Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
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Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » May 13, 2010 1:46 pm

Ok, I understand the big lipo users are going to meanwell power supplies to fast charge, but as a noobie to lipo wouldn't it be better to start with something a bit more disaster resistant, that I could charge one pack at a time with?

I'm looking now at stuff in stock at the moment at HK, one being the Imax B6. The other likely choice is the 106 B-plus.

The B6 charges at 50 watts, so on a 5s pack, 10 watts per cell. The 106 B is 250 watt, so 50 watts per cell. Five times faster.

But what would be the real world charge time for a 80% discharged 5s 5 ah pack? My notoriously fuzzy math indicates the b6 would charge at 2.7 amps.
50 watts divided by 18v = 2.7 amps So less than two hours per pack with a b6?

And the 106b would charge a pack in less than 30 minuites? At 13.8 amps?

Does any of this sound close to real world charge times for 5 ah 5s lipo?

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by recumbent » May 13, 2010 2:00 pm

can't we bulk charge with one of these, from "TNCscooters"?

This one pictured is for 60 volt pack of 2 8-s lipo's i was thinkin to use for topping-up on the road cause it's only $50, small, 3amps, and light.

To be used in conjuction with CeLllog-8 to monitor HVC with buzzer. Total cost of system is $65, but you want two Celllogs so an extra $15 is best.
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » May 13, 2010 3:12 pm

My needs won't be typical. I have about a 10 year supply of pingbattery for commuting. The lipo will only need one charge a week or less, to keep the 35 mph corner skills up to par or go for a high volt dirt ride. So a slow charge is no particular problem. I just need some idea what the typical charge times are, or some input on whether the more expensive one is safer.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by liveforphysics » May 13, 2010 3:19 pm

What voltage are you looking to run, and composed of what pack groups? (Eg. 5s, 6s pack etc?)


dogman wrote:My needs won't be typical. I have about a 10 year supply of pingbattery for commuting. The lipo will only need one charge a week or less, to keep the 35 mph corner skills up to par or go for a high volt dirt ride. So a slow charge is no particular problem. I just need some idea what the typical charge times are, or some input on whether the more expensive one is safer.
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by wasp » May 13, 2010 3:24 pm

dogman wrote:Ok, I understand the big lipo users are going to meanwell power supplies to fast charge, but as a noobie to lipo wouldn't it be better to start with something a bit more disaster resistant, that I could charge one pack at a time with?

I'm looking now at stuff in stock at the moment at HK, one being the Imax B6. The other likely choice is the 106 B-plus.

The B6 charges at 50 watts, so on a 5s pack, 10 watts per cell. The 106 B is 250 watt, so 50 watts per cell. Five times faster.

But what would be the real world charge time for a 80% discharged 5s 5 ah pack? My notoriously fuzzy math indicates the b6 would charge at 2.7 amps.
50 watts divided by 18v = 2.7 amps So less than two hours per pack with a b6?

And the 106b would charge a pack in less than 30 minuites? At 13.8 amps?

Does any of this sound close to real world charge times for 5 ah 5s lipo?
i own both the imax6 ac and 8 5s1p 5000mah lipos and about 90min charge time per bat
get a bigger charger...the imax works good but takes a looong time to charge my 15s2p lipo block
also 2c or 10amps max if you are concerned about safety
whatever charger you pick get a battery medic too they are precise and nice to have

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by GGoodrum » May 13, 2010 4:03 pm

You could use one of these HobbyKing Quattro 4x6S units, which has four independent 50W 6s balancing chargers in one unit. That would let you charge and balance up to four packs at once, regardless of whether they are 5s or 6s packs. You can even leave them connected in series, on or off the bike, if that is more convenient. For the front-end, pretty much any cheap12V supply that can put out about 15-16AA, or so, should be fine. If you still have some SLAs around, they can be used as a portable solution, if you want to charge at the track.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by Drunkskunk » May 13, 2010 4:07 pm

The Imax is fool proof, and charges other stuff. I can recharge my roombas and my electric drill in under an hour! :D

There are a couple diffrent modles of the Imax. the ones I own have a balancer built in, and run on 12 volts. 12 volts with there $12 14v power supply is more flexable, as I can run it off the car.

Get a few of them. 2 hours per pack with full balancing is about normal for a 80% drained pack.
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » May 13, 2010 5:14 pm

I'm looking at 5s 5 ah packs x8 Then refering to the packs themsevles, either 4s 5 ah or 2p 4s 10 ah depending on the lenth of riding. 72v pack.

This years experience tells me trying to do much charging at the track is a pain. Not a lot of plugs around, the one hot one I found was in the public area. I suppose the pits are fairly secure, but even there, leaving $50 bills laying around seems a little bit risky. The thing to do is bring a lot of battery to the race. You'd need 30 min charging to really be able to cycle a pack practically. Run one while charging the other. That's what I did with the pings this year, and my poor wife had to do a lot of battery guarding.

Thanks for the real world data on charge times. I think I'll go order the 250 watt charger now, and a power supply. Edit, Bought the smaller one after all, and got two.

Later on I'll get around to begging you guys to sell me your older lipo packs. :roll: Later in the summer I plan to buy at least 4 of the better c rate 5s packs so I'll at least have that to run if they do have a halloween race this year. Even if I run out halfway it will be cool to see how 40 mph stacks up in the field. If they don't do a race, I'd like to go get some track time for testing purposes of range at higher speeds.

Lastly, I have a coulple of generators. Does anybody know if these chargers have any issues with just hooking up to the 12 power on a generator? Or is it better to use the ac plugs and a power supply? Charge a big lead battery with the generator?
Last edited by dogman dan on May 13, 2010 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » May 13, 2010 5:52 pm

Looking at the reviews of the HK power supplies, they look like don't buy.

I have an old dumb sla charger around, 6 amps, could you just hook that up to the charger? Starting to think most of those chargers are 50 watt for good reasons. That amount of 12-18v is easy to find cheap.

BTW the battery medics are out of stock at the moment. Seems typical for HK on lots of stuff. Great prices on what they have, but....

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by nicobie » May 14, 2010 1:03 pm

Hey Dogman,

I take my bike when we go racing (short course VW buggy) to run around in the pits and I charge my lipos on a small Honda generator. Works fine. In fact I charge my Ping with 120v at the same time I charge the lipos with the 12V powering my cheap HK G.T.Power 50w charger.

I don't see why you couldn't use a regular car battery charger to power the lipo charger. You might want to hook the car charger to a car battery and then hook the lipo charger to both of them if you are worried about funny voltages from the car charger.

Do a search on ebay for a 12v power supply for when at home. They are cheap if you are only going to charge with 2 amps (50w/22v = ~2a)

Here is a really cheap one (so cheap you might buy 2 just in case :mrgreen: ):

http://cgi.ebay.com/Power-Supply-Adapte ... 464wt_1137

I think This is the one I bought:

http://cgi.ebay.com/12V-5A-DC-Universal ... 5ad321ec82
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » May 14, 2010 1:15 pm

Eventually I'm sure I'll want a better charging solution, but for now I was wondering what would work that I have around the house. 2 amp smart 12v charger, 6 amp dumb 12v charger, some 12v 12 ah sla's , and several generators. Probobally go with the slas paralelled, and hook the 6amp charger to them and see how that does first. Till I find some power supplies at the junk stores.

Cool that the generators work ok with the lipo chargers. A generator may be the only way to charge in the pits and have it all near your car. Or off the car battery.

I ordered two of the 50 watt chargers last night. The power supply issue changed my mind about getting the 250 watt one. The little ones will have to do for now.

Now all I need is for about $600 to magically appear. But at least I'll be ready if some lipo should come my way. People wanted to send me lipo for the spooky tooth, and I was not prepared to use them, charge them, carry them on the bike. Nor did I know if I could be fast on that track. Now I know, and will be ready to use lipo to race. 20s next time.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by number1cruncher » May 14, 2010 1:54 pm

The little ones work fine and they are safer than a meanwell. If the little chargers you got have a cycle option, I would cycle each battery at least a couple times if they are new.

With a meanwell 350-48V I am able to charge my 44.4V 15AH(50V hot) from an 80% use in just under 2 hours. For the Meanwell, all I did was the Hyena mod(cut a shunt) and it runs no higher than its 350watt limit. It was $50 at sure-electronics.com. I also use a couple battery medics while charging, but you could get away with using the little balance chargers once a week. Its been hassle-free(no disassembly and reaasembly for charging 8) ) for over two months now. Just a thought...
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » May 14, 2010 5:04 pm

Once I have some experience with them, and perhaps a bigger pile of em, I will no doubt be learning how to do bulk charging. At most I expect to be able to afford 5 ah of 72v lipo this summer. But I know what I want for christmas. For racing, I'll be building a battery box that allows quick swapping of batteries. So taking the pack apart to charge won't be so hard to do once off the bike. I'm thinking of metal panniers that each fit 4 5s or 6s blocks so I can lay the bike down without catching on fire.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » Jul 18, 2010 11:08 am

Here is what I ended up with for a charging station. Two imax b6 chargers. They charge at 50 watts up to 6s packs. One old dumb 6 amp sla charger I had laying around, and a deep cycle boat battery for power supply. I went with the battery so I can go to the boonies, or the pits at a race, and charge at least one 72v 10 ah pack without use of an AC plug. I could set it up so driving the car recharged the battery if needed, or charge the battery with my small generator. But this way, I can put the chargers anywhere, outside, or in. Using the generator, you have to listen to it, and it can't be inside.
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by KTP » Jul 18, 2010 9:39 pm

Hmmm...the order I placed a couple of days ago had an icharger 208B....I hope it is fairly decent. It is up to 8s charging, 350 watts, but was quite a bit more than the imax ($129). Maybe I should have pm'd dogman first...

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by mwkeefer » Jul 18, 2010 9:46 pm

The charger will be fine but you may want to order a 24v meanwell S-350-24 for powering it up, the hobbyking power supplies are garbage.

also note the iCharger 208B+ needs > 14.8v input to acheive 20A 8S charge rate @ 350w

That meanwell would supply more than enough current, an SP-320-24 would suffice too and hiccup overload protection isn't an issue since that is managed by the charger.

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2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by KTP » Jul 18, 2010 10:00 pm

Oh, I am into high power RF excited CO2 lasers which use honkin DC supplies. I have several power switcher supplies that have a user adjustable output of 18 to 36 volts at 60 amps, and some smaller ones that are 12 to 24 volt adjustable at 30 amps. (I also have some 50 and 100 watt CO2 lasers to go with these, but now I am into this ebike stuff :mrgreen:

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by mwkeefer » Jul 18, 2010 10:04 pm

ktp,

put a lazer on an ebike please?? perfect for clearing a path.

-Mike
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{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by KTP » Jul 18, 2010 11:18 pm

mwkeefer wrote:ktp,

put a lazer on an ebike please?? perfect for clearing a path.

-Mike
They do work well for ridding the yard of the canadian geese.....the goose is like..hmm, what is that burning smell...oh shit, it's me! :D

I did mount one to my cnc mill and had fun cutting out a bunch of useless stuff..but a 1 inch carbide insert tool going into steel makes many more chips...
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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » Jul 19, 2010 5:45 am

I just couldn't afford the better chargers, and settled on the cheapie so I could have two. Of course they will go poof fairly soon, like all cheap chargers seem to. I doubt I could run the bigger ones on a lead battery for long, unless hooked up to the generator or more powerfull charger to keep the power coming. As always, if you want to ride a lot, more batteries is the real solution, not fast charging.

Yesterday I took a long ride using 10 ah of 14s, so needed a full recharge of 6 blocks of lipo. Pretty much took all day to charge back up. My setup is not good for a daily commute, but will work for a daily ride on weekends. More batteries in the future will allow lots of riding followed by charging all week. :)

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by KTP » Jul 19, 2010 10:26 am

Dogman, if you get in a situation where you need more DC power for your chargers I could hook you up with one of these DC supplies I pull from lasers and medical equipment. They are kind of bulky to ship though (probably weigh about 8 pounds even though they are switchers).

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by dogman dan » Jul 19, 2010 1:32 pm

Thanks, but I expect I'll stick with slow chargers for now, and concentrate on more Ah of battery for some time. I think I could easily run 4 of these small chargers on that battery if I need to.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by mwkeefer » Jul 19, 2010 4:10 pm

I think a good basic rule of thumb for a useable eBike is:

Battery AH: 1.5x the longest range you need.... so if 2mi to an AH and you need 20mi range, go for 25mi range minimum... in lipo it would be stepping up from 10AH to 15AH, other chemistries will vary..

Chargers: Really 1/2 C is about perfect for 10-15AH but once you start packing up and getting to the 20-50AH of capacity with more batteries, 1/2C jumps to 10-25A... so for the huge packs I figure 1/4C is about fine...

The real rule of thumb is to be able to charge in 4hr or less (the time between arriving at work and lunch, lunch and going home for the day, etc).... so long as your packs can receive a full charge (whatever their capacity) in 4 hours or less with your setup... then all is good :)

Though I still advise against paralleling for charging purposes, in all honesty... my best portable charging method is a parallel harness for 6S discharge plugs (one is 6:1 and the other is 12:1) and one of Gary's HVC boards plugged into the HXT-JST running charge from S-350-24 and delivering about 14A charge rate into either 30 - 60A pack... Now the 60A pack would take all night to charge but the 30 is done in a tad over 2 hours from empty (where I never let it run down to)... I do this because it makes balancing a 6S chore and really does keep my packs in better shape... plus I don't need to mod a 48v meanwell to 75v or combine 2 in series which would be just too big to carry around.

-Mike
Regards,
Mike

{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 19, 2010 11:50 pm

mwkeefer wrote:Battery AH: 1.5x the longest range you need.... so if 2mi to an AH and you need 20mi range, go for 25mi range minimum...
That would actually be 30 miles (1.5 x 20 = 30, not 25). ;)
KTP wrote:Dogman, if you get in a situation where you need more DC power for your chargers I could hook you up with one of these DC supplies I pull from lasers and medical equipment. They are kind of bulky to ship though (probably weigh about 8 pounds even though they are switchers).
If he doesn't take you up on that, I might, if you'd let me, depending on cost, and on exactly what those supplies are. At the moment I am set for up to 55V@55A (well, only 2/3 of one of those at a time if the other is maxed), but that's a heavy rackmount unit and not portable, and requires 230VAC 2 or 3 phase. Would be nice to have a fairly portable charger that runs on 110VAC single phase, for opportunity charging at 20-30A for a 10s (or higher) Thundersky pack.

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Re: Lipo charger recomendations for noobs ?

Post by veloman » Aug 21, 2010 12:17 am

I'm a LiPo NOOB, trying figure out the best charger/balancing system, for an economical price.

I'm going to have anywhere from 2 to 4 of these 5s 5ah packs:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... oduct=9174


Please, I want to keep this simple, and it just seems there are too many variables and I still can't figure what I need to buy. Can someone point me to a charger that isn't too expensive and can possibly charge and balance up to 4 packs at once? Hopefully it's not too heavy... something I can easily carry on the bike would be a plus. Also, what would be a good choice for a power supply (plugging into wall outlet)?

Thanks
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