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Old Jan 06, 2002, 02:55 PM
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Orbit Microlader V6 Charger

The Orbit Microlader V6 with just a few things to get used to from your old charger but worth the learning curve.

I did find one very alarming warning to share with you all.

I charge up to 14 cell packs with no problem but today I tried to charge two 12 cell packs in series and the charger starting pulling 8 amps from my supply then later in the cycle it starting pulling 16amps!!! but that was not the worst.

I came back to check it after about 18 minutes and found that it was pulling 22amps!!!
The display turned blue green then went blank!
The charger got so HOT I feared it would catch fire as you could not touch it anywhere for more than a second!

If they only put a fan in the darn thing it probably would not have any problems.

The charger is an excellent investment but use it with a watchful eye when fast charging more than 20 cells simultaneously.
But word to the wise, Never leave a charger un-attended while passing high currents in any direction!

Land Softly
Lorenzo
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Old Jan 06, 2002, 03:27 PM
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I learned this from a post on chargers by Rkane

"The rough formula for calculating DC power supply current rating is: (Vpeak*Achargerate)/Vsupply, where Vpeak is the voltage of the battery pack just before peak, Achargerate is the maximum charge current you expect to use, and Vsupply is the voltage of your power supply.

The voltage on my 8 cell packs will go over 14 volts before peaking. If I charge at a 3 amp rate, the power delivered to the pack is 42 watts (14v*3A) just before peak. The charger will have to draw that amount of power from the supply, plus some additional to make up for it's own internal losses. Assuming a 12v DC supply, the current into the charger will be 42watts/12v=3.5 amps, plus a little to keep the charger warm. A 10 cell pack would require nearly 18 volts to maintain a 3 amp charge rate, so it would draw (18v*3A)/12v=4.5A. A charge rate of 3A into a 24 cell pack would draw 10+ amps from the 12v DC source. "

So with two 12 cell packs in series you had 24 cells or a Vpeak of around 43 Volts, if you wanted a 8 amp charge rate from a 12 V power supply you would actually draw 28.66 amps at peak. The charger was just trying to do what you asked it.

Brad
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Old Jan 06, 2002, 08:02 PM
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But why did it get so hot the screen went blue ?
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Last edited by Kevin Murray; Jan 06, 2002 at 08:37 PM.
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Old Jan 06, 2002, 10:07 PM
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I think is has to do with your power supply. I have charged up to 20 cells on both my V5 and V6 with no problems. I used only a 12v auto battery though.
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Old Jan 07, 2002, 05:22 AM
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Here's a thought.

Did you make sure the heat sink was clear? It needs to be clear of other objects as most heat is taken away by convection.

Rob
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Old Jan 07, 2002, 05:53 AM
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Hey Rob I really appreciate you trying to help resolve my issue and I have installed on the unit 2 fans and now it if very happy.

I'm going to keep the unit as I love it and really don't have a need to charge that many cells simultaneously anyway as I have the Dymond Super Turbo and the Simprop.

Heck I was just testing the limitations...


Land Softly
Lorenzo
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Old Jan 07, 2002, 07:59 AM
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Orbit problem found

Hello again guys,

Well you folks are a bunch of smart cookies as you all suspected something other than the norm was going on with my overheated V6.
Fred Bronk even thought it was the Power supply, and guess what, he hit the nail on the head.

Turns out the meters on the front panel were telling me the story that I did not listen to.

The ampmeter clearly showed 22amps when the charger wanted 28.xx amps and the actual PS output was limited internally to 22~25amps which left my poor lil' V6 struggling to makeup some 4 to 8 amps outta nowhere, thus the unusually high heat.

I really appreciate you guys digging into this issue and questioning me til' I got off my butt and delved deeper. The transformer in the PS can handle 40amps but the current limiting circuit was holding it at 22~25amps surge which strained both the PS and the Orbit.
I adjusted the PS to output 35amps and voila the Orbit performed as expected and though pretty darned hot, it was not near as hot as before. I think this is the norm you all knew to expect...

As Glen, Fred, Chris, Rob, Jason and others so eliqently put it, the charger was doing what is was asked to do.

ORBIT IS THE GREATEST... I still wished it had a fan though-hehehe

Land Softly
Lorenzo
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Old Jan 07, 2002, 08:34 AM
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you could always mount some mini fans onto the heatsink... or remove the heatsink and put a peltier in between instead...

the v6 is specced to do 30 cells. if it doesn't, there's something wrong. it may get hot, but so do nicad packs
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Old Jan 07, 2002, 09:07 AM
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The outflow from my NiCad cooling tube flows over my Orbit.
The cooling fins are cool to touch when charging 20 cells at 8 amps. Have not tried 32 cells yet.
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Old Jan 07, 2002, 11:57 PM
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Glad the V6 is in good shape, that is the main thing!

I am no electronics wiz, but have heard of many problems when someone uses a PS. Call it a lucky guess
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Old Jan 08, 2002, 03:36 AM
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Thanx to all of fella's who gave input as it was all very interesting and helpful.

But thank you Fred B. for hitting the rascal on the head as that would have been the last place I looked as all of this stuff is only a couple of weeks old.


Land Softly

Lorenzo
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