Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Astro "Blinky" Battery Balancer

    I just bought an Astro Battery balancer board from a local RC model airplane store yesterday.
    You are supposed to be able to leave it plugged into your lithium battery pack, and it will relentlessly balance your batteries before charging, during charging, and after charging. It can also discharge any battery cell that is overcharged beyond 4.25Volts

    you can find a full description of the product here:
    http://www.astroflight.com/index.php...products_id=20


    BTW, this board cost me $36 cdn
    Last edited by SeizeTech; 04-25-09 at 09:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Anyways, I have a YW lithium battery pack that I started to test last night.

    Here are the results of my test so far:

    Before
    Blue 0V ( this is my ground reference)
    Green 3.997V (cell 1)
    Yellow 4.022V (cell 2)
    Orange 3.961V (cell 3)
    Red 3.961V (cell 4)
    Brown 3.964V (cell 5)

    - plugged in the balancer at 8:20pm (24 Apr2009)


    the next day(25 Apr2009) at 10am:
    blue 0V
    green 3.960V
    yellow 3.972V
    orange 3.954V
    red 3.942V
    brown 3.953V

    The blinky is supposed to stop blinking when the cells are balanced. at 11am ( the time that I am writing this) they are still blinking.
    Last edited by SeizeTech; 04-25-09 at 11:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Update:
    25 Apr 2009 3:50pm
    - the board is no long blinking when I checked it, ie I don't know exactly when the board finished

    blue 0V
    green 3.957V
    yellow 3.950V
    orange 3.953V
    red 3.939V
    brown 3.949V

    Not bad! that looks like a 10mV acuracy in less than 24hours.

    I'm going to put my yardworks batteries back into use. I'll use the existing BMS boards while charging and discharging, but I'll cycle this balancing board through the battery packs so each battery gets balanced every 3 or 4 day. If I get good results, I'll pick up a few more of these 'blinkys'

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Second Battery test:

    blue 0V
    green 4.048V
    yellow 4.042V
    orange 4.042V
    red 4.044V
    brown 4.042V

    - plugged in the balancing board at 4:01pm 25Apr2009 and it started to blink right away

    - IMO, this battery is already well balanced, so I'm interested if the blinky is going to screw it up before it stops blinking.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    4:03pm 25 Apr 2009

    - within a few minutes of plugging the board in, the blinking stopped for close to 30 seconds, and now its blinking a little bit here and there. looks like a good sign.

    I am going to turn my back on this thing for a few hours, and see what happens.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Update:
    Second Battery 25 Apr 2009 9:43 PM
    - approximately 5.75 hours connected to a battery that was - imo - NOT in need of balancing.

    blue 0V
    green 4.043V
    yellow 4.036V
    orange 4.041V
    red 4.031V
    brown 4.037V

    Hmm....that's a shame. Although its still balanced within about 10mV, the Blinky board actually screwed up a perfectly balanced battery pack.

    for curiosity sake, I am going to let this battery go all night to see what happens...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Test results for second battery:
    12noon on 26Apr2009

    blue 0V
    green 4.032V
    yellow 4.028V
    orange 4.032V
    red 4.020V
    brown 4.031V

    It definitely seems like I would not want to leave this board plugged into a battery that is in storage because it was a way of slowly discharging the cells. However, the discharge is so subtle it would not be a problem with a battery that is actively being used on my bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BTW, I put this board under the microscope to see how easy it would be to clone.

    The circuit board is extremely simple, and the board uses a MicroChip PIC16c770 with very little of anything else.

    I have a programmers card for PIC microcontrollers but unfortunately its not compatible with the PIC16c770

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been using these for my LiPoly e-bike for a while now. However, they're kinda slow so I just simply use a balanced charger.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    536
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thats a good idea. I've only bought one of these boards so far. If I buy another 3 to match with my batteries, I might even save some money if I buy a balanced charger instead.

    One thing is for certain, I have to continue to look into this over the next few weeks. I'll be happy to post updates so the thread stands as a record for anyone searching the topic.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •