Storage Mode: I look for chargers with this feature because
it makes life easier. When storing batteries, it’s best to leave
them at a storage level rather than fully discharged or fully
charged. If I come back from the field with fully charged or
discharged packs, and know I’m not going to be flying for an
extended period, I put them on the charger in Storage mode.
This will automatically either charge them up to that level or
discharge them and balance the pack in the process.
Cyclic Charging/Discharging: This function allows the user
to program one to five complete cycles of a pack. This can be
handy for checking packs after long periods of storage or if a
pack is suspect. Be sure to monitor it during this process and
never leave it unattended. Don’t overtest your packs, but if
you want to gently wake one up after a long storage period,
this is a handy way of doing it.
Internal Resistance Meter: This is a standalone program
in the charger, so no charge cycle is required. Simply select
the program and you will see the total pack resistance and
the resistance of each cell in the pack. It’s often argued that
these figures aren’t that accurate or important, but I disagree.
Even if accuracy isn’t perfect, it’s close enough, and if you
log these occasionally, you can see a picture of how your
packs are performing. If you see a trend where a cell begins to
have increased Ir compared to previous readings, you know
something is beginning to decline.
NiMH/NiCd/Pb: Most of us use our chargers for the various
types of lithium batteries, but if you have a radio pack that
needs charging and it’s a NiMH or NiCd pack, this is a handy
feature to have. For the glow/gas fliers, it can be used to top off
ignition batteries or ni-starters, too. All the delta peak-charge
features expected for high-quality NiMH/NiCd charging are
incorporated into the Hitec X2 AC Plus. It also supports lead
acid batteries for topping off those starter batteries, etc.
LiHV: These new high-voltage lithium packs are becoming
more common and this charger has the capability to exploit
the full range they offer. It’s important to ensure you are using
the correct program if you are flipping between regular LiPo
and LiHV packs. This program will quickly ruin a standard
LiPo pack if used.
I think the Hitec X2 AC Plus is a real winner. Remember
that both channels share the total capacity so if you’re using
70 watts on channel A, that leaves 30 watts for whatever
you’re doing on channel B. It can be divided however it needs
to be, but 100 total is the magic number. You’ll have 200 watts
available if you’re powering it with a DC source.
The charger employs a thorough system of safeties to
protect you from yourself and more importantly, the charger
itself. A full spectrum of error messages will display if you do
something wrong or try to. The Charge Master software is a
step above some earlier Hitec software and is easy to use.
I like this charger a lot and it doesn’t take up a ton of space
on the bench. It’s sturdy and a welcome addition to my shop
equipment. Hitec scored with this one, especially at this
Hitec RCD: 12115 Paine Street; Poway CA 92064; Tel.
(858) 748-6948; website: www.hitecrcd.com
Calling the Northeast
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19 Model Aviation APRIL 2016 www.ModelAviation.com