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.
- 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:
- 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).
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.
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.
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!