RCU Review: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo


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    Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: December 2014 | Views: 23834 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Graupner Polaron EX Charging Combo
    Geoff Barber
    (G.Barber)

    Email Me







    Distributed by:


    3245 University Ave, Suite 1520
    San Diego, CA 92104

    www.openhobby.com

    No matter what you fly or drive, all avenues of RC have one item in common - batteries. Electric powered aircraft and vehicles rely on a battery pack for all their power. Glow and gas engine powered aircraft and vehicles require batteries to power the electronics. And, of course, we ALL have a battery in our transmitter, no matter the type or brand. In short, our RC hobby depends on batteries!

    When you have a rechargeable battery, you're going to need a way to recharge it - this can be as simple as a 'wall wart' or basic charger. Beyond that, the sky (and your wallet) are the limit! Now, I have a pair of chargers that have taken care of my charging needs pretty well. They're simple to operate and reliable. But, I was surprised to see all of the other things a charger can do, once you get past a basic charger!







    I'd like to introduce the new Polaron EX combo. Yes, it charges batteries, but it goes beyond that in capabilities. The EX combo pairs Graupner's 12 Volt power supply with the Polaron charger, and the end result is so much more than 'just a battery charger'.

    Let's open the box, and see what we've got!


    • User Friendly 3.0" Full Color LCD Touch Screen
    • Vertical Space Saving Design
    • Two USB Charging Ports
    • Charge Two Batteries Simultaneously
    • Charge, Discharge, Balance From One Unit
    • Built in Servo Tester
    • 12 Volt Power Supply Included
    • 220 Watts Charging
    • Up to 7S Lixx Charging
    • Five Color Options
    • Cord Free Connection Between Power Supply and Charger


    • None as Tested


    Skill Level:

    Time Required:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?


    Name: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo


    Price: $429. (Price at Review Publish Date)

    Stock Number: S2001.BK (Black Version)


    Power Source: 11-28V External DC Power Supply (Docking System)

    Display: TFT 3.0? LCD W/ Touch screen

    Battery Type & Cells:
    NiCd, NiMH / 1~14 cells / each channel
    LiPo, LiFe, LiIo / 1~7 cells / each channel
    Pb / 1~12 cells (2V/cell) / each channel

    Output: 2 Channels (400W x 2CH = 800W)

    Charge Current: 0.1 ~ 20.0A (100mA steps) / Max.400W-24V, Max.220W-12V

    Discharge Current: 0.1 ~ 10.0A (100mA steps) / Max.60W

    Cycling: Discharge, Charge to Discharge / Discharge to Charge / Charge to Discharge

    Balancing current: Max. 350mA

    USB: USB 5V output (5.0V 2.5A ) / USB B-Type

    Sub Function: Servo Test, Motor Test, Warmer, ESC setting)

    Firmware upgrade: External Mini USB device

    PC communication: Data Logging

    Languages: Optional ( Basically English)

    Cooling system: 50x50x10mm(1.97x1.97x0.39 in) x 2ea Dynamic Cooling Fan

    Ext. Module socket: Futaba 3P socket

    Motor Test socket: ZHR

    Servo Test socket: Futaba 3P socket

    Memory: 40 memories (20ea x 2CH = 40 memories)

    SMPS Docking Terminal: Yes

    Dimension: 88.2 x 203.4 x 196.3mm / 3.47 x 8.00 x 7.73 inch

    Weight: 1368g / 48.25 oz




    Name: Polaron Power Supply (Included)



    Input power: AC 100-240V



    Output voltage: DC 12V



    Output current: Max. 30A (Continuous current: 25A)


    USB connector: 5.0V 1.0A



    Output connector: Front 2ch, Side 1ch



    Cooling Fan: 40 x 40 x 10mm / 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.39in


    Size: 55 x 194.6 x 199.4 mm / 0.79 x 7.66 x 7.85 in


    Display:Black & White Backlit SEG LCD Display
    PC communication: Data Logging

    Languages: Optional ( Basically English)

    Cooling system: 50x50x10mm(1.97x1.97x0.39 in) x 2ea Dynamic Cooling Fan

    Ext. Module socket: Futaba 3P socket

    Motor Test socket: ZHR


    Servo Test socket: Futaba 3P socket


    Memory: 40 memories (20ea x 2CH = 40 memories)


    SMPS Docking Terminal: Yes

    Dimension: 88.2 x 203.4 x 196.3mm / 3.47 x 8.00 x 7.73 inch


    Weight: 1368g / 48.25 oz








    The Polaron EX arrived in a very nice, full colored box. Inside, I found the charger surrounded by soft foam padding. I'll be saving this box to pack the charger in when I travel!






    I pulled the contents from the package, and found an array of cords, instructions, and a pair of balancing leads, in addition to the charger. The sturdy adjustable base is the key to the vertical stature of this charger - it can be set to hold the charger and 12 Volt power supply, or just charger if the need arises. The face of the charger is nicely laid out. At the top is a three inch touch screen that will take care of most tasks on the Polaron. The charger has two channels, meaning that two batteries can be charged at the same time.






    On the side of the charger there is a panel with several ports. They consist of a USB charging port, a servo test port, a motor test port, and an extension module port. The motor test port will require the purchase of additional equipment to operate. The Polaron stays cool with the help of several cooling vents on the sides and a pair of 50mm fans at the rear. Also on the rear of the charger is a 12 Volt input jack to use the charger without the power supply.






    The included AC plug is connected to the lower back of the power supply, right below the power switch. Turning the power switch on brings the power supply and charger to life!



    Manual


    The included manuals (one for each the charger and power supply) are well written, and the illustrations are laid out nicely. There is also a one-sheet addendum instructing the user how to properly attach the balance leads to the charger.






    When is a Charger More Than a Charger?








    Ok, so you've figured out by now that this is a battery charger - and a really nice one at that! Besides charging two batteries at the same time, the screen will display useful information, such as battery Voltage, Amperage, milliAmps into the battery, and the battery temp (if the included temp sensor is connected). A large graph will display the charging status as well!

    In addition to charging batteries of all types (Lead, Nixx, Lixx) you can test servos too! The servo is connected to the panel on the side of the Polaron, and it can be checked for endpoints and centered. The servo can also be run through its entire movement range with the touch of a button! There are several other operations that the Polaron can do, but additional equipment is required.

    Check out the video below to see an informative walk through of the basic functions of the Polaron EX combo!



    After reading the manual, the Polaron EX was very simple to set up and operate. To charge a battery, I had to start by programming a profile for the battery. Using the touch screen made this a simple task. I set the battery type, Voltage, capacity, and gave the battery a name.

    With the profile set, I connected the battery to the charger with the balance lead and charge lead. The charger then detected that the battery connected matched the profile and began to charge. When the charge was complete, the selected alarm went off to notify me the charge had completed. The charger was quite simple to operate!

    In addition to charging, the Polaron can be used to discharge batteries. This was made simple, because it is selectable, like the charging option.

    The last item I tried out was the servo tester. This worked very well, and was a nice feature for centering servos prior to installation in a model.

    The video below will give a basic guided tour of the charger and how it works!

    Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo




    The new Polaron EX combo from Graupner and openhobby.com is a very nice charger. In addition to charging batteries, it will perform a host of other duties. The charger was easy to operate, and takes up less space on the bench, thanks to its vertical design. Though the price may seem a bit steep at $429.00, it really isn't when you consider all the different functions that this charger can perform. Add to that fact, you can charge two batteries simultaneously, and it's more like two chargers in one!






    Distributed by:


    3245 University Ave, Suite 1520
    San Diego, CA 92104

    www.openhobby.com




    Comments on RCU Review: Graupner Polaron EX Charger Combo

    Posted by: challinan on 05/22/2015
    Beware: this is a dangerous charger. I ordered one of these chargers because I liked the idea of a touch screen and friends had one. This charger nearly burned my house down. I ended up returning it. The default charge current for Nickel chemistry batteries is equal to their mAH rating. For example, when you select a 2000 mAh NiMH, it charges at 2000 mA or 2A. That's way too high, and not knowing that, I assumed it would be smart about it, I went to charge a 5-cell 2000 mAh battery and it nearly caught fire, filling my garage with smoke. Close call. I discussed with with the folks at Graupner, but to no avail. Buyer beware.
    Page: 1
    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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