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Old 04-28-2012, 01:58 AM   #1
808Hanapaa
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Hi,

I'm getting familiar with my PL6 but am a little confused on some things.
This is my setup:
(2ea) HP Power Supply 1150watt - 47amps - 24V
6S 3000mAh 30C

I set the PL6 to Preset #1.....Balance Charge @ 2C (6amps).
The beginning voltage for each cell was 3.69V

I assume at 2C it would take aprox 30-40 min. When the charging was complete, it took 1hr 10min ???

I also noticed at the start of the charging process it was at 1-2 amps. After 10 mins it increased to 3-4 amps. The charging process never hit 6 amps.....5.5 amps was the highest it went.

Thank you in advance
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808Hanapaa View Post
Hi,

I'm getting familiar with my PL6 but am a little confused on some things.
This is my setup:
(2ea) HP Power Supply 1150watt - 47amps - 24V
6S 3000mAh 30C

I set the PL6 to Preset #1.....Balance Charge @ 2C (6amps).
The beginning voltage for each cell was 3.69V

I assume at 2C it would take aprox 30-40 min. When the charging was complete, it took 1hr 10min ???

I also noticed at the start of the charging process it was at 1-2 amps. After 10 mins it increased to 3-4 amps. The charging process never hit 6 amps.....5.5 amps was the highest it went.

Thank you in advance
Hi:

Ideally, a 2C charge rate would charge a battery in 30-40 minutes. You are correct there. But the AUTO charge feature is more about convenience than it is about the most efficient charge times. It's designed for customers who do not want to think about what current they should use to charge a battery pack. It's obvious from your post that you already know the math. Therefore, I recommend you set your charge current manually to 6A. This will result in the PL ramping up right away and you will achieve your desired charge time.

Also, please recognize that AUTO modes depend on the Fuel Table saved with each preset. Sometimes the default Presets will work fine, but sometimes the default Fuel Table can be way off for a particular brand or chemistry. In your case, it's clear that the Fuel Table worked pretty well because you did achieve nearly 6A. AUTO modes are intentionally conservative to remain safe.

Basically, what I'm telling you is that what you're seeing is normal and that your expectations and your understanding of charging is well ahead of what AUTO can deliver. Set your charge rates manually. You will be a lot happier with the outcome.

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Old 04-29-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
808Hanapaa
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Thank You Tim.

Can you answer a few of my questions?

1. So to "manually" set my charge rate, I just use Preset #1 and select 6A instead of 2C?
2. Or should I create a new Preset?
3. If I create a new Preset, do I use "Library" or "Preset"?...whats the difference?
4. What benefits will I lose from the charging stand point by selecting 6A vs 2C?
e.g. when I set it to 2C it took 70mins and the amps fluctuated .....when I manually set it to 6A it took 30mins. and stayed between 5.9A and 6.5A
5. Is it better to use the Auto feature if charging time is not a issue?

Thanks again!

BTW, The PL6 ROCKS!!!!! best investment by far......what's up with the FUIM3?...seems a little ghetto with the circuit board exposed (shrink wrap in plastic??). Could have been concealed in a plastic case. JMHO
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808Hanapaa View Post
Thank You Tim.

Can you answer a few of my questions?

1. So to "manually" set my charge rate, I just use Preset #1 and select 6A instead of 2C?
2. Or should I create a new Preset?
3. If I create a new Preset, do I use "Library" or "Preset"?...whats the difference?
4. What benefits will I lose from the charging stand point by selecting 6A vs 2C?
e.g. when I set it to 2C it took 70mins and the amps fluctuated .....when I manually set it to 6A it took 30mins. and stayed between 5.9A and 6.5A
5. Is it better to use the Auto feature if charging time is not a issue?

Thanks again!

BTW, The PL6 ROCKS!!!!! best investment by far......what's up with the FUIM3?...seems a little ghetto with the circuit board exposed (shrink wrap in plastic??). Could have been concealed in a plastic case. JMHO
Hi:

Comments below yours...

1. So to "manually" set my charge rate, I just use Preset #1 and select 6A instead of 2C? Yes, you may use any existing preset and set the charge rate to 6A instead of AUTO 2C.
2. Or should I create a new Preset? There is really no need to create a custom preset unless you have a good reason. The factory presets serve 90% of the needs of customers already.
3. If I create a new Preset, do I use "Library" or "Preset"?...whats the difference? Most of the library presets are just copies of the user presets. This is so it's always possible to "get back" presets you might have cleared along the way; particularly if you don't use the PC software. In this case you don't have a Factory Restore option. There really isn't a difference between Library and User presets except you can't use a library preset until you copy it to the user bank. Library presets are therefore protected from ever being cleared. That's the idea.
4. What benefits will I lose from the charging stand point by selecting 6A vs 2C? You lose nothing.
e.g. when I set it to 2C it took 70mins and the amps fluctuated .....when I manually set it to 6A it took 30mins. and stayed between 5.9A and 6.5A It just takes AUTO charging a while to figure out where it needs to be set.
5. Is it better to use the Auto feature if charging time is not a issue? No. Setting charge rate manually is always better. AUTO is just there for convenience. Nothing else.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:53 PM   #5
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Thank You Tim
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:43 AM   #6
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Hi Tim,

More questions re: Parallel Charging.

I tried charging 2ea 3S in parallel (1800mAh and 2200mAh). The charge rate should be 4A right?

So is this what should be done?
1. Set Preset #1 (charge amps) to 2A
2. When I start charging...in the Parallel "pull down" box select 2P so total equals 4A?
3. Confirm and let PL6 do it's job


This is what I did:
1. Set Preset #1 (charge amps) to 4A
2. Set Preset #1 (parallel packs) to 2P
3. Click Start and let PL6 do it's job.

What I noticed was the Charge Amps was at 8A (2C). These packs can only be charged at 1C so I stopped it and reconfigured it to 4A (1C)

1. Is there a way to set Charge Amps regardless of how many packs in parallel? e.g. I only want 4A @ 2P rather than having to input 2A @ 2P to get 4A total.
2. Is this issue only because the "mAh" is different?
I can see if the mAh was the same then using the "pull down" box would be convenient. But with different mAh, it takes an extra step or two.
3. I assume it's ok to charge lipos of different "mAh" as long as they are of same cell count right?

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #7
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Ignore the parallel part. Select no when it asks about parallel and just charge at 4A. And yes they can be of different capacities as long as cell count is the same.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #8
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Regarding the packs in parallel setting, its a nice convenience and is not required. It does three things.

1) Automatically multiplies the preset's charge current by the packs in parallel. This way you can have one preset for one your sized packs with the current set for 1 pack. Then use the packs in parallel setting to automatically adjust based on how many packs you are charging. Also you can use the PC software to set the default for the packs in parallel. So if you regularly charge 4 packs at time, but some times charge 2 or 6, set the default to 4. It reduces the button presses to start the charge.

2) Automatically divides the mah put into the packs by the number of packs in parallel. This eliminates the math you would normally do in your head to know how much you took out the packs. This is only an average, but useful if all packs are discharge to the same state of charge.

3) Multiplies the IR values by the packs in parallel. Like the mah-in this is only an average of the all packs in parallel. Generally when checking IR, it should be done one pack at a time. But the average values can be still be useful as a guideline to indicate that you should do more investigation. Also as the large packs are now down 2 microOhms, 4 packs in parallel would be lower than could be displayed since the display resolution doesn't go down that low. But multiply that number by four and now you have a number which can be displayed.

When charging more than 9, either set it to 1, or multiple of the connected packs. For instance use 6 when charging 12 packs. Then do the math in your head.


Given the description above, the packs in parallel works best when all packs are close to the same capacity and are in similar condition and have similar C ratings. When parallel charging packs of different capacity, you can simply skip use of the packs in parallel and manually set the current. Or your case you can use 2 amps as the base current. Then increase the packs in parallel to increase the current when charging more than two packs in parallel
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone! The PL6 is an amazing charger
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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I have a question regarding my PL6
Last night it got dark before I could fly, so I hit discharge. I normally set it to storage discharge/charge.
The pl6 discharged my pack down to around 3.5 volts per cell, and took 4550 from my 5000 mah pack. This can damage my pack can't it? Why did it go all the way down to 3.5-3.6, instead of 3.75-3.8 like I do when I fly?
Anyone else use this discharge mode, or does everyone use storage mode?
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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Use the storage preset to discharge to storage level. Default for the other presets is 3.3v per cell.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:50 AM   #12
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Hi,

I parallel charged my (2ea) 6S 3000mAh about 6 cycles. I realized you need to make sure they are about the same discharged voltage in order to achieve the desired outcome.

I'm using Preset #3 at 12Amps (2C)....balanced at all times. What I'm noticing is the final voltage varies such as: 4.197 4.175 4.199 etc

Should I make it a habit of individually balance charge one Lipo at a time every 5 cycles to ensure all cells gets balanced properly?

Thanks
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808Hanapaa View Post
Hi,

I parallel charged my (2ea) 6S 3000mAh about 6 cycles. I realized you need to make sure they are about the same discharged voltage in order to achieve the desired outcome.

I'm using Preset #3 at 12Amps (2C)....balanced at all times. What I'm noticing is the final voltage varies such as: 4.197 4.175 4.199 etc

Should I make it a habit of individually balance charge one Lipo at a time every 5 cycles to ensure all cells gets balanced properly?

Thanks
Hi:

There are settings in various presets that determine how long packs balance charge. Generally, charging in CV (constant voltage) mode longer will enable individual cells to balance more accurately; it does not matter if you are charging parallel or not. The same rules apply. Preset #3 is for High Power charging. It is based on Preset #2 (Faster Charge). It allows higher charge rates, but it does not worry as much about individual cell balancing precision at end of charge. Do you have the Charge Control Software? If so, you can see the parameters that affect these operations.

In Presets tab, click Preset #3 in the left pane, then click Termination tab in the right pane.

C/? Termination - C/10 by default, C/20 will balance longer
Require Bal. Done - can be set to Yes
C.V. Timeout - can be set longer to make sure pack always balances accurately

The above parameters have been altered in a different preset. You can get High Power and Accurate balancing. It's in the Charger Library (you may have to update and initiate a Factory Restore to get it). It's called "LiPo Generic High P Accurate".

But you have to decide if packing every cell completely full is worth the extra time balancing. But when parallel charging, I think a good number of people are finding this newer preset useful.

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Old 06-11-2012, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808Hanapaa View Post
I'm using Preset #3 at 12Amps (2C)....balanced at all times. What I'm noticing is the final voltage varies such as: 4.197 4.175 4.199 etc
When parallel charging its a good practice to use a high quality calibrated cell checker on each pack before and after the charge. The check should be made before the pack is connected to the parallel board, and after its removed.

Periodically charging the packs individually can also help spot issues with the pack which might otherwise be undectected by the charger during a parallel charging.

Finally, parallel charging does not do as good of job of balancing as charing packs individually. Some would say that 0.02v variance is acceptable even for individual packs. Although my own tests show the results of individual packs to well below 0.01v.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #15
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Thanks guys!

I'll try and use the "Lipo Generic High P Accurate" setting. I copied it from the library and add it to preset #24.

Let see how it goes
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:55 PM   #16
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When charging 4 4000mah 6S via parallel charger, what's the way to use the full power? I can't get more than 10a via setting 1 thru 3? Sittiing here at the field with time to kill but you can't view the videos on an iPad.

I have 25.6v going to the PL6. Just pulled 2 batteries off so I can fly before I need to leave.....
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemetre View Post
When charging 4 4000mah 6S via parallel charger, what's the way to use the full power? I can't get more than 10a via setting 1 thru 3? Sittiing here at the field with time to kill but you can't view the videos on an iPad.

I have 25.6v going to the PL6. Just pulled 2 batteries off so I can fly before I need to leave.....
1) Be sure you have a capable supply. At least 24v, and 40 amps.
2) Make sure your current limiting setting has been increased to reflect your power supplies rating.
3) Use one of the high power preset such as preset #3
4) Manually set your charge current. Do not use the AUTO modes.
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Last edited by Gregor99; 06-15-2012 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #18
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:44 AM   #19
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Got a question..
I'm using the PL6 w/24v 46a 1000w PSU. I'm charging 7 2200's @ 30a, single pack mode..
This damn thing will not ramp up past 4a and is taking forever. I have the preset at 30a rate, power supply input correct...even charge in high power mode.
Am I missing something?
All my packs were at storage level and its still almost 2 hrs charging to full cap.

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Old 07-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by LawnDartHeli View Post
This damn thing will not ramp up past 4a and is taking forever. I have the preset at 30a rate, power supply input correct...even charge in high
There are a couple things that can cause this. First is that if the power supply limits are not correctly set. The input current limit should be around 45 amps, and input voltage should be appropriate for your power supply. My supplies have a under voltage protection and will shut off if the voltage sags too low. So I run the Powerlabs low voltage setting at 11v.

There are a few other things that will cause this. If the wiring or the connectors are not sufficient the Powerlab will start limiting. The wires from the supply should be short (less than 6 inches) and be at least 10 AWG. The connectors should be the mating EC5 and not include any adapters, splitters, or power distribution busses between the supply a the charger.

If you have the USB connection, the Powerlab software will tell you the reason the charger is limiting the output.
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