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Old Jan 24, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Australia
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Guys, Just received my PL8 but having troubles configuring it for a LIFE battery.
Battery is 6.6V 1900 mah.

SInce there's no LIFE settings, and can;t work out how to add a new template without copying or editing an existing, I copied a Lipo temmplate.

Changed the template to:
charge at 2C
Voltage 3.310V
Termination C/20

Balance speed 1x
Balance start 3.30V (Could not go lower)

Problem is when selecting this preset, and answering the default questions. It then comes up "Lipo Lipo Lipo" Enter to confirm.

It's not a Lipo but a Life battery, if I say yes it charges to abot 3% and then it says it's finished....

Any Ideas what to do?
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striff View Post
Guys, Just received my PL8 but having troubles configuring it for a LIFE battery.
Battery is 6.6V 1900 mah.

SInce there's no LIFE settings, and can;t work out how to add a new template without copying or editing an existing, I copied a Lipo temmplate.

Changed the template to:
charge at 2C
Voltage 3.310V
Termination C/20

Balance speed 1x
Balance start 3.30V (Could not go lower)

Problem is when selecting this preset, and answering the default questions. It then comes up "Lipo Lipo Lipo" Enter to confirm.

It's not a Lipo but a Life battery, if I say yes it charges to abot 3% and then it says it's finished....

Any Ideas what to do?
Hi:

Don't use a LiPo preset to charge a LiFE battery. Use the A123 presets. LiFE and A123 use exact same charging algorithms.

Tim Marks
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks View Post
Hi:

Don't use a LiPo preset to charge a LiFE battery. Use the A123 presets. LiFE and A123 use exact same charging algorithms.

Tim Marks
OK Thanks.

Is there a method on this charger that allows for a full auto matic or close to.

For example if your out on a track, or bashing, someone comes to you with a battery and your not sure of the specs, can you plug it in and select some sort of auto setting where the charger will check the battery and charge it?

Last one, is there a way to fully edit the name., I've added the name of "LIFE 1900 Accurate" but it insists to keep the A123 in front of it. Checking the software the A123 looks to be hardcoded in Blue. Is there a way to remmove this?
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Last edited by striff; Jan 24, 2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by striff View Post
OK Thanks.

Is there a method on this charger that allows for a full auto matic or close to.

For example if your out on a track, or bashing, someone comes to you with a battery and your not sure of the specs, can you plug it in and select some sort of auto setting where the charger will check the battery and charge it?
Hi:

Yes, but you have to use a preset that matches the chemistry of your buddy's pack. The charge rate setting should probably be one of the AUTO modes 1C, 2C, 3C. Check the user guide for setting charge rates if you don't know what I mean:

http://revolectrix.fmadirect.com/sup.../item_1380.pdf

Once a preset is set to any charge rates, Auto or manual current setting, it remembers the last setting you used to charge.

Tim Marks
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks View Post
Hi:

Yes, but you have to use a preset that matches the chemistry of your buddy's pack. The charge rate setting should probably be one of the AUTO modes 1C, 2C, 3C. Check the user guide for setting charge rates if you don't know what I mean:

http://revolectrix.fmadirect.com/sup.../item_1380.pdf

Once a preset is set to any charge rates, Auto or manual current setting, it remembers the last setting you used to charge.

Tim Marks
OK thats what I thought, thanks for that.
WHat about the naming of a preset, anyway to change it so you can remove the (for example A123 in fron of it)
So instead of reading "A123Life 1900mah", I want it to read "Life 1900mah"

Cheers
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 03:19 PM
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Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striff View Post
WHat about the naming of a preset, anyway to change it so you can remove the (for example A123 in fron of it)
So instead of reading "A123Life 1900mah", I want it to read "Life 1900mah"

Cheers
This is very easy to do in the CCS. Go to the presets tab, find your preset and replace the existing text.

http://www.revolectrix.com/Presets_Tab.htm
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
This is very easy to do in the CCS. Go to the presets tab, find your preset and replace the existing text.

http://www.revolectrix.com/Presets_Tab.htm
Hi Greg:

Yeah, actually what the customer wants to do is not possible. The first few characters of every preset are hard-coded for the chemistry. These characters can not be changed. So you just have to remember that A123 and LiFE batteries are the same as far as PL is concerned.

Tim Marks
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Marks View Post
Hi Greg:

Yeah, actually what the customer wants to do is not possible. The first few characters of every preset are hard-coded for the chemistry. These characters can not be changed. So you just have to remember that A123 and LiFE batteries are the same as far as PL is concerned.

Tim Marks
Bugger, could you add that in as a future firmware adjustment? Just would make it look nicer actually having the correct name for the chemistry / battery...
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 06:56 PM
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As far as chargers are concerned LiFE and A123 are essentially the same and most chargers have only one mode for both.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:44 PM
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Australia
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Originally Posted by Turner2 View Post
As far as chargers are concerned LiFE and A123 are essentially the same and most chargers have only one mode for both.
Ok, thanks for that guess I was just being a bit pedantic...
Also have to apologies as I bought the PL-8, and realised I posted in the PL-6 thread.
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Old Jan 29, 2012, 07:34 PM
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Seattle
Joined Sep 2007
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PL6 Maximum output with an inexpensive supply

There have been a lot of questions and estimates regarding the Powerlab6’s potential when used with commonly available 24v power supplies. Much of the focus has been only on its maximum numbers (maximum input voltage, maximum wattage). When compared to other chargers in its class, the PL6s “maximum” numbers do not tell the whole story. Using the Powerlab’s logging and charting, I did some controlled tests to determine the maximum output with 6s LiPos packs using an inexpensive 24v power supply. The power supplies for the test are two of the ubiquitous HP DPS-600PBs wired in series for 24v. These are the units sold by FeatherMerchant, Mrforsyth , and on eBay. Also AkShu has done some nice work making kits users can use to modify their own supplies. Though these units can be modified to provide a higher voltage, the units used for the test did not have this modification performed and were putting out the “stock voltage” of roughly 12.5v each.

For the test, I’m using my Powerlab8, with the input current software limited to 40 amps, emulating Powerlab6’s maximum input current. Though I would have preferred to use PL6 for the test, I didn’t have one handy. But the PL6 and PL8 have similar efficiency performance, so the results will be very close to a stock Powerlab6. The first chart is to show the current being drawn from the supply. As you can see, the current limiting is working as expected with a result right around 40 amps for the entire charge.



For the test, I parallel charged four 3300 6s packs with a charge rate set for 40 amps. With the input current limited, the charger will not able to reach 40 amps of output. But it will come as close as possible within the input limit. The charger as able to reach 36.2 amps before the input limit prevented further rise.



I did find it quite interesting is that the charger hit its maximum wattage of roughly 860 watts by 90 seconds into the charge and sustained it throughout the entire charge. The current tapers off slightly at the end of the charge as the pack voltage reaches its maximum. The reason this is significant, because most chargers only hit their maximum wattage output during the last minute or so of the high current stage called the “constant current” or CC stage. This is because charger output, in wattage, is the pack volts multiplied times the output current. If the output current is limited, and that limit is reached early in the charge, the only way the charger can put out more wattage is as the pack voltage increases. Since the LiPos only increase their voltage with the state of charge, the highest voltage (and highest wattage) is only obtained when the pack is nearly fully charged.

I was curious how these two different approaches to limiting would impact charge time. Using the logging and data export capabilities of the Powerlab software, I used Excel to compare the two charging scenarios (see the third chart below). I choose 30 amps for the tested output limit, as this the maximum output for other chargers that are frequently compared to the Powerlab6.

The third chart shows the an overlay of the wattage output from the first test (40 amp input limted) along with an a second charge cycle, with the output limited to 30 amps. For this second test (30 amps limited), I used the same four batteries, discharged to the same state of charge. I also used the same charger preset, and power supply. The only difference with the second charge, is the set current was 30 amps. As you can see, the Powerlab obtains its wattage limit very early into the charge and sustains it until the bulk charging phase is complete (constant current phase) which ended at 12 minutes. The charge scenario limited to 30 amps output (representing other chargers in the PL6's class) slowly ramps its current up to its maximum wattage right before the bulk charging phase (constant current phase) finishes at 18 minutes. A CC charge phase that is 33% faster than the competition is not something that is easy to determine looking at the specifications alone.



Another feature of the Powerlabs is that all the logged data can be exported to either West Mountain Radio format or to delimited text. The export to text is quite handy as you can easily import the data into Excel for more detailed comparison and data overlays. The third chart above was created this way using the charting in Excel. I've attached exported charge log for those interested in seeing the detail being logged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skunkworx -
I can attest that your numbers simulating the PL-6 are right on the money. I did two, 4400 Sky 6S lipos at full-tilt, right around 4C I believe, and it hit 36.2A at the max, same as in your graphs.
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Old Feb 11, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Tucson, AZ
Joined Aug 2004
878 Posts
just got a PL6. It seems to be working fine when programming on the unit....but from CCS, I am getting a bunch of errors seen below when I try to 'update' the PL6. I have another PL6 that has been and is working fine with the CCS. Thanks for any advice, Teryn


-------------------- Preset 11 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 12 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 15 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 16 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 18 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 19 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 20 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Preset 21 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Preset 22 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Library Preset 11 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 12 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 15 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 16 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 18 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 19 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 20 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Library Preset 21 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Library Preset 22 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19
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Old Feb 11, 2012, 05:37 PM
President, FMA, Inc.
Tim Marks's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teryn1 View Post
just got a PL6. It seems to be working fine when programming on the unit....but from CCS, I am getting a bunch of errors seen below when I try to 'update' the PL6. I have another PL6 that has been and is working fine with the CCS. Thanks for any advice, Teryn


-------------------- Preset 11 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 12 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 15 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 16 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 18 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 19 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Preset 20 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Preset 21 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Preset 22 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Library Preset 11 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 12 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 15 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 16 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 18 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 19 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 8

-------------------- Library Preset 20 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Library Preset 21 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19

-------------------- Library Preset 22 --------------------
UNBAL CELL LIMIT should be <= 19
UNBAL AUTO LIMIT should be <= 19
Hi:

Sorry for your troubles. Please update to the latest firmware and then initiate a Factory Restore from the Firmware tab of the CCS. This should clear up this issue. Let me know how you make out.

Tim Marks
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Old Feb 11, 2012, 08:36 PM
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Tucson, AZ
Joined Aug 2004
878 Posts
Tim, thanks. Earlier, I did everything but the factory restore...that worked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks View Post
Hi:

Sorry for your troubles. Please update to the latest firmware and then initiate a Factory Restore from the Firmware tab of the CCS. This should clear up this issue. Let me know how you make out.

Tim Marks
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Old Feb 11, 2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teryn1 View Post
Tim, thanks. Earlier, I did everything but the factory restore...that worked.
O.K. Thanks for getting back to me! Glad to hear it!

Tim Marks
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