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Old Feb 22, 2013, 01:46 AM
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FAQ
FAQ - Powerlab Quick Start Guide - Wiring modes, Supply Limits and 1s charging

I put this short list together to answer some of the common questions new owners have.

Quick Start Guide
There a quick start guide called the "Quick Reference" to get you up and running quickly. This is in the manual page 7.

Increase the supply limit
The default supply limit is set to 25 amps so you don't overload and burn up an under powered, power supply. Because the Powerlab will pull the full 40 amps(Powerlab6) or 60 amps (Powerlab8), there is a real potential to damage a power supply that is not capable and does not have built in protection. You can quickly change the default setting if you have the USB connection and the Powerlab software. You can also change it from the console. See the Smart Power Management section starting page 9.

The "Supply Low Voltage" limit used to throttle back the charge rate if the supply voltage drops below the set value. Many supplies already have this protection built-in. If this value is set to high, the charger will start limiting current inappropriately. For most supplies, changing the default is not necessary and may result in lower charge rates.

Change Wiring Mode
The Powerlab arrives in the FMA wiring mode. This mode is compatible with all the FMA balance adapters for the Powerlab6 and Powerlab8. However, to use the Revolectrix MPA (Multi-port Adapter) or the SPA (Single Port Safe Parallel Adapter), or any other parallel board, the wiring mode will needs to changed to JST-XH/EH. Like the supply limit, using the Powerlab software is the easiest method to change this setting. But it can also be changed in on the console of the unit. Step by step instructions on page 60 in the manual. See image below for changing in the CCS.


Preset #3 for High Power Charging
Presets #1 and #2 are specifically tuned for charging under 10 amps. For charging over 10 amps use Preset #3 which will max the charger's output, given a sufficient power supply.

Preset #3 defaults to a termination of C/10 (same as generic faster charge present #2). This is setting is typically sufficient for most scenarios and is the default on many other chargers. If you want a more accurate charge, use Library Preset #3 Generic High P. Accurate. See "Copy a Library Preset" page 35.

Charging 1s Cells
Wiring requirements and current options for charging 1s cells varies by model and wiring mode. Details below.
  • Powerlab8 in FMA wiring mode - Up to 40 amps without a balance connector attached using a high power preset. Storage preset can be used to discharge or charge 1s.
  • Powerlab8 in JST-XH wiring mode and Powerlab6 (either wiring mode) - 1s cells can be charged up to 2 amps using the small unbalanced preset. To exceed 2 amps of charge rate, a balance cable must be added in parallel with the charge cable. With a balance cable, up to 40 amps with a high power preset. Also the regular storage preset cannot be used unless a 1s balance cable is also used. An unbalanced storage mode preset is attached to this post. Its limited to 2 amps charge and discharge and 2s maximum.
Wiring of the balance cable to the main leads is different for each wiring mode. Details are as follows:

  • JST-XH Wiring mode - Pin 1 (black) goes to pack negative. Pin 2 (white) goes to pack positive.
  • FMA wiring mode - Pin1 (black) goes to pack negative. Pin 9 (red) goes to pack positive.
See the attached image the wiring diagram from the manual.

Balance cable http://www.usastore.revolectrix.com/...-10-9-Position

Powerlab manuals http://revolectrix.com/downloads.htm

Non FMA Parallel Boards
As described in the wiring mode section, all parallel board require the JST-XH wiring mode. This includes boards the MPA as well boards from other vendors. To connect the parallel board to the Powerlab, the parallel board vendor will need to provide a cable goes between the Powerlab and the board. The original FMA balance adapters cannot be used between the 3rd party parallel board and the charger. This is because the original FMA boards required the FMA wiring mode which is not compatible with the parallel board's wiring.

The cable that runs between the charger and the parallel board is referred to as the interconnect cable. There are currently two different wiring pinouts being used between different parallel board vendors. It is important that you get the correct interconnect cable that matches the parallel board you purchased. FMA does provide a plug and play parallel board solution in the form of the MPA.

Examples of interconnect cables.

http://epbuddy.com/index.php?main_pa...roducts_id=243

http://www.progressiverc.com/fma-pl8...rge-board.html

9/24/2013 Edit: Added Powerlab6 Storage preset for small 1s cells. Remove the .txt from the file name before importing into the CCS using "Open file to preset #"
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
I put this short list together to answer some of the common questions new owners have.

Quick Start Guide
There a quick start guide called the "Quick Reference" to get you up and running quickly. This is in the manual page 7.

Increase the supply limit
The default supply limit is set to 25 amps so you don't overload and burn up an under powered, power supply. Because the Powerlab will pull the full 40 amps(Powerlab6) or 60 amps (Powerlab8), there is a real potential to damage a power supply that is not capable and does not have built in protection. You can quickly change the default setting if you have the USB connection and the Powerlab software. You can also change it from the console. See the Smart Power Management section starting page 9.

The "Supply Low Voltage" limit used to throttle back the charge rate if the supply voltage drops below the set value. Many supplies already have this protection built-in. If this value is set to high, the charger will start limiting current inappropriately. For most supplies, changing the default is not necessary and may result in lower charge rates.

Change Wiring Mode
The Powerlab arrives in the FMA wiring mode. This mode is compatible with all the FMA balance adapters for the Powerlab6 and Powerlab8. However, to use the Revolectrix MPA (Multi-port Adapter) or the SPA (Single Port Safe Parallel Adapter), or any other parallel board, the wiring mode will needs to changed to JST-XH/EH. Like the supply limit, using the Powerlab software is the easiest method to change this setting. But it can also be changed in on the console of the unit. Step by step instructions on page 60 in the manual. See image below for changing in the CCS.


Preset #3 for High Power Charging
Presets #1 and #2 are specifically tuned for charging under 10 amps. For charging over 10 amps use Preset #3 which will max the charger's output, given a sufficient power supply.

Preset #3 defaults to a termination of C/10 (same as generic faster charge present #2). This is setting is typically sufficient for most scenarios and is the default on many other chargers. If you want a more accurate charge, use Library Preset #3 Generic High P. Accurate. See "Copy a Library Preset" page 35.

Charging 1s Cells
Wiring requirements and current options for charging 1s cells varies by model and wiring mode. Details below.
  • Powerlab8 in FMA wiring mode - Up to 40 amps without a balance connector attached using a high power preset. Storage preset can be used to discharge or charge 1s.
  • Powerlab8 in JST-XH wiring mode and Powerlab6 (either wiring mode) - 1s cells can be charged up to 2 amps using the small unbalanced preset. To exceed 2 amps of charge rate, a balance cable must be added in parallel with the charge cable. With a balance cable, up to 40 amps with a high power preset. Also the storage preset cannot be used unless a 1s balance cable is also used.
Wiring of the balance cable to the main leads is different for each wiring mode. Details are as follows:

  • JST-XH Wiring mode - Pin 1 (black) goes to pack negative. Pin 2 (white) goes to pack positive.
  • FMA wiring mode - Pin1 (black) goes to pack negative. Pin 9 (red) goes to pack positive.
See the attached image the wiring diagram from the manual.

Balance cable http://www.usastore.revolectrix.com/...-10-9-Position

Powerlab manuals http://revolectrix.com/downloads.htm

Non FMA Parallel Boards
As described in the wiring mode section, all parallel board require the JST-XH wiring mode. This includes boards the MPA as well boards from other vendors. To connect the parallel board to the Powerlab, the parallel board vendor will need to provide a cable goes between the Powerlab and the board. The original FMA balance adapters cannot be used between the 3rd party parallel board and the charger. This is because the original FMA boards required the FMA wiring mode which is not compatible with the parallel board's wiring.

The cable that runs between the charger and the parallel board is referred to as the interconnect cable. There are currently two different wiring pinouts being used between different parallel board vendors. It is important that you get the correct interconnect cable that matches the parallel board you purchased. FMA does provide a plug and play parallel board solution in the form of the MPA.

Examples of interconnect cables.

http://epbuddy.com/index.php?main_pa...roducts_id=243

http://www.progressiverc.com/fma-pl8...rge-board.html
Hi, I can do this or do I need to change something, the parallel card is another brand (HobbyKing)

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Old Sep 12, 2013, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gariversy View Post
Hi, I can do this or do I need to change something, the parallel card is another brand (HobbyKing)

Attachment 6095233
The MPA is a better option. The board in your post does not have fuses and does not connect directly to the charger. Parallel boards require JST-XH wiring mode. The FMA board requires FMA wiring mode. Though the configuration may work, there may be IR issues being reported incorrectly.
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Gariversy View Post
Hi, I can do this or do I need to change something, the parallel card is another brand (HobbyKing)

Attachment 6095233
That is almost exactly what I have now.
It's working good but I have already ordered the PRC adapter cable in the OP.
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by McKrackin View Post
That is almost exactly what I have now.
It's working good but I have already ordered the PRC adapter cable in the OP.
Just be sure to switch to JST-XH wiring mode when you get the cable from PRC. Also see the note above about some interconnect cables being wired backwards. If you get a bad cell count error with the PRC cable, check the wiring of the interconnect. It may need to be reversed.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
Just be sure to switch to JST-XH wiring mode when you get the cable from PRC. Also see the note above about some interconnect cables being wired backwards. If you get a bad cell count error with the PRC cable, check the wiring of the interconnect. It may need to be reversed.
Will do...Thanks
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 02:32 AM
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Help please.
I hase been using a powerlab 6 for about 18 mnths with no problems using a parellel board from EP buddy with the correct interconnect cable set to XH wiring. I have charged everything from 2-6s with no problems till 2 weeks ago. Whenever I connect a 4 s battery (which used to charge quite happily, it shows the warning 'bad cell count; XH wiring. What has gone wrong -- software , hardware fault, my fault? I did nothing different with no updates etc. It just strated doing this 'out of the blue'. I have tried a factory restore, but no change.

Thank you
Any comments TIm?
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 11:15 AM
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I had that happen recently. I was using one of the stackable cables and blew a fuse. Drove me crazy till I found it. I think that error happens when the main line voltage is different than the balance leads voltage. Check the connections on your main power leads and the balance leads to see if there is a break somewhere.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by unhinged View Post
Help please.
I hase been using a powerlab 6 for about 18 mnths with no problems using a parellel board from EP buddy with the correct interconnect cable set to XH wiring. I have charged everything from 2-6s with no problems till 2 weeks ago. Whenever I connect a 4 s battery (which used to charge quite happily, it shows the warning 'bad cell count; XH wiring. What has gone wrong -- software , hardware fault, my fault? I did nothing different with no updates etc. It just strated doing this 'out of the blue'. I have tried a factory restore, but no change.

Thank you
Any comments TIm?
If the board does not have fuses on the balance leads, its possible the board has been damaged. This is VERY common. I would use a ohm meter and check for continuity (pin by pin) between the balance port you where using and the connector that goes onto the charger.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Quick question...

Why does my charger keep stopping at 93% ?
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by McKrackin View Post
Quick question...

Why does my charger keep stopping at 93% ?
If its stopping with cells at 4.1v then its likely that the ambient temps have dropped below 50f. This the cold weather charge mode. You can lower the temp threshold to 41f. But wouldn't go any lower. The setting is in the preset options via the console or on the in the CCS.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregor99 View Post
If its stopping with cells at 4.1v then its likely that the ambient temps have dropped below 50f. This the cold weather charge mode. You can lower the temp threshold to 41f. But wouldn't go any lower. The setting is in the preset options via the console or on the in the CCS.
That's it!

It is cold here now...Thanks.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 01:14 PM
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So is it bad to fully charge lipos in the cold?
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 01:47 PM
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Not if you use them right away. If you fully charge them cold and then they are allowed to warm up they will then be over charged.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Turner2 View Post
Not if you use them right away. If you fully charge them cold and then they are allowed to warm up they will then be over charged.
They aren't allowed inside so that shouldn't be an issue.
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