- Product Review (submitted on July 9, 2012):
My iCharger 206B arrived on the second day following shipment by USPS Priority Mail. It arrived in perfect condition. The product and shipping packaging is very good. I will be using the 206B to charge 1S and 2S LiPo cells for my mCPX and 130X. The charge menu and set-up options are extensive, but navigation through the menu is straightforward. The backlit display is clear and easy to read. The instructions (on CD) do a pretty good job of explaining the charger functions. Take the time to read these and you can easily do most all the things the charger is capable of doing. I had no problems charging single cells and up to 5 cells in parallel for my mCPX. I have charged single batteries and up to 4 in parallel in Balance Mode for my 130X batteries. The 206B worked perfectly every time.
So far, I have only run into two things that could be better. First, the voltage calibration is off in the range of 1S cells (3.7V). With a target charge termination setting of 4.2V, the batteries would measure about 4.12V after charging in Normal charge mode. When charging in Storage Mode (target 3.85V), the battery would measure 3.79V after charging was complete. The voltage calibration for 2S cells (7.4V) seems to be better, but also low. You can compensate for this error by increasing the charge termination voltage to a higher value than the 4.2V default. It would be nice if the 206B had the same voltage calibration feature as some of the other iChargers.
Second, the instructions are not very clear on the use of the charging program memories. There are 10 memories that seem to require a name or other identification. It is also not clear what charging / set-up parameters are stored vs. what you need to enter / adjust every time. Admittedly, I’m still learning how to use this feature.
ProgressiveRC Comments: Thanks for your detailed review and support. Please note that it is typical for battery voltage to drop after the charge process is complete. That is, we suspect the charger is bringing the cells to 4.20V, but after the charge is over it is normal (especially for older and smaller batteries) for the voltage to drop to 4.12V to 4.18V. In storage mode the cells are charged or discharged until one cell reaches 3.85V, and then the process is stopped. The charger does not reduce current to hold the cells at this voltage for long, since exact storage voltage is not critical, and the cells will naturally rebound to some voltage near storage. The idea is that we want to get the pack to a mid-level charge, as quickly as possible, without invoking any unnecessary additional wear, and the exact storage voltage is not critical. The 206B can be calibrated like all other iChargers, but it is in all likelihood not needed or recommended in this instance and we do not encourage setting charge termination values above 4.20V for lipo batteries.
When using memory locations ALL settings are saved including global settings and individual charge programs. Basically, a memory location will save all current configurations to that memory (which can be renamed) that can be recalled later by loading that memory preset.