End view shows VERY clear polarity indicators. You'd have to work hard to make a mistake with these markings!
|Apex V12 12V Power Supply|
|Manufacturer:||Advanced Avionics Ltd.|
|In New Zealand:||Zoom Resources|
|The Rest of The World please see:||The Agents & Distributors page at Advanced Avionics Ltd.|
I recently received a couple of neat items from Bev & Trev at Zoom Resources to test and review. In this article I'm taking a look at the Advanced Avionics Apex V12 Switch-mode Power Supply. The second article will cover the Prolux 1-3 Cell LiPo Charger.
Like many indoor electric fliers, I depend on an old PC power supply to provide the necessary volts and amps for my chargers. While they do do the job well and are quite dependable, you have to admit that PC power supplies are bulky, ungainly, and downright ugly things to have to cart around with the rest of your flying kit. When Trev and Bev offered me the opportunity to test a switchmode power supply that was no larger than your average 'wall wart', I jumped at the chance! Would this be the answer to my dreams of a small light elegant indoor power solution for my chargers? Well let's give it a try and see...
Obviously each country has its own standards for A/C wall sockets and the actual supply voltage. This review was completed in New Zealand using the New Zealand version of the Apex V12. To find out if Advanced Avionics produce an Apex V12 to suit your power supply, please check with your local distributor (listed on Advanced Avionics Ltd. Apex Website) or contact Apex directly.
Opening the box revealed the power supply, a detachable charging cable, a single A4 Specification and Instruction Sheet, and a sheet of flouro Apex stickers. The power supply itself is a fairly standard looking wall plug adapter, although the ventilation holes on the top and side do suggest a little more output than normal. The supplied charging cable plugs into a polarized connector on the bottom of the power supply, and is terminated at the business end in a pair of bus bars. These bus bars allow you to use standard crocodile clip charger input leads to connect your charger to the power supply. This is a nice touch as you can continue to use a car battery for your charger on those outdoor adventures, without having to worry about remembering your 'outdoor' leads.
The output stage is protected from overload and short circuit by a standard automotive 7.5A fast blow fuse.
It would be possible to cut the terminator off and fit your own preferred output plug, as long as you ensure that your polarity is correct, and incorporate an in-line fuse holder for the fuse.
|Features and Specifications|
|Input Voltage:||220-240VAC (for NZ Market Model)|
|Output Voltage:||11-14V DC|
|Output Current:||Max 7 Amps|
|Compact wall plug adaptor form factor|
|Ouput short circuit and overload protection|
|Built in thermostatically controlled cooling fan|
Operation is simplicity itself. Plug the Apex into the wall outlet, hook up your charger, and off you go. As there can sometimes be issues with using switching power supplies to supply microprocessor controlled chargers, I decided to try the Apex V12 with both my Orbit Microlader 6 and the Prolux 3834. In both cases the power supply proved to be up to the job, having no issues powering either of these chargers.
Charging three-cell LiPo packs on the chargers proved to be well within the capabilities of the Apex. The cooling fan never activated at any stage of the charge, so to 'push the envelope' a little, I attached both chargers at once. I set the Orbit up to charge a 3-cell E-Tec 1200 pack at 3A, and put a 2000mAH 3-cell LiPo on the Prolux, charging at 2A. As the Apex is a 12V power supply, both chargers would be using their inverter stages to boost the charge voltage to the required 12.66V per pack. The test was a complete success! The Apex handled the load with no problems at all, and I did finally get to hear the cooling fan kick in! There is a little noise from the in-built fan, but this is to be expected, and at least you know when it is working! Out of interest, I double checked the supply voltage while I was doing this. I'm pleased to report that even with the load of both chargers running their inverters, and a combined charge output of 5A, the Apex continued to supply a rock steady 12.60V.
After successfully completing my initial testing, I continued to use the Apex V12 as the primary power source for my chargers for another week or so. I'm pleased to report that the unit performed flawlessly right through, and very shortly Bev is going to be getting an order for one for me to keep!
An excellent little power supply for the indoor user. The maximum current output of 7A is not great in outdoor terms, but should prove more than sufficient for the average indoor flyer. The purchase price of ~$90 NZ (~$50 US) is not cheap, but the device is quite robust and well made, and I think it represents good value for money. Given the that the V12 is small, light, can be thrown in your flight kit, and that you can throw away your big, heavy, ugly PC PSU, I think this little beauty is a real winner!
|Sep 08, 2004, 06:25 PM|
The APEX power supply is marketed in North America by Duratrax.
Maybe I should rephrase that as that APEX makes a similar power supply for Duratrax.
|Sep 09, 2004, 12:10 PM|
I was a great fan of the APEX chargers but for a few years the original yellow versions haven't been available in North America so I assumed Duratrax worked out an exclusive arrangement. The original Canadian distributor (Magmarc) doesn't carry them any more.
I tried to get this power supply quite a few years ago (5?) but I couldn't find it on this side of the water. They were hesitant to ship direct from Hong Kong to Canada which they had done previously.
If a Great Planes rep is listening, maybe they can correct some of my impressions of the distribution agreement.
PS Thanks for the great review too. I don't think APEX gets the credit they deserve for some innovative products.
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