RC Nightmare Community Blog

Review: Thunder AC6 Dual Power

The Thunder AC6 Dual Power battery charger is a versatile charger that is also affordable. Its electronics are capable of properly charging 6 different types of batteries: NiCd/NiMH/LiIO/LiPo/LiFe(A123M1)/Pb.

 

Specifications:

  • AC Input:                                  100-240v @ 50-60Hz
  • Operating Voltage:                      11-18v DC
  • Charge power:                            50 Watts
  • Charge Current:                         0.1-5.0 A (in 0.1 increments)
  • Discharge Power:                        5 Watts
  • Discharge Current:                  0.1-1.0 A (in 0.1 increments)
  • NiCd/Nimh:                                 1-15 cells
  • LiLo/LiPo/LiFe(A123):                   1-6 series
  • Pb:                                                    2-20v
  • Charge/Discharge Cycles:             1-5
  • Battery Profiles:                          5

The unit is also a balance charger for lithium batteries and comes with a JST balance board. It also includes several other cables/adaptor plugs for your battery type:

  • Tamiya
  • JST
  • Glow
  • HXT 4mm
  • Alligator clips
  • Receiver pack

The inclusion of the alligator clips is kind of cool. This way you can charge any random type of connectors you may have (great if you are hacking packs together ;) ). There is no adaptor for Deans Ultra Plugs (I knew this before the purchase – apparently they used to have it but no more??).

The unit can be powered by standard AC or a by a DC power supply. The DC power cable comes with 4mm banana plugs which you can plug into a DC power supply or attach battery clips to hook it up to your cars battery (very handy).

More Stuff
And that’s not all! It also comes with a temperature probe/ USB cable/ PC software disc/ User Manual.  Odd thing was the product site (hobbypartz.com) indicated that the temperature probe was not included (bonus!). The user manual is thorough but was somewhat cumbersome to go through due to the translation.

The IO port on the charger can be switched to monitor external temperature with the supplied probe or enable the USB interface. The temperature monitoring worked great and is capable of stopping the charger if a temperature threshold was reached. I was not able to get the monitoring software to work. It installed fine (drivers too) but just never showed any data. It appears as though it would show graphically the voltage/charge/rate along with other charger settings. This would be good if you wanted to see the charging characteristics over time.

Usage
The charger is fairly straight forward to use. Select the battery type you want to work with; select the type of charge/discharge; set the current rate; set the number of cells. The charger will do a battery check and have you confirm what you entered. Considering many lipo fire incidents occur from incorrectly setting the charging parameters, this is a great safety feature which can protect your battery/charger/property. NEVER LEAVE THE CHARGER UNATTENDED WHILE CHARGING (and always use a LIPO safe charging bag). While charging, the unit will display battery type, charge rate, pack voltage, elapsed time and charged capacity. You can use the controls to view other parameters like temperature, input voltage and individual cell voltage if you are doing a balance charge.

It’s physical layout and dimensions are virtually identical to the Sky Charger B6AC/IMAX-B6AC /etc… so it’s fairly safe to guess all will perform comparably. Their pricing is fairly close as well.

Summary
Having used the Thunder AC6 for a couple weeks charging NiCad/LiPo/LiIo I am very satisfied with it. The unit is housed in an all metal casing which is nice. Being a 50 watt charger it is adequate for batteries with 5000mah or less capacity charging at 1C charge rate however if you have higher capacity packs it will take longer to charge. It is a very good thing that all our packs are 5000mah! ;)

One hesitation I do have about this charger is how well it will do in the long term? Only time will tell. We have the Hyperion EOS 0615i Duo3 charger as well so we’ll be able to see how they compare! Lets see if the difference in price is worth it!

7 thoughts on “Review: Thunder AC6 Dual Power

  1. Jackie AGT says:

    You mention such a great things here and it is always pleassure to read. Hope to hear more and learn from you.

  2. Allan says:

    Thanks! Glad to hear we’re able to help out!

  3. trevon says:

    You provide good information for inexperienced rc car drivers like me because i do not own an rc car but i always dream about financial problems i am only 13 years old and my mom gives me support to do something thats why i am pushing to hopefully earn an rc truck

  4. jeremy says:

    welcome, we are really glad to meet you! Make sure to check out our forum.

  5. Allan says:

    Thanks! This is not a cheap hobby to be in..but there aren’t many hobbies that are inexpensive out there! I always try to do things for the least amount of monies possible but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet and pay up. Its worth it for the amount of fun you get out of it! :)

  6. imagining along the same Thanks!

  7. [...] So, LiPos are way cool and powerful but they require some steps like balancing that other battery types do not require. Lucky balance charging is a simple process and if you have a balancing charger I’d recommend balance charging each time. If you don’t have one yet you can nab one for pretty cheap (Thunder AC6 – great little charger). [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>