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Old Jan 17, 2010, 01:53 PM
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SteveM732's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by heymac View Post
And, yes, the PL-8 has Preset adjustments for Lead Acid charging from 1 to 12 cells. Does that do it for you?

Keep these good questions coming.

Heyward
Heyward,

I could be wrong, but I think you get a cell count error if you try to charge anything but 6V, 12V, or 24V lead acid batteries. We'll for sure have to ask about this.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Joined Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by SteveM732 View Post
Heyward,

I could be wrong, but I think you get a cell count error if you try to charge anything but 6V, 12V, or 24V lead acid batteries. We'll for sure have to ask about this.
OK, I have no Pb batteries to test, so was only reporting on what appears in the Preset Options. If it is there, I bet it will be implemented, but we will inquire.

heyward
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 03:40 PM
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RCnGuy's Avatar
United States, IL, Schaumburg
Joined Dec 2007
760 Posts
SteveM,

2 things...

My Cellpro 10s always starts charging showing a screen that says:

"CHARGING Press
MODE for Info."

If it's not already, it would be great if the PL 8 would start the charge showing the main charging screen automatically. Just a little annoyance to have to hit MODE every time.

2nd question... Just curious why the PL 8 was/is not a PL 10? I know they can be piggy backed together but since the older "HD charger" is 10s, I'm kind of surprised that the new PL isn't 10s If it was a price/design issue, I for one would rather pay a little more for a PL 10 than for a PL 8.

Dave
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 04:44 PM
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Joined May 2005
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Would have been nice if they made it work up to 10-12S, arg!!!
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Joined Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by Captain Norway View Post
This is looking good...

I use 7s 4200 batteries in 7s1p, 14s1p, 14s2p and 14s3p configs. My largest plane is a 3DHS 126" Slick with 14s3p 12.4Ah. That is 6 x 7s 4200 packs powering a Plettenaberg Predator 37 @ 18kW WOT.

Erling
Nice photo of all those cells charging at once. Here is a relevant excerpt from one of the FMA engineers:

A single master charger will be able to send over the same preset to each slave, and the charge of all packs can be initiated from the MASTER.

If the preset was set up for Auto Cell Detect, it would also handle different cell counts on each pack connected to the MASTER/SLAVES.

If the preset was set up for Auto charging, then each charger would also calculate the current using the fuel table of the preset. If all the packs were same brand, that should work very well.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:33 PM
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ggcrandall1's Avatar
USA, GA, Marietta
Joined Aug 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCnGuy View Post
SteveM,

2 things...

My Cellpro 10s always starts charging showing a screen that says:

"CHARGING Press
MODE for Info."

If it's not already, it would be great if the PL 8 would start the charge showing the main charging screen automatically. Just a little annoyance to have to hit MODE every time.

2nd question... Just curious why the PL 8 was/is not a PL 10? I know they can be piggy backed together but since the older "HD charger" is 10s, I'm kind of surprised that the new PL isn't 10s If it was a price/design issue, I for one would rather pay a little more for a PL 10 than for a PL 8.

Dave
Dave,

The first screen when charging begins is:
Charging xS
Set (charging amps) 4.20V

Where xs is the cell count and
the charging volts could be either xc or the actual amp value.

At this point the Inc/Dec buttons are used to scroll through the various information screens.

As to 8 cells vs 10 cells that was a design decision made by the FMA engineers. I am sorry but I don't know what criteria went into that decision.

Glen
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:36 PM
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USA, GA, Marietta
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Originally Posted by OICU812 View Post
Would have been nice if they made it work up to 10-12S, arg!!!
Would have been nice if it was 20s and 2000 watts but who knows?????????

Glen
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:37 PM
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Seattle
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Originally Posted by OICU812 View Post
Would have been nice if they made it work up to 10-12S, arg!!!
+1. This is surely the one feature that the heli guys (like myself) will point out as the thing that kept from being the perfect charger. The defacto pack configuration for 600 and 700 class helis is 12s (2 packs). Though this charger could charge two packs in parallel, I really prefer not too. Not as safe, and more wiring/rewiring to mess with.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ggcrandall1 View Post
Would have been nice if it was 20s and 2000 watts but who knows?????????

Glen
No. Too much charger for me. I don't want or need that capacity. Plus it'd been too expensive. But if it were 12s it would be "right sized" for an emerging market of large heli owners. For now most of those customers are likely to opt for a different charger that suits thier needs better.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:44 PM
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ggcrandall1's Avatar
USA, GA, Marietta
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Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
+1. This is surely the one feature that the heli guys (like myself) will point out as the thing that kept from being the perfect charger. The defacto pack configuration for 600 and 700 class helis is 12s (2 packs). Though this charger could charge two packs in parallel, I really prefer not too. Not as safe, and more wiring/rewiring to mess with.
Well there is the option to parallel chargers. So it's possible to split a 12s into two 6s packs (probably already are) and charge them together.

Also parallel charging should not be a concern. The beta team has been doing this regularly with this charger and others.

Glen
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:52 PM
Captain Norway's Avatar
United States, TX, Houston
Joined Oct 2007
2,221 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by heymac View Post
Nice photo of all those cells charging at once. Here is a relevant excerpt from one of the FMA engineers:

A single master charger will be able to send over the same preset to each slave, and the charge of all packs can be initiated from the MASTER.

If the preset was set up for Auto Cell Detect, it would also handle different cell counts on each pack connected to the MASTER/SLAVES.

If the preset was set up for Auto charging, then each charger would also calculate the current using the fuel table of the preset. If all the packs were same brand, that should work very well.
This sounds very good in deed...

It would be very nice for me to be able to charge my 6x 7s batteries with one click of a button. For me, I would probably be best off getting 6 of these chargers and 3 more 600W power supplies. Then I could do 5C charging with just plugging all the packs in and press one button....
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:54 PM
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USA, GA, Marietta
Joined Aug 2005
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Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
No. Too much charger for me. I don't want or need that capacity. Plus it'd been too expensive. But if it were 12s it would be "right sized" for an emerging market of large heli owners. For now most of those customers are likely to opt for a different charger that suits thier needs better.
Well that was supposed to be a bit of tongue in cheek.

But one nice thing is that FMA is becoming more active in the forums. So suggestions made here have a better chance of finding their way to FMA management. Although it would be better still to email FMA directly with suggestions for future enhancements or products.

howard@fmadirect.com

So here is a great place to find out about the PowerLab 8. Ant the direct line to FMA is the best place to make your suggestions for new products.

Glen
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ggcrandall1 View Post
Well there is the option to parallel chargers. So it's possible to split a 12s into two 6s packs (probably already are) and charge them together.

Also parallel charging should not be a concern. The beta team has been doing this regularly with this charger and others.

Glen
The reality is that parallel charging is a concern. Will FMA guarantee that pack life will not be affected because of cells that were not properly balanced during parallel charging ?

It is one thing to say you have been doing it ...... and another to say that you guarantee the user will have no increased safety, or performance issues.

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Old Jan 17, 2010, 06:02 PM
CPII HD & PL8 beta tester
Jack Doherty's Avatar
Aubrey, Texas
Joined May 2009
92 Posts
My Cellpro 10s always starts charging showing a screen that says:

"CHARGING Press
MODE for Info."

If it's not already, it would be great if the PL 8 would start the charge showing the main charging screen automatically. Just a little annoyance to have to hit MODE every time.


Dave

The PL8 can start a charge two ways.
1. If "Hold ENTER for Fast Start" is not checked the following screens appear

Set Charge Rate?
>x.xxA

Set Discharge Rate?
>x.xxA

Start?
CHARGE ONLY
DISCHARGE ONLY
MONITOR
x CYCLES (You choose what you want to do)

Use Banana
Jacks? Y/N

LiPo LiPo LiPo
ENTER TO CONFIRM

You are now charging and this window appears.

CHARGING xS
Set Ax.xxC x.xxV

The INC and DEC button can now be used to toggle through info screens. NOTE: these screen can have their order shifter, or hidden or even some screen can be added to the default screens list.

2. The second way to start a charge if "Hold ENTER for Fast Start" is checked the following screens appear

Use Banana
Jacks? Y/N

LiPo LiPo LiPo
ENTER TO CONFIRM

You are now charging and this window appears.

CHARGING xS
Set Ax.xxC x.xxV

Hope this helps
Jack Doherty
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 06:08 PM
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USA, GA, Marietta
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Originally Posted by Ultraviolet View Post
The reality is that parallel charging is a concern. Will FMA guarantee that pack life will not be affected because of cells that were not properly balanced during parallel charging ?

It is one thing to say you have been doing it ...... and another to say that you guarantee the user will have no increased safety, or performance issues.

Parallel charging on the PowerLab 8 is safe as you must parallel the balance taps as well as the main charge leads. Therefore there will never be a single cell that can be over charged. The other beta testers and I have seen this in practice.

However I am not here to convince you about parallel charging. If you do not think it is safe then by all means don't.

As to FMA giving a guarantee that it is a safe procedure I expect they don't. But then I don't expect that any other manufacturer does either.

Glen
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