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Charging via the balancer option

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  • Charging via the balancer option

    So I received Apprentice Trainer today and now have a question on charging the batteries. The Corsair, I jumped right into, came with pretty decent charger (1-8s w/balance). Now the Apprentice (3s) charger only has the balance connection. So I think I may have been charging my 4s batteries all wrong. Am I supposed to connect both when charging the 4s, or is it an option of one or the other? Have I maybe damaged the 4s batteries by charging with both plugged into the charger? 54 years old and feeling like a kindergarten newbie here... lol

  • #2
    I'm not understanding exactly what it is you are saying. Clarification is needed. Your Apprentice uses a 3 cell battery and comes with its own charger, which can charge 2s and 3s batteries. Now, where does the 4s battery come into play? When you say "connect both" when charging 4s ......................... both what? And again, where does 4s come into play when the plane takes a 3s battery? And how does the Corsair and its charger come into this conversation? You seem to have 2 trains of thought here and neither appear to be related to the other. Please explain.
    The Apprentice battery, if charged in the provided charger can only be charge via the balance port. It gets charged and balanced through the balance lead. A "proper" charger (and I can't tell if the Corsair charger is a "proper" charger) charges via the main power connector, while the balance leads is plugged into the balance port at the same time as that's how it balances as it's charged.
    Finally, those chargers that come with RTF models are VERY "Mickey Mouse". You should really get yourself a "proper" charger that will serve all your LiPo needs.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, xviper. Sorry for the confusion.... or rather transferring my confusion as a noob. I'll try to clarify via pics...

      I jumped the gun and bought the Corsair, thinking like a newb that I could get 'er up and down. The first pics are the charger and battery type that came with it. I have been plugging into both ports (balancing and power) when charging these).

      Then after hearing everyone about starting off with a Warbird, I purchased the Trainer (Apprentice w/SAFE) that is a 3s battery and came with the charger in the last pic... which only has the balancing plug.

      This got me to question whether or not I've been charging the a fore mentioned 4s batteries properly with both the power and balance plugged in.,,, since the 3s charger only has the balance plug.

      I hear ya on the proper tools for the job... I'm building my tool stash as I learn and understand more. Don't much care for the RC's that came with these things either, but gotta start somewhere.


      • #4
        OK, now things are more clear and I see what you're getting at. The one where you charge through both the power lead (yellow plug) AND plugging in the balance plug into the charger is the better way to charge a battery. You can also charge your 3s battery on the same charger so long as it has a 3s balance port and the proper power plug. If that's the case, retire or throw away the stock charger you got for the Apprentice (the one with the cigarette lighter plug one it). It's the really "Mickey Mouse" one. Even the other one is a very low wattage charger and is the most simplistic of the balance chargers. It has a minimal charge input amperage. Typically, that 2200mah battery you show, should be charged at 2.2 amps but I think that charger will only put out a small fraction of that. It won't hurt anything but it take forever to charge by comparison to a high wattage, adjustable amperage charger.
        When you get a little further into this hobby, try to stay clear of RTF models and get yourself a better charger, likely one that doesn't need a power unit and plugs into AC directly. Later on, you'll want one where you'll need the separate power unit. You'll find those ones will charge more efficiently and more quickly. But for now, having both the power lead and the balance plug installed is the best way to do it.


        • #5
          Most modern computer controlled chargers use the main battery power leads for charging and the balance plug (if connected) for balancing and detecting when to stop charging. A few will let you charge LiPos without the balance plug but will use a different programming and lower peak. Most in the simple charge mode (no balance) will just ignore the balance plug.

          The cheapie chargers that come with most E-Flite RTF package deals are just junk. Testing may show they charge at up to 3C rate and might be .2 v/cell high or low vs correct peak. The ones with a dial or switch to select charge rat, the setting has little to do with how fast they charge except that the high rate is higher than the low rate. The numbers are just wild guesses.

          I have a couple of a discontinued Turnigy chargers that use balance plug only for 1S to 4S packs that is a bit oddball in that you can pug in 2 X 2S or 4X 1S (if you make adapter cables) packs and not in parallel. It charges each cell individually, thus balancing by charging. Whatever cells hit 4.2V, just stop charging. This makes it the fastest balancer I know of by balancing at 0.5 amp to 2 amp rate by charging the low cell(s).
          (too bad they didn't make a 6S version)
          Cheap and these things have survived 11 years.
          FF gliders and rubber power since 1966, CL 1970-1990, RC since 1975.

          current planes from 1/2 oz to 22 lbs


          • #6
            Thanks guys... I'm understanding it all little better now.