HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Feb 08, 2012, 08:21 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSpaced View Post
Now I'm curious which charger you have?
This one:
http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...Balance/Detailhttp://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...Balance/Detail
It has been a good one, charging batteries for two years with no problems. But, I still think the percentage display is inaccurate for voltage levels below 50%. I never hit LVC but do notice a bit of a power loss, but nothing to indicate I'm at LVC. Once I get a meter I'll check when it shows 0% - if it has good voltage I'll report to Jeff at Heads Up if it isn't accurate so he is aware of that.
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Feb 11, 2012, 01:35 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Chris,

I discovered I have a Thunder Power TP-535 charger, which charges through the Deans connector. So, I'll be able to place the PowerMatch in-line when I'm charging. Although this setup won't balance while charging I can take advantage of that in the PowerMeter.

One of my fellow club members dabbled in electrics a few years ago (mainly a fuelie guy), but he is on the downhill curve of his rc hobby, and gave me some electric stuff he'll never use again. It included this charger.

I'll check at my LHS for this unit and get one of these units. I'll really feel a lot more comfortable with the conditions of my batteries. One of my airplanes about "bought the farm" because I didn't know that the percentage level on my balance charger was inaccurate. Even though it showed 94%, in reality I think it was much-lower; the airplane was "gutless" last Sunday and it struggled to keep flying, but on Tuesday I did a full-charge on the same battery and it worked well.

Again, thanks for a very-informative review; it was certainly enough for me to decide this is the unit I want.

Kevin
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2012, 04:54 PM
Registered User
CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,431 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruff1 View Post
Chris,

I discovered I have a Thunder Power TP-535 charger, which charges through the Deans connector. So, I'll be able to place the PowerMatch in-line when I'm charging. Although this setup won't balance while charging I can take advantage of that in the PowerMeter.

One of my fellow club members dabbled in electrics a few years ago (mainly a fuelie guy), but he is on the downhill curve of his rc hobby, and gave me some electric stuff he'll never use again. It included this charger.

I'll check at my LHS for this unit and get one of these units. I'll really feel a lot more comfortable with the conditions of my batteries. One of my airplanes about "bought the farm" because I didn't know that the percentage level on my balance charger was inaccurate. Even though it showed 94%, in reality I think it was much-lower; the airplane was "gutless" last Sunday and it struggled to keep flying, but on Tuesday I did a full-charge on the same battery and it worked well.

Again, thanks for a very-informative review; it was certainly enough for me to decide this is the unit I want.

Kevin
Good deal! Let us know how you get on with it.
CSpaced is offline Find More Posts by CSpaced
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2012, 07:54 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Chris,

I picked up one up at the LHS today, only a bit over $48 with tax. A great price and glad I was able to support the LHS.

I have checked three batteries so far. The first two were around 80% charged and were balanced according to the meter. The third one was way down to 8% - this is the battery I used last week and my charger showed it at 0% left. This confirms that the charger percentage indicator is inaccurate. I am pleased with the balancing capability of my charger; one of the batteries I have had almost 2 1/2 years. The third battery is currently charging at the normal 1C rate I use.

I do have a question about the POWER CHECKER mode. On page 11 of the manual, you can use this mode to measure data during charging and discharging. The instructions instruct you to "Connect the 2S-7S lithium battery to the meter's OUT connection as shown in Fig. 6." Problem is, both the battery and the OUT connection on the meter are female Deans. Do I need to make up a Deans male-male adapter for this? If that is the case, then this is an oversight in the instructions. I sure would like to monitor the battery level during charging. I realize this is something you didn't try in the review, but have a look and see if I had a Bozo attack on this...

If you think about the above situation a little more, this is the setup needed to plug in the ESC, so it is understandable with the unit having a female Deans connector on the OUT port.

The BATTERY CHECKER and CELL BALANCER functions seemed to work well, I am pleased with the way this unit works. I'll report back about the POWER CHECKER mode when I put it in one of my airplanes.

This unit in my opinion seemed to be a little easier to understand than the Watts Up unit; I was considering that one as well.

Kevin
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2012, 09:14 PM
Registered User
CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,431 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruff1 View Post
Chris,

I picked up one up at the LHS today, only a bit over $48 with tax. A great price and glad I was able to support the LHS.

I have checked three batteries so far. The first two were around 80% charged and were balanced according to the meter. The third one was way down to 8% - this is the battery I used last week and my charger showed it at 0% left. This confirms that the charger percentage indicator is inaccurate. I am pleased with the balancing capability of my charger; one of the batteries I have had almost 2 1/2 years. The third battery is currently charging at the normal 1C rate I use.

I do have a question about the POWER CHECKER mode. On page 11 of the manual, you can use this mode to measure data during charging and discharging. The instructions instruct you to "Connect the 2S-7S lithium battery to the meter's OUT connection as shown in Fig. 6." Problem is, both the battery and the OUT connection on the meter are female Deans. Do I need to make up a Deans male-male adapter for this? If that is the case, then this is an oversight in the instructions. I sure would like to monitor the battery level during charging. I realize this is something you didn't try in the review, but have a look and see if I had a Bozo attack on this...

If you think about the above situation a little more, this is the setup needed to plug in the ESC, so it is understandable with the unit having a female Deans connector on the OUT port.

The BATTERY CHECKER and CELL BALANCER functions seemed to work well, I am pleased with the way this unit works. I'll report back about the POWER CHECKER mode when I put it in one of my airplanes.

This unit in my opinion seemed to be a little easier to understand than the Watts Up unit; I was considering that one as well.

Kevin
Hi Kevin,

I'm glad you're are finding the powermatch useful, it certainly is a handy tool to have. I took another look at the instructions for measuring data during a charge, and you are right - it looks like some adapters need to be made in order to plug everything in the correct way. If you look at the following photo, when I test the power consumption in my Wanderer I plug the battery to the "battery" cable (or "in" cable) and the ESC to the "out" cable.

When charging through the powermatch everything must be plugged in the other way around, the "out" cable must be plugged into the battery and the "in/battery" cable to the charger.

I'll let the right guys know that it would be helpful to have a note to this effect in the instruction manual, nice catch!

CSpaced is offline Find More Posts by CSpaced
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2012, 09:24 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Glad you saw it that way, I'll just make up an adapter and let you know how I get on with monitoring the charging.

Finished the fourth battery. It was at 22% before charging, but the PowerMeter showed it balanced. My charger seems to be keeping the batteries balanced, although the power indicator is inaccurate.
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2012, 09:26 PM
Registered User
CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,431 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruff1 View Post
Glad you saw it that way, I'll just make up an adapter and let you know how I get on with monitoring the charging.

Finished the fourth battery. It was at 22% before charging, but the PowerMeter showed it balanced. My charger seems to be keeping the batteries balanced, although the power indicator is inaccurate.
It sounds like your charger did a good job keeping the batteries balanced, too bad about the power indicator though. I wonder if it is faulty, or if it is a common error on that charger?
CSpaced is offline Find More Posts by CSpaced
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 16, 2012, 12:55 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Probably a design limitation... it was only about $40.
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2012, 09:13 AM
Registered User
SteveM732's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Feb 2008
1,976 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruff1 View Post
I have checked three batteries so far. The first two were around 80% charged and were balanced according to the meter. The third one was way down to 8% - this is the battery I used last week and my charger showed it at 0% left. This confirms that the charger percentage indicator is inaccurate
That could simply be a difference between what each tool considers 0% full voltage to be. 100% full is pretty well defined, but 0% is open for debate, kind of like when your wife thinks 1/2 a tank of gas means time to fill up but you let it go till you can see that the needle has dropped below "E".
SteveM732 is offline Find More Posts by SteveM732
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2012, 09:36 AM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Good point Steve. The voltage on the one that displayed 0% on the charger and 8% on the PowerMeter had 3.2x volts in each cell. LVC is set to 3.0v on the ESC so I don't think I got close to damaging anything. I came in for a low pass over the runway on the pattern at about 1/3 throttle after about 8-9 minutes of flight, my instructor said go around again, I firewalled the throttle and the motor sagged. I cut the throttle and sat her down.
I think she hit LVC when I firewalled her but the battery recovered a bit after disconnecting. It was several days after flying that I got the PowerMeter and plugged it in to get the above voltage.
I think the 3.0 LVC seems right on target; I haven't done any damage to my lipos yet, even though I have encountered some throttle slow-downs. This seems enough to protect the battery and is a "conservative" setting.
This meter really takes the guess work out of battery levels.

Off to the field now!
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2012, 08:38 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
OK, the bottom-line is having this PowerMatch at the field is a win-win situation! I now know the level of my batteries after flying and how my charger is behaving. I discovered even if my charger shows 100% charged (right at the time 100 displays), they are more-likely around 95%. I was able to confirm this with the PowerMatch. Left them on the charger a little longer and they got to 99%. Tried on another charger I have and they came out at 99% when this charger indicated complete.
I also did a power check on my airplane. With a fully-charged battery I was topping 95 watts, but with a battery around 70-80% it was pushing 65-70 watts. This is on a 25 ounce airplane, so I was pushing around 60 watts per pound. I thought I had a little more than that. Nevertheless, this is plenty of power to handle some wind and have a decent climb rate. This is a high-wing trainer with a slow prop.
I recommend this unit for anyone who needs an inexpensive way to manage their batteries and help size power systems.
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 25, 2012, 06:22 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
OK, I managed to finally get some more solder and make adapters so I could put the PowerMatch in-line while charging. My setup required a M-M Deans on the battery side and a F-F Deans on the charger side.

The PowerMatch works really well while charging. It is cool to see just how many amps the charger is putting out. I put a 1000mah 3S battery on that was 68% charged before connecting. I charged this particular battery at 1C (1amp as it is 1000mah) and the charger was a bit "conservative", usually running between 0.96 and 0.98 of an amp (upper-left of the display). You can see the battery voltage as it comes up during charging, so you know how much more "juice" you need to put in the battery. I thought it was interesting watching the battery voltage; sometimes it would sit on a certain voltage for 10-15 seconds, then all-at-once take off and start increasing, sometimes very quickly in thousandths to hundreds of a volt at a time. You can also see the number of watts displayed; I guess this is just the power used from the charger while charging the battery.

I have included a picture to show the in-line setup and the display. I am VERY HAPPY with this unit; it really has given me a whole new level of confidence with my batteries!
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 25, 2012, 09:07 PM
Registered User
CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,431 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruff1 View Post
OK, I managed to finally get some more solder and make adapters so I could put the PowerMatch in-line while charging. My setup required a M-M Deans on the battery side and a F-F Deans on the charger side.

The PowerMatch works really well while charging. It is cool to see just how many amps the charger is putting out. I put a 1000mah 3S battery on that was 68% charged before connecting. I charged this particular battery at 1C (1amp as it is 1000mah) and the charger was a bit "conservative", usually running between 0.96 and 0.98 of an amp (upper-left of the display). You can see the battery voltage as it comes up during charging, so you know how much more "juice" you need to put in the battery. I thought it was interesting watching the battery voltage; sometimes it would sit on a certain voltage for 10-15 seconds, then all-at-once take off and start increasing, sometimes very quickly in thousandths to hundreds of a volt at a time. You can also see the number of watts displayed; I guess this is just the power used from the charger while charging the battery.

I have included a picture to show the in-line setup and the display. I am VERY HAPPY with this unit; it really has given me a whole new level of confidence with my batteries!
Glad to hear it's working out for you, thanks for posting the photo!
CSpaced is offline Find More Posts by CSpaced
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2012, 04:01 PM
Motors beat engines!
Milwaukee Wisconsin, United States
Joined Feb 2001
4,564 Posts
I just bought one of these and have a problem.

1) Plug in main battery: everything lights up and works fine.
2) Plug in balancing tap, says everythings balanced.
3) Plug main battery back in and screen stays dark and I hear a clicking sound ( relay?) coming from unit.
4) plug balancing tap back in and that part still works fine.

Do I have a dud unit? Nothing smells burnt or anything.

Dean
DeaninMilwaukee is offline Find More Posts by DeaninMilwaukee
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2012, 07:59 PM
A Day @ a Time - Matt. 6:25-34
ruff1's Avatar
North AL, USA
Joined Nov 2009
1,896 Posts
Sounds like it to me, whenever I plug in the Deans connector it beeps and the display turns on. If it is working fine with the balancing connector there might be a problem with the power leads. I would e-mail Electrifly, or if you got it at the LHS see if they'll swap it (mine would). I got an answer back in a day when I sent in a suggestion for the manual.
ruff1 is offline Find More Posts by ruff1
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale NEW Great Planes Electrifly Brushless Power System Propnutz Aircraft - Electric - Power Systems (FS/W) 5 Jan 09, 2012 11:38 PM
Sold Power Meter/Watt Meter + Balancer jgalexander Aircraft - Electric - Power Systems (FS/W) 2 Dec 20, 2011 05:22 PM
Wanted Great Planes ElectriFly Equinox LiPo Balancer So Cal Flyer Aircraft - Electric - Batteries & Chargers (FS/W) 2 Nov 22, 2011 11:40 PM
Sold Great Planes ElectriFly Equinox LiPo Balancer Blue Note Aircraft - Electric - Batteries & Chargers (FS/W) 2 Nov 11, 2011 07:47 PM
Sold Great Planes C.G. Machine- Top Flite Power Point Balancer- Great Planes AccuThrow Def 55jer Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 3 Sep 27, 2006 05:10 PM