The H4 comes with five
charge adapters and three
balancing boards, along with
the battery clips and the
Channel Bridge cables.
you want to monitor or
There is a red LED
next to each channel
selector button that glows
to indicate when that
channel is in use. If you
are charging more than
one pack at a time, the
LED that is not flashing
indicates the channel
for which you have
active control with the
Flashing LEDs indicate
any other channels in use.
Simply press the channel
button for any active
channel to monitor or
program that charge port.
There is also a surveillance monitor
mode that shows the chemistry,
current, and voltage for each channel
simultaneously. This is a great way to
maintain an overview of your charging
session and is easily accessed using the
up and down menu buttons.
Hitec’s innovative Channel Bridge
function allows you to effectively double
the capability of your charger. In simple
terms, the bridge function lets you
connect two output ports in parallel,
combining the charge and discharge
capacities of the two channels. Thus,
you can team up two 8-amp, 120-watt
outputs to provide a single output port
per side with a maximum charge rating
of 16 amps or 240 watts.
This works out to nearly 15 amps
for a 4S pack or 10 amps for a 6S pack.
With modern battery chemistries now
capable of charging rates over 1C, this is
a welcome feature.
All good things must come to
an end, and when your battery has
outlived its usefulness, an appropriate
disposal plan is necessary. You can’t just
toss a battery in the trash and hope it
doesn’t short out against something.
Although the basic chemistry of a LiPo
battery does not represent the same
environmental hazard as nickel-based
cells, you should ensure that your
battery is completely discharged before
placing it in the trash.
The traditionally accepted method
of discharging a Lithium battery has
been to soak it in a salt solution for
several days until it has self-discharged
to zero volts. The H4 offers a more
sophisticated option with its discard
mode. Accessed through the system
menu, the discard mode allows you
to fully discharge a LiPo battery, thus
neutralizing any potential energy left in
This discard cycle will almost certainly
render a battery unrecoverable, so it
must be used with caution. Fortunately,
although readily accessible, it is in the
system menu and it is unlikely to be
accessed by accident.
After discharge, the resting voltage
of the pack may rebound some, but
after a load is applied, the voltage will
again drop to safe levels for disposal.
Hitec recommends use of a fireproof
container or LiPo bag whenever charging
or discharging Lithium batteries and I
concur, especially when discharging with
the Discard Mode.
The H4 Smart Charger has several
additional features that enhance its
operation. Both input and output are
protected from reverse polarity and
the output is also protected from short
The H4 also monitors the input
voltage, preventing operation if it gets
out of range. For instance, the charger
will shut down if you discharge your
12-volt source battery too far. On the
ergonomic front, a support bar clips into
the back of the charger, angling it for an
easy view of the screen.
Everything about Hitec’s H4 Smart
Charger—from the solid aluminum case
to the logical interface, programming
ease, and reliable results—speaks to its
The exceptional flexibility, capacity,
and easy handling join forces to make
this a charger well suited for today’s
Photos by the author
68 Model Aviation APRIL 2014