Advanced Battery Charger

Would it be legal to use a different battery charger for charging the robot batteries? I have a really nice charger that is used for charging batteries for hobby RC cars. They are the same type of batteries (7.2V NiMH).

I was also thinking about making a battery charger that when you plugged in the battery it would drain it and then charge it fully. This would extend the life of the batteries and would allow them to run longer.

What do you all think about this?

P.S. This is for competition use.

The rules only specify what type of battery you can use, not how you charge it, so the RC charger should be fine. That being said, if you plan on making any modifications to the charger to drain the batteries, you should be very careful as it could be unsafe, and that would violate competition rules. Also, the new NiMH batteries do not have as pronounced a memory effect as the NiCD batteries did, and you usually don’t have to drain them all the way to recharge. If you want to do so anyway, there are already a number a chargers on the market that do that for you.

So would using another charger be illegal for competition?

No, just a different battery. I have a RC battery charger/discharger that drains the battery, recharges and tests it. So I know the status of a battery and can pull the ones out that have been dropped (breaking a cell) out of the competition stack.

WHERE did you get that? and how much was it?

I don’t remember but it was either Hobbytown or HobbyLobby, most of my nonVEX robot parts come from there. If you google search on battery chargers/dischargers you’ll find what you are looking for.

I’ll dig into the stuff and see if I can find the unit.

If you want a standalone battery stress tester, the CBAIII from West Mountain Radio is the way to go. It will do both VEX and 12 battery packs for bigger robots.