Saturday, August 25, 2012

Super-Duper 12-cell, 3-format 1S Charger

I've really loved my Eflight 4-port Celectra charger.  It's portable and does a great job charging Eflight-style 1S batteries.   But, I have a new love now... When I bought both my Ladybird and my HK FP100, they both came with a tiny 2-port charger powered off of USB.  This makes sense, since USB will deliver a 500mA 5V current, just right for charging two 1S cells.  I wanted to do the same for the eflight-style batteries.
So, I ordered an extra FP100 charger (less than $3!) and soldered in some eflight charging leads.  It was easier than I thought.  I didn't need to unsolder the FP100 connector from the board; instead they were perfectly sized and positioned to be solder pads for the cables. I did open the case to do the soldering though, so I wouldn't have to be so precise in navigating the soldering iron in the plastic case.
After soldering I put the case back together.  Line up the tabs on the FP100 connector or you will bend the heck out of them.  You could do the same thing with the Walkera charger, but those run about $8 Stateside, and HK is perpetually out of stock.  If I can find some Walkera leads (with the right polarity!!) I might make a version for them using the FP100 charger.
Here's the final goal: a 12-battery 1S supercharger, capable of handling four each of three different styles of connectors: eflight, walkera, and HobbyKing FP100.

I've hot glued the chargers to an old USB hub, and will power the hub from a wall wart power supply.  I think I'll be able to fit six of the chargers onto this particular model.  I wish I could find some 3 inch cables!  If I were to go totally insane on this project, I would eliminate the connectors and directly solder the power leads.

  I'll check the amp rating on the hub and power supply to see if it will charge 12 batteries simultaneously at full power;  It would be cool if it did, but I imagine I won't be needing to do that very often.

1 comment:

  1. I took one of those cigarette lighter 12v to USB adapters and stripped it out to put a deans connector on it. Makes for a handy USB power supply from retired-from-service lipos while out at the field. I use it to top off my gopro and keychain cameras from an old 2200 3S pack. Works like a charm!