Page Jumplink: Comments on the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger
I have flown my share of 1S ultra micro aircraft but after getting into micro quadcopters and wanting to charge 1S batteries back-to-back to support the addiction, I found myself looking for a small portable charger. Something lightweight, with usable features, that can be powered from a 3S or 4S LiPo battery. My main charger is an iCharger 308Duo that’s powered by two computer server power supplies and is not very portable. The little fixed-current USB chargers that come with micro quads just don’t cut it. The problem I found with most small portable chargers, like the Eflite Ultra Micro-4, Eflite Celectra 4-Port and Hitec X4 Micro 1S LiPo Charger, is the lack of discharging and more importantly storing 1S batteries. Even 1S LiPos aren’t cheap these days so they can’t be used like a disposable Alkaline battery.
After perusing ProgressiveRC’s website, I came across the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger that looked ideal for this task. Even though it’s rated at 300W up to 14 Amps, it physically measures just 80mm or a little over 3″ square and 40mm or slightly over 1.5″ in height. It has a relatively large multicolor display with adjustable brightness and is easy to see even in direct sunlight. The ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger easily met my criteria of being compact, portable, LiPo battery powered, and has features found on larger more expensive chargers, including the capability to charge LiHV (4.35V) cells.
ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger Specs
- Charge Power: 300W max
- Charge Current: 0.1-14.0A
- Discharge Power: 8W max
- Discharge Current: 0.1-3.0A
- Balancing Current Drain: 1A
- Input Voltage: 7-32V DC
- LiPo/LiIo/LiFe Cell Count: 1-6
- NiCd/NiMh Cell Count: 1-16
- Pb Battery Cell Count: 1-12 (2-24V)
- PC Connectivity: Yes, scLinker port
- Dimensions: 80x80x33.5mm (measured: 80x80x40mm)
- Weight: 119g (measured: 125.5g)
- Warranty: 1 year (stated by ProgressiveRC)
After receiving the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger and powering it up, I learned its firmware version (22.214.171.124) was far behind the most current. Unfortunately the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger does not come with the scLinker and cable to update its firmware. At the time I received the Q6 Plus, I couldn’t find the scLinker readily available so I proceeded to use the charger as-is. This was a mistake and cost us two brand new high-end 1S batteries! When Storage-Charging 1S batteries at any Current, the Q6 Plus would sometimes go from the set Current (i.e. 300mA) to maximum 14 Amps without warning. You can imagine what a 1S LiPo does while being charged at 14 Amps! After conveying the issue to ProgressiveRC, they sent a scLinker so I could update the firmware on my Q6 Plus. After updating to the latest version, currently 126.96.36.199, I’m happy to report that my ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger is now functioning normally! If you plan on purchasing this charger, I highly recommend getting the scLinker to make sure the firmware is up to date.
How to Update Firmware on the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger
1. Download the latest firmware file from ISDT.
2. Unzip the firmware file on your computer.
3. Run Smart Charger Updater (scu.exe) and select Install Driver.
4. Connect the scLinker and cable from charger to computer.
5. Power up the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger with a LiPo battery.
6. Select Update Now. Charger will reboot when done. That’s it!
Another issue encountered with the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger was voltage stability and readout accuracy of 1S LiPo batteries. It’s unwritten and untold that the Q6 Plus Charger needs to have a balance adapter between the main output and balance port to accurately measure and display 1S voltages. Unfortunately no adapter was included nor instructions on how to create one. Having had many chargers in the past, I took a guess and built an adapter as shown in the above and below photos. The adapter is simply a 2S battery balance connector with the cell sense wire removed from the 2nd position and the positive wire moved from the 3rd to 2nd position.
The ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger has a unique charging cyle that allows use of the battery before end of charging cycle. The Q6 Plus beeps and the screen turns from orange to green when cells are within 20mV allowing you to use the battery. If you don’t stop the charge, it will continue until the cells are within 10mV, at which time the charger beeps again and the screen turns from green to blue. If you don’t stop the charge still, it supplies voltage to keep the cells balanced.
After updating the firmware and learning of the 1S balance adapter requirement, the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger has proven to be an outstanding little charger. It’s perfect for charging small LiPo batteries — like those used in ultra micro aircraft and micro quads — and can operate a long time on a 3S or higher LiPo battery. If I could convey a couple wishlist items to Shenzhen, it would be to incorporate regenerative discharging and include the scLinker and cable with the charger.
ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger ** Pros **
- Outstanding price point.
- Intuitive operating system.
- Features of chargers twice the cost.
- Small, compact, portable, lightweight.
- Very powerful for its size and weight.
- Easily parallel-charges small batteries.
- Bright, multicolor, adjustable brightness display.
- Displays internal resistance (IR) for batteries being charged
- Beeps after fast charge to allow battery use or continues charging to top off battery.
ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger ** Cons **
- Does not include or mention anything about a 1S balance adapter.
- Does not include means of updating firmware as standard equipment.
- Shuttle key or roller button could have a more positive engagement.
ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger PDF Manual & Links
Buy the ISDT Q6 Plus Smart Charger at ProgressiveRC
- Q6 Plus Charger: http://www.progressiverc.com/isdt-q6-plus.html
- ISDT scLinker: http://www.progressiverc.com/isdt-sclinker.html
Close-ups, Feedback and Reviews
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