Prod­uct re­view: Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edi­tion

BLACK EDI­TION

Electric Flight - - CONTENTS - By John Reid

The charger can talk to you and au­to­mat­i­cally set charg­ing rates

THIS CHARGER CAN TALK TO YOU AND AU­TO­MAT­I­CALLY SET CHARG­ING RATES

The new X2 AC Plus Black Edi­tion AC/DC Dual Bal­ance Charger/dis­charger is the lat­est edi­tion to an ever-grow­ing line of qual­ity charg­ers from Hitec. While this charger has all the bells and whis­tles you’ve come to ex­pect from any new high-end unit, this one has some spe­cial ad­di­tions. You’ll first no­tice its sleek de­sign; ev­ery­thing is easy to ac­cess, and the screen is large enough to clearly see all the in­put in­for­ma­tion. The unit has twin chan­nels for si­mul­ta­ne­ous dual bat­tery charg­ing, and it will ac­cept AC or DC in­put power. To­tal charge power for both chan­nels is 100 watts for AC and 200 watts for DC power. The charge rate for each sta­tion can range from 0.1 to 10.0 amps, while dis­charge rates go from 0.1 to 2.0 amps per sta­tion. This pow­er­house can charge 1- to 15-cell NICD/NIMH bat­ter­ies and 6-cell LIPO/LIHV/LI-ION cells—and it can ac­com­mo­date packs of up to 50,000mah! All of this com­ing from a charger that only weighs 2.85 pounds and takes up less than 8 inches of space on your work­bench.

COOL FEA­TURES

Now for the fea­tures that make this charger ex­tra spe­cial. The first thing you no­tice is the voice-guide fea­ture, which makes it easy to see and hear each set­ting as you scroll through the menus. Voice an­nounce­ments in each step re­mind you of your settings. In ad­di­tion, any er­rors or is­sues are an­nounced, so you im­me­di­ately know what the prob­lem is. Now for the best part: the Hitec Linkpower app.

The app uses the Blue­tooth func­tion of your smart­phone to com­mu­ni­cate with the charger. Af­ter you down­load the app to your smart­phone, you have an even bet­ter and more ef­fi­cient way to in­put changes and nav­i­gate the charg­ing op­er­a­tions. It is easy to set up the sys­tem settings for each chan­nel and, from there, move on to set­ting up the charg­ing pa­ram­e­ters for each bat­tery that’s con­nected to the charger. Once ev­ery­thing is set, press the Start but­ton on your phone and the X2 AC Plus Black Edi­tion starts the charg­ing process. The phone screen then opens up a mon­i­tor­ing dis­play, show­ing ev­ery­thing about the cur­rent charg­ing process; this in­cludes the bat­tery type, cell count, cur­rent, volt­age, ca­pac­ity, du­ra­tion, bat­tery-fuel gauge (per­cent­age of charge), charger tem­per­a­ture, bat­tery ID, and the num­ber of charges. In­di­vid­ual bat­tery icons at the bot­tom of the screen show the level of charge of each cell. All of this is dy­namic and con­stantly up­dated as the charg­ing process con­tin­ues.

SCAN TO GO

In­cluded in the app is a Scan to Go func­tion, which lets you print a la­bel for the bat­tery that in­cludes a QR code. You be­gin by en­ter­ing all the data about the bat­tery, such as the bat­tery type, size, and cell count. You then print out the la­bel and at­tach it to the bat­tery pack. Now, when you need to charge the pack, you just at­tach the bat­tery to the X2, open the app, and scan the QR code; the charger is set with all the cor­rect settings and starts the charg­ing process. The app then jumps to the mon­i­tor­ing screen; from there, you can keep track of the charg­ing progress. I made up two la­bels for each bat­tery: one for a bal­ance charge, the other for a stor­age charge. Af­ter fly­ing, I scan the stor­age-charge la­bel, and the night be­fore go fly­ing, I scan the bal­ance-charge la­bel to top off the bat­tery for the next day.

BOT­TOM LINE

The X2 AC Plus Black Edi­tion charger has the fea­tures you’d ex­pect to get in a high-end charger, and at a price point at just over $100, it’s a deal. The word that best de­scribes the X2 would have to be “con­ve­nient” be­cause us­ing the app to con­trol and mon­i­tor the charg­ing process makes it easy and safe to charge just about any bat­tery you might have. If you are in the mar­ket look­ing for a charger or look­ing to up­grade your old unit, give the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edi­tion a se­ri­ous look.

Be­low left: To use the Scan to Go fea­ture, just con­nect the bat­tery to the charger and open the app on your phone. Hit the Scan to Go but­ton and scan the la­bel. The charger starts the charg­ing cy­cle. Be­low right: I have two la­bels on my packs: one for...

Left to right: Dur­ing stor­age charge, the X2 will charge or dis­charge the cells de­pend­ing on the cur­rent state of the bat­tery. The setup menu lets you pick what port the bat­tery is con­nected to and the bat­tery type and size. Once the charg­ing process...

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