SkyRC — IFA 2014 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Dubois

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Feb 12, 2012
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If I can't order one by the end of this month, then, then,... I'm gonna have to wait until next month:-(

"Darn" it!
-Chuck

+1.:)

I notice that this thread will be one year old in a couple of days time. Impressive. I've kept my resolve not to buy an analysing charger while this one has been in development. Unfortunately a combination of good prices on Xtar's VC2 & VP2 has meant that I'm a little over-endowed in the charger front at the moment. Oh well, the VC2 will make a nice safe gift to someone not that au fait with Li-ions.
 

Julian Holtz

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Hallöle Kreisl,

thanks for your detailled response. I can understand that there is no fully automatic mode for safety reasons.
However, as I see it now, one has to memorize and select the correct memory slot to start a charge now. This might not be the most user-friendly for less sophisticated people (rest of family, who just want to charge).

I would envision a system like this: For every chemistry, "default parameters" can be programmed.
For example:
-NiMh: 400mA current, 3mV delta peak, 10mA trickle current, etc
-LiIon: 500mA current, 4.15V CV, etc

Now, when a cell is inserted, the charger checks the voltage, and concludes the cell chemistry from that. <1.6V would be NiMH, >2V would be LiIon.

So, when a NiMh cell is inserted, after a short test, the charger would ask "charge NiMh?", and after pressing a button to confirm, it would start charging with the default parameters. Same for LiIon cells respecticely.

This procedure would be practically self-explanatory and would meke the charger also usable for others who don't need all the bells and whistles at the moment.

What do you think about this?

Cheers,

Julian
 

chuckhov

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+1.:)

I notice that this thread will be one year old in a couple of days time. Impressive. I've kept my resolve not to buy an analysing charger while this one has been in development. Unfortunately a combination of good prices on Xtar's VC2 & VP2 has meant that I'm a little over-endowed in the charger front at the moment. Oh well, the VC2 will make a nice safe gift to someone not that au fait with Li-ions.


Though I have a Nitecore D4 to charge things up with, I saw that Gearbest is now handling the Liitokala Lii - 500 Charger/Analyser (and on Sale to boot), so I bought one this morning:)

I figure that I can play with it while waiting for the MC3000 to become available, and what the heck - It's always good to have a spare anyway - Right?

Who knows... I may even wait around and grab one of the Version 2 models. - Nothing is perfect and can't be improved.

Thanks,
-Chuck
 

kreisl

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when a NiMh cell is inserted, after a short test, the charger would ask "charge NiMh?", and after pressing a button to confirm, it would start charging with the default parameters. Same for LiIon cells respecticely.
Hallöle Julian!

I had the same idea :thumbsup:, automatic BATT TYPE detection based on offline voltage, and they had thought about it too. It was put on the to-do list for possible future implementation as additional UI Mode called "Smart" or "Automatic". From what i gathered, the technical problem is how to distinguish between the other supported battery types, e.g. NiZn, LiFePO4, RAM? The Nietcore D4 and Xstar VP2 have external switches for LiFePO4 selection, for example.

As a practical workaround one could stick or glue a Post-it on the side of the charger with a personal note for the known literate user (or yourself) such that nobody needs to remember by heart under which number your programs were saved:

" [02] = Eneloop AA charging
[03] = Tenergy AAA charging
[18] = LiIon 18650 charging
!!User Manual is in left drawer!!
Have some fun, best, kay
"

Btw when my family, friends, neighbors, dogs, cats come over and see the device, they don't dare to operate it. And if they tried, i would tell them off :caution:. Hazard averted the easy way!

@Chuck, i have the Lii-500 too. Very poor analyzer, i've tested and measured it extensively; i agree, hopefully the Version 2 of Lii-500 will be released soon!!

@PandaLight, lemme try to find out what's going on these days at the production site…
 
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kreisl

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If there will be a "V2" of MC3000 in distant future, it will be a totally different, not an improved, product. And that could happen in 2018+.
In the meantime all improvements will be done thru firmware updates, FREE for you.
 

dekelsey61

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Apr 25, 2006
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Location
Kingston Mines,Illinois
Hi Kreisl
I have been following this thread for 1 year now! Longest anticipated product ever seen! Any idea when this charger will be available to the public? Thank you.
dan
 

kreisl

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hello dan, thanks for your interest and patience, appreciated! i've been waiting even longer and i am so relieved that everything is real and happening. after the loong wait i just hope that people don't turn their backs as soon as they learn about the price:broke: *ggg*. roll-out to sellers will take place in September (EDIT: reconfirmed, still on schedule! and no i don't know anything about price sorry), so please hold on to your money until about then :sweat:

these days they're finishing the tests of the trial production samples and the production testers need to learn first:crackup:how to operate the darn thing, which delays the process. i am imagining the testers connecting the samples to power, looking at the little LCD screens, scratching:thinking:their heads and thinking wtf :confused:

lol .. kreisl amused :D
 
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Julian Holtz

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Germany
Hallöle Julian!

I had the same idea :thumbsup:, automatic BATT TYPE detection based on offline voltage, and they had thought about it too. It was put on the to-do list for possible future implementation as additional UI Mode called "Smart" or "Automatic". From what i gathered, the technical problem is how to distinguish between the other supported battery types, e.g. NiZn, LiFePO4, RAM? The Nietcore D4 and Xstar VP2 have external switches for LiFePO4 selection, for example.

[]

Servus Kreisl,

great minds think alike! A solution for the problem of different chemistries at the same voltage could be to be able to program in a sequence of which chemistries one can choose in a specific situation. I, for example, charge neither NiZn nor LiFePo, so I would eliminate these from the list of what's available.
Another person might charge NiMh mostly, and NiZn once in a while. So the first thing the charger would ask is "charge NiMh?", the second "charge NiZn?". So one can toggle through a list of chemistries before confirming, which is set up by the user.
This way, most times one will just have to confirm with one press of a button, and at worst have to toggle with some button presses until the correct chemistry is displayed, and then confirm. Still pretty intuitive. :)

Cheers,

Julian
 

kreisl

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hehe :p … what you are suggesting as workaround for the challenging voltage problematique is, in enhanced form, what i had immediately thought of 2.0 yrs ago, namely some UI user interface similar to a Windows wizard where the user is forced to take decisions via radio buttons and click 'Next' to proceed in the series of program setup dialogs. For a primitive Charge program in a 'round battery'-charger, what should be the compromise re the hidden default charge rate, 0.375A as in Nitcore i4? That would be imo too low for nimh cells >2000mAh and too high for liion cells <500mAh. Recall that the default charge rate on the MH-C9000 is 1000mA woot! So a mini wizard should consist of 2 dialogs, or 1 dialog with 2 settings: BATT TYPE selection, and a convenient range of Charge rates e.g. {100|300|500|700|1000|1500|2000|3000}mA. In fact, some of the touchpad chargers on the market (SkyRC, ..) have this kind of interface, and tbh it has advantages and disadvantages.

"eliminate these from the list of what's available" - This is already implemented in the firmware. Users can hide unneeded battery types in GSV Global Setup View.

I love wizards, they are intuitive and self-explanatory, and the coding of a minimalist wizard (with automatic BATT TYPE presets based on battery voltage to reduce the number of button clicks) should be possible. I can't tell when they will add this UI alternative though. When they had shown me their original simple and straight-forward idea of UI design, i liked it right away and better than our idea here. I fear that if and only if so many users are really unhappy about a missing wizard, the developers will re-consider our idea.

In the meantime, the Post-it solution. :huh:
 
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KenSrf

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Jul 16, 2015
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Thanks for sharing the details of your concerns. MH-C9000 comes with a limited 3-years warranty, i would test that out.
Yes both charger models have pitfalls and tbh i am not stoked with either one either ( :sssh: ).
Erhm .. the mc3k iOS app hasn't been updated in a long time while there were many updates of the device firmware since. Clearly, the old iOS app still works (as i heard) but it will not 100.0% match the present firmware version ( that's my educated guess ). If you have specific questions re MC3000 (user manual, cycle history, eneloop, better than NC2500/C9000/etc?), i'll be glad to answer them in that thread, thx!
I hope they don't change iOS version requirements with the updated app. I was happy that it still worked on my old device.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Oct 1, 2004
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Tulsa,OK
I don't see how a default charge rate could work well for everyone it works well in for single chemistry chargers that have separate slots for separate sizes of batteries such as AAA/AA etc but having the sliders would have the AAAs and AAs set at the same rate and even the lithium ions set at the same rate for smaller RCR123 cells vs 26650s you would either be charging the larger too slow to accommodate the smaller batteries or charge the smaller batteries too fast to work well with the larger ones. Now if you had a prompt after chemistry detection of several choices perhaps even just 2 and an option to go to a second menu for more choices that would probably suffice.
 

Julian Holtz

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Nov 4, 2005
Messages
343
Location
Germany
Hi Kreisl.

For a primitive Charge program in a 'round battery'-charger, what should be the compromise re the hidden default charge rate, 0.375A as in Nitcore i4? That would be imo too low for nimh cells >2000mAh and too high for liion cells <500mAh. Recall that the default charge rate on the MH-C9000 is 1000mA woot! So a mini wizard should consist of 2 dialogs, or 1 dialog with 2 settings: BATT TYPE selection, and a convenient range of Charge rates e.g. {100|300|500|700|1000|1500|2000|3000}mA. In fact, some of the touchpad chargers on the market (SkyRC, ..) have this kind of interface, and tbh it has advantages and disadvantages.

In my initial post regarding the "wizard" or "default program", I mentioned the idea of allowing the user to program the defaults. So, one can either program in a default charge rate (individually for each chemistry) or make the wizard ask for a specific charge rate.

Lynx, what you wrote is exactly what I mean. The user should be able to program default charge rates for individual chemistries, but also be able to change them easily if the need arrives.

I own this very nice charger:
http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/product/...n-Charge-Manager-420-Charge-Manager-420-CM420

When I insert a battery, a wizard starts leads through the various settings, but if I do not touch any buttons, it automatically chooses default and goes to the next setting. After a short while without me interfering, it has walked through all settings on it's own, chosen the default values every time, and starts charging.
One can basically choose a mode (charge, discharge, etc) and a current (500mA, 1000mA, etc).
If I insert a battery, it displays "charge" (the default). By pressing buttons I can now toggle between the various charge modes. When I do not touch anything, it will take "charge" after several seconds, and then display "500mA". Here I can toggle the different currents as well, and if I don't touch it, it will take "500mA" (the default) and start charging after several seconds. If I insert an additional cell in slot two, it will ask "same as slot 1", which I can simply confirm to speed things up, and if I don't it will walk through the wizard again.

So I guess that the best UI for automatic charging would be like this:

1) insert battery
2) charger only continues if chemistry choice is confirmed (NiMh, LiIon, etc)
2a) (optional) charger will ask "same as slot x" if another cell in slot x is already charging
3) charger displays relevant settings and chooses defaults after several seconds if no changes are made by the user
4) charger starts charging

The user should be able to program in the setup menu the available choices and defaults for points 2) and 3).

This way the charge is as automatic as possible, but still the user can make changes as he pleases, without having to dig up or remember any memory slots.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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kreisl

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hellö

I was aware of Conrad's Voltcraft branded CM series, really nice geman designed/engineered chargers with a track record. As mentioned, i had discarded the idea of wizard UI quickly as soon as i saw Sky's agreeable and likable UI design. Thanks Julian for the pointer, i am going to study the CM user manual and try hard to imagine how realistic and feasible it would be to implement the integration of this alternative UI in the present MC firmware-UI structure. Strong ideas never fall on deaf ears.

:grouphug:
 

light-wolff

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Jun 16, 2013
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Southern Germany
As a practical workaround one could stick or glue a Post-it on the side of the charger with a personal note for the known literate user (or yourself) such that nobody needs to remember by heart under which number your programs were saved:

" [02] = Eneloop AA charging
[03] = Tenergy AAA charging
[18] = LiIon 18650 charging
!!User Manual is in left drawer!!
Have some fun, best, kay
"
Isn't it possible to assign names to the programs? So you don't chose "[02]" but "[02] Eneloop AA charging". Eliminates the need for Post-its.
 

kreisl

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Jul 5, 2012
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helo :wave:

imo one does not really need to remember numbers because the first 4 settings (they are the essential ones!) of a program are displayed in situ as soon as the user clicks on the UP (or DOWN) button to browse thru the 30 programs. It's comparable to flipping the pages of a cookery booklet, page by page, and seeing the ingredients list at the top of each page right away (e.g. NiMH, 2000mAh, Charge, 2.85A) while ignoring the rest of the page (timer cut-off, temperature cut-off, etc) in the moment.

"[02] Eneloop AA charging" consists of 24chars.

tecno-charger-151wu2a.jpg


(original LCD hardware; demo pic to illustrate char width and char resolution)

the standard char resolution on MC3000 is 7x12 pixels (big font), so we get 18chars per row and 5rows of text.
the next lower char resolution would be 6x8 pixels (medium font), for 21chars/row and 8rows: that's what you see in the above demo pic. For most purposes the medium font looks too small, so it gets employed in DDV (Diagram Drawing View) only, nowhere else.

But i know what you mean. Some books have chapter title plus page number written all in the header line, 1 single line. So instead of calling a program "PROGRAM[02]" one could possibly write "[02]NmCh285"? — Personally i wouldn't like it for aesthetic and or intelligible reasons but it's an idea:tinfoil: worth exploring, thanks!
 
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