Principles of battery charging. - RC Groups
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Jan 13, 2002, 07:25 PM
Registered User

Principles of battery charging.

I'm new to electrics and I'm trying to learn about charging batteries. I have a Hitec 335 charger, no instructions. The display doesn't show units, so I don't know what I'm seeing displayed.

Please explain the principles of charging, and the particulars of the Hitec 335 if you can.

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Jan 14, 2002, 04:32 AM
Registered User
Please read the EFlight FAQ (link at top of page). It contains quite a lot about batteries, chargers and charging.

The principle is that you apply a charging current to the battery and it charges up. For fast charging when it is full the voltage on the battery goes down slightly, known as a peak, and the charger stops charging. There's a lot more to it than that though. Please feel free to ask any specific questions you have.

I'm sure someone will be able to let you have a copy of the 335 manual if you ask nicely but I doubt if anyone will write the whole thing out here for you.

Jan 14, 2002, 05:03 AM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
well, I don't know what kind of batteries you're trying to charge, but I hope its just nicads with that charger.

the first principle of charging batteries is you get what you pay for. after upgrading from a hitec 320 to an orbit charger, I would say the first thing to do with that charger is to toss it and get a decent one.

it will work, but If you're doing more than a couple nicads get something else.
Jan 14, 2002, 08:25 AM
Registered User
Originally posted by opualuan
the first principle of charging batteries is you get what you pay for. after upgrading from a hitec 320 to an orbit charger, I would say the first thing to do with that charger is to toss it and get a decent one
The Hitec CG335 is a pretty good charger, nothing like the old cheap and nasty 320. Not many people want to spend several hundred dollars on a charger when they are just starting out.

Jan 14, 2002, 08:39 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
What Steve said. My 335 is still my most-used charger, even for NiMH cells. Sometimes my Infinity 2 stays home when the 335 goes with me to the field.
The display shows voltage normally, current while you hold the 'select' button. So to set charge current, you press 'start' for a second, then hold down the 'select' button and turn the charge rate knob until the current you desire is displayed. Then release.
As to what is the correct charge rate, there's plenty of info around here..
Jan 14, 2002, 09:01 AM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
my apologies if i have mislead. dunno if the 320 is 'old', HL sold me one 9 months ago, and still recommend it as part of the sukhoi package. horrible charger.

I read in another thread someone having similar false peaking problems with the 335, aparently they are more different than alike. If it's a usable charger, great.

otoh, I would have preferred to drop the $200 on a really good charger first things first. other than your tx, it's the most important tool you need for electric r/c.
Jan 14, 2002, 05:49 PM
Registered User


In case you are now harboring some doubt about your 335, please rest assured that you have in your possession the finest charger available for under $100.00.
I've had mine now for two years. It is in almost constant use. I even use it to field charge the batteries for my cordless electric drill. You'll be in electric flight a long time before you'll need to upgrade.
In addition to the information Andy provided:
(I don't have the instruction sheet with me, so I'll do this from memory)
The charger wants a 12 to 13.5 volt source with 10 amp capability. I use a computer power supply rated at 6 amps that works well. A 12 volt car battery is ideal. It is reverse polarity protected. A red light on the panel comes on if you hook it up backwards. There is also a panel light that changes color, from green toward red if the source voltage is low for the battery you are trying to charge.

If you look carefully at the panel you will find three different outputs available.
1) 4 to 24 cells provides constant charging current, which is set by the current setting knob. This is the output most commonly used. It is also the one that is displayed on the LCD panel. Initally the voltage shown is the battery voltage at the time you connect it. Press the start button (the one on the left) to begin the charge. Press the select button to display the charge current (and set the current to the rate desired with the current knob). After the charger detects the charging peak it changes to a trickle charge and the green light on the panel starts to blink. This output also has a timer that kicks in after about an hour if it hasn't detected a peak charge. This will happen when you set the charging current too low to complete the charge in an hour or less.

2) 4 cells. I don't remember the details (I haven't used it yet) but I believe it's low current for charging a receiver pack over several hours. The charge is not monitored and does not peak.

3) 1 cell. This is normally used to charge single cell glow plug batteries. I don't use it either, but I believe it does peak detect.

In all cases, red is positive and black is negative.
The cute aluminum Hitech logo on top is actually a heat sink. It can get very warm, or even hot, when charging large battery packs.

Hope this will help. I'll try to find my instructions to see if there's more you should know.

You'll find some useful information at the following link:

Good luck

edit: added link to Hitec site
Last edited by Dave Thrams; Jan 14, 2002 at 06:20 PM.
Jan 14, 2002, 08:47 PM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
Here's a link to your charger manual. It's in the Customer service area of hitec's webpage.

Jan 14, 2002, 10:03 PM
Registered User
To all,

1) Thanks

2) How fast is too fast for charging?

3) Thanks again, A LOT

Jan 15, 2002, 12:53 AM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
charge at about 2-4c for most nicads and 1-1.5c for most nimh. you CAN'T charge lithium cells on this charger.

charging at 2c means if the battery is a 2400ma cell, then 2c is 4800ma charging current.