That would have been Model Aviation Magazine - September 05.
AN ADAPTER TO MAKE YOUR TRUSTY NI-CD CHARGER COMPATIBLE WITH LIPOS.
You jest! Not really. A prototype device from Sid Kaufman (SLK
Electronics - the ElectriCalc people) that found its way to the Battery Lab
that does just that.
The LiPoDapter, as it is called, is connected between your LiPo
pack and just about any charger with output voltage and current needed for
the LiPo you want to charge. It conservatively counts the number of cells
(good for from 2 to 6 cells and can handle 5 amps - it will not accommodate
a single cell for balance charging should it be needed) allowing you to bump
it up if it counts low (never counts high). While you are setting it up,
green LED blinks number of cells. If this is correct you then hold down the
program button for 5 seconds until the red LED comes on, blinking the number
of cells to confirm your setting and indicating you are connected to the
charger. Then you set your charger to the desired charge current. When the
red LED stops blinking and the green LED comes on the charge is complete and
the charger is disconnected. I found it worked on any charger I had in my
collection - even the Alpha 4 (on N function). The test version was
packaged in 6-mil clear heat shrink.
The units tested do have a drawback. The LiPoDapter has what we could call a
hard cut off once it reaches the cutoff voltage. If you are charging at
higher rates, such as 1C recommended by most manufacturers, the LiPoDapter
charges the pack only about 70%. Most Lipo chargers employ a tapering
current as they approach cut off, what we would term as a soft cut off. If
you use a lower charge current you will get to a higher level of charge, but
that will take some time. For more information see