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Which LiPo charger?


#1

I’m about to take the plunge and try out LiPo technology.

I think I’ve pretty much chosen the battery I will buy, but can anybody recommend a charger?

I have seen lots of chargers ranging from £few to £many, can the cheapo Eastern imports be trusted or is it better to pay more cash for a better ‘name’. I understand that even ‘named’ products can be inferior copies of the originals, so how can I be sure of quality?

I’m a little worried about the risks involved with LiPo’s, so I think it is best to get good quality gear in the first place to minimise these risks.

I don’t have a quality 12V supply at my QTH, so I’d have to factor in either getting a charger that can run from the mains supply or to also purchase a separate 12V supply. I have an old CB 5A pk supply, but I’m not sure that I trust it!

The battery I will probably buy has the following specs: 2200mAh, 3S, 11.1v, 25C, 1C charge rate. (I want to use the battery to run my FT817 and MTR transceivers.Only QRP)

Thanks for any help,

73
Colin
M0CGH


#2

In reply to M0CGH:

I have a couple of Mystery CX450 chargers for 3S and 2S packs. The charge rate is low so it takes a while to charge up a pack. I think the peak current drawn from the 12V supply is about 1.1A max. The charger balances as well. ISTR the charger cost about £5 including postage from BY-land via eBay. There’s a LED to say the charger is powered and one to say charging/charged/error. I couldn’t buy the box for what they cost never mind the components and was so impressed with the wee beasty I bought another. I’ve been using it for 2 or 3 years now and the 2 LiPo cells I have show very similar cell voltages after charge and after use.

I either drive the charger from a 12V PSU in the shack, the car battery or via an old laptop PSU I bought at a rally for 50p (12V 3A unit with a plug that fits the charger coax power socket. Your CB supply should drive this with no issues.

I’m not worried about LiPo fires as the charge current is low, I’m not quick charging and causing lots of heat. The discharge rate is low too. Finally I check the cells for physical damage before charge and discharge. At first I was concerned with charging but no longer. I don’t worry about the 5 cell phones in the house catching fire, or the Android tablet, or the 3 laptops, or the handheld or the…

Andy
MM0FMF


#3

In reply to M0CGH:
I’ve used an IMAX B6 and a HobbyKing E4, both balance charges. The B6 can do up to 6S and the E4 up to 4S, so both are perfect for you. Both can charge your batteries confortably at 1C. I charge my 3S 5000mAh Turnigys with these, the IMAX can go to 1C for them, 5A, and the batteries remain stone cold.

I thought like you, use your existing quality 12V supply to power these things, rather than getting AC adapters - either built in or a pack at the wall. Both the E4 and the B6 will accept anything around 12 or 13.8V. Both have a 2.5mm DC plug, and I already have plenty of such connectors with anderson power poles at the other end to plug into my supply. Easy to charge, easy to take things up the summit for activating.

73 de Wayne VK3WAM


#4

In reply to VK3WAM:
I too use an IMAX B6 bought off Ebay to charge my 5AH 4S LiPos. I have set the charger to balance charge at 3A and can detect no heat rise in the LiPos during charging.

73s Andrew G4AFI


#5

In reply to M0CGH:

I use a Traxxas 2935 charger with my LiPO’s. It’s a balanced, low current charger that is relatively inexpensive. Make sure that whatever LiPO battery you buy comes with the balanced charge connector (small Molex-like white connector) that will plug right into the charger.

Barry N1EU


#6

In reply to VK3WAM:

I’ve got an iMAX B6 too, it’s happy with almost any input around 12v. I’ve used mine for charging everything from a single NiCd cell upto a 12v 7Ah SLAB with no problems at all. It does NiCd, NiMH, PB, Lion and Lipo.

Colin G8TMV


#7

In reply to M0CGH:
Hi Colin,

I’ve used the Turnigy Accucell-6 (bought off Ebay) for a while now and have been very pleased with it. I use Turnigy LiPo batteries too.

http://turnigy.co.uk/balancer_chargers.html

4Ah with my K2 and 2200mAh with my KX1, both 3S.

73
Roger MW0IDX


#8

In reply to MW0IDX:

I use the Ansmann Racing xMove 2.0 which looks like a rebadged version of Rogers Turnigy charger.

http://www3.ansmann.de/cms/de/charging-technology/lader/tisch-lader/xmove/xmove-20.html


#9

Thanks for the suggestions.

I had a quick search of the reflector earlier on and I found lots of info about the batteries themselves, but not so much about the chargers.

My 2nd son, Samuel, arrived on the 4th of July, so I thought to give my older son, Alex, 6, a bit of special time, I picked him up from school this afternoon and took him to our local model shop (of course I had other motives too!). Alex had showed an interest in model boats, so we had a good look at some wonderful models, including one that had a 35cc racing engine!

I ended up talking to the shop keeper about LiPo’s and came out of the shop with a 3S 2200mAh LiPo battery and a mains 3S/2S charger. The charger cost me £16, so when I factor in postage costs and the fact that I don’t need a PSU for alternatives, I think I did OK. The charger is an Imax C3. I think I paid about the going rate and I have it in my hand right now.

I think this thread will be useful for others considering using LiPo’s.

Just need to make up some power cables now :slight_smile:

73
Colin
M0CGH


#10

Hello Colin,

for my 3S Lipos I’ve used a “Graupner LiPo Balancer Charger 2-3S number 6454” for over 2 years, still on the market, costs 20 Euro, build in JST-EH connectors.

Now I change to 4S Lipos and purchased an “Imax B6” (the original from SkyRC) with much more capabilities, costs around 50 Euro, build in JST-XH connectors.

If you not only working QRP think about good connectors fits high currents, look for XT-60 connectors.

73 Joerg


#11

Hello all,

When I ordered my first LiPo battery in HKG I wanted a charger which can also take care of “old technology” rechargeables like Pb, NiCd, NiMH, plus of course LiIon, LiPo and LiFe.

iCharger 1010B+:

I’m extremely satisfied with this charger. Via USB and LogView software you can monitor all parameters over time. It features an internal up-converter, so the battery voltage can be much higher than the charger’s own supply voltage. My charger is powered by a recycled PC power supply.

Recently I have put Anderson Powerpole connectors on all DC supply cables, even for QRP. Makes it a lot easier to combine different power sources and transceivers.

73, Markus HB9BRJ


#12

In reply to M0CGH:
Hi Colin…
I am using a “iMAX B6-AC”…with good results…
one can use AC and DC…and charges nearly all accus.

73 de Fran ON9CBQ


#13

I got the IMAX B606ac
Reason i bougt it, was that it can carge almost every type of batteries, and accepts 12V DC and 220V AC. And ofcouse, it was the charger they had at hobby-shop, the local store, that always been there. guess it was 18-20 years since my last visit, but the same persons was there, and the store looked exatly the same as in the 1990s :slight_smile:
I have only used it with my homemade 10Ah 11-cell NiMH pack, but looking at purchasing a LifePO pack


#14

I was tempted to order an Imax B6, it does seem like a clever gadget and not too expensive either. My plan was to buy the battery and then buy the charger at a later date to spread the cost, I ended up buying both!

I initially thought that my battery had different plugs to that of the charger because the cables supplied with the charger wouldn’t fit - I then worked out the the cables are meant as adaptors! DOH! The balance plug of the battery just plugs straight into the charger :slight_smile:

All I need now is some Deans(?) connectors to make up some leads for my various radios. I think I’ll be including fuses too. I’ll be visting that ‘E’ site later on.

73

Colin
M0CGH