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Apr 07, 2009, 07:46 PM
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Mini-Review

FMA Cellpro Multi4 charger review


I have written a review of the FMA Cellpro Multi4 charger, it is posted here.

If after reading it you may comment by posting a reply to this blog entry. I am interested to hear about what you did or did not like and what could have been explained more clearly.
Last edited by SteveM732; Apr 07, 2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Apr 08, 2009, 04:35 PM
Registered User
Very nice writeup, and loong, like the time I put in downloading the CCV software and getting a charge graph! And I did get it, and I like it! And naturally, I want more- well, I want the fuel guage stuff to get me something... still working on that! Already, I've brought four old packs back to life, never did have a proper charger for them, (NiXx'ss).
Hopefully, I'll get a custom thing setup to charge my old 860mah lipo's, I don't think they're doing 860 anymore, and it'll be good to know what. Who's got a custom charge think to share, that will be cool!
Apr 17, 2009, 08:05 AM
Playing chicken with gravity..
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Multi Pro Review


Steve,
Great review! I own the CellPro 4s and 10s, and wish I had waited for the Multi Pro to come out! It would have eliminated about 4 other chargers I have. It may be 10 years before the other stuff fails!
Tom
Apr 17, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Thanks guys, I'm glad you liked it. If you have any comments on anything that I could have done better I'd love to hear them.
May 20, 2009, 03:45 AM
Registered User
Great review Steve! Just one quick question... How did you open your Multi4? I plan to replace the charger output to JST-XH but I'm afraid of breaking anything on my new and shiny Multi4

Thanks in advance!
May 20, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irwinfc
Great review Steve! Just one quick question... How did you open your Multi4? I plan to replace the charger output to JST-XH but I'm afraid of breaking anything on my new and shiny Multi4

Thanks in advance!
Take off all the wires except the power cord. Then, if you are right handed, hold the charger face up in your left hand and grasp the power cord near the charger in your right hand. While holding the case firmly with the left hand push inward and upward on the power cord. This should cause the charger's PCB to come free of the black plastic enclosure, use a little flat blade screwdriver to release the tabs in the black case if needed.

You can change the connector, but keep in mind the pin out needs to stay the same. Are you building in an adapter of some sort? Take pictures of your modification and make a build log, I'd love to see it.
May 21, 2009, 03:12 AM
Registered User
Thanks for the reply, Steve. I'll try that tonight. My stock connector isn't working well right now. I either get a "bad cell count" or "cells not add up" error. It seems that the positive or negative leads aren't coming in contact properly. I've made my own connector though which makes my charging setup similar to shunt-type balancers/chargers. I'll post pictures later.

I'll document the mod if I do decide to change the charger output to JST-XH.
May 24, 2009, 08:45 AM
Registered User

A123 balancing ...


I just received my Cellpro Multi4 charger and I don't understand
how to make or connect a "balancing harness" ... do you have
an article or can you point me to a source that explains "balancing"
and how to make a "balancing harness"?

I'm an Amateur (Ham) Radio Operator who will use the Multi4 to
recharge A123 batteries that will power Amateur Radio transceiving
equipment in portable, field, and emergency use ...

Thanks in advance for any reply ...

Weymouth Walker (Wey) ...
K8EAB
Metro Atlanta, GA
May 26, 2009, 11:18 AM
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SteveM732's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8EAB67
I just received my Cellpro Multi4 charger and I don't understand
how to make or connect a "balancing harness" ... do you have
an article or can you point me to a source that explains "balancing"
and how to make a "balancing harness"?
The following two links show how to connect FMA's balance connectors to the pack or solder them on in place of the existing taps. They can be purchased here.
http://www.fmadirect.com/support_docs/item_1213.pdf
http://www.fmadirect.com/support_docs/item_1254.pdf

If your battery pack already has balance tap connectors you can also just use an adapter board.
http://www.fmadirect.com/detail.htm?...271&section=45
http://www.fmadirect.com/detail.htm?...125&section=45
Oct 01, 2009, 11:37 AM
Registered User
Thank you for the super review, Steve. It was very nicely done.

In regard to the ill-designed computer interface port, perhaps the controlling engineer is stuck with a yesteryear mindset, or FMA is just using this as a way to squeeze a few more dollars from customers who buy their kludgy interface cable.
Oct 29, 2009, 09:44 AM
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What else can the Multi4 do?


I would like to add another reason why I will be buying this product from FMA. Your review was very informative which lead me to ask this question to several other manufacturers as well as FMA. A tech support guy named Howard not only answered my question in detail, but also mentioned one draw back;

Q - I have a new 1100mah nicad pack in my transmitter, and my son just bought a new 700mah for his. I would like the ability (as recommended by all battery manufacturers for ncads and nmhi) to deep charge the batteries over night.

Now let me say up until now, the other manufacturers haven't given me the answer I thought was right - even though I'm not that smart. Here's the answer Howard gave me which for some unknown reason, no one else suggested even though their products may be capable of this simple function:

A - You can accomplish this by setting the charger on a trickle rate at 110ma, and in 10 hours you're done. And like wise the 700 gets set at a 70 ma trickle. The draw back - this unit will not discharge these batteries - NOT A PROBLEM. I have two other charge units which will.

I hope this will be helpful to anyone else searching for deep cycling rechargable battery info. In the old days, we ALWAYS charged our stuff overnight before the 'big day'.
Last edited by propnator; Oct 29, 2009 at 09:49 AM. Reason: spell check
Jan 24, 2010, 10:04 PM
Registered User

Multi 4 FMA Charger


Steve;

I do not know if you owned the older version of the charger; however, a few people I talked with find that the new one seems cumbersome to use compared to the old one. The new one has more operations and the readouts seem now where as easy to understand quickly.

To make life easier, I deleted the unused presets. However, you recommended an additional switch to facilite forward and back direction while one selects the proper preset. The process to change the direction of selection does not work well to reverse as you state, and thus complicates the start of the charge.

I recommend FMA Direct provide software that makes the charger act like the original or older version of the charger!
Mel
Jan 25, 2010, 01:07 AM
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SteveM732's Avatar
Yes, I still have the original CellPro 4S and use it on a fairly regular basis in tandem with the Multi4. Some people seem to be unable to warm up to the Multi4 interface, these people will be happy to find out that FMA has reintroduced the original along with a few updates in the form of the CellPro 4S Gold.
Apr 25, 2010, 01:10 PM
Registered User
I have had a multi 4 for about one year and I am soooo unhappy. I was getting all sorts of error messages (over voltage, pack disconnescted, voltage not add up, etc. ) I contacted FMA and they ended up sending me a new one last year. It seemed to work for a while but then it also started giving me error messages. By the way, when I take the same packs to my 10s it works perfectly and charges without incident. I have tried to contact FMA several times lately to try again to get one that works. Twice I have left voice mail messages and NEVER have had a return call. Then when I did get through to a person, I was told that they had some known problems but were not working on multi 4 problems until they finished their "new" charger!!!! Well, I guess the new one is out so they should be working the bug list on the multi 4, but apparently not. I have updated the firm ware and still have the problem(s). I will keep trying but would really like to get my money back, or trade it in for another 10s. They work. Am I the only one?
Last edited by oldkeysguy; Apr 25, 2010 at 01:12 PM. Reason: misspelling

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