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lipo battery charger

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Stan Waters14/11/2018 11:34:17
13 forum posts

Hi All

Need some advise from users, I am a first time electric flyer, so gathering info as I go.

I need to buy a lipo battery charger, there are lots about at all prices, can anyone give me any idea as to what to buy or what to look out for. Lipo,s are new to me so any help will be appreciated.

Stan

Robin Etherton14/11/2018 11:58:10
257 forum posts
41 photos

IMAX b6

Bog standard and reliable and cheap. Make sure you get a genuine one though. Others on this blog will no doubt lead you in the right direction for the best source.

Robin

Nigel R14/11/2018 12:07:16
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2453 forum posts
402 photos

Stan, what plane are you flying (or about to fly) and what sort of batteries (and how many do you have) are you using?

Max Z14/11/2018 12:13:37
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494 forum posts
224 photos

And do you want to buy one with an integrated 230V power supply, or are you going to use a separate 12V source? (Most 230V units can also be powered from a 12V source)

Stan Waters14/11/2018 13:42:38
13 forum posts

The model is a Ben Buckle mini super about 60% complete at the moment, I have a 3s lipo for the power, I will probably have another as well before we get to the flying stage. I would like to have both 12v and 240v with the charger.

There are so many advertised that I was a bit bemused as they differ in price so much, I want something simple but also has the benefit of being reliable.

Stan

Bruce Collinson14/11/2018 13:44:50
278 forum posts

Arguably the best single piece of kit I've bought since returning 3 yrs ago, a 4-Max Quad 4 charger. Runs off 12 or 240 v, any chemistry, 4 at once for those balmy summer days when every electric plane in the fleet is flying repeatedly. Even has a wasername socket for i-Things although obviously that doesn't get used whilst at the strip ...

Not cheap although I think reduced by £10 recently.

BTC

Shaun Walsh14/11/2018 13:56:47
80 forum posts
I started with a cheap hobbyking accucell s60 charger, it still works ok but the fan became a bit noisy so I bought a JP Radiant duplex II from Steve Webb, very versatile and seems well made.

Edited By Shaun Walsh on 14/11/2018 13:57:13

Edited By Shaun Walsh on 14/11/2018 14:12:18

Nigel R14/11/2018 14:27:12
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2453 forum posts
402 photos

" I have a 3s lipo for the power, I will probably have another as well before we get to the flying stage. I "

3S 2000mAh?

In my experience, the most useful thing you can get at this point is another stack of batteries. In this size of battery that won't be prohibitively expensive. Walk up to the flying field with 6 charged lipos and you're good to go for a fair while with no fuss.

Personally, I have a Hobbyking Reaktor 300W charger. It is a single charger with a decent output. I use it with a parallel charge board, this means I can do all 6 of my 2000mAh batteries in one go. By itself, the charge is a 12V unit. To use it at home I got the Reaktor 350W power supply. Total was about £80 between the two. So far, works very well for me, one of my best buys for a while I think.

Edit: I find the standard IMax B6 type clones, with about 60W or 80W output, are OK for doing a few smaller (1000mAh size) batteries, but that's about it for me, larger batteries just takes too long.

Edited By Nigel R on 14/11/2018 14:33:50

Dave Hess14/11/2018 15:13:10
301 forum posts
18 photos

I have all sorts of chargers from very cheap to very expensive, but I now use these because they're so convenient.. They're cheap, convenient, reliable and easy to use, and good for any 2S or 3S battery in the range 750mAh to 3000mAh. Take my advice and forget about the iMax type that require you to connect both the balance and power leads. It's so much messing about and they sometimes take ages to balance. These ones charge the cells individually, so no problem balancing:

KIAAOSw3pZa2BMM:

 

Edited By Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:14:19

Max Z14/11/2018 16:01:16
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494 forum posts
224 photos
Posted by Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:13:10:

I have all sorts of chargers from very cheap to very expensive, but I now use these because they're so convenient.. They're cheap, convenient, reliable and easy to use, and good for any 2S or 3S battery in the range 750mAh to 3000mAh. Take my advice and forget about the iMax type that require you to connect both the balance and power leads. It's so much messing about and they sometimes take ages to balance. These ones charge the cells individually, so no problem balancing:

KIAAOSw3pZa2BMM:

Edited By Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:14:19

800 mA to charge a 3000 mAh will take almost 4 hours to charge! I am happy with my 60W Pichler charger, I usually charge at 1C, so a full charge takes 1 hour (up to about 5000 mAh)

Attilio Rausse14/11/2018 17:43:42
92 forum posts

i second the turnigy reactor and balance board 250 watt version available in eu.

Dave Hess14/11/2018 18:18:27
301 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Max Z on 14/11/2018 16:01:16:
Posted by Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:13:10:

I have all sorts of chargers from very cheap to very expensive, but I now use these because they're so convenient.. They're cheap, convenient, reliable and easy to use, and good for any 2S or 3S battery in the range 750mAh to 3000mAh. Take my advice and forget about the iMax type that require you to connect both the balance and power leads. It's so much messing about and they sometimes take ages to balance. These ones charge the cells individually, so no problem balancing:

KIAAOSw3pZa2BMM:

Edited By Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:14:19

800 mA to charge a 3000 mAh will take almost 4 hours to charge! I am happy with my 60W Pichler charger, I usually charge at 1C, so a full charge takes 1 hour (up to about 5000 mAh)

Why would the charging time matter? Do you go flying in the morning, then rush back home so you can charge again to go back flying in the afternoon.?

Don Fry14/11/2018 18:22:05
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3256 forum posts
39 photos

I have the Turnigy Reactor, and balance board. Good kit.

But just starting out, a B6, Turnigy Acuel will do, and even when superseded, not powerful enough, will do small batteries. Might be tempted to get an 80 watt Turnigy acuel, and a balance board.

Depends on your finances, and how sure you are going to stick around.

Not sure buy cheap. Stick around, buy bigger.

Geoff Sleath14/11/2018 19:57:21
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3188 forum posts
247 photos
Posted by Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 18:18:27:
Posted by Max Z on 14/11/2018 16:01:16:
Posted by Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:13:10:

I have all sorts of chargers from very cheap to very expensive, but I now use these because they're so convenient.. They're cheap, convenient, reliable and easy to use, and good for any 2S or 3S battery in the range 750mAh to 3000mAh. Take my advice and forget about the iMax type that require you to connect both the balance and power leads. It's so much messing about and they sometimes take ages to balance. These ones charge the cells individually, so no problem balancing:

KIAAOSw3pZa2BMM:

Edited By Dave Hess on 14/11/2018 15:14:19

800 mA to charge a 3000 mAh will take almost 4 hours to charge! I am happy with my 60W Pichler charger, I usually charge at 1C, so a full charge takes 1 hour (up to about 5000 mAh)

Why would the charging time matter? Do you go flying in the morning, then rush back home so you can charge again to go back flying in the afternoon.?

It matters if you have perhaps 7or 8 (or even more) batteries to charge and you need to sit with them as they charge for security reasons. Like Max, I charge all my batteries at 1 C (ie an hour, roughly) and sometimes have 3 on charge at the same time and they're often both 3S 2200 and 4S 4500 mAH as well as 6S 4000 mAH.

I'm a pretty well 100% electric flyer these days and I have an iCharger 308 duo and a Graupner 16. The beauty of the iCharger is that (apart from charging 2 batteries simultaneously) it provides information on the ESR of each cell and thus an indication of the battery's performance/ageing (once a cell exceeds 10 milliohms then it's on its way out). Designing measurement and control systems was my job before I became a full-time leisure expert so I like to know these things

The only problem with iCharger is that it's 12v operation only but I have a former server power supply which is capable of delivering 24 amps at 12v and cost very little (£18 on ebay IIRC). The Graupner has a mains option but performs better on 12v if you wish to push it.

I certainly wouldn't recommend either to a complete beginner because of the cost (the iCharger was £200 and the older Graupner about £100). I started electric flight using 7 cell NiCads and a simple constant current charger I made but there are lots of cheaper chargers suitable for 3S 2200 LiPos which are probably the most popular for most starting out. But for anyone truly bitten by the bug of electric flight then I'd certainly recommend an iCharger from personal experience. There are probably others as good I've just no experience of them.

Geoff

Stearman6514/11/2018 21:57:54
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746 forum posts
887 photos

I just ordered one of these **LINK**

Geoff Sleath14/11/2018 22:10:31
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3188 forum posts
247 photos
Posted by Stearman65 on 14/11/2018 21:57:54:

I just ordered one of these **LINK**

Be interesting to read how you find it in use. From the illustration and description it seems you can charge different batteries at the same time.

Disappointing that the batteries are not included devil

Geoff

Mike Blandford14/11/2018 23:06:55
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467 forum posts
20 photos

Many answers, as usual, to this sort of question.

I got one of these earlier this year: **LINK**

Mains or 12V battery input, two independant outputs and also does the ESR measurement. I also have a GTPOWER A8, so I also sometimes have 3 batteries charging at the same time.

Mike

Stearman6514/11/2018 23:33:50
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746 forum posts
887 photos
Posted by Stearman65 on 14/11/2018 21:57:54:

I just ordered one of these **LINK**

Thought I'd take a look on Youtube, wished I hadn't, bit of a history of failures.

This review was OK. **LINK**

Stan Waters15/11/2018 09:32:48
13 forum posts

Many thanks for all your replies, I will go with a cheapy to start and see how I get on. I will take the advice and get more batteries when the model is complete.

Thanks again for your trouble it was a great help. I will carry on with the build now I need the battery powered up to check out the servo movement, but a fair bit of building and covering to do first.

Stan

Stearman6515/11/2018 10:16:46
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746 forum posts
887 photos

I'm in the process of buy new leccy tackle after an 11 year layoff. I did a search on Lipo safety, charging & storage. Only found 3 threads. I've read the BMFA doc' on lipo safety, but I think that's a bit out of date. The only dedicated metal dual purpose box I could find was on Steve Webb's site & pricey at £50+, most searches throw up bags from prices ranging from £2 to £25 pounds. We live in a 2nd floor apartment & would either have to charge my lipos from the car in the car park to in the apartment. What is the current feeling on safe charging, I've seen the ammo boxes on Ebay.

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