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Old Dec 24, 2006, 05:56 AM
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LI, New York, USA
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How are you handling the issue of LiPo balancing taps

I would like to see how the community is handling the issue of balancing tap compatibility.

I have been using Lipos for a couple of years but have been using a Triton Charger to charge them. Most are two cell packs so the balancing issue is a bit less with only two cells, however I am certain I will still benefit from a balancing charger. And, I have some 3 cell packs ready to go. All have been CellPro balancing tap based. Time to get a balancing charger.

I asked Santa for a Cell Pro 4S charger as several friends have this charger and seem to be happy with it.
http://www.fmadirect.com/products.htm?cat=45&nid=4

However, I have learned that FMADirect has discontinued their Cell Pro lithium pack series. If Santa brings the charger I am not sure if I will keep it or return it since I can't get packs from them anymore. FMA does make adapters but I am not sure I want to deal with the expense and the chance of miss connecting a balancing tap and blowing a pack.

Here is the question:
For my benefit and the benefit of the community, tell us how have you been dealing with the issue of balancing tap compatibility?

Do you stick to the brand of pack that matches your charger?

Are you soldering on new taps to your packs?

In my case, are there other lithium pack makers that use the CellPro balancing plug standard?

I am interested in how the community is dealing with this issue.
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Last edited by aeajr; Dec 24, 2006 at 06:04 AM.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Indiana
Joined Jul 2003
1,064 Posts
I use an Astro Blinky. With the TP adapter if needed. That combo covers everything i have. [polyquest, TP, Vampower, 2 dog, twenty]
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 06:40 AM
Joined Jan 2004
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Chargers

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr

Here is the question:
For my benefit and the benefit of the community, tell us how have you been dealing with the issue of balancing tap compatibility?

Do you stick to the brand of pack that matches your charger?

Are you soldering on new taps to your packs?

In my case, are there other lithium pack makers that use the CellPro balancing plug standard?

I am interested in how the community is dealing with this issue.
The CellPro Node adapters are for the CellPro 4S only. No othe charger that I ever heard of can connect to that tap. This may have been a part of the demise of their lipo product line.

There are actually a psuedo standard. The Polyquest tap is the most popular worldwide. Other companies using this tap include Hyperion, E-Tec, Max Amps. Most Chinese packs use the Align taps. Thunderpower taps is also used on newer Apex and Flightpower packs.

The best advice is to decide on a balance tap that you want to use and just use packs that have that tap, as well as buy a charger/balancer that supports as many brands as possible.

Since you are discussing the balance tap issue, you are looking for a balance charger or atleast an external balancer.

As far as balance chargers go, there are only a few on the market at the moment. Bantam manufactures 2 units, the BC-5 and BC-5. Click here for more information on the e-Station line.

The BC-5 was just reviewed in the Nov issue of the Model Aviation Magazine, Click Here for the Review.

The BC-8 was just looked at by Red Scholefield as well, Click Here for what he said on WattFlyer.com.

Commonsence RC and DN also make a balance charger.

RC Accessory, Inc.
Auth US Bantam Importer
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Last edited by RC Accessory; Dec 24, 2006 at 06:47 AM.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Texas
Joined Jan 2005
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I have a Hyperion LBA6 balancer that can be used with just about any charger that takes banana plugs.
You can find most adapters for different taps. What I do is take the tap that isn't compatable and using the wires from it and solder a Hyperion connector on it.

I did buy a adaptor for the tanic packs I have as the wires are burried under the covering. It has seperate JST taps for each cell so to balance I use the middle one to get all cells balanced.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
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Learn to make adaptors.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...0&postcount=29
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 09:10 AM
Will fly for food
Maryland
Joined Sep 2004
8,424 Posts
Any GOOD balancer should not blwo anything up if you misconect the packs. The good news is in most cases the connector will only fit the proper adapter. DN is the only one that is reversed, and you can fairly easily swap the pins in the connector.

BE CAREFUL to not short pins as you do so though. I would get a new connector, and swap one pin at a time. Then take the connector I just pulled the pins out of and do the same thing again.

I use an Equinox balancer with my Triotn and it you plug somethign in backwards, it just doesn't work. No harm.

Not sure about my new TP 210V.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 09:58 AM
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LI, New York, USA
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Thanks guys.

I have this same post on several boards and, as usual, I get the most and the best responses here.

This will be very valueable informatoin for me, but I hope this will also be helpful information for the rest of the community.

Pinecone, thanks for the tips on changing connectors.

Everydayflyer, thanks for the link. Very helpful!

Smurf, do you have a link to the balancer and adapters you use?

RCAccessory, looks like good chargers. A bit more than I wanted to spend at this time but good info for others.

icrashRC, do you have links to the balancer and adapters you use?

To all who are using balancers rather than chargers:

How do you use them? Are you running the charger through the balancer?

If not, do you then balance after each charge?

If not, how often do you balance the packs.

Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 11:25 AM
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For me, every charge is a balance charge. I did this before than BC-5 and 8 were released using either the e-station 301dx or 902 charges with the PB-5 balancer.

Of all my lipo packs from various manufacturers, I had 1 pack fail, that was a 3S 1320 TP pack which TP replaced under warranty. So far, never a puffed cell or any type issue. Is this because I only balance charge? No one can say for sure but most agree that balancing is necessary.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr
Thanks guys.


Smurf, do you have a link to the balancer and adapters you use?

Looks like maybe the LBA10 has taken the place of the LBA6 http://http://www.maxamps.com/index....d=39058.624850

If I remember right, everydayflyer said this one was exactly the same as the LBA6
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXMGS7&P=7

Here is a Hobby Lobby version. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the Poly-Quest tap is the same as the Hyperion. http://www.hobby-lobby.com/balancers.htm
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Last edited by smurf; Dec 24, 2006 at 11:54 AM.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 12:30 PM
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United States, IL, Paris
Joined Jul 2005
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I guess I'm in the minority here, but I just stick with all Thunder Power so I don't have to deal with adapters.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 01:51 PM
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Vancouver WA
Joined Jul 2006
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I'm using csrc batts with the adapter card and cs pigtail. Also maxamps that were ordered from austin with TP taps that plug in to the card too. I have a truerc Tx lipo configured with a PQ tap that fits the adapter card too. My batt purchases will be influenced by their ability to hook up to my cp 4s. I hope enough people do this kind of thing to help drive standardization. Great charger BTW. Waiting for an improved balance pro from FMA for large packs (needs led).
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 02:04 PM
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Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Joined Jun 2000
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Cell Pro is compatible with 100% of all packs

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr
I would like to see how the community is handling the issue of balancing tap compatibility.

I have been using Lipos for a couple of years but have been using a Triton Charger to charge them. Most are two cell packs so the balancing issue is a bit less with only two cells, however I am certain I will still benefit from a balancing charger. And, I have some 3 cell packs ready to go. All have been CellPro balancing tap based. Time to get a balancing charger.

I asked Santa for a Cell Pro 4S charger as several friends have this charger and seem to be happy with it.
http://www.fmadirect.com/products.htm?cat=45&nid=4

However, I have learned that FMADirect has discontinued their Cell Pro lithium pack series. If Santa brings the charger I am not sure if I will keep it or return it since I can't get packs from them anymore. FMA does make adapters but I am not sure I want to deal with the expense and the chance of miss connecting a balancing tap and blowing a pack.

Here is the question:
For my benefit and the benefit of the community, tell us how have you been dealing with the issue of balancing tap compatibility?

Do you stick to the brand of pack that matches your charger?

Are you soldering on new taps to your packs?

In my case, are there other lithium pack makers that use the CellPro balancing plug standard?

I am interested in how the community is dealing with this issue.
The FMA adapters permit connectioin to multiple brands such that 95 % are covered by three adapters at http://www.fmadirect.com/products.htm?cat=45&nid=4 One of those is,, of course, the Polyquest. The other 5% are covered by purchase of an inexpensive Cell Pro tap and the pigtail that is for the charger that might normally be used to charge your "other 5% pack". Very frankly, the chances of the dozens of Li Po vendors ever standardizing on any one connector is almost nil. Almost every CellPro or BalPro that ships has at least one adapter ordered with it.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 02:35 PM
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Port Orchard, WA
Joined Feb 2002
670 Posts
Well I think Tanic is now offering FMA taps on all there packs standard now. Check them out at www.Tanicpacks.com I think they custom make all thier packs so you can have Old tanic, FMA, TP or none put on. Good cells too.
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 03:46 PM
PGR
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
Joined Jun 2004
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I'm a Blinky believer and here's why:

You plug the blinky onto the battery instead of the other way around. Most balancers require that you plug the battery into a boxy balancer and then flex the balance leads so the battery can sit on the bench. This has caused a wire in the balance harness to break loose from the battery tabs on a few of my packs which requires surgery and soldering to repair. The white balance wire on TP 3S packs is notorious for this.

The Blinky is small and light and plugs into the balance leads without any need to flex them. I actually tape the balance leads down to the side of the pack on most of my packs which makes them easier to handle and store and eliminates any chance that wire flex will break a wire. This just wouldn't be possible if I was using one of the box balancers.

Pete
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 04:01 PM
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Haralson County GA. USA
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For over 1-1/2 years now.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...35&postcount=8
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