USB Charging for Taranis X-Lite Radio

One of most common complaints about the X-Lite radio is that it doesn't charge the two 18500 batteries from the USB port. Well now you can!

Splash

Charge Your X-Lite via USB

One of most common complaints about the X-Lite radio is that it doesn't charge the two 18500 batteries from the USB port. You have to take out the batteries and use a normal flashlight battery type charger. Some say the battery caps will wear out over time and wish there was a better way to balance charge the batteries while still in the radio. Well now you can!

The Motive RC made a battery charging board that is mounted internally to the radio and allows balance charging of the batteries without removing any features. You can still connect the radio to your computer for USB Joystick or Storage mode. The charging board comes with the wires and an LED to mount in the power switch that lights up red when charging. This seems like a great solution that doesn't look too hard to install as long as you are capable at soldering. I've attached the instruction manual below this article so you can take a look. I went ahead and ordered one so I'm looking forward to getting this feature on my radio. It costs $19.29.

Check out the USB Charging Board for Taranis X-Lite Radio Here

Thread Tools
Jan 31, 2019, 09:33 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Here's the PDF Instruction Manual
Jan 31, 2019, 12:51 PM
Registered User
techspy's Avatar
Yep, I just ordered these to do the same thing. And cheaper than banggood;

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Jan 31, 2019, 01:00 PM
Have Fun and Just Fly!
l shems's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by techspy
Yep, I just ordered these to do the same thing. And cheaper than banggood;

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Won't work. The two 18500 are in series. Can't charge them parallel.
Jan 31, 2019, 01:01 PM
Registered User
techspy's Avatar
ah good point. I may have to make a custom wiring cable to charge them in parallel but leave then in series for usage. Maybe a switch to break the series circuit while charging.
Jan 31, 2019, 01:09 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by techspy
ah good point. I may have to make a custom wiring cable to charge them in parallel but leave then in series for usage. Maybe a switch to break the series circuit while charging.
I came up with this last June, but it has one flaw in that it creates a short circuit across the charge jack when the switch is in the ON position. If you can overcome that problem then it should work.

Feb 01, 2019, 08:36 AM
Registered User
The solution to the noted problem in the above diagram is both of :-
1) Move the -ve of the charge jack to the -ve of the left-hand battery.
AND
2) Disconnect everty-thing except the +ve of the charge jack from the "charge" pole of right-hand gang of the DPDT

I will draw a diagram of this and post it later

This will :-
a) isolate the +ve of the charge jack when not switched to charge.
b) isolate the +ve input of the TX when the switch is set to charge.
c) switch the batteries between series normally to parallel when charging

However this still leaves you charging the batteries in parallel rather than a balanced charge.

N.B. You clearly do more flying than I do, my batteries have only needed charging once since delivery
Feb 01, 2019, 09:09 AM
Registered User
I was thumbing through the manual days ago and noticed this comment at the end of the manual:

"Attentions: 1, The X-lite can't be powered on under the charging status. 2, Connection USB when X-lite Power ON: will show message ask if active on ”USB Joystick(HID)” or “USB Storage(SD)."

So, okay, the TX can't be powered on while it's charging. I assume that when you plug in a usb cable, the TX goes into charge mode and prevents you from powering on the radio or are they warning us to NOT power on the radio while charging? Logic would dictate the former.

This would also mean that the radio won't or can't be charged while it's in use. Say you wanted to keep the radio powered via a power bank while out on the field due to a low battery scenario, you can't.

I'm still going to order one of these as there is no better option and the layout and way it mounts to the radio seems well thought out.
Feb 01, 2019, 09:17 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
In stock form, if it's off and you plug in the USB, you cannot then turn on the radio. Just nothing happens when you hold the power button. So I'm assuming, that with the charge module installed, plugging it in while the radio is off will charge it and you won't be able to turn it on. Plug it in while the radio is on and it will not charge, but ask which USB mode you want to use.

I will never need nor would I want to have it connected to a power bank while I'm flying so this should work out perfectly for me.
Feb 01, 2019, 10:57 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
In stock form, if it's off and you plug in the USB, you cannot then turn on the radio. Just nothing happens when you hold the power button. So I'm assuming, that with the charge module installed, plugging it in while the radio is off will charge it and you won't be able to turn it on. Plug it in while the radio is on and it will not charge, but ask which USB mode you want to use.

I will never need nor would I want to have it connected to a power bank while I'm flying so this should work out perfectly for me.
This sounds like a well thought out design. As long as we can still flash firmware etc, this just might be a GREAT option and well worth the ~$20.
I would love to hear feedback from those who actually have used it for a while before I add this module.
Is there any indication if it would have an issue if you use 18650's, with the extended caps? I see no reason that it should.
Feb 01, 2019, 11:03 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
No it says it will charge 18650’s too. Just takes longer as the rate is 1.2A.
Feb 01, 2019, 02:04 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellj
The solution to the noted problem in the above diagram is both of :-
1) Move the -ve of the charge jack to the -ve of the left-hand battery.
AND
2) Disconnect everty-thing except the +ve of the charge jack from the "charge" pole of right-hand gang of the DPDT

I will draw a diagram of this and post it later
In this image, "V1" is the diagram I've already posted above, and I think "V2" is the circuit you're describing:



Quote:
This will :-
a) isolate the +ve of the charge jack when not switched to charge.
Yes, it'll do that.
Quote:
b) isolate the +ve input of the TX when the switch is set to charge.
Yes, it'll do that.
Quote:
c) switch the batteries between series normally to parallel when charging
No, it connects the batteries properly in the on position, but in the charge position it charges the right-hand battery and leaves the left-hand battery out of the circuit.

But maybe I have the circuit wrong. I'm looking forward to seeing your diagram.

Quote:
However this still leaves you charging the batteries in parallel rather than a balanced charge.
I don't understand what you mean by this. If batteries are connected in parallel then how can they be anything but balanced?

But I appreciate your help in working out a solution, and if you haven't already found one then I hope you keep working on it. I'm sure it can be done, it's just a question of what's the simplest way.
Feb 03, 2019, 04:00 PM
Registered User
  1. You are correct, I definitely got something wrong. I don't have my original sketch, so can't see what. and now can't solve all the issues without needing a 3PDT (which do exist, but are rare). So V3 of the circuit is below but still flawed...
    Name: X-Lite Charge v3.png
Views: 23
Size: 46.9 KB
Description:
  2. What I mean about having 2cells in parallel; is that if the cells ever get out of balance, when you switch to charge mode, one cell will try to do a very fast charge of the other
  3. Feel free to update your diagram with the above - you seem to have better diagram drawing S/W that I have available; and combining the different versions of the circuit into 1 diagram makes it easier for other people to compare them.
Feb 03, 2019, 11:23 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellj
What I mean about having 2cells in parallel; is that if the cells ever get out of balance, when you switch to charge mode, one cell will try to do a very fast charge of the other
I think the parallel charging scare is way overblown. For a long time I've been charging my 3S LiPo packs, up to 6 packs at a time, with a parallel charging board, and never had a problem. It should be even safer to parallel charge two cells that are known to be discharged exactly the same amount because they were discharged in series.
Feb 04, 2019, 04:01 AM
Registered User
The whole balancing is overblown just as well.
As stated before. Just give the 2 batteries a current limited voltage source of 8.4V and have a 4.2V zener + low impendance resistor parallel to each battery to prevent it from overcharging.
Both batteries will end up at 4.2V.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Snapped off USB port on New Taranis X-Lite .... tyrell Radios 1 Nov 27, 2018 08:54 PM
Discussion Vantac MPM Lite 2.4G Multiple Protocol TX Module for Taranis X-Lite Radio Transmitter scousethief Banggood.com 1 Jul 21, 2018 02:41 PM
New Product FrSky Taranis X-Lite 2.4GHz Radio Controller Transmitter jaganfpv Product Announcements 1 Apr 30, 2018 03:23 PM
New Product FrSky Taranis X-LITE - Game controller-style radio :) DutchRC Radios 12 Feb 09, 2018 10:42 AM