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Author Topic: Build - Charging Station  (Read 3081 times)

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Offline bfeist

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Build - Charging Station
« on: October 12, 2012, 10:30:08 AM »
Moving this build thread to this forum where it will actually be read by people and possibly be helpful to others. It's from last year.

--

Hi all,

Recently I unloaded some of my older chargers and bought a couple of new ones. The new ones are quite powerful (one is 350W) which lead me to converting an old server power supply to a 1000W 12V PSU earlier this summer. I also bought some high performance Lipos which like to be stored at 3.8V per cell, never at full charge. This meant storage charging my lipos at home instead of only charging at the field. This added task meant that charging had slowly become a seriously tangled mess. I was carrying my chargers in an old canvas bag, unloading and hooking them up at the field, packing them up again and then unloading and hooking them up to my PSU at home after every trip to the field in order to balance and storage-charge my packs. We all know that lugging and loading gear is a huge part of the hobby and I'm always looking for ways to make it easier.

Enter my decision to make a "charging station". I had seen some examples of other people doing this and there seems to be no shortage of ways to do it. I let it rattle around in my brain for the summer as I worked on other things and finally built it this weekend while the rain fell and the wind blew outside.

I bought a fake-aluminum toolbox that's exactly the same size as my flight case (picture). I tried several configurations (you can see the amount of stuff I have to fit into the case).

I eventually settled on the PSU on its side at the back left of the case. I then cut a hole in the case for the PSU's air-flow (picture).

To be continued...



Offline bfeist

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Re: Build - Charging Station
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 10:30:40 AM »
Next steps:

I knew the cabling was going to be a nest of snakes so I decided to put a false floor in the case with the cabling underneath. I put six carriage bolts through the floor of the case and adjusted the height. Once I established the correct height I cut the carriage bolts (approx 1 1/4" height at the end). I used three nuts to: a) secure the bolts to the floor, b) establish the false floor height, c) secure the false floor to the 2nd bolt. I left enough space around the outside for cables to drop underneath.

I also secured the PSU to the case with zip ties (pictures).

Next post: wiring harnesses.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:33:18 AM by bfeist »

Offline bfeist

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Re: Build - Charging Station
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 10:30:57 AM »
Wiring:

I have three chargers and I needed these to all merge into one connection that I could connect to either the PSU or a deep-cycle battery. These chargers pack a punch and my temporary DC connection from the PSU using only 18 gauge wire almost caught fire at 20A so I opted for 12 gauge wiring. I made a quick diagram because I was going insane trying to figure out the gender of the various connectors involved (picture). The end result is that each charger now terminates in a pair of bullet connectors (picture) rated at 100A. I can connect each to the charging station, directly to the PSU, or to an external DC lead to a deep-cycle.

I then made a 1 to 3 bullet harness to connect all 3 chargers to the PSU with a single connection (pictures). This harness goes under the false floor.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:34:54 AM by bfeist »

Offline bfeist

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Re: Build - Charging Station
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 10:31:13 AM »
Final base assembly:

The nuts holding the false floor down were hampering the position of the chargers, so I put 1/4" ply blocks in place to match the position of the chargers' feet (picture). Then it was time for velcro. At first I wasn't sure if velcro would hold things securely enough, but everything is in so tight that it turned out to be more than sufficient. I put velcro on the bottom of each charger (the soft part) and place the hook part on the floor of the case. This way the chargers won't scratch any future surface they may be sitting on (pictures).

The fourth picture below shows all the chargers in place. The wiring isn't super neat with balancing boards and charging cables strewn about, but the case serves its purpose--I just close it can carry it to the car. 

I finally held my breath and connected the PSU. Bingo, all the chargers turned on. It's hard to make out in the picture but the bullet lead next to the PSU with duct tape on it is the 3 to 1 harness lead. This plugs into either the PSU or an external cable to clamp to a deep-cycle battery (picture).

The case stores away neatly in my workshop next to my transmitter case.

Next up: pouches and ties for the PSU power cable, the external DC lead, various battery adapters, balancers, etc. I haven't quite figured out this part yet. Any suggestions?

Ben
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:37:05 AM by bfeist »

Offline bfeist

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Re: Build - Charging Station
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 10:31:43 AM »
Final touches.

I added a strap to hold the PSU power cord by drilling four holes and then joining them into slots for a velcro tie strap (picture). I also cut notches in the aluminum edge of the case to relieve stress on the zipties that hold the PSU in place (picture). Lastly I added a connector box attached with velcro in the same way the chargers are to hold my various charging adapters and balancers.

Cheers,

Ben
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:38:54 AM by bfeist »

Offline sts41

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Re: Build - Charging Station
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 06:45:21 AM »
This is Great....Off to Canadian tire....Should clear up a bit of the mess in back seat of truck.

I don't know how I missed this post.....


Steve

Offline bfeist

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Re: Build - Charging Station
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 08:04:50 PM »
I've been getting some interest at the field for my charging case, so I thought I'd wake up this old build thread. I know most people just charge at home and don't bother with field charging anymore, but we're not all that flush with lipos :)

Ben