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DIY 3-Battery Rapid Charging Station $60 or less

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by jackdakota, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. jackdakota

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    I will be putting up a DIY in the coming days on a charging station that I'm working on. Parts are less than $60 and can be done in less than an hour. I'm doing some more testing to make sure the battery are charging correctly. The $60 estimated cost is everything you need. The picture shows my custom enclosure but it's not needed. It has built-in over current protection and will not exceed 5A charging rate per battery. Total output is roughly 15A. I've tried it on both TB47 & TB48

    inspire_charging_station2.jpg
     
    #1 jackdakota, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  2. sirnikolas

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    I'll take one thanks!
    Are ya happy to ship to Australia?
    Could have more buyers for ya.
    Will it charge say 2 x TB47s + 1 TB48 at the same time? And vice versa?
     
  3. Jerry Nycom

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    How much to build me one? I will gladly pay!
     
  4. Carlsberg

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    Very nice Jack!
    How many watts is the power supply?
    How much for one of them nice custom enclosures?
    (very nicely done) :)
     
  5. skylabimaging

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  6. Merci45k

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    As am I.
    What do we need to make our own or are you making them to sell?
     
  7. jackdakota

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    Parts you need:

    While I was testing, many vendors on ebay & Amazon are now selling the kit. One such kit is:

    http://www.amazon.com/Converter-Parallel-Batteries-Charging-Quadcopter/dp/B00YP9SPGI/

    For $75, you get the power supply and the charging plate. It is more expensive than buying the parts individually. But might be worth the extra cash if you don't feel like hooking up the cables yourself.

    24V 15A Power Supply ~$25-35 (Adjust potentiometer to 26.3v)

    http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Transformer-Regulated-Computer-Project/dp/B00ANFJ26U
    http://www.amazon.com/Genssi-14-6A-Regulated-Switching-Supply/dp/B005CLDOW8

    Multi Parallel Charging Plate ~$12-20 (They should all be the same)

    http://www.amazon.com/Shopready-Parallel-Batteries-Charging-Quadcopter/dp/B00YS6IGFI
    http://www.amazon.com/SUMOMOTO-Battery-Parallel-Charging-Quadcopter/dp/B00YH28BI0
    http://www.amazon.com/Generation-Multi-battery-Parallel-Quadcopter-Charging/dp/B00YRWCSY8

    Spare 3 prong power cable and a male DC barrel plug. Should have these laying around somewhere but you can get them on Amazon ~$5.

    http://www.amazon.com/MassMall-Quality-10pack-5-5mm-Pigtail/dp/B00XTY8WUY
    http://www.amazon.com/C2G-Cables-Universal-IEC320C13-Meters/dp/B00007JO37

    Cut up the power cable and hook up green to ground(G or Earth symbol) white to neutral(N) and black to hot(H). Red of the DC barrel plug goes to V(+) and black goes to V(-) Plug the barrel plug into the charging plate and the 3prong power cable into the wall outlet. Adjust the potentiometer knob on the power supply until the LED display on the power supply reads 26.3. The plate seems a bit fragile so I recommend that you plug the battery into each terminal before plugging in the power. That's the main reason why I made myself the metal enclosure but you definitely don't need it if you're careful removing the battery from the terminal.

    The charging plate uses ceramic resistors to limit the current to 5A per battery. I tried charging 2 TB48 and 1 TB47 and it took about 70min from 25%. One TB48 took an hour from 25%. The resistor gets very hot if you only charge one battery at a time because it's limiting the current to 5A by converting the rest of energy to heat. It has a button that you can push down if you want to use the original DJI power supply. This will bypass the resistors. It will split the 100W of power over 3 batteries. Which will take almost 4-5hr to fully charge 3 TB48.

    The plate has an LED display which will cycle through each battery showing the voltage then the amount of time remaining to charge. I find the time to be inaccurate. It will show 26.3 then 000 if the battery is full but the LED indicator on the battery will keep flashing like it's charging but it's actually full. I checked it by putting it inside the Inspire and it would show 100% I must have charged over 20 batteries so far and other than the resistors getting hot to touch, it has performed very well. For the cost of the original DJI power supply, it's definitely worth it and quite a time saver.

    DJI will be releasing a charging hub which will also do 3 batteries at once. Not sure if it will be using a bigger power supply or the 180W one but it should be released next month. I'm sure it will cost a pretty penny if they're asking $90 for just a 180W power supply.
     
    Outta Control and sirnikolas like this.
  8. sirnikolas

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  9. Carlsberg

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    Hi Jack, not having adjustable Amps is a MAJOR problem with these kinds of cheap power supplies, with adjustable voltage only.

    You would have to charge 3 battery packs at the same exact time so they would hopefully draw 5a each. when one pack reaches full charge and shuts off, the other two would draw 8a each.
    (you cannot charge just 1 or 2 packs)

    I just send back a 1200w power supply because the voltage was adjustable but there was NOT a 2nd potentiometer to adjust power (amps).

    These "dumb" lipo packs have only a balance board on them and not a true charging circuit so they will suck 25a x 26v if you let them, (like sticking two paper clips in a wall socket), until the over voltage quickly shuts them down.

    If you cannot adjust the amount power going to the battery packs, (just the voltage), how is this going to work?
     
  10. jackdakota

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    Carlsberg,

    You can charge just one battery with the charging plate in my link. The current is being limited by the resistors on the plate. It will only allow 5A max to each battery. The battery will not shut off due to the over current protection. If you want to use your 1200w power supply to charge the Inspire lipo, you will need to connect a resistor limiting the current to 10A between the power supply and the battery. Because your power supply is 1200W, you will need a beefy resistor to dissipate the excess wattage in order to lower the current to 10A.

    Edit: I have charged my 2 TB48 and 1 TB47 a total of 15 times already with this charging plate and it has yet to not charge the battery to 100%
     
  11. Carlsberg

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    I have the same exact plates and had no idea they were restricted to only 5a each,
    (please post a link to your source of info)

    5a is terribly weak, and NOT an upgrade of any kind. (the stock 100w supply also gives out almost 5a).

    I will either have to modify or (ditch) those weak charging plates as I plan on charging my 3 packs simultaneously at 9a each.
    (and b4 you get too excited, that's not even 2C (which is 11.4a)

    I am getting one of these next week and will post my results showing my charge times almost cut in half of the stock 100w laptop power supply. 3 packs in 50 minutes is my guess. http://www.ebay.com/itm/221740682367


    " If you want to use your 1200w power supply"
    Hi, you misunderstood me mate. I posted that I returned the 1200w supply because it did NOT have adjustable power, (like your suggested power supply)
     
  12. jackdakota

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    True, 5A is almost the same as stock but you can charge 3 at a time with the plate. Are you sure that you have the newly designed plate with the resistors? They have one with and without. The resistors look like cement block above each charging terminal.
     
  13. sirnikolas

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    Mine will be here Friday!

    *dances around*
     
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  14. Luis Morales

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    i been using something similar for a while, works like a charm, i seem none side effects on the batteries after 10 cycles.
     
  15. Carlsberg

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    Hi Jack, no, thankfully I do NOT have the ones with the resistors, (they must have just recently came out with them).
    It would be really nice to have charging plates with 10a resisters, that would save a lot of money NOT having to buy a supply with BOTH adjustable Volts and Amps,
    (they will prolly come out with one they day after I build mine). :)
     
  16. Mohan

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    OP (jackdakota) - are you able to supply a fully assembled unit ready to go?
     
  17. dv8ed

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    If these had an LCD to show source voltage of battery, storage charge & deep cycle would be perfect!
     
  18. KnightOwl

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    Jack....where can we get the metal enclosure from? Been thinking about building a charging station and like to be somewhat portable.

    Thanks
    KnightOwl
     
  19. KnightOwl

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    Carlsberg...if you plan on charging all three batteries at approx 9A each using the older multi parallel charging plate (w/o resistor), does that mean that you would be supplying 27A to the charging board? Can you detail how you you'll be able to prevent the batteries from shutting down (due to their over circuit protection) if one of the three batteries completes its charge before the other two? If I understand correctly, the 27A would then be divided by 2 resulting in each of the remaining batteries receiving 13.5A? Is that correct or am I missing something?

    Thanks for the guidance
    KnightOwl
     
  20. IrishSights

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    I have tried this type of kit out but I am no expert on power/volts/amps etc. The problem is the build quality of the bar. 2 of the solder joints had a stray piece of solder shorting them. The little push down switch melted closed. One of the batteries indicated an over charge situation (flashing 3rd led). I was worried if it was lowering the life expectancy of the batteries so I stopped using it.