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.


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