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This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by varmint, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. varmint

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    I don't know if anyone has posted about this here yet, but if they have, I must have missed it. It deserves a plug or 10.

    I saw this post by somebody in the massive Inspire 1 thread on RC groups. It was one little post among thousands, and that thread moves FAST. There were a couple followups (including my own), and then the topic died, or rather got washed over with other subjects. Anyway, the post was talking about a not-yet-released I1 battery charger being built by an outfit called Smart Powercharge.

    Turns out they also have a Phantom proprietary battery charger that's already selling. I immediately bought one. Charges (and deep cycles) up to 4 batteries at once, and even has a couple of high amperage USB charging ports. It's microprocessor controlled, which means you can deep cycle (discharge/charge) and charge simultaneously. I was getting really annoyed with having to use my Phantom as a surrogate battery discharger in order to keep my batteries in shape, or prepare them for storage.

    As another bonus it comes with a complimentary little unit that can tap juice from a DJI battery in the field and use it to charge USB devices.

    It's not cheap, ($299 U.S.), but if you plan to keep flying and buying batteries, and you like to fly lots of batteries in a day, then this is your best friend. The build quality is amazing. Here's some pics..
     

    Attached Files:

  2. tcope

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    There was a post on this. Math was mentioned... 4 chargers = $160 v $300 for this charger. It looks like a great charger but at twice the cost.
     
  3. Suwaneeguy

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    I posted about it a week or so ago.
    Price is way to high to make it worthwhile to get.
    DJI said they had not yet tested the charger so had no comment on it.
     
  4. thestone11

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    It is the discharging that worth all the money.
     
  5. N017RW

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    Phantom batteries don't last long enough to justify such a $.

    Phantoms (and their batteries) will be remembered as iconic in their ground-floor contribution to RTF multi-rotor flight and innovation(s) but will be but a fond memory sooner than this device could pay for itself.

    Great if you got the cash and want the newest thing, but it won't do 'jack s' to improve your flying experience beyond what 4 discrete chargers can do.
     
  6. Hughie

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    +1
     
  7. varmint

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    So your point is that this charger has no market for the crowd that uses duct tape and tin foil to mod their Phantoms. Yeah, I'm good. I'll pass on the tangled web of multiple chargers and no way to properly condition my batteries. They don't last long enough? What are you doing, storing them at room temperature at full capacity? This isn't about how to do something cheaply, it's about how to do something conveniently. This charger exists for the same reason premium anything exists, and knocking it becuase you can't afford 3 bills, is pretty lame. Great product that's absolutely worth it to me. I tossed this out there for the people who want good gear to consider, not for frugals to try to berate becuase there are (slightly) cheaper and much less useful alternatives.
     
  8. Hughie

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    Seems to me you are a little touchy. Someone who insists on foisting their views on others, and doesn't like it when someone constructively disagrees ? :eek:

    If you like it. You buy it. I wont be.

    But thanks for posting anyway.
     
  9. johnp44

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    There are many other alternatives to being able to condition batteries. The big problem with this one is that it limits you to only DJI Phantom batteries. At the rate new competitive models are becoming available I would think something that would handle more than just DJI batteries is more practical.
    Many better solutions are out there that can handle multiple sized, shapes, number of cells, etc. batteries. I use a Competition Electronics Turbo 35 GX that can run circles around what this one does.
    But as they say "different strokes for different folks"...
     
  10. Mori55

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    The dji batteries have a smart so they will on charge at a certain rate. So essentiall you only need a 12 amp power supply. Now my batteries since the update will discharge themselves if I mistakenly forget to run them down.
    So what's the point of spending all that money on that charger. Expensive isn't always the answer , plus I think you were being a little snobby , when you mentioned the tin foil and duct tape crowd. A lot of DJI s improvements was originally from what that crowd figured out.
    And I have had expensive chargers like the powerlab 8. But with the DJI. Smart board your kinda limited.
     
  11. Hughie

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    Absolutely. If you already have a bench power supply of suitable power, and one of these for a couple of quid, you are sorted (well for three batteries anyway).

    [​IMG]
     
  12. varmint

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    Still having issues understanding the point of my post I see. there are many alternatives to BMWs as well. all of them will get you from point A to point B.Iirrelevant and argumentative. Don't like it, don't buy it. But don't try to convince people that theres no point in products like these. "Wasting" money is a highly subjective and self-refuting ideal.

    Keep bumping the topic. Raising awareness for it was the my sole intent, and if continuing to try to explain to you how not everyone wants to dive a Hundai fails to penetrate certain regions of your skull, then so be it.
     
  13. mohan

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    I can see both sides of the argument...

    I live in the UK and by the time shipping and taxes were paid it was 4.5 bills in USD
    I like the convenience this unit offers. Having 3-4 batteries per phantom it became a nuisance to charge the batteries and periodically deep discharge and keep track of the batteries.
    The phantom 2 is popular and will have a following for some time but there is every chance the phantom 3 may have a different battery - that would make this charger redundant for the future. I can see DJI getting bigger and holding onto the market share

    However considering the thousands spent on the aircraft, batteries, cases, Go Pro's, SD Cards, GPS trackers, Props etc the $450 is a relative expense. If I seriously wanted to save money I would stay away from this market - after all who would invest 1000's into a Uav and put it up there with the potential uninsured loss that can happen any time at a moments notice.
     
  14. Ezookiel

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    Thanks for sharing your review of the product. I can see how good build quality, convenience, and discharge are great features. I've run my P2 on idle in my loungeroom twice now to run the battery down to below 8% as recommended every 15-20 cycles. This would have been quieter and less windy (wasn't sure if running the phantom motors without the resistance of the props was a good thing, so left them on).
    I have 3x DJI batteries and only 2x chargers at present, and soon will have 2 more Limefuel 6000's arriving, so I'm definitely in the market for a better way to charge and discharge (pity chargers are so damned expensive by the time they get to Australia).
    Especially while out camping. Considering whatever I buy for use out camping will be running off an inverter, running off a 12v car battery, that is topped up off a 100w solar-panel, I fear this might be too much for the inverter to bear.
     
  15. Mori55

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    It's not the charger as much as his attitude about about it. Some of us were expressing are opinion about it. He went to the elitist attitude , maybe I just took it wrong.
     
  16. Hughie

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    +1
    One of those intransigent types who can't accept that actually.... people other than himself have a point of view too ! :D
     
  17. tcope

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    Its a nice feature but worth several hundred dollars? For me, it's not that difficult to discharge a battery by flying my Phantom. If I leave it charged it will automatically discharge after 10 days. If the battery somehow becomes damaged... I have an extra $180 in my pocket.
     
  18. tcope

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    I think for most people the "tangled web of multiple charges" is not a really big issue. Two chargers in 2 different outlets. I guess you could say about the same for this charger when going on the road. Who wants to lug around a huge metal box.

    No doubt if money were no object I'd buy one of these. It's a mack daddy charger. But that only covers something like .5% of Phantom fliers. Designers need to appear to a bigger number than that. Is it a nice charger, yes. Does it solve a really issue? No. So the appeal is going to be far less.

    Personally I think someone needs to come up with a much easier solution which would be one brick converter (120v to 12v), an equalizer and 4 charging leads so that up to four batteries could be charged at the same time. Basically s a stock looking charger with some equalizing electronics and 4 leads.
     
  19. hdcharlie

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    This is addressed to anyone who is already using this charger. Have any of you been using it with the latest generation DJI "Smart" batteries that have the self-discharging feature? If so, does it seem to work as advertised?
     
  20. mohan

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    Re: This third party Smart Battery charger deserves a plug..

    DJI batteries will self discharge to 50% for storage. Lipo's should be stored at 50% charge

    AFAIK DJI batteries will not self discharge to 8%. You will have to manually discharge to this level as the aircraft auto lands at 12%.