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Dec 11, 2002, 09:12 PM
Fast sticks quick crash.
K.B.'s Avatar
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New Orbit V6 owner and some ???


I have had a chance to wring out this charger with quite a few packs run through it and some things have me puzzled. Any insights would be much appreciated.

While using the Peak Charge method on several 7C KR 600AE, I notice the initial charge is spiking to over 5 amps for about forty seconds, drops to zero then charges at 4.5 for about the same amount of time. Over the course of four minutes or so it finally settles down to about 1.8 ampere. Does that initial almost 30c initial charge damage these cells? Is this normal for the Orbit V6?

When discharging any pack I try and set the discharge amperage and attach the pack, it always goes to some pre-set level and I find it damn irritating. What am I missing here? Oh yes, I have the discharge max level set to zero (as per the instructions to use all available amerage).


Is one charge method better for nicads and one better for nimhs (reflex, fast or easy)? Sorry for the lengthy questions, I just hate the idea of possibly damaging some expensive packs through ignorance or misuse.


Thanks
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Dec 11, 2002, 09:56 PM
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Haldor's Avatar

Re: New Orbit V6 owner and some ???


Originally posted by K.B.
While using the Peak Charge method on several 7C KR 600AE, I notice the initial charge is spiking to over 5 amps for about forty seconds, drops to zero then charges at 4.5 for about the same amount of time. Over the course of four minutes or so it finally settles down to about 1.8 ampere. Does that initial almost 30c initial charge damage these cells? Is this normal for the Orbit V6?


In Auto mode the Orbit will sence the resistance of the pack and wireharness and adjust charge rate accordingly. (low resistance = higher charge rate, low resistance is sign of a good cell) That means it will start low and ramp up then drop off again towards the peak, its towards the peak the charge need to be gentle. This is typical behaviour of any smart charger out there. If your pack isnt hot (warm is fine) once done then you dont need to worry. If you do worry use Easycharge at a lower, set charge rate of 2-3C.
My Orbit puts 5,1A into the 500AR cells I have halfway in the charge, peaks in about 11mins.

When discharging any pack I try and set the discharge amperage and attach the pack, it always goes to some pre-set level and I find it damn irritating. What am I missing here? Oh yes, I have the discharge max level set to zero (as per the instructions to use all available amerage).

Not sure what you're asking here... The orbit can handle 6A/25W discharge power. With 7cells that means you wont exceed 4A during discharge. The number you select to zero for full discharge is cellcount, not discharge rate. When cellcount (displays like X# where X is the cellcount) is set at zero the only thing you do then is to avoid discharge cutoff at 0,9V/cell. A 7cell pack (when 7# is displayed) would stop discharging at 6,3V, if you have 0# it would discharge completely, to 0V. The amperage is unaffected by this.


Is one charge method better for nicads and one better for nimhs (reflex, fast or easy)? Sorry for the lengthy questions, I just hate the idea of possibly damaging some expensive packs through ignorance or misuse.


I use Auto (fast) on most cells, adjusting peak sensitivity according to cell chemistry.

Hope this helps,
Haldor
Last edited by Haldor; Dec 11, 2002 at 10:01 PM.
Dec 11, 2002, 11:07 PM
Fast sticks quick crash.
K.B.'s Avatar
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Thanks, yes that is very helpful. I had no idea what my chargers in the past were doing during the charge cycle (previously an AF 112 D), just hoped it was doing the job properly.


There was a setting for capping off the max available amperage during discharge, was just saying I did not have it set low. I have had to set the cell count manually on a 10 count of 1100 nimhs.



Could you give me an example or two of the delta peak settings you use for your batteries? Thanks, do appreciate the info.
Dec 12, 2002, 02:09 AM

Spikes and discharge.....


I see that amp spike your talking about on a particular max 100 pack that i have. but not the other max's or any other pack i have. It is quite scary. i'd show you the microlog chart if I knew how to post it. sometimes it goes up all the way to 6 amps. my other packs dont act like this on auto charge. the particular pack i am talking about false peaks every now and then.

On discharging, I myself was dissapointed with the fact that i could not discharge my 8 cell packs at 6 amps. with 8 cells, it actually 2.1 amps. I thought is was 1-30 cells 6 amps, i only realize it was 1-30 cells 25 watts after i bought it. bummer.

JT
Last edited by juantrinidad; Dec 12, 2002 at 02:19 AM.
Dec 12, 2002, 02:31 AM
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Haldor's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by K.B.
Thanks, yes that is very helpful. I had no idea what my chargers in the past were doing during the charge cycle (previously an AF 112 D), just hoped it was doing the job properly.

There was a setting for capping off the max available amperage during discharge, was just saying I did not have it set low. I have had to set the cell count manually on a 10 count of 1100 nimhs.

Could you give me an example or two of the delta peak settings you use for your batteries? Thanks, do appreciate the info.
Your Astro112D is like many of its kind a constant current charger, you set the current to a specific level and it stays there from start to finish. More modern chargers have microprocessor controlled charge cycle meaning it can adjust during the charge, following the designed/programmed rules (algorithms).

The cellcount detection on discharge is only based on measured voltage and the charger has to guesstimate what cellcount is correct. In most cases it does but its not bulletproof so always check to see if the indicated cellcount is in fact the actual cellcount.

Regarding peaklevel, I use hard peak for NiCd's and medium peak on large NiHM cells and the low peak on small/low charge NiHM's.
Dec 12, 2002, 03:33 AM

second opinion on orbit peak....


i set low peak (3mv) on 1100 mah nimhs or smaller.
mid-peak (7.5mv) for 1200 to sub c sized nimhs and all nicds.
use hard peak (15mv) for flex charging, where it is harder to catch a peak.

I got an orbit. it works its basic functions well but I have a question, what's so great about it vs. other reliable charger? I spent about twice my the cost of my previous charer and it appears to do just the same. This is not a trick question. I wwanted too draw out postive traits of the orbit to balance out the negative publicity the chargers have been having. I bought one because no ther chager was aviaable that came close to it feaures except forthe triton which is so new it only time can tell.

Rgds, JT
Dec 12, 2002, 09:24 AM
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Haldor's Avatar
JT - the better charging algorithms allow the cells to be better handled which should increase lifespan, the cells also get a more efficient charge meaning you get a little more useful capacity. Its specs are determined by the programming of the EEPROM meaning it just need a different EEPROM to do other kind of cells etc (=easily upgradeable to new cellchemistries)

The Orbit has been out for atleast a couple of years with its capabilities, its only been now when other mfgrs are catching up (Triton for instance)

Hope that helps, I'm in the same boat being a Pro user but I dont worry about "what-ifs". Its a great charger.
Dec 12, 2002, 06:50 PM
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Haldor's Avatar
Oh and by the way - the Orbit V6 can output 180W (6A charge rate on up to 30V) where Tritons, SuperNova's Astro 110/112D's etc will bail out in the 100-150W range. That means the V6 have more muscle.
Dec 12, 2002, 09:54 PM
Registered User

Re: New Orbit V6 owner and some ???


Quote:
Originally posted by K.B.

When discharging any pack I try and set the discharge amperage and attach the pack, it always goes to some pre-set level and I find it damn irritating. What am I missing here? Oh yes, I have the discharge max level set to zero (as per the instructions to use all available amerage).


Thanks
I have an Orbit too and I think what K.B. means bugs me too.

When you set a discharge: Say I just set mine to 8 amps. It starts at whatever it wants usually way less than I set it then changes and ramps down every so often then finishes at .1 amps for a long time. The whole process takes a loooonnnnngggg time. I guess this is a great way to really discharge completely.

When I say it bugs me too I would think it would be very good to be able to just flat discharge down to .9 volts per cell without the constant and time consuming ramping down. Do other chargers just flat discharge?
Dec 12, 2002, 09:59 PM
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Haldor's Avatar

Re: Re: New Orbit V6 owner and some ???


Quote:
Originally posted by RandyR
I have an Orbit too and I think what K.B. means bugs me too.

When you set a discharge: Say I just set mine to 8 amps. It starts at whatever it wants usually way less than I set it then changes and ramps down every so often then finishes at .1 amps for a long time. The whole process takes a loooonnnnngggg time. I guess this is a great way to really discharge completely.

When I say it bugs me too I would think it would be very good to be able to just flat discharge down to .9 volts per cell without the constant and time consuming ramping down. Do other chargers just flat discharge?
That way it ramps down is the only way to completely discharge the pack since its the cut-off is voltage determined. Same applies to a charge, the current is ramped down towards the end. A simpler charger would stop at the first peak but this way allow a gentler end and more energy pushed in - see attached chart.

Dont know how other chargers handle the discharge.
Dec 13, 2002, 12:49 AM

Discharger see-saw...


If I recall correctly, you can turn off the ramping up and down of the discahrge curve in the set up mode.

JT
Dec 13, 2002, 07:22 AM
That's the auto discharge mode. With it OFF the charger will stop when the pack reaches the low voltage cut-off. With it ON each time it reaches the cut-off voltage it will reduce current and continue the discharge.

With it off you can see how many mah you can get out of the pack for a given discharge current. With it on you can drain the pack completely to determine the pack capacity.

Change the discharge mode in the set-up menu. See page 23 in the manual.

Discharge is limited to 25 watts. Voltage times discharge current can not exceed 25. The charger will lower the discharge current setting you input if it will exceed 25 watts.

Jimmy
Last edited by Capt. Electron; Dec 13, 2002 at 07:24 AM.
Dec 13, 2002, 01:40 PM
Registered User
My Orbit Pro charger does not have the option of AutoDischarge on or off in my setup. Why is this? Do I need a software upgrade and what would be the easiest way to do this?
Dec 13, 2002, 04:40 PM
I have the V6 model. I thought the V6 and Pro were identical except for the ratings, but maybe the Pro doesn't have that option.

It's listed in my V6 manual's table of contents as "Discharging with automatic switch-off"

Anyone with a Pro that can shed some light on this?


Jimmy
Dec 13, 2002, 07:07 PM
Registered User
I downloaded a pdf file on the Pro and it does indeed have the 'Autodischarge". I guess mine wasn't supplied with it. Hope a software upgrade will do it but if it has to go all the way to Germany may not be worth the hassle.

In fiddling with this I see you can set a 'limiter' of mah by pressing and holding the 'on/set' button, did you know about that?

Could I use this instead for a faster discharge? Probably wouldn't work because you'd have to guess at a max disharge.


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