This is my new "Dymond Super Turbo Charger". It is a field fast charger / cycler with adjustable and programmable functions. It has 4 different functions, "charge", "discharge", "charge / discharge", and "discharge / charge". It has 1 automatic charge and or discharge function plus 9 user programmable battery files that you can store different configurations in.
Here is a list of features that this charger / cycler has.
2 - Line LCD display
Fan cooling automated
4 Basic Programs
Charge 1-26 cells
Discharge 1-26 cells
Cycle 1 / charge - discharge
Cycle2 / discharge - charge
10 Battery files
Over temperature protection
Short circuit protection
Option temperature probe
Input leads with alligator clips
Over charge protection
Change the peak point sensitivity for NI-CAD's and NI-MH separately
Change the trickle charge rate
Change the maximum charge rate per battery
Sound - On / Off
The size of this charger is slightly smaller then the Hitec - 335 charger I have. Its dimensions are, L=5.5" x W= 5" x H=2". It weighs in at 16oz they say but feels lighter then that. It does not come with any plugs / connectors but does come with some leads with alligator clips on the end. The input leads are fairly long and have alligator clips on them. This is a nice feature so you can have your charger closer to the helicopter and not the field battery.
The charger side of this unit will charge between 0.1A to 5A. The discharger side can be set to discharge between 0.1A and 5A also. The trickle charge can be set between 0A - 250mAh. You can also set the peak detection values. For NI-MH they range between 3mv - 10mv. For nicads it ranges between 5mv - 15mv.
Here are a few samples of the what the display will show.
This picture above shows what your input voltage is from your car battery. The average reading here is the average voltage of the discharging battery pack.
This picture above is showing that the unit is discharging (DCH). Next to that is the elapse time, followed by accumulated discharge milli-amperes. The second line is showing nicads (NC). If it was connected to NI-MH then it would display "NM". Next it is showing discharge rate. Last its showing the current voltage of the discharging battery pack. After the discharge is complete the display will show voltages, and time of discharge and or charge and discharge times if you picked that option.
The charge cycle is similar to the discharge screens above. It will show the same basic information but for the charge cycle.
The Charge-Discharge (C-D) program or the Discharge-Charge (D-C) function is set in the same basic fashion. You can set what charge and discharge current as required. When those cycles are done the display will show you the end results. It will have the amount of current the battery took to charge and how much capacity the discharger pulled from the pack. Then it will display the peak values and average values. Then it will display the amount of time each cycle took. Between the cycles the unit will give you a 5 minute cool off period. The "-" between the "D-C" or "C-D" will flash. This is to indicated the unit is cooling off and your battery packs are cooling down.
When you set the unit up you have to program the capacity of the battery pack. For NI-MH you would program the unit to have 10% more capacity. For nicads you would program the unit for 20% more capacity. This can act as another form of peak detection if the battery pack your using doesn't trip the peak detection circuit. If the battery pack gets to this 10% or 20% over capacity it would trip the unit into either turning off or going into the next cycle state.
If there is a problem with any of the cycles or battery or input battery there is a host of error messages that will display. Messages like:
Error input voltage ( your input battery is too low or high of a voltage )
Error no battery ( you forgot to connect your battery )
Error open circuit ( if the battery gets disconnected during a cycle )
Error reverse battery ( your battery is connected with reverse polarity )
Error over temperature ( above 212degs f. the unit will shut down )
It seems these days that you can find a lot of options in field DC chargers but not as many options in home chargers. Seems that most of the home chargers have a set time on how long they will charge. Typically you will see about 15 hours give or take. To me 15 hours is way to long. A lot of DC chargers or cycler to have "peak detection". It sure would be nice to find a home AC or AC/DC charger that was affordable to do the cycling. If you do decide to use this charger at home you can use a AC/DC power supply. It is recommended that you have at least a 7ah power supply though.
Before I started to use this unit in the field, I ran some tests on it for about a week. I used 2 new 2700ma NI-MH battery packs, and 1 year old 1700ma 6v pack. At first it was tripping off the unit long before any of the battery packs reached there rated capacity. By default the peak values in the unit are set for 3mv for NI-MH and 5mv for nicads. I adjusted these to 7mv for NI-MH and 10mv for the nicad packs. For my remaining tests this has seemed to have solved the situation of the unit thinking the battery packs were either charged or discharged. I am getting capacity values for the battery packs that fall in to there rated capacities.
Only during high current cycles will the fan turn on. This is of course to protect the unit from over heating.
The price on this unit was ~$109 plus shipping and any tax that might need to be added. So far it seems to be a very good deal. Time will tell how this unit holds up though.
If I had to pick any thing about this unit to criticize, it would have to be, first I suppose you could accidentally drop something into the fan opening in front. Not totally sure that would ever happen but dust and such could find there way in. Second would be that it would be nice to have the option of selecting multiple charge / discharge cycles in advanced. I guess this isn't really necessary for a fast field charger but would be nice.
Here is the link to "Dymond Model Sport USA"
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Revised: 27 Aug 2003 20:33:31 -0700 .