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Old Jan 22, 2013, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by teeforb View Post
Hey guys. It seems that on of my pl6 won't charge over 600mA. I put the same pack on the other PL6, it's fine. Charges at 40A. Any one else have this issue?
If the charger kicks into safety charge or low voltage restore, charge current will be limited to 500ma. If that were happening the charger would have reported it. If you are watching the charger, did show an error? Also the charger may be limiting due to the power supply. If the threshold are triggered, the charger will reduce the current. You can see this in the CCS on the supply tab. The issue could be the supply or the supply settings in the charger are to high.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JimHSoars View Post
The charge amps for the 1000 never exceded 500 mA,
Sounds like the charger has triggered safety charge or low voltage restore. What are the individual cell voltages of that pack? Also, what happens if you use manual current mode? Does it charge above 500ma?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
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Thank you for your reply, I will use the time method for now to determine Mah, until I setup a OSD or until Spektrum finally get round to releasing there Mah sensor for telemetry that was announced a year ago!!

Any idea on storage charge? or can they be left charged?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by topgearuk View Post
Any idea on storage charge? or can they be left charged?
I did read that Charles has left his A123 cells fully charged for lengths of time without issues. I left mine fully charged. But mine was used in a low current application so I may not have been able to detect any deterioration. For a more authoritative answer you might check the batteries and charger forum here on RCG. Its likely its already been answered.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
If the charger kicks into safety charge or low voltage restore, charge current will be limited to 500ma. If that were happening the charger would have reported it. If you are watching the charger, did show an error? Also the charger may be limiting due to the power supply. If the threshold are triggered, the charger will reduce the current. You can see this in the CCS on the supply tab. The issue could be the supply or the supply settings in the charger are to high.
I will double check power supply!

It's not on low voltage restore. It charges at around 600mah. Also settings are no different than what I've been charging.

Thx
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 03:36 PM
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PL6 Auto Current Mode Insufficient Current Levels

Hello fellow PowerLab 6 users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHSoars View Post
I put a new 2S 1000 mAh and new 3S 3300 mAh through 3 A1c rate charge cycles. The charge amps for the 1000 never exceded 500 mA, the 3300 did not exced 1000 mA. My unit is new. I generated a fuel table for the 2S 1000 mAh batteries but have not had a chance to check the A1C charge current using the new fuel table yet. I am discouraged though.
also
Quote:
Originally Posted by teeforb View Post
Hey guys. It seems that on of my pl6 won't charge over 600mA. I put the same pack on the other PL6, it's fine. Charges at 40A. Any one else have this issue?
First I would like to note a major reason I bought a PL6 rather than an iCharger is for the Auto Charge feature. N.B.: I know that the auto rates take longer to ramp up than using a fixed charge rate, but it shouild reach a charge current just below capacity of the battery as noted in the users manual. I want to be able to throw 1 LiPo, or several in parallel, on the charger ingoring their capacity, select an auto charge rate, start the PL6 and go onto other tasks. If a friend uses the charger I will, to protect their battery, direct them to use an auto charge rate.

Glen Crandall, points out in the PL6 thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggcrandall1 View Post
The auto "C" charging rates are useful for folks that have a number of different sized packs and don't want to change the charging current for each pack value. For example you can set the charge rate to 1C and put on a 3S 1000mah pack and charge it, then without changing anything put on a 4S 3000mah pack. The charger will calculate the proper charge current for each pack. In each case the pack will be properly charged to full value. [...]

Glen
He also points out that fixed charge rates are faster.

Here is specific information about my problem with auto charge rates I referred to in the first quote above. teeforb may have been having a similar problem. Gregor99 suggested in Gregor99 suggested, see quote below, that the problem may be that the charger went into safety charge or low voltage restore. I would have received an error code or statement if this had happened. However, if the PL6 does not beep when an error comes up I would have not turned my head to see it. If so the message may have timed out, if the software does that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
Sounds like the charger has triggered safety charge or low voltage restore. What are the individual cell voltages of that pack? Also, what happens if you use manual current mode? Does it charge above 500ma?
My experience with low auto charge current rates, no errors, safety charge or low voltage restore. The factory default of a maximum current for auto charge was left unchanged at 6 amps:
  1. Cellpro Black Label 3S 3300 mAh (new fall 2011, 2 previous cycles): A1C, 2 charges, max current 2050 mA
  2. 3 ea Billowy Pwr 3S 3300 mAh (new Sept. 2012, 0 previous cycles): A1C, 2 cycles, max current a little less than 1500 mA (charged individually)
  3. Same 3 in parallel Billowy Pwr 3S 3300 mAh LiPos: A1C, 2 cycles, max current a little less than 1500 mA
  4. 1 ea Billowy Pwr. 2S 1000 mAh: A1c max current 500 mA
  5. 3 ea in parallel Billowy Pwr 2s 1000 mAh: A1C max current a little less than 500 mA
  6. 1 ea Billowy Pwr 2S 1000 mAh: using custom fuel table from one of these batteries A1C max current 660 mA
Please note that in #6 a PL6 generated fuel table did NOT solve the problem.

In a PM Gregor99 said "That's not uncommon, especially in new packs that have not been broken in yet." As to this being uncommon see these posts by everydayflyer in the PowerLab 8 thread showing the expcted behavior of the PL6:

1.) Does Auto C really work?

2.) Showing A3C Refered to by Charles in this PL6 Post.

If anyone is interested in checking the maximum charge current your PowerLab 6 reaches you can:
  1. Go to the Auto Charge preset you desire (A1C etc.)
  2. Enter the options menu by pressing the INC and DEC buttons at the same time.
  3. Scroll down, by pressing 'Enter' to the beep at some charging level (I don't remember its exat name) and set it to 84%, a point where the charger should have reached its maximum current.
You can also monitor the charge current using the Charge Control Software, CCS.

- Jim
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Last edited by JimHSoars; Jan 24, 2013 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Added last line.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Buuhh CCS stopped working with windows 7, icon comes up but program window does not open
runs fine on my laptop with windows 8..

will try updating W7...

Edit: updating did not help, seems to be running .NET Framework 4 Client Profile

anybody any clues?
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:22 AM
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removed PL6 completely. reinstalled, still nothing

installed PL8, runs fine....

resolved: was a window size error on my part
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHSoars View Post
In a PM Gregor99 said "That's not uncommon, especially in new packs that have not been broken in yet."
You may have misunderstood my use of "That's". I was referring to the fact that many packs arrived from vendors severely out of balance. The guidance from the pack vendor and their reps is to "cycle" the packs. While I am uncomfortable with that guidance it has become accepted as normal by many users. This was not in regards to AUTO mode.

By the way were able to test in set current mode? Did the actual current reach the set current?
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:55 AM
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Re: PL6 Auto Current Mode Insufficient Current Levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHSoars View Post
Hello fellow PowerLab 6 users.


My experience with low auto charge current rates, no errors, safety charge or low voltage restore. The factory default of a maximum current for auto charge was left unchanged at 6 amps:
  1. Cellpro Black Label 3S 3300 mAh (new fall 2011, 2 previous cycles): A1C, 2 charges, max current 2050 mA
  2. 3 ea Billowy Pwr 3S 3300 mAh (new Sept. 2012, 0 previous cycles): A1C, 2 cycles, max current a little less than 1500 mA (charged individually)
  3. Same 3 in parallel Billowy Pwr 3S 3300 mAh LiPos: A1C, 2 cycles, max current a little less than 1500 mA
  4. 1 ea Billowy Pwr. 2S 1000 mAh: A1c max current 500 mA
  5. 3 ea in parallel Billowy Pwr 2s 1000 mAh: A1C max current a little less than 500 mA
  6. 1 ea Billowy Pwr 2S 1000 mAh: using custom fuel table from one of these batteries A1C max current 660 mA
Please note that in #6 a PL6 generated fuel table did NOT solve the problem.


- Jim
Graph of current during charge of 1000 mAh LiPo on 5th & 6th charge using Cellpro generic fuel table showing charge amps not exceeding 500 mA as opposed to reaching nearly 1000 mA as described in the PL6 manual:

Name: Billowy X5-35C 7.jpg
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Description: Plot of charge current while charging Billowy Power 1000 mAh 2S LiPo. 5th and 6th charge cycles.

Tim Marks please comment on my previous post and this post.

- Jim
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Last edited by JimHSoars; Jan 25, 2013 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Fix usage.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHSoars View Post
Graph of current during charge of 1000 mAh LiPo on 5th & 6th charge using Cellpro generic fuel table showing charge amps not exceeding 500 mA as opposed to reaching nearly 1000 mA as described in the PL6 manual:

Attachment 5478160

Tim Marks please comment on my previous post and this post.

- Jim
Hi:

How do the individual cell voltage track if you check the cell voltage graph? Auto mode will base it's calculations on the actual capacity of the battery pack, not what it says on the label. As packs age, of if there are QA issues with the pack or pack brand, it may not always track the way you expect. Do you see this issue with one pack, one brand, or across multiple packs/brand? If the packs are out of balance, this could be an indication that you have one or more weak cells in the pack. In this case, balance issues can result in the PL seeing the pack as having much lower capacity than what the label reads. If you have a pack that does not come close to what you feel the nominal C rate charge should be, the individual cell voltage graph could provide some clues as to why this is happening.

FYI, I would like to add the caveat that Auto mode generally works pretty well, but it's not an exact science. I have had customers with similar complaints. But even after working with them for some time, helping them generate custom fuel tables, etc, they don't always get the results they wish to attain on certain battery packs. In the end, this situation tends to end up in an unsolved mystery to me. Usually, if it goes this way, in the end, the customer elects to go one of two ways for those particular batteries:

1) set charge rate for manual charge rate

2) use a higher Auto rate. For examle, if your hope was to achieve a 1C rate using Auto, instead set the PL for Auto 2C or 3C and see what you get. You might find that it consistently results in the 1C rate you were attempting to achieve.

Auto rate is a convenience feature we added to our products, mostly for customers who are not well versed about how to choose charge current properly or who do not wish to take advantage of the vast capabilities of the products by establishing optimal presets for multiple charging scenarios. It's a difficult feature to implement because the charge/discharge curve of Li technology batteries is extremely flat. As LiPo manufacturers have packed more and more capacity into the cells, altered the chemistries to allow for higher charge/discharge rates, the challenges continue to mount.

Also, you may have mentioned it, but I didn't read any information concerning your power supply setup. What are you using to power the PL? Where do you have the input current limit and low voltage setttings set? (smart power manatement features) It could be useful information to make sure there is not the potential for that to be contributing to the situation you describe.

Tim Marks
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHSoars View Post
Graph of current during charge of 1000 mAh LiPo on 5th & 6th charge using Cellpro generic fuel table showing charge amps not exceeding 500 mA as opposed to reaching nearly 1000 mA as described in the PL6 manual:

Attachment 5478160

Tim Marks please comment on my previous post and this post.

- Jim
Your graph shows that you are using a set current value of 500ma, not the 1c auto mode. Compare that section of the screen on Charles graphs.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:16 PM
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For comparison, I've attached a screen shot of Charles' 3c auto charge image.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Well, I'll charge all the packs I have making graphs all over again. I'll take care to be sure the actual charge rate is a Auto 1C.

- Jim
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks View Post
Hi:

FYI, I would like to add the caveat that Auto mode generally works pretty well, but it's not an exact science. I have had customers with similar complaints. But even after working with them for some time, helping them generate custom fuel tables, etc, they don't always get the results they wish to attain on certain battery packs. In the end, this situation tends to end up in an unsolved mystery to me.

Tim Marks
Tim:

Does the above happen with the PowerLab 8 as well?

I am working on doing the charging again. I'll provide graphs and other information when I post them.


As far as the power supply is concerned:
  • Input current limit = 9 amps. PS is rated at 10 amps.
  • Supply low voltage = 10 volts. PS is rated at 12 volts.
- Jim
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