Review: IMAX B6 multi-battery type charger

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fran82
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IMAX B6 multi-battery type charger

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★

 

Summary:

Batteries supported to charge:
 Li-ion, Li-po, LiFePo4, Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh, Pb...
Input voltage range: From 10v to 18v DC
Max number cells:
 Ni-Mh 15 cells - Li-ion 6 cells
Discharge function:
 Yes
Power supply:
 EXTERNAL (included)
Temperature monitoring:
 Yes
Price Payed: 36,20 USD
From:DealExtreme
Date Ordered:Aug 2011

 

Pros:

  • Charges almost all chemistries (the most common)
  • Selectable charging/discharging current
  • Maaany functions available (automatic discharge, storage condition, etc...)
  • Includes the power supply and temp sensor

Cons:

  • Does not charge Ni-Zn chemistry
  • Discharging current a bit low (only 1000mA)
  • External power supply a bit bulky

IMAX B6 multi-battery type charger

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★

 

Summary:

Batteries supported to charge:
 Li-ion, Li-po, LiFePo4, Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh, Pb...
Input voltage range: From 10v to 18v DC
Max number cells:
 Ni-Mh 15 cells - Li-ion 6 cells
Discharge function:
 Yes
Power supply:
 EXTERNAL (included)
Temperature monitoring:
 Yes
Price Payed: 36,20 USD
From:Store link
Date Ordered:Aug 2011

 

Pros:

  • Charges almost all chemistries (the most common)
  • Selectable charging/discharging current
  • Maaany functions available (automatic discharge, storage condition, etc...)
  • Includes the power supply and temp sensor

Cons:

  • Does not charge Ni-Zn chemistry
  • Discharging current a bit low (only 1000mA)
  • External power supply a bit bulky

 

Features / Value: ★★★★★

I am pretty impressed for the amount of functions it has. In few words: it charges almost everything....

All chemistries except Ni-Zn..... It can charge:

- Li-ion

- Li-po

- LiFePo4

- Ni-Cd

- Ni-Mh

- Pb

(NOTE: Ni-Zn chemistry would be interesting, but AFAIK, no hobby charger has Ni-Zn support)

The box:

 Incredible amount of functions... still dont know how to operate it completely...

 

UPDATE1:

Pb batteries are charged perfectly, my two 12volt 7Ah SLA´s are now ready to use in case of power outage or bad weather... etc. Even I tried to charge an old 44Ah car battery, but with no luck... showed error message in the screen after "checking battery". Maybe old battery.. who knows

Ni-Mh batteries, after playing with the "delta V", now they stop charging more precisely (I have noticed that it depends on the cells itself, not all the cells with work with the "default" setting. All is "test and error").

The temp sensor is a good idea specially when charging old Li based cells, you can select at wich temp it stops charging for avoiding a "vent with flame" issue.

 

 

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

 

Frontal and back views:

 

 

 

The sides:

 

Wires....


Temperature sensor and car battery adapter...

And the included power supply (a bit bulky):

 

Not much to say, good and robust finish with a blue paint and blue LCD backlight (no dead pixels in mine)... Good accesories as power supply and wiring (good gauge...)

 

 

Summary: ★★★★★

Despite I dont know exactly all the functions and despite the fact that I have not tested it with all the chemiestries it accepts, I think this a good one for charging the most common batteries we have around, specially designed for RC hobbists who use the car battery to charge the batteries on the field. Also usefull for flashaholics, good for knowing the real capacity of the batteries, and so on.....

The price, the included accesories(i.e. the power supply), and all the functions makes it a good choice without damaging your wallet too much......

VIDEO SHOWING FUNCTIONS

http://youtu.be/2O_5HbUlHrI

 

Remember that DX offers this charger from different wharehouses.... if you want it, choose the one corresponding where do you are from:

HK wharehouse http://www.dealextreme.com/p/imax-b6-2-5-lcd-rc-lipo-battery-balance-cha...

UK wharehouse http://www.dealextreme.com/p/imax-b6-2-5-lcd-rc-lipo-battery-balance-cha...

US wharehouse http://www.dealextreme.com/p/imax-b6-2-5-lcd-rc-lipo-battery-balance-cha...

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kneighbour
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I have one of these (and also

I have one of these (and also a Turnigy Accucel-6). I find the iMax a piece of rubbish, and I suspect I will simply throw mine in the bin, eventually. It errors out all the time - I don't think I have completely charged any battery at all with it . It also resets a lot - ie rebooting.

I guess I have a faulty unit - but they are too cheap to send back, so it becomes a total waste of money. It is a very disappointing unit.

My Accucel-6 on the other hand, works just fine. These two brands are virtually identical - they could be made in the same factory.

fran82
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Hi guys! I have uploaded some

Hi guys!

 

I have uploaded some photos, and the review can be called "finished".... but still I dont know all the functions, so I will be updating the post for adding more info...

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fran82
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Hi again!As promised, I have

Hi again!


As promised, I have updated the review with more info.

After about a week "playing" with it, more or less I know all the functions.

 

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xxllmm4
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I have had my B6 clone for

I have had my B6 clone for quite a while now and have been very happy with it. I have never had any failures or reboots. 

About the only thing I don't like about it is the 1A max discharge rate. But for the price you cant complain too much. For most flashlight users this would be fine. Another point is the heat sink on the side of the charger is not actually connected to anything. Its for looks. The discharge resistor is connected to the bottom of the case, when I say connected its actually only pressed against the metal with some thermal compound.

I ended up gluing a computer fan to the bottom of mine and wiring it into the input side of the charger. So when its plugged in the fan turns on. 

fran82
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I have opened mine.The only

I have opened mine.

The only part which connects the power transistors and those big resistor is the bottom part. Then the bottom part "connects" termally with the sides and the top, but the contact is not the best possible.

I agree with you

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sb56637
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Thanks for the review Fran!

Thanks for the review Fran! Frontpage'd and sticky'd.

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old4570
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Hmmm

One reboot - but possibly my fault , moving the charger and battery - so may have interrupted the contact ...

Yes = This is a cheap charger - The cheapest one ?  

But if you dont get a faulty one [ always possible no matter how much you spend ] , it is very useful ..  

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mrbios
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Oh, it's a fake!

DX and many others sell fakes. original is at hobbyking.com and at tomtop also.

original is in other box, buttons are  lower in height, sounds are in other tone, and many other differences.

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Sebastianzon
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Can Anyone confirm

Can Anyone confirm this? 

mrbios wrote:

DX and many others sell fakes. original is at hobbyking.com and at tomtop also.

original is in other box, buttons are  lower in height, sounds are in other tone, and many other differences.

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mrbios
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2sebastianzon -

2sebastianzon - http://forum.fonarevka.ru/showthread.php?t=6394 - on russian, but with pictures videos and You can use google chrome for translating.

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CheapThrills
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BTW: I did not know this can

BTW: I did not know this can do discharge for alkalines also.

Testing now a D-cell for capacity.

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keep an eye on the temps of

keep an eye on the temps of the nimh,s when charging Wink

fran82
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Yes, or put the temp sensor

Yes, or put the temp sensor and "temperature cutoff" to 45ºC

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the delta peak some times

the delta peak some times does not work and can cook the batteries

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I have noticed also, when

I have noticed also, when charging "C"-cell NiMh´s, that they tend to get pretty hot...

I have pulled them early and still they reach some 1,48V or so. Can´t see why it is cooking them so long, topping up the last mah´s?

fran82
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When I use the imax for

When I use the imax for charging NiMh, I use the "capacity cutoff" and "timer cutoff". In that way, no problems at all

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benckie
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they should get warm but not

CheapThrills wrote:

I have noticed also, when charging "C"-cell NiMh´s, that they tend to get pretty hot...

I have pulled them early and still they reach some 1,48V or so. Can´t see why it is cooking them so long, topping up the last mah´s?

 

they should get warm but not hot, if the delta peak is not senseing when the battery is full or near full they will get hot as the charger is over charging them, or if your fast charging them cause your in a rush and using high amp rate they might get hot

 

fran82 wrote:

When I use the imax for charging NiMh, I use the "capacity cutoff" and "timer cutoff". In that way, no problems at all

does not always work

fran82
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@benckie - "Capacity and

@benckie - "Capacity and timer cuttoff not always work?"

The main way to stop charging NiMh batteries in the Imax is the "delta peak". The delta peak not always work, that´s way it offers 3 more "security features" to prevent overchanging in case the delta peak doesnt work:

1- Capacity cutoff

2- Timer cutoff

3- Temperature cutoff


And all of the 3 works. Is the only way I stop charging NiMh batteries with the Imax, because the delta peak has never worked...

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benckie
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well1- Capacity cutoffsay

well

1- Capacity cutoff

say if you buy some cheap cells like 10 000 mAh D cell,s but in real life they only take 4500 mAh and the second one takes 5200 mAh and the third one takes 4700 mAh and the fourth takes 5300 mAh so you have to set the capacity cutoff to the lowest mAh rating so the other 3 batteries dont get to take there full capacity.

or worse the guy who is new to hobby chargers sets the capacity cut off to 10 000 mAh and there for over charges the batteries, or he buy,s some cheap 2400 mAh 18650,s that only take 900 mAh not as much of a big deal with li-xx as its about voltage not peak, but there still is the potential of over charging.

to truly set the Capacity cutoff for nimh you have to cycle each battery a good few times till the battery has leveled out and set it to the lowest of all batteries you have or record the time and mAh of every battery you have and mark them and change it to suit each battery, but to do this you have to cycle the batteries and if the delta peak does not work well its to late then realy isnt it as the batteries could already be cooked by some one who does not under stand.

2- Timer cutoff

we that works much the same way as the capacity cutoff, if will depend how many mAh the battery will take, if the batteries are dead flat, half flat or doing a quick top up, or you have to fully discharge them to the minium voltage and full charge each battery and with the maxium discharge of 1 amp that the imax b6 has that can take all day with big cells.

to truly set the Timer cutoff for nimh you have to cycle each battery a good few times till the battery has leveled out and set it to the lowest of all batteries you have or record the time and mAh of every battery you have and mark them and change it to suit each battery, but to do this you have to cycle the batteries and if the delta peak does not work well its to late then realy isnt it as the batteries could already be cooked by some one who does not under stand.

this feature is best to make sure you dont forget and leave your charger charging all night

3- Temperature cutoff

is the best one, but it will depend if its a hot day or a cold nite or summer or winter inside side or out side charging as for me there can be upto 20 degrees diffrence but it has to be the best out of the 3 saftey features, realy you need a good charger with delta peak or where you can adjust the sensitivity so you dont damage you nimh.

its all trial and error with out a good working charger and people new to the hobby chargers can get it wrong easily i have owned a couple of imax b6,s and a imax b6 ac and my old man still runs his imax b6 it pays to check with a DDM and set all cut offs on the safer side (low).

there is alot of factors, users, batteries and conditions its hard to say one settings suits all.

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I totally agree with you

I totally agree with you benckie. I missed the fact that we dont know the real capacity of some batteries unless you first tested them..

However, in the case of Imax, when chargin Li-ion it stops perfectly 4,20 volts. And when charging li-ion, you dont need "capacity cutoff" neither "timer cutoff". You only need "temperature cutoff"

The problem appears only with NiMh. If delta peak doesnt work, you need to "guess" the capacity. But thanks to god, I only use good known batteries...

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benckie
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for that reason i would only

for that reason i would only suggest the imax b6 geniune and clones for li-po and li-on charging as its about voltage not peak and it should under 50 mv out per cell give or take. with the imax b6,s ive had one was okish and one was an under charger and my old mans is an over charger.

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So according the pics, this

So according the pics, this is fake/clone Imax charger. Right?

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fran82
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Yes, is a clone

Yes, the one I have (the one in this review) is a clone

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fran82 wrote:Yes, the one I

fran82 wrote:

Yes, the one I have (the one in this review) is a clone

clones are cheaper Laughing out loud

( if i ever buy a hobby charger, i would get the Imax B6 clone/original too!! Thanks for the presentation. )

Do we need this here? the new Imax B6 model:

http://www.towerhobbies.de/products/sky_rc/sytm1001.html

EDIT: clones are not cheaper. the original (called "genuine") costs US$33.99 (FREE shipping), or US$24.99+9.99$ shipping from Hobbyking (China).

alternatively, battery chargers with integrated battery holders for NimH cells only (no Li-Ion!!!) and digital displays (voltage, capacity, time, ..):

Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger RRP 69.95$, AMZN 49.95$, akkudo 39.00€ shippedpowerex-info.de 43.99€ shipped incl. 3 years warranty

La Cross Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery charger RRP 49.95$, AMZN 34.95$, Accucell.de clone 22.95€ shipped incl. 3 years warranty

4x SANYO NEW ENELOOP 1,2V MICRO AAA AKKUS HR-4UTGA + FRISCHE BOX NEU im SET, ebay 6.79€

8x Sanyo New Eneloop Mignon/AA HR-3UTGA 8er Pack, 2er AccuCell AccuBoxAA Akkus, 12.99€ 

In comparison, the Jetbeam Intellicharge i4 costs ~24.95€ and has no digital display or advanced features. No go!

 

 

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I just got an Imax B6 AC/DC

I just got an Imax B6 AC/DC clone yesterday. I know nothing about the operation of this thing so I know RTFM applies and I did make a go of it. I have not had much time to really play with it, I'm waiting on magnets which will help. I tried to charge an 18650 this morning. I am sure I had all the settings right to charge the single cell @1A. When I held down the start button I received an alarm indicating that the battery voltage was too low. Well it was too low, 2.73V, but thats why I was trying to charge it. I then tried to charge another 18650 that was 3.92V and that looked like it was going well. I stopped that because I was just holding the leads on to see if it would work. It started charging at .2A then moved to .3A before I stopped. Sound normal? I dont get that I cant charge a battery that has low voltage.

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Langcjl wrote:I dont get that

Langcjl wrote:

I dont get that I cant charge a battery that has low voltage.

That is a safety function, you are not supposed to charge LiIon if they are too much discharged.

You might want to check two other safety functions: Maximum charge time and maximum mAh. The time might break the charge if you use a low charge rate.

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I was able to figure out how

I was able to figure out how to discharge an 18650 and I am now charging the same battery at 1A. I have not figured out how to get deeper into the menu yet for the safety functions but I'm searching YouTube vids to help. The discharge terminated at 3V. Is this too far?

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Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

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Langcjl wrote:The discharge

Langcjl wrote:
The discharge terminated at 3V. Is this too far?

That is fine, if you check the battery with a DMM you will see the voltage is significantly higher, because the battery recovers when the load is removed.

Depending on what LiIon cell you are testing, the minimum varies between 2.5 volt and 3 volt. In my tests I uses 2.8 volt, this is a habit I got from the CBA, that uses this as the default value.

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Thanks HKJ. That helps.
Thanks HKJ. That helps.
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Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

Pulsar said "didnt wanna touch off the .22s in the house"

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Langcjl
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Is this how I set up to

Is this how I set up to charge batteries in parallel?

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Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

Pulsar said "didnt wanna touch off the .22s in the house"

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