Turnigy Reaktor 2x300w 20a Unboxing and Review

Jerry-rigged

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Howdy gang-


After months of looking, shopping, wishing, and finally killing my old charger, I finally jumped the fence and got the charger I’ve been wanting for a while – The Turnigy Reaktor 2x300w 20a I am still in the discovery phase with this charger, but I figured I would post up my thoughts on it. This thread will get updated as I learn more about this charger. Also, I bought this charger with my money, no freebees here.


History – When I got back into the hobby, I was running nimh and 2s lipo only. The charger I purchased was a Dynamite Prophet Sport Duo – a basic 50w/6a two channel charger. While it was a decent charger, it didn’t have some features like storage mode or discharge mode. Still, I used it and liked it for over a year. When I got Arrma 1/8 scale rigs, and needed to charge 4s and 6s packs, the PSD started to show it’s limits. While it could handle 4s and 6s packs, the max wattage meant long charge times. Plus when summer hit, with my garage hitting 95f, the charger would frequently thermal out and shut down when charging both channels at max rate. Yes, I was overworking it, and yes, it finally died. Somewhere along the way, I also picked up a Hitec X1 – a single channel 5a/50w charger, with a full feature set. Nice, but still not strong enough.


So moving forward, I needed a new charger. I really liked having 2 channels, plus I needed a minimum of 80w/5a per channel, for charging my 4s packs at 1c. However, more=better. On Track days, it would be nice to be able to fully charge one battery in half an hour or less, so that I could have a full day with only 2-3 batteries. So 2c or 3c charging meant I needed 10a-15a with wattage to push the amps. Looking at all of this, I narrowed my search to 3 chargers. First - The UP120ac – which could push 2 channels of 12a/120w power, and had built in AC/DC power. Price seemed great - $125 on Amazon. 2nd was the Hitec X2 400. I like my X1 - it is just too weak – so the X2 400 seemed like a good upgrade. 2 channels of 400w/20a goodness. DC only. Big price, though – around $175. My 3rd choice was the Reaktor 2x300w/20. Not quite as much power as the Hitec, (but still plenty) and DC only input. I read the Reaktor line is supposed to be a rebrand of the popular iCharger – that is nice. Plus I have some Hobby King credit, so as soon as they came in stock, I hit the Buy button.


First the basics –

Link to the charger – (I purchase from the USA East warehouse whenever possible, basic shipping is normally 3-4 days to Texas.)

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=70272


Add copy from Hobby King –

This new Turnigy Reaktor 2 x 300W 20A Balance Charger with a compact case design will really blow you away by its high power, high current and it’s extremely efficient Advanced Synchronous Buck-Boost DC/DC converter system. A powerful microprocessor handles numerous types of charging/discharging settings for different types of battery chemistry. On top of that, it also comes with special function modes like motor (brushed) break-in and foam-cut drive which are like icing on the cake. To protect itself, the Reaktor's internal cooling fan will start automatically when internal temperature reaches 55 degree celcius (131F), the output power is automatically reduced by 25%. If the temperature exceeds 60 degree celcius (140F), the cycle is stopped.

For added safety while charging lithium batteries, a cell monitor program looks at the per-cell voltages, and process time during charge/discharge. If any individual cell appears over-charged/discharged or the process has gone on for too long, the charger will generate an alarm sound and the related information will blink. Monitor the health of your pack by checking the internal resistance of the battery pack as well as the per-cell internal resistance on balance tap equipped lithium packs. The Reaktor also has protection for reversed polarity (input or output), low input voltage, charging capacity and time overrun. Balance ports integrated into the side of the Reaktor's case means there is no need for extra balance boards to clutter up your table or to lose.

Bundled with the Turnigy Reaktor 2 x 300W is an array of charging wires and plugs, suitable for most of the batteries on the market today.

Features:
• 2 x 300W High power, high current, high-performance power conversion circuit
• Advance synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter technology with an output conversion efficiency that can reach over 90%
• Cooling fan will start/stop automatically according to the internal temperature and charge/discharge power, and protect the charger from overheating.
• Convenient set of 10 battery profiles that can be saved for later use
• 2x16 backlit LCD screen that provides rich information including active mode, current, voltage, total charge(mah), and charging time and
• Various charging/discharging settings and cycles to meet a wide range of customer needs
• Up to 300W unique regenerative discharge capability.
• Unique lithium battery expanding discharge programme. When you connect the external capacity resistance, you can use it as the maximum discharge power capacity-600W (@30V/20A)
• Lithium battery cell monitor looks at the per-cell voltages and process time during charge/discharge
• Electric motor test mode can be used to run-in brushed electric motors, test motor parameters and performance, check tolerances etc
• Foam-cut drive allows the charger to act as a convenient power supply for a hot wire foam cutter.
• Battery internal resistance measurement
• The Reaktor charger has protection for reversed polarity (input or output), low input voltage, battery temperature, charging capacity and time overrun.

Specs:

Input voltage range: 10~28.0VDC
Charging current range: channel 1/2 0.05~20.0A
Discharging current range: channel 1/2 0.05~20.0A
Maximum charge power capacity: [email protected] voltage >18V (Per Channel)
Maximum discharge power capacity: 20W
Maximum regenerative discharge power capacity: 300W
Maximum external discharge power capacity: [email protected]/20A
Current drain for balancing: < 350mA
Balance accuracy: < 10mV
Lithium (LiPo/Lilo/Life) battery cell count: 1~6 series (In non-balance mode, Life cell count can be expanded to 8S)
NiCd/NiMH battery cell count: 1~17 series
Pb battery cell count: 1~12series (2~24V)
Battery setup memories: 10
Weight: 820g
Dimension: 152x170x60mm

Included:

Turnigy Reaktor 2 x 300W 20A balance charger
DC input wire with 4mm gold-plated plug
Wires with alligator clips
Charging leads



PRODUCT ID: 9466000003-0

If you wait for the “One time offer” (or if you are platinum) you can get it for $119.


So it finally made it into my hands. First thought – box was smaller than I expected…

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Opening the box -

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Contents – Charger, power leads have 4mm bullets pre soldered. Large alligator clips with a female 4mm bullet in the handle, two sets of small alligator clips on 4mm male bullets, and two “Blanks” – 4mm bullet charge leads with no plug – just a tinned end, plus an instruction manual.

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The big alligator clips –

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The charger did not come with balance board leads, but it has plugs in the side for 2s thru 6s –

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Two fans on the other side. Instructions say the fans only cycle on if the charger gets above (I think) 55c/130f – and it will also cut power by 25% when the fans are on. Cut off is 50c/140f. Handy, considering my last charger burnt up.

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And here it is, powered up and running. For a PS, I am using an old PC PS – 550w box that can put 28a/336w on the 12v side. Not enough to charge 2 batteries at full power, but I should be able to push 2 x 4s packs at 2c, if my math is correct. Or maybe not, it will be close. LOL In this pic, I am charging “Storage charge” mode a 4s lipo at 5a on channel 2. Channel 1, I was playing with checking cell resistance on my old packs. So, yeah, it gives me resistance in ohms, but I don’t’ know what is good… LOL

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A few other thoughts/observations –

Overall size is a bit bigger than my X1, but not a lot bigger.

The beeper is pretty loud. I can hear it beeping from inside the house, with the charger in the garage. When a cycle is done, it beeps till you clear it. So far all I have done is storage charge a pair of my 4s, and charged one of my small 2s packs.


Menus seem laid out pretty good, but I did need the book to find the resistance checker mode.


While charging, you can press the forward arrow to see cell voltage, or the back arrow to see charger settings, like current temp, temp cutoff setting, mah cutoff setting, timer cutoff setting, and PS input amps and volts. That last option will be handy, as the charger can pull more current than my PS can output.


If you are a Nimh user, it has a few programed cycles for keeping them fresh. Things like forming charges, auto-cycling, etc. I think it will auto-cycle lipos too, if you believe in “breaking in” your lipos.


Discharging – apparently it can discharge up to 20 amps, but there is a lot of math on that page… LOL not as straight forward as charging amps/watts. Depends on battery cells, power supply, and a few other variables. Guess I’ll need to figure it out, but for now, I just glossed over that section.


Feel free to ask questions, and I’ll update this thread as I play with it and learn more about what it can do.


Jerry
 
Last edited:

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I ended up with the ac/dc single channel version of this charger, and it's pretty sweet. I use a parallel charging board and can charge my multiple packs at once.
 

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