Those of you familiar with the iCharger series of chargers know how well they perform. I've been using the 4010 Duo now for over a year to charge my larger 4S and 6S 8000mAh to 10000mAh Lipo packs. It can output up to 40 amps which means that I can parallel charge two of those 6S 10A batteries on each channel at a 1C charge rate. I love it! It's been super reliable and balances batteries better than any other charger I've used. Now we have the 406 Duo. It essentially the same as the 4010, but in a much smaller package. If you want to read a full review of all the features of the 4010 check out Chris Mulcahy's review. Dale at BuddyRC hooked me up with a 406 Duo at the Toledo Trade show. Lets dive in and take a look at what's different from the 4010 and talk a little more about the features that I like.
The 406 has roughly the same outline and look as the 4010, albeit in a smaller size. The dimensions on the 4010 are 207x140x75mm and weighs 3lbs 5oz while the 406 comes in at 170x118x55mm and weighs 2lbs 1oz. The color on the 406 is a dark grey and orange and it looks pretty good. The button layout is exactly the same as the 4010, but a couple of ports have changed. On the back of the 4010 is a USB port and a Micro SD slot. On the 406 you still get the USB and SD slot, but you also have a 5V 1A USB port which could be used to connect a phone charger or other USB powered devices. On the right side of both units, you still have two servo output ports. On the front the only change on the 406 is the balance ports are now 7 pin ports instead of 11. That means you likely won't need an adaptor to connect your parallel charge board to the 406.
Using the 406 is exactly the same as the 4010 Duo. The screen is just slightly smaller and still rotates up at various angles to make reading the screen easier. The programming can take some getting used to, but once you have it figured out, its a joy to use. The main dial is responsive and makes it easy to change settings. I love having the ability to setup different battery profiles to charge with. It's only a few clicks to start charging once that is setup. The charger also provides great information like icons to let you know which cells are being balanced and the ability to see the internal resistance of each cell.
Overall, I am super happy with the 406 Duo. It really does have every feature I need and It charges just about every battery type out there with power to spare. I'm planning on buying a new SUV soon and I plan to make a charge station in the back. The 406's smaller size would be perfect for this application and would allow me to charge anything I want from my vehicle (using fireproof containers of course).
Thanks to Dale and BuddyRC for providing the 406 Charger for this article. You can find them at BuddyRC.com
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