SkyRC — IFA 2014 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

ko4nrbs

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
91
I think we need to stay focused on getting the charger on the shelves for now. Improvements and/or modifications could be incorporated into the new model or an entirely new charger.

The more complicated or sophisticated the charger becomes can invite many difficult to resolve issues. Personally I would prefer a charger that charges my batteries as simply as possible. Bells and whistles can just be a royal pain in the ??&&%%!!

Bill
 

Dubois

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
660
Has there ever been a thread like this on CPF before?

One year on, nearly 70,000 reads, and still no product.:whistle:

@kreisl - you have done a great job.
 

Gauss163

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 20, 2013
Messages
1,604
Location
USA
... I think this is the best solution within the means of current technology.

It is certainly not the "best solution within the means of current technology", since, using current technology (even old tech), the charger can automatically recognize every cell, e.g. as described above. For chargers that lack this capability ("blind chargers") then one is forced to implement some scheme like you propose in order to disambiguate cell types whose voltage (and dimension) ranges overlap.
 
Last edited:

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
Whenever the automatic mode is triggered, the charger must not be able to have any doubt about the cell type inserted.

I think this is the best solution within the means of current technology.
Hi Julian, thanks for your inspirational input!
Well, with the current User Interface structure in mind and with combining Ferdinando's key idea and the feasible out of your input, i'll submit suggestions before Monday which are realistic to be implemented .. fingers crossed that they're convinced to actually do us the favor.
:sssh:

@Dubois - :eek:
 

LED User

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
54
kreisl, since you referred me to this thread, I assumed that I could buy one.

How soon is this charger going to be available?
And at what price point? (your comment about potential buyers maybe being scared off when they see the price has me edgy)
 
Last edited:

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
It's weekend, no hard news today. Full scale production may start vely soon, i'll update the thread np. Dealers are likely to get order/shipping info this month; product should sit on their shelves then by Sep/Oct i guess. Sorry I don't have a hearing or saying in pricing. All i know is that it'll cost over 55$ :crazy:, that's an easy guess.


Q. Hey man could one conclude NiZn popularity from LiFePO4 survey stats? :thinking:
A. Lemme answer with a quiz:

If a survey reveals that
45% of the flashies use NiMH,
55% use LiIo,
40% use LiFe,
30% use NiMH and LiIo,
15% use LiIo and LiFe,
15% use NiMH and LiFe,
10% use NiMH and LiIo and LiFe,
then how many % of the flashies use neither of the 3 battery types?


Q. Erh. Huh?? :sick2: Your question doesn't make logical sense.
A. It's derived from a CSE sample problem. The solution has to be a number between 5~35%. I don't have the answer.

Q. What if i get it right, anything to win?
A. Lol. Nah, nada. But i'd be glad to compare your number with mine, thanks!
 

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
a question that arose on another forum:
Can the MC3k reset the undervoltage protection of cells with PCB?
Some chagers can't.
Oops, almost missed that one. Hi wolff, Nietcore i4 V2 and Xstar chargers can do it, but Efest LUC V4 and the brand-new Efest Blu6 cannot do it. Like with any hobby charger —the MC3000 has the DNA of a hobby charger— a 0.0V-battery is recognized as "NO BATTERY". The threshold voltage lies around ~0.2V; thereunder the slot does not recognize correctly inserted batteries.
:candle:

Fortunately the makers included a firmware feature for this situation. Very simple: click on the SNB (Slot Number Button) of the slot under consideration and done!

With the (manual) button click the slot tries to pump charge with a specific current pulse pattern into the 'no battery' for a few seconds and then rechecks the offline voltage to see if the few seconds were enough to release the protection. If it didn't help, click the button again lol. Nothing spectacular - it's like "manually" pumping charge into the protected battery until the internal cell voltage has recovered beyond the PCB-untripping voltage level. The pulse pattern depends on the firmware and could be altered in future, if needed.

I like this solution and prefer it to a fully automatic PCB-resetting feature because it gives the user full control over the resetting procedure. And it is actually quite fun to press a button on a machine to get something you want.

:D
 

_UPz

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
258
Location
Barcelona
kreisl, do you know if the charger project is already in mass production scale?
Thanks!
 

Julian Holtz

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
343
Location
Germany
Hi Julian, thanks for your inspirational input!
Well, with the current User Interface structure in mind and with combining Ferdinando's key idea and the feasible out of your input, i'll submit suggestions before Monday which are realistic to be implemented .. fingers crossed that they're convinced to actually do us the favor.
:sssh:

@Dubois - :eek:

Hi Kreisl, great to hear that our ideas do not fall on deaf ears! :)
 

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
Hi Kreisl, great to hear that our ideas do not fall on deaf ears! :)
'Automatic' mode has been implemented! It's similar to the operation of Nitcore i4 V2: If you're fine with 700mA/slot charging, then there's no need to wait, just throw your NiMH/NiCd/Eneloop/LiIon batteries at it and press the ENTER-button already. Inserting LiIo4.35 battery would be okay too, to be charged safely to 4.2V.

Of course, the charger needs to be set to operate in this mode:

extract_400jyseo.png


This user interface mode works 'automatic' in the sense that it automatically recognizes the correct battery type (among the 2 selected as parameter for the UI Mode option in SETUP, in this screenshot: NiMH vs. LiIon) and sets safe hidden program defaults for the fixed Charge operation mode. "What you can't see can't confuse you". The preset charge rate, the default value, is 0.7A. After inserting the battery the user is prompted to change the charge rate within 5sec before the displayed value gets automatically saved to the slot. This UI Mode allows nothing but Charge. After all batteries are inserted this way, one has the chance to overview everything: the offline voltages, the recognized battery types, and the charge rates. Changes would still be possible thru the SNB's (Slot Number Buttons). Finally the user hits the ENTER-button to reconfirm the situation and Start All. Individual Starts are possible too.

The firmware covers NiMH/LiIo, NiMH/LiFe, and possibly more depending on user demands ( NiZn/… ).

I haven't tested this brand new feature yet so let's wait until everyone has a MC3000 retail unit and we can see how the 'automatic mode' was implemented in practice and whether we find that it is acceptable or leaves room for concrete refinement.

(...) You see the Beep Tone option? Parameter says "1". It can go up to 16. What could that be? Let's guess!:p
 
Last edited:

B-2Admirer

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
78
So, will the NiMH/NiZn automatic be implemented? And can the default value be set to something other than 0.7A?
 

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
Offline voltages of NiMH/NiZn can overlap as the geman product states:
CM2024 user manual said:
E.g. at deep discharged NiZn rechargeable batteries, the rechargeable battery chemistry may need to be chosen manually and confirmed with "OK".
I question how safely commercial chargers can really detect between NiMH and NiZn automatically. These 2 chemistries should be split up imo for ease of mind and ease of use (KISS, see below).

I don't believe that the firmware will offer the user to preset the default; it would complicate:sick: things too much. If you want your own defaults, you can save your preferred set of settings ("personal defaults") under PROGRAM[01] —that's what the other UI Modes (Simple, Advanced) are for— and leave [01] in all 4 slots when you power off the device. Device has last program memory in each slot.

The entire charger tries to follow the KISS principle. That's why in this 'ui mode for Dummies', for now, NiZn is split from NiMH/NiCd/Eneloop, LiIo4.35 (=High Voltage Lithium-Ion, LiHV) is lumped with LiIon (=Standard Lithium-Ion), and the default charge rate is a fixed preset. You can change the charge rate but not its default value per se. I hope this makes sense. :crazy:
 
Last edited:

vex_zg

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
6
Hi,

will these two be configurable:


  • dv/dt for charging NiMH ? (the voltage drop used to detect end of charge, typically configurable in range of 5-10mV)?
  • Temperature threshold for all chemistries (can be used to detect NiMH end of charge, but useful also as a safety precaution for all chemistries)

Thanks
 

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
Hi, your very first post on CPF and then in this thread, my double welcome! :)

Yes, dV/dt delta peak sensibility (for NiMH/NiCd) and BattTemp threshold (for all chemistries) are configurable per user program, see my older post about options and parameter ranges. The two are program options, not global settings. In contrast, SysTemp threshold is a global quantity to protect the device itself (not the battery) from damage, e.g. on a hot summer afternoon.

From my experience, at typical loads good condition batteries don't get hot in the MC3000 neither during charge nor during discharge. That's because the bay metal contacts don't get hot from the internal system heat and because the batteries have low internal resistance. Heck one could even mimic MH-C9000's charging algorithm, i.e. 1.47V cut-off voltage plus top-off charge, which would never lead to warm batteries.


Q. Yoh man. What exactly do you mean with "typical loads"?
A. Yoh man. I mean that you don't operate the charger at its very extreme limits 24/7 at all times, or will you?

Q. No man, i won't. Yet could you specify, gimme some numbers for exemplification?
A. As a rule of thumb, the max. charging power is ~13W per slot, the max. discharging power is ~13W per device. They are called "full load".

Q. So?
A. I'd define a "typical load" situation as 30~70% of these operational extremes ymmv.
 
Last edited:

B-2Admirer

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
78
Offline voltages of NiMH/NiZn can overlap as the geman product states:I question how safely commercial chargers can really detect between NiMH and NiZn automatically. These 2 chemistries should be split up imo for ease of mind and ease of use (KISS, see below).
I think it can be done safely enough if the charger still monitors for voltage drop while charging, stopping if detected, even when assuming the cell is NiZn, and, conversely, switches to the CC/CV profile when the voltage exceeds that expected from NiMH, even when assuming the cell is of that type. I mean a combined algorithm, safe for both NiZn and NiMH, can be devised. That is not to say I'm asking for it, it really doesn't matter that much for me, although it would certainly be nice to have that.
 

kreisl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
2,241
The most straightforward approach would be, for now, to exclude NiZn completely from automatic detection. neitcore, xstar, soshine, efest, maha, opus, litokaala, panasonic they all have banned the support of this exotic chemistry in their commercial chargers. To mimic i4 V2, NiZn can't be part of the package ;)

Just kidding. We'll see what the future brings us.
 

Latest posts

Top