Our FVC team has been rather frustrated with trying to determine how much power the batteries have left and when they are done charging.
For instance when they are in the charging station sometimes they start blinking. According to the Inventor’s Guide insert, this means a problem has occurred and they need to be unplugged and then plugged in again (preferably to the other port). However, we really aren’t sure if this is case. It’d be nice to trust the Inventor Guide insert, but many parts of the manual are incorrect (for instance how the ultrasonics operate). Additionally no reference is made to indicate when the batteries are done charging - is this when the light is off? (It would make sense)
Once the batteries are (hopefully) fully charged, we have found no reliable way to determine the status of the robot battery. It is quite apparent when the battery runs low as the robot starts to slow down, but by then it is too late. Has any team found a reliable method via a voltmeter or other method to determine when a battery is running too low and should not be used in the next round?
A volt meter is the best way to be sure of where your batteries are as far as voltage goes. Using a more complex charger can show you the current output and cycle, discharge, etc. I would use a volt meter but if your not satisfied get a better charger.
Volt meters are useful, but they don’t tell the complete story. A battery can have the right voltage but still not be able to supply much current over time.
Using the sophisticated charger sounds like the way to go. The Spotsy faculty advisor/coach can give more info about them, in general, and about the one they use in particular. I haven’t used one but what he told me about them makes me interested in getting one.
About the blinking light on the charger. When you attempt to charge a 7.2 V battery pack (the fat cylindrical one), do you properly seat it in the charger and ensure that the two small prongs on that slot of the the charger cradle are being pushed in? And when you attempt to charge the 9.6 V battery pack are you ensuring that those prongs are not being pushed in?
As far as my team has determined blinking means the battery is charging, when it’s solid we think that means it’s almost done charging and when there is no light that means it’s done charging.
Our team had the same problem with our light blinking at the GFHS scrimmage. At farmville we lost partially because our battery started to die and none of them were done charging. At GFHS after every round we would put our batteries on charge and the light would start blinking. It had our team confused as well. If your looking for a nice charger look no farther then the triton. Well the triton has actually been disontinued because the triton 2 is out now. Goto www.towerhobbies.com for info on this charger. Search triton charger and it should be one of the first results. It’s about $130.
i have 1 that refreshes rechargeable so there as good as new go to here for the one i have : Maha Recharger