Ok, I know this has been beat to death, but I'm still a bit
confused... I've been out of the hobby for well over 10 years and
coming back into it over the past few months I'm overwhelmed by the
new technology, especially where electric power is concerned.. After
reading multiple threads here and over at RC Universe and perusing
countless manufacturer and shop web sites I'm still not sure what's
really out there.
I'm looking for a new charger that will charge, NiCd, NiMH, Li-Ion,
Li-Po and sealed lead acid batteries if possible. Input power at 110v
AC and 12v DC if possible,
The Accu Cycle has caught my eye as it appears to charge all but the
SLA stuff and has both AC and DC pwoer inputs.
The Triton and Multiplex LN-5014 also look good, but only come with
12V DC input...
Any chargers out there that will accomodate my "needs" without
requiring me to take a 2nd mortgage on the house? :)
and do a
search for the Pyramid PS9KX power supply. It's $20 plus about $12 shipping.
I ordered one because another guy in the group pointed one out (from a
different vendor) and Red indicated it would work with the chargers I was
interested in. I thought it was a good idea. Its a nice unit and gives you
the option of using banana plugs or the built in cigarette lighter socket.
"The OTHER Kevin in San Diego" wrote in
message news: firstname.lastname@example.org...
The OTHER Kevin-
As you have found through your research, most chargers come set up for
12 VDC only. Rather than fight it, get either a cheap 12V SLA and
trickle charger and charge you model batteries from that, or a bench
power supply from Rat Shack, et al. Else you're limiting yourself to
something mediocre just becase it has a built-in AC supply.
Secondly I would urge to get a dedicated charger for LiPo, for
protection of the expensive batteries from setup error, and possibly a
fire danger as well. The RipMax Quattro (also sold under Graupner
label, Helmut at Dymond may have it) does 1-4 cell packs at rates up
to 3A, and automatically sets charge current as well as cell count.
Leaves little room for potentially costly brain farts, and will set
you back a piddling $25 at the Hobby People outlet near you.
As for charging all other types, The Triton and Multiplex units you
mentioned are both as good as you'll get at a reasonable price. If
you want your charger to have BMW bling, look to the German products
by Orbit and Shulze - and get that 2nd mortgage.
I'm that other guy... I got my Pyramid power supply and it works great!
Now I need some tips on how to make a simple, safe and effective terminal
block for it so I can attach both my chargers easily (one has medium-large
alligator clips and the other has larger clamps).
Better get a power supply and use a 12V charger on that. If you get
a big enough power supply, you can hook up more than one 12V
I've bought a Ginzel Spectra II two years ago because I wanted to
buy a charger that does it all, so I would never have to buy another
charger again. So I've spent 200 Euros on a used one. Some weeks
ago I've bought a Multiplex LN-5014 for 60 Euros. In comparision,
the Ginzel simply is too sophisticated and I don't charge 32 cells in
a block anyways. I've even written my own software for MacOS to
evaluate the charging data and to watch the chargers status over the
web ;-) The Multiplex charger just does the job without any bells and
whistles and it's way smaller.
So it would have been wiser to just buy 3 of the Mulitplex chargers
for the same price...
| Now I need some tips on how to make a simple, safe and effective terminal
| block for it so I can attach both my chargers easily (one has medium-large
| alligator clips and the other has larger clamps).
| Any ideas?
Sure -- cut off the clips/clamps from one or both, and replace them
with whatever method you deem fit.
Really, the only reason not to do this would be to not invalidate your
warranty, but most vendors aren't going to be that anal about things
-- you're expected to do stuff like that.
Personally, I'd suggest cutting the clips off and putting in a pair of
sermos or deans connectors in between. That way, you can use the
clips if you want, or something else you've rigged with the connectors
if you wish.
I did some calling around to day and spoke to a couple LHS's about
chargers. Both LHS's reiterated what you said about the Triton and
Multiplex.. The 12VDC input isn't a show stopper by any means and
finding a 12VDC power supply with adequate amperage isn't an issue..
I think I'm going to order up the Triton from Tower as they're
offering a free temp probe with it.. I can cobble up a small PC power
supply to run it until I can find a decent regulated unit.
I'll check out the RipMax unit this weekend when I go look at the gear
to convert my PT-20 to electric for my son... (Which is the subject
of more research...)
I can't take any credit, Harlan. I posted to the group about finding a
cheap power supply for my chargers and Red Scholefield gave me a link to a
supplier of Pyramid units. You'll have to thank Red! :-)
If I didn't already own several old, pre-switching technology, large
capacity 12 volt supplies for ham radios, I would do the computer conversion
trick myself. I have two or three computer power supplies available for
conversion. Although, I should probably keep them stock, since I own several
old computers that I still use on occasion.
After a lot of reading and some analysis, I placed an order for a Multiplex
5014 this morning. There may be better available, but in the day and a half
that I studied the topic, I couldn't find anything significantly better.
The Horizon unit was interesting. I'll probably need a second charger soon,
so I may consider the Horizon unit for that purchase.
I converted all my chargers to use banana plugs rather than the alligator
clips. Even converted the alligator clips so I could use a banana plug on
them if necessary (It hasn't been yet).
Now make a small box with as many as you need banana jacks, 3 pairs at
least, and connect that to your power supply with a short lead terminated in
banana plugs. You can connect 3 devices at once now to the power supply.
Make a cigarette lighter adapter by soldering 7/8" pieces of 3/16 OD brass
tubing to short leads from the lighter plug, insulate with heat shrink. This
enables you to use your charger in the field simply by plugging into the
utility (cigarette) lighter socket in your vehicle. We these set ups you
can cover just about all situations.
I made a small panel that fastened under a shelf on my charging bench. This
panel has six pairs of banana jacks wired to a modified PC Power Supply
mounted under the front edge of the bench.
Let us know how you like the Multiplex LN5014. I have recommended them to a
number of people, so far none are unhappy. It just seems like a lot of
charger for the money, particularly with the name Multiplex. I have noted
they run quite hot, but that's the only thing I can find. I added a switch
to mine - there is just enough room in the upper right hand corner to tuck a
small toggle switch. This way I can leave it plugged in to the 12 volt buss
on the work bench and just turn it on when I need it. Never liked the
alligator clip connections. Replaced all mine with banana plugs. Made banana
plug jacks on the Alligator clips using 3/16 OD brass tubing soldered on to
This sounds like the best solution. Trouble is, I lug a small automotive
battery to the field to use for charging and starting. I attached a couple
of doo-dads to the terminal sockets so I could attach my electric model
engine starter and battery chargers --all have clamps or alligator clips.
I think I'll make up a small square plywood or plastic plate with a pair of
bolts for contact lugs, divided by a piece of ply or plastic for shorting
safety. I'll put banana plugs on it to attach it to the power supply. I'll
plug it into my power supply at home and I can clamp my chargers to the
Thanks again for your help,
I use a lawn tractor battery for electric and slope flying. I mounted it in
the bottom of a rolling plastic stacking toolbox that I purchased an OSH.
Added banana plug sockets to the face of the bottom section of the box. The
top section has room for chargers, the BW tv I use for wireless video, the
video rx's, etc. Also has a tray in the top for all the various leads,
plugs, adapters, you name it.
I just plug my Battery Tender into the jacks on the front at home to
recharge the tractor batt.