Sunday, March 30, 2008

I recently received one of the new Schulze NextGeneration 7.36-12 chargers. These are the new chargers that will replace the existing ISL series of chargers that have been around for quite some time. For charging Lipo batteries these new chargers are a marked improvement over the previous ISL series.

I won’t go into the specifications of the charger, other than to say it is capable of charging and balancing (integrated) Lipo packs up to 14s with a limit of 240W. For the full specs you can visit this page,

I have not done a lot of charging with this unit yet as our weather is not that conducive to flying at the moment, but with its ability to discharge at high rates I was able to put a few cycles on one of my 10s 5000 Extreme V2 Thunder Power batteries.

Here is a shot of the whole unit, its not much larger than a TP 1010C once you consider the size of the balancer. The yellow portion is an add on to allow you to plug your packs into the charger, there are various adapters for all the major brands, this one works with TP and FlightPower and you plug packs into it like you would a TP 210V balancer. I don’t have extensions yet but they are worth getting to give you some room.

The screen is very large and nicely backlit. It provides a lot of data including a graph of voltage vs. time.

As you can see here, I am doing a discharge of my pack. You will notice that the discharge rate is over 6A. One of the great features of the charger is if you are connected to a partially discharged 12V battery you are allowed to discharge at the full 240W limit of the charger. This is great for putting rapid cycles on large packs like this one.

Cycling through the various screens you can see information on the current battery being charged as well as a cycle history (if you are doing multiple charge/discharge cycles), and the Ri of the pack during a discharge.

The next screen over provides information on the charger version, as well as your source voltage and how much current and total capacity is being drawn from your source during a charge, or in this case how much current and capacity I am putting back into the source since I am discharging a pack. You can reduce the power and maximum current that the charger will take during a charge when using car batteries or power supplies that do not have the ability to deliver the full 240W power level of the charger.

The next screen is the balancing screen. This displays all the cell voltages in mV and their imbalance below the highest cell (the highest cell always reads 0mV). You can set the precision of the balancer manually from 4mV to 30mV or you can let the charger pick the best precision as it charges. The balancer is not a current sink type, and works extremely fast compared to the current sink types.

The charge is USB upgradeable much like others on the market. As well it has a serial output that can be used to output ASCII information about the charge. There is also a fan and light output, which can be used to drive an auxiliary fan for cooling batteries, and a light that flashes intermittently when the charge terminates so you can see from a distance that your pack is charged. Also there is a thermal probe and you can set a maximum pack temperature which the charger will terminate. The charger includes all the wiring for the accessories, except the serial output.

Since I like gadgets by far the coolest thing in the box was my very own Schulze USB stick which has manuals, etc. already on it. Sweet!

That’s my brief overview of this new charger, I am very impressed with it so far and hopefully our weather will improve and I can put some more time on it at the field.

These chargers can be purchased in North America from Icare-RC in Montreal, Canada.

Feel free to shoot me an email with any questions about this unit.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where in the world is Chad

Ok, well I am typing this from a little place called Owego, NY! Its an interesting little town, we just got back from a restaurant called the "Jailhouse" and yes its an old jail converted to a restaurant, and some of the tables are even in jail cells. Very interesting to say the least, with good food and most importantly a few beers!

So what am I doing out here....well this company CNYOG (Central NY Oil and Gas) is installing a gas compressor supplied by Dresser-Rand, and we (myself and one other guy) from SKF Magnetic Bearings are here to commission the magnetic bearing system that we designed for the gas compressor. Fun stuff, and yes I am here over Easter long weekend wife is real impressed! Its putting a dent in my spring flying preparations! The HUGE plus is, the extra days in lieu I get will give me a lot more practice time in Ontario for the team look out boys! Always gotta look on the bright side of everything.

So, when I get back (who knows when that is) I have some trimming to do on the Twister as well as some new stuff I am trying out and will post here when I get some pics and results. There is more cool stuff coming but we will keep that under a hat for now :)

Have fun over Easter....I sure will in the hotel :)


Sunday, March 2, 2008

SVF Pattern Contest Feb 23-24

Ok, I think I promised some people I would blog this event.....well I lied :) haha. Actually the hotel had internet but they wanted $2.99/24hrs, and my friends enjoyment of reading the daily updates from Phoenix, was not worth it!

We flew down on Wednesday the 20th, without a single hassle from anyone during the trip. We got to Phoenix, got the rental, got Dan fuel at the hobby store, hit the hotel and put the planes together. It was probably around 6 before we got to the field and I got in one quick flight just to make sure the plane still worked. I had not un-boxed my model since Argentina. It was too dark to get any more flying so we called it a night.

We had arranged to meet with Jason (Shulman) and his friend Tony Watkins down in Tucson for some practice. So Thursday we drove down and got there around 10ish. Jason and I pretty much spent the day flying F-09. This is probably the last opportunity I would have to see someone like Jason fly the new schedules until Muncie, so I paid close attention and he showed me some of his super top secret tricks for F-09 :) Sorry if I tell you I have to kill you lol! Dan and Nedim got in lots of flying as well on both the P and F schedules. I am sure both of them will join me at the US Nats and Canadian Nats this year so this was a good opportunity for them to get a jump on the season as well.

On Friday Jason and Tony were making their way to Phoenix so we stayed and flew at the SVF field. It was mostly raining that day so we only got in a few flights, but people came out to register and shoot the breeze.

The contest on Sat. and Sun. could not have asked for better weather. Warm and sunny on Sat and reasonably warm but overcast on Sunday, with next to no wind on both days. The quality of flying in all classes was very good. Everyone got in 6 rounds, with FAI getting 5 rounds of P and 2 rounds of F. Only 4 of us flew F on Saturday, but the other two joined in the fun on Sunday and I think everyone really enjoyed it. I really cannot see there being much debate about flying F at local contests anymore. The only debate should be how to score it to keep everyone happy. At this contest it was a separate animal from P and did not count toward the final placings. If it did, it would not have changed the top three positions, but maybe the bottom three positions a bit.

We left Monday AM and again had a totally uneventful trip home with our gear.

Thanks to Rusty and Troy for a well run event!


Jason's pics and report over at the Giants

Dan, Nedim and my pics at my web album

Saturday, March 1, 2008

He's Baaaaaaack!

Nope its not the Terminator, its even better.

For those that don't recognize the old guy holding that silly French airplane in the above photo....well then you must have been living under a rock for most of your life! Its none other than Ivan Kristensen.

Now I hope Ivan doesn't get mad at me for spilling the beans, but it seems he picked himself up a fancy new Osmose to play with!

I got a call from Ivan back in December just shooting the breeze about pattern in general, where it was, where its going, how I felt about it etc. I didn't think much of it at the time, after all Ivan had been flying pattern at the World Champs level since before I was even born, but had left behind his most distinguished career in 2000 to pursue IMAC competition more heavily. 2001 was my first Worlds so I never got a chance to really fly with Ivan which was a huge disappointment for me personally. So a long time pattern flier wanting to shoot the breeze about pattern didn't really set off any alarm bells.

Then he started asking about servos....and airplanes, and what I thought about certain ones....and what servos I use. Mmmmm, I am struggling to comprehend why on earth would Ivan care what servos I use in my pattern plane. I am sure he knows as much about Futaba servos as I do....but ok, so we continue and I spill my guts about what servos I use and what planes I think are good. Then it hits me DING!? DUH? "Ivan did you get a plane? " He avoids the question for a moment then finally admits he has a CA Osmose on its way. I almost fell out of my chair.

At what level Ivan will come back to I don't know, and don't want to speculate (publicly anyway) either. He has not flown a pattern plane in almost 8 years, so I am sure it will take some time for him to get back in the saddle. I am also sure that he is quite aware that our team selection for the 2009 Worlds in Portugal is this summer!

I personally am very motivated to see him at least thinking about getting back to it, even if its casually. I have been waiting for an opportunity to compete against him for some time, and just the thought of being able to do that will push me hard this year to be flying 110%.

Welcome back Ivan!