RCU Review: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo

RCU Review: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo
 RCU Review: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo More On This Product
Research Airplanes Research Boats Research Cars Research Helicopters Research Engines & Motors Research Radio Equipment Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: December 2014 | Views: 23704 |
Geoff Barber
(G.Barber)
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Introduction
Specifications
First Look
Assembly
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Flight Report
Summary
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No matter what you fly or drive, all avenues of RC have one
item in common - batteries. Electric powered aircraft and
vehicles rely on a battery pack for all their power. Glow and gas
engine powered aircraft and vehicles require batteries to power
the electronics. And, of course, we ALL have a battery in our
transmitter, no matter the type or brand. In short, our RC hobby
depends on batteries!
When you have a rechargeable battery, you're going to need a
way to recharge it - this can be as simple as a 'wall wart' or
basic charger. Beyond that, the sky (and your wallet) are the
limit! Now, I have a pair of chargers that have taken care of my
charging needs pretty well. They're simple to operate and
reliable. But, I was surprised to see all of the other things a
charger can do, once you get past a basic charger!
User Friendly 3.0" Full Color
LCD Touch Screen Vertical Space Saving Design Two USB Charging Ports Charge Two Batteries
Simultaneously Charge, Discharge, Balance
From One Unit Built in Servo Tester 12 Volt Power Supply Included 220 Watts Charging Up to 7S Lixx Charging Five Color Options Cord Free Connection Between
Power Supply and Charger None as Tested Distributed by:
Skill Level:
Time Required:
Frustration Level:
3245 University Ave, Suite 1520
San Diego, CA 92104
www.openhobby.com
I'd like to introduce the new Polaron EX combo. Yes, it charges
batteries, but it goes beyond that in capabilities. The EX combo
pairs Graupner's 12 Volt power supply with the Polaron charger,
and the end result is so much more than 'just a battery charger'.
What do these ratings mean?
Let's open the box, and see what we've got!
Name: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo
Name: Polaron Power Supply (Included)
Price: $429. (Price at Review Publish Date)
Stock Number: S2001.BK (Black Version)
Input power: AC 100-240V
Power Source: 11-28V External DC Power Supply (Docking System)
Output voltage: DC 12V
Display: TFT 3.0? LCD W/ Touch screen
Battery Type & Cells:
NiCd, NiMH / 1~14 cells / each channel
LiPo, LiFe, LiIo / 1~7 cells / each channel
Pb / 1~12 cells (2V/cell) / each channel
Output current: Max. 30A (Continuous current: 25A)
USB connector: 5.0V 1.0A
Output: 2 Channels (400W x 2CH = 800W)
Charge Current: 0.1 ~ 20.0A (100mA steps) / Max.400W-24V,
Max.220W-12V
Output connector: Front 2ch, Side 1ch
Discharge Current: 0.1 ~ 10.0A (100mA steps) / Max.60W
Cycling: Discharge, Charge to Discharge / Discharge to Charge /
Charge to Discharge
Balancing current: Max. 350mA
USB: USB 5V output (5.0V 2.5A ) / USB B-Type
Cooling Fan: 40 x 40 x 10mm / 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.39in
Size: 55 x 194.6 x 199.4 mm / 0.79 x 7.66 x 7.85 in
Display:Black & White Backlit SEG LCD Display
PC communication: Data Logging
Sub Function: Servo Test, Motor Test, Warmer, ESC setting)
Languages: Optional ( Basically English)
Firmware upgrade: External Mini USB device
PC communication: Data Logging
Cooling system: 50x50x10mm(1.97x1.97x0.39 in) x 2ea Dynamic
Cooling Fan
Languages: Optional ( Basically English)
Ext. Module socket: Futaba 3P socket
Cooling system: 50x50x10mm(1.97x1.97x0.39 in) x 2ea Dynamic
Motor Test socket: ZHR
Cooling system: 50x50x10mm(1.97x1.97x0.39 in) x 2ea Dynamic
Cooling Fan
Motor Test socket: ZHR
Ext. Module socket: Futaba 3P socket
Servo Test socket: Futaba 3P socket
Motor Test socket: ZHR
Memory: 40 memories (20ea x 2CH = 40 memories)
Servo Test socket: Futaba 3P socket
Memory: 40 memories (20ea x 2CH = 40 memories)
SMPS Docking Terminal: Yes
SMPS Docking Terminal: Yes
Dimension: 88.2 x 203.4 x 196.3mm / 3.47 x 8.00 x 7.73 inch
Dimension: 88.2 x 203.4 x 196.3mm / 3.47 x 8.00 x 7.73 inch
Weight: 1368g / 48.25 oz
Weight: 1368g / 48.25 oz
The Polaron EX arrived in a very nice, full colored box. Inside, I found the charger surrounded by soft foam padding. I'll be saving this box to
pack the charger in when I travel!
I pulled the contents from the package, and found an array of cords, instructions, and a pair of balancing leads, in addition to the charger. The
sturdy adjustable base is the key to the vertical stature of this charger - it can be set to hold the charger and 12 Volt power supply, or just
charger if the need arises. The face of the charger is nicely laid out. At the top is a three inch touch screen that will take care of most tasks on
the Polaron. The charger has two channels, meaning that two batteries can be charged at the same time.
On the side of the charger there is a panel with several ports. They consist of a USB charging port, a servo test port, a motor test port, and an
extension module port. The motor test port will require the purchase of additional equipment to operate. The Polaron stays cool with the help of
several cooling vents on the sides and a pair of 50mm fans at the rear. Also on the rear of the charger is a 12 Volt input jack to use the charger
without the power supply.
The included AC plug is connected to the lower back of the power supply, right below the power switch. Turning the power switch on brings the
power supply and charger to life!
Manual
The included manuals (one for each the charger and power supply) are well written, and the
illustrations are laid out nicely. There is also a one-sheet addendum instructing the user how
to properly attach the balance leads to the charger.
When is a Charger More Than a Charger?
Ok, so you've figured out by now that this is a battery charger - and a really nice one at that! Besides charging two batteries at the same time,
the screen will display useful information, such as battery Voltage, Amperage, milliAmps into the battery, and the battery temp (if the included
temp sensor is connected). A large graph will display the charging status as well!
In addition to charging batteries of all types (Lead, Nixx, Lixx) you can test servos too! The servo is connected to the panel on the side of the
Polaron, and it can be checked for endpoints and centered. The servo can also be run through its entire movement range with the touch of a
button! There are several other operations that the Polaron can do, but additional equipment is required.
Check out the video below to see an informative walk through of the basic functions of the Polaron EX combo!
After reading the manual, the Polaron EX was very simple to set up and operate. To charge a battery, I had to start by programming a
profile for the battery. Using the touch screen made this a simple task. I set the battery type, Voltage, capacity, and gave the battery a
name.
With the profile set, I connected the battery to the charger with the balance lead and charge lead. The charger then detected that the
battery connected matched the profile and began to charge. When the charge was complete, the selected alarm went off to notify me the
charge had completed. The charger was quite simple to operate!
In addition to charging, the Polaron can be used to discharge batteries. This was made simple, because it is selectable, like the charging
option.
The last item I tried out was the servo tester. This worked very well, and was a nice feature for centering servos prior to installation in a
model.
The video below will give a basic guided tour of the charger and how it works!
Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo
The new Polaron EX combo from Graupner and openhobby.com is a very nice charger. In addition to charging batteries, it will perform a host of
other duties. The charger was easy to operate, and takes up less space on the bench, thanks to its vertical design. Though the price may seem
a bit steep at $429.00, it really isn't when you consider all the different functions that this charger can perform. Add to that fact, you can charge
two batteries simultaneously, and it's more like two chargers in one!
Distributed by:
3245 University Ave, Suite 1520
San Diego, CA 92104
www.openhobby.com
Comments on RCU Review: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo
Posted by: challinan on 05/22/2015
Profile Beware: this is a dangerous charger. I ordered one of these chargers because I liked the idea of a touch screen and friends had one. This charger nearly burned my
house down. I ended up returning it. The default charge current for Nickel chemistry batteries is equal to their mAH rating. For example, when you select a 2000 mAh
NiMH, it charges at 2000 mA or 2A. That's way too high, and not knowing that, I assumed it would be smart about it, I went to charge a 5-cell 2000 mAh battery
and it nearly caught fire, filling my garage with smoke. Close call. I discussed with with the folks at Graupner, but to no avail. Buyer beware.
Page: 1 The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the
manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review. EMAIL THIS ARTICLE OR CHECK OUT THESE OTHER GREAT REVIEWS!
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