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Old Mar 23, 2015, 08:04 PM
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United States, MD, New Market
Joined Apr 2010
43 Posts
Question
iCharger 106B+ "Capacity Cut-Off"

As I start to explore the capabilities of the iChargers I just purchased, I'm finding that they have many more user adjustable settings than I'm use to with my older NiCd only chargers. The one that has me thinking right now is the "Capacity Cut-Off" setting. I understand what it does (although I never changed it when setting up the user memory for cycling my 700 & 1000mAh NiCd batteries), but was wondering if there's a "rule of thumb" that you'd use when setting this parameter. My initial thought was that 10 to 15% should do it. So on my 1000mAh NiCd batteries it would be 1150mAh, and on my 4000mAh LiPo batteries I'd set it at 4600mAh. Am I in the right ballpark?

Also, I just ordered a few Parallel Charge Boards from Progressive RC, so I'm assuming that if I want to charge two of my 4000mAh LiPo batteries via the Parallel Charge Board, I'd need to set the Capacity Cut-Off at 8000mAh, plus the 15%, so 9200mAh. Again, am I thinking this through correctly?
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 08:08 PM
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So. Cal.
Joined Oct 2004
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FWIW, I always completely disable capacity cutoff on all of my chargers. For NiXX, I use dV/dT termination as primary and temp sensor as secondary. For LiXX, I always perform balance charges and terminate on individual cell voltage.
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 05:12 PM
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propwash17's Avatar
United States, NJ, Bergenfield
Joined Jun 2004
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Hi, Homer712
Julez, a frequent poster here, wrote a piece about desired settings for the Ichargers, See below.

Julez
iCharger setup walkthrough
Hi!
I noticed that some people have problems to completly understand what they do when they are in the settings menu for the first time.
I can understand that, with all the excitement about the new toy.

So I think I will post a walkthrough for the settings menu, where I explain how I set up my chargers, and why I did it the way I did it.

So, lets start: Press the "stop" button until you you see "Settings", then press "enter".

- Lithium Battery check time: 0min (I check the cell number myself, and do not want the charger to interfere with my decision afterwards. Also I want it to start charging directly, not after some amount of time)

- Balance speed slow
- Balance trickle on
- Li Balance: CV phase
(This will ensure perfectly balanced packs. The charger will not stop charging, before the packs are perfectly full and perfectly balanced. Good packs do not need a lot of balancing anyways, but trying to balance them before they reach the CV phase might actually cause imbalance as the internal resistance plays a role here, and so the overall charge and balance process might take longer.)

- Wait time: 2min (This is enough. Cycling packs at a current where they get noticably warm serves no useful purpose anyhow.)

- Trickle: 10mA (This is enough as well. The right compromise between a fully charged pack and a dagerous overcharge.)

- NiMH Sensitivity: 3mV
- NiCd Sensitivity: 5mV
(This is a good low value. Shoud you notice premature charge terminations, increase the number. This is better than hammering packs with a too high value from the beginning before even trying out lower ones.)

- Check delay: 0min (Better have a false peak than overrinding the real one. I had never false peaks with the good cells these days. And generally, one should do a slow forming charge on long unused packs anyhow.)

- Temp. cut-off: 50C (Thats a good value.)

- Safety timer: Off (I often charge my packs at low rates over night, sometimes as long as 40h to recharge my 20Ah field battery. I'm in no rush, and your batterys aren't, either. They like slow charges. So enable them. Also, a pack that needs severe balancing might need a long charge. I suspect the time limiter the reason why people sometimes report failed attempts to balance a pack. The charge was terminated by the timer before it was finished with correctly balanced cells.)

- Capacity cut-off: Off (Same reason as above. Also, this feature offers no real protection. What if you charge a pack that was only half discharged? With the packs total capacity as cut-off value, it would still only trigger after the pack was 150% overcharged to begin with. I never use it and never needed it.)

- Input limit: See your power supply current rating, set accordingly.

- Cut-off (they mean input voltage here): 1-1.3V lower than what you power supply's voltage rating is. 12V when using a starter battery in a car, 11v when using another 12V PB battery.

- Watt limit:
- Charge: Auto (This will ensure not to overload any power supply. The power will be automatically reduced when hitting the cut-off voltage (see above). A very nice feature!
- Discharge: I set the maximum here. In very hot conditions, a little lower might be nice.

- Key beep: Off (It's annoying)
- Buzzer: On (I want to be warned if something's wrong)
- Completion ring (Depends. When you are in a hotel sleeping next to your chargers, you want it OFF, that is for sure)

- Back-light: 70% (It's enought, and easier on the LEDs)
- Fan: Auto (Works great. No point in having the fan run always or never)

- Discharge reduce: On, 30% (Makes faster discharging possible, without premature cutoffs)

- Regenerative discharge: ??? (I never touched this feature. If you do, make sure you know exactly what you are doing)

- Termination voltages:
- LiFe: 3.60V
- LiIo: 4.10V
- LiPo: 4.15V (every 0.10V less will give you double the cycles. A small price to pay for a little bit of reduced capacity. You are supposed to leave in 20% charge anyways for a long pack life.)
- Pb: 2.30V (13.8V is a very good voltage for a 12V PB battery, anything higher is not so good.)

That was it. Hope you find it helpful at least a little.

Cheers,
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 07:35 AM
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United States, MD, New Market
Joined Apr 2010
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Propwash17,

Thanks for the reply. So far, since getting my iChargers, I have made it about 1/3rd of the way through the 1000+ pages and 15,000+ posts in the iCharger 106B+ thread. Interesting reading and I learn something new every day. Thanks again, I've copy/pasted your post, turned it into a document and printed it out for future reference.
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 08:47 AM
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United States, NJ, Bergenfield
Joined Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer712 View Post
Propwash17,

Thanks for the reply. So far, since getting my iChargers, I have made it about 1/3rd of the way through the 1000+ pages and 15,000+ posts in the iCharger 106B+ thread. Interesting reading and I learn something new every day. Thanks again, I've copy/pasted your post, turned it into a document and printed it out for future reference.
Hi, Glad it was helpful. I copy/pasted that article when it was first posted and found it extremely useful. I've had my two chargers (1010B+ and 306B) for years and can say they have been (knocks on wood) trouble free. Enjoy your charger, Cheers, Ron
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