SkyRC — IFA 2014 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

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Wild4fire

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Hi everybody,

today I tried to use my MC3000 for the first time under Windows 11. The v1.05 charging software regularly seems to lock up, it just freezes and doesn't respond to anything anymore. Anyone else experiencing this issue too?


-- Update: scratch that. I discovered the cause... the USB connection was sometimes dropping and the charging software really doesn't like that. I replaced the USB cable and I'll try and see how it goes now.

-- Update #2: yup, it was the USB cable. I've been charging several batteries for the last few days and I've had zero issues since I've replaced the cable.
 
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mactavish

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12-15-2021:
MC3000 IOS APP UPDATED TO V1.5.8

*The only note:

“Add the sorting function for the programs”

No idea what this does?
 
S

skid00skid00

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I guess the programs are the settings you've input for each battery type. Can probably sort on voltage|capacity|rate|etc.
 
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linc90

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The update simply allows you to to drag your programs anywhere you want on the list by using the sort button in top left corner. You then use the red dash beside each program to drag them up or down and press done when you are finished. Done button is in the same spot as sort button.
 
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naturelle

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Hey guys!

Some short question:
I want to charge Eneloops.

What's the difference if I use NiMH charging program or Eneloop charging program?

Additional (apart the MC3000): are there any differences in charging strategies of NiMH and Eneloop? Can I always charge Eneloops with chargers that are only capable of charging NiMH and do not have any extra program for Eneloop?
 
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sbj

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There is no difference between NiMh and Eneloop charging programs. You can charge the Eneloop with any NiMh charger.
 
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naturelle

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Ok, thanks! But why do some chargers (the SkyRC MC3000, the ISDT N8 e.g.) have an extra program for Eneloop?
 
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sbj

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Probably purely for marketing reasons, like this: "We have the right charger for your valuable Eneloop batteries."
 
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Geppo

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Exactly: just marketing buzz. Just ignore it.
I don't think so. Although the base technology is the same, if you try to charge a different brand of NiMH batteries using the preset values for Eneloop you risk to overcharge (and damage) your batteries. In my experience dV=-3mV works only with Eneloop batteries (in perfect conditions) at the preset currents, but generally it does not work with other battery brands and you have to set 0dV. It does not work even with Eneloop batteries not "new" (with internal resistance higher than normal value) and it brings to overcharge batteries due to the inability to detect the end of charge point.
 
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Geppo

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At aacycler, the - 0dV setting was standard in all of his tests with various NiMh brands.
I agree. Moreover I agree about charger. After using EverActive NC-3000 for years without any issues, I am testing SkyRC MC3000. My opinion about SkyRC MC3000 is "a Ferrari fueled by petroleum and with truck wheel tires". Solid construction, huge intrinsic power, plagued by a bad user interface, some questionable hardware design choices, as well as a poor software design, considering its cost, put it near the bottom of my list. A very well designed app maybe could mitigate most of the bad, but unfortunately I don't think they are going to do it.
I got so many issues in a month of testing with it I never had with all my other four chargers in several years.
 
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sbj

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It's not as bad as you make it out to be. After all, the manufacturer has responded to many user requests. I haven't found a four slot charger that allows a similar free access to the charge/discharge parameters.
Current and voltage values can be calibrated. That's rare in this category.

A charger with high-quality mechanics and a higher-resolution screen would quickly cost 50% more. A manufacturer would no longer be able to sell enough devices for it to still pay off.

So I don't find the MC3000 too expensive because no other four-slot charger offers a comparable range of functions, even if it has its weak points.
 
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Geppo

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It's not as bad as you make it out to be. After all, the manufacturer has responded to many user requests. I haven't found a four slot charger that allows a similar free access to the charge/discharge parameters.
Current and voltage values can be calibrated. That's rare in this category.

A charger with high-quality mechanics and a higher-resolution screen would quickly cost 50% more. A manufacturer would no longer be able to sell enough devices for it to still pay off.

So I don't find the MC3000 too expensive because no other four-slot charger offers a comparable range of functions, even if it has its weak points.
I'm happy to hear you like it.
I don't think it needs a high resolution graphic display to become a good charger, I think it simply needs a good software.
Dummy mode is really silly, practically unusable, you can do almost nothing. Lots of chargers are able to use a "simple" user interface to do ten times more what MC3000 does in simple mode, using half of the buttons available on the MC3000.
The only way making sense is the advanced mode but I find it too much complicate to do standard activities (charge, discharge, refresh) and the need to use "profiles" would require 2 or 3 times profiles than those available (just 30). Alternatively, you need to modify profiles on the fly and it is very boring and requires a lot of button presses.
On the hardware side I think it is a nonsense to built an bulky charger like the MC3000 making impossible to load 4 D cells, just to save 1 cm wide.
On the app side, it would be a good way to overcome several user interface limits implemented in the firmware, but unfortunately the app is quite bugged and unstable and don't allow some basics operation like the backup/restore of the charging profiles available on the device.
Yes, you can play with a lot of parameters that I don't think you will modify in the daily use (but just in some contexts), but it lacks a well designed user interface to make it much more usable in a daily use.
About the calibration possibility: it's a good feature, although I don't think a few mV or mA error would compromise its funtionality.
As I wrote "a Ferrari car with truck wheel tires". It's a shame.
Anyway, all added features are welcome unless they are at cost of fundamental functionalities. Unfortunately this happens quite often.....
 
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sbj

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Higher graphics resolution could be used, for example, to make operation easier by showing more lines or two columns on the display. You would then not have to click through 17 lines to activate a change.

The dummy mode is bad, you're right.

The storable profiles are a relief. Standard tasks such as charging AAA-NiMh;AA-NiMh;NiZn and LiIo 18650 can be activated with a short click combination.
I use the first four memories purely temporarily for daily use by constantly overwriting them.

The large housing is necessary if you want to achieve a certain discharge capacity. This is totally underestimated by most users.
While the charger produces only 10% of the charging energy (= 1.7 watts of waste heat) when charging a LiIo battery with 2 A at approx. 90% efficiency, it is up to 8.4 watts (= 100% of the discharge energy) when discharging at 2A. This energy has to be dissipated somehow. The MC3000 can discharge up to 15 watts. Either 2 LiIons with 2A or 4 with 1A. A certain minimum size for the heat sink is essential for this. Unfortunately, the designers did not manage to optimally design the exhaust air flow.

I noticed that the app is not working well. But it's not an issue for me because I prefer to operate the chargers directly.

...but it lacks a well designed user interface to make it much more usable in a daily use.....
Yes, this is a pity.

Unfortunately, more functions make it inherently more difficult to achieve a simple operating concept. Ultimately, however, free intervention is more important to me than exchanging it for pure simple operation.

SkyRC is a manufacturer that is also represented in the RC area. Therefore, they should already have some experience. However, I would not count them among the leading manufacturers there.
Nonetheless, I'm glad they've released a four-bay charger that offers a variety of intervention options that clearly set it apart from the competition
 
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Geppo

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The dummy mode is bad, you're right.
Dummy mode should be completely redesigned, using automatically identification between NiMH-LiIon, allowing to choose, in a simple way (like other chargers) between charge/discharge/refresh and to select the charge current (maybe between 5-6 standardized values). Moreover I think should be allowed to customize all the default parameters "silently" used in dummy mode.
The large housing is necessary if you want to achieve a certain discharge capacity. This is totally underestimated by most users.
While the charger produces only 10% of the charging energy (= 1.7 watts of waste heat) when charging a LiIo battery with 2 A at approx. 90% efficiency, it is up to 8.4 watts (= 100% of the discharge energy) when discharging at 2A. This energy has to be dissipated somehow. The MC3000 can discharge up to 15 watts. Either 2 LiIons with 2A or 4 with 1A. A certain minimum size for the heat sink is essential for this. Unfortunately, the designers did not manage to optimally design the exhaust air flow.
Yes, this is exactly my thought. All the more reason I think is a nonsense to save about 1cm in wide losing the ability to charge 4 D cells.
 
puschpull

puschpull

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer


The main functionality of DEX/MC3000 is (comprehension note: manually = your hands dirty on the device):

  • DEX-logging data to external screen (you need to start slots on the charger manually!) and DEX-saving data to PC-file format (OSD, CSV, BMP/PNG). We learned from Ravel and the DEX-maker that, in the end, you don't even need a PC/laptop for long-term logging: Raspi is a 2-4Watts PCB which could do the DEX-logging instead of your remote PC/laptop.
  • DEX-backup of your manually entered 30 programs in visual PC-file format (TXT) or functional PC-file format (XML). The XML-file would be also suitable for direct sharing; just don't change the original file name, then overwrite the existing file with the shared one. The XML-file is not meant for public sharing, i am just saying that it could be used for it instead of sharing TXT-file or reposting the TXT-file contents on forums.
  • DEX-restore of backed up programs from the XML-file. The restore is fugitive since the current settings in the slot are overwritten but not in the device memory. The 30 programs in the device memory remain untouched when you do a DEX-restore, similar to the workings of the bluetooth app. For example, you could run 4 programs sourced from your fliend's XML temporarily in the charger bay, none of which matches any of the 30 programs stored on the charger; basically making your charger host 34 different programs at that moment: 30 device programs plus 4 'slot programs'. When you stop a slot or play with the device keys lol, the DEX-restored program in the slot will be gone and the slot is ready to start the indicated program number.

The above explanation of DEX functionality answers your question: No it is not possible to create a charging profile from scratch in DEX.

For building a library of profiles, a big TXT-file or summ ting, one would do the following:

  1. Create charging profiles manually on the device, up to 30 different ones at a time. Either by heart from scratch or by peeking at a small TXT-file/printout ;)
  2. Send the 30 programs to DEX for a DEX-backup. DEX automatically creates that XML-file, the file name and location are fixed!
  3. In the DEX 'MC3000-Dialog' window use the <Clipboard> button and copy paste the programs in visual format to a single TXT-file. At the end of the day your TXT-file will contain 30 programs in visual format.
  4. Go to 1., and repeat the steps. Add as many different programs to the TXT-file as you want.
  5. Now you have a big library in form of 1 single big TXT-file. Feel free to share (file upload or content copy paste) or print out.

For illustration purposes lemme repost the animated really awesome GIF demonstrating the 'MC3000-Dialog'. i am pretty proud of the file and i will never get tired of reposting it or its URL:

Dex328fw112worksdkj6v


A106liugh


lol :D

Hello kreisl.
I'm new to this thread. I have had my MC3000 charger for about 14 days. I am happy with it.
FW 1.15
HW 2.2
I have a question: while reading through this thread I came across the sw option to save settings only for sensitive programs. From charger to PC and vice versa. See quote above.
Which software is it? And where can I download it?
Thank you
Peter
 
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Geppo

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Another big issue, in my opinion, is that MC3000 is unable to correctly charge weared batteries with high internal resistance. With this batteries it always fail to detect the end of charge point also using 0dV (using C/3 - C/4 charge current) or it ends by temperature limit using higher charge current (C/2 - C). Please note that this batteries are still fully usable for a lot of cicles with minimal loss of performance in low drain devices (constant drain around a few mA).
As you can see on the report you can find at:
Eneloop Pro batteries still exibhit large capacity also at the end of its life cycle where the internal resistance rise rapidly. If you use them in low drain devices (like thermometers, clocks, ecc) they are still fully usable with negleible loss.
I still use batteries showing almost 1 Ohm and they last almost the same as the new one (3 months).
While is impossible to charge this batteries using the SkyRC MC3000, you can charge this batteries without any issue in the EverActive NC-3000 (you can charge them at C/5 or C/2 without issues).
Considering I use a lot of this low drain devices, from my point of view the charge mode used by the EverActive NC-3000 is far superior in daily use.
 
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Geppo

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Obviously this is a point of view, but for my needs I would like the MC3000 woud be an "intelligent" charger.
Are you an intelligent charger? Then, be intelligent, do your job! I have no interest in knowing exactly how you do it, I am interested you reach the goal. Fast and in the best way. This is what I define "intelligent", otherwise you are a quite stupid "handyman".
Unfortunately the MC3000 is far away from beeing what I define an "intelligent" charger......
 
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sbj

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I stopped getting upset about such terms, which only serve marketing purposes, a long time ago.

Aged batteries with increased internal resistance are usually still charged reliably to a certain extent by my cheap chargers. That's why I haven't dealt with this topic on the MC3000 yet.

Spontaneously I would perhaps set a charging current of 0.5 to 0.6C and at a - delta peak of 4mV.

If you use many of them yourself, you can try different variants with the setting values. Finally, make a note of the setting that has always worked.
 

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