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  1. #1
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    Best lipo batteries and chargers on a budget?

    Hey guys,

    I'm totally new to this hobby and have been inendited over the vast amounts of information about stampede. I decided to take the risk and pick one up yesterday and I must say it's a great little truck! I'm however a little be overwhelmed with the lipo battaries and chargers. Can anyone suggest some good low budget lipos that will fit the stampede 4x4 vxl that will get my truck up to speed?

    Also I live in Canada so if anyone could suggest some good on-line dealers that don't cut your arms off with shipping costs that would be awesome also.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    It's hard to beat all the capabilities of the Traxxas EZ Peak Plus charger for $80. I have Traxxas 4000Mah Lipo's in 2S and3S, and I'm very pleased with all of this stuff.

  3. #3
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    Traxxas Lipo batteries underpreform for their price. The best batteries that I have bought on a tight budget are these and the charger I use to charge these batteries is the Thunder AC6 Charger found here: http://www.nitrorcx.com/thac6smlibac.html but it is better to put an extra $5 and get the Thunder AC680 found here: http://www.nitrorcx.com/73p-ac680-accharger.html. It has GREAT charging times, and has the intelligent screen, can charge any kind of battery you want (Lipo, LiFE, NIMH, and even more!) and it is a great price. The AC680 is really new, and it's better than the AC6. It has the fan which keeps it cool, charges at up to 10 amps which is much faster than the AC6, and the whole setup will cost you about $50 for the charger (cheaper and Better than the $80 traxxas ones) and the batteries are $30 each so you can get 2 Sky Lipo's for the price of one Traxxas Lipo. 5000mah will also run a lot longer than the 4000mah traxxas ones and are able to charge faster because of their great capabilities. They are also 40c so you will get almost twice as much power compared to the 25c Traxxas ones. NitroRCX.com shipped all of this stuff to me for $20 but I got rushed shipping. It would probably be around $10 to $15 to ship normal UPS delivery, I also live in Canada. They are great bang for your buck, great batteries, terrific runtime, awesome charger (WAAAYYY more capabilities than the normal Traxxas one

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input much appreciated

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    +1 on what vladsly said.

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    Ok doing more research there's something about a battery expansion kit for the pede? I also noticed those batterys have a different connector I'm assuming I will have to change them? Or are there similar battery's with traxxas connectors?

    Sorry for all the questions I just have literaly no hobby shops within 40 mins of me so getting info is very difficult.

  7. #7
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    You can just solder traxxas connectors on them, if not check out spc lipo, they have lowered the shipping and brokerage fees.

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    +1 on the SPC lipo. the 5000 2s 30c lipo drops in to the Pede as is.( No battery mod needed) I also use the traxxas 6amp ez plus charger. It works great and easy to use. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Crew33; 02-03-2013 at 12:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    Is there anywhere where I can get those battery's with the traxxas connectors? I don't have a saudering gun and would prefer not to have to buy one just for this

  10. #10
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    You can get traxxas connectors preinstalled on SPC batteries.

  11. #11
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    Ok thank you. Are there any Canadian friendly sites for shipping that charger? (thunder ac680) 40 bucks for shipping alone jeesh
    Last edited by Draegast; 02-03-2013 at 05:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    Last place you want to skimp on in this hobby is your charging system. Check out hyperion chargers. Much better than the ac6 and 680. Those thunder and accucell chargers have had a bit of qc issues over the years. Mine had a balance circuit that after 2 years decided to overcharge cell 1 on all of my packs and it ruined 130$ in batteries. If you do buy one of these cheap chargers, get a hyperion BATTERY CHECKER . It will always give you an accurate picture of exactly what condition your packs are in, and can let you know if you charger is really accurate. A few people endorse these chargers as the best thing since sliced bread without checking the balance circuit with at least a volt meter. Be safe not sorry.
    Spc packs are very good, with a great owner that actually works there, and is very helpful should you have any questions at all...
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vladsly View Post
    Traxxas Lipo batteries underpreform for their price. The best batteries that I have bought on a tight budget are these and the charger I use to charge these batteries is the Thunder AC6 Charger found here: http://www.nitrorcx.com/thac6smlibac.html but it is better to put an extra $5 and get the Thunder AC680 found here: http://www.nitrorcx.com/73p-ac680-accharger.html. It has GREAT charging times, and has the intelligent screen, can charge any kind of battery you want (Lipo, LiFE, NIMH, and even more!) and it is a great price. The AC680 is really new, and it's better than the AC6. It has the fan which keeps it cool, charges at up to 10 amps which is much faster than the AC6, and the whole setup will cost you about $50 for the charger (cheaper and Better than the $80 traxxas ones) and the batteries are $30 each so you can get 2 Sky Lipo's for the price of one Traxxas Lipo. 5000mah will also run a lot longer than the 4000mah traxxas ones and are able to charge faster because of their great capabilities. They are also 40c so you will get almost twice as much power compared to the 25c Traxxas ones. NitroRCX.com shipped all of this stuff to me for $20 but I got rushed shipping. It would probably be around $10 to $15 to ship normal UPS delivery, I also live in Canada. They are great bang for your buck, great batteries, terrific runtime, awesome charger (WAAAYYY more capabilities than the normal Traxxas one
    I don't think I can agree with much in the quoted post. The chargers are cheap, but are way underpowered, and worse - unreliable. You want battery cookers - there they are. The batteries that you list cannot come close to living up to their C-rating while the Traxxas versions are under-rated if anything. Whether you want to pay the extra for a warranty, world-class customer service, etc., is a deeply personal choice. I don't see a reason to go with the absolute bottom of the bargain bin in RC purchases. I see the recommendations above to be just that.
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  14. #14
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    Ksb51rl, you are misinformed as the ac680 is actually properly powered for 2-4S. Hobbypartz posted graphs for some of their batteries. Can you get those for other manufacturers? If not then we don't know who's C rating is accurate.

    Rag6, I understand you had an issue with your charger, but Chinese Hyperion chargers are prone to the same failures that any charger is. Hyperion's two 50W chargers claim 6A charging which is impossible except for 2S. You should be just as concerned recommending their chargers as you are other Chinese chargers. Underpowered chargers running at their limits could cause serious failures.
    Last edited by Slaughter33; 02-03-2013 at 11:16 PM.

  15. #15
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    An 80W charger is fine for some things, like batteries for the minis. (I see you've ignored the "unreliable" claim.)
    Almost all LiPo batteries can be charged safely at 2C. LiPo batteries are only increasing in size and charge rate.
    Even if 6A wasn't the maximum charge rate:
    An 80W charger can't do a 4S charge @ 4.8A.
    An 80W charger can't do a 3S charge @ 6.4A. (AC680 is limited to 6A.)
    An 80W charger can't do one of my own 2S 8200 packs @ more than 1.16C. (AC680 is limited to 0.73C due to its 6A limit.) Now what if I want to do two packs?
    My own charges typically run over 200A. This is not when I'm in a hurry - this is normal for me.

    The AC680 is 60 per watt.
    I paid 17.5 per watt for my charger. Add the PS and it is about 20 per watt.
    For that price I also have purchased the peace of mind that accompanies a world-class machine that is finely calibrated and which has excellent QA/QC, not to mention the huge number of options available in its on-board software, awareness of exactly what is happening at any second with my battery charge, possibly the best PC-controlled charge software...I could go on, but no need to make this an advertisement.

    So as one who is well-informed, please specify the factory calibration of the AC680.
    I.e. the voltages displayed are accurate (not just displayed) to how many mV?

    @ Hyperion chargers: I'm sure we could all pick a model from any line that we would not recommend. A difference between the chargers rag6 and I recommend and the ones we would not is that our recommendations seem to have more quality control than simply checking if the machine fits in the shipping box. It seems you want to focus on a specific example you feel proves your point. You may as well claim that an albino zebra is proof the whole breed is white.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 02-04-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Okay, I see the issue and I hope you agree, we all have different charging needs, but we never explain when recommending chargers. So you are recommending a more expensive charger to those who may not need it and I might be recommending a cheaper charger to someone who needs more. If money is no object then sure, spend the money I suppose. Though cost is not indicative of quality.

    I am curious how you know your charger is "world class", "finely calibrated", and "has excellent QA/QC", yet in your last paragraph you state, "seem to have more quality control"? How do you know it stays calibrated? Is the failure rate 0% for your charger of choice? How do you know your voltage is accurate? You trust the manufacturer I would assume. I trust Thunder, you trust Traxxas, Rag6 trusts Hyperion.

    I only charge at 1C and have 5000mah or less batteries. I do this to minimize heat and prolong battery life and capacity. You can read any science journal on LiPo and you will find the higher C charging rarely saves time and the expense of battery cycles, capacity and runtime. Is it enough to worry about, probably not, but I enjoy 30min runtime out of light weight 5000mah batteries.

    BTW, the AC680 is software controlled as well, but the number are probably all wrong

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaughter33 View Post
    ... I only charge at 1C and have 5000mah or less batteries. I do this to minimize heat and prolong battery life and capacity. You can read any science journal on LiPo and you will find the higher C charging rarely saves time and the expense of battery cycles, capacity and runtime. Is it enough to worry about, probably not, but I enjoy 30min runtime out of light weight 5000mah batteries.
    Believe it or not, higher charge rates do cut charge times significantly, certainly not a linear relationship, but significant none the less.

    If a RC LiPo pack is designed to be charged at 2C, then it can be done with no damage to the pack, including loss of runtime or loss of cycle life. For long term testing purposes I have been charging all of my personal packs at 5C for over 1-1/2 years and a couple of those packs now have over 200 cycles on them. The FMA PL8 I use monitors the pack cells very accurately and yes, I have verified the charger calibration wrt individual cell voltages. I credit much of the success of my high rate charge testing to the accuracy of the PL8. Further, I have performed digitally controlled discharge tests to compare the mAh output between packs charged at 1C versus charged at 2C and I have yet to find any difference worth noting.

    For safety reasons, I do not recommend charge rates higher than what is listed by the manufacturer or vendor of the packs you own.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaughter33 View Post
    Okay, I see the issue and I hope you agree, we all have different charging needs, but we never explain when recommending chargers. So you are recommending a more expensive charger to those who may not need it and I might be recommending a cheaper charger to someone who needs more. If money is no object then sure, spend the money I suppose. Though cost is not indicative of quality. No, but it is usually a good indication of its lack. Really, how do you think the AC's can sell for so cheap? Volume?

    I am curious how you know your charger is "world class", "finely calibrated", and "has excellent QA/QC", yet in your last paragraph you state, "seem to have more quality control"? How do you know it stays calibrated? Is the failure rate 0% for your charger of choice? How do you know your voltage is accurate? You trust the manufacturer I would assume. I trust Thunder, you trust Traxxas, Rag6 trusts Hyperion. I never said anything about Traxxas charger. Yes I do trust the manufacturer - they actually list values for their calibration - another topic you've chosen to ignore.

    I only charge at 1C and have 5000mah or less batteries. I do this to minimize heat and prolong battery life and capacity. You can read any science journal on LiPo and you will find the higher C charging rarely saves time 2C charging is roughly 1.7 times as fast as 1C charging, right? How is this not a time savings? and the expense of battery cycles, capacity and runtime. Is it enough to worry about, probably not, but I enjoy 30min runtime out of light weight 5000mah batteries. Do you know if your batteries would be better off with a more accurate, better controlled charger? I do.

    BTW, the AC680 is software controlled as well, but the number are probably all wrong I'm glad you wrote it.
    Software is great, but if the information it is getting is not reliable, then it's all just a pretty picture.
    There is certainly a place for less expensive chargers, but not a place for less expensive, unreliable chargers. At least, not in my world.
    Consider trying something of better quality so you have a more complete frame of reference.
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  19. #19
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    +1 on SPC and I have heard good things about ThunderPower, Traxxas Peak Plus, and HiTec. I personally have SPC and and Venom. Venom sucks in my opinion due to the crappy connector. SPC is awesome!! I also have an Onyx 245 charger and wish I wouldn't have wasted my money. It's an ok charger, but does not have storage or discharge functionality. Dude, don't go cheap on a charger or batteries. Well charged batteries are what will make or ruin your day.
    Bash'em, then Bash'em, then Bash'em some more!!

  20. #20
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    Chinese make all the chargers, unless there is a US company I don't know about. So mark up is for the name in a lot of cases. This applies to many things, not just chargers.

    I didn't ignore the calibration values. We both know Thunder doesn't provide that. Again, just because it passed a test at the factory doesn't mean it remains calibrated. If something is calibrated, it usually needs to be re-calibrated. Resistors, capacitors and diodes all deteriorate or fail at some point.

    2C charging is not necessarily 1.7 times faster. Only stage 1 of charging is faster. Stage 2 actually takes longer at higher C rates, so there is no exact speed increase/decrease. Balancing, whether in stage 1 or stage 2, will affect charge times as well. Any gains in faster charging are negated IMO by the loss of runtime. Battery life is shortened as well, but the loss of a couple hundred cycles is hardly an issue though.

    Please educate me on how my batteries would be better off? Still not sure why you think Thunder chargers are not accurate or better controlled. You have no proof of this, as I have no proof, so it's a moot point. Next you will tell me brand X batteries are better than brand Z with no graphs.

    Brian, no one knows who makes good batteries and who doesn't since no one provides graphs, except HobbyPartz. Same applies to chargers. Did you know Ikea has some of the best AA batteries? Price would tell you they are junk, but they're not. You bought a very limited $120 charger. The name and price tell you it should be good, but unfortunately, that is what Duratrax was hoping for. Sony has been putting out junk electronics for 15+ years and selling them on their name, despite their high prices.
    Last edited by Slaughter33; 02-04-2013 at 11:18 PM.

  21. #21
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    And next you'll tell me that graphs you see posted are the be-all and end all.
    I give up. You win. A precision piece of machinery that has been calibrated to the nth degree and may not be quite perfectly calibrated as the day it left the test lab is not as good as one that has not been and never can be decently calibrated. Yup, that sounds reasonable.
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  22. #22
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    Actually we both win. Your charger charges your batteries and my charger charges my batteries. You're happy with yours and I am happy with mine.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaughter33 View Post
    Actually we both win. Your charger charges your batteries and my charger charges my batteries. You're happy with yours and I am happy with mine.
    And with all sincerity, I wish you the best with yours.
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  24. #24
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    Wanted to add...

    If anyone wants to check the accuracy of their charger, it is very easy with a quality volt meter. I would recommend it often if you own one of these "budget" chargers. I just want everyone to have a safe enjoyable time with this hobby.
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  25. #25
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    best budget battery that performs really well and cheap are these http://www.valuehobby.com/power-syst...-lipo-old.html cheaper than the rest and could get two for 10,000mah u could say, and just for around $40

  26. #26
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    ^^^^ think the point was missed...
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  27. #27
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    I got 3 lipos from valuehobby, 5000mah 50c 2s gforce lipo for under $30 each! Thunder ac6 charger is awesome. $45.

  28. #28
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    just wanted to add see Jang do a review on gforce lipos on youtube.

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    RE: Cheap Charger and Lipo's..

    The Hitec X4 is an awesome charger for a decent price..If you cann afford it.. But if your like me and the wife has the a strict budget on the hobby stuff... price is important.. I ended up going with the Hitec X1 ac/dc charger... Traxxas actually took this charger and rebranded it as #2922 Check out the links and compare for yourself..

    Traxxas EZ-Peak™ Plus LiPo-Compatible Balance Charger

    There is actually a new version now comparted to mine.. its $5 dollars more and it steps up from 50w to 80w

    X1 MF 80-Watt AC/DC Charger

    Original X1 MultiFunction Charger

    Dont be fooled folks.. the Hitec Charger is identical and about $40-50 bucks cheaper... I guess it depends where you buy it. It chagers pretty much any kind of battery.. The nice thing about this charger it is the fact you can connect it to you car's battery and charge you batteries in the field. it allows you to charge at up to 6 amps...

    Last edited by ksb51rl; 08-02-2013 at 10:24 PM. Reason: content

  30. #30
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    Has anyone mentioned Superior Matching Concepts (SMC) batteries yet? Good quality, great price, good C rating!

  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    I hear a lot of good things about smc, but spc has just plain hit the ball out of the park every time up to bat for me, so I wont be trying them out anytime soon.

    As far as chargers, I want value, room to grow. 6 amps just does not cut it when you have many trucks. My hyperion 720i is a high quality mid level 20A charger for around 140$ shipped. I know that seems like a big hunk of change, but can outpace any of my charge demands now, and will be able to keep up with 1/5 scale charging demands if I ever get into large scale stuff. It won big squids charger shootout also. This is the last charger I will ever buy(at least for the next 5+ years).

    If you have a 200$ budget, I would strongly suggest an spc 6500/65c and hyperion 720i.
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  32. #32
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    Best lipo batteries and chargers on a budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by T4KT1KZ View Post
    The Hitec X4 is an awesome charger for a decent price..If you cann afford it.. But if your like me and the wife has the a strict budget on the hobby stuff... price is important.. I ended up going with the Hitec X1 ac/dc charger... Traxxas actually took this charger and rebranded it as #2922 Check out the links and compare for yourself. Plausible explanation, but still dead wrong.

    Traxxas EZ-Peak™ Plus LiPo-Compatible Balance Charger

    There is actually a new version now comparted to mine.. its $5 dollars more and it steps up from 50w to 80w

    X1 MF 80-Watt AC/DC Charger

    Original X1 MultiFunction Charger

    Dont be fooled folks.. the Hitec Charger is identical and about $40-50 bucks cheaper... Interesting how you list the Traxaas product's LIST price and the Hitec's Amazon.com price. that's playing way too fast and loose for me. Per your own link to Amazon, the difference is actually $5.53 I guess it depends where you buy it. ...or how you choose to report it. It chagers pretty much any kind of battery.. The nice thing about this charger it is the fact you can connect it to you car's battery and charge you batteries in the field. it allows you to charge at up to 6 amps...
    Quote Originally Posted by rag6 View Post
    I hear a lot of good things about smc, but spc has just plain hit the ball out of the park every time up to bat for me, so I wont be trying them out anytime soon.

    As far as chargers, I want value, room to grow. 6 amps just does not cut it when you have many trucks. My hyperion 720i is a high quality mid level 20A charger for around 140$ shipped. I know that seems like a big hunk of change, but can outpace any of my charge demands now, and will be able to keep up with 1/5 scale charging demands if I ever get into large scale stuff. It won big squids charger shootout also. This is the last charger I will ever buy(at least for the next 5+ years).

    If you have a 200$ budget, I would strongly suggest an spc 6500/65c and hyperion 720i.
    And speaking of Hyperion chargers... if one needs an AC/DC model, the EOS720I NET 3 AC/DC is available for $130 shipped. It is a 90W (AC) / 150W (DC) charger with a maximum output of 20A. However, if you go DC-only, I think the 30A, 550W EOS 730I NET3 for $99 shipped!!! is an amazing deal and very hard to recommend against.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 08-05-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Ksb, does the dc version offer any advantages over the ac/dc version? 99 bucks is killer if you have a decent power supply. Pushing, I got almost 13a off of my ac/dc versions wall plug. I think the 90w claim is underrated on ac. On dc, I got a 3c charge rate of 16+ amps for a 2s 5400. 150w seems low...
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rag6 View Post
    ... Pushing, I got almost 13a off of my ac/dc versions wall plug. I think the 90w claim is underrated on ac. On dc, I got a 3c charge rate of 16+ amps for a 2s 5400. 150w seems low...
    I experienced similar numbers and results with my Hyperion 720i AC/DC when pushing it to the max on AC and DC charges. Regardless it is still one of the chargers I recommend the most often.

  35. #35
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    Best lipo batteries and chargers on a budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by rag6 View Post
    Ksb, does the dc version offer any advantages over the ac/dc version? 99 bucks is killer if you have a decent power supply. Pushing, I got almost 13a off of my ac/dc versions wall plug. I think the 90w claim is underrated on ac. On dc, I got a 3c charge rate of 16+ amps for a 2s 5400. 150w seems low...
    Well, actually I just corrected my post to show that the newer DC version I mentioned is a 30-Amp model, so there's an extra 10 Amps of charge rate, not to mention the additional 400-Watts of power. Given the easy availability of inexpensive power supplies, the DC model could fit one's needs better. However, some prefer an all-in-one unit. I usually find too many compromises with such devices. I normally exceed 20 Amps on my charges, and frequently exceed 30 Amps, so I know what my preference would be.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 08-03-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksb51rl View Post
    Well, actually I just corrected my post to show that the new DC version I mentioned is a 30-Amp model, so there's an extra 10 Amps of charge rate.
    I may have to start changing my charger recommendations.

  37. #37
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    My charger has a max of 4 amps and after reading this thread looks like a new one has to go to the top of my list of things I need.thanks guys this thread has helped me tons.......peace
    Famous last words...watch this!!!!

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    Most defintely, I charge a pair of 2s lipos from storage to full, in 34minutes charged at 1C. This is actual time, not theoretical time. I could even add a four more batteries to this and still be done in about the same time. 6 Lipos in about 30 minutes at 1C, from storage to full, theoretically.
    These chargers open up a whole new world of fun.
    Problems.The manual's good starting point. Simple

  39. #39
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    Isn't impossible to charge @1c faster than 60 min? Are you sure it isn't 2c? @2c I get 35 min on any battery I try, and about 65 min @1c?
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  40. #40
    RC Champion
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    u.k.
    Posts
    1,766
    No, I only charge 1C.
    Problems.The manual's good starting point. Simple

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