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High End Charger questions

High End Charger questions

Old 12-19-2005, 01:36 PM
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High End Charger questions

I am not new to RC, but am getting back into it from about a 8 year retirement. When I was racing, I really didn't get into the battery management and so on because A) at the time it was really expensive and i couldn't afford it. B) It really didn't matter much to me.

Now, getting back into touring I having alot more money at my disposal and those issues have changed. I have everything nailed down that I want to purchase except for a battery charger/system. (Money is not a huge issue, but I'm not looking to spend an outrageous amount)

From my research there are a couple that have caught my eye - but I am open to suggestions.

1st is the CE Turbo 35 GTX. Though at this point I realize it does entirely more then I know what to do with, I like the fact that CE offers upgrades as they come out and that I probably wont ever need another charger, matcher, cycler, or unit to power a tire truer or comm lathe. I wouldn't be looking at a new one because $400 is just insane. But I have noticed they can be had used for around $200-$250. Is this thing really overkill? Or is it a smart investment? Seems to me that if I'm going to spending crazy money on these batts that I better have something that is well capable of taking care of them. If it really is a smart choice, I dont mind spending a few extra bucks.

The second one is the duratrax ICE setup. Seems to do nearly everything I need it to minus some of the extras the CE unit has, and doesn't discharge at as high of a rate. Also, I dont belive it can power/break in motors at the same power... nor does it match.. or cycle. (I think)

Yes, I realize I need DC power supplys for both - I already have that figured in the budget.

If one does by a CE unit, is it still a good idea to buy a tray? If so, which one should I look at?

Are there any good reads on battery management? I hate to bug people with so many darn questions.

Any opinions... please!?!?
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:16 PM
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The Turbo 35 is probably the best charger on the market. It is the only charger that u will ever need as far as I am concerned. As for the ICE its a good charger for the money. So it's up to u which one u get.
Yes It's a good idea to have a equalising tray even with the CE because the CE doesn't equalise the cells it just discharges them to 5.4 volts as a pack. A tray Equalises giving improved life and performance of the pack.
A good Equalising tray is The Novak Smart tray as it has digitial cutoff.

Don't worry about asking to many questions as that is what we are here for to help u.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Sounds like the GFX is the way to go. After the holidays I'll have to keep my eyes open. I see one in the classifieds here and a couple on ebay so I'm sure they will be around.
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:48 PM
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Anyone else have any suggestions or opinions???
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:40 PM
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Last edited by Khan48; 07-21-2014 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:58 PM
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I like my ICE chargers. This is an opinion but it's how I view things.


Discharge Rate: I don't like slamming my batteries at High discharge rates. Quite a few of the quality matchers have proven sacrifices in runtime and overall lifespan of batteries that have been discharged repeatedly at high amp rates. I discharge at 20amps with my bulb discharger and a cutoff. I know my ICE can do 10amps but I usually don't like putting the amperage into my charger as that just adds heat to either unit. I don't like heating my chargers as I don't feel it can be "good" for the charger. May be negligible if it's bad.. just my opinion. Once they are down to 5.4v per the cutoff I put them on a Tekin Battery doc 8.0. I like it better than the novak tray as it stops at .7per cell and if you leave them on for 6+ hours it will go to .5v per cell. These new IB38's that I've been running don't like to hit zero. I like them to be fully equalized and the novak tray will hit to your preset value and then stop. As the cell rejuvenates the tray doesn't come back on and drop them to cutoff. You would need to hit the button a few times to get it to do that. I also don't need anymore power cords anywhere in my setup. (small complaint but the tekin tray doesn't use them)

Motor run in at a higher amperage is necessary to some people. With the classes I run I've never needed to runin a motor at a higher amp draw than 10amps. If you need this then it's obvious the way to go.

Don't think that I'm saying the ICE charger is better. I just like it's features per dollar. They are all features that I will use and having two of them is cheaper than one CE.

Tekin Battery Doc Thread at hobbytalk (oval people mostly but good info)
From Hobbyshopper
From Tekin Direct
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:00 PM
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Thanks a lot for the reads... I appreciate it.

I just dont know if I should save the money because its not necessary, or if its a good investment. I dont want to be blowing through these packs because I dont have the right equipment. And to me, if the CE unit treats your battery's better (with the added support of a tray), over time the thing will pay for itself by allowing your batts to last longer.

For race packs I was going to look at Fusion's.. maybe I'll just see what they recommend, guess I can't go to wrong then... ???
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:41 PM
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I currently own 3 CE chargers, 1 GFX, 2 T35's. (I keep two at the track, one at home). You won't find a better charger. They don't know what a false peak is (never happens). GFX has motor run up to 20 amps (great for testing those stock motor amp draws (good stockers are over 10 amp draw, even at 2 volts). After you've had your packs for awhile, it is nice to put them through all through a cycle and see which are still winners, which are losers - the GFX gives you all the info you need.

I very briefly owned an ICE. I didn't care for it, the delayed response to control inputs drove me crazy.

The only other high end charger you might want to consider is the Futaba CDR-5000. I have never owned one, but admit I am curious. Seems to be the type of high end charger the CE is but in a more compact package. Unfortunately, it lacks a motor run function which is a big drawback from my view - I am often running a lathe, testing the motor amp draw after rebuilding, cutting a new brush surface, etc where that motor run function on the CE is so nice.

THe only downside I can think of for the CE chargers are that they are a bit bigger than most of the rest - if you travel alot to races, well then maybe you'll want a more compact unit (I have a LRP that I use for travel).

The CE chargers are American Made (Rockford IL) and very well supported. If you ever have a problem with one, repairs are quick, support is great. Just call Jim Bailey at CE and he will help you through it.

I learned fairly early on that buying cheap wasn't the cheapest way to go. Start with entry level stuff, and if you stay in the hobby, you inevitably end up upgrading to the better stuff. There is nothing better than the CE GFX.

As for battery packs - I have quite a few fusions and have always been happy with them except for the price - a bit on the high side. Make sure you buy them when they have their 3 pack specials - a much better deal.

Now after giving all of this to you, I notice that you are in Milwaukee! Come visit at Trackside - I'm the guy with the permanent toolbox in the corner next to Snackside, For batteries locally, the Team Kellner cells (local guy) are excellent, and very reasonably priced - Scotty at Trackside usually has a bunch in stock.
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Old 12-21-2005, 04:31 PM
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I've been up there pokin around a few times, the guys at Trackside have been real helpful. I will buying most everything from there, save the GFX or if I get the Fusion batteries. I would like to get the GFX - but $400 new isn't something I'm willing to do. Finding a decent used one around 220-250 I could swallow.

Which tray do you pair with your GFX?
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Old 12-26-2005, 08:01 PM
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I actually went from a turbo 35 to a Duratrax ICE I found it more in my budget and bought 2 It is also easier to operate in my opinion
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:40 PM
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If you are considering the ICE also consider the Supernova competition, it is essentially an ice with the temp sensor and backlit screen along with the 20a discharge rate, I have one and it is absolutely brilliant, pricewise you are looking at about $2 more than the ICE with a temp sensor
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