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Nov 08, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Jeti Telemetry Monitored Charging Station w/ 2 PL6s


PL6 Charging Station with Jeti Telemetry

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I would first like to give a little background as to why I decided to take on this project. Dave (SpiltS), who is a very good friend of mine and travels to many of the events with me, built a very nice charging case last winter that is based on the “Zeus Power Box.” After seeing Dave setup his chargers in 10 seconds while it took me 10 minutes, it became obvious that a decent charging case was in order. Over the summer though, I had many issues with my charging setup due to multiple reasons including faulty Dean’s connectors and bad Parallel Charging boards. These malfunctions resulted in everything from packs simply not being finished when I needed them, to over charged cells and extremely unbalanced cell voltages. Along with these issues, I witnessed many other issues reported from people around me. Some of these issues included chargers that overheated and over charged packs.

As I set out to build my own charging case, I really wanted to address these issues. The one common factor in all of these situations was that no one was standing there watching the chargers. The simple solution to that problem would be to just watch your chargers for the entire charge. As for most people, this is not easy to do especially at events. So many people, including myself, will put packs on charge and walk back out to the flight line and continue to fly. If something happens while they are flying, it could result in a few different things including; chargers error and packs do not finish charging, damaged batteries if chargers mess up, or even a fire in the worst case scenario. I wanted to address all of these issues and still make it so I could stand on the flight line and fly while my packs were charging.

At the beginning of the season, I switched to the Jeti DS-16 Radio and have learned a great deal about telemetry systems in return. This is what led me to the solution of the problems discussed above. If I could monitor and setup alarms for the temperature, voltage, current, and mah usage of everything in my airplane while it was in the air, then why couldn’t I do this with a charging case? The simple answer is, I could.

The first question I am asked is, “does this mean you have to carry your radio around everywhere to receive the telemetry” and the answer is no. Jeti has what is known as the “Profi Box” which is a device (about the size of a cell phone) that can receive telemetry data and give audible alarms designated by the user. This means I can be mile down the flight line and literally know everything that is going on inside my charging case. I also know when power to the case is cut.

What all does the Jeti Telemetry tell me?

The Jeti telemetry tells me:

1. The voltage, current, and mah usage between each charger and the power supply via the MUI50 sensor

2. The voltage of each battery via the MUI50 sensor.

3. The current level going to each battery via the MUI50 sensor.

4. The mah that have been put into each pack via the MUI50 sensor

5. The voltage of each cell in each lipo battery via the MULi 6ssensor.

6. The internal temperature of each charger via the MT125 sensor.

7. The temperature of each 12 volt power supply via the MT125 sensor.

Using the JetiBox feature in the Profi Box, you can setup alarms for everyone of these parameters. If the chargers or power supplies get hot, an audible alarm will be triggered. If a 3s lipo goes over 12.6 volts, an audible alarm will be triggered and the list goes on and on. You can also setup an alarm that will go off if the current level between the charger and battery goes to zero which indicates that your pack has finished charging.


Parts Listing:

1- Pelican Storm Case 2300
2 - FMA PowerLab 6 Chargers
1- Jeti Telemetry JetiBox Profi Monitor/Programmer
4-Jeti Telemetry Sensor Current/Voltage MUI EX (50 amp)
2-Jeti Telemetry Sensor Li-Poly Battery MULi 6s EX
2- JetiTelemetry Sensor Temperature MT125 EX w/Probes
3-Jeti Telemetry Expander E4 EX
1-Jeti Duplex EX R5L 2.4GHz Full/Auxiliary Receiver w/Telemetry
1- Castle BEC PRO
1- 24 volt 69 Amp Power Supply
2 -AC Case Adapter
1- PelicanQuick Mounts
1- 3M03616 Scotch-Mount 7/8" x 15' Molding Tape
Desiccant(Silica Gel)


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PelicanIM2300 case.
These are EXTREMELY nice cases and one thing that separates my build from everyone else’s is that I refused to modify the case in any way. Everything on the inside (including the peli quick mounts) are held in place with 3M Molding tape. Since the case is not modified, it is still water and dust proof.



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Feather Merchant 24 volt 69 amp Power Supply. If you are looking for a reliable and robust power supply then this is the answer. It has been flawless all summer and supports 69amps!!!






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2 Power Lab 6 Chargers with Temp Sensors installed using ArcticWeld Thermal epoxy.



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Jeti Telemetry sensors and Profi box. This is powered using a Castle BEC PRO which is powered by the 24 volts power supply. See the parts list above for a detailed descriptions of all the sensors.


The Build:

After many days of planning out the layout, the design explained below was decided on. The hard part about designing the layout was dealing with all of the telemetry sensors. I wanted the setup to look clean and professionally done when I was finished.

Let’s get on with the build…

First the power supplies and the chargers need to be modified to incorporate the Telemetry sensors.

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Two of the MUI50 sensors get soldered inline on the positive lead heading to the chargers, which can be seen above. Also note the Castle BEC PROthat is soldered on the 24 volt output of the charger which will be used to power the RX.



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The Power Lab 6’s get Temp Sensors installed using Arctic Weld Thermal epoxy. The sensor lead is ran out of the bottom of the charger through the cooling fins.



Next, a tunnel needs to be built that encloses the power supplies.This has to be done because we are relying on the cooling fans inside of the powersupplies to still do all of the work. Fans could not be added to the outside of the case without cutting holes in it. Instead, a tunnel is built to ensure that incoming air is fresh air and the warm air exiting the power supplies is forced to exit the case.
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The tunnel is made out of flat piece of ducting that was bent on the front and back to create the tunnel. A hole was added for the power leads from the chargers so that they could be plugged into the power supplies. The raised plates are used to cover up the vent holes for the power supplies. The plates are made out of aluminum and are sitting on Spot-On electric motor standoffs. Also note that the AC powerjack was also added to the tunnel.


Test fitting the power supplies and the tunnel.
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3M Laminate is added to the tunnel give a more professional look.

Next step is to build the front part of the case which will be a 3 place compartment layout with a hinged lid. This will hide the MUI sensors for the packs being charged as well as the power cord and the RX/E4 expanders.



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The plug in for the main leads are routed down through the compartment area so that the MUI sensor can get soldered in line. The main plug-ins are then brought up through the bottom of the hinged plate for a clean install.

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Adaptors are made for any possible type of connector you may need to charge through. Using this type of adaptor system insures that no matter what type of connector you use, the MUI sensor can still be used. On my large 6s packs I am now using XT150 connectors which is why I chose to use this for my main connector. If you use deans, then you could use a Spot-ON Deans bulkhead to mount the connector on the hinged plate and then make adaptors from Deans to whatever else you may need.

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An adaptor was made to use the MULi 6s sensor with the existing balance board.


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Desiccant (Silica Gel) is also used in the case to help keep moisture out of all of the equipment. When the center turns pink, it means it needs dried out. This is done in the oven so this means this is good for an endless number of cycles.






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Powering up the charging Case.


Setting up the Profi Box and RX:



The Jeti RX has to be put in Telemetry Mode using the JetiBox feature within the Profi Box. Then the Profi box is bound to the RX and all of the parameters are setup so you can view all of the telemetry data. All of this is very simple to do and a detailed explanation can be found in the Profi Box manual. Alarms are setup via the JetiBox feature in the Profi box. Simply plug the sensor into the Profi Box and you can setup the alarms and other settings.

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Charging a 6s 5000 pack. Here you can see the voltage of cells 3though 6. The first 2 cells are on the previous page in the Profi Box.
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Here you can see the first 2 cells of the 3s pack that is charging, plus the temperature of each of the power supplies.


Special Thanks to:

My dad for helping construct the case. I could not have done it without his help and expertise.

Esprit Model (Jeti USA) for the help with all of the equipment.

Danny (F1 Rocket) from Esprit for answering all of my questions.


Thanks for reading.

Please feel free to ask questions!!!

Joe Smith


Last edited by joesmith285; Nov 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM.
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Nov 09, 2013, 04:08 AM
Registered User
VERY nice job! Gives me alot of ideas!
Nov 09, 2013, 07:55 AM
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Bama3Dr's Avatar
Very cool and great write up!

-Dustin
Nov 09, 2013, 08:01 AM
ltc
ltc
AMA 97737
ltc's Avatar
When you said problems with parallel charging boards, were you referring to the Revolectrix MPA?
I've used one on my PL6 and never had a problem before.

Thanks for the info on the SpotOn Deans bulkhead connector, I had never seen one of those before, very cool item.

I'm still trying to understand the need to have an MUI on the input and output of the charger. I would have thought that if the power supply fails/sags, then the PL6 would simply stop charging automatically, so the MUI on the output of the PL6 would notice it immediately.
If someone unplugs the charging station, same thing.

Would save a bit of money (2 MUIs).
Nov 09, 2013, 09:42 AM
Registered User
joe, that is BRILIANT!

so going to rip it off
Nov 09, 2013, 10:08 AM
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joesmith285's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc
When you said problems with parallel charging boards, were you referring to the Revolectrix MPA?
I've used one on my PL6 and never had a problem before.

Thanks for the info on the SpotOn Deans bulkhead connector, I had never seen one of those before, very cool item.

I'm still trying to understand the need to have an MUI on the input and output of the charger. I would have thought that if the power supply fails/sags, then the PL6 would simply stop charging automatically, so the MUI on the output of the PL6 would notice it immediately.
If someone unplugs the charging station, same thing.

Would save a bit of money (2 MUIs).
Yep, everything you stated is correct. The reason I decided to place an MUI on the input of the charger is to make sure the power supply was really outputting 24 volts. Two times this season I had accidentally unplugged one of the 12volt power supplies and tried to charge. Of course the one remaining tried to do the job and got extremely hot very quickly. I have now set the voltage cutoff limit to 23.5 volts on the PL6s so in theory this couldn't happen again.

The main idea behind this project was just to be able to know everything that is going on inside the case. The extra 2 MUIs are probably not needed, but do give a lot of valuable data.


I had problems with both the MPA boards and the EP buddy boards. I've parallel charged for 3 years now with great luck up until this past season. I'm not going to say people shouldn't parrallel charge, all I am saying is I won't be doing it anymore. The problem is that the charger sees one battery and as long it looks fine, then it will keep charging. There can be lots of problems within the parallel board but as long as the output looks ok, then the charger thinks everything is ok. My problem was cells that wouldn't balance with the same cell in the other packs. For example, the 6th cell in one 6s pack wouldn't charge, so the 6th cell in the other 6s was overchargered to 4.5 volts to make up for it. Using a multimeter, I checked the output of the paraboard and it showed 4.2 volts for the 6th cell. For some reason the 6th cells wouldn't balance, but the output was correct. Anyone who knows me, knows I am extremely anal about my batteries, so I simply won't parallel charge anymore.
Last edited by joesmith285; Nov 09, 2013 at 10:19 AM.
Nov 09, 2013, 11:17 AM
Registered User
ggcrandall1's Avatar
WOW. I am impressed. Forty years as an electronics technician, computer maintenance and programming and over ten years in the hobby. I have seen a lot of nice gadgets and this is near the top of the list. (Although maybe using the word gadget for this project isn't correct.) Very nice implementation. Well thought out. Excellent use of quality equipment. BTW what is the weight?

But the price. I figure $1300 plus. That's a bunch of money for a portable charging station. Not many of us can afford that price. But for anyone that can this sure is a great example of what can be done.

Glen
Nov 09, 2013, 12:59 PM
ltc
ltc
AMA 97737
ltc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggcrandall1
WOW. I am impressed. Forty years as an electronics technician, computer maintenance and programming and over ten years in the hobby. I have seen a lot of nice gadgets and this is near the top of the list. (Although maybe using the word gadget for this project isn't correct.) Very nice implementation. Well thought out. Excellent use of quality equipment. BTW what is the weight?

But the price. I figure $1300 plus. That's a bunch of money for a portable charging station. Not many of us can afford that price. But for anyone that can this sure is a great example of what can be done.

Glen
Just a quick estimate ...

PL6: $175
PL6: $175
Case: $150
Power supplies: $100
Jetibox $150
Telemetry sensors $350

$1100 ?
Nov 09, 2013, 05:19 PM
Airborne whenever I can.
PAT-T's Avatar
Very nice project indeed, but not for every one. I still like to have a break from flying while charging. The $ needed for this can be better spend.
Maybe a tip for Jeti, to build a nice charger also. Congrats anyway.
Nov 09, 2013, 07:02 PM
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joesmith285's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAT-T
Very nice project indeed, but not for every one. I still like to have a break from flying while charging. The $ needed for this can be better spend.
Maybe a tip for Jeti, to build a nice charger also. Congrats anyway.


Thanks everyone for the kind words!!!!


I haven't added up the total cost yet but one should consider what this system "could" save you. That may sound funny, but I was able to save my 100cc electric this summer because of the Jeti Telemetry. This system could end up saving my trailer or my shop some day. I really hope thats never the case, but if it did then it would have easily paid for itself.
Nov 09, 2013, 08:37 PM
ltc
ltc
AMA 97737
ltc's Avatar
It is very creative and I would imagine worthy of a write up on the Jeti and/or Espritmodel websites.
Nov 10, 2013, 01:37 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
I have been ogling over the Jeti systems for a while now, and saw a few in action today at the Pumpkin Chuck (a DLG event).

They are incredible systems and worth every penny IMO; I hope to have one of my own one day

Seeing how their telemetry systems can be integrated into a charging station is quite innovative- Congrats on a job well done with this very clean setup.
Nov 10, 2013, 07:17 AM
ltc
ltc
AMA 97737
ltc's Avatar
The Jeti transmitters are difficult to put down once you hold one.
They are also extremely well supported by Espritmodel and Jeti, both via email and web forum participation and monitoring.
Nov 11, 2013, 08:57 AM
Byron C
3DeltaFly's Avatar
Very nicely done Joe. A charging solution complete with telemetry is just what I've been needing, since I'm usually flying and charging simultaneously, or charging at the shop while working on my planes at the same time etc. Been thinking about how to remotely monitor my chargers, and then your most timely article appears. Excellent.

Many thanks for doing the write up. I'm going to build a similar unit.
Last edited by 3DeltaFly; Nov 11, 2013 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Addendum
Nov 11, 2013, 05:37 PM
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joesmith285's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks everyone for the kind words!!

The weight came out at 20.05lbs.


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