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Old Jan 29, 2015, 12:22 PM
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Charger Options for High Capacity 6S Batteries

I have been researching the last couple days charges. I am building a Losi 5T Brushless truck and will be using 6S 8000mah in parallel. I might go 8S in parallel at some point but that is just overkill on these in my opinion. Don't I need a 40lb land missile. Currently have a 4 port for the smaller plane batteries but its only 80W per channel and 5amps so they won't charge in my lifetime. As batteries get higher capacity I will likely be getting those for longer run times so I want a charger that can charge in a reasonable amount of time.

I have a Protek 1000W power supply with adjustable power input up to 30V/40A so that is covered.

I am open to suggestions.

Hyperion 720i Duo. Had this one previously when I owned an HPI Baja Brushless and it worked well.

ICharger 4010 Duo. Similar price to Hyperion but no experience with it.

FMA Dual Powerlab 8x2.

Are these overkill for my application. What are your thoughts? Other cost effective options that would meet my needs?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 12:49 PM
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Not enough power supply for the FMA Dual PowerLab 8 x 2 (if you want it fully capable). Really sounds like you answered your own question. You are familiar with the Hyperion so probably should get it.

Myself, I had the Hyperion but as I got inot more 6S and greater I found I started to be less happy with the charging times. I currently have the FMA Dual Powerlab with 2, 2000 watt power supplies attached to it.

So here are some numbers to consider.

You said you are using 6S 8000 mAh in parallel (assuming 2 packs)

That means these batteries are appx 384 watts. So if you use the hyperion and max it out, to charge these batteries in parallel would take approximately 23 minutes,

If you did go to 8S 8000 then your batteries are appx 512 watts so to charge these in parallel would take appx 30 minutes
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 04:28 PM
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In my opinion, given the ~$270 price of the Hyperion, it is not a good value. You get 20A+20A, 1000W total. It only has 200mA of balance current, and can do 40W+40W of internal discharge if you need to bring down a charged pack.

The iCharger 308Duo, for instance, is also $270. But it does up to 8S LiPos, 30A+30A, 1300W total. It has 1.2A of balance current, so it will balance large packs much more quickly. The color screen shows a lot of info at once, which is nice. It can do 80W of discharge on one port, 120W total, and if you build an external resistive load, you can discharge from LiPos on one port, into resistors on the other port, at 650W. Discharging big packs much much faster.

The 4010Duo is $350, up to 10S LiPos, 40A+40A, 2000W total. Still 1.2A of balance current.

There are 10%-off coupon codes available for the Revolectrix site, bringing down the $370 price of a Dual PL8.

If you have multiple sets of these packs to charge in parallel, such as qty 4 of 6S 8000s, your power & current requirements go even higher. 32A, 800W, for just a 1C charge.

To me, the Hyperion is overpriced for what it offers, and the balance current limitation will really slow down balancing of large packs.

I deliberately imbalanced a 6S 4800 by 0.1V, and did a 1C, 4.8A charge. My iCharger 106B+ has 300mA of balance current, and needed almost 5 hours to balance charge the pack. My 308Duo, at 1.2A, took an hour and a quarter to balance charge it. When I combined both channels, for 2.4A of balance, it was done in 45 minutes.

I would look at alternatives to the Hyperion, if it were me. The Duos offer some nice features, and the quality of the PowerLabs is outstanding (PL6, PL8, or Dual PL8).
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 04:48 PM
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thank you for the input. I am actually leaning away from Hyperion right now for a couple reasons you noted and that it only goes to 7S. Also if I need to get a 2000watt power supply down the road I think it would be a wise investment. My only worry is that may begin taxing the standard house outlets and I prefer not to push that envelope for my hobby.

I think it is down to the following:

Dual PL8

308 Duo

Any thoughts on one vs the other.
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lafuerza View Post
thank you for the input. I am actually leaning away from Hyperion right now for a couple reasons you noted and that it only goes to 7S. Also if I need to get a 2000watt power supply down the road I think it would be a wise investment. My only worry is that may begin taxing the standard house outlets and I prefer not to push that envelope for my hobby.

I think it is down to the following:

Dual PL8

308 Duo

Any thoughts on one vs the other.
One Cellpro PL8 charger is rated for 40 amps max and 1344 Watts max. For your 8S LiPo pack, that would be leveling off at 8 cells times 4.2 Volts DC, or 33.6 Volts DC. With the 1344 Watt rating, you'd be pulling 1344/33.6 or right at its 40 Amp rating.

With a 16 Amp Hour rating between the two packs, that would charge your batteries at 16 Amp Hours/40 Amps, or 0.4 hours, 24 Minutes.

Since your power supply is limited to 1000 Watts, it would take a bit longer. FYI, you can program the PL8 to limit maximum charging current to protect your 1000 Watt power supply.

The Cellpro chargers also have available a multi battery charger adapter that allows parallel charging multiple batteries. This adapter also has electronic fuses on all the balance wires, just in case.

Also, get the USB dongle, since that allows the user to program the PL8 charger to your exact needs, right down to naming the battery pack, and its Amp Hour capacity on its LCD screen. The PL8 charger has 25 different selectable modes of charging, just scroll through the list and pick the appropriate charge mode. I've labeled one of my modes, to show "TwinStar" 5S2P A123 on the LCD display, for example.

In your case, you could have your PL8 charger show 8000 Mah LiPo 40 Amp Chg.
Or 16000 Mah LiPo 40 Amp Charge. You can even program the unit to show your name and phone number on its LCD display during power up.

I've got two of the PL8's they're built like trucks.
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lafuerza View Post
thank you for the input. I am actually leaning away from Hyperion right now for a couple reasons you noted and that it only goes to 7S. Also if I need to get a 2000watt power supply down the road I think it would be a wise investment. My only worry is that may begin taxing the standard house outlets and I prefer not to push that envelope for my hobby.

I think it is down to the following:

Dual PL8

308 Duo

Any thoughts on one vs the other.
2000W is a lot of charging power. If running on 110V in the US, instead of 220V, you are unlikely to achieve 2000W of output. You need to use 220V to do that.

The Dual PL8 is twice as powerful as the 308Duo. If charging 6S, the Dual PL8 can do 40A/1000W on each channel. If charging 8S, 40A/1344W on each channel. The Dual PL8 is physically larger than the 308Duo, I'm pretty sure.

The 308Duo has a better screen. The Powerlab has the nice PC software for configuring/controlling the charger, as vollrathd mentioned. The Duo iChargers have better options for powerful discharges, but that may not be a big factor for you. The PowerLabs have 1A of balance current; a little less than the Duos, but still much more than the Hyperion. The PowerLabs are likely to be more reliable/robust than the iCharger Duos, from what I've seen.

Either a PowerLab or a Duo would be a very good choice, in my opinion. It comes down to your preferences. And either is a vast step up from a 4-channel 80W/channel charger.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 12:15 AM
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2000W is a lot of charging power. If running on 110V in the US, instead of 220V, you are unlikely to achieve 2000W of output. You need to use 220V to do that.
.
That is correct. If my math is correct though, out of a standard 15 amp circuit, you should be able to draw 1800 watts. Of course that is provided that nothing else is on that circuit. Again, that was part of the reason I used two, 2000 watt power supplies hooked up to my FMA DPL (one per side).
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 12:24 AM
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I see that Jungsi is making product/clone for HobbyKing. What are your thoughts on the reaktor. 1000W at 30A. 500ma balance vs 1000ma though.

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...e_Charger.html

two of these would be $250

I already have my flame suit on so just asking opinion vs the others I am looking at to do a similar job. I have had HK stuff before and worked well enough.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 03:58 AM
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I've been using a Dual PowerLab 8x2 the past 14 months and it has been rock solid. I used two PL8's (original v1's) for four years prior to my DPL8x2 and not one has ever failed or required service.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 05:02 AM
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You will get lots of answers, all different.

Buy a Thunder Power one. It's a nice bright red. I've got one. And like everyone else I don't think I'm stupid.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rocket_33 View Post
That is correct. If my math is correct though, out of a standard 15 amp circuit, you should be able to draw 1800 watts. Of course that is provided that nothing else is on that circuit. Again, that was part of the reason I used two, 2000 watt power supplies hooked up to my FMA DPL (one per side).
You can draw around 1800W from 15A, yes. That also assumes you're getting 120V, not 110V, just as a note. But don't forget that everything has an efficiency. Maybe 80-90% for the power supply, and my chargers measure 85-90%. My rule of thumb is that what you can put into your packs is about 75% of what you draw from the wall. In the case of 1800W, that means you can output around 1350W from the charger. This may be too-conservative in some cases, but it helps make things more realistic, at least.

In the case of the Dual PL8, it has 2 separate inputs, one for each channel. Making it simpler to run power supply A off one 110V circuit of your house, and power supply B off another 110V circuit of your house. Reducing the need for using 220V. The iCharger Duos just have single inputs, so you can't use two totally separate, lower-wattage supplies to feed a 4010Duo, for instance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lafuerza View Post
I see that Jungsi is making product/clone for HobbyKing. What are your thoughts on the reaktor. 1000W at 30A. 500ma balance vs 1000ma though.

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...e_Charger.html

two of these would be $250

I already have my flame suit on so just asking opinion vs the others I am looking at to do a similar job. I have had HK stuff before and worked well enough.
The listed price is $140, it came up and offered it to me for $130. I don't know where you're located. But a genuine iCharger 306B is $160 (granted, this seems to be a clone of the $190 3010B, since it goes up to 10S). And you could buy from somewhere like ProgressiveRC, who provides excellent customer support (unlike HobbyKing). I'd give some thought to whether saving ~$50 or so is worth the risk. Progressive also does deeply-discounted out-of-warranty repairs of iChargers, if you had an issue in the future; I doubt they'd repair a Reaktor. Oh, do note that the single-channel iChargers only go up to 500mA of balance current, it's only the Duos that have 1.2A/2.4A.

And at $250 for the Reaktors, you're nearly to the price of a 308Duo. If charging 6S, the 30A chargers are "only" 750W anyhow. So the 1300W total of a 308Duo isn't that much less than 2 of the Reaktors at 1500W. And it's only a single charger to deal with, etc.

If you didn't need 2 channels, a PowerLab PL6 or PL8 would still be very good solutions.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lafuerza View Post
I see that Jungsi is making product/clone for HobbyKing. What are your thoughts on the reaktor. 1000W at 30A. 500ma balance vs 1000ma though.

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...e_Charger.html

two of these would be $250

I already have my flame suit on so just asking opinion vs the others I am looking at to do a similar job. I have had HK stuff before and worked well enough.
If it works as well as the smaller Reaktor (20amp, 300 watt), then it will be fine. No flame suit required!

They are copies (or clones) of the iChargers, and there is some discussion if they are actually made at the same plant. Personally, I have had both, and there is very little difference besides the price.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 01:14 PM
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Love the great input. I found a great deal on a FMA Powerlab 8x2 and bought it today direct from Revolectrix and so I am at least done with that portion.

Looks like I will work on the settings to reduce its draw from the power supply. My Protek 1000 is only good for 1000W at 30V/40A. I think I can live with 500W per channel for now.

I have never had a need to parallel charge but as I move forward what adapters/accessories do you gentlemen recommend for the Powerlab 8x2? My large capacity packs use EC5 connectors.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 01:22 PM
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Congratulations on the new Dual PowerLab 8x2! I've really been enjoying mine the past 14 months. I'm using mine with a single 48V 1500W power supply and I can still fly almost non-stop with just two flight packs for my model. I use a 2000W field generator and only charge at the field so there's no point for me to add another power supply since I can already max out my generator with the power supply I have now.

Keep us posted and let us know how you like it.

Also, in case you're not aware, there is a dedicated FMA forum section here:

http://www.rcgroups.com/fma-direct-623/
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 02:51 PM
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Good choice, that should be a great charger!

I don't know whether you can configure things so that both channels collectively won't draw more than a certain amount of power? So if that if one channel finishes, the other can automatically make use of the "freed-up" power, for instance. Maybe a user can help shed some light on that.

Not sure if you ordered the USB adapter, but it sounds very useful.

This page may be worth a look, it has info on Revolectrix's wiring adapters:
http://www.revolectrix.com/cellpro_adapters.htm

Most batteries (except Thunder Power, and a few others) use JST-XH balance connectors. At the link above, Revo says they refer to JST-XH as GP. You'll probably need something to adapt from FMA's wiring standard, to a typical JST-XH ("GP") connector.

For parallel boards, FMA makes a fully-fused parallel board, the MPA board. It accommodates up to 6 packs, up to 8S. Very capable, though not inexpensive. It was one of the first boards to have fuses for every main plug, as well as every wire of every balance plug. I believe it is currently sold only with Deans plugs. There was a bare-lead version at one point, so you could add your own connectors, I'm not sure if that version is still sold. I think this board handles the conversion from MPA-style wiring, to JST-XH, without needing an additional adapter.

I'm using fully-fused parallel boards from BuddyRC.com. Mine are the V3 Safe Paraboards. Only up to 4 packs, up to 6S, but they are under half the price of the MPA board, which is nice, especially if buying 2. You can daisy-chain boards together, if you wanted to charge 8 packs off a single channel. Their EC5 version:
http://www.buddyrc.com/paraboard-v3-xh-ec5.html

ProgressiveRC has fully-fused parallel boards as well.
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