Battery Analyzer and Battery Charger

A few weeks back I bought a battery analyzer and battery charger. As part of my work with Unmanned Aircraft Systems, aka drones, I wanted a way to measure the health of Lithium-Polymer batteries, charge them to full capacity, and have the ability to leave them at a charge appropriate for storage.

After building a necessary cable, I exercised my new West Mountain CBA IV Computerized Battery Analyzer. I didn’t buy the “Pro” version as I didn’t think the additional calibration was necessary for checking the capacity of LiPo batteries intended for use in UASs. In short, I love it! As shipped, the two 3S 2200mAh batteries I bought were at about 60% capacity. After fully charging the batteries, they were slightly above the rated capacity at about 2400mAh. Drawing 1C (2.2A) of current, you’d expect a fully charged 2200mAh battery to require about an hour to discharge. You’d be right.

It’s really nice to have a way to measure the health of those batteries. The CBA IV software stores the data for later analysis and generates nice charts. I think it will be particularly helpful to estimate the flight time of an aircraft drawing a given amount of power.

LiPoAnalysis

In the process of analyzing the batteries, I also had the opportunity to use my new charger, the Hitec Multi Charger X4 Plus AC/DC. After analyzing the batteries as shipped, I charged them to full capacity using “balanced” mode. That took about 75 minutes at 2.2A. After analyzing the batteries again, I put them back on the charger using “storage” mode. That mode uses as most 1A and it took about 2 hours to bring each battery to storage voltage. The charger was pretty intuitive in its use but did require careful reading of the instructions to be sure I was properly hooking up the batteries. This was my first charging experience, after all!