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Old 12-10-2012, 08:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New PL8 owner... and I don't know what to do!

Christmas came early to my house this year and my wife gave me a PowerLab 8 v2!!
So, now that I have the charger I am completely lost as to what I need. I have two Dell 6650's and the charger. I think I can handle getting the power supplies wired in series and power the charger... where I am lost is: what the heck do I need to parallel charge my 6s packs? I use EC5 with jst-xh.

Can I use an EC5 squid along with a JST-xh squid? Or do I need a paraboard?
I will not be charging more than 6 packs at a time for quite a while.
Do I have to get revolectrix specific paraboard or squids?

I am confused and don't want to do anything wrong! Thanks in advance!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I will take some pictures of what I did and post tomorrow for you (squids/JST XH), I have the exact same set-up. If you have any questions at all about the 6650s PM me.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The bare wire MPA will take care of parallel charging without any addtional boards or adapters. All you need is the Powerlab interconnect cable that goes between the MPA and the charger.

Squids can work and provide more flexibility for packs with very short balance leads. Squids commonly come with a JST-XH connector to plug into the charger. What I have done is swap out the JST-XH for an FMA pigtail. If prefer something more plug and play I would use the SPA You can plug the squid directly into the SPA as well as use the SPA seperately to charge any single pack up to 8s.

The major concern about squids is the lack of fuses. Many are quick to dismiss the safety concerns. However there's no disputing this documented list of incidents.

Also be sure to set the wiring mode to JST-XH and set the input current limit to match your supply.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pctomlin View Post
I will take some pictures of what I did and post tomorrow for you (squids/JST XH), I have the exact same set-up. If you have any questions at all about the 6650s PM me.
Outstanding! Thank you...

I'm pretty sure I have a link to your thread about the 6650's saved as a shortcut on my phone lol.
The pictures look good enough that I HOPE I don't have to bother anyone about the wiring part, but if I do I'll take you up on your offer. Looking forward to pics... I gotta see something to learn most of the time. Can't wait to get this thing up and running!
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine came with a little board to go between the FMA charger connector to JST-XH squid... so I cut off the end of both and re-soldered so my JST-XH squid now can plus straight into the charger. Under the green tape is my solder. See here? A little small..

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Old 12-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The bare wire MPA will take care of parallel charging without any addtional boards or adapters. All you need is the Powerlab interconnect cable that goes between the MPA and the charger.

I know this sounds silly, but I've got so much money pouring into this hobby right now I really don't want to drop $60 on a board.

Squids can work and provide more flexibility for packs with very short balance leads. Squids commonly come with a JST-XH connector to plug into the charger. What I have done is swap out the JST-XH for an FMA pigtail. If prefer something more plug and play I would use the SPA You can plug the squid directly into the SPA as well as use the SPA seperately to charge any single pack up to 8s.

I don't really HAVE to have pnp... most of the time I need something to do anyway. At least, that's what my wife says. That being said, I do like the idea of this SPA. That was actually one of my big questions but didn't really think to ask it. So the SPA plugs into the balance port on the charger and the balance squid to the SPA. I have that right?

The major concern about squids is the lack of fuses. Many are quick to dismiss the safety concerns. However there's no disputing this documented list of incidents.

I do worry about things like that. Not as much as I should because it doens't keep me from doing things like considering using a squid. Can't I mod the squid to have fuses? What size fuse would I need? 40A?

Also be sure to set the wiring mode to JST-XH and set the input current limit to match your supply.
I'm going to fry this thing... I just know it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyster View Post
Mine came with a little board to go between the FMA charger connector to JST-XH squid... so I cut off the end of both and re-soldered so my JST-XH squid now can plus straight into the charger. Under the green tape is my solder. See here? A little small..
Dude... why the hell didn't I think of that?? Ha. You just saved me time and money!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you are mindful and things, you can safely charge with squids. I've done it 1000+ cycles in 2 years now. Don't break in packs in parallel. Know the pack voltages. Plug them in carefully. And as a failsafe safety measure charge on a fireproof surface and not in a truck like I show in that photo.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That brings up a good point, Slyster. With a squid and packs that are close in voltage, will they "even" each other out through the leads?
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes.. if you haven't read this.. excellent resource

http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-...allel-charging
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
So the SPA plugs into the balance port on the charger and the balance squid to the SPA. I have that right?
Correct


Quote:
. Can't I mod the squid to have fuses? What size fuse would I need? 40A?


The MPA uses self resetting poly fuses with a heat sensitive coating that changes color when tripped. Some have added these themselves but without the color change. I don't have a link. Adding automotive fuses would be kind of bulky and awkward as you need 7 for each 6s branch. On a typical 6s squid that would 42 fuses.

For main charge leads its easier. Two per branch, 40 amps each.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Okay, here's what I did to keep my squids compatible with my Icharger 306B.
  • I took the board that came with my PL8 (useless to me) and used the JST PA connector.
  • Cut the female end of a JST XH extension off to donate to my adapter.
  • Soldered the JST PA connector to the JST XH connector to make an adapter for the PL8 to JST XH balance squid. Used the FMA wiring convention for the adapter with two wires removed for 6S service.




  • Purchased the battery plugs with fuses to make a battery adapter.
  • Purchased a banana plug extension as a donor for the female banana plugs.
  • Put an EC3 connector on the end of the FMA plug wires and the other half to the female banana plug connection.


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Old 12-12-2012, 07:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wish revolectrix would come out with an mpa board with EC5's mounted directly to the board like they did with the deans one. I would buy the bare wire one but I hate soldering and don't want to do solder six EC5's on.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I wish revolectrix would come out with an mpa board with EC5's mounted directly to the board like they did with the deans one. I would buy the bare wire one but I hate soldering and don't want to do solder six EC5's on.
Hi:

That sounds great, but to my knowledge there is no such thing as a PCB mountable EC5 connector. If you know of one, send me a link.

But thanks for the feedback anyway!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies, guys. I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hi:

That sounds great, but to my knowledge there is no such thing as a PCB mountable EC5 connector. If you know of one, send me a link.

But thanks for the feedback anyway!
Hello,

Could you mount them the same way these are mounted?

http://epbuddy.com/index.php?main_pa...roducts_id=343
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well I got the power supplies all wired up and working!! Can't believe it. Never would have happened with out the help from you guys!!

Now... when I plugged the charger in, it came on. I tried to charge a 6s pack and it said Bad Cell Count Node Wiring FMA.

What the heck does that mean? I know I could search, but I'm tired guys...

Do I need a specific type of connector to the charger? I just used my EC5 to banana... plugged the banana connectors right into the charger... wrong?
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananaslug View Post
Well I got the power supplies all wired up and working!! Can't believe it. Never would have happened with out the help from you guys!!

Now... when I plugged the charger in, it came on. I tried to charge a 6s pack and it said Bad Cell Count Node Wiring FMA.

What the heck does that mean? I know I could search, but I'm tired guys...

Do I need a specific type of connector to the charger? I just used my EC5 to banana... plugged the banana connectors right into the charger... wrong?
You need to change to JST-XH wiring mode. See
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=61
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks a bunch... I've been sitting at the table soldering and just noticed the fma plug was 9 pin. Then I come back to the computer to find your link! Perfect. Thanks so much...I'll be trying again shortly!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Actually I may need to see how you wired the connector to determine which wiring mode is required and if the wiring is correct.
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