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Old Jun 12, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Multi Charger Comparison

I am new to RC flying and am looking at purchasing the E-Flite Apprentice PNP as my first rc plane.

This is going to require I supply a Tx, Rx, and Battery (and get my own charger and power supply to finish the deal). I am going to go for the recommended battery, a 3200mAh 3S 11.1V 20C LiPo. I want to have several batteries on hand, so I can fly for an extended period of time and not have to worry about charging down-time (i.e. I'll be cycling multiple packs through a charger while flying). I will later be adding other rc planes to my collection also using LiPo batteries, so I want it to be versatile.

I have read the discussions in this thread about the Hitec x4 Quad, but I have been wondering about the other similar brands as well:

HobbyKing Eco4 4x6 200 watt ($70)
HobbyKing 4B6 200 watt ($77)
HobbyKing Quattro 4x6 200 watt ($90)
Thunder T6 200 watt ($90 - $100)
Turnigy 4x6 ($100)
SkyRC/iMax Quattro B6 200 watt ($120 - $140)
Turnigy 4x6 400 watt ($120)
Hitec x4 Quad ($150)


1) Between the 200 watt charger (50wx4) and the 400 watt charger (100wx4), what can I expect for a charge time using the above listed battery for the Apprentice, and

2) Is it worth the bump up to a 400 watt?

3) Besides DC power, what kind of AC power supply unit/rating would I need?

4) Does anyone have experience with these and/or can give their personal flavor on them? Again, I am only looking for multi chargers at this point.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by REVOJohn View Post
just guaging interest......what if there was a 1500W charger in a case that could give you AC input + DC input for the field and give you full power. That is like a portable charge station for home & field? Interesting??
well, that would be nice - but 1500 watts is a lot of power and it would need to be in 24 volt form to make any sense at all

plus 4 independent outputs or so ... this is pricey stuff
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c0p0ut View Post
I am new to RC flying and am looking at purchasing the E-Flite Apprentice PNP as my first rc plane.

This is going to require I supply a Tx, Rx, and Battery (and get my own charger and power supply to finish the deal). I am going to go for the recommended battery, a 3200mAh 3S 11.1V 20C LiPo. I want to have several batteries on hand, so I can fly for an extended period of time and not have to worry about charging down-time (i.e. I'll be cycling multiple packs through a charger while flying). I will later be adding other rc planes to my collection also using LiPo batteries, so I want it to be versatile.

I have read the discussions in this thread about the Hitec x4 Quad, but I have been wondering about the other similar brands as well:

HobbyKing Eco4 4x6 200 watt ($70)
HobbyKing 4B6 200 watt ($77)
HobbyKing Quattro 4x6 200 watt ($90)
Thunder T6 200 watt ($90 - $100)
Turnigy 4x6 ($100)
SkyRC/iMax Quattro B6 200 watt ($120 - $140)
Turnigy 4x6 400 watt ($120)
Hitec x4 Quad ($150)


1) Between the 200 watt charger (50wx4) and the 400 watt charger (100wx4), what can I expect for a charge time using the above listed battery for the Apprentice, and

2) Is it worth the bump up to a 400 watt?

3) Besides DC power, what kind of AC power supply unit/rating would I need?

4) Does anyone have experience with these and/or can give their personal flavor on them? Again, I am only looking for multi chargers at this point.
This is a good charger with same user interface and probably same hardware as some of the hitecs. I'd avoid the AC powered supply, and instead get something like this. That way, you can take the charger to the field without the power supply, and charger batteries while your flying.

If you have the budget, I'd recommend an iCharger 3010b or 306b or a power lab 8, and a paraboard with a server power supply for home use. This will give you room to grow, allow you to charger batteries in parallel, etc.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 01:20 PM
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Also, the 4x50 watt chargers are pretty slow to charge. I'd skip the e-flite battery and get a gens ace 25c--a much better battery for the money in my opinion. The connectors are also better in my opinion. You'll have to modify the connector on your ESC with something like these.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 07:47 PM
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If you have the budget, I'd recommend an iCharger 3010b or 306b or a power lab 8, and a paraboard with a server power supply for home use. This will give you room to grow, allow you to charger batteries in parallel, etc.
This is great information. I did not know there was such a thing as a paraboard. I will definately check this out.

Would I be able to add batteries to the board at different times? (i.e. If I had one battery charging, then used one flying and wanted to charge that one, could I just add it to the paraboard, while the first battery is finishing up?)

Is it the paraboard what monitors the type of battery connected and its charging status and self regulates each battery, or do I need to set the charger for one specific type of battery and only connect identical batteries to the paraboard simultaniously?
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by c0p0ut View Post
This is great information. I did not know there was such a thing as a paraboard. I will definately check this out.

Would I be able to add batteries to the board at different times? (i.e. If I had one battery charging, then used one flying and wanted to charge that one, could I just add it to the paraboard, while the first battery is finishing up?)
No, I wouldn't do that. Take a look at this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c0p0ut View Post
Is it the paraboard what monitors the type of battery connected and its charging status and self regulates each battery, or do I need to set the charger for one specific type of battery and only connect identical batteries to the paraboard simultaniously?
The paraboard simply connects all of the batteries you're charging in parallel, and also connects all of the balance ports in parallel. Connect the main leads of your batteries first. The batteries have to be the same type and cell count. I only do it with the same capacity, too, though, strictly speaking, that might not be necessary. I also verify that the batteries are all discharged to about the same voltage. The 3010b automatically dectects the number of cells. Not sure about the 306b and power lab 8, but I assume they do as well. You connect one battery, then its balance connector, the next battery, then its balance connector, etc., then start the charge. Don't remove batteries unless the charge is done or you've stopped it.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 01:50 PM
3JJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c0p0ut View Post
I want to have several batteries on hand, so I can fly for an extended period of time and not have to worry about charging down-time (i.e. I'll be cycling multiple packs through a charger while flying).
Just a thought... Do you really need x4 charger? I mean all modern LiPo's can be charged at least 2C without noticable effect to the battery life. Meaning that one charge with normal 80% used battery takes ~30mins with balancing. So by cycling packs, you have a fresh pack after every 15mins with just 2x charger. Just remember to let the pack cool a bit after flight, because charging them when still hot really shortens the lifetime of the packs. So you need 4 packs (1 in flight, 1 cooling after fligh, and 2 charging) and the capability to chagre at least 2C, and you have all the air time you need.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 3JJ View Post
Just a thought... Do you really need x4 charger?
I wasn't sure what the charging time would be for the batteries I need on the Apprentice, so I was looking for something to keep me airborn for a while in the field.

If it only takes about 30 minutes, I probably don't need an x4, but I might want it for bragging rights. =)

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:46 AM
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Don't forget you have to lug around all that 'bragging rights' gear

I prefer the iChargers as they are small yet powerful. A 208b can charge 20A / 350W yet is practically the same size as an imax b6.

Can't see ever needing more capability than this with a paraboard unless I get into 10 cell packs or more.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by c0p0ut View Post
I wasn't sure what the charging time would be for the batteries I need on the Apprentice, so I was looking for something to keep me airborn for a while in the field.

If it only takes about 30 minutes, I probably don't need an x4, but I might want it for bragging rights. =)

Thanks for the suggestions!
Only those who don't know better would be impressed by an x4 over an icharger or power labs.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 02:02 AM
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Need charger for JR Propo Max W4C-3SN-AM

I inherited the system, and it came with everything but the charger for the transmitter and receiver. HELP!! misbell54@yahoo.com
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 3JJ View Post
So by cycling packs, you have a fresh pack after every 15mins with just 2x charger. Just remember to let the pack cool a bit after flight, because charging them when still hot really shortens the lifetime of the packs. So you need 4 packs (1 in flight, 1 cooling after fligh, and 2 charging) and the capability to chagre at least 2C, and you have all the air time you need.
After much searching on the 4x chargers, I see your point on a 2x. Are any of these (or others) good and/or can handle the =/>2C charge rate?:

Hitec Ultima x2 Dual Port Charger 400W
ProTek Prodigy 610 Duo 200W
SkyRC B6 Ultimate 200W x2
SkyRC iMax B6 Duo Dual Channel Charger 400W
SkyRC B6 Ultimate 800W Duo Charger

Which can I run off of my car battery while in the field?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 06:10 AM
Everything is Upgradeable.
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I wanted to jump in and share my personal experience. I have a briefcase that houses 2 power supplies at 47a with over 1,000w available. Cost for this was 110.00, case 20.00, 2x fans 20.00, miscellaneous plugs and adapters 25.00. For about 165.00 it can be plugged into 110v or at the field I unplug the power supplies and feed 12v at a lower amperage. It is very simple and easy to use. The chargers are a i-charger 3010b and a 50w turnigy for backup or single lipos up to 6a. I also have buddy plugs for my friends to use 12v if they need it. The turnigy runs off of one power supply at 12v and the I-charger at 24v. Here is a picture. Hope this helps.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Have you done 30 amps on 6S via AC with that setup, postalflyer?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 02:45 PM
Everything is Upgradeable.
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The most I have done at one time was either 4x 6s 4200 mah at 1c. Those were expensive packs, 18 amps. Or many of my 3s 2200 at 2c 6x 2200= 26 amps. I also ran the smaller one for odd lipos that couldn't be charged with those, such as 4s 2650. So not needed yet but available.
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