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Old Dec 21, 2004, 03:09 PM
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Can a TEKIN BC112C Charger be used for LiPo batteries?

I have a Tekin BC112 charger I've been using for my NiMH batteries. Are there settings that I can use to safely charge a 2 or 3 cell LIPO?

Thanks,
Glenn
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 03:26 PM
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I don't know anything about this charger. But I just read through the features list on Tekin's web site. It doesn't say anything about Lithium polymer or lithium Ion. Typically, if a charger supports either of these chemistries, you would see it all over the fearture list. I think it is a safe bet that this charger does not charge lithium ion or lithium polymer cells. I highly recommend that you do not try it.

Joe
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 03:57 PM
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This charger came out before the LIPOs were being used a lot in the RC world, that's why I think it doesn't mention them. I understand that LiPo batteries need a nice linear charge which this charger will do. I will not try it out, but just wanted to see if anyone knew anything about this older charger.

Thanks,
Glenn
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 04:05 PM
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Glenn,
I am not sure what you mean by a linear charge. What lipos need is a constant current until the voltage across them reaches 4.2V per cell. At that point the charger must fix the voltage in place and allow the current to slowly drop.

NiCd and NiMH's require a constant current until teh votlage peaks and then begins to drop.
If you wanted to assume the responsibility, you could possibly partially charge lipos with this charger in its constant current mode. While this is happening, you will need to constantly, manually monitor the voltage across the pack. When it reaches 4.2V/cell, you will need to terminate the charge. This is very tedious and boring and potentially dangerous. Also, you will not get a full charge on your packs since part of the charging cycle is omitted. I think you are looking at around 75% charge or something like that.

The charging method for lipos is sufficiently different from NiCd/NiMH that if the manufacturer doesn't mention it, then there is a good chance that it isn't there. If the charger came out before lipos were popular, then it is definitely not there.

Be careful,
Joe
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Joe,
You've been very helpful, thank you for taking the time. Yes, this charger has a mode that keeps the current constant. Now, if there was a mode where it kept the voltage steady, sounds like it would work if I manually switched it at 4.2 volts per cell. You are right, it's just not worth the risk. Do you have a recommendation of a good 2 and 3 cell charger? I have a 12 volt power supply that is good for a couple of amps, but I don't know if this will be enough for the 3 cell packs.

Thanks,
Glenn
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 08:57 PM
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Glenn,
I am glad I can be of help. As for recommendations of good chargers, your best bet is to search right here in this forum. Personally, I like the Triton charger. I runs on a 12V supply. I purchased a 13.2V supply that is good for 20 amps on line somewhere for about $80. This is sufficient to run the Triton in any of its uses. However, I could certainly get by with a 12V supply capable of probably 3 to 5 amps for most of my uses. Astroflight makes a very nice lithium charger. However, I find two main draw backs with that one. One is that it only does lithium. The Triton does all of them, NiCd, NiMH, lithium and lead acid. The second drawback, IMO, is that it uses a potentiometer to set the max current. These things always get a little dirty and it becomes difficult to accurately set the current. The Triton uses an encoder to digitally set the current.

There is a relatively new charger out now that seems to be geared toward the car guys. But it is very interesting and certainly capable of everything most fliers would need. It is called the ICE.

There are also a line of chargers made by Schulze and one made by Orbit. These are very capable chargers. They are capable of charging larger and higher capacity packs than the Triton or ICE. However, they are pricey.

That is probably more information than you were hoping for. I hope I did not cloud the issue too much. I just hate it when someone spouts their opinions as fact. I want to make sure you know when I am providing facts and when I am giving my opinion.

Good luck and happy holidays.

Joe
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 09:22 PM
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Joe,
Thanks, I'll look at the chargers you mentioned. Thanks again!

Thanks,
Glenn
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 09:32 PM
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Glenn, it's possible to spend weeks researching chargers. The thing is, there are many different scenarios to consider, and different people will favor different scenarios.

For example, there's one school of thought that a charger should be able to charge any type of cell, and another that it's safer to have a dedicated Li charger to avoid the possibility of accidently charging Li cells on a NiMH or NiCd setting.

Another example of two different schools of thought are to buy the cheapest minimal charger you need now and upgrade to a new charger when the current one becomes inadequate, or to anticipate what you might need in the coming years and buy an expensive, premium charger that will handle your present and future needs.

It really helps to get through these general gateways before you even start getting into the different brands with different features in each subcategory. What really helped me was to read many messages from many people explaining what they bought and why. You'll eventually find a message from someone that will click, and you'll say, "That's me!"
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 10:44 PM
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Just in case it wasn't stated definitively... NO!! the Tekin 112 is not a Lipo charger.

I've had one for many years. It's a great nicd charger and ok for nimh with later software versions, H27 and later.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 12:00 AM
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Glenn

I 've used my Hobbico Mark II QFC in the Nicad and Nimh 8 cell mode to charge 3 cell LIPOs to 12.6V and 2cell LIPOs to 8.4V along with the Kokam Voltage Safety Guards ( $12.99) designed to shut off at 12.6V and 8.4V. They also make a 4 cell guard.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hall woo
Glenn

I 've used my Hobbico Mark II QFC in the Nicad and Nimh 8 cell mode to charge 3 cell LIPOs to 12.6V and 2cell LIPOs to 8.4V along with the Kokam Voltage Safety Guards ( $12.99) designed to shut off at 12.6V and 8.4V. They also make a 4 cell guard.
As stated in previous messages the technology involved for charge LiPo or LiIon is nothing special or advanced, so there are tons of tricks to charge LiPo and LiIon without a dedicated charger.

Fact is that LiPo and LiIon are potentially dangerous while charged above the specs ... people have lost houses and cars ... do to LiPo and LiIon.

The most important thing about a LiPo charge is the safety issues ... for me the minimum requirment for consider a LiPo charge it is the presence of digital input and a clear an full digital display for show what is the status of the charge ... in order to be aware if a LiPo cell is above specs or it start to lose its normal behave.

There are many cheap Xpeak 3 clones (one is also made by Kokam) they are available as low as 69Euro (80$) ... up to 3Amp charge 0.5discharge and NiCd,NiMh,LiPo,LIIon,PB support (so all type of cells) .... some little bit more expensive version are capable of 5Amp charge and 3Amp discharge .... going below this it is quite risky on my opinion.

If money is not an issue Schulze chargers is always the best solution !

e_lm_70

P.S: You can even use your mobile phone equipment for charge your LiPo !!! This is even for free ... and far more safe then other tricks !
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 06:48 AM
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$12.99 Kokam Voltage Safety Guard

The average R/Cer is a Sunday flier wanting to get some fresh air and maybe a little thrill before comabating the hi-stress commuter traffic here in Silicon Valley.

We don't have $200 bucks for a Schulze and maybe want to spend it on extra LIPO batteries.

But I have the time to convert a toss away FREE Aerobird to an interesting GWS EDF 75 ducted fan all afternoon Sunday flier ( 10 amps ,115 watts, 21 ounce)on a single charge ( flying 1/3 throttle ) using a Tanic 2150 ma 3S1P salvaged LIPO pack chargeble with a Hobbico Mark II Quick Field Charger in the NICAD/ NMH mode safely with Kokam Voltage Safety Guard

Additional Cost: one weekend and $12.99 plus tax for the additional electronic device insurance

Total Cost: too much to think about
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 07:13 AM
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Any charger / DC power source which can supply more volts than the battery pack being charged can charge any rechargable battery/pack.
The problem is some cells requires constant voltage,some constant current, some pulsed and some combinations of these.
If you do not understand electronics and battery behavior under charg then it would be potentialy dangerious to learn with Lipos batteries.
Learn electronics,atleast Ohm's law, not what it is but how to apply it. Read all you can about Lipos then decide if you really are that sure you want to proceed.
I have posted that in my opinion " That is if you have to ask ,then don't do it".
Some ar offended by such post. I still feel that you have the knowledge,skills experience required for a project the you do not the forumns OK to proceed, Just Do It.
If you are seriously looking for Lipo info the start with the Sticky(s) at the top of this forumn.

Charles
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Silk out of Sow's Ear ?

I'll put it this way

U can't make " Silk out of Sow's Ear

And

U can't teach " DODO Birds to fly like an Eagle "
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 07:52 AM
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Charles, I think you could eliminate any offense by anyone to your "If you have to ask, then don't do it" by simply adding "until you learn how to do it safely."
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