Next Level Charger? - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2017, 01:48 AM
Registered User

Next Level Charger?

I currently have two basic chargers, but it has gotten to the point that this is no longer adequate to charge the number of lipos I need fast enough.

What I want now is a decent charger for charging four lipos simultaneously. I like to shop at HK EU, but then I read you need a separate power supply, and then I’m lost..

I was looking at this charger:

But not sure about a power supply. They have this one:

Is that a bit overkill? Kinda’ pricey too. Is there an alternative(must be EU warehouse, or.., something else sourced locally..).

I would also consider another brand, up to an absolute max price of €150 or so, preferably more like €100...


PS - %95 of my lipos are 3s and 4s, 1500-3700....
Last edited by Herrsavage; Oct 17, 2017 at 06:48 AM.
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Oct 15, 2017, 05:33 AM
Bo Edström, Sweden

It is always good to do a rough estimate how many watt the charger should have so You can determine if it suits Your need. And it is also good to think if you in future would like to charge LiPo with more cells and higher capacity that You have today.

So You have today largest LiPo 4 cell 3700 mAh ? Lets assume that below.
A rough estimate how much power (watt) is needed to charge one such battery at 1C (=3700 mA=3.7 amp): 4x4.20 volt x 3.7 amp = 62 watt.

According to the manual of the suggested charger, Turnigy TQ4 , it can deliver max 50 watt per channel (and max 6 amp per channel). So the charger can charge the largest bettery You have (4s 3700 mAh) just fine with max 3 amp (50 watt / 4 x 4.20 volt), and it will take about 74 min (with an empty pack, but we should always have about 20% capacity left in the LiPo before we start charge so it willl take less time in reality). Personally I do not have patience to wait around one hour for a LiPo pack to be fully charged.
As long as You are below 50 watt You can charge any LiPo up to 6 cell LiPo on this charger. For larger LiPo packs then You have today You can charge also (as long as it is max 6 cell and as long as total watt required is below 50 watt, just make the calculation).

If You want to charge on all ports at the same time it will be 4 x 50 watt = 200 watt minimum required from the power supply.
It is always better to select a power supply that has voltage as close to max voltage the charger can take in, for the suggested charger it is 10-18 volt, so 18 volt or slightly below is better. Why? Because the current needed and then heat generated will be lower with higher voltage to produce a certain amount of watt. The suggested power supply, Turnigy 540W, can be set for 18 volt so that is fine and as for max watt it can deliver, 540 watt, that will also be fine (it is good to have some extra watt for the future if You will get a more powerful charger in the future).

Then I suggest also to think a little into the future.
A charger that can charge 1-6 cell LiPo is a good choice since it is after all rather seldom we use any individual LiPo pack larger then 6 cell, and if we need more cells in a pack the normal way is to use two packs in series (for example 2 x 6 cells in series for a 12 cell pack).
The big question is instead how powerful 1-6 cell charger You should get if you take the future of your flying into account.
Basically more power (watt) the charger can deliver the faster You can charge the pack (higher charge amps can be used) or more packs charged at the same time.
Remember that when You charge at 1C (charge with the value of capacity the LiPo pack has, for example a 4s 3700 mAh pack is charged with 1 x 3700 mA, 3.7 amp) it will take about one hour. If You prefer to charge at 2C (so it takes about 1/2 hour instead) You have to double the amp, in the example 2 x 3.7 amp= 7.4 amp. And so on for 3C etc.
But remember a charger has a max amp value also, for Your suggested charger it is max 6 amp. So it is two limitations: max watt or max amp whatever is reached first.

For me that charge mostly 5 cell 5000 mAh packs (and I use 10 cell packs, 2 x 5 cell in series, in my plane) I prefer to charge at home at 3C and at field at 2C. So I have rather powerful chargers (with dual ports on each charger). At home I charge with stand alone power supply and in the field from 12 volt AGM batteries as power source. I charge two LiPo pack (each 5 cell 5000 mAh) on each of two chargers.

Also, think if You are going to use High Voltage LiPo batteries, LiHV (max end voltage 4.35 volt instead of normal 4.20 volt per cell). The charger You suggest has not support for that, at least not what can be read in the specifications.

Little more flexibility could be that You buy two 2 port chargers instead of one charger with 4 ports.
That way if one charger break You still have one left and will not be stranded, or settle with two more powerful singel port chargers.
Remember also that You can parallel charge. But I suggest You read about parallel charge so You fully understand that before You try that if You are unfamiliar with that.

Last edited by bossee; Oct 15, 2017 at 07:07 AM.
Oct 15, 2017, 08:37 AM
Registered User
Thanks a lot. So you reckon that power supply unit is a good one then? And yeah, I can live with a two port charger first, then maybe get another one later. It would save money instead of buying a four port charger upfront…
Oct 15, 2017, 09:28 AM
Bo Edström, Sweden
Yes, that power supply with 540 watt will be good and allow You to charge rather large LiPo batteries with proper charger, at least one LiPo battery at the time for larger LiPo batteries.
You could aim for a 250-300 watt two port charger and still be able to charge rather large batteries in reasonable time. Then add another 250-300 watt two port charger later if You want.
Just remember the limit on the power supply, max 540 watt (at 18 volt , 30 amp max = 540 watt) in Your case.
What You should check on this power supply You are interested in is that one pair of + and - output connector that You connect the charger to give it power can cope with 30 amp (at 18 volt). Sometimes when a power supply has multiple pairs of output connector it can be limitations when only one is used. I know this is true with my own power supply that has 3 pairs output connectors and although the powersupply in my case (a Junsi S1200 watt) is rated for 1200 watt out total it is a limitation so that a single pair of output can only cope with max 30 amp (not 50 amp as the charger total can cope with). So even my powersupply has specification of 24 volt and 50 amp = 1200 watt one can not use 50 amp on a single pair of output connector. For example 30 amp on one pair and 20 amp on a second pair is OK, or about 16 amp for example on each 3 pair of out put connector if all is in use.
Last, be not surprised if fan(s) on a power supply is rather load and will start spinning even if the power supply is not that hard loaded. Some fans are temperature controlled and should start the fan first when it start to get hot inside the power supply. And some fans are really load. Could be good to find out that also before You buy it, if that is important to You.

Last edited by bossee; Oct 15, 2017 at 12:29 PM.
Oct 16, 2017, 12:21 AM
Registered User


I guess I still need a power supply.. I’d really like to find something cheaper though... Is there anything out there for a hundred bucks complete? A duo would be fine... Or used even..
Oct 16, 2017, 06:32 AM
Registered User

You can also go for a charger which do not need a power supply. The charger is connected to a wall plug. Off course there are pro and con's. Here are two examples :

You can make some searches on the web you will find certainly cheaper but it will come from China. Anyway for 100€ I'm pretty sure you will not find a charging system able to deliver the power you seems to need.

Oct 16, 2017, 07:07 AM
Registered User
Thanks. I think I could live with two units instead of four. So, two simultaneously charging 3s or 4s lipos.

I will not be going 6s any time soon, if ever.

€160 and more is too much. I'd rather buy a new plane... I do appreciate all the input and advice though.
Oct 16, 2017, 08:23 AM
Imperial Pilot
DC1138's Avatar
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
Thanks. I think I could live with two units instead of four. So, two simultaneously charging 3s or 4s lipos.

I will not be going 6s any time soon, if ever.

€160 and more is too much. I'd rather buy a new plane... I do appreciate all the input and advice though.
Honestly, don't think this way. A good charger and radio are things you'll only need to purchase once if you purchase right, so don't ever go cheap on them or weigh the cost vs what else you could spend the money on. If you're in this hobby for the long hall, don't purchase for "right now" unless your finances absolutely forbid you from doing otherwise (in which case, I would even suggest holding off on the purchase until your finances allow for that higher priced purchase). Trust me, you'll want more power eventually, everyone always does.
Oct 16, 2017, 08:42 AM
Registered User
rcmagicman's Avatar
might be some info here.. In my country i can go into any computer resale store and buy a ATX computer power supply.. then with a little work from me and a few dollars in some parts i can make a good power supply in the 20 amp range..
Ive been in this hobby 25 years.. I bought top of the line FM radios and a victor charger in the i hardly use them due to modern tech.. so the best of the best today might not be that way in 3 or 5 or 7 years tech advances so I did..If you think you will not need more power from your charger or bigger batteries unless your at a plateau where you will never want a larger faster plane id still go with a more powerful charger . ive been using a 30 amp ATX converted power supply for 4 years no problem..i now use a 8 port charger that charges up to 8 batteries at once thru balance can be set to charge all at once or do a step charge 1 after i fly for 10 minutes the go to my charger and unplug next ready changes thru the years so i have to also..
Oct 16, 2017, 10:40 AM
Registered User
Tough call. There are a couple of planes I'd really like to have. But 175 bucks for a charger is such an unsexy expense…

I'm pretty sure that, due to no place to fly them or store them, I will not be moving on to bigger planes. I know those are famous last words, but I think in my case it's pretty certain. Maybe at some point a small 5s or 6s in my EFXtra or something, but ultimately I'm pretty set with my 1100 mm foamies...
Oct 16, 2017, 04:06 PM
Registered User
So again, for the money I won’t find anything better than this setup?:

(Or just 2-3 of these... Even comes with charging cables and no need to buy extra balance leads.. - saving €25-30.. )
Last edited by Herrsavage; Oct 16, 2017 at 04:24 PM.
Oct 16, 2017, 04:36 PM
Registered User
A few comments :

1st : The charger requests a DC input so indeed you need a power supply to make it operational. The combination proposed : 170$ (145€). My proposals (are for sure there are others) are at 170-190€. So for the price difference I will go for sure with one of my proposal.

2nd : your proposed charger is max 50 watt per channel. So you will be able to charge your battery in one hour (at a rate of 1C) as 4S - 3700mAh request 62 Watt. So in order to charge your battery you will have to reduce the charge rate to 0.75C which theorically will take 75min.

3rd : for a 200W power, you can have the IDST D2 (which combine charger and power supply) at 120€ at hobbyking store. Same power as your version but more flexible as you can split the 200W as you want.

So it's up to you.

Oct 17, 2017, 01:05 AM
Registered User
Thanks. That IDST D2 withnEUmplug is unavailable.

The other Sky charger you linked is only available from China, which for me is a no-go. %20+ more cost due to Customs, long wait, not sure on shipping, etc...

Which brings me back to the things I linked above I guess. Or, something more mainstream from a German shop(Hitec, Sky, Dymond, Graupner, Robitronic, etc..) which I can only imagine will cost astronomically more than the Hobbyking option... has almost halfway reasonable prices sometimes.....

I would get €20 off an order of €200. For ex:

But then I still need a power supply, right? If so then you can see how expensive non-HK options are. I’m definitely not going over €200. Even my HK option requires €25 for four charging cables and four balancer pads...

And this is only for one lipo at a time, right?:

ps - btw, I very rarely use those 4s 3700 lipos. %90 of my flying is with 3s 2200 and 4s 2200.... What I want is to be able to charge two to four at a time. Right now I have to charge one after the other(albeit with two simple basic chargers... I don’t mind if it takes an hour). What I would like is just that up to four of them can be done at once on one charger..)
Last edited by Herrsavage; Oct 17, 2017 at 01:27 AM.
Oct 17, 2017, 11:13 AM
Registered User
Dennis C's Avatar
For a power supply get a converted server power supply, you can get them for around $50.00 12v and around 600 WATTs

Or convert your own Very easy and less than $30.00

As for a charger I would recommend The reactor 250 as a minimum with a parallel board. Better would be a 500 WATT charger.

Stay away from the AC/DC chargers.


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