CS electronic space charger
There is no hiding from NiMH batteries; the newest NiMH cells last longer and deliver as much-if not more-voltage as older Ni-Cds. Many of us don’t have a charger designed specifically to charge NiMH cells, but CS Electronic (distributed by Schumacher USA) offers the Space Charger and Space Charger Pro that have the features you need at a price that won’t leave you broke.
* Ni-Cd and NiMH charging. The tiny little charger packs the technology to charge both types of cells. With adjustable voltage threshold and recommended settings, the Space Charger can easily charge any of your packs.
Timed start. The Space Charger can be set to delay from when you hit the start button to when it begins charging. This is handy because you’ll no longer have to hang around and start the charger; it will have finished just in time for your race.
* Adjustable charge rate. You can safety charge your packs from o.5 amp to 5.5 amps (depending on what you are charging).
* Adjustable voltage threshold. This allows you to charge Ni-Cd and NiMH cells, and the threshold may be adjusted from 2 to 20 millivolts; the default values for Ni-Cds are set to 12 millivolts and the NiMHs set to 3 millivolts.
* Built-in cooling fan. If the charger gets hot, a small fan kicks on to prevent it from overheating.
* LCD dot-matrix display. When you’re charging, the main screen displays valuable information, including the pack’s vital statistics, when peak voltage has been detected. Available charging cycle information includes charge time, current, pack voltage, charge capacity (mAh), actual peak voltage in millivolts and present peak voltage in millivolts. When the charge is complete, the information displayed changes to total charged capacity, cutoff voltage, total charged energy (oules) and total charge time.
* Built-in space game. A very basic game is built into the charger to help you pass the time (between heats or packs). The game may not be Super Mario or Gran Tourismo 3, but the Space Charger is the first charger with this asset. (126 points is currently the office record.)
* Temperature cutoff. For charging NiMH packs, the Pro includes a thermal sensor that can be used as the main detection or as a backup to protect those sensitive NiMH cells. This feature is included with the “Pro” charger only.
It’s easy to hook up the Space Charger: attach the supplied alligator clips to a power supply. The default language is Dutch and the temperature is given in Celsius; to change to English and Fahrenheit, simply press the “Enter” key.
The backlit dot-matrix screen is very easy to read and displays all the pack’s vital statistics. Changing the charge mode is very easy: press the up arrow key to set the charge rate (on the Pro version, you must also set the temperature cutoff), and then select the voltage threshold according to the cell type. Schumacher suggests that you select a cutoff point of around 12o-degrees. If you charge in the sun, you might have a problem because the sun will heat the pack. The thermal sensor can’t be turned off, so when you use the Pro, try to keep the pack out of the sun when you charge it.
Several different packs were charged. To charge Ni-Cds, you must first adjust the threshold to the recommended setting of 12 millivolts; the packs were fully charged. Next came NiMH cells, and again, the threshold was adjusted to the recommended setting-3 millivolts this time. The standard version never false peaked, and it always charged the cells to full capacity The Pro version had a few problems charging packs in the sun, but when its temperature cutoff had been adjusted to a higher value, the packs came off fully charged.
The standard Space Charger and the Pro version are excellent choices for average racers and anyone who wants a reliable charger that can safely charge both Ni-Cd and NiMH cells. With the bonus of the simple game, you’ll find your next heat come sooner than you expected.
Charger part no.-C1350.
Distributed by Schumacher USA
6302 Benjamin Rd., Ste. 404, Tampa, FL 33634;
(813) 889-9691; warw.racing-cars.com.
Copyright Air Age Publishing Dec 2001
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