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Be smarter than your Smart Charger or Are your batteries really bad

Oct 27, 2021
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If you have old/bad RC batteries that your smart charger will not charge or shows an "error" respnse for... don't throw them out. Read this post and you may be able to keep using them. If they have puffed up and become a danger to use, I suggest you dispose of them in a safe way. I have seen much bashing of 3rd party LiPo batteries in reviews on the net. And, I know that top quality LiPo's are not cheap and sometimes you have to take the chance in order to save some money. So now you have a 3rd party battery that has worked for several months, but, now your smart charger will not charge it. This has happened to me too. During the Covid shutdown of 2020 and into the first half of 2021, I was too worried about staying safe than flying. In June of 2021 I decided to get flying again and found that all of my Typhoon Q500+ batteries would not charge in the Yuneec charger. I have 8 batteries and this was going to be a major set back if I had to replace them. My local hobby shop saved my day.

The RC guy told me that Smart Chargers are great when multi cell batteries are new. But, the more you use them(since most are connected in series) the individual cells dischage at different rates and they become more and more unbalanced even though the charger balanced them beforehand. The smart charger is only capable of charging batteries within a certain range. The battery is not really bad, it's just out of the range for the charger and the charger shows you an error code and will not charge it. He was able to charge and bring each cell up to a point that my Yuneec charger would accept the battery. He saved all of my batteries and I've used them all this past summer with good results.

He also told me of the Onyx KX80 charger from Horizon Hobby for only $60 US. I bought it and the unit is awesome for what it does and for less than a new battery. It will charge up to 6 cell LiPo's and many other rechargable batteries. You can set 10 memory presets for future use. It can also discharge your batteries to a safe percentage level for starage. But, the informative digital display is just what we LiPo users need... it reads cell voltage to a 100th of a volt. Great for balancing those older LiPo's. It comes with a number of different cables. You have to make your own patch cable if you wish to charge a single cell in a multi-cell LiPo. The unit will do it and show you real time voltage as the cell charges. I do not work for Horizon. I'm just hoping to help someone from replacing a good battery.
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Reactions: h-elsner
Q500 stock charger are all but not smart. It can only be an add-on to charge a second battery. You are completly right to buy a 'real' charger, that has a storage programm to bring the battery in storage mode when unused for a longer time (more than 1-2 days). Correct storage is really important. Never store a full loaded battery. This will reduce the life cycle of the battery.

I have a similar charger since years and it did the job. If I would buy a new one, I would look for a charger that can measure the internal resistance of the cells. Also I would like to have a USB connection to export the data for charge/discharge charts. But hey, also simple charger charge the batteries, didn't they? Only the stock charger are too poor...

br HE

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