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View Full Version : How do I use the PN charging trays?


mdowney
2011.01.27, 05:39 PM
Simple, likely stupid question prompted largely by the product photo on Kenon's site:
http://www.pnracing.us/new/product_image/353_4.jpg

When you link the charging trays together for a charge do you *just* slide the trays together into their grooves or do you also need to run electrical leads to their +/- inputs? Looking at the grooves that they slide together with I don't see any electrical contacts so I'm wondering how that would work.

Related to that, I'm going to try charging 8 batts using two trays linked together and one of the two outputs on my Hyperion 615i Duo3. I have no experience using this charger for anything other than LiPos. When I switch it to NiMH battery type do I also set it to 8 cells (8S, 9.6V pack)? I think the answer is yes.

Thanks!

cowboysir
2011.01.27, 05:48 PM
Im guessing (from experience with other inline charging units) that you are essentially creating a 9.6volt pack.

Run the positive from one tray, the negative from the other tray to leads for your charger. Connect the open leads (that arent leading to your charger) to each other and you have a 9.6 volt pack.

This will work well for bulk charging but will not balance your individual cells. It will only charge the pack of cells to the lowest MAh cell in the group.

If youre like me (running group races with loaner cars) its works great to have this setup...I have 27packs of cells that I usually have to keep cycling through a days racing for my loaner cars.

mdowney
2011.01.27, 05:54 PM
Yeah, my instinct was to do + to one tray and - to the other, then connect the two remaining inputs - however, PN's photo that I posted above seems to suggest otherwise.

Some simple directions on their website would be nice. :D

I-Lap
2011.01.27, 06:09 PM
That is probably not a good idea.

Unless the cells have fairly equal capacity and you are discharging them all to the same level in a tray, you will end up with 4 overcharged cells and the other 4 below full charge.

Since you have a dual charger, put one tray on each output, each set for 4 cells. If you find after awhile that the mah put in are always equal, then you can switch to your proposed connection.

It is however safe to trickle charge at 1/10th capacity that way.

hrdrvr
2011.01.27, 06:13 PM
Yeah, my instinct was to do + to one tray and - to the other, then connect the two remaining inputs - however, PN's photo that I posted above seems to suggest otherwise.

Some simple directions on their website would be nice. :D

In the pic you posted above there is a charging tray and a disharging tray. The charging tray has two leads plugged in, and the other has LEDs on the front.

mdowney
2011.01.27, 06:25 PM
AH-HAH! I didn't notice that. I wasn't expecting a photo of a discharge tray on the charging tray product page. That photo is misleading.

So I do want to connect all the trays with leads after all. Thanks!

chad508
2011.01.27, 07:34 PM
So I do want to connect all the trays with leads after all. Thanks!

yes they are only connected so they stay together and look nice. they are in no way connected to share voltage.

mdowney
2011.01.27, 08:38 PM
Got it! So I shouldn't try charging 8 cells at one - just one tray at a time. That will work well on the duo charger.

So is there any benefit to using my high-end Hyperion duo with the charging trays vs using either the Maha or the La Crosse chargers? I have all three and I was just thinking that my expensive Hyperion might do a better job. I'm starting to think the Maha is the best bet because it charges each cell independently and isn't capped at 1A like the La Crosse is.

chad508
2011.01.27, 08:48 PM
i do not like to charge the batteries as a pack. the maha works great for charging them individually. this will allow you to see if you have a weak cell. charging them in a pack like the pn tray does will not charge all the batteries to there max. the weakest cell will limit them all.

I-Lap
2011.01.27, 09:28 PM
Technically speaking, a high end charger will get you the most punch/power because you can set the amps higher and tweak the peak detect cutoff. If charging as a pack, they should be discharged to the same level in a tray and be well matched - actually matched, not just from the same package.

I have read on here that the Maha 9000 does not fully charge the cells. I think I feel a little more punch from my Maha 800 but can't say for certain.

My personal take on batteries is that I have much more room for improvement elsewhere. One stuff into the wall hurts me 10 time more than the .005? volts I'm missing out on. Once I can consistently make it through a race without wrecking and my laps are all within a few tenths, then I will worry about stuff like charging methods.
That said, there is nothing wrong with getting the most from your batteries, it just depends on your priorities.

mdowney
2011.01.27, 10:05 PM
My personal take on batteries is that I have much more room for improvement elsewhere. One stuff into the wall hurts me 10 time more than the .005? volts I'm missing out on. Once I can consistently make it through a race without wrecking and my laps are all within a few tenths, then I will worry about stuff like charging methods.
That said, there is nothing wrong with getting the most from your batteries, it just depends on your priorities.

That's a very good point. I don't think I'm at the point where .005 volts is going to make much of a difference in my lap times either. :D

I just have fun learning this stuff and trying to hone my pit skills. I like knowing that what I put down on the track is the best it can be so I know that it's definitely my driving skills that are the problem.

For example, right before my first ever Mini-Z race (at ILR in Cupertino) I somehow set the throttle high point about 10 pts lower than the proper setting and didn't realize it. As a result my car was driving with about 20% less throttle than it had - and I was SLOW. I didn't realize it until some guys at FPR were helping me trouble shoot the next day. The previous night of racing was really stressful and no fun because I spent all night trying to figure out what was wrong with my car. After I fixed that problem and a few other setup issues I did really well in my next race (at FPR).

ChiMiniRc
2011.01.27, 11:50 PM
I use a Hyperion EOS0606i and use 3 trays inline. So charging 12 batteries in series. However, all the batteries were cycled on a maha and matched within 10 mah of each other. They are all fully discharged before I charge them too.

The only reason I do this is because I have over 300 batteries I charge for an event (I provide all the cars and batteries at our club). SO I need all the charging power I can get.

I also have a lot of chargers.

I have 2 of the Lacross bc-700 and a bc-9009. By far the easiest as I pop the batteries in, hit the current button ONCE to get 500mah, and off they go individually charging the cells. I also like the discharge cycle as it brings the batteries all the way down before charging. I just wish the discharge rate wasn't 1/2 the charge rate in this mode.

I also have the Maha chargers. 2 of the the 8 cell models which are great for the amount of cells I can charge. I button to switch to "slow" charge of 500mah vs 1000mah. I only wish the display was easier to read as I have to move my head to make sure slow chage is enabled.

I also have 2 of the c9000 4 cells units. By far my favorite as I can discharge at 1amp. I use these to cycle and match all my batteries. I just wish it topped off the batteries better for charging. I also wish I didn't have to push buttons 20+ times to charge 4 batteries at 500mah. It would be my all time favorite if I could use it like the Lacross charge. 1 button that adjusts the current across all four cells.

Oh, and I like how the Lacrosse will stay at the setting I want for all four cells. So I can monitor MAH input or voltage on all 4 cells at the same time.

mdowney
2011.01.28, 03:31 AM
Interesting.

Why do you charge at 500Mah? Seems like most people charge at 1A ~ 1.5A.

Also, how do I go about matching my batteries? What number am I looking for when I pop them in the Maha C9000?