RCU Review: Team Checkpoint 7.4v 5400mah 2S LiPo and Pro LiPo Balancer

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    Contributed by: Matt Gunn | Published: May 2008 | Views: 53234 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Team Checkpoint Lipo and Balancer

    Review by: Matt Gunn

    5700 mah Lipo battery and Pro Balancer
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Team Checkpoint
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Support Phone:
    (217) 398 0007

    Click Here

    High discharge. 5400mah provides long runtimes.

    Great for race or sport

    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

    The 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.

    The 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.

    Name: Team Checkpoint 7.4v 5400mah 2S LiPo and Pro LiPo Balancer
    Price: Battery: $129.99. Balancer: $39.99

    Battery Specs:

    Capacity: 5400mAh
    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)

    Balancer Specs:

    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)

    • Charger
    • battery lead w/ bullet-style connectors

    Other Helpful Items

    • LiPo 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.

    Lipo 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 packs.

    The 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.

    To 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.

    Pro Balancer
    5400mah LiPo
    Balancing the pack

    What's 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 of poor-quality.

    When 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.

    If 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.

    The 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.

    5400mah LiPo battery and Pro Balancer

    Distributed exclusively by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Support Phone:
    (217) 398 0007
    Website: click here

    Comments on RCU Review: Team Checkpoint 7.4v 5400mah 2S LiPo and Pro LiPo Balancer

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    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.

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