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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windman1961 View Post
I have to turn off-on the iCharger 3 or 4 times in a row before I can regain control of the iCharger.
P.S. each time i reset the iCharger and can see the "System check, wait please..." comment appear as usual.
Turning off and on with battery connected?
You ask for trouble.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 02:42 PM
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Haralson County GA. USA
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Snip from first post in this thread

Quote:
Recommended connecting way:

1. Connect iCharger's input power supply, and turn on it.
2. Connect Li batteries' balance port
3. Connect the main charging port's positive pole to cells' positive pole, and then connect negative pole to cells' negative pole (this will avoid striking fire while connecting Li cells).
4. Start charging and discharging...
5. After finishing charging and discharging, pls disconnect the cell and charger, and then turn off the charger's power supply.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Can someone please help me with balance charging on my new 306B.

It just balances for hours and never stops. The charger will keep timing out. I have 2 4s 2200 packs and 2 4s 2650 packs that I am charging in parallel. They all have only 3 cycles on them and before I started charging them all cells matched or were only at about .01 off from one another except for one pack which had a cell at 3.82 (.04) off from the others.

After waiting for hours during the first charge (1c), I finally pulled them and all Packs read.... cell 1/4.17, cell 2/4.20. cell 3/4.17, cell 4/4.17.

I discharge them to storage and try again but with the same results. In fact there now appears to be even further separation on a couple packs. Maybe like .05 out.

It seems like what's happening is cell 2 reaches 4.2 first and then balancing begins. Then the amps slowly decrease until the icharger reads 0 amps and cell 2 (4.2v) keeps flashing but the other cellls can't catch up.

I am now charging them only one at a time and have since set balancing to always and balance speed to slow but to no avail. The other cells can't catch up in time. I am going to lower the charge rate to .25C and see if that helps. Maybe that will give it enough time to balance the cells.

Can there be a problem with my ichargers balancer? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:37 PM
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I haven't changed the balancing setting from factory default in my charger so I really don't know what that does but -

I would think "faster" for balancing would be the direction to go.
Never breakin charge batteries in parallel.
Always one at a time.

What does "The other cells can't catch up in time." mean?
Does the charger time out before the balancing is complete?

A 1C charge from deleted (3.75V / cell) with balancing should take about 1 hour.
Give or take 10 minutes or so.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:02 PM
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I have tried slow, normal, and fast balance charge but all yield the same results.

Cells 1,3, and 4 can never catch up to cell 2 which is consistently higher by about .03. So it might read cell 1: 3.9, cell 2: 4.2, cell 3: 4.0, and cell 4: 3.8. And charger keeps running never once has it completed a charge.

Even when I set it to balance charge throughout the entire charge process, cell 2 always remains ahead and the other cells can't catch up to balance. I just tried charging at a low rate .25C with balance set to always thinking that would give it plenty of time to balance out the cells. But the result is even worse. There is now even more separation between cell 2 and the others (.05) and of course it just keeps running until it times out.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:44 PM
That's a funny word
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If that single pack has a high cell #2 then that particular cell needs discharged down to the same voltage as all of it's siblings. I'm guessing that that original 3.82 was "higher" that the other cells. Is it ok if you just do these packs separately this time? possibly eliminating the parallel board.

Something also is not quite making sense. You said there was .04 or .05 difference , yet when full there is .4 volts difference?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjandrews View Post
It just balances for hours and never stops.
First of all, check if your charger is powered from a stable power source.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Sorry, in the 2nd example I meant to show hundreths of a point. They are only out by .03 to .04. So they aren't out by much but the charger can't seem to balance them.

I haven't been parallel charging these packs anymore. I am charging them one at a time. All 4 packs have cells that are about .03 or .04. out from one another and not one pack has ever completed a charge. The balancer just won't pull the other cells up to the highest voltage cell. So if the pack is at storage then it reads 3.83, 3.86, 3.83, 3.82. Then when charging all cells go up consistently and then when cell 2 hits 4.2, the pack will read 4.17, 4.20, 4.17, 4.16. As you can see they all go up by the same amount. Even when I set the charger to always balance and charge at a very low current (which should give plenty of time to pull the other cells in line), I get the same result. Then the charger keeps running as if it is still trying to balance but can't. This goes on for hours and hours until I just give up, discharge and try again.

My PS is a 24V47A from feathermerchantrc. Sorry for the ignorance but how do I check if it's stable? It seems to be running fine. The input voltage reading remains consistent.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjandrews View Post
Sorry for the ignorance but how do I check if it's stable? It seems to be running fine. The input voltage reading remains consistent.
Short version: use another PSU or a car battery.

BTW If you read proper cell voltages from the charger display it means all connection are probably ok. I assume that you have already tried to connect battery balance plug directly to the charger. Judging by your last description, the balance circuit of your charger do not operate.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:09 AM
Southern Pride
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Haralson County GA. USA
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Quote:
It just balances for hours and never stops. The charger will keep timing out. I have 2 4s 2200 packs and 2 4s 2650 packs that I am charging in parallel. They all have only 3 cycles on them and before I started charging them all cells matched or were only at about .01 off from one another except for one pack which had a cell at 3.82 (.04) off from the others.
A great example of why parallel charging is not often the best solution.
If the LiPol;ys are top quality assembled from prime and closely matched cells that in fact do not really require balancing during chargeing or if the charger being used has a great deal of balancing power and the total cells capacity is not to great and you charge at a very low rate or are willing to wait for hours on end for balancing to complete ....................



The inbalance when discharged is of no concern. If cells were 3.70 thru 3.80 it would be fine. Good LiPoly chargers Do Not Balance during discharging.


Quote:
The balancer just won't pull the other cells up to the highest voltage cell.
The charger charges and the balancer discharges.

The weakest cell (s) is the lowest capacity one(s) and thus it fills up first and then must be discha54ged (bleed) by the balancing circuite while the other cells receive the remainder of thier charge.

Charles
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:43 AM
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I have tried connecting to the balance board and directly to the charger and get the same results. So the balancer needs to pull down the highest voltage cell or at least hold it there while the other cells catch up. Since I have it set to balance from the beginning of the charge, I can clearly see this is not happening. The highest voltage cell continues to rise along with the others keeping that .03 imbalance.

I am new to all of this so I guess what I am asking is do you think the balancer in the charger is defective. Or is the icharger's balancer just not powerful enough when the cells are .03 out or more. Have you guys not had any packs were cells were off by around .03 and if so how long did it take for the icharger to balance?

If it's defective who do I contact to get it repaired? I don't see a phone number anywhere. I wish I would have had more time to play with it when I got it because now I am outside the 30 day return window.

Thanks for your help guys.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:58 AM
Southern Pride
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Quote:
I have 2 4s 2200 packs and 2 4s 2650 packs that I am charging in parallel.
The charger has <500 mAh of balancing (bleeding power) thus if the charge rate is greater than 0.5A and a cell is full the balancer is doing all that it can to keep up.

If you are balance charging all four of these in paralle that is 9.7Ah total capacity and thus total balacing power is just over 8% of a 1C charge rate.

Balancing from the start of the charge often make inbalance worse not better. Discharged cells do not need to be balanced. I never do a normal balamced charge with balancing set to start below 3.85 per cell and in some cases I delay start of balancing to 4.0 or even 4.1 V per cell. Some set their iChargers to start balancing at the CV stage.

Have you tried balancing them one at a time using a low charge rate?

Charles
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Yes, I have been been solely balancing one at a time at .2A with battery balance plug going directly to charger (no balance board). Balancing set to always. I did have it set to CV in the beginning but either way I get the same results. A non-balanced pack and a charger that keeps running because it won't stop until it balances.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Does the charger indicate that the high cell is being balanced, as indicated by flashing the voltage reading when cell monitor is selected?

If so, balance activity can be monitored by placing a balance lead extension between charger and pack and then cut the extension wire for that cell and place a current shunt (or DMM on current monitor mode) in series to measure actual current draw.

This will quickly tell you whether your charger balance circuitry is working properly.

Mark
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Yes, the high cell #2 is always flashing. I just don't think any discharging is occurring during the balance process.

Sorry, I don't know how to go about doing what you're describing. I tried doing a search to see if anyone else has had a similar problem to me and can't find anything. A pretty unique situation.

However, the fact that no one has said that the icharger should easily be able to balance a pack that is .03 out has me wondering if maybe the charger isn't defective and that amount of separation between the cells is extreme and to much for the balancer to handle. Who knows.
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