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Oct 08, 2016, 03:23 PM
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Mini-Review

Neat and rugged parallel charge board


A new Chinese company called iSDT has started producing chargers which are a bit different than the usual run-of-the-mill 4 button jobs. I bought one of their very compact 150W SC-608 chargers to keep in my LiPo box at the field as it is particularly neat and convenient.

You can charge up the 1300-1500mAh size packs off an older 6S 4000-5000 which is not up to high currents but perfectly OK to run the charger without any additional cables. I have got into the practice of taking just 3x Graphene packs to the field and fly one, charge one, have one ready to go, since they can be recharged without any stress at 5C (10C if you really want to).

I noticed that iSDT had produced a particularly neat parallel charge board to go with this charger, so I bought one to see how it compared with my usual Paraboards. Then Banggood sent me one to review as well.

The iSDT balance board is expensive compared to the cheap HobbyKing parallel charge boards but it is particularly well designed and neat if you have an SC-608. It is called the iSDT PC-4860. It is explicitly designed to work with XT60 connectors.

It comes in a tiny box exactly the same size as the charger with a well made XT60 power and 6S balance connector. The balance board actually does up to 8S if you want to use it with another charger and supply your own 8S connector lead.

Bottom line? I'm very impressed with this unit and despite the higher cost, I think it is worth it.

First thing you notice is that it is heavy. That's because it consists of a case CNC machined out of two alloy halves with the PC board sandwiched in the middle. The precision is a joy to behold and it is a handsome match for the iSDT SC-608. There is a carefully cut insulation sheet on one side of the PC board and additional double layers of insulation on the main fuses on the other side. I normally would not be too keen on a conductive alloy box for such a device but this one is fine. They have anodised the case inside and out. The result is a nice silvery grey surface finish that is both very tough and non-conducting.

Anodised Al is essentially an insulator and I was unable to detect any conductivity with a couple of multimeter probes no matter how close they were placed together on any of the surfaces. In electrical terms this is effectively a double insulated device.

The upside is that this thing is its own heat sink and extremely rugged. I think you could drive a bus over it and it wouldn't affect it. The main connectors are genuine AMASS and the XT60 angle connector for the charger cable is one I haven't seen before.

The slots for the balance connectors are machined with a configuration that allows any size balance connector from 2S to 8S to fit but only in the correct location.

There are 3 fuses (consisting of 2 individual fuses marked "30" joined in parallel) between the 4 positive power pins, and 24 marked "P20" between the balance leads in 3 sets of 8. These are self resetting polyfuses and if you should inadvertently screwup by plugging in packs of different cell counts they will heat up and open the circuit to limit the current flow. When the short is removed they cool down and conduct again. This is the same system as is used on other "protected" parallel charge boards such as the original v3 EPBuddy Paraboard.

There have been reports on some of the charger threads of changed IR readings on chargers that measure IR when using parallel charge boards that use polyfuses. It seems that the resistance is changed a bit after they have reset themselves. Just need to be aware of this. I personally wouldn't take any note of IR readings for parallel packs as it doesn't tell you anything useful.

Overall, I really like this product. Very high quality manufacture and extremely compact and convenient. Built like a tank as well.

Here's where you can find it at Banggood.

http://www.banggood.com/ISDT-PC-4860...campaign=jj604
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