Field Charger Suggestions - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 10-19-2005, 05:33 PM   #1
Friesen 5
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Field Charger Suggestions

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I'm looking for opinions and suggestions for a field charger. I would like it to charge the nicad tx and nimh rx batteries at the field, and to charge the nicad batteries of my park flyer electric planes. I'm also considering Lithium type batteries in the future for my park flyers.

What has worked well for you? What do you suggest?

Mervin Friesen
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:27 PM   #2
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Mervin.... I use the Hobbico Field Charger can charge two batteries at once, a trans and a receiver, or a trans and a glow driver...reciever pack and a park flyer ithium-ion...endless options....and it can do Ni-cad, NI-MH and Lithium Ion.... not sure if it does Lithium Polymer.......
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:28 PM   #3
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Hobbico accu-cycle elite. Does all the types any modeler will want. Plus it does 2 batterys unlike the others.
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:01 PM   #4
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I got the accucycle elite. For my needs it does it all plus more. I think I paid about 240 at my LHS, and it was by far the best "tool" I've bought so far. It cycles, charges, discharges, doe NiCad, NiMh, LiPo, and LiIon as well. It came with a 120-12v converter, and these nifty banana plug to clip adapters (I use them alot!) to clip onto any 12 volt power source. It' sabout the size of a power panel, so it doesn't take up a bunch of room. The only limitation I see is it's maxed out at 10 cells. I don't need that as of yet, but I may end up doing a big electric plane, and it may then be inadequate. Until then, I'd get one again.

It's a bit of a chore to figure out, but once you have your battery memories set up, it's a snap to use.

Good Luck
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:56 PM   #5
Claude Paradis
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I use the Hobbico field charger MKII at the field and for general use. I have also used it to charge Li-Po. It slightly under charges Li-Po because it is setup for Li-Ion. The specifics of that is it charges to 3.6v (Li-Ion) per cell instead of 3.7v per cell (Li-Po). Worked great for my purposes anyways. It is rated for up to 8 cells, but I have successfully topped off 10 cell packs with it. It will not go beyond 10 cells.

At home in the workshop I use the Elite for conditioning, cycling, and testing my packs. One fine piece of electronics! It it rated to 10 cells, but I have successfully charged and cycled up to 12 cell (14.4v) packs. It will not go beyond 12 though.

For general purpose use from a single glow driver through to up to 24 cells I also have the Hitec CG335. this is a brute of a charger that serves triple duty topping off the planes and radios in the garage, charging RC truck power packs, as well as all of my cordless tools around the garage. I have converted all of my cordless charger receptacles to banana plugs so I can do this. The CG335 will charge on all three ports at the same time. It doesn't do Li-xx though.

This is the setup(s) I have arrived at after much research as well as buying and reselling a number of different chargers (makes and models). I have settled on these because of ease of use, economics, the fact that each unit has two independent chargers in each. Count them, I have 7 chargers and 2 advanced cyclers in 3 devices.

Mervin, I recommend you start with the Field Charger MKII - unless you want to start cycling your packs to see what you have then you can either still go with the MKII and pick up a used accucycle pro for a good price or just spring for the Elite up front.
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I should have mentioned that I have the initial Accu Cycle at home, which I use to cycle and slow charge my transmitter and receiver batteries. It's slow, requiring about 18 hours to discharge and then recharge my batteries. However, the cycling portion allows me to be aware of the condition of my batteries and I go to the field with confidence that my batteries will not be a cause of problems.

I did have a Hobbico Quick Field Charger, but not the Mark II. It was used mostly by fellow club members whose batteries were low at the field. I want to replace it and hence my question to this board. It seems like the Mark II gets a strong recommendation. Another option would be to sell my current Accu Cycle and buy the Elite, which would cover all my requirements.

To others who might be reading this series of posts, I strongly recommend the use of a cycler for your batteries.

Mervin Friesen
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:06 PM   #7
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The Hobbico MkII , field charger,is by far more than satisfactory for the money. I recharge my 9 volt nimh, 1.2 v glow plug, and every thing in between. It has a great fail safe so you can't hook up backwards.

Only fault is if your slave/source battery gets under about 11.75 volts it will not shut off automatically and you will fry the cells you are charging. Happened to me once, so I always monitor my source and keep it above 12volts.
John Kovats

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I don't have the answers, but I have a personal relationship with the Guy that does.
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:15 PM   #8
Friesen 5
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Thanks for the heads up on the voltage of the master battery. Measure the voltage and ensure it is 12 volts or better before charging.

I just measured the voltage from my converted computer power supply. It reads 11.93 volts. Do you think it is sufficient for the Mark II? It did work with my earlier version Hobbico Quick Field Charger.

Mervin Friesen
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:53 PM   #9
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Hi JKovats,

Good point about the supply voltage. I personally adjust all my power supplies to just over 13 volts as an input to my Hobbico Field Charger MKII and I have never had a problem.

I had figured that a car puts out just over 13 volts when running - and LiPo's need to charge over 12 volts, so the input voltage has to be more than 12 volts.

This may explain why I've never had a problem charging with my MKII and others have.


Wayne Miller
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:57 PM   #10
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I use my Hobbico MK II all the time with 2 computer power supplies that measure in the neighbourhood of 11.6-11.8 volts and all my NIMH and NICD packs are still fine. I also use it on the way to the field hooked to the vehicle which some have warned not to because of high voltage but it still works fine, after 2 years.
I love it for basic radio pack work and also used it for AA charging for a digital camera and for a computer mouse.
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