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Aurora
2008.06.24, 10:31 PM
Hi, all.

I had been using 4 MAHA chargers and 2 CTX-D2 dischargers for a long while now, and am happy with its performance for playing and racing at local tracks. But as my addiction grows deeper, I had been thinking of retooling my competition gears to the next level, and hoping to invest 4-5 competition chargers for future prosperity...

Recently, I just bought a LRP Pulsar 3 and am waiting for it to arrive, my questions are:


1) What are the best discharger/charger setting you have used for your pulsar 3 or similar kind of charger? I know trickle charge is probably a no-no(part of reasons why moving away from MAHA)


2) What other competition level charger(s) you have used with great result and consistency?


Thanks in advance!

Aurora
2008.07.11, 02:05 AM
Anyone is using or used LRP charger or similar in the past?

Right now, I am trying to follow the team scream instruction of discharge the batt to 0.9v, and then using 1c to charge it. Anyone has a different methodology?

Felix2010
2008.07.20, 12:24 AM
Aurora,

I have a MAHA MHC-9000 and it has worked well for the past year I've had it. I was the same as you and wanted to get a new Pro-RC charger. I do not own an LRP Pulsar 3, but a few months ago I bought a MuchMore Cell Master Andy Moore Edition, which is basically the CM Platinum edition with a nice purple metallic coat. I am very happy with it so far, especially when using matched-sets of cells like Team Scream or R1wurks - I know the specs for each cell already and the possibility of having a "weak-link" cell in the pack when charging 4 cells in series is negated.
For a charging tray I have been using PN's new charging tray.
I have followed John's charging instructions for his TSR cells and other 900mAh cells like the Team Orion 900's - With a couple minor alterations sometimes - and they have worked great:
1A charge @ 04 peak-cutoff (.004v). For the cell master, this equates to 1mV (.001v)/cell. Not all pro chargers work like this. Some do not want you to take the peak-cutoff you want per cell and multiply it by the number of cells you are charging in series. I would check your LRP instructions for how to set your peak-detect setting.
Sometimes I'll go higher like 1.2A, to see if I can get a slight edge in punch at starting. I might also go up to 1.5A charge rate if I want to try a higher charge rate with some cells. But usually, I keep it @ 1A, maybe 1.2A.
As you mentioned, I don't activate the trickle-charge.
When charging cells like Intellects which are rated 750mAh, I charge @1C-1.2C instead of 1A-1.2A . For Intellects this is 750mAh-900mAh charge rate.

For discharging, I will use either the Cell Master @3A with .9v cutoff; Or I will use my MAHA MHC-9000 at various discharge rates from 500mAh to 1A (The MAHA max discharge rate is 1A). I think the discharge cutoff for the MAHA is 1.00v. If I have some non-matched partially-charged cells I will discharge @500mAh. I want to get the cells discharged nice 'n good for maximum mAh, especially with the MAHA's 1.00v cutoff instead of .9v . For matched cells I discharge @1A using the MAHA.

I still use my MAHA charger to "match" some sets of my regular cells together. I will be using my Cell Master to charge each cell individually once I get a good AAA cell holder that I can get good contacts on each battery with, this way I can further match my cells by IR in addition to voltage and mAh. But this will be time consuming for sure checking one cell at a time. At least on the MAHA I can test 4 cells individually at one time.
I also am probably going to pick up a PN discharger. Sometimes I don't want to fool with my chargers to discharge some cells. Why not let a simple discharging device equalize my cells for me? :D

I am not a battery expert, but I try and do my research. I hope this helps you a little.
Cheers:D

Aurora
2008.07.22, 03:53 AM
Hey, Felix. Thanks a lot for the writeup!

I too are at the same intersection like you a year ago. I had the Maha and Lacrosse, and am quite happy as I was. But nowadays I am using more and more matched cells, and want to get the most out of it. I have heard cases where those chargers might not charge the cells to its full capacity...and hence, I got myself the muchmore CTX D2 dischargers and the new LRP.

And right now, I am in process of switching to LRP, and hope this will work well for me. As for charge rate and peak cutoff setting, I usually stick to what the vendor recommends, as you do. One thing about AAA charging, from some bad experience I have heard about intellect, was not to charge it too much above 1c. I remember instances where I heard the intellects hiss at around 0.9-1A when charging, and was a little freaked out when I touched the cells to find them blazing hot.

I will probably charge a cell at 1.1 or 1.2C if they are dying out and losing capacity. But usually, I kept it as close to 1C as possible, and with all the new technologies and matching in battery, I have found them plenty powerful for my use/race.

For discharging, I like MAHA having the discharging rate at 1A which is a vast improvement over Lacrosse (0.5A, IIRC). But I think for the best result/performance, it is probably best to keep it as close to real life application as possible, and the CTX D2 with the pulse discharge at 30A(the cells will get hot, but not too uncomfortably hot to touch) or dead shorting at around 5A seems to work well for me.

I love and miss MAHA for the individual display, and really miss the Lacross setting where user can simply choose what to display, and it'd be great if someday there is 'balance charging' for Nimh to avoid the weak link theory.

Felix2010
2008.07.28, 10:41 PM
Aurora - Glad to help. About your new equipment, can the MuchMore CTX D2 discharger be used with AAA cells? The CTX d2 is the $190-ultra-high-end discharger that requires a power supply and has the LCD screen on the bottom, correct? In the info on the CTX D2, I thought it said it is only for sub-C cells? Are you able use this discharger safely with AAA's? Also, are there any other settings aside from 5A discharge and the 30A pulse-discharge? Sounds interesting fer sure:D
I agree that discharging close to real-life application discharge rates helps form a cell best.

Out of 4 sets of Intellects I have, I haven't had one cell vent on me. I agree though that with the news posted from other racers about their Intellects venting, keeping the charge rate @1C (750mAh) or lower is safest. I have been experimenting with a .7A charge rate with a set of Intellects and it has been working excellent. I love the Orion900's, but I also still like Intellects a lot. With all the new AAA Mini-Z cells coming out, Intellects have kind of taken a back seat; I consider them still to be one of the best racing cells.

So, how do you like the new LRP? Also what charging tray are you using? I am using the PN, but I am wondering if you recommend/prefer another tray?
Cheers:D

Aurora
2008.08.05, 12:49 PM
Hey, Felix. Thanks for chiming in again. :)

As you have said, the CTX-D2 is a really nice dischager, and what I did was actually trying to discharge all those cells with higher amp (a little closer to real life situation) while in a way, it kinda balance the cells a little.

I had been using it for more than 6 months and can report that the discharger works really well. A few packs were tested/discharged by this discharger, mainly using "pulse" then "dead short" or simpy the "dead short".

What I initially set was to deep discharge those cells to 0.6V...but seems like those few packs live a little short than normal cells(though they perform well), and lasted me only 2-3 months (on a 2-3 times per week use).

So I end up re-adjusting the final cell voltage discharge to 0.8V, and so far, after a month or two, seems like the packs are holding up really well.


In fact, local racers had told me that the orion and intellect does vary from batch to batch. Sometimes, the intellect do compare to orion in terms of runtime/ability to hold punch till the end. But sometimes they just don't.


For the LRP, I do use a pack or two with it. Still not too use to it, and find myself go to the Maha more often than not. After all, I do have 4 Maha and only 1 LRP, and it is so easy to read off the display on Maha. I only wish they could add in trickle-off/peak delta/higher discharge rate...then it will almost be a custom charger for all the Z racers! :D


As for the tray used, I do use the Muchmore. But this little piece of Al is expensive! I too am still looking for good tray with a more reasonable price tag? Any ideas?

Felix2010
2008.08.17, 02:25 AM
Hi again Aurora - Sorry for the long absence. The charging trays from MuchMore and PN are nice, but I hear ya - they do come at a price. The PN charge tray I bought was $32 or something, not cheap... The muchmore tray I've seen looks good though and a solid connection within the charging tray helps to make sure the batteries are being charged most accurately. I read on Reflex's site that they like the old-style Atomic battery tray, the one where 4-AAA cells sit end-to-end length-wise. It has nice adjustable metal posts for connecting alligator clips to for a solid connection, and it's only $12 or so, if you can find it. It is made of composite material, which isn't as good with heat-dissipation as aluminum like the MuchMore & PN trays, but the 1st-gen ATM tray might be worth a try.
BTW - I had my first set of Intellects vent on me, I should have knocked on wood.... 2 of the 4 Intellects from the pack I opened vented and are no good. Oh well, it happens. I still like Intellects though, every brand of cell is going to have a bad batch sometime. I am a big fan of matched cells now that they are more accessible, and the Team Scream cells I have are great; I also have one set of R1wurks Orion 900 Pro-Comp matched cells that seem to be getting better and better as I use them. For "Pro"-RC chargers like the LRP and Cell Master, matched sets are my 1st choice because you know when you are buying matched sets that the cells are all of equal quality.
Hope you are having good luck with the LRP Aurora, I have been getting used to my Cell Master and I think it outperforms the MAHA. The MAHA I use every once in a while to test a set of cells to ensure there isn't a "weak link"/damaged cell in there. But for charging, my CM-Platinum is excellent.