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› iCharger 306B - do I have a bad charger?
09-10-2015 09:08 PM  35 months agoPost 1
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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I think I have a bad charger.

I bought 3 new Glacier 3S 2200mAh packs from Buddy RC.
When I first checked them, all 3 packs had the same IR - all tested at 5 (ohms?).
And, all batteries were delivered with a 65% charge

I charged them last night for the first time, and not one of them completed the charge.

I charged at 1C (2.2A) and at 2 hours, all the packs were not fully charged and the iCharger shutdown the charge.
Pack #1 showed 4.13, 4.16 & 4.18
Pack #2 showed 4.16, 4.17 & 4.18
Pack #3 showed 4.14, 4.18 & 4.18

In all cases, cell #3 was flashing (to balance) and cell #2 was flashing sometimes too.

This is too much coincidence to ignore.

Does the iCharger 306B have any internal testing?

This is related to an earlier post:
"4 Glacier batteries failed in the same way at about the same time".
https://rc.runryder.com/t792834p1/

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09-11-2015 12:00 AM  35 months agoPost 2
G.Stone

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Thompson, Pa. USA

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My charger shuts down after 2 hrs, too. (different brand)

My guess is your charger is too good for your Poor quality batteries.

In my case, I just use them. You are only giving up a few mAh.

Just fly them. Hope this helps.

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09-11-2015 12:09 AM  35 months agoPost 3
jason46

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MI

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Seems odd with 3 new packs. Usually there is an adjustable safety timer, usually a pack takes abnormally long with issues balancing. I would try another charger.

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09-11-2015 01:44 AM  35 months agoPost 4
Gregor99

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Western Wa

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The default timeout is 2 hours. But that pack should have been done in less than 1 hour. If its not the balance board, I would suspect either a calibration issue on channel 3 (cell 3), or the balancer for channel 3 is no longer functioning.

Try a different balance board.

Check the cell voltage of cell 3 on the pack using a good quality digital volt meter and see if its close.

Revolectrix Beta Team

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09-11-2015 01:45 AM  35 months agoPost 5
ticedoff8

rrKey Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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It is a bad charger.

I hooked the iCharger 306b up to my PC, and updated the software.
The guys at Buddy RC suggested this as "Step 1" even though the software has not changed since 2010 (3.14).
They suggested that the balance port would be recalibrated during the upgrade process.
That didn't help.

Then, I used the PC software logging program that you can download for logging the iCharger data in real time through the USB port on the iCharger.
I got it when I first got the iCharger 3 years ago and I use it now and then. But, not for a while.

I plotted a discharge / charge cycle on one of the new 3S LiPo batteries.
The discharge phase went as expected, and all cells ended up within .02v to .04v of each other and the pack was at 30%.

On the charge phase (as expected) the 3 cells would increase at the same rate over time, but they were always .03v to .02v difference from each other from the beginning.

When cell #3 reached 4.18v, the balancer started cycling cell #3 to keep it from overcharging.
You can see it is cycling cell #3 when you look at the iCharger 306b's LCD screen for cell voltage (press the INC button while it is charging - only cell #3 is blinking).

On the PC data logging software, I expected to see the voltage graph line for cell #3 flatten out while cell #1 & #2's voltage graph lines continued to climb until they all converged on 4.18.
That did not happen.

Instead, all three cell's voltage graph lines flattened out and cells #1 & #2 stayed at 4.13v & 4.16v while cell #3 stayed at 4.18v.
And, they stayed that way until the 2 hour timer kicked in.

Only cell #3 was supposed to be the only one balancing (because it was the only one blinking). But, in fact, all 3 cells were being balanced.
So the balancer circuit is bad.

G.Stone:
If your charger is doing the same thing mine is, I highly recommend you look into it.
You may not like the Glacier, but I have a feeling you probably trashed them with your lack of concern about a 2 hour charge time. And, what ever battery brand you are using now, may not last too much longer either.
Plus, if you look at my other post, you can get a feeling for what a 6S LiPo fire looks like when it lights up on your bench.
https://rc.runryder.com/t792834p1

I now have several 6S & 3S LiPo that are way out of balance.
And you may also have the same problem.

I ordered a iCharger 308 Duo 1300W as a replacement.
http://www.buddyrc.com/icharger-308-duo.html
Once it gets here, I'll see if I can recondition my existing stock of LiPo back to a usable state

Believe 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.
Fake News will be the downfall of our Republic!

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09-15-2015 04:56 PM  35 months agoPost 6
ticedoff8

rrKey Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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Okay - it was definitely a bad charger.

I bought an iCharger 308 duo (nice charger by the way) and checked the 4 Glacier 6S 3300mAh packs.

The 308 duo has a balancing program and it took about 30 min per pack to balance all the cells in the packs.

At the start, each pack's cell #1 had the lowest voltage and cell & 6 was the highest.

Then, I charged each pack and watched the cell voltages.
The charger balanced each cell nicely (as expected) and it took about 1 hour per pack.
At the end of the charge, the cells were all within 0mv of each other.

I'll fly these and see if they get better or worse as far as the cell voltage discrepancies.

At least, I got my 4 packs back.

But, I'm pissed that I didn't figure it out earlier.
I ended up buying 4 new 6S 3700mAh packs, 3 new 3S 2200mAh packs and (worse) flamed one of the 6S packs while it was sitting on my work bench.
I should have focused on the charger from the beginning.

So, there ya' go.

I would say that if you are charging your packs @ 1C, and it takes longer than 1 hour to charge, you should definitely look into it.

Believe 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.
Fake News will be the downfall of our Republic!

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09-15-2015 06:55 PM  35 months agoPost 7
HilliHeli

rrVeteran

S.MI./FL.

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Great info, thanks for sharing

!Antriebe, die bewegen!
Henseleit-Helicopters.de
Jazz', Jives & vbar's
Futaba FASST / FASSTest

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09-16-2015 02:44 AM  35 months agoPost 8
Gregor99

rrElite Veteran

Western Wa

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Instead, all three cell's voltage graph lines flattened out and cells #1 & #2 stayed at 4.13v & 4.16v while cell #3 stayed at 4.18v.
On the 306b, using the default settings, balancing starts when the first cell reaches 4.20v. The charger will slowly taper the charge current if the balance cannot keep up. Cells 1 and 2 weren't being discharged, but the current likely dropped to a level that the cell voltages were not increasing.

Revolectrix Beta Team

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09-16-2015 10:48 PM  35 months agoPost 9
ticedoff8

rrKey Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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I'll post the file if you like. I plotted in real times using logging software.

As soon as cell #6 started to balance at 4.20v, cells 1 through 5 stopped charging.
Their voltages stayed at whatever they were when cell #6 was "balancing".

And, it stayed that way for 2 hours - that is the safety timer setting on the iCharger 306b.

I happen to have an old Thunder Power TP-205 5-cell balancer.
I hooked that up to my 3S packs (one at a time) and let them sit. About 45 min later, the 3 cells were perfectly balanced.
Leaving the TP-205 attached, I set the 306b to "Charge" - no balance option - and charged the 3S packs at 2.2A (1C). They charged perfectly to 4.20v

I also received my new iCharger 308 Duo on Monday.
Guess what?
The four 6S 3300mAh packs are now perfectly usable again.
All 6 cells balanced out. Then I did a 2C charge (6.6A) and they all stayed balanced and the charge completed in 45 min.

Yeah.
It was a bad balance circuit on the iCharger 306b.

Believe 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.
Fake News will be the downfall of our Republic!

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