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Old Jan 01, 2002, 03:51 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
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Adjustable rate slow charger in the U.S. ?

A friend in the U.K. has an adjustable rate slow charger for his different cap packs. What a concept ! One slow charger, less clutter and fuss.

Is one availabler around here ?

Thanks

Al
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 04:05 PM
MK
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NJ
Joined Feb 2001
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I have an old Ace HD-500 kit. I don't know if they still sell it. You can adjust from 10 mA to 500 mA. It has an analog panel meter (quite accurate). I don't remember the number of cells but the voltage is something like 25V (measured, no load) so I would imagine less than 20 cells?
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 07:48 PM
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San Diego, CA. USA
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Al,

I bought an Ace DDVC (Digital Dual Vari-Charger) from New Creations a couple of months ago. I think SR Batteries sells it too and gives a description of it's usefulness on their web site.

It slow charges two battery packs at once at any rate up to 500 mah (in 5 mah increments. I forget how many cells it will charge but SR Larry says it will go higher than it is rated. Somewhere between 10 and 16 cells. There are various fine details about total output at one time (800 mah), etc., so check it out before you buy. $86.

Not too cheap, but I like it a lot. I bought a 110 V timer, set it to 14 or 16 hrs. put a couple of battery packs on and pull them off when I remember them.

Balin
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 08:02 PM
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San Antonio, Texas
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What about an Astroflight 112D? Adjustable slow and fast rates on the fly, and it will charge just about anything else.

James
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 08:09 PM
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I have a AF110D. I don't know if the 112 is different in how it charges or not.

But...as I understand it...the AF110D is a peak charger whether it's on fast or slow charge. So if you "slow charge" a 600 mah battery at 1/10 C (60 mah) the charger will shut off at the average peak of the cells in the pack. If the pack is unbalanced some cells will be fully charged, others not yet fully charged. The whole point of slow charging is to remedy this unavoidable situation. So a slow charger can't be a peak charger.

Balin
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 08:16 PM
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I have an Ace DDVC too. It's a very good slow charger.
Another one to consider is the Ace Super Digipulse which has six outputs each of which can handle 1-10 cell 100-2000 mah packs at the overnight rate, then after 16 hours it switches to a 1/5 trickle rate. You can leave your batteries on indefinitely and always have batteries ready to go.
I have both and each has it's place.

James
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 08:34 PM
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Balin: You are right about slow/fast chargers...I guess that is why my TX/RX packs sit on my Ace Super Smart charger after they peak. If he is refering to charging for flight packs, it really makes very little difference. IMHO matched packs are scary when it comes to BEC cutoff, had one plane crash because of it

James
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 12:07 AM
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James,

If I read you correctly I think you mean the matched cells basically all run out at the same time, kicking in the BEC, and if you don't happen to have a glider or be already landing you've had it. I never thought of it that way, but it's a good point. Do unmatched packs fade more gradually giving you more time to get back down?

I do the slow charging because it is recommended and it makes a lot a sense technically. Without occasional slow charging the packs gradually hold less and less total charge because some of the cells never top off and some are being continually overcharged and overheated. Since I've always done the slow charging every 6-12 flights on a pack I can't really compare, but that's my understanding.

Balin
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 11:49 AM
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All I can add is that I've been using a Ace DigiPulse and really like the way it does six packs at once.

I agree with JamesH but am pretty sure that he meant 1/50 trickle rate.

I got mine from Dave at Radical RC

BC
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 12:34 PM
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Steven D's Avatar
Peachtree City, Ga USA
Joined Apr 2000
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110 D

Quote:
Originally posted by Balin
I have a AF110D. I don't know if the 112 is different in how it charges or not.

But...as I understand it...the AF110D is a peak charger whether it's on fast or slow charge. So if you "slow charge" a 600 mah battery at 1/10 C (60 mah) the charger will shut off at the average peak of the cells in the pack. If the pack is unbalanced some cells will be fully charged, others not yet fully charged. The whole point of slow charging is to remedy this unavoidable situation. So a slow charger can't be a peak charger.

Balin
The 110 has a feature that allows you defeat the peak and time out. Just power the unit up with the button depressed.
Be very carefull that you know just what the current is, I use an analog Ammeter from radio shack (under $10 and easy to read). The digital meter on the unit just isn't fine (or accurate in some cases) enough...

Steven
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 12:45 PM
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San Diego, CA. USA
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Steven,

Wow, that is news to me. The directions in general on Af products range from sparse to cryptic and answers to messages to Bob basically undecipherable to me not having an advanced (or any) electrical engineering degree.

That would make my ACE DDVC somewhat redundant. I will - carefully - check it out. I have the multimeter. I got it shortly after getting the charger to do slow charge as the 110's meter was clearly unreliable at that low level. But I ran into the safety cutoff and the peak charge feature and gave up. Never ran across your method of defeating them.

Balin
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 02:44 PM
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Dallas,TX
Joined Jul 2001
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If you are looking for a cheap auto peak detecting charger, check out the Dymond mini-peak. It does nicad or nimh packs up to 8 cells and you can select from 300ma, 500ma or 1000ma charge rate. After peak it automatically drops to trickle charge. The best part is it only cost $30 US.
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