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Thread: Need help choosing a new charger

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Need help choosing a new charger

    Hi

    Been a long time lurker and have enjoyed reading but I have taken on building a cat from scratch, and now have a question.

    It’s a version of the max car that others have built here.
    Any way my question is about chargers and charging batteries run in series.

    My plan for now is to run 2 2s lipos in series, I?m doing this versus a single 4s for weight distribution. So I understand balancing a Lipo when charging but do the two batteries have to balanced with each other if run in series? If so how do you do that?

    Lastly can anyone recommend a good AC/DC Charger that can charge two batteries at the same time? Are external balance boards better than the chargers that say there built in?

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help!!

    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    MI
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    3,027

    Default

    I've not used one, but OSE has this one available. Seems like this would be a good starter...

    https://www.offshoreelectrics.com/pr...prod=ker-10685

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    IL
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cobia23 View Post
    So I understand balancing a Lipo when charging but do the two batteries have to balanced with each other if run in series? If so how do you do that?

    Lastly can anyone recommend a good AC/DC Charger that can charge two batteries at the same time? Are external balance boards better than the chargers that say there built in?
    Balance charge your packs on a charger, then connect them in series and run them in the boat. No more complicated than that.

    When I was first looking at chargers I limited myself to AC/DC models thinking I was doing myself a favor. There are lots of additional DC only options and getting a good DC power supply is no big deal. You can get basic converted server power supplies from vendors on RCGroups or eBay for about $40 that will outperform the power supply built-into most AC/DC chargers. My personal favorite charger is the Hyperion 0720i Super duo3. Not made any more, but can be found used for around $125. I own several and love them. Lots of others out there, I've just not had personal experience with them.
    Vac-U-Tug Jr (13mph)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    ON
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    Default

    I've only had experience with the Hitec AC/DC type charger and found them to be very reliable and pretty accurate for charging and balancing cells but not 100% accurate as far as balance between cells goes and they don't seem to balance cells when discharging to storage voltage.

    In order to balance my cells to within the recommended .004 volts each with 100% accuracy I use a Futaba BR-3000 battery checker which I find is extremely accurate and very useful for determining the condition of my Lipos. Among other things it will tell you the voltage of each cell and has a handy graph that tells you the % capacity of charge in your battery which is great for timing your runs rather than relying on the ESC's LVC. It will also balance the cells with great accuracy if they are slightly off after charging and discharging. There are cheaper battery checkers out there but like all things you get what you pay for. After spending some time in this hobby I have found the BR-3000 to be an invaluable tool.

    To answer your question it's best to have each battery equally balanced to prevent one from draining more than the other which can lead to damage and puffing of one or more cells.
    Last edited by Capt'n Crash; 02-16-2020 at 02:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2011
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    MA
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    Default

    Thanks for the info guys. I’ll look into everything mentioned. Never thought of the battery checker and probably not a bad idea for a newb like myself. If anyone else has any suggestions on a good battery charger that is “user friendly” please let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks again guys!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    GB
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    2,320

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    Balance boards are up there with ac/dc power supplies as being the least reliable part of my charging system, I have had 3 of each blow, but never had a charger break, and thus I don't want either to be internal to my chargers.

    In terms of user friendly I have an Imax X150 which isn't the most capable I have, or most highly featured, but it has a touch screen and that alone despite it not having any memories makes it by FAR the most user friendly charger I have used. Not having a menu system on multiple pages, and being able to see all the pertinent information on one screen rather than having to scroll through several pages of a dot matrix display that will only show a few words at a time to get the info you are after (if they even bother having a page for it) makes a huge difference to its useability.

    Hobbyking's Turnigy Reaktor series have in the past proven to be decent clones of Imax chargers and while I have no experience of it, the Reactor T240 looks like it does everything you want for a very reasonable price.
    Paul "tug Killer" Upton-Taylor, Cat lover.
    FastElectricBoats.co.uk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Tg
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    I have used the Turnigy Reactor chargers for years. For about 5 years now I have been using a Reactor quad, 4 x 300W, which sorts all my charging needs. They come in single and dual versions as well. It all depends what is in stock at HobbyKing! The 250W versions would be suitable for the op as well.
    NZMPBA 2013, 2016 Open Electric Champion. NZMPBA 2016 P Offshore Champion.
    2016 SUHA Q Sport Hydro Hi Points Champion.
    BOPMPBC Open Mono, Open Electric Champion.

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