but im not charging loose cells im ballance charging 2 x 18650 at once in series and the other single 18650 battery holders have no ballancing they plug directy to the charger and charge like normal as theres no need to ballance a singe battery.
im making 3s and 6s ballacing/charge leads to ballance charge 3 x 18650,s at once and 6 x 18650,s at once, the batteries will be used in difrent torches under diffrent conditions with diffrent end voltages and i feel its best not to parrallel for this reason and i feel its best to ballance charge them together then to charge one by one and it will save alot of time.
when charging in parrallel the cells will balance to an extent, if they are close to start with ive found, i do like charging in parrallel for lipo,s as you can use higher charge rates and charge as one big battery pack, but the batteries are not always close in voltage, the more the diffrence in voltage the more they spark ive noticed while conecting multible cells together
its very easy to make series ballancers i dont think you understand how the icharge works when balacing, the icharge does not limit the charge to 300mA while charging as it would be usless, if the cells are out of balance the balancing works totaly diffrent, the charge will maintain the same charge rate but thats when the balancing module kicks in.
the icharge 106b+ the model i have has a balance modual built in with a max draw of 300mA, so you can ballance charge mutible cells at what amp rate you chose, if one or more of the cells is higher then the rest the icharge will draw from that balance wire or wires upto 300mA to bring the voltage down on that cells or cells to the same as the others to ballance the cells while maintaining the same charge rate, thats the whole point of the balance wires, it can drain voltage between the cells to ballance them. (the max charge rate for my model is 10 amps)
so if you have 3 batteries in series the first one is 3.4v second 3.9v and the last one 3.4v and you have set the charger to charge at 1 amp, the charger will charge at 1 amp but the balance modual through the 4 balance wires for charging 3 cells will drain 300mA through the two midle wires draining the midle cell down while the other two come up, if that makes sense, the charge will give you a read out of how each cell is going and what the voltage is while ballancing you can actualy see it work with the voltage of the cells, when ballance charging in series each battery has balance wires connected at the positive and negitive side of the battery plus the main charge wires, so the voltage of each cell from 2 to 6 batteries at a time can be adjusted (ballanced)
i have used series charging for lipos for years with Rc and have been parrallel charging for a while now in Rc, there is no right or wrong with series or parrallel charging depending of what your doing, each has its good and bad points, i perfer parrallel for multible lipo packs, but for 18650,s i have chosen series with ballancing as ive noticed some diffrences in voltage between batteries with a torch that uses multible 18650,s at once in series, the icharge balances pretty fast and will get the cell,s with in 0.01 volt of each other and you can calibrate it if needed, if they are good cells (unlike the ones ive got pictures) they will all be spot on.
i feel there is no harm in ballance charing multible 18650,s like the picture ive posted on a 2 x 18650,s series ballance charing set up, its more acturate then cheap auto cut off chargers and safer and much safer then not balance charging, there is no harm in parrallel charging either, if the cells voltage is close as they will ballance each other out to an extent, you cant realy ballance charge parrallel cells unless the cells are packs made into series, but when running torches that use mulible 18650,s in series and single cell 18650 torches if you want to charge multible cells all at once to save time and trips to the charger, series ballance charging is the go for me but each to there own.