Imax B6 - Universal Charging Combine

There was already an article on the habr about this national charger, but somehow it was met without much enthusiasm. I will try to fix it, and talk about those features that were not written about in that article. The charger is really popular, any modeller or person involved in them will recognize him at first sight.

So what do the manufacturers promise?
  • Battery charge Li-ion , Li-pol , LiFe , NiCd , NiMH , PbAcid (lead of all types)
  • A fully automatic charge process controlled by a microcontroller. Cutoff current and voltage for lithium batteries, temperature and ΔV for nickel. For all types - shutdown by maximum time and capacity.
  • Training NiCd and NiMH. Balancing charge of Li-pol batteries (for batteries with several banks)
  • Charge current up to 5A, discharge up to 1A.
  • Screen with indications of current voltage, current, capacity. Uploading all these parameters to a computer and plotting.


Appearance

When you open the package, we see this box:
Inside which we find the charging itself, wires (to power the charging itself and to connect to the batteries), instructions ... And that’s it. There is no power supply in the kit.
Charging:
Power connector and thermal sensor (it is also a computer output):
Terminals ±, and balancing sockets:
Design sophistication pretending to be a radiator:
A real radiator and an authenticating hologram:
Here it is, closer:

The fact is that due to the easy repeatability of the circuit, each self-respecting plant copies this charge, at least 4 versions of non-original charges are known. In price they do not differ so much, but in quality - how it goes. Here is a good link to a review of the original and a copy.
The mechanism of checking for originality is interesting - we erase the coating, drive in the serial number and code on
the manufacturer’s website .

I was lucky (this is a joke, if that. I specifically spent $ 10 more)
Interestingly, the second time the number will not work:
As I understand it, it will not work to buy the original charge and copy its number from the manufacturers of copies.
On the left is a wire with two " with bananas "to connect to the device itself.
And either a wire with crocodiles (on the right) or these are connected to the T-Connectors sockets:
By the way, no one knows where all of these are used here is such a connector:
There is also a power cable with two by crocodiles - the device is omnivorous and can have any voltage from 10v to 18v. Although charging for a laptop, even a car battery:
There is still an instruction in English (though with errors):
In which on the last page there is a catalog of accessories:
90% of which with a soldering iron You can not buy.



Insides

Unscrew the 4 screws on the left, and 4 on the right.

Then you need to push the upper part of the case to the sides and pull out the bottom plate with the board attached to it: The
board is attached with three screws: The
key transistors are greased with thermal grease and pressed to the bottom plate.
The charger is built on the usual Atmega:
On some devices, it is not even locked from reading, which allows you to play a little with the firmware.
Collected neatly, the flux is washed off.

Using

We connect the power, the screen with the inscription SkyRc Imax-B6 immediately lights up. Buttons on / off is not provided.

After that we get to the main menu.

Перемещаться по нему можно кнопками «Stop» и "<". The main menu contains: the choice of the charging program depending on the type of battery, the settings menu:
As well as the points for saving and loading user settings.
You can select an item by pressing “Enter”. Here, for example, the Li-pol charge menu item:
By another press of “Enter” we go into the parameter editing mode. The parameter to be changed flashes at this time. You can change the maximum current and voltage (more precisely, the number of cans - voltage multiple of 3.7)
At each stage, protection against the fool works. Charging will not start if: the polarity of the battery is reversed, the voltage is too low or too high, the voltage does not match the type of battery or the number of cans, etc.
after setting all the parameters, long press "Enter" you can start charging. The first two minutes the battery will be charged with a current of 0.2 amperes, is another of the points of protection against a fool, and a way to determine the number of cans:
After two minutes, the current will increase to maximum:
During charging, it can change, in the end it drops to 0.1A.
Designations on the screen:
LI1S - Li-pol battery, one bank. 1.3A - current current, 4.2V - current voltage, CHG - short for Charging, charge. 003: 49 - time in minutes and seconds since the start of the program, 00046 - “capacity” in milliampere-hours “poured” into the battery during charging, or obtained from the battery during discharge. Naturally, the second digit will be less, and it is necessary to focus on it when measuring the battery capacity.

Computer connection


In the charging itself, the menu turns on here: User set program -> USB / Temp select -> USB Enable
Only any USB-UART adapter is needed.

+5 volts can not be connected, they are only needed to power the sensor. TX connect to the RX (receive) adapter, GND, respectively, to the ground. The speed is 9600, but LogView itself knows that.

Connector can be used here is:
It's called PBS-3 Forgive me gods of links to chipidip where it costs 20 rubles, have I bought for 3 rubles

Build charge-discharge graphs in Log View


To get started, go to the offline site and download the latest version there (currently 2.7.4.485). It would also be nice to download update 2.7.4.490, and place it in the program folder.
However, a program with an already installed update can be downloaded from me via a direct link .
Installation is not required, just unpack and run LogView.exe. Actually, the main settings can be seen in the video:

Here is my customized chart preset, open Graphic - Open graphic draft. Graphic - Save the graphic draft to set the default every time it starts.

You can save any log file - Save As, and then open and work with it further - configure the display settings and make a picture of it. The program is not very complicated, you can figure it out in an hour by typing. There is a Russian translation (I don’t remember where I found it, it already exists on my link), but it is not complete. Yes, and English too - in the menus often come across original German words that have already been learned - Entlaned - discharge, Laden - charge. Zyklus - a cycle.

For example:
Charge an almost full lithium polymer battery:

Immediately after the start, the voltage stabilized at 4.2 volts, and the current began to fall.

High current NiMH battery charge:
After a certain period of time, the voltage was turned off to measure the voltage of the battery itself.

Discharge NiMH battery:
Nothing interesting. A current of 1A throughout the discharge until the voltage drops to 0.8V.

Temperature sensor connection

Same picture:
The widely used LM35 from National Semiconductor is used as the sensor . The connection is simple - food to power, earth to earth, dust to dust Vout to Vin.
Well, you need to enable the menu item (if you turned it off) - User set program -> USB / Temp select -> Temp Cut off (dec)
Buy anywhere, at least in the chip-and-dip , at least in the electronic .
The point is that at the end of charging the nickel batteries, all the energy supplied to them will be converted to heat, which causes the battery to heat up. Therefore, once the battery has warmed up, it means it is charged.

disadvantages


  • No power supply. On a copy of b6ac, they constantly swear that the internal PSU is dying in a couple of days. I solved the issue by buying for 500 rubles this universal BP:
  • Does not know how to charge NiMH balanced batteries. As a replacement, LaCrosse will not work, even though the functions are the same, you can only charge / discharge / train one battery. No, it is possible to charge a can of several batteries by adding a voltage in the user profile equal to (voltage on the can) * (number of cans), but balancing works only on Li-pol

  • Low discharge current. For capacious batteries, for example, at 5 ampere-hours 1A, this will be only 0.2C, and they can work at currents of 2-3C or more. Under load, it will not work.


Guide to the IMAX line ( relevant for February 2016 ):
Model Specifications Price Photo
Imax b6 5A charge, 1A discharge, without power supply $ 20.69
Imax B6 (copy) 5A charge, 1A discharge, without power supply $ 15.99
Imax B6AC (copy) 5A charge, 1A discharge, internal power supply unit $ 28.49
Imax B6AC (copy) 8A charge, 2A discharge, internal power supply unit Discontinued
Imax B6AC + (copy) 5A charge, 1A discharge, internal power supply unit $ 39.10
Imax B8 + 7A charge, 5A discharge, without power supply $ 75.00
Imax B6 Duo 10A charge, 5A discharge, without PSU, two independent channels Discontinued
Imax B6 QUATTRO 10A charge, 5A discharge, without power supply, independent channel cheaters $ 159.90


Links:
Russian manual (for another model, but the menu is the same)
Manufacturer's website
Giant review of 18650 batteries made using such charging
Video review of the original , another video review of the copy
Photo review
At tomtop.com it sells for $ 35.96
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