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Old 02-15-2008, 07:24 AM   #1
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Default Sailing the Seas of Chargers (Cheese)

Okay I hope someone gets my reference.

I am going to be using LiPos only since I am new to the hobby and do want the added expense and hassle of NiMH. I am looking for a charger that will charge and balance a good variety of LiPos. Mostly I would like to find one that will be able to do Maxamps and TrakPower LiPos. Both use different methods and I am having a hard time finding out what I need to buy to make this possible. I would like to be able to get out of the door with less than $120 spend on balancer and charger combined.

I am going to be running 1/10 Electric and maybe some 1/18 electric. Anything bigger and I think I would rather use Nitro. Also, I already have a power supply that has a 12v rail on it that is ready to be with any DC charger.

What would you guys recommend?
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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I just got back into the hobby as well (after 15+ years of being out), and after a little research I decided upon the Hyperion 0606i AC/DC Charger.

It balances the pack while it charges and works on AC current. I justified the $140 since I wouldn't have to buy a separate power supply.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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tenergy makes a pretty good one that you can find for $70. It charges at 5 amps & balances as well. You can find it for around $70 w/out a ps.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
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Since you are thinking about doing 1/8 scale electric, you will probably need a charger than can do 4S, at a 5amp rate I would assume. Make sure that it is able to handle doing this as I have heard of chargers saying they can handle 4S, but they amps they put out is much lower at that cell count.

For me, I currently use an MRC989 combined with a hyperion LBA10+ balancer setup, it works great.

As for your trakpower lipo, you will just need the 2S adapter that trackpower sells and the (assuming a hyperion based charger / balancer) the adapter for thunder power. This can all be bought at amain hobbies (thats were I ordered mine).
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:06 AM   #5
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I have nothing to offer for advice with chargers.

I'll just mention that you are referring to an excellent album released around 1991 by a band called Primus. I was first introduced to this band because they performed "Tommy the Cat" (from the album Sailing the Seas of Cheese) on a movie called "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey".

And there you have it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #6
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hyperion is what u want
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:17 PM   #7
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this is little info on LiPos. and I'm all for them..

I will get you the over view on charges.... I just need to look back and find it...
Here is a little information from one of the leaders in Lipo in R/C... (I have cut and pasted this from another posting here on RC Tech... from Shawn Palmer...) (Shawn I hope you do not mind...)

1) The Simple answer:
For pure horsepower, (expressed as punch on the track, or maintaining voltage under load on the bench) you need to look at the Mah capacity of the pack, and it's C rating.

So with the Core 5000mah pack as an example:
5000mah divided by 1000 = 5 amp hours.
5 amp hours x 20C = 100amps.

So the Core 5000mah pack can deliver a total of 100amps of power.

Using arbitrary #s here, what if there was a 3500mah pack rated at 25C? How would it compare?
3500mah /1000 = 3.5amp hours
3.5 amp hours x 25C = 87.5amps

Your example of a 30C 3000 pack would then be capable of 90amps

So even if it's a higher C rating, it may not be capable of the same actual output as a lower C pack with more Mah of capacity.

2)The complications.
This is where the lipo industry has gotten ugly in the flight side of the hobby, and unfortunately it's fixin' to get ugly here with cars as well.

Firstly lets define "C" rating:
Oh wait - that's right, no one has a standard definition of what that number means! (seriously)

To ME: The C rating means that the pack can output "X" many amps for the duration of it's capacity WITHOUT doing either of two things: 1) dropping below 3.0v/cell, and 2) heating up beyond 140degF (max safe lipo temp).

The C rating comes from the following math, again using the CORE pack as an example:
First, you must actually have and use some serious discharging equipmnet including voltage and current monitoring/reporting along with a temp gun. Hook up the pack, and throw a load on it. The CORE 5000's were reportedly 20C packs, so I conservatively threw 80A at one to see what happened to the voltage and temperature for the first discharge cycle.

5000mah of capacity, so again /1000 to equal 5 amp hours of capacity.
Find the maximum amps you can discharge with (for the whole capacity) without dropping voltage below 3.0v/cell or the pack heating beyond 140degF. In this case we'll use 100A as that figure for round #'s (it was a touch higher in actuality).

5 amp hours divided by 100Amps of discharge capability = 20"C".

Again: that's MY OWN definition of what C rating means. Unfortunately, most packs out there DON'T live up to the ratings given for them, according to my my own definition/testing/determination.

And here's where the problem lies (whoops - did I just say lies?).
1)Not many folks have access to 100A+ discharging equipment.
2)From the simple answer above - if you have the choice between two packs with the same Mah capacity, and one was 20C and the other was 23C, everyone would buy the 23C pack.
3) There's no real testing/performance standard either in the lipo industry, or the hobby industry.

So when you add up all three of the above items, you begin to realize what the consumer is really facing right now. What does 15-20-25-30C really mean???? By what (and who's) definition was the C rating determined? Were packs actually discharge tested? Are the brands just using what the factories tell them the C rating is? (and again - by what standards are the factories using?) Are they just flat making up numbers higher than anyone else's just to sell packs?

When it comes right down to it - If I wasn't restricted by my own morals and professional integrity, I could advertise the CORE pack as 35C and probably sell 10x more than we already are. Think about it - WHO out there is an unbiased party and has discharge equipment capable of 175 amps to prove my claims wrong?

So the moral of the story here is a repeat of what I've already said should be important to the consumer: Do you trust who you are dealing with? Do they have years and years of application and industry experience with the products they're selling? Do they really know everything about it in order to support you with accurate advice and safe usage guidelines? Personally, I think these reasons plus a good dose of honesty are :-)
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:22 PM   #8
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Here you go.. the low down on charges...

OK, here is the list of "chargers I like and use" in no particular order:

The ICE was one of the first mass-market lipo chargers, and the new version with the updated charging amps remains a great value. Plus it gives you a ton of bells and whistles to play with if you're into that kinda stuff.

The Triton2 is and upgrade of the original Triton, and both have been mainstays for me for years now. A little more user friendly than the ICE, and not so many extraneous features.

The new Checkpoint (or " the racers' ice" as I call it) is very very cool, with some improved and expanded features. Good solid charger at a good value.

The Triton JR is another solid charger for the racer on a budget. Simplicity at a nice price.

I'm a big fan of any charger Hyperion makes. They have the AC/DC charger I've drooled waiting for for many years. Extreme value for the capabilities and features present here throughout the line. If you're shopping around right now - do yourself and your pocketbook a favor and make sure to check out and compare them to anything else you're looking at.

I'm also a fan of anything E-Station (Bantam) makes. They can be a bit pricey, but they are solid and quality units all the way through. If you like "maximum data overload" they might be your ticket.

The PolyCharge4 has been around a while but it still rocks! Even though the charge rate is 2.5A maximum, you get FOUR independent chargers in one box for about a hundred bones. Super simple, solid, and a sweet bang-to-buck ratio.

The AstroFlight 109 was the first "big pack and big amp" lipo charger. Not many lipo chargers will do 10amps even today, much less several years ago when these first came out. No bells and whistles here, just the basics and plenty of raw power on tap.

If you just have to have a charger with easy plug-and-play balancing, the E-Station or Hyperion stuff would be my pick. They sell adapters for everything (including the JST-EH for the CORE packs) that plug right into a port on the chargers.

What I look for in a charger:
Like I've said, I'm a charger junkie and I like all the above for various different reasons. I look for a few things when a new one comes out to help me decide if I have to have it or not. (well ok - I always seem to have to have it in the end LOL)

Charging amps:
More is better, but more amps cost more too. For racing packs (3200mah-5000mah) you want at LEAST the amps required to charge your packs at the full 1C rate. (for 5000mah, 1C = 5A. for a 3200mah pack, 1C = 3.2A) Most of the above will do at least 5 amps. A lower than 1C charge rate only means your pack will take longer to charge.

Cell count:
We're mostly only concerned with 2 cell (7.4v) packs here, and most chargers have at least a 3 cell max capability so not too much to worry about here.

Special features:
There is some really interesting things a charger can do these days. My Hyperion 0610i actually gives me an internal resistance reading of the battery after the charge is done! That feature alone just saved me HOURS of work assessing the CORE pack performance capabilities and cycle life. A few others have this as well, and I personally think it's a "must have" feature for the racer. The Checkpoint has a motor driver function that's really cool too - with a little manipulation and extrapolation you could have a mini dyno! I personally think balancing is a bunch of hooey, but for those who want it there are some nice choices available now, and more to come.

Chargers are a little odd when it comes to pricing. I've seen units for $300 with LESS capabilities and features than some $150 units. Make sure you do some serious comparison shopping among all brands and models you can find, compare capabilities and features, and ask about future upgrade capabilities as well before settling on a purchase. And remember - the airplane guys have been using this kind of stuff for YEARS, so don't limit your choices just because it comes from an airplane website/shop/section. Lipos are lipos regardless of what we put them in, so they all charge the same :-)
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:13 AM   #9
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Best Charger with the most diagnostics is a Thunder Power 1010c and the balancer of your choice, 205 or 210. Then you can safely charge at 2-3c any lipo packs. If the packs go out of balance, the charger will just slow down.

I have 2 of them. They have a new one out too, but only good for 80 watts, the 1010c is good for 210 watts.

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Old 02-16-2008, 07:07 AM   #10
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Since you already have the power supply, get the Hyperion EOS 610i Net. It has a built in balancer and can charge up to 250Watts. The AC/DC version is good if you only charge 2S or 3S packs less than 4000mah. But if you ever need to charge bigger packs, spend the money and get the better charger.
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