Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    4,573

    Default Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    I have gone through countless threads and posts, and am not getting the clear picture and answer I'd like, so here's a new thread for it.

    I want to be able to charge a min of 4 Nicad/Nimh AA to D cells as well as RC packs. What is the best solution for this combo? Perhaps Li-ion and Li-poly, but not a need at this time. SLA would also be nice but not a current need.

    Does a quality charger exist for these criteria? Pros, Cons, and price/location would be really nice if possible.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Bruno, CA
    Posts
    814

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    While a bit on the pricey side, I use the Integy 16x4 Pro for charging all of my Nicd and Nimh. It can charge from AC or DC input 1-15 cells (on AC, less on DC I believe.) The charge rate is 500ma to 5A. It can do SLA too but you need to monitor it, it will not autopeak SLA. For more info check out Integy's web page. They are a little hard to find, but most RC shops can order them for you or you can order direct from them.

    I have heard really good things about the Triton from Great Planes also. I have never used one but it supposedly will charge just about anything that you can throw at it including SLA and Lipoly. Has nicer features too, but it is a DC only charger so to use AC you need to have a pretty high end 12V benchtop powersupply. You can get details on this one from towerhobbies. The 12V supply will probably cost you an additional $100 which put this one out of my price range.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    Jack of all trades? Yes indeed lots of threads, no definitive answer because such an animal does not truly exist?

    You could do what I did, spend hours in a search of the RC battery forums, then do Google searches on specific models, and then you just get more confused [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]. I read one thread where the Triton software was thrown off by the type of voltage comming off a computer power supply, and toasted someone's expensive Li-Poly's (I think, can't remember the exact details, at least there was no fire).

    That, and register on the various RC forums, post your question there. I see various small to large issues with almost every charger except for top-of-line $200+ models from Orbit or Schutz. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to spend several weeks doing enough research...someday I'll bookmark all the threads, reviews, etc. at various sites so I can link to them.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    For a charger that does it all well, the Triton is hard to beat for its cost. I have one and it is a very nice charger. I also have a Schulze isl 6-330dRS (has a computer interface) that charges the same cell types as the Triton, but IMHO, does a better job of it. Let me state why I think the Schulze charger does a better job. Using both charger's automatic mode (for Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, and lead-acid) the Schulze will complete the charge faster and still not get the cells hot (or even very warm). The Triton does have a temperature probe available as an accessory that is very handy in its own right. The Schulze charger is more expensive and for its price alone, you could have a Triton charger and a sufficient power supply. The Schulze also can only discharge down to about 1.3 volts so it can't properly discharge a single Ni-Cd or Ni-MH cell. Both chargers will also discharge cells with the Schulze having a 1 Amp max. discharge current while the Triton can go up to 3 Amps. If you have any other questions I'll try to answer them as I have lots of experience with hobby-type chargers/dischargers and also a lot of opinions. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Jerry

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    4,573

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    The Triton is kinda pricey for what I had in mind, although it looks like a great unit. I'm assuming I'd have to get trays/holders for standard cells to charge them in series?

    As for RC chargers, what are your thoughts on the entry level Piranha and Superbrain chargers? I'm not going to be racing RC, just goofing around in the yard with the kids.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    I get holders from Radio Shack for AAA, AA and D size cells. I am not familiar with the Piranha but have heard more good than bad about the Superbrain. If you don't think you will have a future need for charging lead-acid or lithium-based rechargeable cells, then the Triton is overkill. I would, however, still suggest getting a DC only charger along with a DC power supply. While you will pay more money up front, you will be getting better quality electronics and you can utilize the DC power supply for more than one charger or to power anything accepting up to 13.8 volts.

    Jerry

    Edited to add:
    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=156352

    Was just checking around and came across this thread. I can't recommend this charger after wading through this.

  7. #7
    Silver Moderator
    SilverFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    11,641

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    Hello Phaserburn,

    You could go with two chargers...

    For the AAA, AA, C, D, and 9v cells

    and

    This one for your battery packs.

    Tom

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* bwaites's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central Washington State
    Posts
    5,044

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    Phaserburn,

    I spent months researching and fighting this issue, sticking with cheap slow chargers.

    I then did what Ginseng had recommended months ago and bought the Triton and a bench power supply. (I bought the RadioShack 13.8volt/15Amp supply, but others can be had cheaper if you internet shop.)

    This is a great charger! It almost makes it fun to charge batteries because you can actually see what is happening with them.

    The fact that you don't think you'll need the Lithium interface shouldn't dissuade you, I didn't think I would, but then I got a LiOnHeart!

    Its not cheap, but it works and it works for just about everypack and cell that you will find!

    Bill

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    At World's End
    Posts
    5,801

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    The best 'inexpensive' (comparatively) charger I've found is the Maha C777Plus2. For individual cells you'll have to buy a couple of $0.50 holders, but those should be available at any electronics joint and cheaply, too.

    http://www.thomas-distributing.com/mh-c777plus.htm - $75. Never bought from them before though (got mine locally).

    Unlike the Triton it does not let you configure charge rates, or charge SLAs. This is probably a good thing because twits like me will ask it to pump small cells at 5A, causing localized annihilation of the neighborhood, or at least the home.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] (then I can discuss flashlights with the fire and ambulance crew, if I am still awake, that is...)

    It's a very automatic charger, Li-ion/NiMh capable. The only thing you need to do is set the slide switch. Comes with its own wallwart although that one gets plenty hot. The 'fuel gauge' really rocks too, you can see how much charge has been administered to the cell, and decide when you want to quit rather than wait for the last few mA to 'top up'.

    The charger mentions 800mA for NiMH and 400mA for lithium ion, but I find it varies the charge rate depending on how full the cell is. I have noticed lithium ions slow down greatly towards the end of their charge, which the good chargers should.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    4,573

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    Thanks for all the input, friends. I'm weighing my options on the c777 or going with separate chargers, like the ones Silverfox suggested. Together, they are around $50 and seem like a good deal. The Phaserbanks are kind of drained right now after fighting off a too-extensive holiday season attack, and need to be recharged themselves. I'd love a Triton and think it's probably the best all around choice, but can't afford it today.

  11. #11
    Silver Moderator
    SilverFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    11,641

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    Hello Phaserburn,

    I think Bill has some very good points.

    The Triton is an excellent charger. If I was doing battery packs, I would have one. The ability to customize the charging program allows you to get the most from your cells and packs. It was designed for the demanding RC people, and has exceeded their expectations.

    The only drawback to the Triton is that it is only one channel. I find the Vanson excellent for NiCd and NiMh flashlight use. I can top off 1 to 4 cells at any time and the independent channels make sure they are charged properly. Of course, if you had 4 Triton's you could have the best of the best... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    The combination I suggested to you is a functional short time compromise. In true CPF style, "Get them all!"

    Tom

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8,142

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charge

    Silver, I've come to the same conclusion. use a multi channel charger for nmh cells. A triton for li-ion.

    I've been taking my time shopping for the best deal on a triton. you can find them on the RC forum for aprox. $95, but they go pretty quick. there are several places linked in the RC forums selling for aprox. $115.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Southern USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charger

    Here's my bit of info:

    I had/have a duratrax charger for travel because it's small and light. You can see them here: http://www.duratrax.com/caraccys/dtxp4100.html

    The pulse (model 4100) will charge 4-8 cell packs at .5 to 6.5 amps. The higher rate is important if you REALLY plan to charge c and d cells. That will take freaking forever on an 800mah maha (no offense). If you are charging r/c packs they are made for higher charge rates anyway. This charger will take dc OR ac input. It will also discharge at 1 amp. Overall it's a good charger for the money. I have had no problems with overcharging with it.

    I also have the duratrax digital pulse. I takes ac OR dc input. Charges at .5 to 6.5 amp. Discharges from 2 to 10 amp. It has some pretty nice readouts with pack voltage, capacity, and charge amps. The little black wart beside it is the switching ac to dc power supply. 2 fans keep this one cool and 1 fan is in the power supply. I am much pleased with this one. The capacity readout helps you know how much power you've put in the batteries. The fans are located where you can use them to blow on the batteries you're charging.

    Finally, I've got a turbocharger turbo 35. This is the defacto standard for r/c. It charges 1-7 (maybe 1-8) cell packs at anywhere from .5 amps to 25 amps (yikes!). It only takes dc input. It will discharge at up to 35 amps (double yikes!!). See more at: www.competitionelectronics.com It will match cells and give very detailed results as to cell characteristics. This is likely not the charger you are looking for.

    The duratrax units are under $100. The turbocharger is $250+ plus a power supply.

    I'd go with a duratrax unit and an additional wall-wart for lead acid batteries.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* LitFuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Sunshine State
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: Want to charge AA to D & RC packs, need charge

    Lots of Tritons on eBay too, some "Buy It Now" units for $94.95 recently. You could find a really good deal there if you take your time. I considered the Triton, but I didn't like the idea of a separate DC supply to run it. I just got a MAHA C777PlusII, and am well pleased with it so far.

    I will echo the opinions on using dedicated channel chargers for your consumer batteries though, it's really the best way to charge them properly. I got the Maha for Li-ion and the other non standard type batts. that I need to charge.

    Peter

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •