Product review: Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition
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.
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.
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...