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  • Smart Chargers

    Does anyone know anything about the Smart Chargers Horizon is going to now? I kind of like the idea of their Smart Battery and the info you can get and thinking of a Smart Charger. But I need something capable of charging a couple of 6s batteries at a time. There seem to be a couple that can charge 2 batteries but I'm not sure they could do it in a timely basis. Could someone who knows more about this subject jump in here please.

  • #2
    I’ve only done some casual reading on them and in my opinion, I think a lot of it is marketing hype. You don’t have to have a Spektrum “Smart” charger for a charger to be smart. Much of the data that one of those smart chargers can show you is of little interest to the average RC hobbyist. Insofar as charging and discharging and cycling is concerned, there are many other brands of chargers that can do the same things. Besides, if you are to gain full benefit from a Spektrum smart charger, you’ll need to buy “smart” batteries and the variety to choose from are still just growing and may not ever achieve the full range that most hobbyist would need and want. If you’re just starting out in this hobby, it might be good to go this route but if you’ve collected a crap load of LiPos already, then going to one of these chargers may not be useful as most of them won’t benefit from these chargers. Shop around and you will see that comparing capacity, “C” rating, cell count, Spektrum smart batteries tend to cost more and they are still new enough that we don’t know how well they’ll hold up. Being “smart” may simply end up giving you numerical proof that the battery is garbage and there are plenty of other ways that we know a battery is junk.
    BTW, Spektrum does make a dual smart charger, if that’s the route you want to go.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bellke View Post
      Does anyone know anything about the Smart Chargers Horizon is going to now? I kind of like the idea of their Smart Battery and the info you can get and thinking of a Smart Charger. But I need something capable of charging a couple of 6s batteries at a time. There seem to be a couple that can charge 2 batteries but I'm not sure they could do it in a timely basis. Could someone who knows more about this subject jump in here please.
      Their pretty cool as they give a lot of information but from what I've seen don't have the power to charge 2 6S batteries in a timely matter.

      Mike
      \"When Inverted Down Is Up And Up Is Expensive\"

      Comment


      • #4
        I concur with what XV has said overall and the dual smart charger that he mentioned above (SpektrumSmart S2100 AC Charger, 2x100W (SPMXC1010) ) is pathetically anemic in regards for charging 4S and higher LiPo's.
        The ONLY advantage that I can ascertain at the moment for the "smart tech" is with regard to the smart ESC's that can feed back telemetry info.
        Still unproven overpriced stuff
        Warbird Charlie
        HSD Skyraider; FlightLine: Sea Fury; FMS 1400: P-40B, P-51, F4U, F6F, T-28, P-40E, 1700 F4U & F7F and a Fox glider; Freewing: A-6, P-51; VQ: P-39; Dynam: ME-262, FW-190, Waco; ASM A-26; ESM F7F-3; LX PBJ-1 EFL CZ T-28, C-150

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by OV10 View Post
          I concur with what XV has said overall and the dual smart charger that he mentioned above (SpektrumSmart S2100 AC Charger, 2x100W (SPMXC1010) ) is pathetically anemic in regards for charging 4S and higher LiPo's.
          The ONLY advantage that I can ascertain at the moment for the "smart tech" is with regard to the smart ESC's that can feed back telemetry info.
          Still unproven overpriced stuff
          I've been using the smart batteries for about a year now. I have one 6S 3200 with North of 130 flights on it. It looks brand new and the IR remains guite low.

          Not one of the smart batteries I have show any indication of puffing or problems with IR, and I fly almost every day. I believe the automatic storage charge feature is what is keeps my batteries healthier over time.

          The higher wattage chargers are the way to go. I use a pair of 200w chargers in a custom case. If I were to revisit, I'd use the 500w chargers instead. At the time, the 500w hadn't been released yet so I went with the 200s

          Comment


          • #6
            if you are serious about the hobby it's worth investing into a good charger. such as an Icharger 308 duo etc. it will charge a 6s in a few minutes hooked up to a server power supply which you can buy on ebay for $20. if you go this route let me know and I can recommend the model of HP server supply I know works and how to get it to power on. it's literally as simple as soldering a jumper wire to two terminals. don't be tempted to spend $80+ on a power supply. they are just computer server power supplies with a custom wrap on it and modded to turn on like I mentioned. they're all over ebay for $20-25. the reason why you'd want to use one of these is because they're inexpensive and deliver up to 75amp on a 120v outlet. so that Icharger 308 can be turned up to 30A on both channels at the same time. as long as your batteries can be charged that high. and these chargers are very "smart". actually even smarter than the ones from spektrum. and they're 25% off right now until march 31,2020
            https://www.amainhobbies.com/junsi-i...SABEgIa6_D_BwE

            Comment


            • #7
              Serpent……..got to ask, what is a few minutes?? 5...10....15....20??
              Nominally to do 30 minutes requires a 2C charge rate.
              If you're doing a 5000mAh (5A) 6S @ 2C equates to 10A (250W).
              To do more than 2C charge rate is starting to push most LiPo's charge tolerances.
              I also believe you misstated the output from the atypical HP server power supply of being 75A whereas they are usually 750W.
              At a 12V output the 750W equates to a maximum of 62.5 amps.
              Still a pretty good amperage output for approx $20 but here's where the rub is, all the good high power chargers require 24-30Vdc input in order to be efficient at high wattage charging of 5S and higher LiPo's.
              A 12V input at 50A(600W) is some seriously dangerous input, you're talking 4awg battery cable wires to handle the load .
              Now the same 600W on 24V is only 25A but can be safely transmitted with 10ga wires to the charger.
              Now there are folks out there that are hooking those HP server supplies in series in order to capitalize on the 24V efficiency but they are venturing into dangerous territory.
              It has been flagged by those that understand electrical design practices that most if not all of those modded server supplies have a ungrounded high voltage potential just waiting to bite the unknowing novice.
              Please be careful with your supply.
              Best regards,

              Warbird Charlie
              HSD Skyraider; FlightLine: Sea Fury; FMS 1400: P-40B, P-51, F4U, F6F, T-28, P-40E, 1700 F4U & F7F and a Fox glider; Freewing: A-6, P-51; VQ: P-39; Dynam: ME-262, FW-190, Waco; ASM A-26; ESM F7F-3; LX PBJ-1 EFL CZ T-28, C-150

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by OV10 View Post
                Serpent……..got to ask, what is a few minutes?? 5...10....15....20??
                Nominally to do 30 minutes requires a 2C charge rate.
                If you're doing a 5000mAh (5A) 6S @ 2C equates to 10A (250W).
                To do more than 2C charge rate is starting to push most LiPo's charge tolerances.
                I also believe you misstated the output from the atypical HP server power supply of being 75A whereas they are usually 750W.
                At a 12V output the 750W equates to a maximum of 62.5 amps.
                Still a pretty good amperage output for approx $20 but here's where the rub is, all the good high power chargers require 24-30Vdc input in order to be efficient at high wattage charging of 5S and higher LiPo's.
                A 12V input at 50A(600W) is some seriously dangerous input, you're talking 4awg battery cable wires to handle the load .
                Now the same 600W on 24V is only 25A but can be safely transmitted with 10ga wires to the charger.
                Now there are folks out there that are hooking those HP server supplies in series in order to capitalize on the 24V efficiency but they are venturing into dangerous territory.
                It has been flagged by those that understand electrical design practices that most if not all of those modded server supplies have a ungrounded high voltage potential just waiting to bite the unknowing novice.
                Please be careful with your supply.
                Best regards,
                I guess the time will vary based on the battery you have. they are going to be the only limiting factor. I have batteries that say they're safe to charge at 8C.(turnigy nano tech) most of my batteries say they can charge at 4C.(smc 4s 6000mah and spektrum smart 11s batteries actually) I usually only have to wait about 10 mins for a 6000 mah 4S.
                as for the power supply look up HP proliant HSTNS-PL11. 900w 75A 12v. output using 110-120v input.
                the wires are barely warm to the touch. it's very hard to tell they're warm. 12awg.
                Icharger actually recommends against using 2 server power supplies in a series so I've never done the 24v input. with that HP power supply able to keep up I don't see the need for 24v. you also have to modify the grounding in the chassis of the power supply which I don't want to do. so I just use one at a time. if I really wanted to do the charger's max 50amp and 1300w I would probably have to use the 24v. I do have 2 power supplies just because they are so cheap. but I've never tried to use them together.

                you also have to keep in mind in a car or your planes, the wiring is usually only 12awg and it's handling often times 150A bursts from the output of the battery. my batteries are 50 to 60C constant output. do the math. cables never hot.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by serpentracer View Post

                  I guess the time will vary based on the battery you have. they are going to be the only limiting factor. I have batteries that say they're safe to charge at 8C.(turnigy nano tech) most of my batteries say they can charge at 4C.(smc 4s 6000mah and spektrum smart 11s batteries actually) I usually only have to wait about 10 mins for a 6000 mah 4S.
                  as for the power supply look up HP proliant HSTNS-PL11. 900w 75A 12v. output using 110-120v input.
                  the wires are barely warm to the touch. it's very hard to tell they're warm. 12awg.
                  Icharger actually recommends against using 2 server power supplies in a series so I've never done the 24v input. with that HP power supply able to keep up I don't see the need for 24v. you also have to modify the grounding in the chassis of the power supply which I don't want to do. so I just use one at a time. if I really wanted to do the charger's max 50amp and 1300w I would probably have to use the 24v. I do have 2 power supplies just because they are so cheap. but I've never tried to use them together.

                  you also have to keep in mind in a car or your planes, the wiring is usually only 12awg and it's handling often times 150A bursts from the output of the battery. my batteries are 50 to 60C constant output. do the math. cables never hot.
                  Maybe I'm old fashion and stupid but I still charge at 1C and recommend newbies do the same. I'm not a fan of killing batteries just to save time.

                  Mike
                  \"When Inverted Down Is Up And Up Is Expensive\"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MikeT View Post

                    Maybe I'm old fashion and stupid but I still charge at 1C and recommenced newbies do the same. I'm not a fan of killing batteries just to save time.

                    Mike
                    that's fair and probably true for most brands. I just follow the recommendations on the battery. if none are listed then 1 or 2c max is probably a good safe rule of thumb. but, like i said, some of mine say you can all the way up to 8C. how do you know for sure the manufacture didn't charge your battery at 10C?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by serpentracer View Post

                      that's fair and probably true for most brands. I just follow the recommendations on the battery. if none are listed then 1 or 2c max is probably a good safe rule of thumb. but, like i said, some of mine say you can all the way up to 8C. how do you know for sure the manufacture didn't charge your battery at 10C?
                      All of my batteries say I can charge at 5C I choose not to. I've also found that what's printed on a battery isn't always factual information. Of course your mileage may vary. This is kinda like the "which radio is best" discussion. dealing with newcomers to the hobby on a daily basis has cautioned me as what to tell people. One thing for sure they will hold you accountable when things go south.

                      Mike
                      \"When Inverted Down Is Up And Up Is Expensive\"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was just looking at turnigy's site they have some now that will charge at 15c wow.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeT View Post

                          Maybe I'm old fashion and stupid but I still charge at 1C and recommend newbies do the same. I'm not a fan of killing batteries just to save time.

                          Mike
                          I'm stupid, too. Stupid like a fox!
                          I don't pay no nevermind to what the label says. Just because it says you can charge at high C, doesn't mean I will or should. The label may also say the battery is rated at "65C-120C" on a Graphene. We all know that it isn't true. We're lucky if we get an actual 30C.
                          And no, we don't know if the factory charged the battery at a gazillion C, but it was the first time and it was only to storage/shipping charge.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by serpentracer View Post
                            you also have to keep in mind in a car or your planes, the wiring is usually only 12awg and it's handling often times 150A bursts from the output of the battery. my batteries are 50 to 60C constant output. do the math. cables never hot.
                            The only place that "bursts" at that much amperage on a vehicle are occurring with the starter system which is handled with at least 4 awg wiring(battery cabling).
                            Regarding the planes, any drawing that much juice is typically being powered by LiPo's with short 10ga leads with silicon conductor sheathing and yes they can get hot.
                            Regarding the C rating of LiPo's, there are many a thread on this and other forums that affirm that the marketed rating is seriously inflated.
                            And I do the math, was a EE in my earlier years and fully understand the science behind electrical/electronic devices including microwave RF propagation theory.
                            After I got out of the Navy in the late 70's, went to work for a major defense contractor working on the F-4 Wild Weasel receiver program(and others).
                            The 2.4Ghz frequency bands that our RC radio equipment and cell phones are using today are at the bottom end of the microwave spectrum of that program.
                            It was so new back then that we often referred to it as Voodoo science..
                            The reason I participate in the discussions of electrical/technical matters on this forum is too provide factual information so that members can make safe decisions.
                            Warbird Charlie
                            HSD Skyraider; FlightLine: Sea Fury; FMS 1400: P-40B, P-51, F4U, F6F, T-28, P-40E, 1700 F4U & F7F and a Fox glider; Freewing: A-6, P-51; VQ: P-39; Dynam: ME-262, FW-190, Waco; ASM A-26; ESM F7F-3; LX PBJ-1 EFL CZ T-28, C-150

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OV10 View Post

                              The only place that "bursts" at that much amperage on a vehicle are occurring with the starter system which is handled with at least 4 awg wiring(battery cabling).
                              Regarding the planes, any drawing that much juice is typically being powered by LiPo's with short 10ga leads with silicon conductor sheathing and yes they can get hot.
                              Regarding the C rating of LiPo's, there are many a thread on this and other forums that affirm that the marketed rating is seriously inflated.
                              And I do the math, was a EE in my earlier years and fully understand the science behind electrical/electronic devices including microwave RF propagation theory.
                              After I got out of the Navy in the late 70's, went to work for a major defense contractor working on the F-4 Wild Weasel receiver program(and others).
                              The 2.4Ghz frequency bands that our RC radio equipment and cell phones are using today are at the bottom end of the microwave spectrum of that program.
                              It was so new back then that we often referred to it as Voodoo science..
                              The reason I participate in the discussions of electrical/technical matters on this forum is too provide factual information so that members can make safe decisions.
                              I'm talking about RC cars. look at the amp rating on these speed controls. 150 continuous and 950 burst. all done on 12awg wiring it comes with. https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/prod...ant=3318273348

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by serpentracer View Post



                                I'm talking about RC cars. look at the amp rating on these speed controls. 150 continuous and 950 burst. all done on 12awg wiring it comes with. https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/prod...ant=3318273348
                                We're talking R/C aircraft here but since you brought up the cars.............................................. ...

                                I've seen more fried car electronics ( batteries , ESC;s , wires , motors ) at the hobby shop than you can shake a stick at. 90% by guys who " know what their doing". here's a typical solder job I run across.

                                Mike:

                                Attached Files
                                \"When Inverted Down Is Up And Up Is Expensive\"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MikeT View Post

                                  We're talking R/C aircraft here but since you brought up the cars.............................................. ...

                                  I've seen more fried car electronics ( batteries , ESC;s , wires , motors ) at the hobby shop than you can shake a stick at. 90% by guys who " know what their doing". here's a typical solder job I run across.

                                  Mike:
                                  That picture is priceless. I've done one or two "butcher" jobs on Deans connectors myself. On the other hand, they weren't on high amp, high draw applications. Why would anyone use Deans on such applications anyway, especially on a DIY job?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by xviper View Post
                                    That picture is priceless. I've done one or two "butcher" jobs on Deans connectors myself. On the other hand, they weren't on high amp, high draw applications. Why would anyone use Deans on such applications anyway, especially on a DIY job?
                                    that's not a real deans connector first of all. and they are probably the hardest connectors to solder properly. But, I used deans on my 1/8 scale race buggies. yeah, it's dirty from running it in the yard. I don't race this one anymore.looks like I was wrong about the wire gauge. it looks like 10awg. I normally use deans ultra wire which is 12awg. and I own a Hakko FX888D soldering station. thing is a dream to solder with.
                                    Attached Files

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by serpentracer View Post

                                      that's not a real deans connector first of all. and they are probably the hardest connectors to solder properly. But, I used deans on my 1/8 scale race buggies. yeah, it's dirty from running it in the yard. I don't race this one anymore.looks like I was wrong about the wire gauge. it looks like 10awg. I normally use deans ultra wire which is 12awg. and I own a Hakko FX888D soldering station. thing is a dream to solder with.
                                      That's not the point. I used it as a example of the typical car guy I have to deal with at the LHS. They are the same when it comes to batteries and chargers clueless would be the word. I have much better luck explaining stuff to guys on the air end.


                                      Mike
                                      \"When Inverted Down Is Up And Up Is Expensive\"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by MikeT View Post

                                        That's not the point. I used it as a example of the typical car guy I have to deal with at the LHS. They are the same when it comes to batteries and chargers clueless would be the word. I have much better luck explaining stuff to guys on the air end.


                                        Mike
                                        I was pointing out to xviper that the deans knock off may be made of poor materials. that was clearly done by someone with no soldering experience. that was a hilarious picture. I thank you for sharing it. gave me a good laugh. I find that the people with planes tend to be a more serious crowd with the hobby. a lot of them clearly have jobs that they make or design things. it takes a lot more skill and discipline to fly than it does to just bash around a car in the yard. racing an RC vehicle is also way harder than it appears. and these guys spend money like they print it themselves.

                                        Comment

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