I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out which hobby charger offers the best combination of price and quality. I almost purchased an Imax B6, but then I read a lot of posts in various forums where people warned of counterfeits and poor quality components.
After looking around for a few days, I decided to try the Tenegry B6S for $69, because I figured that they might do a better job on the QC and hold their manufacture to higher standards than some of the other vendors. The results were less than stellar. The first charger arrived defective out of the box, and the replacement seemed to be off by .10 volts or more when compared to a couple of decent DMMs. To make matters worse, the manual was so tiny that it was almost impossible to read. I searched Google and found a manual for an Imax B6 (don't know if it was a manual for a legit model or a fake) and it was nearly the same manual, down to the warning about not shorting out the "crocodile clips". I have another RMA from Tenergy and the charger is going back for a refund.
It looks to me that most of these hobby chargers are basically the same parts and firmware. I know that the iCharger gets great reviews, but I don't really need anything that fancy. All I want is a relatively safe hobby charger that I can trust to not over/under charge. I don't mind spending $70 if I need to, but I can't see the point in spending that much if I'm getting the same $29 junk that everyone else is selling.
Will a "genuine" iMax B6 be reasonably accurate for someone that wants to charge single cells without having to constantly second-guess the measurements from the charger?
Are there any other mid-priced chargers I should be considering?
A genuine ImaxB6 (somewhere on the forum there is some pic with the difference between good and fake) or better a (genuine) turnigy accucel 6 will do the job and are pretty cheap. Someone on the forum has imax, someone turnigy. Maybe you can wait for their opinion
I have a genuine IMAX B6AC .. and I think it's great for the use that you want to do.
imho, excellent value for money
Turnigy Accucell 6 is pretty solid from Hobby King. I haven't had any troubles and it is cheap.
I have a B6 clone and have been very happy with it. The charge / discharge / voltage is almost identical to my $100 Icharger. Where the genuine B6 and clones loose points is in balance charging mufti cell packs. Even if you are doing multi cell packs their probably close enough.
Personally I think the clones are fine but the Genuine B6 probably is worth the extra few $$$
I have Turnigy Accucell 6 from Hobby King and I really like it. I believe there is a calibration procedure were you can fix your .1 volt discrepancy if it really bothers you. I think your expectations for a cheap Chinese made charger are a little high.
You might be right about the expectations, but I had hoped since I was originally spending roughly double what the cheapest chargers cost I would at least have the accuracy of a $15 multimeter (my cheap meter and my Fluke 77 agree on voltage measurements). I read some posts regarding the calibration, but it was said that you only get one shot at it and if you ever want to re-calibrate you have to try to find and re-install the firmware. Since a refund was still an option I figured I would see if there is something better available in the $30-70 price range.
Take a look at the Turnigy ACCUCEL - 8150 at Hobby King. Mine has been working very well for the past year.
Thanks for all the great advice. I went with the Turnigy Accucel 6 ordered from Hobby King's China warehouse and have been happily charging and discharging cells for over a week now. The calibration needed to be tweaked by about .01, however I found that this charger can be re-calibrated as often as needed, unlike some others that I had read reviews on.
Can you post the link to the calibration procedure mine if off a little and I would love to correct it.