I've owned a few nitro powered RC models back in the day, but my RC flying fun really took off (sorry about the pun - couldn't help myself) when LiPo powered models came to the fore, offering immense power, setup ease, low cost, and best off all, the lack of nitro slime that covered every square inch of my RC model. Simply put, once I went electric, I never looked back.
Over the years, I have utilized all types of LiPo battery chargers, with the majority of these being low cost / low power AC style chargers. And this is typically the problem: to take advantage of AC ease via direct electrical outlet, the sacrifice typically comes at power the charger can deliver. This is mainly due to the vast array of AC chargers being limited to around 100W of output, with one of my 1st AC chargers providing an impish 50W of power, leaving me sullenly gazing upon the charger as I impatiently awaited my batteries to finish their charge.
This low AC power is usually not an issue when charging small mAh packs, but the game changes (quite drastically, I might add) when you step up to high mAh packs, which equate to some LiPo packs taking a few hours to charge - not fast, and certainly not fun.
The other side of the coin, you ask? There are an array of DC chargers out there, and the prices aren't too bad, either. These chargers usually have much higher internal wattage, which equates to faster charger times by delivering more amperage to the pack. However, unless you relegate yourself to a DC car battery (and the distinct possibility of needing to call AAA when you kill your battery dead), you will need a power supply - and that's where the cost, size and weight step in.
My go to, bad boy charger is an iCharger Duo 308, which pumps out 1300W, enabling me to charge (2) high capacity mAh 6S packs in 15 minutes - now we're talking! But, it's a cumbersome and heavy beast to manage, making it a serious pain when I just want to charge something quick without all the drama. And I really do mean heavy. With the 1200W power supply, carrying case, and all the other bits and bobs combined, the sum total of it all comes to 20+ lbs. Not ideal in the slightest when I'm looking to charge some batteries on the fly. And did I mention the total cost? Good - let's just ignore that piece of info.
Step into the PLC400D - at 200W per channel with duo charging capability, this bad little beast is compact, light weight and ultra easy to use. Best of all, it's AC powered - zero power supply needed. It gets better, though. At $179.99 with a color touch screen and an array of charging features & capabilities, the PLC400D has quickly become my new "go to" charger of choice, relegating my power house iCharger 308 Duo to days when I am out at the field and need massive wattage on tap to keep me in the air.
Don't have AC options where you fly? No worries - the PLC400D can run off DC, and even better, it will pump out 300W per channel for even more charging goodness. Just watch your car battery - AAA may be your only option if you get a bit too carried away. And let's face it; AAA will take at least 2 hours to reach you, which doesn't bode well since you probably told your better half that this was going to be a "quick trip" to the field. Flowers on the way home, perhaps?
What I love about the PLC400D is the ease of use coalesced with serious AC power, enabling 2 batteries to be charged at once for even greater speed. At 200W per channel, I am no longer limited to endless charging times when it comes to larger mAh packs, and at a price point of $179.99, it's really hard to beat. Pair this with a lovely color touch screen display, battery model memory and a fusillade of other charging functions that will keep my packs safe & happy, the PLC400D is the perfect setup for nearly any LiPo battery, both big and small.
So, whether you already have a power house charger on tap or are in need of a new LiPo power source on a budget, take a good, long look at the Pulse Ultra PLC400D - it very well may end up being your go to charging system of choice.
Interested in the PLC400D? You can purchase this awesome charger by clicking here.