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Help! In need of a new charger

#1
My electric fleet is growing and I am thinking of purchasing a new charger. Currently I have a DC only Bantam 301dx. It's served me well but it is getting old. The charger was exposed to subzero temperatures and the LCD screen has bled. It's readable and works fine but parts of the array are permanently black. The other thing I don't like about it is that it is DC only and has no jack for an external power supply. It only has leads with alligator clips and therefore I end up connecting it to the car battery when I'm at the field and a large 12V wet cell at home. The more I think about it having a Lipo charging while sitting on the bumper of my truck if something were to go bad it wouldn't be fun to cause damage to my truck.

So I know there are lots of options out there and I'd like to keep the cost down. Things I would like in a new charger are:

1: and included AC power supply, either built in or external, but included with the charger.
2. The option for a DC power supply
3. The ability to charge at least 2 lipo's at a time
4. I have a blinky to use as a balancer, but I would like a new charger to have a balancer built in.
5. The ability to monitor the charge the batery takes and
6. Discharge, Cycling and Storage charge modes.
7, Needs to include various adapters. Primarily I use Xt60 but also some Deans (T ) and Xt30. I don't use any Nicad tamiya packs anymore at all.

Right now I'm only charging 3s and 4s packs in the 2200 mah range. I don't see myself needing the ability to go more than 4s at this time. I also would like to be able to charge the little 1s packs that go in the indoor micros and small quads like the nano. But I'm willing to get a separate device for those if a combo like that isn't available or cost effective.

What chargers are you using? What has worked well for you, and what should I steer clear of.

While I'm at it, I need to purchase at least three 3s 2200mah pack 45C or higher with XT60 connectors on them.

Again, what do I buy and what do I avoid.

Thanks ahead of time as always.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#3
I believe you can get an adapter that will plug into the pro duo to charge 1s lipo batteries, but I haven't tried it myself yet.

This looks to be most everything you need at a lower price:
https://www.venompower.com/venom-2-4-cell-ac-dc-dual-lipo-battery-balance-charger-0683
It can only charge lipos, but if that's all you charge, then it should be the ticket. I use my pro duo to charge a variety of different batteries so it's worth it to me. It wouldn't be able to do the 1s batteries.
 
#4
@The Hangar

Thanks for the links. Venom is one of the brands I've been looking at. Don't know much about them and as I look all the chargers across the brands seem to use a similar screen with nearly identical menus, which makes me wonder if there really isn't much difference at all. The first one you listed is out of my budget. The second one is much closer to what I'd like to spend. The 1s requirement is a more a want. There are lots of USB based 1s chargers that can do 4-6 sticks at a time so I could have a second device. Those are really just for toys rather than any serious RC needs.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#5
@The Hangar

Thanks for the links. Venom is one of the brands I've been looking at. Don't know much about them and as I look all the chargers across the brands seem to use a similar screen with nearly identical menus, which makes me wonder if there really isn't much difference at all. The first one you listed is out of my budget. The second one is much closer to what I'd like to spend. The 1s requirement is a more a want. There are lots of USB based 1s chargers that can do 4-6 sticks at a time so I could have a second device. Those are really just for toys rather than any serious RC needs.
Yeah, it’s a chunk for sure. I’m glad I have it but wouldn’t spend that much on a charger ever again. I bought it a while back when I did the rc trucks and seemed to have more money... :unsure:
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#6
When it comes to chargers need to ask yourself a few questions mostly how long do I want to wait to charge battereis how many at one time and different cell counts ? What are my future goals as far as aircraft and type of batteries it will be using. For me I wanted something that I could charge 1S to 6S batteries at the same time and more then one at a time. That is why I got a dual output battery charger I can charge 6 3S while at the same time charge up my 6S batteries or 6 1S. Me I hate having to wait for batteries to charge when I am out flying. I also use mine to charge just about any rechargable battery I need even a car battery if it comes down to that.

Like buying a transmitter bite the bullet once or bite it twice.
 
#7
When it comes to chargers need to ask yourself a few questions mostly how long do I want to wait to charge battereis how many at one time and different cell counts ? What are my future goals as far as aircraft and type of batteries it will be using. For me I wanted something that I could charge 1S to 6S batteries at the same time and more then one at a time. That is why I got a dual output battery charger I can charge 6 3S while at the same time charge up my 6S batteries or 6 1S. Me I hate having to wait for batteries to charge when I am out flying. I also use mine to charge just about any rechargable battery I need even a car battery if it comes down to that.

Like buying a transmitter bite the bullet once or bite it twice.
I see what your saying for sure and understand the analogy. I've been involved with RC close to 40 years so making a decision regarding a transmitter is a simple one for me. Being somewhat new to the electric side of things and the changes in battery chemistry and technology makes that topic a little harder for me to figure out on my own. I've scaled back what I fly and going forward it will be limited to 3s-4s packs in the 2200mah range for small electric Helis (Trex 450) and foam board planes using the same or smaller. For things any larger than that I am well stocked with nitro/gas gear and have no desire to convert to large batteries/motors because of the price tag and flight time limitations. I don't need a charger that can handle my truck/ start my tractor and what not. I've already got plenty of that stuff. Primarily I'm looking for an economic lipo charger that can handle 2 batteries at the same time, has either AC power supply included, or built in, with the ability for a DC input should I want to use it at the field, that also has some fairly aggressive charge rates (and I need to research that a little bit more to stay within rates that are safe but yet don't take all night to charge) to keep the charge times down. All of this has to happen within a budget of say 75$ give or take a bit.

A bit of my perspective, I used to be exclusively a futaba guy, I was an early adopter of a 9Z and had 1200+ bucks invested moving up from an 8U. All that stuff was cutting edge at the time. I took a few breaks from the hobby with the last one being about 10 years. When I come back, there are whole new lines of Open TX based transmitters available and my current X9D+ is a thousand time easier to program, more powerful than the 8U ever was at a fraction of the price. I don't know if your familiar but programming an 8U required a PH.d in electrical engineering, several books and a lot of trial and error just to setup elevon mixing... I'm being somewhat sarcastic, with my point being, that I have learned not to buy to far into the future, and I really only need to consider what I'm doing now and maybe a year or two down the road. At some point I will take a break again, and I know from past experiences that what I do today will be obsolete when I return.

I only ask the questions about chargers here today just to get a little insight of what's out there and what to avoid. My suspicion is that most of these devices are based on similar firmware/chipsets and are likely just rebranded/repackaged tech... but I figured I'd ask the questions first rather than learn later that I could have gotten something with more capability for nearly the same price.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#11
I use the Imax B6, I buy the cheap ones from eBay. I’m sure they are knock off’s. I have 8 of them, I change all my batteries at one time, I don’t want to wait on charges. I agree with @Zetoyoc, buy the 12V ones and get a stand alone power supply. I have one 30A power supply for all my chargers.
 
#13
I use the Imax B6, I buy the cheap ones from eBay. I’m sure they are knock off’s. I have 8 of them, I change all my batteries at one time, I don’t want to wait on charges. I agree with @Zetoyoc, buy the 12V ones and get a stand alone power supply. I have one 30A power supply for all my chargers.
Would you mind showing me what type of power supply your using?
My current Bantam 301 looks similar to the B6 except mine doesn't have a 12V input. It just has alligator clip for 12V to connect to a battery. I jerry rig it to a 12V car battery charger but I'm always fearful that the clips will jump off and short out.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#14
Would you mind showing me what type of power supply your using?
My current Bantam 301 looks similar to the B6 except mine doesn't have a 12V input. It just has alligator clip for 12V to connect to a battery. I jerry rig it to a 12V car battery charger but I'm always fearful that the clips will jump off and short out.
I’m using a power supply similar to this one. I made up connectors that go from the power supply to my chargers. I use XT60 whenever I can.

I started with one of those 4 in 1 units, then 2 of the channels failed. With my current system, if one charger fails, it is easily replaced.
DAACB47E-339D-4AA2-BBD9-D62BB10EE88A.jpeg
 

OutaTime FPV

Well-known member
#15
Venom Pro duo over here. Not only has it held up and performed, but the time it DID break, their customer service was excellent and I got a new one in under a week. AND they let me keep the semi-functioning old one haha.

One of the best $100 I've spent : )