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  1. #1
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    LiPo charger - Passport Ultra or Hitec X2 Ultima?

    I'm ready to make the switch to LiPos. Finally have some hobby money set aside. Currently have an MRC Super Brain 977 dual charger and a Dynamite Vision LED charger. The MRC supposedly can do LiPos, but has no balancer. The Vision just doesn't have enough features for me anymore, even for just my NiMH packs. Just ordered (2) SPC 2s 5000 mAh 25C batteries.

    I want to buy a quality balancing LiPo charger. I know pave swears by the Dynamite Passport Ultra charger and I almost hit the order button, but the one feature I would miss is the ability of my MRC to charge two packs simultaneously. Before I hit order, I saw the Hitec X2 Ultima Dual 200W charger... capable of charging two packs independently at up to 10A each. Could use some expert advice on whether the X2 is worth the extra $ and hassle. (X2 Ultima is $15 more than the Passport Ultra without a power supply).
    • X2 Ultima is DC only, 2 channels w/ 10A each, 2 yr warranty...
    • If I buy X2 Ultima, can I use the extra 620W computer power supply I have lying around to power it? It has (2) 12VDC rails, capable of 20A and 18A each. 400W works out to just over 33A at 12VDC. Or would I have to swap for the other power supply out of my main computer, which has 60A on a single 12VDC rail? Otherwise, need a 400W minimum RC dedicated power supply... any recommendations?
    • Passport Ultra is single channel, max 8A, AC power, 5 yr warranty
    • Features the X2 Ultima has that the Passport Ultra doesn't: Lithium charging has 3 modes (Fast charge, balance charge, storage charge), 10 presets (Passport only remembers last settings), charge 2 batteries at same time, USB port to charge a cell phone, etc , usb connection to connect to computer for charge monitoring software
    • Both can cycle NiMH batteries (charge/discharge at least 5 consecutive times)
    • I plan to use mostly 2s 5000 mAh batteries... may at some point also buy as 3S 5000 mAh batt for my Slash... so 8A is plenty and 10A is overkill... but then who knows if a year from now I might decide to buy a new ESC/motor or capable of 4S - 6S...
    • For either charger, is it safe to charge at 5A (1C) while connected using a Traxxas-to-Molex adapter? Or do I need to buy/make a dedicated Traxxas connector?
    • Do I need LiPo charging bags for safety?


    Any feedback would be appreciated!
    What broke, uh, needs upgrading now?

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Funny you compare THOSE 2 chargers. I have the Passport ultra (as you know) but I use it mostly now as a travel/back up because its AC/DC. My main charger is the Protec 610 Duo which is exactly the same as the Hitec X2... just a different logo. I run it with an OFNA 30 amp PS and its a great charger. I pretty much charge all my SPC packs at 10 full amps.

    My overall opinion is this though, I wish id spent a bit more and got a slightly higher quality dual charger. The fan in mine is getting a bit rattly and the buttons are looking worn even though ive only had it for about 3 months or so. The "Rotary touch dial" thing is a joke. I use it like an up and down button. It works very well but IMO is what you paid for. As a first dual charger its a good choice, my next setup will likely be 2 Ichargers with a distribution block. More expensive but amazing.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavmentsurfer View Post
    Funny you compare THOSE 2 chargers. I have the Passport ultra (as you know) but I use it mostly now as a travel/back up because its AC/DC. My main charger is the Protec 610 Duo which is exactly the same as the Hitec X2... just a different logo. I run it with an OFNA 30 amp PS and its a great charger. I pretty much charge all my SPC packs at 10 full amps.

    My overall opinion is this though, I wish id spent a bit more and got a slightly higher quality dual charger. The fan in mine is getting a bit rattly and the buttons are looking worn even though ive only had it for about 3 months or so. The "Rotary touch dial" thing is a joke. I use it like an up and down button. It works very well but IMO is what you paid for. As a first dual charger its a good choice, my next setup will likely be 2 Ichargers with a distribution block. More expensive but amazing.
    I hadn't heard of Ichargers, but only been in the hobby 4-5 months... I think this Hitec X2 will be about the right spot for me, feature-wise... but I see that OFNA 30A power supply adds quite a bit to the total overall price...

    My 750W computer power supply would have the amps to run the dual charger (60A)... my concern would be the cables are not heavy-gauge for high amperage to a single output... Is anyone running a high-powered DC charger off a computer power supply?
    What broke, uh, needs upgrading now?

  4. #4
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    I gave it a little more thought and I think the computer power supply is just not heavy enough gauge wire.

    I did see that ProgressiveRC sells an Icharger 206B paired with a P350 25A power supply as a combo for a pretty decent price. I'll start out with just the single charger and power supply, but later when I can't live without dual charging, I'll spend another $20 buy a distribution block/parallel board for it to allow me to charge 2 batteries at 10A each or up to 5 batteries at 5A each.

    I looked a little more at the Icharger line-up and it really sounds like high quality stuff...

    Will probably order it tomorrow... then try and sell my MRC and Dynamite Vision chargers on Ebay...
    What broke, uh, needs upgrading now?

  5. #5
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    Pretty good decision. The Icharger is sold by many with a different name on them. Must be something pretty good about them, huh? You may want to take a look at the Hyperion charger(s). I think they have what you want and their quality is top-notch.
    Ever Evolving Rustler

  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Make sure buy the brand name Icharger... the ones that are "re-branded" are often rip offs... they arent real Ichargers and use inferior components.

    If you go that route and still want to charge 2 of the same pack at once you can buy a 4S to dual 2S balance splitter and a TRX series adapter and charger 2 packs at once. Its a LITTLE more complicated but can be done for about $10. With an Icharger that can charge a 4S pack at 20 amps youll have MORE than enough power to charge 2X 2S packs at once. Im buying a setup to try this and see how it goes. Then, when i get 2X I chargers ill be able to charge 4 packs at once... sweet.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavmentsurfer View Post
    Make sure buy the brand name Icharger... the ones that are "re-branded" are often rip offs... they arent real Ichargers and use inferior components.

    If you go that route and still want to charge 2 of the same pack at once you can buy a 4S to dual 2S balance splitter and a TRX series adapter and charger 2 packs at once. Its a LITTLE more complicated but can be done for about $10. With an Icharger that can charge a 4S pack at 20 amps youll have MORE than enough power to charge 2X 2S packs at once. Im buying a setup to try this and see how it goes. Then, when i get 2X I chargers ill be able to charge 4 packs at once... sweet.
    I pulled the trigger and ordered the Icharger 206B combo with the 350W 25A power supply from ProgressiveRC.com. Called and talked to the seller, David, and he walked me thru their online charging and power supply calculators. I will be able to charge up to four 2S 5000mAh 25C batteries simultaneously at 5A or 1C each. They don't sell a balance board with Traxxas outputs yet, but he helped me find an alternate solution using a 6-way 2S parallel balancing cable and a 6-way Traxxas parallel charging cable that works about the same price as the dedicated parallel board. The only limitation is the balancing cable is 2S only... if I decide later to get into 3S batteries, I'll have to spring for another $8 6-way balancing cable... not too big a deal.

    I can't wait until my SPC batteries and icharger arrive and I can upgrade to LiPo on 2 of my 3 trucks! The Pede has the older XL-5 ESC w/o LVC... that'll show me to read Ebay postings more carefully! Still, bought an LVC alarm for $4, we'll see if I can figure it out and run LiPo on all 3 trucks!
    What broke, uh, needs upgrading now?

  8. #8
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    I just bought the Revoelectrix FMA 10XP and I love it. I made a power supply from a Dell server 700w PSU NPS-700AB. These can be hooked in series to make 24 volt PSU but you have to insulate the downstream unit.

    If you search for rc power supply from dell psu the first link that pops up is from murraystate and is the correct link.
    Last edited by j35u5fr34k; 09-25-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlorinTharkun View Post
    I pulled the trigger and ordered the Icharger 206B combo with the 350W 25A power supply from ProgressiveRC.com. Called and talked to the seller, David, and he walked me thru their online charging and power supply calculators. I will be able to charge up to four 2S 5000mAh 25C batteries simultaneously at 5A or 1C each. They don't sell a balance board with Traxxas outputs yet, but he helped me find an alternate solution using a 6-way 2S parallel balancing cable and a 6-way Traxxas parallel charging cable that works about the same price as the dedicated parallel board. The only limitation is the balancing cable is 2S only... if I decide later to get into 3S batteries, I'll have to spring for another $8 6-way balancing cable... not too big a deal.

    I can't wait until my SPC batteries and icharger arrive and I can upgrade to LiPo on 2 of my 3 trucks! The Pede has the older XL-5 ESC w/o LVC... that'll show me to read Ebay postings more carefully! Still, bought an LVC alarm for $4, we'll see if I can figure it out and run LiPo on all 3 trucks!
    Would you please PM me a link as to where you purchased these items. I really need to talk to David.
    Ever Evolving Rustler

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