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E-Sky › Got my new charger, the iCharger 106B+
04-21-2009 06:40 PM  9 years agoPost 1
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I have been planning on ordering a second charger for like 6 months but just couldn't decided what to do. My first thought was the new Cellpro Multi4 but that is just too small for my needs. So I kept my eye open for others that tempted me. Well last week it happened, I got tempted by the iCharger line.

Well my iCharger 106B+ showed up yesterday and it is a nice piece. Here is a pic my me charging just a while ago

I ordered it from Progressiverc and the owner tossed in a pair of balance boards, the JST-XH board and a Polyquest board which I am amazed to say is exactly the same board but with ever so slightly different connectors on it. It is totally compatible with the JST-XH connectors and makes me wonder why they make both? Anyhow I have a pair or them now. The wiring for the iCharger is straight forward, unlike the Cellpros, so the board works on both the 1010B+ and the smaller 106B+ as well as being setup for all possible combinations of battery charging (i.e. it breaks out the 3s area into 3x3s series connectors for charging 3 packs on the 1010b+). You can also parallel charge by using the first 4 pins on the 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s connectors. That is the beauty of the straight forward wiring and I love it.

Ok the charger itself ... it works well but it is much more cumbersome to operate compared to the Cellpros. It is well laid out compared to the average charger but man, the Cellpro 4S and 10S, being LiPo only, are so simple to use. Plus they do one thing no other charger I have come across does, they auto detect the cell count. Of course that means you have to use a balance plug.

Some notes interest.
- The charger came with everything and I mean everything it supports including input cable, alligator clips, output cable, temp probe, pc connection cable and software. Plus it already had the balance connectors built in, so you could say it comes with a balance board also. This is not the case with any other charger I have seen.
- The charger runs very cool. I charged a pair of 3s 2200 packs in series at 4.4A (110W for those who care) and the charger was cold to the touch the whole time and the fan never came on. Actually I have not seen the fan spin yet but it hasn't had to with the super low temps while charging.
- The charger works like most others in that it lowers the overall charge time by halting early and not spending forever balancing. That puts the charged packs at 4.17-4.19 per cell, which is the same as my Cellpro.
- The internal resistance numbers for my 2 packs were 7,9,9 and 9,9,10. That is fairly close to what my Cellpro reports while charging at 1C. The biggest difference is that those numbers are taken from the pack directly and not while it is charging. You just go to the special mode and select it, then it tells you them.

Anyhow time will tell but so far I like it.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-21-2009 10:04 PM  9 years agoPost 2
Sgt Heli

rrVeteran

Remlap, Al USA

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On the 106B+ couldn't you also charge 3x3? If not, why is that?

Good looking charger.

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04-21-2009 10:09 PM  9 years agoPost 3
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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The 106B+ can only charge 6 cells, 3x3s would be 9 cells. The 1010B+ can though as it is good for 10 cells.

Oh and on the charging front I learned a VERY valuable lesson today. When you hook up the leads to charge 2 packs in series, you have to mind the polarity. The balance plugs and main plugs HAVE to match!!! Or bad things happen Yeah it effectively directly shorts the batteries. The main leads can handle it but the little balance leads can't and that gets some smoke involved. Anyhow I was baffled at first but after talking to a friend about it and drawing a few diagrams, yep it is a direct short.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-21-2009 10:39 PM  9 years agoPost 4
Sgt Heli

rrVeteran

Remlap, Al USA

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Oouch! Hopefully you didn't totally cook the batts. These chargers are truely amazing. Im still using my TP 1010C w/balancer. Been real happy with it.

On flyin: I've figured out that I can do HBK2 circuits over my house. Well I could until an uexpected gust of wind caught me off guard with a tree between us. Yeah, its the old broken frame behind the motor problem. Good thing I got a few extras. But swapping all that is a pain. I've got plenty of time to charge batteries.

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04-21-2009 10:48 PM  9 years agoPost 5
zaw

rrKey Veteran

Lebanon, NH - USA

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Great charger. That's my next in line charger I was going to get after my MaxPro X6 burnt out, probably my fault in part. But the guy from MaxPro were nice enough to send out their MaxPro X6Plus BETA for me to test so I held off on that.

Progressive RC guy is great very helpful. I ordered a power supply from them 140watt regulated for very good price! Its a HAM radio grade power supply so you know its good.

ಠ_ಠ HBK2 built with inexpensive parts! ٩๏̯͡๏)۶ Gaui425

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04-21-2009 10:55 PM  9 years agoPost 6
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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The pack is fine and actually I am sad to say that this is the second time this has happened. I had the same problem Sunday with a pair of Mike's 5000 3s packs on my parallel adapter. I didn't see that he had his y-connector still attached and when I plugged in the second balance connector, it destroyed my board Again at the time I couldn't figure out what happened but now I see it. Anyhow after the second one went I was at a loss as to why but now that I understand it, I have faith again. Sheesh nothing is easy

Oh and as a note, I have plugged them in backwards many times on the Cellpro but it just tells me there is a problem and then I swap them and all is good. Kinda spoils ya ... or makes you lazy and careless, depending on how you look at it.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-21-2009 11:19 PM  9 years agoPost 7
zaw

rrKey Veteran

Lebanon, NH - USA

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http://www.helidirect.com/maxpro-mu...2s3s-p-9113.hdx

use this adapter and I charged my 2200 at 4.4amp without any issues

ಠ_ಠ HBK2 built with inexpensive parts! ٩๏̯͡๏)۶ Gaui425

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04-23-2009 02:53 AM  9 years agoPost 8
Melnic

rrElite Veteran

Columbia, MD,USA

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I've had one of these since December I think. Got it for the 6S packs.
There is a huge thread over on RCG.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=839657

That guy Julian or whatever his name is will parallel charge 4 packs at a time. I have cables so I can parallel charge 2 packs right now.

I messed some w/ the PC interface for plotting your charges or discharges but it was just a novelty to me.

This is the charger that I went and did a discharge test as well as IR test and recorded all my packs. In June or July, I'll go back and do it again and compare. Now that I'm logging all my flights and packs I'll be able to look at it closely.

One thing you have to be careful is if you use the barrel charge plug, the high current wires are still live.

I have NiMh packs for my Nitro planks and Pd gell cell batteries for my starter box and kid's pitching machine I also charge with it.

What do you power it with?

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04-23-2009 03:57 AM  9 years agoPost 9
fenderstrat

rrProfessor

Aston,Pa

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The main leads can handle it but the little balance leads can't and that gets some smoke involved
I'm having trouble picturing how you can hook up balance leads or main leads reversed,can someone explain this a litte.

I am used to the cellpro's and theres only 1 way to hook everything up

Compass helis Support Team
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Mini Titan/SE
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04-23-2009 06:17 AM  9 years agoPost 10
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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Ok here is a pic.

See how you can hook the y-adapter up both ways? One way good, one way makes smoke.

Oh and the Cellpro makes no difference if you use an external adapter like my 3x3s adapter. Or if you accedently leave your buddies y-adapter on his 2x3s series pack for his Logo when you hook it up in parallel.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-23-2009 12:33 PM  9 years agoPost 11
Melnic

rrElite Veteran

Columbia, MD,USA

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Your series charging 2 packs?
In other words, your taking 2 3s packs and charging them like a single 6S?

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04-23-2009 03:46 PM  9 years agoPost 12
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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Your series charging 2 packs?
In other words, your taking 2 3s packs and charging them like a single 6S?
Yes this is how all single channel chargers charge multiple packs including the Cellpro 10S. I am effectively making the (2) 3s packs into a 6s pack. I can parallel charge also but I like series better. Plus the risk of parallel charging on this board is that you don't plug the plugs in right (VERY easy to do) and that will melt stuff too.

Here is the board the charger came with and how it is wired. The red lines show how the connectors are wired together and the blue lines show where you can connect 3s packs to the top 4 pins of the 4s, 5s and 6s to parallel charge.

For comparison sake, here is the same board but with the wiring for 2s-6s. See a difference? Yeah that is why I hate the Cellpro balance plug wiring design.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-24-2009 08:05 PM  9 years agoPost 13
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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Well a week has passed since I got my charger and I suppose I should follow up with my thoughts.

- In short I like it and it works well. I have actually used it more this last week than the Cellpro but mostly that was because it was new.
- It is much smaller than the Cellpro and thus the perfect charger to take to the field. Now my Cellpro just sits on my workbench and I use it to charge at home. It is nice having 2
- The beeping never stops!
- It shows cell info without having to actually charge. I mean you just plug in the balance connector and click the button to show all the cell voltages, and there they are!
- Voltage readings are more accurate than my Cellpro. I mean when the iCharger says 11.9V input, that is what my multimeter reads also. Not the case with the Cellpro. It was always close but never exact.
- It runs WAY cooler than any other charger I have used. I have now seen the fan spin but it was so quiet that I wouldn't have known if I wouldn't have felt the slight airflow coming from it.
- I am used to the menu now but it is still tedious to get all the button pushes in the right order. For example if I wanted to fast charge a 2200 3s pack at 2C I would press (varies depending on previous settings)

"Mode" - to get to the main menu
"Inc" or "Dec" - (depending on direction of search) to locate Lithium
"Enter" - to select
"Inc" or "Dec" - to locate Charge Fast
"Enter" - to select
"Inc" or "Dec" - to locate LiPo
"Enter" - to select
"Inc" or "Dec" - to locate 4.4A
"Enter" - to select
"Inc" or "Dec" - to locate 11.1(3S)
"Enter" - to select
Then hold "Enter" to start charge
"Enter" - to confirm 3s

If I accidentally hit "Mode" anywhere in that sequence then I have to partly start over. The good news is that it remembers my settings so if I already have all the settings I want then I just do the "Hold Enter" part. But I am continually switching from 3s to 6s or 3A to 4A or from Balance Charge to Fast Charge, so I get to see the options often.

Like I said at the top, I do like the charger and use it the most right now. I am glad I bought it and happy I choose it over the Multi4, if for nothing else the 6s charging capability.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-24-2009 08:30 PM  9 years agoPost 14
zaw

rrKey Veteran

Lebanon, NH - USA

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My MaxPro user interface goes like this..

Soon as you plug the battery in with Balance connector, it recognized that its a lipo and #cells.

Press <start> to enter charge selection mode.
Comfirm type battery < Start >
Comfirm cell count < start >

Enter mAh < start >
Enter Charge AMP < start >

choose charge type < start > to charge.

Voltage are only off by .01 volt with expensive Fluke DMM my boss have.

Graphing software is very detailed and you can upload data to their servers so you can keep lots of your charges.

A few more FW tweaks it should be ready to come on the market.

ಠ_ಠ HBK2 built with inexpensive parts! ٩๏̯͡๏)۶ Gaui425

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04-24-2009 09:32 PM  9 years agoPost 15
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I went and looked at the Maxpro X6 and Plus. They sport the same basic features as the iCharger but lack in wattage and are much bigger physically.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-25-2009 01:49 AM  9 years agoPost 16
Melnic

rrElite Veteran

Columbia, MD,USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Tjin, If you read that icharger thread you'll see that there are people parallel charging like 4-6 packs at a time.
I think it makes sense because the balance mode where it slows down is combining packs and you don't get 2 quick cells slowing things down as much as when you series charge them.
If you series charge and they are not close to the same discharge, you should notice 3 cells get to CV mode sooner for the less charged pack. I tried this out and converted my 2x to 6S adapter and turned it into a 3S parallel charge adaptor. If it added any additional charge time, I could not notice.
Somewhere in the thread that guy is charging I think 6 3S packs.

Read the thread and think about it.

I wish I was using my iCharger yesterday when I charged up a NiStarter. I had loaded the battery into it backwards and charged it with the wall wart. Killed it and went to the field today w/ a dead NiStarter. Luckily I was not alone and I had people to loan me one.

The one that hobbycity sold me did not have all the doodads and cables. I had to borrow them from my cheaper charger. Great that you got all the cables and such.

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04-25-2009 06:36 AM  9 years agoPost 17
zaw

rrKey Veteran

Lebanon, NH - USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I parallel charged 5x 3s1p took almost 2hr but charged and balanced good.

ಠ_ಠ HBK2 built with inexpensive parts! ٩๏̯͡๏)۶ Gaui425

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