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Old Sep 18, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Question
Charging a LiFe battery with a LiPo charger??

I have a 3s LiFe battery that came with my TX, but the only charger I have is for a lipo battery.

The charger has no buttons, no settings, nothing. It charges through the ballance port on the battery.

Would I damage the LiFe battery if I used the LiPo charger? I imagine I would have to watch it closely, as it does monitor each cell as it charges.

Or do i risk blowing things up??
This is the Charger I am using: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...30w_2s_4s.html

Thanks in Advance,
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Less then ideal but yes it will charge it, however with several catches. One you would have to remove the battery when the cells reach full at 3.6v. A lipo charges to 4.2v which is too high for a life. Second catch is you will have no way of balancing the pack unless you also happen to own an old external balancer you can use.

In short, buy a real charger.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:07 AM
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This is a ballance/charger that charges through the ballance leads.

Why wouldn't it ballance a LiFe battery??
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
This is a ballance/charger that charges through the ballance leads.

Why wouldn't it ballance a LiFe battery??
No, it balances by charging each cell individually to 4.2v. There is no "balancing" circuitry in that charger other then the ability to terminate the charge on each cell individually at 4.2v. Since you are disconnecting the battery when the first cell reaches 3.6v you are never getting to the point of "balancing" the pack. If you could change the charger to terminate at 3.6v then yes it would be a "balancing" charger, but since you can not it isn't.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by grimbeaver View Post
No, it balances by charging each cell individually to 4.2v. There is no "balancing" circuitry in that charger other then the ability to terminate the charge on each cell individually at 4.2v. Since you are disconnecting the battery when the first cell reaches 3.6v you are never getting to the point of "balancing" the pack. If you could change the charger to terminate at 3.6v then yes it would be a "balancing" charger, but since you can not it isn't.
That makes sense. thanks.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:22 AM
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I would save yourself the headache and just buy a cheap charger that does more:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:28 AM
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Yeah i have been searching for a better deal on that accucell.

But it looks like im just gonna have to bite the bullet and wait for HobbyKing.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
Yeah i have been searching for a better deal on that accucell.

But it looks like im just gonna have to bite the bullet and wait for HobbyKing.
What do you mean "wait for HobbyKing"? They ship out of Washington, you'll have it in like 2-3 days from when you order it as long as you order from the US warehouse.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:56 AM
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yeah but they dont have the props I need in Washington, or the bullet connectors, or other parts I have in my cart.

True, they have a US warehouse now. Its just unfortunate most everything they carry is stocked in Hong Kong.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Okay so I said effit and decided to try my charger on the 3s LiFe battery. Whats odd was when I plugged the battery into the charger, it reads all the cells and I get 3.17/3.23/3.37 but then when i plug my charger into 12v DC, it drops and all the cells read 2.41/2.45/2.57.

I left the battery on the charger for about 10-15min but not a single cell changed voltage. So I decided to abort the mission, and I disconnected the battery & charger.

Guess Im just going to have to wait
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
Okay so I said fuckit and decided to try my charger on the 3s LiFe battery. Whats odd was when I plugged the battery into the charger, it reads all the cells and I get 3.17/3.23/3.37 but then when i plug my charger into 12v DC, it drops and all the cells read 2.41/2.45/2.57.

I left the battery on the charger for about 10-15min but not a single cell changed voltage. So I decided to abort the mission, and I disconnected the battery & charger.

Guess Im just going to have to wait
Not a clue what's going on there with the dropping voltage except I will say with most chargers you are supposed to plug in the charger before the battery. As for why nothing changed, no charger will initiate a charge if it thinks a cell is below 3v for safety purposes.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 08:03 AM
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YMMV -- IIRC EverydayFlyer / Charles charged a 3S A123 pack for more the 500 cycles to LiPo / 4.2 volts -- w/o complaints about a change in capacity / performance.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 06:50 PM
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YMMV -- IIRC EverydayFlyer / Charles charged a 3S A123 pack for more the 500 cycles to LiPo / 4.2 volts -- w/o complaints about a change in capacity / performance.
Even though the nominal voltage and normal termination voltage are be the same , the newer LiFE type rectangle cells MAY be a different matter. I've been wondering if anyone has any info on a higher termination voltage. My very limited awareness suggests that they have a sharp KNEE at the top similar to the sharp KNEE at the bottom. sorry, can't remember at what voltage this occurs.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jrb View Post
YMMV -- IIRC EverydayFlyer / Charles charged a 3S A123 pack for more the 500 cycles to LiPo / 4.2 volts -- w/o complaints about a change in capacity / performance.
Consider your friend lucky.

I would never charge a life to 4.2v per cell.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 08:57 AM
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As I asked (tried to) is LiFe = A123?

Our friend Charles (do a search) is one of the best battery gurus here!

Of his many A123 packs he specifically did one @ 4.2 to see the long term effect -- not much as I recall.
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