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Old Mar 29, 2008, 12:33 AM
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jcm1010's Avatar
Milwaukee
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Charging A123 cells with astro 109 upgraded with a123 chip

I just upgraded my astro 109 charger with the A123 Ver 1.2 chip. When I plug the pack in it reads as a 6 cell pack and charges to 21.6v. Only problems that it is a 7 cell pack. I switch the chip back to the old 109 chip and it still read as a 6 cell pack but charges to 25.2. Has anyone else had a problem charging 7 cell A123 packs with the upgrade chip.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 10:26 AM
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lutach's Avatar
New Jersey
Joined May 2004
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I charge my 10S packs with my 109 and it charges them as a 9S pack.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 10:34 AM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
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Toronto (Don Mills), Canada
Joined Dec 2002
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Can you check that the displayed voltage is correct, either with a multimeter or Wattmeter?

I have a V1.1 A123 charger and it gives the correct voltage and cell count, so something is not quite correct with yours.
But the A123 can't change cell count in phase 1, so often I have to reconnect it if the packs starts of completely discharged.


Pat MacKenzie
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 01:33 PM
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Pittsburg KS, USA
Joined Dec 2000
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If I run my 5 cell packs down completely then my 109 (123 chip) will see it as a 4 cell. I just plug in the pack and turn the knob all the way up, it will charge for the first 30 seconds then say charge is complete, repeat that one or two more times and it will get the voltage high enough to see it as a 7 cell from the start then your good to go.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 07:53 PM
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You are running your packs down to a voltage that is within the valid voltage range for both a 4 cell and a 5 cell pack. Remember an Astro 109 will at start up always choose the lowest valid cell count for the voltage range. Now with the A123 version Cycle 1 is only 30 seconds long so the voltage did not rise high enough to cause a cell count bump before it locked in the cell count a cycle 2.

So turn the amps knob full right (A123 M1's can take the amps) and if the cell count is low at C2, just unplug and start again.

I have never had to restart more then 1 times even with packs up to 8S..

Brad
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Torrance
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no problems with the 123 chip works great
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 01:26 PM
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HighNear90's Avatar
Oxford, MS U.S.A.
Joined Aug 2000
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I installed the A123 chip in my 109 and it works great for my 7s packs......But will it charge my 10s pack? I plugged the pack in and it says "xc1"......is the "x" the roman numeral for "10" or is it saying "what the heck did you just plug into me".....Does anyone know?

THanks,
Leo
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Yes, it is saying that you have a 10 cell pack, and it should charge fine. They only had one digit available to display the cell count, so they couldn't display "10".

Which version of the firmware do you have?

Dan
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 01:59 PM
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United States, UT, Salt Lake City
Joined Oct 2007
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I have a ASTRO Deluxe 12 --
in fiddlin around -I found it works just fine on A123 -5 cell etc., packs - just jot down the desired max voltage -when fully charged - then -turn knob to zero -then wind it to th full right -watching th voltage - IF--the pack is charged up -th voltage will climb quickly above desired voltage
IF it is lower than desired voltage - let it charge and once it gets a bit over desired voltage th nunbers will climb fast
shut it off. You wil lfind that th pack will likely be a but UNDER charged--
But I use a good VOM and read the cells after about 5 minutes and if charge is 3.5 aprox per cell - close enough
if reading is 3.7 v per cell -- still-- close enough-
If yo can't stand by and watch the charge -- do not try this - it will possible wreck the cells if it runs up into 5-6-7 volts per cell.
don' say you were not warned ---
spel chek borke
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 02:10 PM
Oxford,Mississippi
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Oxford, MS U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Baldwin
Yes, it is saying that you have a 10 cell pack, and it should charge fine. They only had one digit available to display the cell count, so they couldn't display "10".

Which version of the firmware do you have?

Dan
THanks Dan, I'll check the firmware version when I get home. I don't know what I was thinking and bought the switch and resistors that pmack says in this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...3&postcount=56

But I guess I don't need them.....Anyone need them? I bought 3 of each (switch and resistors).

--Leo
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 07:44 PM
Oxford,Mississippi
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Oxford, MS U.S.A.
Joined Aug 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Baldwin
Which version of the firmware do you have?

Dan
It's version 1.2 and I put the 10s pack on the charger and it charged them to 36v.......WoooooHoooooo.......I don't have to buy another charger......!!!!!......

--Leo
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 08:02 PM
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twest's Avatar
United States, MA, Ware
Joined Jul 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcm1010
I just upgraded my astro 109 charger with the A123 Ver 1.2 chip. When I plug the pack in it reads as a 6 cell pack and charges to 21.6v. Only problems that it is a 7 cell pack. I switch the chip back to the old 109 chip and it still read as a 6 cell pack but charges to 25.2. Has anyone else had a problem charging 7 cell A123 packs with the upgrade chip.
Are you using a balancer? I just bought an 8 cell a123 pack, and on the first charge, one cell was so low that I had to charge the pack for 2 hours at 0.25 amps with the blinky in place. My pack was reading as a 7s pack because one cell was way under charged.

Since I balanced the pack, the has been charging/discharging normally, with the cells in reasonable balance. I don't think you need to use a balancer with each and every charge with a123, because they can tolorate over/under charging well, but you definately need to use one on the initial charge.
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 08:31 PM
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Torrance
Joined Feb 2005
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I have a spare a123 chip for new astroflight chargers, $10 plus paypal and shipping fees.
pm me or email is fri003@pacbell.net guaranteed not DOA
also have the a123 blinky $20
and one extrema blinky set up for 123's $30
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