It was hard to tell from the page what advantage it had over a more pedestrian battery charger, although it's clear that the author was very enthusiastic. From all the italicized text I can deduce that either (a) it's the best thing since sliced bread and we'll all die if we don't get some or (b) the page was written by a marketing guy and it's just another battery charger.
Sorry for the cynicism but I'm a design engineer: I've had products taken out of my hands and shipped when they were still pieces of c*** but with marketing blurbs that were every bit as enthusiastic as that one.
After someone's used one for a year with a 10 heavily-used packs, right next to 10 identical packs being used just as heavily and charged by an "ordinary" charger -- then we can judge what's better.
What caught my eye was the statement that when it is discharging, it transfers the energy to the source battery. So while youi are discharging your fight pack you are charging the car battery. Does this mean I can't use my converted pc powersupply to run this charger when I am at home?
Did you click on the manufactures web page? Lots more there. I know where you are coming from on the marketing vs engineering bit. I saw the worlds largest rechargeable battery manufacturer go from world leader to chapter 11 over a short time period.
The importer of this unit, YNT uDesign, has a full time job and this is just a way for him to bring some neat things to us.
I have little to compare this type of device with, except for the West Mountain Radio CBA-II. That is a great unit for those of us that really want to better understand our batteries. The Power Cube looks like the next step.
As I said earlier, this is not for the novice ARF park flyer. I have been told that they are completely sold out in the European Market. But if you have been following modeling in that part of the world you know that they are a bit more sophisticated than here in the colonies.
That kind of bothers me also. This obviously isn't something that you would take to the field every day. And you certainly wouldn't be doing discharge tests at the field on it. Now it may be a great field charger operating off line from your computer. Only time will tell. As soon as I get the evaluation unit I'm going to check and see if I can use a lead acid battery (17 Ah) as a buffer connected to a bench supply. I don't think many modelers will have a lead acid battery setting around in their work shop for bench testing.
For a single port charger, it couldn't impress me with that price tag no matter what it did.
Unless it made coffee, of course.
Seriously, though, if it can't tell that I set my 2 series pack to 3 series charge, they have more homework to do to catch up to my 40 dollar charger. Stuff happens, we all make mistakes, and for this kind of money I'd expect a little more idiot proof engineering when the technology is already industry standard, cheap, and so necessary. I wouldn't let this thing in the front door, and I'd sure never write the manufacturer a liability policy, disclaimers be damned.
Put me in for two thumbs down and one "A fool and his money...", Red.
Oh, and while you're at it, can you explain the use of 9 discharge/charge cycles to me? Do people really do that? Over the life of the battery we only get so many cycles. I've never done it more than
3 times, even on an expensive plane. If there's any doubt after 2, I always retire them or stick them in a ground or non-critical application.
Red , I do know how to solder , but I'm certainly no one to look at this from an engineer or designers point of view. I can however , evaluate it from a consumers point of view , and us consumers are the ones who ultimately decide what sells and what doesn't.
I see nothing in this charger that would entice me to spend that kind of money. Since I fly mostly Lipoly packs I use a one that is a dedicated Liploy charger , an Astro Flight 109D. It has ONE knob to adjust the charge rate , everything else is automatic. The LCD readout tells you how many cells , voltage , charge rate and also tells you how much 'juice' you have used. Just like filling up your gas tank , it tells you how much was put in. It will charge as many cells (30) as the 349.00 charger , and , as many amps (10) Simplicity and performance as well.
To discharge , simply hook your battery to the charger , disconnect and reconnect and the discharge takes place automatically at a preset rate. This charger was engineered by Bob Boucher and thats good enough for me.
The cost is 129.00 and it does all I need and more. I have charged 10
3 cell 1500 ma Lipos at the same time. Only did this once to see if it performed as advertised. It took a little over 100 minutes to charge these after a complete discharge.
I'm not purposely plugging Astro Flight , just so happens I have one. But I do think it's worth a plug , so there it is :-) For what few other batteries I have , Nicd and NIMH, I use my field charger Those 'other' batteries numbers are decreasing as I replace with Lipos..
Bottom line , I think it's way too much money for what you get. Some people like to be able to program charge rates , discharge rates and so on , but for me , keep it simple.
So FWIW , heres an opinion from someone who knows very little about electronics , only how to use these gadgets......most of the time :-).
This is the dilema most device find themselves in. Making a device idiot proof as wanted by some and yet have all the flexibility demanded by others.
You will have to ask a lot of the charger/cycler manufacturers that incorporate this capability into their devices. Maybe a discharge every 3 or 4 months to check capacity and storing these curves is about the only reason I can think of . . . . . other than cell evaluation testing like done here at the Battery Clinic.