HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Apr 22, 2011, 09:17 AM
Registered User
canadave's Avatar
Canada, NS, Liverpool
Joined Apr 2011
122 Posts
Help!
TP-610c, batteries, and balancing, oh my!

Hi all,

Complete newbie here...I've been reading up on RCGroups for a week now though. I just received a Super Cub and a bunch of other equipment from a private seller. Among that equipment is a ThunderPower TP-610c with attached balancing board (I assume that's what that is, anyway); a power supply with red and black terminals; two Rhino 11.1V 1350mAh 3s 25C batteries; and one mystery battery (it's wrapped in black hockey tape, and appears to be about the same physical size as the two Rhinos). EDIT: I unwrapped the black hockey tape--it appears to be a "home constructed" 3s battery, which I'm assuming for now is the same type as the other Rhino batteries (obviously I'd want to check that somehow, although I don't know how).

Now, I have no idea what state these batteries are in. They could all be totally dead, or they could all be fully charged--either is equally possible. The seller was getting rid of everything because he had to move and "wouldn't have time for his hobby"; but he could've last used the batteries two days ago or two years ago. I've sent a couple of emails to him asking, but have yet to receive a reply.

Anyway...so now I want to go fly. I've carefully read the TP-610c manual, and it's as clear as mud to a newbie such as myself. As I said, I've read through RCGroups extensively, and read the stickies in this forum. I know theoretically the difference between a volt and an ampere, I know what C means, etc. None of this helps me figure out what to do now though It doesn't help that I'm very dense when it comes to electrical concepts--I'm not stupid, but understanding batteries and electricity doesn't come naturally to me.

So I guess I'm just looking for some tips as to what to do here. I don't want to blow up the batteries or set them on fire due to a stupid error on my part. I'm very cautious about that--safety first always. Can anyone who's used one of these chargers share a sort of "idiot's guide" to using one?

Also...I must be dense but I don't understand this bit...how (and when) do I balance the three batteries?
canadave is offline Find More Posts by canadave
Last edited by canadave; Apr 22, 2011 at 09:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Apr 22, 2011, 09:48 AM
Registered User
Joined Feb 2008
2,657 Posts
I suggest starting here:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209187

and here:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1287041
Dave H. is offline Find More Posts by Dave H.
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 09:52 AM
Registered User
canadave's Avatar
Canada, NS, Liverpool
Joined Apr 2011
122 Posts
Yes, thanks--I saw those threads a few days ago and have read through them. I guess I was just hoping for some more specific information regarding the safe use of the TP-610c.
canadave is offline Find More Posts by canadave
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 10:22 AM
Registered User
Lilienthal's Avatar
Littleton, CO
Joined Nov 2010
1,223 Posts
This should help you get started:http://www.marcarchambault.com/files...ck%20start.pdf

There is another pdf on this guy's website about a firmware update, but I haven't looked at it.
Lilienthal is offline Find More Posts by Lilienthal
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 11:14 AM
Registered User
Joined Feb 2008
2,657 Posts
I would say the biggest safety variable by far is not the TP-610c but the unknown condition/history of those used batteries. Monitor them closely until you are completely comfortable with them. Don't assume that the previous owner knew as much about Lipos as you do. Some people treat lipos like dirt.
Dave H. is offline Find More Posts by Dave H.
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 12:52 PM
Registered User
nj
Joined Jan 2004
1,383 Posts
I have the 610 charger it's pretty simple to use once you play around a little with it...lo0k at these this may help.

http://rclipos.com/CoDocs/TP610C_QuickReference.pdf

http://rclipos.com/CoDocs/TP610C_Manual.pdf
reptileman is offline Find More Posts by reptileman
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 02:11 PM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2005
15 Posts
Someone can clarify this question that I have, the same battery Lipo,charged at 1C 50W Charger and charged at 1C a 150W Charger, can give power difference.
j.m.costa is offline Find More Posts by j.m.costa
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 02:33 PM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
34,553 Posts
Charger output power be it 50 watts or 1,000 watts charges the same battery at 1C to the same power level ,that is for a LiPoly 4.2 volts per cell.
Charles
everydayflyer is online now Find More Posts by everydayflyer
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 05:36 PM
Rangers Lead the Way
Joined Mar 2010
1,957 Posts
First off, I would dispose of the mystery battery. Just not worth the risk of a lipo fire. You can buy new batteries cheap these days. The most important thing you must do is make sure the polarity is correct on all you connections, and that includes connections to an ESC. Bad things happen when polarity is wrong. So make sure red wires are connecting to red wires and so forth.

The 610 is not hard to use but some keystrokes are counterintuitive. The important inputs are cell count and charge amperage. Charge amperage should always match the battery Ah: a "1000" battery should charge at 1.0A.

When the charger comes on:
1. First make sure you are in Lipo charge mode. Do NOT try to use the green key on the left at this point except to stop the charge when the 610 signals the charge is complete. Doing so outside of stopping the charge will lead you into a series of totally confusing menus that you don't need right now. If you screw up along the way, just unplug the charger and start over. It should be defaulted to Lipo charge mode.

2. Enter cell count - this is where things are a little wierd: you use the Stop key on the right to toggle between cell count, charge amps, and SEL mode. The selection will blink when you are on it. Use the up/down keys to set values. 3. Enter amperage same way
4. Connect the battery, both charge leads and balance leads. You can charge of course without the balancer if for some reason you cannot connect it. Be careful you have selected the correct taps on the board for you cellcount and do not try to jam the connectors together. They should be an easy fit.
5. Press and hold the Stop key; the charge will initiate. The charger will automatically detect the presence of the balance board and will automatically enter balance charging mode. If there is no balancer connected, the charger will prompt you to press the Increase (up arrow) key to confirm no balancer is connected. Once you do this, it will ask you to verify cell count. You don't need to do anything at this point - it is just a warning message to the user. The charger will automatically proceed to initial charging.

What happens next depends on the condition of the battery. In the unlikely event you were shipped fully charged batteries, the 610 will automatically terminate the charge. The screen provides pack voltage, amperage, time, and accumulated mAh during the charge. If it is partially charged, it will proceed to full charging current after inital charge. If cell or battery voltage is below the 3.7, the 610 will remain in the initial charge mode. This charger is particularly good at nursing an abused battery back to operating condition. If the battery was badly discharged, the 610 may timeout before it has fully restored cell voltage to 3.7. Just terminate the charge and restart. The 610 will once again enter initial charge mode and continue to restore. If cells are damaged or badly out of whack, the 610 will return an error message and terminate the charge.
TTRotary is offline Find More Posts by TTRotary
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 05:50 PM
Rangers Lead the Way
Joined Mar 2010
1,957 Posts
Oh, and you can only balance charge 1 battery at a time. You can charge multiple batteries in parallel using a multiprong charge cable, but I would not try this until you have some experience charging. If you do want to do that, first ensure that your charge pigtail is a parallel connection (red to red etc), not a series connection. There are several rules to parallel charging: you can only charge batteries of the same cell count, you should only charge batteries of similar MaH capacity, you should ensure that your batteries are pretty closely match in charge condition, and you should balance charge each battery individually at least every 10 cycles.

Another rule of Lipos is always use a timer when flying, and always bring the plane down with 20% charge remaining.
TTRotary is offline Find More Posts by TTRotary
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 22, 2011, 06:36 PM
Registered User
canadave's Avatar
Canada, NS, Liverpool
Joined Apr 2011
122 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTRotary View Post
First off, I would dispose of the mystery battery. Just not worth the risk of a lipo fire. You can buy new batteries cheap these days. The most important thing you must do is make sure the polarity is correct on all you connections, and that includes connections to an ESC. Bad things happen when polarity is wrong. So make sure red wires are connecting to red wires and so forth.

The 610 is not hard to use but some keystrokes are counterintuitive. The important inputs are cell count and charge amperage. Charge amperage should always match the battery Ah: a "1000" battery should charge at 1.0A.

When the charger comes on:
1. First make sure you are in Lipo charge mode. Do NOT try to use the green key on the left at this point except to stop the charge when the 610 signals the charge is complete. Doing so outside of stopping the charge will lead you into a series of totally confusing menus that you don't need right now. If you screw up along the way, just unplug the charger and start over. It should be defaulted to Lipo charge mode.

2. Enter cell count - this is where things are a little wierd: you use the Stop key on the right to toggle between cell count, charge amps, and SEL mode. The selection will blink when you are on it. Use the up/down keys to set values. 3. Enter amperage same way
4. Connect the battery, both charge leads and balance leads. You can charge of course without the balancer if for some reason you cannot connect it. Be careful you have selected the correct taps on the board for you cellcount and do not try to jam the connectors together. They should be an easy fit.
5. Press and hold the Stop key; the charge will initiate. The charger will automatically detect the presence of the balance board and will automatically enter balance charging mode. If there is no balancer connected, the charger will prompt you to press the Increase (up arrow) key to confirm no balancer is connected. Once you do this, it will ask you to verify cell count. You don't need to do anything at this point - it is just a warning message to the user. The charger will automatically proceed to initial charging.

What happens next depends on the condition of the battery. In the unlikely event you were shipped fully charged batteries, the 610 will automatically terminate the charge. The screen provides pack voltage, amperage, time, and accumulated mAh during the charge. If it is partially charged, it will proceed to full charging current after inital charge. If cell or battery voltage is below the 3.7, the 610 will remain in the initial charge mode. This charger is particularly good at nursing an abused battery back to operating condition. If the battery was badly discharged, the 610 may timeout before it has fully restored cell voltage to 3.7. Just terminate the charge and restart. The 610 will once again enter initial charge mode and continue to restore. If cells are damaged or badly out of whack, the 610 will return an error message and terminate the charge.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This is EXACTLY what I was hoping to read. I really appreciate the clear, detailed instructions--fantastic!

So, just to absolutely confirm--this charger will automatically shut off before "overcharging" a battery? I keep reading horror stories about people overcharging a battery and having it burst into flames. I just wasn't sure if this charger would prevent such a possibility. I was kind of hoping I could just put a battery into it, select the proper settings, and then have the charger "just work" without my having to worry about whether the battery is full, half-charged, low, completely dead, etc.

If I wanted to just check the status of a battery on this charger, do you happen to know how would I do that?

Thanks again, this was brilliant.

--Dave
canadave is offline Find More Posts by canadave
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 2011, 02:33 PM
Rangers Lead the Way
Joined Mar 2010
1,957 Posts
Yes Dave it is fully automatic. Glad to be of help.
TTRotary is offline Find More Posts by TTRotary
Last edited by TTRotary; Apr 23, 2011 at 02:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 2011, 09:46 PM
Registered User
RedStarArmy's Avatar
United States, NJ, Middlesex
Joined Feb 2008
1,193 Posts
Even if a charger is automatic, do understand that a lipo should never be left alone to charge.
RedStarArmy is offline Find More Posts by RedStarArmy
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 2011, 02:01 AM
Rangers Lead the Way
Joined Mar 2010
1,957 Posts
Red Star is right. I assume you have been on here long enough to understand the risks of Lipo charging but if you have not, please do. Lipos are the greatest thing to happen to RC, but they are potentially dangerous and must be dealt with carefully and with all safety precautions. They WILL burn your house down if proper safety procedures are not followed. Some rules:

1. Always set up charging carefully. Never initiate charges while distracted. Understand basic electrical setups. And NEVER charge indoors unless you are within visual range of the charger. I am always amazed at people who say they went off to do something for a while while charging. Never do this.
2. Prepare for a Lipo fire. Do not charge near or on flammable surfaces. Always carry and charge in a Lipo Sack. If in a car, ensure they are close enpough to toss out a window if one ignites. Fully charged lipos are in their most dangerous state. Read the section on "lipo fires are real!" to see what these things do when they blow. It ain't pretty...
3. If a Lipo is in ANY way damaged, puffed, or suspect, do not use it and do not charge it. Toss it right then and there. Not worth injury, or loss of house.
4. Care and feeding: Store at 3.85V - use storage function on charger. Balance a Lipo at least every 10 charges. Do not keep fully charged more than a few hours or a day at most. Do not fly your battery below 80% discharge. Use a timer and experiment until you have the right flight time.
5. Carefully match the Battery Ah to the current draw of your power system. You should leave plenty of headroom. Do not expect a 20C battery to live long if you are discharging it at 20C every single flight.

ONce I am done flying, I always charge mine back up to 3.85V per cell. Better for the battery and shortens charge times. I always charge at 1C, even if some of the newer Lipos can support faster charge rates.
TTRotary is offline Find More Posts by TTRotary
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 2011, 02:33 AM
Registered User
canadave's Avatar
Canada, NS, Liverpool
Joined Apr 2011
122 Posts
Thanks again. Yep, I'm all too keenly aware of the dangers of LiPo batteries (and have read the FAQ's on the subject in detail). In fact, if anything, they've got me so nervous that I'm afraid to go near the darned things I've ordered a Lipo Sack a couple days ago and it should be here soon, but I'm still going to have to charge the batteries indoors unfortunately. Not ideal.

I guess what's most frustrating is that even with the FAQ's, it's hard for me to grasp many of the concepts at play here. I'm very smart about many things, have an excellent knowledge of astrophysics and calculus, but Lipo batteries and electricity stuff in general defies my full comprehension for some reason. I've never had to play with electrical stuff until now, so maybe that's why it doesn't come easy to me.

For instance, I see various instructions about balancing batteries every so often. I "know" this to be true, like many of the other things I've read. Yet I have a balancing charger in the TP-610c, so the first question that occurs to me is, why would I not balance them EVERY time? Those are the kind of "bits of knowledge that don't match up in my head" that make it hard for me to grasp all this stuff--there are all sorts of things that don't make sense to me, or that I just don't know enough about yet.

Anyway, thanks--I'm sure with some experience this will all become much clearer. Hopefully it'll be experience sans house burning
canadave is offline Find More Posts by canadave
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Oh Oh, My First New Thread Post andouille Beginner Training Area (Heli-Electric) 3 Mar 18, 2011 11:51 AM
For Sale 2 thunderpower tp-610c lipo chargers balancers new 25 amp 14volt dc power supply tarnold69 Aircraft - Electric - Batteries & Chargers (FS/W) 0 Mar 06, 2011 02:49 AM
Discussion Balancing leads on batteries gregory.da Batteries and Chargers 4 Mar 05, 2011 12:53 PM
Sold Thunder Power Balancing Charger TP-610C (Cheap) RAPTOR 3D Aircraft - Electric - Batteries & Chargers (FS/W) 4 Aug 21, 2008 11:28 AM
Help! Charging Electrify BP series batteries with TP-610C charger Andy Meysner Batteries and Chargers 0 Jul 28, 2008 07:17 PM