ASK Cubby, 09.25.2014, Version- More of Your Questions, More on my Nonsense
“Best Lipo Charger
I have been asking around on the forums and they all seem to say the iCharger is the best thing out right now. Whats do you think?
Cubby- Yo yo yo Thad, you’ve officially made “The Big Time”, shoot us your snail mail for the hook-up on a BSRC sticker pack.
So all the Einsteins and Hawkings out in forum land say the Junsi iCharger is the best you can buy? That’s news to me, and here’s why.
I have been using an iCharger 308 for months now. I even busted the cash out of my own pocket to check it out. I mean how could I resist, the hype was pretty huge when they hit the market. There is no doubt the iCharger 308 (or 4010) are beasts, if charging a 6S pack at 30 amps is your thing, they are a good choice. However, just like everything else, they do have their downsides.
The biggest downside is its rotary dial. It is far too sensitive, making even mundane changes a huge PITA, especially if you are in a hurry. The second biggest downfall is its menu, it sucks. Many every day operations require hitting multiple different buttons, this takes extra time to learn, and to use. Lastly, I have not done a whole lot of bench testing with it, but when we compared its quality of charge against the new Hitec X1 Pro, it did not fare well. The iCharger took less time to charge a pack, but the quality of discharge on the pack suffered because of it.
What’s the best LiPo charger on the market? I do not know, I have tested very few of all the units available on the market, but I can say first hand the iCharger definitely is not it.
With my Stampede vxl I am getting ready to run a 3s for the first time, any tips you can give me, I don’t wanna burn it up. Will the the stock pinion work?
Cubby- Hola there amigo, thanks for the email and congrats on entering the world of serious power. Indeed 3S LiPo is a whole different world compared to 2S or 6 cell NiMH, a world that is incredibly addicting (and destructive).
What tips can I give you? Here ya go (and these go for every car/truck when going to a higher cell count)…
1. Start with the smallest pinion that fits your truck. I have no idea what it is on a Stampede, but look it up and install it. And no, do not use the stock pinion for your first drive on 3S, chances are great you’ll be geared too tall and overheat your motor.
2. Hit up your LHS and pick up a temp gun. Now days, trucks are geared by temperature. Oh and, jot these numbers down- you never want to see temps over 140 F on the LiPo, or over 160 degrees on the motor. Anything hotter means trouble.
3. Pop in your 3S LiPo, bolt on your small pinion, then take your truck for a spin. No, not a long spin, a short one. Drive it for about a minute then pull in and use your new temp gun on the battery and motor. Now drive for another minute and re-check. If the temps are under those listed above for an entire pack you are good to go.
4. If your measured temps were in check, you can then try bolting on taller gearing, meaning a larger pinion. Don’t forget to check temps every minute for the first pack. You can keep going up in gearing until the Lipo and motor get close, but not over the temps listed above.
5. Don’t forget, a lot of other factors will affect motor temps. Muddy conditions, driving in grass, taller and/or heavier tires, and higher ambient temps can all make your temps shoot through the roof, so keep that temp gauge handy.
Now go out and have some fun with that Pede of yours, I think you’ll find that your truck was plenty fast on 2S, but will “feel” twice as fast on 3S.
And that is all for this week (I swear). Next week I’ll be picking a “Letter of the Month” so get those questions submitted to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com.
Your Cub Reporter