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Old Nov 29, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Bogota Colombia
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Hi, I bought a 106B+ more than a year without any issue, also my brother's charger, but I've been reading a lots of post of breakdown problems, where is Junsi??

Regards,
Gustavo
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 04:15 PM
SpeedEBikes
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Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post
Not trying to run anglefood or anyone else off. It is not like he has no experience with these chargers.
Charles
Charles, I just got caught up on reading big portions of this thread that I hadn't read yet and I see angelfood does have experience with these chargers and has also been bitten by the "connection breakdown" message.

I highly doubt the firmware is getting randomly scrambled due to the connection spark, but it would be a good idea for Junsi to implement some form of verification of code and non-volatile data. Checksums are usually sufficient for this purpose and should be fast to compute for a reasonable memory size. It would be reassuring to see on power up, especially after flashing that checksums have been verified. And there should also be a reset function for all non-volatile data.

Ideally, there should also be some sort of 'watchdog' interrupt. The main thread should periodically feed the watchdog. Each time the watchdog interrupt occurs it checks to see if it has been fed. If it hasn't it kinows there is something wrong with the main thread and it can reset/reboot the charger, verify all code and data and perhaps reset or offer to reset all data.

It is Mike Keefer's report of his 1010b+ melting down that I currently find most troubling. The apparent randomness of it is scary. If this is the only case of it, perhaps it is simply extremely bad luck resulting in a one in a million type failure. But the odds are high that if it happens once it will happen again and again, especially as more units get shipped and perhaps as the existing units age and deteriorate. Junsi should try hard to get failed units back (along with details of the circumstances prior to failure) and inspect them asap to learn how and why they failed.
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 04:23 PM
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I am extremely new to this stuff, so please excuse my naivety.

Since i received my 208b I have conducted only bulk charging... I don't have my balance leads & connectors yet. My practice has been to power down my P350 every time before connecting or disconnecting my cells/packs. So when I do eventually connect and charge with the balance leads, wouldn't it be OK to follow my current practice, i.e., power down every time I connect/disconnect? Is this a potential work around to reduce the risk here?
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 04:25 PM
Southern Pride
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Haralson County GA. USA
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Quote:
I highly doubt the firmware is getting randomly scrambled due to the connection spark,
Then what do you feel is causing it? I know for sure that on one occasion mine failed immediately after a spark when positive lead was connected and it behaved exactly as the one here

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=5366


Mike Keefer's is not the only reported case of one going up in smoke.

I fully realize that many of theses chargers have been used by inexperienced / new to higher grade ,more complex chargers and that some were perhaps shorted by their users. There have been post about packs being incorrectly connected to the balancing PCBs and of series adapters causing shorts.

Charles
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedebikes View Post
Odd that a larger ohm resistor could cause damage to the ESC, at least as long is it wasn't kept in series between the ESC and the battery when throttling up.

The anti spark solution in the picture is elegant for its simplicity, but is flawed in that you now have an exposed live lead that might cause trouble if it ever touches something it shouldn't.

Something similar should work for eliminating the spark on connecting chargers as well, although I'd recommend one do it in a fashion that doesn't expose a live lead, such as by using a second connector or a switch to bypass a series resistance safely tucked away inside shrink wrap.
Below is a quote from CC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pdelcast
I don't suggest the "no spark" resistor for the MMM -- for a few reasons. First, the resistors that are suggested are WAY too big. They can cause the beeps (during startup) to cause a boost (with the motor inductance) that creates voltage spikes -- without the battery there to absorb them. -- So if you plug in through the resistor, the caps charge fully, then the ESC beeps the motor -- can cause enough of a "boost" spike to damage some of the more voltage sensitive parts.

Even just the brake turning on (which happens on power-up for safety reasons) can also cause a "boost" spike --

So to be safe, just say no to the resistor.

Really, it's easy on the caps to charge fast -- they don't mind at all. :yes: It is hard on the connectors -- but connectors are cheap compared to ESCs...
Others are using a separate connector like a JST with resister to help with the big sparks. CC also mentioned that the AUTO lipo cutoff will work properly with a 1 ohm resister.
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggy38 View Post
...where is Junsi??

Regards,
Gustavo
Inquiring minds WANT TO KNOW.

Kidney donation, maybe?
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 07:10 PM
SpeedEBikes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post
Then what do you feel is causing it? I know for sure that on one occasion mine failed immediately after a spark when positive lead was connected and it behaved exactly as the one here

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=5366


Mike Keefer's is not the only reported case of one going up in smoke.

I fully realize that many of theses chargers have been used by inexperienced / new to higher grade ,more complex chargers and that some were perhaps shorted by their users. There have been post about packs being incorrectly connected to the balancing PCBs and of series adapters causing shorts.

Charles
Are there more reports of smoked chargers in this thread or do you have links to them elsewhere?

I don't know what is causing the failure to start charging problem. I haven't even experienced it myself. It doesn't sound to me like the problem is random corruption of the firmware.

If it was random code corruption then chargers would be crashing in arbitrary places. If you are getting a crash/reset at the same point, right when charging is being initiated then it probably has a more specific cause.

Also consider that the cpu and memory are likely running on a 5 volt bus from a voltage regulator powered from the power supply inputs. The spark you are seeing is an inrush of current charging capacitance on the output. Also, at the time of the spark the outputs are surely isolated from the source power by one or more transistors in the off state.
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 07:48 PM
Southern Pride
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I think I will set this debate out and let Junsi,David and the other high tech users figure it out. I merely posted what mine did ,when it happened and why I believe it happened.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by speedebikes View Post
Personally, I don't think logs going full should interrupt the charging process, but merely sound an alarm.
Action should be user definable:
1. Stop logging (default)
2. Overwrite oldest data
3. Terminate

"Log overflow" warning should be displayed together with the "Done" screen (alternating) until confirmed be the user.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedebikes View Post
Checksums are usually sufficient for this purpose and should be fast to compute for a reasonable memory size.
Yes, that would be great.

Fred
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 01:34 AM
SpeedEBikes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpee View Post
I am extremely new to this stuff, so please excuse my naivety.

Since i received my 208b I have conducted only bulk charging... I don't have my balance leads & connectors yet. My practice has been to power down my P350 every time before connecting or disconnecting my cells/packs. So when I do eventually connect and charge with the balance leads, wouldn't it be OK to follow my current practice, i.e., power down every time I connect/disconnect? Is this a potential work around to reduce the risk here?
Gumpee, until the exact causes of the various failures are each known it would be hard to evaluate your strategy. I believe (but do not know) that in the case of a charge abort due to logs filling that powering off and back on would be beneficial. My own plan is to power off the charger after any charge is aborted by the charger. But if a charge completes or I end it with the stop button I won't power cycle it.

With many devices cycling power adds to their wear and tear. I don't know this is the case for this charger or the P350, but it is possible. I'd hope that one could cycle the power on them many, many thousands of times before causing harm. But without the insights of the designers or lots of accumulated test data we won't know.

Finally, it is perfectly ok, in fact recommended to have the charger powered on before making connections to a battery.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 01:58 AM
SpeedEBikes
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I was doing some testing of cells tonight with my remaining 208b charger.

I did an IR test of a bunch of Headway 10 ah cells. I tested them first with the charger cold at 60 F and got roughly 12 +/- 3 milliohms per cell.

I then warmed the charger up by charging a lipo pack for 20 minutes. Then with the charger now showing an internal temp of 105 F I retested the same Headway cells still at the same temperature and voltage they were at during the IR test 20 minutes previously and now they showed roughly 9 +/- 2 milliohms per cell.

This was done for four 8s packs. Also curious, the first and last cells of each pack were the highest IR of each pack in both tests with the charger cool and with it warm. Seemed a little curious to me as these are all esssentialy new cells each having been gently test cycled a half dozen times.

There is one slight difference in that my balance leads are soldered to bare copper bus bars between each of the cells, but the balance leads at each end of the pack are soldered to chromed ring terminals. I wonder if that could account for the difference or was it just a coincidence or does the charger have something going on internally that makes it read a little higher on the end cells.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 02:03 AM
iCharger 106B user
Lab, Slovak Republic
Joined Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc1 View Post
Just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention.

After a bit of research and one email to Meanwell USA, it appears that a great number of power supplies sold on eBay as Meanwell (or with the Meanwell stickers) are actually fakes.
Thanks for info.
I just bought this one - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=160369160245

As you can see there is no word of MW or Meanwell at all. So no problem, until this PSU will cause you a problem.

Regarding test, i just 10x 50W halogen lamp. Wonna log (eagletree) Volts and Amps while switching 7 halogens one by one.

Later wish to make a external discharge for my old 106b, is there any step-by-step post, wish not to blow my charger away, since all new ones have a mentioned problem (just canceled 206b order)
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 08:22 AM
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Park City, UT
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Alex, it is a Mean Well, look at the blurred red logo in the photo. I just received a 208B which is working great. It has the latest firmware and ships with the Windows7 drivers. All chargers have problems at some point the only reason we are so aware of the iCharger issues is due to the fact that the same people that choose to use better chargers also post on forums.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tribum View Post
Alex, it is a Mean Well, look at the blurred red logo in the photo. I just received a 208B which is working great. It has the latest firmware and ships with the Windows7 drivers. All chargers have problems at some point the only reason we are so aware of the iCharger issues is due to the fact that the same people that choose to use better chargers also post on forums.
I "suspect" that no one expects "perfection," but most non-sophisticated users expect a product to be reasonably fit after several years on the market. In my opinion, this one, in its "generic" form, appears to fail this test. If you get the "connection breakdown," I suspect your "tune" will change, too.

I have no doubt that the overall design specifications are superior, but I don't think the Ichargers are ready for the unsophisticated market (me, included).

Just my opinions.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 09:18 AM
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Canada, Quebec, Mercier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.guzun View Post
Thanks for info.
I just bought this one - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=160369160245

As you can see there is no word of MW or Meanwell at all. So no problem, until this PSU will cause you a problem.

Regarding test, i just 10x 50W halogen lamp. Wonna log (eagletree) Volts and Amps while switching 7 halogens one by one.

Later wish to make a external discharge for my old 106b, is there any step-by-step post, wish not to blow my charger away, since all new ones have a mentioned problem (just canceled 206b order)
I have the same PSU and am very satisfied with it

I am building this circuit : http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attac...4&d=1232711446

Edit : forgot to add the photo

This way I will not stress the charger and it is easy and inexpensive to adjust the load (use your halogen lamp)

I redraw the circuit, it is easier to understand or see what is happening :
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