FlyingRC.net is a
Veteran-Owned site.

 
This little device has saved many battery packs from torture and an eventual early death. That is if you use it...
Click image to enlarge

Cell Meter 7 - Multi Chemistry Battery Monitor

It’s what is left that counts

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

Posted – 1-7-2014

One of the things that really surprised me on my return to RC flying after a 25 year layoff was the performance of battery-powered aircraft. I would discover that behind that performance was a whole new breed of rechargeable batteries, the LiPo (Lithium-ion polymer) packs.
A big part of getting the most power and longevity from these relatively expensive LiPo batteries is not discharging them too far. Hang around electric-powered aircraft and you are sure to hear the squeal of battery monitors in use. I also generated some of those squeals with a simple monitor that told me the overall voltage and individual cell voltage of a pack. I could estimate how much of the charge I had used with mathematical formulas to arrive at the actual remaining charge. The problem is that I dread math in genera and particularly when it exceeds remembering my PIN number in complexity. Enter the Cell Meter 7 - Multi Chemistry Battery Monitor.

The Basics

The Cell Meter 7 works with 2 to 7 cell Li-Ion/Li-Poly/LiFE packs and 4 to 7 cell NiCad/NiMH batteries. You can add an optional connection board for working with ThunderPower Batteries and Hyperion (Polyquest) batteries. It shows overall and individual cell voltages but most importantly for me is the capability to do the math itself and tell me the remaining capacity as a percentage.

Connection to most packs is done through the built-in pin connector with the standard 2.54mm pin spacing used by most battery packs these days. The Cell Meter 7 now has a balance function built in but my charger handles that just fine so I have not explored this feature. There is no internal battery because the Cell Meter 7 gets the wisp of operating current it needs to function from the batter pack being checked.

Conclusions

This array of contacts (left) accepts most modern balance plugs. Anytime I finish a flight with my planes or helicopters I want to see something between 30 and 40% (right) to know my packs are safe.
Click images to enlarge

I know some of you can do the math in your head but I am happy to concede defeat on this count and whip out my Cell Meter 7 and let I do it for me. That way I don’t get a headache and I know I have not messed up the math so the percentage I am seeing is the real deal. Since operating the Cell Meter 7 requires only plugging the balance connector in I am reasonable certain I can also handle that on my own.

The Cell Meter 7 costs just $24.95 (11-9-2013) which is short money when you consider the protection it affords our high-dollar battery packs. I am in the habit of always checking my packs after a flight to be sure my aircraft and batteries remain in good shape which can easily prevent a crash down the road.

Click Here to see the web page for the Cell Meter 7

Have a comment on this review? –Email Me!

Back to the Reviews List

 

All Flyingrc.net written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by Tom Hintz and Flyingrc.net 2013-2016. Materials may not be used in any way without the prior written permission of the owner.
Privacy Statement