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Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM
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Tucson, Az
Joined Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by CatBird View Post
Yep, I have bigger and nicer chargers as well. While there is certainly one charger that will charge any battery you can imagine, there's not one that is the best in every case. I think it pays to have a range of quality chargers.
Amen to that. It took some time but I have many differnt birds and several chargers that now work pretty good. Big plus is battery life is much better than before. I time all my birds and even if heli still has good power, end flight and move on to another. It can save you $$ if you fly several helis instead of flying one back to back.
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Old Yesterday, 10:01 PM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
erdnuckel2's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by i812 View Post
If you plan on flying bigger faster heli's then you'd probably want a better charger than what y'all have been posting about.

I recommend a programmable charger that:
  • displays rest Voltage (you don't want to fly a LiPo's below 3.7 resting Voltage, therefore I time my flights so when I land, unpowered it is about 3.7 V)

  • measures LiPo's internal resistance (provides indication of LiPo's "health", higher internal resistance as the LiPo ages over time indicates lower power output, which indicates why LVC occurs sooner)

  • multiple serial cell balance charging capability (if you anticipate wanting to fly bigger faster heli's then you probably should anticipate wanting a charger that can balance charge 1, 2, 3, and/or maybe more cell LiPo's).
I have the mSR 4 Port 1S Charger, two (mCPxBL and 130) 2S chargers, and a programmable $20? Turnigy (HobbyKing) A6 Charger that can do 'em all (but doesn't display "rest" Voltage, nor measure internal resistance)

I've parallel charged, but I'm not a big fan of it, because I often want to charge more than one battery at a time that aren't at the same discharge Voltage.

If I ever purchase another charger, I will make sure it displays rest Voltage, can measure internal resistance, and can simulatneously charge multiple LiPo's. I think HobbyKing cells at least one type of Programmable "Quatro" 4 Port Balance Charger that can charge up to four 6S LiPo's at a time.

Also I don't like my A6's menu system because its 1 line display requires scrolling up, down, and sideways through the menu systems. If I remember correctly, the newer more expensive IMax chargers have larger displays with more user friendly Graphical User Interfaces
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...FSVo7AodaW4AzA
???
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 PM
Heli's rule!
dacaur's Avatar
Midvale, Utah, USA
Joined Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i812 View Post
If you plan on flying bigger faster heli's then you'd probably want a better charger than what y'all have been posting about.
of course we would.... I don't think anyone here charges their nano cpx batteries with their "real" chargers unless they are using a parallel board....
Of course I could be wrong though.... Some people open soup cans with chainsaws.

I think the original conversation was asking if he should get a parallel board for his 1010B+ or if there was a better way....
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Old Today, 12:19 AM
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United States, CA, Santa Monica
Joined Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacaur View Post
I think the original conversation was asking if he should get a parallel board for his 1010B+ or if there was a better way....
Exactly. Did I miss anything, or is the only way to have control over each cell I charge using the 1010B+ is one at a time? If so I'll stick with mg plug broken out of the stock charger,
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Old Today, 04:54 AM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
erdnuckel2's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Randallcs View Post
Exactly. Did I miss anything, or is the only way to have control over each cell I charge using the 1010B+ is one at a time? If so I'll stick with mg plug broken out of the stock charger,
you can get an adapter like this:
http://www.miracle-mart.com/store/in...roducts_id=721
(just as example!)
This will give you at least control over 3 individual cells at a time with the 1010B.
There is another adapter from GT power (again, just as example), which lets you put two of these in the 6S balancer port. (however, I noticed that - at least at my charger - charging 6 of the 1S cells as a 6S at a time is a little less accurate than charging 3 of the 1S as one 3S with the adapter I linked)

Hope that answers the original question ...
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Old Today, 07:43 AM
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rcflyair's Avatar
United States, OK, Ada
Joined Jun 2007
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I've got a few of these left....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blade-nano-c...e=STRK:MESE:IT
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Old Today, 10:10 AM
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CatBird's Avatar
Louisville, Colorado
Joined Oct 2007
341 Posts
There are three potential problems with serial adapters like that one. First, they don't work at all unless all of the sockets are filled. Second, most smart chargers alarm when cells are way out of balance, so you may have to get the battery voltages fairly close (just like with a parallel board) in order to charge them. Third, most chargers also alarm if one cell is charging much faster than the others, so you will have to use it with a pretty similar group of batteries.

Contrast that with a parallel board. You can charge between 1 and 6 batteries. You have to make sure the cells are all close before you attach them (probably a little closer than with a serial board). Capacities don't have to match.

The truth is, a balancer is an artificial way of achieving what you get for free if you just charge cells in parallel. I understand the desire to make use of your nice hardware, but when it comes to 1S batteries, you just don't need anything all that sophisticated. The best thing about the simple multi-circuit chargers is that you can circulate batteries through as you fly them, but a parallel board may suit you just fine if you tend to charge everything up and then head out for a session.
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Old Today, 11:39 AM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
erdnuckel2's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatBird View Post
There are three potential problems with serial adapters like that one. First, they don't work at all unless all of the sockets are filled. Second, most smart chargers alarm when cells are way out of balance, so you may have to get the battery voltages fairly close (just like with a parallel board) in order to charge them. Third, most chargers also alarm if one cell is charging much faster than the others, so you will have to use it with a pretty similar group of batteries.

Contrast that with a parallel board. You can charge between 1 and 6 batteries. You have to make sure the cells are all close before you attach them (probably a little closer than with a serial board). Capacities don't have to match.

The truth is, a balancer is an artificial way of achieving what you get for free if you just charge cells in parallel. I understand the desire to make use of your nice hardware, but when it comes to 1S batteries, you just don't need anything all that sophisticated. The best thing about the simple multi-circuit chargers is that you can circulate batteries through as you fly them, but a parallel board may suit you just fine if you tend to charge everything up and then head out for a session.
I know it is hard for people to understand, the only thing I really want is to see whats going on (even more than just being able to use my "nice hardware")
Thats more or less all - and when you try to do that, it gets costly pretty quick
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Old Today, 12:34 PM
Heli's rule!
dacaur's Avatar
Midvale, Utah, USA
Joined Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randallcs View Post
Exactly. Did I miss anything, or is the only way to have control over each cell I charge using the 1010B+ is one at a time? If so I'll stick with mg plug broken out of the stock charger,
nope you got it, what you are doing is the only good way to do it with your current charger, without going to a parallel board, where you don't have control over each cell...

If you watch your local classifieds, you can probably find a 4 port celectra charger for $20-$30 eventualy... I see them every 3-6 months where I live.... You can get one off ebay for about $25-$30 shipped, or just buy a new one for $50....
IMO that's the most convenient way to charge them assuming you only use 150mah (or so) 1 cell batt's....

Though, that hitec x4 micro looks pretty cool if you have other brand 1 cell batteries as well, it looks like you could run that off a 3 cell lipo with a simple homemad adapter, or use it on 110v at home. The X4 micro does show you the mah you put in to each cell....
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Last edited by dacaur; Today at 01:03 PM.
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Old Today, 12:54 PM
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Joined Dec 2011
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Just wanted to add another thought into the mix...

On my iCharger 106B+, I use the multi-cell balance-adapter cables like the one listed in the Ebay link above to do all of my charging. I've got 2S, 3S, and 6S versions of those cables for both NanoCPX-style batteries (I've got 2S, 3S, and 6S versions for Losi (Walkera-style) batteries, 3S and 6S for mCPX-style batteries, and 3S and 6S for JST plugs like the ones used on the 120SR and mQX). I used to just parallel charge all of my packs but I found I was getting inconsistent results that way when I mixed new packs with old ones. I prefer the balance-charge cables for all my charging needs now.

When I charge with these, I always use the charger's balance charging mode so that each cell is individually charged as close to 4.2V as the charger can get it.

After flying my packs, I'll put them back on the harness and put them into storage voltage (which also balances them to 3.85V). That way they're ready for charging on the multi-cell adapter the next time I want to fly. Now, if I have a pack that wasn't flown because I crashed and broke the heli or something, then I'll have to put that one on separately and put it into storage voltage again that way.

The only time I use a parallel charge adapter anymore is when I have to charge multiple multi-cell packs like my 2S packs for 130X, mCPX BL, or my 3S packs for my 450X. However, when I put those back into storage charge, at least for the 130X and mCPX BL packs, I use a balance adapter cable that supports 3 packs at a time and thus balances all cells individually (2 per pack) to storage voltage at 3.85V per pack.

I like the iCharger as it lets me look at the internal resistance of each battery. That's helped me on numerous occasions to diagnose packs that seem to have poor performance (as opposed to something wrong with the heli like a motor going bad...)
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Old Today, 01:07 PM
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rcflyair's Avatar
United States, OK, Ada
Joined Jun 2007
533 Posts
Hmmmm, this parallel vs. serial charging has been discussed many many times over the years. I prefer to serial or balance charge, but that's only because I like to see what's going on with each individual cell, and I already have all the stuff.

Parallel charging is great too and has many advantages over serial charging, like cost and speed of charging multiple cells up.

They both work good, and each has advantages and disadvantages.....

edit - sounds like RoboHeli's got it goin' on by using both!!
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Old Today, 01:11 PM
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Joined Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erdnuckel2 View Post
That type of larger display isn't what I meant.

I'm not interested in wanting to see a graph of how the battery Voltage increased over time as it charged.

I'm more interested in having a User Interface that's easy to use.

For instance, sometimes I'll come home with a broken heli, with some LiPo's still fully charged, and some discharged. And for whatever reason, I may decide I might not be flying that heli any time soon, so to get maximum longterm life out from those LiPo's I'll decide to charge/discharge those LiPo's to the recommended ~3.8 V Storage Charge level (supposedly LiPo's stored above or below that recommended Storage level, permanently degrade faster).

To Storage Charge a LiPo with my $20 Turnigy A6 Balance Charger, I'll have to SCROLL through each one of my A6's Menu "Trees" one by one selecting the stuff I want to do. For example, to Storage Charge a LiPo, I'd have to press this sequence of buttons to scroll through the entire Storage Charge procedure:

First I have to Scroll through the Main Menu to select Battery Type, which might require the following button presses:

+ + + + + + LiPo

press enter

then to Scroll through the LiPo subMenu to select Storage Charge might be:

+ + + + + + Storage

press enter

then to Scroll through the Storage subMenu to select 1S Cell might be:

+ 1S

press enter

then to Scroll through the Storage subMenu to select charge/discharge current might be:

+ + 0.2 A

press enter

then press enter again to start its program routine

then it beeps indicating it checked the Voltage of the Battery that is plugged into the charger, and it "thinks" that LiPo might be OK with what I programmed the Charger to do, but wants me to double check everything just to make certain

press enter, to continue

then the Charger does it's thing very well, and automatically stops charging when finished and generates a loud audible tone indicating it's done.

That wasn't TOO bad of a Menu scrolling EXCERSIZE (only 20 or so finger push button presses)

But it's worse than that. Normally when I want to Storage charge my LiPo's, I'll start with some fully charged and some discharged. The LiPo's that are fully charged need to be discharged to 3.8 V, and the LiPo's that are discharged need to be charged to 3.8 V. The A6 Charger knows this, so before it does anything it measures the LiPo's Voltage and adds or subtracts charge as needed until the LiPo reaches 3.8V. My biggest problem with the A6 Charger is it only allows the user to select ONE "Storage Charge" current. If I play it "safe" and select a 1C "storage charge" current, then it will take "forever" to discharge a fully charged LiPo to 3.8V. If I don't want to wait "forever" to discharge the fully charged LiPo's, I can select 25C "storage charge", but when I plug the discharged LiPo the charger will charge it at 25C to bring it up to the 3.8V "Storage" level. The A6 charger doesn't display the Battery's resting Voltage, but if it did, then I'd be able to "see" which charge or discharged LiPo I'm trying to "Storage" charge, and then better choose the best charge/discharge rate to use.

I bought the A6 a few years ago, because many people in the micro threads I read stated it works fine, lasts a long time, and was cheap. I'm not absolutely upset I bought it, because for $20 I think I got my $ worth (I could have easily paid much more locally for something that worked just as well). All I'm saying is looking backwards, I'd rather paid $100 for something that had a better Graphical User Interface, not to see "graphs", but so I don't have to do as much "finger pressing EXCERSIZE" each time I want to do something different, as well as have something that displays the LiPo's rest Voltage as soon as I plug it in to the charger, and a more sensible Storage Charge scheme (IMO the Storage Charge menu should allow both a "charge" AND "discharge" current setting)

BTW, in my earlier post you quoted, I erroneously stated I've been "eyeing" the IMax chargers, but after re-looking at the HobbyKing selection, I meant to post I've been eyeing the newest most expensive iChargers with the bigger Graphical User Interfaces, not because of Graphing capability (if any), but because of how easier it is to navigate through their Menu systems compared to my A6 two line display charger.

Thats just my preference, because I place a priority on how easy it is to navigate the user interface, because I frequently charge, discharge, and storage charge many different 1S, 2S, 3S LiPo's, and NiMH's.
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Last edited by i812; Today at 01:23 PM.
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