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Thread: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

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    Flashaholic* OCD's Avatar
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    Thinking Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    I was reading the manual I found online for the Turnigy Accucell-6 charger and saw something that didn't make sense. Assuming Lilo = Li-ion, why is it saying they are 3.6V and only charging to 4.1V?

    Lilo
    voltage level:3.6V/cell
    max.charge voltage:4.1V/cell

    allowable fast charge current: 1C or less
    min.discharge voltage cut off level:2.5V/cell or higher

    LiPo
    voltage level:3.7V/cell
    max.charge voltage:4.2V/cell
    allowable fast charge current: 1C or less
    discharge voltage cut off level:3.0V/cell or higher

    LiFe
    voltage level:3.3V/cell
    max.charge voltage:3.6V/cell
    allowable fast charge current: 4C or less(e.g. A123M1)
    discharge voltage cut off level:2.0V/cell or higher
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    You are right, for the most part, OCD. It's actually "LiIo", however, not "Lilo". The reason I think they have a "LiIo" setting is because originally, LiCo cells were charged to only 4.10 Volts. Somewhere around the year 2000-2001 I believe, this changed to 4.20 Volts, the same as "LiPo" (which is lithium polymer not LiFePO4). Actually this setting can be quite useful however, as charging LiCo cells to only 4.10 Volts extends cell life considerably, at a cost of only 10% capacity.

    Dave

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Thanks, 45/70. I am seriously considering this charger since I am undecided on what batteries I will be running in some Mag mods I will be doing. I haven't gotten any responses from my other post regarding batteries and chargers for said mods. I just have to do some research on making some different size battery holders to use with this charger for whatever battery type I decide to go with.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    I'm using my Turnigy Accucell-6 to charge an IMR 26650 @ 3A right now.

    Just about my only complaint with this charger is the fan. It is terribly loud. My fan died recently, and I have not bothered to replace it yet...

    I really like how I can charge just about any battery. NiCd, Ni-mh, LiCo, LiPo, IMR, Lifepo4, and Lead Acid (trickle charged my car battery over night a couple of times when it was dead).

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    Thanks, 45/70. I am seriously considering this charger since I am undecided on what batteries I will be running in some Mag mods I will be doing. I haven't gotten any responses from my other post regarding batteries and chargers for said mods. I just have to do some research on making some different size battery holders to use with this charger for whatever battery type I decide to go with.
    You don't even have to make battery holders, unless you want to. It's very simple and easy to just use a few small rare earth magnets which stick to both the alligator clips at the end of the Accucell's stock charging cable as well as the battery terminals of cylindrical cells. So you can easily charge any size cell with just a couple of magnets plus the stock charging leads that come with the Accucell 6. I may get around to making some holders one day but for now since I only charge one or two cells at a time with the Accucell 6, so far I've been very satisfied with just using the magnets.
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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonck08 View Post
    Just about my only complaint with this charger is the fan. It is terribly loud. My fan died recently, and I have not bothered to replace it yet...
    Heh, that's why after reading around on the R/C Forums I decided to go with a charger that didn't have a fan. That and the reports of the AC models switching PS's going south, convinced me to go with a DC only charger that had neither. With adequate heatsinking, a 50 Watt charger doesn't really need a fan anyway. These are power transistors, not CPU's. That said, the Accucell-6 and 8, both appear to be good chargers, from what everybody reports.

    Dave

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonck08 View Post
    Just about my only complaint with this charger is the fan. It is terribly loud. My fan died recently, and I have not bothered to replace it yet...
    My fan is fine - of course it wasn't not long after getting the charger, but by pulling it out and lubing it with some GOOD lube it has been fine ever since. I have done exactly the same thing with some computer fans. I bought some Nano-Oil from a member on these forums and it really seems to fix these noisy fans!
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    My Accucell 6 stays so cool (albeit with the fan running), I suspect that it doesn't even need a fan if only charging at modest current rates that don't really stress the charger. It always blows totally cool air out and the charger never even gets luke warm to the touch anywhere on the outside top, bottom or sides of the case.

    But so far, I have never tried charging with it at very high current rates.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by pae77 View Post
    You don't even have to make battery holders, unless you want to. It's very simple and easy to just use a few small rare earth magnets which stick to both the alligator clips at the end of the Accucell's stock charging cable as well as the battery terminals of cylindrical cells. So you can easily charge any size cell with just a couple of magnets plus the stock charging leads that come with the Accucell 6. I may get around to making some holders one day but for now since I only charge one or two cells at a time with the Accucell 6, so far I've been very satisfied with just using the magnets.
    Yup, I do exactly the same, I just use 2 tiny magnets and put them inside the charging alligator clips, and they just stick to the terminals of whatever cell I'm charging - easy as cake!

    I also have a cheapo plastic D cell holder which does my 10440s (with spacer), 16340s (with spacer), 14500s, 18500s, and 26500s completely fine. My 17670s and 18650s are too long, so I use the magnets for those. In fact, I use the magnets for pretty much all the cells these days - it's just easier.

    Of course, if you want to charge multiple cells at the same time, you'll have to have more connectors & more magnets
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    For those who have never yet tried a hobby charger and may be wondering what's involved for charging the kind of li-ion cells flashaholics typically use, it can be done with very minimal equipment. I was initially hesitant to try one after seeing some of the very clever and fancy battery holders that some members have fabricated and shown previously in various threads in this forum. But it's really not necessary to fabricate anything fancy or special to start using a hobby charger.

    So here's a few photos showing use of Accucell 6 with a very bare bones setup (stock cables that come with charger, power source is an old laptop power supply that plugs directly into this particular charger's stock power input jack, and a few small rare earth magnets from DX):



    For those unfamiliar with the display on these chargers, I think the display in the above photo is showing: Li1S (LiPo charging, 1 cell in series), 0.2A (0.2A charge current at this point in the cycle), 4.20V (presently charging at 4.20 volts, which also means the charger is in the CV stage where the voltage remains constant at 4.20 while the charge current gradually decreases until it reaches 1/10th of whatever the starting charge current was), CHG (charging), 017:48 (17 minutes 48 seconds elapsed since charging started), 00084 (84 mA pushed to the battery so far).

    A pair of small DX rare earth magnets:


    Fortunately the magnets stick to the alligator clips:



    Close up of alligator clip attached to positive terminal of battery with 2 magnets:


    For scale, battery in above photos is a 14500.

    Here's a shot showing charging parallel charging of two 18350 batteries at the same time using some additional short home made alligator clip cables and a few more magnets:



    When parallel charging as in the above photo, the charger just sees one big battery with the capacity of all cells added together. One could daisy chain even more than the two batteries shown in the photo together. The max voltage is unchanged (still 4.20V). So in this situation the only setting that needs to be adjusted is the starting charge current which should be increased by the user to accommodate the higher capacity of both batteries added together. The cells are self balancing when parallel charging.

    Notes: 1. None of the magnets in the above photos have been soldered to anything. 2. For safety, it is preferable and recommended to not charge on flammable surfaces (although so far, all my li-ion cells and the charger have always stayed cool the touch throughout the charging process).
    Last edited by pae77; 09-26-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Great info! This is exactly the kind of setup I was considering for charging the 26650 cells that are powering my 5 and 6 D cell incan mag mods. I really like my Pila for pairs of 18650 or 16340 cells, but 6 26650's, two at a time (One in the box, one jumped via magnets and clip wires) takes a loooooong time!

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    @pae77,

    Great pics

    I have been looking at this charger for a short while, and will be most likely be purchasing it in the very near future.
    I was also looking at the Triton line of chargers.
    Last edited by biker1; 10-07-2010 at 10:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    I was under the impression that the termination voltage was adjustable on this charger. Is it not the case? Just the initial current?

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    You are correct, the termination voltage is adjustable. It depends on the charge program selected, (e.g., iirc for LiIon you have the choice of LiPo, LiIo, LiFe), and whether one selects 1S, 2S, 3S etc. up to 6S. For example, LiPo 1S (1 cell in series) is 4.2 V by default (although if you dig deep into the menus, even that is adjustable by the user although ordinarily, one wouldn't mess with that setting), and 2S (2 cells in series) would be 2 x 4.2 V i.e., 8.4 V and so on up to the 6S limit of this particular charger.

    However, it should be noted that although the charger may be set to terminate at 4.2 V (for Li1S, which is the normal way I charge), the actual voltage of the battery after completion of the charge cycle you will see on a DMM will vary depending on the health, age, quality, etc., of the particular battery being charged as well as the starting charge current selected by the user. I have noticed that generally higher ending voltages are obtained in a given battery if the starting charge current selected is lower e.g., .25 C rather than higher e.g. 1C. So even though the charger is set to terminate at 4.20 V, most of my batteries usually come of the charger reading about 4.15 V on a DMM.
    Last edited by pae77; 10-07-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by sluflyer06 View Post
    I was under the impression that the termination voltage was adjustable on this charger. Is it not the case? Just the initial current?
    The termination voltage is adjustable, but I think there is a safety built in to the charger, whereas if you program it for Li-ion batteries, you won't be able to adjust the cut-off charge to be above 4.2V, which is a great feature.
    This can be verified by someone else.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Btw, here's a photo of a quick and simple parallel charging rig for doing multiple Li-ion cells made from some more rare earth magnets and some hanger rod cut in two pieces (from Dept. store plastic and metal hanger):



    Note: Again, nothing is soldered. The magnets hold everything together. IIRC, these magnets are sold in batches of 20 and/or 100 at DX. 100 of them cost about $5.50 including shipping.
    Last edited by pae77; 10-07-2010 at 12:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by biker1 View Post
    The termination voltage is adjustable, but I think there is a safety built in to the charger, whereas if you program it for Li-ion batteries, you won't be able to adjust the cut-off charge to be above 4.2V, which is a great feature.
    This can be verified by someone else.
    My thinking was that if someone like myself having a good DMM like my Fluke 179 was noticing that the cells were not coming off the charger where they wanted them due to voltage inaccuracy of the charger you'd be able to adjust the termination voltage to end up at your desired final voltage.

    IE. charger thinks its terminating at 4.2 but due to precision error your actually seeing ~4.15v on a calibrated meter so you choose to up the termination on the charger to maybe 4.23 to try to get it up closer to 4.2 if that's your goal.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    You could do that (there is a special menu that allows the user to set the termination voltage for each of the charger's LiIon charge programs), but the charger also has a special calibration menu that allows you to calibrate it to a known voltage source, such as a battery thats voltage was measured with an accurate DMM.

    However, even if the charger is calibrated and accurate, I suspect that one still wouldn't see many batteries coming off the charger at precisely 4.20 volts because the CC/CV algorithm simply doesn't necessarily result in a battery charged to precisely 4.20 volts.

    Anyway, it is all these adjustable features and parameters (along with many other features such as proper termination and a true CC/CV algorithm and versatility) that make these hobby chargers so superior to the simple "consumer" cradle chargers that cannot easily be adjusted without changing out the parts or doing various modifications. Now that decent budget hobby chargers can be acquired for less than $40, they are, imo, very competitive with the other kinds of chargers that are available considering all that you get for your money.

    Btw, one more photo, this one of the inside of the Accucell 6 I took while I had it open to lube the fan:

    Last edited by pae77; 10-07-2010 at 12:59 PM.
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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by pae77 View Post
    Note: Again, nothing is soldered. The magnets hold everything together. IIRC, these magnets are sold in batches of 20 and/or 100 at DX. 100 of them cost about $5.50 including shipping.
    I note you have your magnets doubled up, which makes me wonder if those cheap magnets are not as strong as the more expensive kind? I have some neodymium magnets of the same size as your picture that are too strong to use. They near chop my fingers off if I let them get too close to each other, and one broke into pieces when I let it snap together without cushioning it. I find I therefore use much smaller magnets which are easier to control. For one thing you don't need to be Superman to separate them.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy View Post
    I note you have your magnets doubled up, which makes me wonder if those cheap magnets are not as strong as the more expensive kind? I have some neodymium magnets of the same size as your picture that are too strong to use. They near chop my fingers off if I let them get too close to each other, and one broke into pieces when I let it snap together without cushioning it. I find I therefore use much smaller magnets which are easier to control. For one thing you don't need to be Superman to separate them.
    These might be the same diameter as your more expensive magnets, but are they the same thickness . . . ? The cheap one's I have are each only 1 mm thick. They are pretty strong and could be used singly but because they are so thin, I find I like to have the extra clearance as well as the added magnetic force that 2 together provide. But they do also get pretty powerful when two or more are combined together. One is very easy to deal with so they probably are less powerful than yours are and I suspect they are probably a bit thinner as well. So two of mine probably equals one of yours.

    I wonder whether there is any issue of added resistance I should be concerned about when using two or three instead of just one?
    Last edited by pae77; 10-07-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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    Flashaholic* tre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Would that metal hanger add a lot of resistance too?

    Also, I thought we are always extolling the virtues of independent charging channels. This can't do that unless you charge one battery at a time? Am I wrong?

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by tre View Post
    Would that metal hanger add a lot of resistance too?

    Yes, I suppose so.

    Also, I thought we are always extolling the virtues of independent charging channels. This can't do that unless you charge one battery at a time? Am I wrong?
    No, you are not wrong. . . it's still a charger with only one independent channel. However, one way of using one channel to charge multiple batteries together at one time is to do so by parallel charging as depicted in the photo posted earlier above. And, as I noted earlier above along with the first photo in this thread showing parallel charging of two batteries, Li-ion cells are self balancing when charged in parallel (so balancing leads are not needed with this particular method), and it works well and is quite safe as long as some simple precautions are observed.

    But that said, about 95% of the time, I simply charge one cell at a time with my hobby charger. I just wanted to point out that it is easy and pretty simple to charge more than one Li-ion cell at a time with a hobby charger for those who might be concerned about the limitation of only having one channel to work with.

    If you want to find out more about parallel charging and the benefits and limitations, here are some good sources for further reading: How-To: Parallel Charging - TJinTech

    About parallel charging of Lixx / PB packs. - RC Groups
    Last edited by pae77; 10-08-2010 at 01:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    for multiple cells these chargers generally come with balancing circuits. you can build yourself a balance charger using the included leads.

    btw i have a thunder AC6, which appears to be the same thing as a turnigy 6, except it has it's own built in power supply. if the supply goes out i can still power it using a laptop power brick.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by irv_usc View Post
    for multiple cells these chargers generally come with balancing circuits. you can build yourself a balance charger using the included leads.

    Only required if charging in series. Not needed for parallel charging multiple individual Li-ion cells (as opposed to packs). The Accucell 6 unfortunately doesn't come with balancing leads although it has the ports and circuitry for them.


    btw i have a thunder AC6, which appears to be the same thing as a turnigy 6, except it has it's own built in power supply. if the supply goes out i can still power it using a laptop power brick.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by pae77 View Post
    No, you are not wrong. . . it's still a charger with only one independent channel.
    The Accucell 6 has an inbuilt 6 cell balancer - 10 packs of leads with matching JST-XH connectors are available for a few dollars from the same popular online vendor that sells the majority of these chargers. Most R/C LiPo cells come with them already attached, so they plug straight into the charger without needing any other leads.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    I use a flat disk of copper sandwiched between two neodymium magnets, and attach the alligator clips to the copper.

    The disk was flattened with the help of a file and sandpaper.

    Hint. Pre-1982 pennies are copper. 1982's could be either copper or zinc, and later dates are all zinc.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    If you get 100 of the 1mm x 6mm magnets from dealextreme then you have enough to use several between each cell to connect them, then you can use alligator clips or anything else that will attach to magnets on the end of each balance lead. Just have enough magnets between each cell and you can get your balance lead in there.
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    OK, looking back at your picture

    -- you're using LiPo setting (to get 4.2v), set at 0.2A, charging a Li-ion cell (is that a 14500 in the first picture? what capacity?)
    -- the number on the screen in the lower right corner you say is "pushed ... so far" -- the manual says it's "charged capacity" but your description makes more sense since it counts up from zero. Is it actually measuring something at the battery?

    My Accucell-6 just arrived. I'm starting with Li-Ion setting (4.1v), 0.1A (what, me hurry?) -- charging a new AW 18650 (2200 mah) that came at 3.93volts from a US reseller. I had run it down to 3.86v before I started charging.

    After 30 minutes, it's showing 3.89 volts and a "00053" in the capacity corner.
    Last edited by hank; 10-14-2010 at 02:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    OK, looking back at your picture

    -- you're using LiPo setting (to get 4.2v), set at 0.2A, charging a Li-ion cell (is that a 14500 in the first picture? what capacity?) It's a 14500, actual (not stated) capacity is about 600 mAh. I did not set it a 0.2A. It's at 0.2A because it's in the CV stage of the cycle and the charge current is gradually declining to 1/10th of the initial charge rate (which in this case was 0.3A (or 300 mA).

    -- the number on the screen in the lower right corner you say is "pushed ... so far" -- the manual says it's "charged capacity" but your description makes more sense since it counts up from zero. Is it actually measuring something at the battery?
    No, it is only telling you how many mA's the charger has pushed into the battery. However, there is some overhead due to inefficiency and resistance and such so the actual amount of mA that the battery receives is something less than the number shown. But it still gives you a good idea of approximately how much charge the battery has received.

    My Accucell-6 just arrived. I'm starting with Li-Ion setting (4.1v), 0.1A (what, me hurry?) -- charging a new AW 18650 (2200 mah) that came at 3.93volts from a US reseller. I had run it down to 3.86v before I started charging.

    You should use the LiPo setting (and 1S) to get a voltage of 4.2. You also need to use a much higher charge current for an 18650. You should use at least .6 mA (600 mA) and you can safely go as high as 1C or in the case of your new AW 2.2A. It will take days to charge at .1A and there is no point is using such a low charge rate. .6 is actually plenty low, imo.

    After 30 minutes, it's showing 3.89 volts and a "00053" in the capacity corner.
    You are still in the CC part of the cycle. The current will stay at whatever you set it until the voltage hits 4.2 (if you use the proper LiPo setting) and then the current will start to gradually decrease until it has hit 1/10 of the initial charge rate and charged for a while at that rate.

    Don't be afraid of using the LiPo setting to get a displayed voltage of 4.2. Even using that setting, your battery is going in all likelihood to come off the charger with a voltage a bit lower than 4.2V, probably something like 4.15-4.18 (although it could easily be even lower) which is just perfect, imo.
    A Trustfire red/black 2400 mAh 18650 just came off my Accucell 6 this morning at 4.16 V which is perfectly normal and appropriate, imo.
    Last edited by pae77; 10-14-2010 at 03:07 PM.
    Various old Fenix models; Zebralight H501w_SC50w+_SC600W; LiteFlux_LF2XT, various Solarforce with XM-L drop-ins.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turnigy Accucell-6...Am I missing something?

    Ah, that's helpful. I interrupted and set it up to 0.6A, and am showing 4.04v and climbing.

    I'm expecting to charge my batteries often, and have been looking at this advice:
    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...ased_batteries

    " better to charge lithium-ion battery at a slower charge rate .... A 0.5C charge and discharge would further improve this rating. ... If you have a spare lithium-ion battery, use one to the fullest and keep the other cool by placing it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze the battery. For best results, store the battery at 40% state-of-charge."
    The do-and-don't list says "40% state-of-charge reads 3.75-3.80V/cell at open terminal."
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    Last edited by hank; 10-14-2010 at 05:08 PM.

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