Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Power Supplies to Feed the FMA Revolectrix PowerLab 8 Charger

The Revolectrix Cellpro PowerLab 8 (PL8) charger is a beast. I got mine in the mail the other day and it's really built very well. It can output 1,000Watts if fed the right power. You may not know that most RC (remote control vehicles) battery chargers aren't designed to plug directly into the wall and so don't use AC power. They require an auxiliary power source. The manual for the PL8 specifically reminds you to configure the input power source each time you use it! You can define either a car battery or an external power supply. The distinct impression is that it can outdraw your power supply if you're not careful!

The manual also says that if you want it to output 1,000W then you need to feed it well over 1,000W of power. The higher the voltage, the better. Now, most high end computer power supplies are well built and can provide a healthy 12V rail and so can feed about 250-500W of 12V power. That's fine but not nearly enough for the PowerLab 8.

I did a little research and see that most folks in the RC community are connecting two surplus server power supplies and feeding the 12V rails in series to double the output to 24V. This produces a significant bump up in power output!

Many server power supplies are built very well and meant to put out full power and provide very stable, smooth power for years on end. They are ideal for use as a charger power supply.

TJinTech has a particularly well written how-to here:

I read at JJ604's description of many power supplies that would work if put in series and based upon his recommendation, I ordered 2 of these HP Proliant DL380 DPS 600PB 575W power supplies today!

I'll be modifying them to work in series to get over 1,000 out of them so that they can feed the PL8 properly!

More later,
email: ambroseliao AT gmail dot com (replace the AT with @ and dot with "." and remove all spaces to get my email address!

1 comment:

  1. The fact is, Revolectrix products have the highest balance current in the industry (1A). Been that way for years. If a Revolectrix charger or battery workstation can't balance an old pack, it's likely the pack is beyond repair, and I think you'll find that a lot of current customers would back me up on this statement. Furthermore, the open architecture feature in the PowerLab series mean that if you're the type who likes advanced features, you can customize 100 parameters in every preset to make the device do exactly what you need it to do. But 99 times out of 100, the default settings do everything most people need out of the box.
    Thanks, @Rimi
    Good Ac Dc Adapter