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Old Jan 15, 2009, 04:08 PM
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Connection Breakdown Issue with 6S Zippy LiPo

Hi everyone,

I've just bought an iCharger 106B+ from HobbyCity, and I'm very pleased with it, but I am having a "Connection Breakdown" issue, which I hope someone in the forum, or Junsi can help with?

My 106B+ charger will charge my 2S and 3S Zippy LiPos without any problem at all. But I have two Zippy 6S 3300 mAh LiPos which I've just bought, and the iCharger won't charge them at all. I've tried using the Balance Charge, Charge, Fast Charge and Cycle options, and when I connect my 6S Zippy LiPo the iCharger using any of those charge options, the iCharger just beeps "Connection Breakdown" after I press Start.

If I plug in the same battery and select the LiPo Monitor option, I can read the total voltage, and all of the individual cell voltages, so I've definitely got a connection to the battery, but it just won't charge.

I originally thought the Zippy 6S LiPo must have been faulty (even though it's brand new), so I bought another which I just received one today, and it's doing the same thing.

So I'm really at a loss to understand what's happening, since it'll charge my 2S LiPo's just fine. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

Thanks everyone,

Pete.
-
Peter Leaver
Tauranga, New Zealand
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 04:13 PM
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United States, MI, Grand Rapids
Joined Sep 2007
376 Posts
What power supply are you using?
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Joined Dec 2008
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I think you've got a bad connection somewhere on your new batteries, maybe the balancing connector. I've had that error before when I forgot to hook something up. It just means that it's not seeing the battery or a connection is loose somewhere...

If it works fine with your 3s LiPos, then it's most likely the connection to your new batteries that's causing the problem.

It shouldn't matter what power supply you have, the charger adjusts for the source.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:55 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
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Try this test:

1) Connect just the main power lead from the battery, not the balance lead
2) Select LiPo, Fast Charge, 0.1A
3) Start the charge

What happens ?

4) Stop the charge

Now try this:
1) Connect just the main power lead from the battery, not the balance lead
2) Select NiCd, Manual, 0.1A
3) Start the charge

What happens ?

4) Stop the charge
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedVision
What power supply are you using?
I'm using a commercial produced 13.8v 20 amp power supply which my local Align dealer sells quite a few of.

Just to rule that out, I've also connected the charger to my 12v car battery, with the same results.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:20 PM
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Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgfly
Try this test:

1) Connect just the main power lead from the battery, not the balance lead
2) Select LiPo, Fast Charge, 0.1A
3) Start the charge

What happens ?

4) Stop the charge

Now try this:
1) Connect just the main power lead from the battery, not the balance lead
2) Select NiCd, Manual, 0.1A
3) Start the charge

What happens ?

4) Stop the charge
Thanks for your suggestions. Tried the first set, after Step 3 it immediately said "Connection Breakdown"

Tried the second set, same again, after Step 3 is immediately said "Connection breakdown".

The strange thing is, I can run the LiPo monitor program, and it shows a total voltage, and voltage for each cell if the balance connector is plugged in. So the charger can see the battery, it just won't charge.

I checked my firmware also, and have upgraded to the latest (3.08 from memory?)

Cheers,

Pete.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplecj
I think you've got a bad connection somewhere on your new batteries, maybe the balancing connector. I've had that error before when I forgot to hook something up. It just means that it's not seeing the battery or a connection is loose somewhere...

If it works fine with your 3s LiPos, then it's most likely the connection to your new batteries that's causing the problem.

It shouldn't matter what power supply you have, the charger adjusts for the source.
That's what I thought initially, but it won't even to a LiPo Charge or LiPo Fast Charge (ie balance connector not plugged into the iCharger) without a Connection Breakdown error. But only with the 6S LiPo batteries I have. My other LiPos it will charge fine.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
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Hmm. All I can think of is a bad solder joint on the Deans plug (battery main power plug) which is high impedance. Next step really is to try the pack on another charger. Or you could resolder the Deans plug and try again. If it is not the pack then I guess it must be a faulty unit, but I cannot explain why it charges 3S OK but not 6S. Of course with 3S there is little or no voltage step-up required but for 6S it has to double the supply voltage. If there is a fault with the synchronous converter then perhaps that explains the problem. To test this you could connect two 3S packs in series = 6S and attempt to start a charge (at 0.1A) just to see if it gets the same error or not.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgfly
Hmm. All I can think of is a bad solder joint on the Deans plug (battery main power plug) which is high impedance. Next step really is to try the pack on another charger. Or you could resolder the Deans plug and try again. If it is not the pack then I guess it must be a faulty unit, but I cannot explain why it charges 3S OK but not 6S. Of course with 3S there is little or no voltage step-up required but for 6S it has to double the supply voltage. If there is a fault with the synchronous converter then perhaps that explains the problem. To test this you could connect two 3S packs in series = 6S and attempt to start a charge (at 0.1A) just to see if it gets the same error or not.
That's about the conclusion I've come to. I'm trying to locate another local with a different charger. I doubt it's the Deans connector, since two new Zippy packs are doing the same thing.

Might try the 2 x 3S pack idea and see what happens.

Thanks for all your input.

Cheers, Pete.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Joined Sep 2008
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Charge / discharge graphs

Using the USB cable and logview software, can graphs be created for each of the cells in a LiXX pack? I am wondering if this charger can be used in a similar manner to the West Mountain Radio CBA II ?
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 12:24 AM
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Yes, you can log the charge/discharge of the individual cells as well as the pack total, current, external temp, internal temp and capacity (mAh).

So yes you can do some of what the CBA does but limited by the discharge power of the charger (either with or without an external load).
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 10:17 PM
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United States, MI, Grand Rapids
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Ok, crew. I recieved my 50 watt resistors and I am wiring them in parallel to discharge my 22 volt pack at close to 7 amps. I will use four 15 ohm resistors and one 20 ohm resistor to achieve a 3.15 ohm load.

Once I parallel all the resistors (see attachment, but with 6 resistors), then I connect each side of the parallel circuit in series with the positive lead from the charger to the battery to create the external load, correct?

At this point I should be able to dial up the amps to about 7, correct?

Please verify that I have everything as intended to achieve this external load. Thanks.
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 11:43 PM
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Yes, that sounds right. As shown in the diagram in the manual on the page about "external expanding discharge", the external load goes in the positive lead bewteen the battery and the charger.
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Old Jan 18, 2009, 08:37 AM
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United States, MI, Grand Rapids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedVision
Ok, crew. I recieved my 50 watt resistors and I am wiring them in parallel to discharge my 22 volt pack at close to 7 amps. I will use four 15 ohm resistors and one 20 ohm resistor to achieve a 3.15 ohm load.

Once I parallel all the resistors (see attachment, but with 6 resistors), then I connect each side of the parallel circuit in series with the positive lead from the charger to the battery to create the external load, correct?

At this point I should be able to dial up the amps to about 7, correct?

Please verify that I have everything as intended to achieve this external load. Thanks.
Well, first test = MAJOR FAILURE...

Charger has been renderded useless. Didn't see any smoke, but I did get a faint "smell"... Charger still powers up fine, but any attempt to charge at any amp increment results in connection breakdown. Any attempt to discharge trips the power supply protection and everything goes black.

Pictures show setup in detail. Reisistance was four 15 ohm and one 20 ohm for a total resistance of 3.15 ohm.

Resting pack voltage was just over 20 volts - wasn't fully charged.

Balance taps and main leads were connected as pictured. Charger did recognize 6s pack, hit enter again and charger immediately started hard resetting quickly (maybe 3 times) before I could shut off the power (stop didn't work).

The only setting that could have contributed to the failure was my initial 2.0 amp discharge setting with all the resistance applied... Not sure. I was trying to be safe and see if it would achieve 2 amps before going to 7...

>>Edit<< Also, I was using the supplied USB interface to track progress of intended discharge. USB connectivity had worked well on several charges...

I was prepaired for a lot of things to happen, but not a catastrophic failure of undetermined proportions...

Since we can't do anything about the charger at this point, I guess we can only evaluate the process for everyone's benefit to help prevent anyone else from having the same experience...
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Last edited by SpeedVision; Jan 18, 2009 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Added USB connection info.
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Old Jan 18, 2009, 08:45 AM
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Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgfly
Yes, that sounds right. As shown in the diagram in the manual on the page about "external expanding discharge", the external load goes in the positive lead bewteen the battery and the charger.
P.S. - I did run this by Junsi via PM and he agreed that all looked good based on the basic information I provided... I say this only because I want to focus on knowledge and understanding vs. blame or responsibility. After all, I was the one that pressed "start".
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