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Imax B6 V3 / V2 balance charger vs ICharger and ToolKitRC

cloudy

10 W
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
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Location
Australia
I have fried my Imax B6 V3 charger by momentarily connecting a 5S pack with incorrect polarity on the output side. It beeped and notified of wrong polarity before emitting the magic smoke. I opened it up and found a small mosfet had been fried. It still powers up but says "Connection Break" when trying to charge anything. Before it fried, there were some bugs, the "Battery Balance" in the extra functions menu did not seem to actually balance, just slowly discharged all 5 groups. Has anyone else noticed this? It seems pretty buggy but I suppose you get what you pay for. Using the charger as a bench top supply ("digital power") was also fairly limited as the lowest voltage that could be output was 5V.

The battery discharge test has also not really worked well for me, giving inconsistent results for repeatedly testing the same cell. Has anyone tested cells with these or do you need more expensive equipment?

Are there any affordable balance chargers that work better?

IMax B6 V3 Link

More expensive, has anyone used these and are they worth the extra $?
toolkitRC link

toolkit M9
 
This is an electric vehicle forum. Electric vehicle batteries are typically minimum10S lithium, or if lower voltage then are minimum 10P (to deliver high amps at low voltage) i.e. requiring far higher charge rates than toy chargers can supply.

Not sure what you’re intending to charge, but if it’s a fixed battery incorporated into a vehicle designed to propel itself plus a human then I’d highly recommend installing a BMS unless you have very good grounds not to. You can buy a 40A JB 7-21S smart Bluetooth BMS for $50, either to attach permanently to the battery, or to build your own charger out of in conjunction with a constant current power supply and balancing leads from the battery.

I’m not being presumptuous, it really is a very rare use case where a hobby charger has any place being connected to a vehicle battery.

To get decent advice, I’d be describing your vehicle, battery, and any specifics of your use case such as recharge speed requirements.

I understand wanting to stick with what you’re familiar with, but really, you’ll thank yourself later if you move on to different tech better suited to the task.
 
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I used the charger to balance a small 2s pack that I run in series with a 14s pack to get me up to 60V/16s for my Ebike. The small boost pack has no BMS so the hobby charger was how I balanced it when needed. I'll go back to using a resistor to balance if needed. It's not by the book and I'm working on a better solution including smart 16s BMS. I also used the hobby charger for other things like testing salvaged cells, balancing 18V tool packs, and trickle charging 12V car batteries. Not all are EV related as you say.
 
Sounds a useful tool for you then, particularly for 5S tool batteries.

Sorry, I don’t have experience with the chargers you’re comparing. ISDT look good on paper, especially if you want 8S.

You realise the 14+2 ought to merged into a 16, so I don’t need to beat that drum, but I’ll just repeat that smart BMS are so cheap that it’s nonsensical to use anything inferior.

Their ability to be repurposed for a wide range of cell configurations is worth the extra price of admission over dumb BMS. If your current BMS was a configurable model you’d have been able to tack the additional 2S onto your battery without any headaches.
 
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