SkyRC MC3000 help thread

I do not own this charger, but the option “0dV” is on board …

in the specs is listed :

-dV Sensibility : 0dV, or 1mV ~ 20mV

I use mine pretty much exclusively for LiIon cells. But I have been through the manual many times. I don’t recall any setting that allow this.

But I am curious, what are your concerns about the more standard termination methods? Is there some advantage to manipulating these settings. I am truly curious. IOW, I wonder what you are trying to accomplish.

For now, the only termination method I will use extensively is the “0dV” termination method at low currents, e.g., 250mAh (to achieve the longest possible life cycle of Ni-MH batteries – with no excessive heat and overcharging to worry about), and I believe this aligns with Panasonic’s approach to intelligent charging, which involves charging nearly to full capacity, but not to the point of overflow.

My question regarding whether the SkyRC MC3000 is capable of being set up to intelligently use a combination of 0dV, 0dV/dt, and -dV/dt, ‘whichever comes first,’ is a matter of curiosity because, based on what I’ve read about other chargers, the LiitoKala Lii-600 actually operates in this manner. And so I got curious if SkyRC MC3000 is capable of replicating this given its highly configurable options.

OK. I don’t think (any correction welcome) that the MC3000 can do this sort of “intelligent” selection. But at these low currents and your preference for cycle life over charging time, I don’t see it having much value. 0dv at 250 mA and watching the time should get you what you are after.

I have 3 Maha C9000 chargers and and a C808M. I use them almost all of the time for NIMH cells. I just allow the chargers to manage the termination. In particular the C9000s with their 2 amp pulsed current dv termination and a 2 hour top off seem to get me good capacity and not impact the cycle life too much. But I charge a bunch of cells at a time and am concerned more about time than cycle life. Though I have lots of Eneloops with over 700 cycles on them and they are fine.

Honestly, when I have used the MC3000 for NIMH, I have just used the default settings. Sorry I could not be of more help.

Agree with Mandrake50. When I use my MC3000 for NiMH I just use the default settings and adjust the charging up or down depending on the size of the cell.

But I don’t THINK the MC3000 can do the sort of highly configurable option you are after.

Newbie here …

I also own the MC3000 and I am happy with it so far. I am on FW 1.15, and I don’t plan to upgrade the firmware (mainly because of what I have read in this forum about the weird IR measurements with later FW versions).

However, I am asking myself if the device has been given up by the vendor. Notably, there is currently no MC3000 firmware to download at all on the website (neither the old 1.15 nor more recent versions). Did I miss something?

Furthermore, I tried to download the PC software for Windows. It is denoted “MC3000_Monitor_V1.18.zip” on the download page. But when clicking on the download button, it downloads v1.08 (not v1.18). This worries me: What actually is the latest PC software version, and where can I download it?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Wow, thanx for posting that. That is indeed very curious, and is also a very recent change to the site. I checked the FW revs available for download within the past 2 weeks, and Ver 1.15 was still listed (along w/V1.18, which I too have no current interest in), so clearly something has changed. I have no idea why they would remove those links. Oddly, while I was there this time, I took a moment to download the v1.15 file and stored it away just in case something like this occurred and I for some unknown reason might need the file. So, not only is it strange that the file was removed, but downright weird that I decided to download / save it that day. I’ve never played ‘the lottery’ even once, but I should go buy a ticket today.

I’ve not attempted to use either of the 2 interface applications you’re referring to, although I figured I’d try the PC/Mac application at some point just for the heck of it so see if it might be useful for me. I should probably download and save those files too (whatever version they are), just in case more strangeness happens w/ the site. Right now I’m still becoming familiar w/ the unit and native interface, which is meeting my current needs.

I have 2 units, both of which shipped w/ V1.15, and I do not anticipate ever up-reving to a higher version unless I become aware of a compelling reason to do so.

Just FYI: I too lack confidence in the long-term availability / support of the MC3000, and that’s exactly why I purchased a second unit:-)

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Maybe - thinking optimistically - it is a sign that they are planning a v2?

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It would be nice, but I tend to doubt it. I wonder if it is because 1.18 was not good and they don’t want people downloading it. My hope would be (and I think it more likely) that they will post the next firmware that fixes the problems with 1.17 and 1.18.

BTW, the last time I used the PC software it was the 1.05 version. It worked fine with my chargers that are on the 1.15 firmware.

I found the 1.08 Monitor software for MAC or PC here:
https://www.skyrc.com/downloads
This appears to be the latest version.

I don’t think the monitor software version is related to firmware revision levels.

I see that they have a manual with a number of 1.20. In the past I think the manual numbers have matched FW release numbers. Maybe that is a good sign for a 1.20 FW revision that fixes issues, at some point.

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I also think that the Monitor software version is not related to the firmware version. But in general, the web site is a mess.

The only FW version that can be downloaded currently is 1.15, but it is not listed where we would expect it. Instead, it is buried deeply in the news page (https://www.skyrc.com/news/) where you have to find a post from 2020 that mentions it and that contains the download link.

I’ve downloaded this version yesterday just in case (I’m currently on 1.05, too). But I am still asking myself why the text says “1.18” while the download actually is 1.08.

Being off-topic, it’s always interesting how differently people react to such situations:

From time to time, I also have bought one more piece of a product than I needed when I expected that it wouldn’t be available any more in the future.

However, in this case, the total chaos on the website and the fact that they obviously dramatically worsened basic functionality with FW 1.18 make me advise people to stay away from this device from the beginning on, especially as the vendor obviously even doesn’t think about fixing 1.18 (but instead removes any FW download from the website without commentary), and given that there is absolutely no communication from them.

It’s not that I have any problems with the device or with FW 1.15 so far. But unfortunately, that kind of device lives from continuous firmware improvement, updates for new battery types / chemistry and bug fixes and vendor communication and support.

I’m glad that I have the MC3000, and I’ll happily keep using it. But if I had known about the current situation some years ago, I would have bought a different charger. If I ever come to a situation where I need a second charger, it will be from another vendor (unless SkyRC radically changes their attitude regarding communication and firmware updates till then).

Have a nice time here, Eac3V3RoL04zFJlt!
Wow, memorizing that username must be a challenge.

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I like Christina very much. Still watching Married With Children (“Eine schrecklich nette Familie” here) whenever I can :slight_smile:, as I did 35 years ago with my former buddies. It really hurt me when I recently became curious, researched what she now does and thereby learned about her bad luck regarding her health. Rarely felt such regret …

And of course, thanks for the warm welcome! I’ve become too lazy to choose a reasonable user name everywhere, so I let a password generator create them. Fortunately, the password manager remembers everything.

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Yes it is interesting how different people’s reactions are to the same situation. SkyRC spent the better part of a year working with the community to get the features that were asked for and to kill bugs. They put a bunch of time and effort into it. Often having updates a few times per month. But, they were never very good at communicating what they did. The only way we found out was through users that were beta testers. The web page has always been a mess…always.

But the charger has to have been continuously produced at least 12 years at this point. They are still manufacturing and supporting it. That says something positive about the long term availability .

Fortunately I have two of them. One an original model. It still works fine and is my daily driver. If one broke, I would buy another one immediately. There simply is not another charger that does everything that the MC3000 does, nor does it as well. So if I bought something else (and I have, more than a dozen different chargers), I would be getting a lesser machine. Your choice obviously, but for me, too much to give up as a matter of principle only.

Of course it does have limitations related to hardware. So support for new chemistries in the future may not be possible. OTH, it currently handles everything I need, with the exception of the 1.5 volt LiIon cells. I am sure that will never happen. Specifically not via any firmware update.

If having a crappy web page and the lack of communication is the price to pay for that, so be it.

But certainly, to each their own. I respect you feelings. I just don’t agree.

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I have a fairly new MC3000. I just ordered some 18650 Sodium Ion batteries. Does anyone know if SKY is likely to add Sodium and post a firmware update, or do we have to hack a solution. I can charge ok I think, but the discharge voltage is much lower so cycle and discharge and determining capacity is a no go.

Make yourself at home, sonofcy!

Thank you very much for your comment. I’m not that deep in the scene, and I am grateful that you have shed some light on the subject.

Notably, I probably have bought the MC3000 in 2020. I never had heard of it before and therefore (until now) have not noticed the vendor’s development efforts and the vendor’s connection with the community during the time before.

Plus, I have taken it as a matter of course (without knowing or researching) that there would be a lot of similar products that are as good as the MC3000, given the big market. Obviously, this assumption was wrong.

Thanks again!

What does the data sheet for your cells say about charging and discharging the cells.
I have read about charging to 4 or 4.1 volts, which the MC3000 can easily do. Just save the settings to one of the memories.
I have read different places that say to discharge down to from 2.5 down to 1.5 volts.
here is a quote from one data sheet that I found for 18650 Sodium Ion cells.

  1. definition
    3.1 Standard mode charging
    The definition of standard mode charging: At 25±2℃, charge the cell to 4.2V at a
    constant current of 1C, and then switch to constant voltage charging at 4.2V to a cut-off
    current of 0.03C.
    3.2 Standard mode discharge
    Definition of standard mode discharge: At 25±2℃, discharge the fully charged cell to 2.5V
    at a constant current of 0.5C.

I am pretty certain that the MC3000 can be set to do this. Again setup the charge/discharge/charge cycle accordingly and save to one of the 30+ memories.

The discharge cutoff can’t be set below 2.5 volts on the MC3000. I just checked. So it looks like you are out of luck if you need to go lower.

As to your question about a firmware update to add the capability to fully test Sodium Ion cells… I doubt if we will ever see that. See the discussion above for more thoughts on that.

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It’s the discharge level that is too high. That does not affect charging, just all the other modes.
As a lifelong (+60 yrs) software guy I see no reason why another chemistry can’t be added. I doubt it would take more than a month total. I am happy to do it if they give me the code.

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What do you mean? The lower cutoff voltage for discharge? The current used for discharge?

My thought about expecting an update for this, or any new chemistry is based on where the charger is in its life cycle. A return on investment decision, regardless of how much time it would take. The recent firmware updates have been very widely spaced in time. Even when they know that there are specific problems. But it is just a guess. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.

As to them opening the firmware to open sourcing. People have been asking them to do that for over 10 years. They haven’t done it. Maybe that tells you something.

Yes, lower discharge level.