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Old Oct 11, 2012, 06:49 AM
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Accucell 6 - in car charging

Hi,

I have been trying to charge my 3 cell, 1300 LiPo packs using an Accucell 6 plugged into the car lighter socket but have been having major problems.

In the house, and connected to a 12V battery is just fine, however, when I start the charge sequence the chargers bleats about low input voltage. I assume it's drawing too much current and the voltage drop down the cable to from the battery to the lighter is high enough to trigger the low supply voltage alarm (set to 10V) in the charger.

The thing is, the ligher socket is supposed to be good to 130W, and the Accucell controls to 50W maximum....PLUS, I have tried with a current setting of 0.1A and it still trips out.

The only thing I can think of is that at the start of the charge sequence, there is a very large transient current draw that drops the supply voltage lower than the trip level before the charge 'proper' starts.

.....or my charger could be knackered. But it works OK indoors.

Anybody else seen this problem...and how can you get around it?

Cheers
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 07:23 AM
Southern Pride
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Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
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Charging LiPolys in an auto can leave to fire destroying the vechile and contents.

Car starting batteries are not designed to be used as a power source while engine is not running.

If you must use the car battery then get an adapter that can be attached to the car battery with the hood up so that charger can set on the ground or on a table a few feet away from the car and be sure to watch it while charging.

Charge one or two times , disconnect the charger,start and let engine run while charging for the next one., repeat as needed.

YTheree are many threads here on what to use as a field power source. Bottom line a true Deep Cycle battery of 25 to 150 Ah (Amp. Hours) not starting amps. are good choices .

Here is one of my threads where I went from a 50 Ah AGM sealed deep cycle too two 125Ah flooded cells deep cycles.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ghlight=enough

Charles
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 08:23 AM
222 km/hr Parkjet flyer
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I'm sorry but charging in a car is perfectly valid and does NOT lead to fires.

Myself and many others do it ... the charger is designed to work of the 12v supply whether AC adaptor or ciggy socket.

The problem that can occur is that starting the car when charger is connected can kick out the charger ... so it's best to start car with charger not charging a pack. It can be plugged in though ... no problem.
Stoppping engine while charging should be no problem ...

Lets look at numbers ... NO 12 adaptor usually used for such items gives true 12V ... they in fact are wave form that averages 12V ... so the 14.4V while engine running of a car is no higher than the top sine wave value of an AC adaptor ... With voltage drop on cable to ciggy socket - you'll likely not get 14.4V anyway.

To OP ... I suggest you have a problem with the socket. If I try to run my charger from the socket in the front of car .. it has trouble due to the socket used by the ciggy lighter and leaving crud inside. But if I use the socket at rear of cargo area of my estate car - all is fine. You may just have a dirty socket that is giving very high resistance and so charger clicks out.

Nigel
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Simon1013 View Post
when I start the charge sequence the chargers bleats about low input voltage.
I use an Accucel 6 and an Accucel 8 in my van this way too. I'm not going to discuss the wisdom of charging in your car.

I get the same low voltage error message if the engine isn't running. With the engine running all is well, even with the Accucel 8 charging 3S @ 7 amps.

I do measure a voltage drop at the outlet. Less at the battery. Not enough it should get a low voltage error from the charger. I have some capacitors coming to add to the charger input leads to see if that helps.

The interesting thing is that I can run 2 Cellpro 4s chargers (in parallel) off the same power outlet with no problem.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Charging in or on a vehicle does not fall into the "best practices" classification.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:10 AM
Southern Pride
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Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
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Quote:
I'm sorry but charging in a car is perfectly valid and does NOT lead to fires.
Man what a relief!

8 years of not only using LiPolys but testing an almost endless supply of LiPolys,chargers,balancers ,balancing chargers , reading well over 200,000 post here on RC Groups, WattsFlyer,HeliFreak more than a few about LiPoly fire while charging more than a few while cha5ging in a vechile.


Some may be interested in learning that even fairly well know brands of LiPoly chargers have been known on rare occasion to suffer a failure and severly over charge one or more LiPoly cells which could / most likely would or did result in a LiPoly fire.

First Rule of LiPoly Charging

Never Charge Unattended


OK many do in fact charge unattended and if one is charging outdoors on concrete or in sude of a grill etc. then yes it is safe as only the LiPoly(s) will be lost. There remains the toxic smoke issue and friends,neighboors etc. but much better than burning down a house,shop model trailer etc.

Charles
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post
OK many do in fact charge unattended...
I suspect that is more true than many will admit.

I also suspect that my batteries charging on the passenger seat of my van are far better supervised (and carefully checked and connected because they ARE on the seat of my van) than most.

I take most reported Lipo fires with "a grain of salt" as to the circumstances. I wouldn't be surprised to find a lot of "cover my rear" injected. It's far easier to make it out to be the lipos' fault or the chargers' fault etc than admit it's something stupid we did. More so if it's significant enough to have an insurance claim involved.

I don't think the sky is falling.... yet.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post
Man what a relief!

8 years of not only using LiPolys but testing an almost endless supply of LiPolys,chargers,balancers ,balancing chargers , reading well over 200,000 post here on RC Groups, WattsFlyer,HeliFreak more than a few about LiPoly fire while charging more than a few while cha5ging in a vechile.


Some may be interested in learning that even fairly well know brands of LiPoly chargers have been known on rare occasion to suffer a failure and severly over charge one or more LiPoly cells which could / most likely would or did result in a LiPoly fire.

First Rule of LiPoly Charging

Never Charge Unattended


OK many do in fact charge unattended and if one is charging outdoors on concrete or in sude of a grill etc. then yes it is safe as only the LiPoly(s) will be lost. There remains the toxic smoke issue and friends,neighboors etc. but much better than burning down a house,shop model trailer etc.

Charles
The few occasions are enough to warrant a blanket No No ? Then we ought to stop driving cars ... I would say there are more auto-fires due to any other single cause than are from LiPo charging.

I'm sorry but LiPo's are like any other POTENTIALY hazardous item ... note POTENTIAL ... as in normal circumstances they are safe and fine ... otherwise the do-gooders in society who consider we are not fit to use would get them banned.

I agree that burining a liPo and not the car . house etc. is a better proposition ... but face it - who finds a slab outside to charge on ? I bet majority are like me ... charge at back of model den / office while doing other model things.

Charger faults etc. - admitted - but how often ?

I'm still not convinced ... I've searched for real data and most is 3rd hand ... the few first hand are awful and make you think again ... most of those I would say are due to crash / stupidity / other faults out of our hands.

Nigel
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Myers View Post
Charging in or on a vehicle does not fall into the "best practices" classification.
Is that actually due to a LiPo ? Looks familiar.

nigel
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Anyone noticed how much "you shouldn't do that" this thread has evoked vs how little response to the OPs' actual question about the low voltage error?

I get more than a little tired of the "you shouldn't do that", "we're going to protect you from yourself" mentality. Seems to take so little to trigger it and for so dubious reasons.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 11:21 AM
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The reason it looks familiar is that it is somewhere in the HUGE Li-Po fires are real thread.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Myers View Post
The reason it looks familiar is that it is somewhere in the HUGE Li-Po fires are real thread.
Really? I just scrolled thru that HUGE thread and didn't find it. Having posted it you must know the source, perhaps you could supply a link?
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Joined Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon1013 View Post
Hi,

I have been trying to charge my 3 cell, 1300 LiPo packs using an Accucell 6 plugged into the car lighter socket but have been having major problems.

In the house, and connected to a 12V battery is just fine, however, when I start the charge sequence the chargers bleats about low input voltage. I assume it's drawing too much current and the voltage drop down the cable to from the battery to the lighter is high enough to trigger the low supply voltage alarm (set to 10V) in the charger.

The thing is, the ligher socket is supposed to be good to 130W, and the Accucell controls to 50W maximum....PLUS, I have tried with a current setting of 0.1A and it still trips out.

The only thing I can think of is that at the start of the charge sequence, there is a very large transient current draw that drops the supply voltage lower than the trip level before the charge 'proper' starts.

.....or my charger could be knackered. But it works OK indoors.

Anybody else seen this problem...and how can you get around it?

Cheers
Simon,

I used to use my car to charge too, until I had to replace my car battery .

anyways, enough of that, let's get to your issue:

a few possibilities:

#1 your car battery isn't holding a voltage (not likely if you're still driving it around)
#2 12v socket (female part or male part from charge is bad)
#3 wire from socket to your charge is too small (small gauge)

I've had all 3 of these issues....that's why I know

anyhow, if you are still starting your car and driving around, scratch #1
#2 that acculcell-6 should of come with alligator clips. clip it directly to your car battery and see if it works
if that works, you most likely have a bad socket.
Mine exhibited the same behavior and I had to swap out the car socket.

#3 only way to test this is to either get a standalone female plug, plug it into your existing male plug then clip the female end straight to your battery.
The symptoms when this happened was a hot wire.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by t.edwards View Post
Really? I just scrolled thru that HUGE thread and didn't find it. Having posted it you must know the source, perhaps you could supply a link?
Sorry, I can't find it. I'm 99% sure that I got it here on RC Groups in some thread. I've been using it for several years when I give talks about LiPo safety to local clubs.

I did find a few more references to Suburban fires from LiPo/Charger mistakes while searching with Google for the original photo.

http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=456416&page=2

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_32...tm.htm#3285644

Look for post 18

I would think that there would be even more photos if I was not looking specifically for a Suburban.

There is a vehicle fire and fire in the pits in this thread:
http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t524337p1/
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 01:33 PM
222 km/hr Parkjet flyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Myers View Post
The reason it looks familiar is that it is somewhere in the HUGE Li-Po fires are real thread.
Actually it looks remarkably similar to a famous Discovery Program item .....

I'm not saying it's not real .........

Nigel
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