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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:11 AM
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misleading advertising

This looks like a great charger and I will probably be ordering one but some of the advertising is not very accurate.

Ex: iCharger 208B $0.57 / Watt. Well the iCharger comes will all the required cables & computer interface[/U] and costs about $150. That's about $0.43/Watt ($0.47 with shipping). I guess if you find the highest retail price available then maybe the posted numbers work. Still, $180 / 350W = $0.51/Watt

The PowerLab costs $280 +$25 computer interface + $15 for basic adapters (who knows how much the parallel adapter will cost). That's about $ 320 or $0.32 / Watt, not $0.28 / Watt as advertised.

Still an awesome piece of kit.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by marc1 View Post
This looks like a great charger and I will probably be ordering one but some of the advertising is not very accurate.
Considering that the price per watt for the iCharger 1010B is correct and they listed the 208B cost as the same then I think it is pretty clearly a copy and paste error. The correct price should be about $0.49 per watt. Now that it has been pointed out I'm sure they'll get it corrected.

It is not fair to claim FMA costs should include the PC interface and adapters, the PL8 can easily be used without the PC interface and adapters. Maybe for you the cost per watt of the PL8 is a little higher due to your need to have the PC interface and adapter boards, but I don't think that qualifies as deceptive advertisement. Where were you when Ford said the Mustang I purchased would get 28MPG on the highway?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by biskit View Post
Is the balance port the same FMA plug but with more pins?
The jack on the PL8 is 9 pins and follows the FMA pinout. Unless you put their 9 pin balance tap cable on all of your batteries then you will need to make or purchase an adapter board. FMA should make these available in the near future.

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Originally Posted by biskit View Post
Any update on the graphing ability? (specifically the ability to overlay)
I believe the FMA engineering department is looking into this feature to see how difficult it will be to implement. I have faith that FMA will get that feature added in the next few months, but as far as I know they have not yet committed to adding the feature.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by biskit View Post
$240 is an amazing price! $200 will still only get you about 200w in other chargers.

Is the balance port the same FMA plug but with more pins?

Any update on the graphing ability? (specifically the ability to overlay)

Yes the balance port is the same FMA plug with 9 pins. (JST PA series)

Currently the PowerLab 8 graphs can not be overlaid. I also would like to see this function implemented.

Jack
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveM732 View Post
It is not fair to claim FMA costs should include the PC interface and adapters, the PL8 can easily be used without the PC interface and adapters. Maybe for you the cost per watt of the PL8 is a little higher due to your need to have the PC interface and adapter boards, but I don't think that qualifies as deceptive advertisement. Where were you when Ford said the Mustang I purchased would get 28MPG on the highway?
I think it's fair to include the cost of the PC interface in the overall total solution cost. If you look at the second feature listed on the web page (http://www.fmadirect.com/new_applica...powerlab8.html) it says:

"Log and Graph all major operations when using free Charge Control Software (CCS)"

Well, that feature is not available w/o the PC interface.

Secondly, whenever users do encounter problems, the first response is typically, upgrade to the latest firmware. Again, not possible w/o the PC interface.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveM732 View Post
The jack on the PL8 is 9 pins and follows the FMA pinout. Unless you put their 9 pin balance tap cable on all of your batteries then you will need to make or purchase an adapter board. FMA should make these available in the near future.
Have the node adapter configurations been finalized? Will there be a node adaper that allows a serial connection for 2x 4s packs? Or will the adapters be designed for 1 pack only?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteB View Post
I think it's fair to include the cost of the PC interface in the overall total solution cost.
I wouldn't buy a PL8 without a PC interface and was very adamant in my suggestion not to buy the Multi4 without one. While the PL8 is better about not needing the PC interface to access advanced features, you won't get plotting and firmware upgrades as you pointed out.

My point is not that you won't want to buy the PC interface cable. My point is that the PL8 and PC interface cable are separate products so I don't feel that the PL8 advertising is misleading or inaccurate. The total solution cost is not going to be the same for everyone as there are a fair number of people out there with FUIM2 cables and a fist full of balance adapters that can be made to work with the PL8.

The dollar per watt chart is a quick reference to show you how it places compared to other popular chargers. Do we really need to bring in the lawyers to add an asterisk and fine print to tell you that the pricing of the chargers may not accurately reflect the price at your favorite retailer, that extra cost options are not included, and the the model pictured in the advertisement is actually not the base model that was used for the price comparison?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 02:34 PM
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I think the point is that, if comparing to other chargers it should be done like for like. An iCharger comes with USB built-in, so the cost to have USB connectivity on the PL8 should be factored in whether or not it will be used. More of an apples to apples comparison.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chainring View Post
I think the point is that, if comparing to other chargers it should be done like for like. An iCharger comes with USB built-in, so the cost to have USB connectivity on the PL8 should be factored in whether or not it will be used. More of an apples to apples comparison.
It is real hard to compare apples to apples because it is hard to find two manufacures that make the same two apples exactly alike. But we can try to get a little closer by adding things on to make them look more alike. Let's say you don't already own a FMA usb adapter (many do, and only one is needed to connect to most FMA products) and you don't already own any adapters so let's add them in even though it would be a savings to many not to be required to buy if not needed. Now let's assuming that the iCharger can be bought today for the price listed in a previous email I quote below.

"Ex: iCharger 208B $0.57 / Watt. Well the iCharger comes will all the required cables & computer interface[/U] and costs about $150. That's about $0.43/Watt ($0.47 with shipping). I guess if you find the highest retail price available then maybe the posted numbers work. Still, $180 / 350W = $0.51/Watt"

However today you can order a PowerLab 8 for $239.95, a $24.95 usb adapter and let's through in the $15.00 for adapters. 239.95 + 24.95 + 15 = 297.90 / 1008 = .2776 round to .28; .43 - .28 = .15; .15/.43 = .348 or 34.8% cheaper per watt than the charger quoted above.

Now lets say you already have a FMA usb adapter, I have three and don't need another. Now lets say you already have node adapters, I have many and don't need to buy more. In this case 239.95 / 1008 = .238 round to .24; .43 -.24 = 21.5; 21.5 / .43 = .50 or 50% cheaper per watt. 50% more apples today sounds good to me.

Jack
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Doherty View Post
It is real hard to compare apples to apples because it is hard to find two manufacures that make the same two apples exactly alike. But we can try to get a little closer by adding things on to make them look more alike.
Good point. If we are to add in the price of the FUIM3 adapter in the price comparison then how are we to compare to the chargers that don't have a PC interface at all?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 06:43 PM
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Look at Castle as an example, they included coupons for a free USB interface when you purchased their new ICE controllers.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Can someone advise me of the maximum cell balancing "bleed" current of this charger please?

Thank you in advance.
Peter
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter M View Post
Can someone advise me of the maximum cell balancing "bleed" current of this charger please?

Thank you in advance.
Peter
Default is 1 amp. Max is 2 amps. Minimum is 100ma.

Glen
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 09:08 PM
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Is the 1A max balancing bleed current per cell or in total?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wingster View Post
Is the 1A max balancing bleed current per cell or in total?
The max is 2 amp and it's per cell.

Glen
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