Thread Tools
Feb 13, 2007, 07:02 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Discussion

KEYBOARD COWBOYS or Astro 109 charger rides again!!


Geez that was a great thread - I really enjoyed reading it!! Could someone pleeeeeze start another one??


https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641576
Last edited by doberman; Feb 13, 2007 at 08:55 PM. Reason: addition of forgotten text
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Feb 14, 2007, 08:24 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
If you haven't read this thread it's a must read.
Feb 14, 2007, 09:10 AM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Do a search and you can find many such treads. One such is here

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362850

Can a AF-109 when used carelessly start a LiPoly fire? Very likely yes.
How many other LiPoly chargers have this ability? Most every one made / sold.

The one thing that gets me most of all is the lack of most to accept responsibility for their errors/ neg elegance . LiPoly chargers of many makes and models have never puffed a cell must less started a fire due to one simple fact. A charger is an instrument and does nothing on its' own.
Charles
Feb 14, 2007, 09:24 AM
Registered User
RagnarA's Avatar
I agree with Charles. It's a personal responsibility issue. Nothing, and I repeat Nothing in life is 100% safe and Life cannot be made so. Last month after a perfect 3 year safety record I puffed one of my old Kokam 340 packs. Dumb mistake, had been charging a 3S, put a 2S on it, was in a hurry and forgot to change the knob from 3 to 2. I specifically use chargers that have to be manually set and I blew it. I don't blame the charger, it was my fault. Mistakes are gonna happen. If you can't take responsibility, pack yourself in cotton and don't get out of bed.

Dave
Last edited by RagnarA; Feb 14, 2007 at 09:31 AM.
Feb 14, 2007, 09:49 AM
Registered User
Greybird's Avatar
......
Last edited by Greybird; Feb 14, 2007 at 12:37 PM.
Feb 14, 2007, 10:22 AM
Registered User
RagnarA's Avatar
You know, I don't own an Astro 109, they weren't out when I was in the market for a large lipo charger. I already had a Schultze and I bought a large digital labratory grade power supply (3 output) to charge any large lipo's that I might acquire. The charger in question was a Plantraco set on 50 ma. My bad, I do not blame Plantraco for making a charger that can't count. I do take offence Graybird, I was not involved in any prior discussions of the Astro 109, I was merely making a philosophical statement. No piece of electronic equipment can be built, yet anyway, that is smarter than a human brain. The Astro 109 may or may not be able to be modified, it is evidently smarter already than some humans. In this case the EXACT same people comment is flawed.

Dave
Feb 14, 2007, 10:30 AM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Quote:
Also, The EXACT same people are defending them that did 2 years ago, just because they already own them.
I knew how the AF-109 worked prior to purchase. I have a habit of doing research before making a purchase. I have been researching motors for a .40-.50 ish conversion for about 4 months now.

My LiPoly chargers in approx. order acquired.
Apache 2500, Triton,AF-109, 2nd. Triton,TP-425,2nd. Apache2500,TP-1010C,DN Power,TP-535.

Which one has charged the most packs?
The AF-109 by a rather large margin.

Which one is the safest as in almost impossible to make a major user error?
The DN Power.

LiPoly charger safety or lack there of goes hand and hand with the chargers abilities. The more cells types,number of cells,amps. output it is capable of the more attention to details it deserves.


What is perhaps the most powerful and least safe charger?
A variable voltage ,variable amperage bench type power supply.

Charles
Feb 14, 2007, 10:37 AM
Registered User
Greybird's Avatar
...
Last edited by Greybird; Feb 14, 2007 at 12:38 PM.
Feb 14, 2007, 10:45 AM
Registered User
RagnarA's Avatar
Charles, you are exactly correct about a digital power supply. It forces one to assume total responsibility for one's actions. If I don't set it right, bad things will happen. However, it allows one to totally control the charging enviroment in a fashion that cannot be done with any charger that I know of, including going from .01 volt and .01 amp to 30 volts and 10 amps or 60 volts and 5 amps and the entire range in between. My Schultze has so far in over 3 years not mishandled any pack it's been put on. However, given enough chances to fail, it probably would do so at nearly the same rate as an attentive human brain. That is purely a speculative opinion, I don't have any statistics to back it up. 3-4 years ago, lipo charging was in it's infancy and chargers that self diagnosed packs were known to fail occasionally. The Schultze and the Orbit were the best of the breed. If I was to buy a larger lipo charger today to replace my dps it would probably be an Xtrema, but I don't need one.

Dave
Feb 14, 2007, 11:03 AM
Registered User
Apache 2500

Nothing is fool-proof but the Apache 2500 comes pretty close. It is smart enough to blink at me when I fail to set the jumper to the correct cell count.

Practically speaking, the only error I can make is to set the jumper at a too-high charging rate. I've never done that so I have no idea what would happen if I did.

I've used two of them for a couple of years now and will continue to do so until I run out of packs without charging leads. Then I'll buy another FMA 4S.

At this time, I believe the new FMA chargers to be the most 'intellegent' and capable chargers available.

PS: I have other LiPo chargers but haven't used any of them since I aquired my first Apache.

Joe
Feb 14, 2007, 11:09 AM
Registered User
RagnarA's Avatar
Quote:
These things need to be taken to the lowest common denominator.
This is impossible and to put that burden on a product and it's producer is unconscionable. A person will always be found that will be able to foul up the most intelligent and safest device. A similar argument could be made for the automobile. Since it's invention over a hundred years ago it still is involved in crashes which kill people. It needs to be made safer so when the lowest common denominator tries to drive it, it won't crash and hurt anyone. See how inane that sounds?

If a product is designed to be unsafe, then the producer is liable for negligance. If you don't USE the product as designed, then no negligance accrues to the producer.

Quote:
If they can be made safer, they should be.
If there is a design flaw, it should be fixed. In this instance, there doesn't appear to be any flaw except in the attention span of user's who grew up expecting instant gratification or who have age related brain lapses like mine. I'm sure that this charger is doing something during that 3 minute period. It appears that a button could be added to the Astro 109 that would have to be pressed in order to start charging. A number of people, me included, would probably NOT LOOK AT THE DISPLAY and hit the button with the same result as if the manual start charge button wasn't there. Has that design flaw been fixed. NO. It's a flaw in the USER, not the equipment. My point is that you can't design human stupidity out of a machine, yet. No machine can be designed 100% safe, though a lot of manufacturer's try in order to limit their liability from tort claim. Many people don't appear to realize this.

Dave

P.S. I like the Apache 2500 too. Well enough anyway to give mine to my dad.
Feb 14, 2007, 11:48 AM
Registered User
Greybird's Avatar
...
Last edited by Greybird; Feb 14, 2007 at 12:38 PM.
Feb 14, 2007, 12:22 PM
Registered User
Ragnar's comments make perfect sense, and NO I don't own an AF-109. There is a saying that goes like this "You can't make things idiot proof because idiots are too clever". I grew up on a farm in Iowa and was exposed at an early age to equipment that could seriously injure or kill you if you failed to follow directions or use common sense. Follow that will being in the Military all my adult life, I was an Cobra pilot and Cavalry officer. That has a tendency to make me a little annal when working with things that have a potential to hurt me. I read directions and listen to people's warning. In other words I am a knowledgeable user. When I fail to follow clear directions or heed sound warnings, IT IS MY FAULT when something goes wrong.

Bill
Feb 14, 2007, 01:10 PM
Registered User
RagnarA's Avatar
Bill, thank you from a fellow former farmer. I'm glad you get it.

Graybird, now that I have your attention, it doesn't surprise me that you don't understand. I don't like to be personally attacked by someone, and you did. No, I'm not going to report you because I am grown all up and don't need someone to hold my hand.

I have read about the 109 since before it's inception. My lack of posts is not indicative of my lack of understanding. I've read a number of threads on it including this one:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...=641576&page=5,
where the idea of a manual start charge button or a confirmation was suggested by Eco8gator in post #39, Teamdavy in post #63, ChrisT88 in post #66.

The rest of it's all philosophy. You appear to believe that the manufacturer of a charger should stand in a user's living room to keep them from making a mistake with it. Or make a charger that's fool proof, which is not possible. The Astro 109 works as advertised. Period. You may not like that but that is a fact. As much as I like the Apache 2500, I seem to remember after it came out at least 2 people experienced puffed packs/lipo fires with it. It's good, BUT NOT FOOLPROOF! The marketplace of ideas will determine if a product survives. Note: That's another philosophical statement. My defense of personal responsibility is not indicative of hard-heartedness either, it's just that a charger's manufacturer is not responsible for babysitting it's machine's user. You apparently believe that they are.

Charles captured my entire thought in a 2 liner that you apparently did not read. Had you not lit me up by accusing me of just being ANOTHER 109 owner pimping it AGAIN, I would have said no more.
Quote:
IMO any charger is only as safe as the operator. The are several chargers which are touted as being fool proof / play and play / walk away.
I have never seen a device designed and built by man which can not fail.
(post #64), above thread.

I was merely trying to explain a short concise thought in terms that I thought would be understandable. I apologize if this has led to confusion. (i.e. post #52 by Funflyrc, above thread)
Quote:
)Get a grip. The 109 works exactly as advertised, change isn't necessary. You babysit the lipo for 3 minutes or set the knob to zero and turn it up when you feel like it. There is nothing in the instructions about putting your trust in the decision making abilities of the charger. Yes, this thread is hard to understand because the title is misleading. I am very glad that you avoided physical and property damage.
Graybird, I don't know what you have against the idea of personal responsibilty for correct action. What I say should not be seen as a blanket approval for the Astro 109. Just don't expect it or any machine to be something it cannot be, foolproof.

Dave
Feb 14, 2007, 02:01 PM
Suspended Account
The fact that a Astro109 can bump the cell count in C1 is NOT a design flaw, it IS a good feature that has saved may possible charging acidents.

For those that never use any Lipo's larger then 3S you may not realise that at larger Series counts there is significant voltage overlap between multiple series count packs.

For example:

6S charged 25.2n discharged 18v
7S charged 29.4v discharged 21v
8S charged 33.6v discharged 24v
9S charged 37.8v discharged 27v

Take a pack that reads 28V is it a almost fully discharged 9S, a partially charged 8S, or a almost fully charged 7S??????

A charger that has the user enter and confirm the cell count would accept any of these... 7S, 8S, 9S...... If it was a 7S pack the use of 8S or 9S would result in a possible fire.

Who would be that stupid???? Well a very well known "Factory Team Pilot" did exactly that and had a major fire using a Schulze charger.

With a Astro 109 the software always selects the lowest logical cell count and the fire could not have happened.

Then there are multi chemistry chargers like the Triton. Select the wrong chemistry and see what happens.

Design feature or problem? If the largest packs you use are 3S and you like to "top off" charged packs then you better watch for a posible bump in C1.

If you fly larger 7S, 8S and 9S packs then you hope the count is bumped in C1 if the charger sensed the count low because of overlap.

Charger for newbies? perhaps there are better choices. But for many the ability to varry the current easily and to safley charge large S count packs is wonderfull.

Brad


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! Lipo Charger - DN Power or Astro 109 tacoma Batteries and Chargers 16 Jul 27, 2007 11:41 PM
triton or Astro 109 charger with PCM-guard rcguy01 Batteries and Chargers 1 Feb 22, 2005 02:03 PM
WTB: Astro 109 charger Jet Dreams Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 10 Dec 23, 2003 02:07 PM
Best place to buy a Astro 109 charger?? nicco Batteries and Chargers 5 Nov 30, 2003 07:27 PM
Astro 109 Charger chrisc Batteries and Chargers 13 Oct 20, 2003 03:13 AM