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Aug 24, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Tanic and FMA cell Pro Charger Review


I have recently acquired a couple of the Cell pro chargers from FMA. I have the Balance Pro HD 6S ( $129.00) and the Cell Pro 4S.( $69.95). I gotta say that this is the future in safe fast lipo charging. The HD 6S will charge saftley any 6 S pack up to 3 C charge rate ( max 10 amps!!!). (certainly the Tanic line if batteries) with no effect on cycle life. We are charging our 1180mah packs at 3.5 amps complete after flying in about 20-25 minutes. Warm right out of the plane too no need to let the packs cool down at all. Of course we needed an adaptor for the chargers but a very simple job for us here. Both chargers offer auto detect cell count that is probably the most reliable auto cell count charger on the market, if you are using the Cell pro 4S charger it shows you each cell and the voltage during the charge, every single charge every time charges the cells to exactly 4.2 volts. For the price of the Cell Pro 4S there is no charger that is as safe or as fast ( for the specified application) on the market. If anyone is looking at chargers and your scratching your head call me and I will talk to ya about these and make your itch stop. I am sure that I can make the right adaptor for anyone to make the charger work for any pack that you have, as well FMA offers many adaptors for the most popular packs already ( or soon will have). You can look at more information on these here

http://www.fmadirect.com/products.htm?cat=38&nid=4

I am not affiliated with FMA at all, heck I even have to pay retail for the chargers, but I may stock them and re-sell them at 0% margin because they are just that good and it is a very safe, efficient compliment to my product line.

Fred really knocked one out of the field on this one!!!

Again any one that has any questions about these chargers don't hesitate to give me a call. (800-rctoys-6)

Brian
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Aug 24, 2006, 01:46 PM
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meteor's Avatar

Close, but...


Looking over the manual it looks neat, but there's a few things that are odd, or missing...


- Needs a separate current display for each cell. (yes, this can be roughly derived by the voltage, but I'd prefer to have both, as the current can fall at differing rates on the CV side...)

- The "fuel" stuff is a bit juvenile, it really does not add any value and just creates yet another proprietary phraseology to describe a basic Li-Po relationship.

- Will the "auto" mode work with 2C and 3C capable cells? I assume that the unit is calibrated to attempt to estimate a 1C charge duration*. It could also be problematic, as different cells will hit CV at differing point of charge, so it's going to be a bit of a fudge to guess what the approximate CV point is. (75%, 80%, 85%?)

* From what the manual says, itís the slope of the voltage rise of the CC portion that determines charge rate, so itís probably just a low-side compromise, around 70% capacity at CV.
Last edited by meteor; Aug 24, 2006 at 02:17 PM.
Aug 24, 2006, 02:42 PM
VE7FM
TheSteve's Avatar
Instead of "fuel" I'd prefer it just said "Charge percentage" but its the same thing in the end so I can live with it.
The auto 1.0C mode works well for me so far, I think it will be nearly perfect for 98% of the users out there.
I've used the charger with 2S 1800, 2S 1500, 2S 2200, 3S 3200, 2S 6200 and single lithium ion cells, only good things to report.
A screen with current to each cell would be nice, as would a charge time indicator.
Aug 24, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Thread OP
From my reading of the manual and actually using the charger the auto mode will not exceed 1.4 amps ever, you can easily change the charge rate up to 3 amps (or a max of 3 C) As for the fueling part it is also done by % and I find it very useful many people like to see how "charged up" the battery is and know about how long before its done, mearly another measureing tool without looking at voltages to determine (guess) how full the pack is. I see at as very useful. I have been using the charger with a 3S pack that had 2 fully charged cells (4.2 volts each) and replaced a bad cell with a new cell at 3.80 volts. Plug it into the charger and no worries what so ever the 2 - 4.20 volt cells never budge on voltage and the 3.80 cell charges up to the 4.20 volt level, granted this happens at a lower current and this is an extreme situation. The 4S charger has so many saftey features built in that it is definately my charger now of choice and believe me I have them all.

As for the seperate current display for each cell most packs are always going to be so close in balance anyway that the current going to each cell will be almost exactly the same. Not sure what that info will tell me, do I really care that cell #1 is being charged at 1 amp cell # 2 at 1.01 amps and cell #3 at .99 amp a calculated average makes more sence to me, but that is just me. These are good safe chargers for the first time lipoly user all the way up to us advanced guys ( safe being the key word)

Brian
Aug 24, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Thread OP
I agree a charge time indicator would be great!!!

Brian
Aug 24, 2006, 02:47 PM
VE7FM
TheSteve's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Toys USA
From my reading of the manual and actually using the charger the auto mode will not exceed 1.4 amps ever, you can easily change the charge rate up to 3 amps (or a max of 3 C)

Brian
Auto mode happily goes right to a 3 amp charge rate with my 3S 3200ma and 2S 6200ma packs.
Aug 24, 2006, 02:53 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
your right I read it as 1.4 amps not "1.4 C" Woops

B
Aug 24, 2006, 02:55 PM
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ChrisAttebery's Avatar
Meteor,

I agree wholeheartedly with Brian. I've had my CellPro for about a week. Previously I had a TP-425 and a PolyCharge4. This charger is miles ahead in both the information and safety it provides.

You could buy the DN balance charger to get the current going into each cell, but you would lose the automatic charge settings. From what I can see and have read the CellPro is not 4 separate chargers like the DN charger is. It is a serial charger with build in balancing, therefore the cells all charge at aproximately the same current, minus whatever the balance circuitry pulls off the cells with the highest charge level.

The fuel level is in my opinion a handy guide to see what charge level my pack is at a glance. It's not meant to be a definative answer, just a guide. You don't have to use it.

There are two auto modes 1.0C and 1.4C. You can always select the charge rate manually if you want a higher rate. At this point there aren't that many 2 to 3c charge packs available so it's a mute point.

On my packs the cells have been within .01v from start to finish, so there haven't been any problems with the charger guessing when to go into CV mode.


Chris Attebery
Aug 24, 2006, 07:24 PM
Permanently Banned
I use the DN Power balance charger that tells me each cell is 100% okay when the balancing charging current goes all the way to zero when done, also shows which cell has hi Ri due to a drop or dent in the cell by observing the charging current compared to the good cells charging rate
Aug 24, 2006, 08:05 PM
"woof"
Wow hall, nice little plug...kinda annoying reading a non biased report on a charger and get some cheap sales pitch!

The Cellpro sounds like a good charger, and mayber V2 will have the items that people are asking for. I have found that by far, the Korean made chargers are superior to the Chinese ones. I look forward to version II, maybe they will have one.

2dogrc
woof
Aug 24, 2006, 08:14 PM
Registered User
meteor's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisAttebery
From what I can see and have read the CellPro is not 4 separate chargers like the DN charger is...
Really? If that's so, that would be very disappointing!

You're right back to square-1 with a series charger with a "balancer" addition, with all the issues therein. (like how charging an out-of-balance pack can take forever...)

You also have the albeit slim possibility of an overcharge as you are still dealing with a post-controlled series circuit charger, not 4 electrically isolated circuits. (the DN and others use transformers on each channel to completely separate the circuits. There is no electrical connection between them!)


Can someone verify this is the case with this charger?
Aug 24, 2006, 08:27 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
I believe it is a balance charger not 4 completely isolated chargers but if you have a pack that is extremely out of balance then you've got a problem with the pack that no charger will ever fix.

Brian
Aug 24, 2006, 09:24 PM
Registered User
ChrisAttebery's Avatar
AMEN!

BTW: When I move up to 6S packs I'll buy the BalancePro. I'm that happy with the CellPro.


Chris




Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Toys USA
I believe it is a balance charger not 4 completely isolated chargers but if you have a pack that is extremely out of balance then you've got a problem with the pack that no charger will ever fix.

Brian
Aug 24, 2006, 09:39 PM
Registered User
I bought a CellPro because it will bring back(without any special work) an over discharged battery . Also being my first lipo charger its dummy proof. But I do have a question that I would like to know. How big a battery do I have to have to carry with me on my rascal to recharge a few times at the park. I don't drive and afraid to use the scooter batterys and weight is a factor. If im hauling to much I can't get home. I have read the instructions and all I can find is that the CellPro doesn't use as much as most of the rest.
Thank you for reading and a reply would be cool.
Ken
Aug 24, 2006, 10:06 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
I just put a clamp on meter around the input wire to the charger and at a 4S pack at 3 amps it was drawing 3.7 amps now this is not to say it may alter a bit later but I assume you are using a smaller pack and not charging at 3 amps lets say it is drawing 2.5 amps for you that is 2.5 amps in one hour, if you have a 2500 mah power source you can charge for one hour ( aprox 2 full charges to your lipo pack ). If it is a 5000mah ( or 5.0amp hour) power source it would last for two hours. ( aprox 4-5 charges to your lipo pack),, What is the size of your power source battery in mah??? Once you know that the math is pretty easy the trick is to have enough power left in the scooter to get home, pushing that and carrying all you gear would really stink!!! An even though it may bring back an overdischarged cell or pack does not mean the performance will equal what it was before overdischarging it. This is really something we never want to do.

Brian


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