and you make changes to it and save it it is automaticly saved to same location by default ,(with abaiklty to change isf so desired).
IMO it is way to easy to make a change and store it over another Memory position. Default is 00 which I over wrote several times by mistake and even now that I know better I sometimes forget which memory I am making changes to.
How about requiring two steps to save to a Memory Slot already being used?
During a Charge or Discharge show Memory # being used.
As for these, we want to hear more voice from our users. Your opinions are highly appreciated here.
I tend to support Charles's viewpoint here. I would also like to keep a "default" mode separate from "Loaded from memory" mode. The point being that for the packs the user charges regularly she would just need to recall the memory settings. For any other pack, there would be a "defalut mode", where no special tweaks are made, ie. the Global settings only apply.
Please also consider the possibility of giving names to memory positions. Names can be so much more informative than just memory numbers - especially if the user is not using the charger every day.
C-D / D-C cycling - end state selection
One other wish from me would be to be able to select the end state for cycling charge. No matter if it was c-d or d-c cycle, I would like to set which state would the battery be left into: full, empty, storage. The default of course is that in c-d the charger would leave the battery empty and in d-c the battery is left full. In some cases however, I have missed the possibility to do a c-d cycle and a charge right after. Automating that would be helpful. Also having packs on on the shelve during winter, I would like to be able do a couple of cycles and leave them into storage state.
Sorry for a LONG, looonngg posting. Congrats for those who made it all the way..)