charging batteries

I do not have a Solo... still enjoying my Iris+ a lot... but I see that Solo batteries seem to have a proprietary interface so that you can't use other chargers.  Is this right?  If so, what a PITA.  With my Iris+ I am used to charging my 2 batteries up (or down if the battery didn't fly) to a mid-charge storage condition after flying.  Then I can charge both simultaneously from storage condition to full charge in about 25 minutes when next I decide to fly.

So with Solo there seems to be no way to put the batteries in a storage charge condition... and then it will take a couple of hours (X2 if you have 2 batteries) to get ready to go flying?  Say it isn't so?  Does anyone make an adapter that would plug into the batteries so that they then could be connected up and charged with a real balance charger?

I am not yet in the market for another quad but this would really put me off if there isn't a solution forthcoming.  What were 3DR thinking??

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  • Well, kind of.

    Yes, the pinout on the batteries are non-standard but folks have already modded a normal (normal for the US anyway) AC plug to charge the battery.  After squishing down the plug to fit they then put banana plugs on the other side and those can plug into any battery charger.

    These are just 4s batteries so charging them isn't an issue.

    One big issue is getting the polarity correct before you plug stuff in.

    Anyway, there's a facebook group where folks are detailing the mods that they are working on for the Solo.


    • I suppose the main + and - connections shouldn't be hard to adapt but what about adapting the balance circuitry to connect up to a regular balance charger 4S plug?  Surely the 3DR charger is a balance charger and the connecting cable contains the balance circuit wires?

    • These are smart batteries and the balancer circuitry is inside the battery casing.

      If you haven't seen the batteries yet, the actual battery is enclosed in a plastic shell.  Also inside this shell is the balancing circuitry.

      The circuitry automatically balances the cells and appears to even take them down to storage charge if they've been left fully charged too long. 

      I don't see anything special about the charger itself.  It appears to be a standard laptop type of charger.  I'm not an EE though.


    • OK, that makes sense, and sounds doable then...  but damn, sending these batteries to college too get "smart" sure is expensive!  I like my Iris+ batteries ($36 now at B&H). Maybe it's just me but it seems silly to replicate the balance circuitry in every battery when most of us have excellent balance chargers that handle that function with aplomb.  I believe mine even has a non-balance LiPo charge setting that should work with the smart batteries.  Just has an overall termination voltage.

    • The batteries are getting smarter but the users - not so much.  :)

      The smart battery functionality will now (soon?) allow for the logging of individual cells and power consumption.

      Combine that with the (assumed) smart storage charge setting and these batteries should last a long time.

      I have no idea of the entire functionality of what this new circuitry provides but we should begin to see folks figure this out and detail is soon.


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