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Old Mar 29, 2009, 06:06 PM
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charging multiple mCX, Vapor, Ember, Minium LiPos as a pack

Having five LiPos for my Blade mCX, using the stock charger is a pain
(That's ignoring the fact that the stock charger over charges the LiPos anyway.)

To ease the charging cycle problem I have made a harness to charge all five at once as a 5S pack.

Firstly I got some suitable connectors from the States, I have hunted high and low here in the UK to no avail.
I got them from this Guy - he's a hero in my books, wonderful service and so cheap...
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Old Mar 29, 2009, 06:09 PM
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First job was to attach some wires to the LiPo connectors:
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Old Mar 29, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Next job was to solder the other end of the wires to the Balance connector pins. The pins come attached to a strip and it's best to leave them attached for the time being. The Guy thoughtfully supplies one extra pin on the strip for you to practise on if need be.

Good idea to solder as the crimp tool is >$300

Remember to add an additional wire at each end for connecting the charger
When all the wires are fitted, a couple of bending movements are all that is required to separate the pins from the strip.
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Old Mar 29, 2009, 06:14 PM
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Soldering the wires on, as opposed to crimping, leaves long tails on the pins which need to be trimmed off,

I tried to bend them over but the pins would not then fit in to the holes in the balance connector body - they were too fat.

The answer was to trim them with fine nosed cutters and then bend the remainder flat.
Ensure the pins are in the correct orientation so that the spring lug mates with the holes in the body to prevent the pins pulling out.
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Old Mar 29, 2009, 06:15 PM
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Then fit suitable connectors to the charge wires to suit your charger.

Check with the resistance setting on your meter that the connectors are orientated correctly.
Fit the LiPos to the connectors and check with the Voltage setting on your meter that all is well.
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Old Mar 29, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Finally connect the harness to your charger, select a 5S pack balance charge at 0.1A and off you go.

OK so the LiPos from the mCX are 110mAHr so it takes a bit longer than 1C to charge but you are charging five at a time.

OK so the Vapor, Ember etc are only 70mAHr so you are charging at just over 1C but the stock charger charges them at 3C

It's WIN WIN WIN all round really.

I have successfully charged just three and four LiPos by shorting out the no. 4 and/or no. 5 connectors with miniature crocodile clips and setting the charger to 3S and 4S.
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 12:27 AM
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I made a charger cable to charge just one mCX lipo. For those near San Jose, California, I got the connector from http://www.halted.com
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roto Rob
I made a charger cable to charge just one mCX lipo. For those near San Jose, California, I got the connector from http://www.halted.com
Is the connector on their website ?
If so, can you post a link to it please - I need to find a supplier in the UK if I can so the name or part code would be useful.
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 09:14 AM
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How I charged four LiPos with my 5 cell harness:
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Great tutorial BikerDon !! Thanks for sharing
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Old Dec 06, 2013, 01:09 AM
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Excellent tutorial Biker Don!
Did the individual cell voltages jump around during charging? Mine did. For example 1 cell bounced from 3.98 then maybe 4.05 stay there for a few seconds, and then back down to say 3.88. Wait a moment, then to 3.99 then to 4.03. All six cells were doing that crazy stuff. Mind you, one of the cells was at 4.15 when the balance charging began so there was a wide range between the max and min cell voltage. Would that cause the erratic behaviour?
Cheers
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Old Dec 07, 2013, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no_spamola View Post
Excellent tutorial Biker Don!
Did the individual cell voltages jump around during charging? Mine did. For example 1 cell bounced from 3.98 then maybe 4.05 stay there for a few seconds, and then back down to say 3.88. Wait a moment, then to 3.99 then to 4.03. All six cells were doing that crazy stuff. Mind you, one of the cells was at 4.15 when the balance charging began so there was a wide range between the max and min cell voltage. Would that cause the erratic behaviour?
Cheers
Yupp, the voltages do jump around - that will be the balancer working. It cuts the charge current to any cells that are at a higher voltage than the others. When it takes away the charge current, the voltage reading at that cell will drop. As the charging of the 'pack' progresses different cells in the 'pack' will have the highest voltage at different times - hence they will all fluctuate.

You say one cell was much higher than the others at the start - that would cause the balancer to work harder. I haven't noticed it but I would expect the voltage of the high-voltage cell to be more stable as it will not be charged much until the others catch up. Depends on the operation of balancer so don't get concerned if it doesn't. If all the cells ended up charged correctly, it must be working fine.

You will still see the fluctuating behaviour even if they all start at the same voltage as the cells will not all charge at exactly the same rate and so will get out of step eventually.
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Old Dec 08, 2013, 02:35 PM
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I figured out why I wasn't getting the same results; I had plugged the balance tap into the balance board. Unplugging the balance board and plugging the balance tap directly in to the charger worked perfectly! Luckily the balance port on my charger accepts the 6s JST-XH plug. This also fixed the issue of not being able to charge less than 6 lipos even when the cell count was set to the number of cells on the harness and the open pigtails were shorted.

In the attached images, I used the female JST plugs (the red ones) as the pigtails and the male JST plugs to short the empty pigtails when necessary.

I am about to make the same style of harness but with the eflite type of battery extensions. Cut the wires in the middle of the 2 plugs, use one for the pigtail and the other to short an open pigtail.

6s JST-XH Wire Extensions
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=33327

1s eflite type battery wire extensions
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=30665

Thanks again for sharing this cool DIY project, BIkerDon.
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Old Aug 11, 2014, 09:38 PM
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Old thread, but what is the advantages to charging this way vs charging parallel as one larger pack? Individual pack voltage reading and individual peak?
I've been parallel charging six at a time, and it seems to do fine. I store my packs on the parallel charge cable as well so they self level out across the cells before they get charged.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 02:43 PM
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Apologies for not replying sooner but I did not get an email to alert me to your post.

My original build was done in the early days of LiPos - no one was aware of the parallel charging that is common place these days.

I would say yes, Individual pack voltage reading and individual peak are better for the individual cells in that the cells do not have to be close to the same charge level at the start. With parallel charging if one cell is fully charged and the others are at storage charge when the fully charged cell is connected to the others it will discharge without resistance until it is at the same voltage as those already connected. This could easily be at a rate greater than the C rating of the cell. If done in series the balancer ensures that the high charge cell is dealt with first.

Out of interest I now parallel charge to storage after a flying session and to full charge before a flying session. Hindsight is always 20:20 vision isn't it.

Hope you are still around to see my reply...
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