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Old Jun 09, 2008, 03:05 PM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
Ashburn, VA
Joined Mar 2004
568 Posts
Hey Guys.

I'm in the market for a new charger, and with the great support this charger seems to have with the help of Junsi, I'm most likely to purchase this charger.

Few questions first tho.. 500 some posts, and I have maybe read about 50-60, but no time to read them all. My first questions are more regards to balance charging in general since I don't own a balancing charger.

Does this charger balance the cells while charging, or by bleeding the over charged cell within a pack? It seems clear to me, that balancers only balance packs by bleeding off a cell, rather than charging a cell to bring it up to the rest. For example, lets say you have a 3S pack. One cell is at 3.75v Second cell is at 3.73 and the last cell is at 3.66. Will this charger bleed off the first two cells to match the third cell, then begin it's charge? Or how does it work?

Balancing taps/adapters. I went to look at adapters for this charger, and I can't find any. Not only that, but I can't find exactly which packs are compatible with the included connector. I really like the Hyperion charger, because they make it very easy to purchase the correct adaptor.. not so with this charger.

What's the status of iChargers sold today? I'm so confused on what is included in the realm of PC connectivity. Is a mod still needed or has the manufacterer finally included this mod for us? If not, is the mod easy to do, and are instructions to do it come with the charger, or do I need to wade through 500 posts in this thread to find how to do it? Any screen shots on the software/logging feature of this charger? Is the info realtime, or just straight logging?

Sorry if these answers are in this thread, but it's too long for me to read. However, this should help me to decide if I should get this charger or not. thanks!

-Drew
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Old Jun 09, 2008, 07:54 PM
Registered User
Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
6,407 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenex
Has anyone tested the new ability to charge a Transmitter without diode bypass or is this a feature added to a future update that has not been released yet?
Yes, this works fine now. To be honest I cannot recall whether I did this with my 106B or 1010B. The 106B is running v2.9 and the 1010B v2.8 so if you already have 3.01 then you will be fine.
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Old Jun 09, 2008, 08:10 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoLogic
Does this charger balance the cells while charging, or by bleeding the over charged cell within a pack? It seems clear to me, that balancers only balance packs by bleeding off a cell, rather than charging a cell to bring it up to the rest. For example, lets say you have a 3S pack. One cell is at 3.75v Second cell is at 3.73 and the last cell is at 3.66. Will this charger bleed off the first two cells to match the third cell, then begin it's charge? Or how does it work?
While there are one or two chargers that charge invidual cells most do not as it is expensive and limited to no more than about 4A charge rates. Balancing is almost always done using bypass/discharge technique.

The best chargers, like these iChargers, optimise charge speed during balance charging by using a bypass technique combined with control of the primary charge current. If any one cell reaches the threshold (~4.20V) ahead of the others then the balancer circuit bypasses some of the charge current around that cell to hold it at the limit while the other cells catch up. If the cell cannot be held at the limit due to the charge current far exceed the balance current (eg 5A charge current, 300mA balance current) then the charger will back off the primary charge current as needed to ensure the cell is protected from overvoltage. Once all cells catch up the primary charge current may be increased again. This is a dynamic process that continues until the CV phase is completed.

Standalone balancers do indeed simply discharge the high cells down to match the lowest cell.

Quote:
Balancing taps/adapters. I went to look at adapters for this charger, and I can't find any. Not only that, but I can't find exactly which packs are compatible with the included connector. I really like the Hyperion charger, because they make it very easy to purchase the correct adaptor.. not so with this charger.
The ic106B has integrated sockets for 2s,3s,4s,5s and 6s. They are JST-XH style which suit the majority of Chinese packs and many others too. The ic1010B has an adapter board for 4x2s, 3x3s, 2x4s, 2x5s, 6s, 8s, and 10s (IIRC, I don't have it with me) again, with JST-XH sockets.

I agree that availability of alternative adapter boards from Junsi is still a limitation but you can get them elsewhere. For example: http://www.eheli.com.au/store/home.php?cat=261

As for what packs have what balance plugs, that is a somewhat fluid situation as some brands have changed over time. There are a few useful summaries around, here is one: http://www.rcaccessory.com/pdf/Batte...on%20Guide.pdf

In general I recommend folks ensure that have coverage of at least JST-XH, TP/FP and PQ/Hyp styles and that should cover 95% of the market.
You can get adapter board

Quote:
What's the status of iChargers sold today? I'm so confused on what is included in the realm of PC connectivity. Is a mod still needed or has the manufacterer finally included this mod for us? If not, is the mod easy to do, and are instructions to do it come with the charger, or do I need to wade through 500 posts in this thread to find how to do it? Any screen shots on the software/logging feature of this charger? Is the info realtime, or just straight logging?
At this time there is still a requirement to add your own connector and obtain a suitable interface cable. There are many suitable solutions discussed in this thread. The good news is that the firmware that will ship with new units has the "turn on with STOP button held" feature to enter the upgrade mode so once you have added the 3-wire serial port connector you don' thave to open the charger again.

Data logging is not yet implemented and although under consideration by Junsi, there is no schedule for its release.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 07:14 AM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
Ashburn, VA
Joined Mar 2004
568 Posts
kgfly-

Thank you so much for taking your time to clearify those questions I had. You would think something as simple as a charger would be pretty cut and dry, but I'm glad you were there to help me on this matter.

Take Care
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 10:15 AM
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United States, CT, Ledyard
Joined Sep 2003
249 Posts
Tanic is the US distributor for these chargers and BP Hobbies sells adapter boards that work with these chargers.

These chargers appear to be a good value and if designed with quality compontents and end user upgradeable firmware they will be.

I have ordered two 106b's and look forward to their use.

People who are imports, distributors or retailers for these products should note this via a tag line disclaimer in every post.

"The iCharger is famous for its ultra-accurate balancing feature. Each unit is calibrated at the factory prior to shipping!" Who originally wrote this? These chargers haven't been on the market long enough to be famous. Aren't all chargers calibrated at the factory.

I'm hopeful the hype is true.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 10:29 AM
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United States, CT, Ledyard
Joined Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgfly

At this time there is still a requirement to add your own connector and obtain a suitable interface cable. There are many suitable solutions discussed in this thread. The good news is that the firmware that will ship with new units has the "turn on with STOP button held" feature to enter the upgrade mode so once you have added the 3-wire serial port connector you don' thave to open the charger again.

Data logging is not yet implemented and although under consideration by Junsi, there is no schedule for its release.
Is there a wiring diagram for this mod, where do you get the firmware upgrades and what software is required to upload upgrades?
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 11:10 AM
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USA, IL, Champaign
Joined Jul 2005
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Please read the thread before posting questions or comments that have already been addressed in previous posts. A thread will get clogged up with repeated questions and answers. Should you not have the time to read the thread, then do not expect someone to take the time to answer your post.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenex
Please read the thread before posting questions or comments that have already been addressed in previous posts. A thread will get clogged up with repeated questions and answers. Should you not have the time to read the thread, then do not expect someone to take the time to answer your post.
The problem is that this is the first "user designed" charger to hit the market and it is certainly a moving target. It is not the same charger that it was when it was introduced at the start of the thread. In all fairness, I personally have requested that someone (should be the manufacturer) post a document that contains a summary of the changes as they become part of the product. It should also contain info (or at least links) about custom cable configs, interface cables, etc. if those are needed to achieve the full functionality of this charger. The ad-hoc nature as to the development of this product has great advantages but that doesnt preclude the need to document the changes. If I have to read 577 posts (and growing) to determine what I need to know about a product that is currently being sold then frankly I have lost interest. I'm assuming that the audience for this charger is intended to be more than just thread junkies that have the time and patience to scour hundreds of posts just to gain basic knowledge.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
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All fair enough NCguy except the answer to the question is clearly provided in the first post of the thread so reading 577 (579 now!) posts is not required

skypilot_one links for downloading the instructions (including photos) and upgrade software are all in the first post. You can use any TTL-serial_to_USB adapter solution you like, there are several available. A little googling will turn them up or a little searching in this thread. Here are a few:

TTL serial to USB adapters
Device: http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-Serial-to-RS...7724QQihZ015QQ
Drivers: http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDriver.htm

Device: http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=2119
Drivers: http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/downloads.asp?ID=31

Device: http://www.dontronics-shop.com/ftdi-...ter-cable.html
Drivers: http://www.easysync.co.uk/index.html...arget=d34.html
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 12:47 PM
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USA, IL, Champaign
Joined Jul 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCguy
The problem is that this is the first "user designed" charger to hit the market and it is certainly a moving target. It is not the same charger that it was when it was introduced at the start of the thread.

The charger has not been designed by users. The firmware has been updated. Very little hardware changes. Users have helped refine the charger and tweaked some of the programs within the charger.

In all fairness, I personally have requested that someone (should be the manufacturer) post a document that contains a summary of the changes as they become part of the product.

The first post has been kept updated.

It should also contain info (or at least links) about custom cable configs, interface cables, etc. if those are needed to achieve the full functionality of this charger. The ad-hoc nature as to the development of this product has great advantages but that doesnt preclude the need to document the changes.

No manufacturer has ever posted all of the custom cable configs, interface cables etc. and different ways that their charger could be used. This has nothing to do with the way this charger was devoloped.


If I have to read 577 posts (and growing) to determine what I need to know about a product that is currently being sold then frankly I have lost interest. I'm assuming that the audience for this charger is intended to be more than just thread junkies that have the time and patience to scour hundreds of posts just to gain basic knowledge.
You can buy the charger, read the contents on the cd and use this charger. Should you want to get into all different type of charging series, parallel etc. than you are going to have to do some more reading such as is contained in this thread. Take a look at anther product like the HYPERION EOS 0606i manual and you will find the very same thing.
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Last edited by Phoenex; Jun 10, 2008 at 03:25 PM.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 01:17 PM
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United States, CT, Ledyard
Joined Sep 2003
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kgfly,

Thank you.

The thread long, my brain fried, two 106b charges ordered.







May the deity of your faith bless you.

Praise be to the blessed devine entity, deity or De de dee.

(allah, god, christ, budda, sheba, helios, apollo, etc. It's all good)
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgfly
All fair enough NCguy except the answer to the question is clearly provided in the first post of the thread so reading 577 (579 now!) posts is not required
Thanks Kgfly. I didnt realize that the first page was being updated. Is the manual current with the most recent hardware/firmware? I couldnt find a date in the manual and it looked like the last time the first page of the thread was edited was on May 22nd. Is there an english change log available that shows the evolution of the product?
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 05:37 PM
ProgressiveRC
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Seattle, WA
Joined Dec 2006
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In doing my homework on adding an update port to the 106B and 1010B chargers, I came up with a few viable options for converting TTL to RS232 to USB.

The first solution involves providing a connection from the PCB to a common serial connection type on the outside of the case. As far as common connections, two seem well suited - a PCB to serial (TTL 4 or 6 pin) or a PCB to female 3.55mm audio jack (4 pin).

Then all that would be required is to hook up a serial or audio to USB cable with built in RS232 to USB, like this (serial 4 or 6 pin) or this (3.5mm audio).

The simpler alternative is to just go from PCB to USB inside the case, with something like this.

I think the cleanest and best solution for OEM is the final one offered, PCB to USB in the case. Then all that is needed is a standard USB cable to upgrade.

As I will be updating both a 106B and 1010B, I intend to use a 6 pin serial to USB adapter with a serial lead soldered in place on both boards. I plan to install 6 pin female headers in both chargers that will allow me to use one 6 pin serial to USB upgrade cable for both chargers.

What do you guys think about this solution? The specific cable I intend to use is sold over at Mouser here.

- David
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Joined May 2006
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David, I have purchased the FTDI TTL-232R5V0 cable (similar to the 3V3 one you linked to with the 6-pin plug on the end but for 5.0V operation) and intend to make a suitable adapter to connect to my chargers. I chose that cable for the simplicity of having the TTL_serial-to-USB conversion integrated inside the cable and for the broad driver support across all Windows versions (including Vista) as well as Linux and Mac (all just in case since I use XP :lol.


I have found that I can mount 2.5mm 3-pole audio socket in the existing "usb" cutout. The only problem is reliably isolating the plug electrically from the case as Jun-Si made it very clear that we should not ground the case to the signal GND. I used some tape on the end plate and some teflon tape wound around the threads of the socket and it seems to have worked, but I think I might change over to servo lead peaking out the side and make a little adapter between the servo lead and the FTDI cable.

In the 1010B it might be possible to mount a 3-pin header inside the case accessible through the "usb" cutout, I have not explored that closely yet.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 08:04 PM
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Seattle, WA
Joined Dec 2006
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Ooops, fixed one of the links above - that should have been to the 5V version, not the 3V3.

These cables run $20 + shipping from Mouser though, and I am kind of torn between this solution or a pair of the RS232 to USB connectors that are sold all over eBay for around $15 shipped.

Both use the same chip as the brains (FT232BL), but the integrated USB provides for a neater solution and a higher resale value down the road (not that I'll ever sell my iChargers ).

The more I consider it I am leaning towards integrating the TTL to USB into the device as a more elegant and permanent solution. Driver support within the OS will be the same with either option as the chipsets are identical.
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