Impact resistant case minimizes damage to the lipo battery
Lipo balancer is easy to operate
Balancer can be used with or without a charger
Battery does not include leads
Team Checkpoint TC-1030 Pro Charger is, in my opinion, one of
the easiest to use and most versatile chargers on the market.
So how does The Team follow up after the success of the
TC-1030? By introducing a LiPo battery and Pro Balancer that feature
the same quality and value.
Team Checkpoint 5400mah LiPo battery and Pro LiPo Balancer are
two must-have items in any racers' pit-box. And with multiple
wins in the 2007 R/C Pro Series Championships, these two hot-commodities
have already made names for themselves. In this review I will
take you through a charge and balance of the 5400mah lipo battery
while using the Pro LiPo Balancer and a TC 1030 Pro Charger.
Team Checkpoint 7.4v 5400mah 2S LiPo and Pro LiPo Balancer Price: Battery: $129.99. Balancer: $39.99
Number of Cells in Series: 2
Rated Voltage: 7.4V
Continuous Discharge Rate: 16C
Maximum Recommended Charge Current: 1C (5.4 amps)
Pack Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.8 x 0.9" (137 x 46 x 23mm)
Weight: 8.9oz (253g)
Compatible Input Devices: LiPo chargers and dischargers ONLY
Cell Balancing Range: 2-series to 3-series LiPo packs (7.4 - 11.1V)
Adapter: For Team Checkpoint brand 7.4V LiPo batteries
Max. Current (chg or dsch): 6 amps
Discharge Termination: Auto-cut based on individual cell voltages
Discharge Current: 120mA per cell (Discharge Balance Mode)
Overload Protection: 7.5 amp auto (spade) fuse
Physical Dimensions: 3.23 x 1.57 x 0.59 oz. (82 x 40 x 15mm)
Weight: 1.55 oz. (43.8g)
lead w/ bullet-style connectors
safe charging bag
The Duralite company makes
some of the highest quality LiPo batteries for cars and airplanes
that money can buy. With that being said, you know the Team Checkpoint
LiPo is built to the same high standards. This battery came to
me in a small plastic package containing the battery and a safety
and handling instructions sheet. Unfortunately, no charge leads
are included and you either have to buy some or solder them up
with bullet connectors. I chose to fit the lead with a Deans connector.
packs have a few advantages over NiMh and NiCad packs. first is
weight; LiPo packs are far lighter than their cousins and we all
know a lighter vehicle is faster. Second, LiPo packs have less
internal resistance than others and offer a slight performance
increase in that area. And last, with .2 more volts in a pack
vs a NiMh/NiCad, a LiPo pack offers another slight power increase.
Put all these together and you not only have a significant power
boost, but a substantial increase in run-time over old school
Team checkpoint 5400 is a 7.4v 2S pack, which means it contains
two cells assembled in a series. For example, two cells in a series
are called "2S" or "2S1P". each LiPo cell
has a voltage rating of 3.7v. The more cells in a series, the
higher the total voltage of a pack.
charge the LiPo, we need to connect the charger to the balancer
and then the balancer to the battery. Make sure to carefully observe
the positive and negative markings as they are small and could
be confused somewhat easily. If your charging with the Pro Lipo
Balancer (which you should be) connect the balancer to the charger
first, then connect all 3 leads to the battery (two leads are
4mm, one is 2mm). Then set the charger's output voltage to 7.4v.
Next, set output current no greater than the "1C" rating
of the battery. At battery's 1C rating equals the amount of current
needed to fully charge the battery in one hour. With a rating
of 5400mah, this LiPo should be charged at no more than 5.4 amps.
Once everything is hooked up and the charging parameters are set,
press the black button on the Pro Balancer twice to select "Charge-thru"
mode. Start the charge from the charger and sit back as your Team
Checkpoint Pro Balancer distributes current equally into each
cell until they are perfectally matched.
Balancing the pack
great about the Pro Balancer is it's simplicity; there is only
one button to interact with. Press it once and your operating
in discharge/balance mode, and it quickly balances the voltage
of all cells in the pack without the need of a charger. In charge-thru
mode, which requires a separate charger, it controls how the cells
are charged or discharged and keeps them balanced at all times.
This mode is accessed by pushing the button twice. The balancer
will discharge in stand-alone mode until a rating of 2.75v per
cell is reached. With a separate discharger, it will end the discharge
at 3.0v per cell. Another great feature of the Pro Balancer is
its ability to detect bad cells and will let you know if any are
discharging your LiPo battery in a vehicle or boat, make sure
that the esc has a low-voltage cutoff point suitable for a LiPo.
Discharging one below 2.75-3.0v per cell can permanently damage
the pack and limit the number of times the battery can effectively
be used again.
the battery is involved in a crash, make sure the protective case
does not have any cracks in it. If you see damage, place the pack
in a fire-proof place and observe for any swelling, smoking or
smoldering. This can happen long after the crash as a chemical
reaction slowly takes place.
LiPo movement is now in full swing and racers are beginning to see
the advantages of running them over traditional NiMh packs. The
performance increase and notably longer run times associated with
LiPos make it a switch worth doing. And with many packs out there
to choose from, it only makes sense to choose one with a high mah
rating to keep you running longer. Team Checkpoint delivers that
with the 5400mah LiPo and keeps it fresh with the Pro LiPo Balancer.
Purchase them as a pair and charge with the TC 1030 and you have
the ultimate combo for competition or sport.
LiPo battery and Pro Balancer
Distributed exclusively by: Great
Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021
(217) 398 0007
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.