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Old Jun 15, 2014, 10:57 PM
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JamesonC's Avatar
United States, SC, Greer
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I need a better charger

I have been in the hobby now for about 8 months and am really enjoying it. Up till now, I have been using the chargers that have come with my BNF PZ planes. But, I am looking at buying a 4s plane and will be needing a new charger. I was hoping to get some advice on a good one to get. Here's what I'm looking for:

1. Be able to charge 2s-4s lipos
2. Not need a PhD to operate
3. Hopefully be able to do ac or dc

I'm not looking for the baddest charger on the market, just a good all around charger at a reasonable price. Thanks for the help!
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Old Jun 15, 2014, 11:06 PM
I'm Tri'n,you Tri'n?
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United States, WA, Pullman
Joined Sep 2013
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Here ya go...can't beat the price and they work great!

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...cessories.html

but you will need this also..

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...0_240v_5A.html

Still a good deal...
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 06:06 AM
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USA, GA, Marietta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesonC View Post
I have been in the hobby now for about 8 months and am really enjoying it. Up till now, I have been using the chargers that have come with my BNF PZ planes. But, I am looking at buying a 4s plane and will be needing a new charger. I was hoping to get some advice on a good one to get. Here's what I'm looking for:

1. Be able to charge 2s-4s lipos
2. Not need a PhD to operate
3. Hopefully be able to do ac or dc

I'm not looking for the baddest charger on the market, just a good all around charger at a reasonable price. Thanks for the help!
Just stating the cell count is not sufficient. You must also state the battery mah. Selecting a battery is a matter of determining the power requirement (watts).

watts = volts times amps.

So assuming your largest battery is a 4S 3000mah the power required to charge at a 1C rate would be:

16.8V * 3A = 50.4W

So you would need at least a 50 watt charger. However if you wanted to charge at a higher C rate or parallel charge multiple batteries you would need a higher power charger.

Glen
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ggcrandall1 View Post
Just stating the cell count is not sufficient. You must also state the battery mah. Selecting a battery is a matter of determining the power requirement (watts).

watts = volts times amps.

So assuming your largest battery is a 4S 3000mah the power required to charge at a 1C rate would be:

16.8V * 3A = 50.4W

So you would need at least a 50 watt charger. However if you wanted to charge at a higher C rate or parallel charge multiple batteries you would need a higher power charger.

Glen
Right now I have 2S 1300 up to 3S 2200 mah lipos. I plan on moving up to 4S and do not believe I would ever go over 3000 mah for sure.

I do like the idea of charging multiple batteries at one time though...
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 01:16 PM
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What should I be looking for to charge multiple batteries at once?
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 01:22 PM
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Watts mostly. For example if you want to charge 4 batteries at once and you don't want it to take 4 times as long as one battery, then you need 4 times as many watts.

So, as an example, using the numbers above, you would want about 200 watts to charge 4 at once at 1C or about 400 watts to charge 4 at once at 2C. (2C seems to be the most common charge rate these days though many batteries can be charged at 5C and some can be charged even faster.)

There are also some other details like a parallel wiring harness or a paraboard like this:

http://www.buddyrc.com/paraboard-v3-xh-ec5.html

(That's just an example - you would want one with whatever connectors you use - they have many options on connectors.)
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 03:08 PM
A man with too many toys
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Joined Feb 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggcrandall1 View Post
Just stating the cell count is not sufficient. You must also state the battery mah. Selecting a battery is a matter of determining the power requirement (watts).

watts = volts times amps.

So assuming your largest battery is a 4S 3000mah the power required to charge at a 1C rate would be:

16.8V * 3A = 50.4W

So you would need at least a 50 watt charger. However if you wanted to charge at a higher C rate or parallel charge multiple batteries you would need a higher power charger.

Glen

Almost nobody charges at 1C these days. Most all my batteries are rated at 5C charge or higher. If you get a charger that does only 1C you will be waiting forever for batteries to charge and balance.

I would recommend a charger in the 200-300 watt range with a balance current in the 300-500MA range. Balance current is very important and is an often overlooked specification. Higher than 500 is better but don't go lower than 300 MA. Some chargers don't tell you that number - that's a clue that it's so low that they won't say so don't consider that charger.


.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RC Man View Post
Almost nobody charges at 1C these days. Most all my batteries are rated at 5C charge or higher. If you get a charger that does only 1C you will be waiting forever for batteries to charge and balance.

I would recommend a charger in the 200-300 watt range with a balance current in the 300-500MA range. Balance current is very important and is an often overlooked specification. Higher than 500 is better but don't go lower than 300 MA. Some chargers don't tell you that number - that's a clue that it's so low that they won't say so don't consider that charger.


.
How do I know what charge rate my batteries can take? The cheap chargers that came with my planes... can I assume those are 1C charge rate? Do you have any chargers you can recommend for charging multiple 3S 1800-2200mah batteries? Thanks
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 04:14 PM
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United States, OR, Portland
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Originally Posted by JamesonC View Post
How do I know what charge rate my batteries can take? The cheap chargers that came with my planes... can I assume those are 1C charge rate? Do you have any chargers you can recommend for charging multiple 3S 1800-2200mah batteries? Thanks
If you don't see any labeling on the battery saying "safe to charge at 2c" or "max charge rate "X", then assume its only safe to charge them at 1C. Most RTF chargers are 1C yes, some a little lower, some a little higher.
A lot of people still do charge at 1C as a rule on smaller batteries that don't take that long to charge because its better for the battery in the long run. You can do multicharging with pretty much any charger with an adapter for parallel charging, which just splits the cables. Nicer/more expensive chargers have separate outputs for separate batteries where you can adjust the charge rating on each independently. Number of batteries you are able to charge at the same time is mainly a matter of how many Watts the charger is rated for.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 04:22 PM
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Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
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Quote:
How do I know what charge rate my batteries can take? The cheap chargers that came with my planes... can I assume those are 1C charge rate? Do you have any chargers you can recommend for charging multiple 3S 1800-2200mah batteries? Thanks
Even the eFlite LiPolys which come with their RTF and BNF models are rated for up to 3C charging. The chargers which come with their micro planes and helis charge the supplied Lipolys at aprox. 3C.

I have been charging LiPolys at 3C and up for over 9 years now. 1C charging was for way back when LiPolys did not have balancing leads, we did not have balancers or balancing chargers and most LiPolys were rated at less than 10C output. Things have inproved over the past 9 years but many still stick with old ways.


Tested at 5C charges and 17.7C discharges for 300 cycles years ago and I am still flying this one in a Blade 450X Heli at 3200 RPM Head Speed for 4 min flights and cells are still balanced and right at 3.8 volts each.


http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1142882
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 10:33 PM
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Would something like this work to charge 3 or 4 lipos at once?

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JamesonC View Post
Would something like this work to charge 3 or 4 lipos at once?

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html
"Three or four LiPo's at once". Please go back and read post #3 again. If you want good answers please provide all the information (cell count and mah).

It's simple math. The charger power in watts must be greater than the power required to charge the batteries in question. Calculate the watts required to charge the battery or batteries and then find a charger than support that much power. Power = watts, and watts = volts times amps.

Glen
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ggcrandall1 View Post
"Three or four LiPo's at once". Please go back and read post #3 again. If you want good answers please provide all the information (cell count and mah).

It's simple math. The charger power in watts must be greater than the power required to charge the batteries in question. Calculate the watts required to charge the battery or batteries and then find a charger than support that much power. Power = watts, and watts = volts times amps.

Glen
My apologies. I had responded to post #3 with this and didn't think to put it in there again.

"Right now I have 2S 1300 up to 3S 2200 mah lipos. I plan on moving up to 4S and do not believe I would ever go over 3000 mah for sure.

I do like the idea of charging multiple batteries at one time though... "
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 11:51 AM
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Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
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Quote:
I plan on moving up to 4S and do not believe I would ever go over 3000 mah for sure.

I do like the idea of charging multiple batteries at one time though... "
Electric flight is all about watts.

Volts X Amps. = Watts.

A 4S LiPoly cha4ges to 4X 4.2 = 16.8V
3000 mAh = 3Ah which - 3A for a 1C charge rate .

16.8V X 3A = 50.4 watts which would be required to charge one such LiPoly at 1C.
I rarley charge at less than 3C which would require 151.2 watts for one and if doing six in parallel would require 6 x 151.2 = 907.2 watts.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 01:55 PM
Arcee Moron
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The Netherlands
Joined Jun 2012
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Do get the 300W Turnigy Reaktor, very good, powerfull and silent charger and is the same as the higher priced iCharger 206B. Best bang for the bucks.

Here's a video I've made about the calibration function, but you can see some of the other functions as well.

Tech-tip #2 - REAKTOR 300W Calibration (4 min 47 sec)
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