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Old Sep 28, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Monticello, WI
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Multi4 Problems

Well, I got my new charger very quickly, but there are problems. It is seeing a "phantom" fourth cell when I hook up 3s LiPos (and, yes, I have the recommended balancing adapter for my batteries). Interestingly, while Cells 1 and 2 are balanced, Cell 3 reports lower (by about 0.26v) and "Cell 4" shows a small voltage roughly equal to the amount Cell 3 is down (~0.25 - 0.28v). I doubt that's coincidence.

Two of the three LiPos I played with are brand new and unflown, yet the symptoms for all three packs are the precisely same. Unlikely and, again, I think not coincidental.

The next problem is that the charger sees either the low voltage reported for "Cell 4" or the "imbalanced" Cell 3 as a "Low Voltage Cell" problem, alarms out at three minutes into the charge cycle, and won't do anything except a "Low Voltage Restore" attempt that also times out after three minutes. I tried both the Generic and Storage Charge presets and got the same results. I seem to be stuck.

Ideas anyone?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 07:57 PM
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Monticello, WI
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Interesting ... it works fine with a 2s pack. But it persists in seeing a 3s as a 4s.

Hmmm ...

Mark
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 12:42 AM
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Sounds like some kind of short between cells 3 and 4 either of the balance adapter board or inside the charger.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 04:56 PM
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Monticello, WI
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Here's more: When I try to charge a 4.8v 300 mah NiMH pack using Preset 18 or 19, it goes to "CHECKING PACK," then alarms and gives a "UN-BAL ONLY -- PUSH TO RESET" diagnostic. A reset replays the same scenario. I was using the unbalanced power connector/pigtail shipped with the charger.

I am beginning to suspect a problem on the charger board, but don't want to mess with it unless the guys at FMA tell me to open it up and look. Actually, I'm also getting to the point where I'd prefer having a new charger to trying to diagnose the problems with this one.

Mark
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Still sounds like a short somewhere, the NiMH pack should supply no voltage to any of the three inner pins, but somehow a voltage is getting to one or more pins which causes the charger to think you've plugged in a balanced pack.

When you did the NiMH charge did you use just the two wire cable that came with the charger plugged directly into the charger or did you use some other adapter in addition?

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Old Sep 30, 2010, 08:44 PM
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Monticello, WI
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Thanks.

I agree; it does sound like a short somewhere. As to the NiMH charging effort: yes, I used the supplied FMA connector/2-wire pigtail. Thus, if there is a short, I suspect it's on the charger board somewhere. I'm thinking it may be between pack positive and node 3 at the connector socket, as that might also explain the 3s/4s anomaly encountered with LiPos.

Again, though, I don't want to risk voiding the warranty by messing around with it. I'll just have to wait until FMA weighs in with its diagnosis. Howard??

Mark
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkLL View Post
Thanks.

I agree; it does sound like a short somewhere. As to the NiMH charging effort: yes, I used the supplied FMA connector/2-wire pigtail. Thus, if there is a short, I suspect it's on the charger board somewhere. I'm thinking it may be between pack positive and node 3 at the connector socket, as that might also explain the 3s/4s anomaly encountered with LiPos.

Again, though, I don't want to risk voiding the warranty by messing around with it. I'll just have to wait until FMA weighs in with its diagnosis. Howard??

Mark
Hi Mark,

I sent you an email this afternoon telling you that I entered a case for you in our accounting system so a return authorization can be sent to you. Thank you for your efforts in helping troubleshoot this problem. The photos did not show any problems and we will swap out the charger for you. This will be done from our Maryland location.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 09:39 PM
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Monticello, WI
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Howard:

Thanks for the follow-up. Sorry; for whatever reason, I did not get your email regarding the return authorization.

Do I have to send the charger back to Singapore, or do I send it to you? Do I need to return everything, or can I retain the USB cable/adapter and connector/2-wire pigtail for unbalanced batteries here? When can I expect a replacement?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Howard:

Thanks for the follow-up. Sorry; for whatever reason, I did not get your email regarding the return authorization.

Do I have to send the charger back to Singapore, or do I send it to you? Do I need to return everything, or can I retain the USB cable/adapter and connector/2-wire pigtail for unbalanced batteries here? When can I expect a replacement?

Thanks,

Mark
Hi Mark,

When you receive the RA, it will have the ship to address you need to use (our Maryland location), and instructions to put the RA number on the shipping box. If you purchased the charger as a combo deal, you should return all the items together. They will process a 1 to 1 swap for everything. The replacement charger and any items will ship out as soon the charger is received. You will be receiving an email From Ms. Elena Book who will handle the return and replacement. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. Thanks.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Thanks, Howard. I appreciate your help.

Mark
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 09:58 AM
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Question on Graphs in CPM4

I just received my Multi4 and so far I am ecstatic about it! I am experimenting and trying different screens with CPM4 V1.66 on the computer, and I noticed when in the View/Graph window that at the bottom of the graph it lists the "Time Started" as 01:51:27 - 05-27-2000. The actual time I started to charge the particular battery was about 7:22:30 - 10-17-2010!
I assume this listed time and date is supposed to be the actual time I started the charge. It doen't change at all. Should it? and if so how do I correct it?
I am using the latest version of Windows XP with Ver 8 Explorer. All else is working just fine. Not worried - just curious!!

Thanx
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SuperCub Man View Post
I just received my Multi4 and so far I am ecstatic about it! I am experimenting and trying different screens with CPM4 V1.66 on the computer, and I noticed when in the View/Graph window that at the bottom of the graph it lists the "Time Started" as 01:51:27 - 05-27-2000. The actual time I started to charge the particular battery was about 7:22:30 - 10-17-2010!
I assume this listed time and date is supposed to be the actual time I started the charge. It doen't change at all. Should it? and if so how do I correct it?
I am using the latest version of Windows XP with Ver 8 Explorer. All else is working just fine. Not worried - just curious!!

Thanx

Hi,

Have you checked the time and date on your PC, that is where it takes it from?
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 04:04 PM
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Hi,

Have you checked the time and date on your PC, that is where it takes it from?
How embarrasing! Thanks Howard - that was indeed the problem. It's an old computer I keep in the dusty shop for the odd airplane related search etc! Great for the charger though!!
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