Hobby King ECO 6-10 Balance Charger Review

by DJO | May 8, 2012 | (4) Posted in Reviews

I was looking for my first balance charger to work with Li-Po packs and saw the Hobby King ECO 6-10 Balance Charger online

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=15167

so I purchased it.  It is meant to run on DC power, so I also bought a 3 amp Radio Shack power supply to work the charger.

Notes from Hobby King:

Capable of charging any size Lipoly battery up to 6 cells or at 10A.
The ECO6-10 has an "Auto" fuction that sets the feed current automatically. 
The ECO6-10 includes an array of charging plugs and wires to suit almost any application and comes with JST-XH balancing plugs so you can charge and balance your ZIPPY/TURNIGY packs easily.
Input power is 10-18v, perfect for car batteries or a pc/laptop powersupply.
Features;
Microprocessor controlled
High power and High performance circuit with maximum power of 200W
Delta-peak sensitivity (NiMH/NiCd)
Individual cell balancing
Li-ion, LiPo and LiFe capable
Ni-Cd and NiMH capable
Large range of charge currents
Fast & Store function, allows safe storage current
Time limit function
Input voltage monitoring. (Protects car batteries at the field)
Data storage (Store up to 10 packs in memory)

Spec.
Input Voltage: 10~18v
Circuit power: Max Charge: 200W / Max Discharge: 25W
Charge Current Range: .1~10.0A
Ni-MH/NiCd cells: 1~18
Li-ion/Poly cells: 1~6
Pb battery voltage: 2~24v
Weight: 480g
Dimensions: 143x119x42mm
Note: Power supply not included.



It's a fairly small charger, at 5.6'' x 4.6'' x 1.6'' (L x W x H), and feels rugged and solid in your hand.  It can charge batteries up to a 10 amp charge rate, which will also need a 10A power supply.  I only had the capability to charge at 3A because of the power supply that I bought (3A also).  The charger comes with XT60 plugs and adapters to JST, servo, and others.  It also comes with alligator clips to attach to the charger's input leads so that it can attach easily to car batteries or something alike.  My power supply had banana plugs as did the charger, so no alligator clips were needed.

Here's what's included in the package:

[IMG]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4565717&d=1327006954[/IMG]

The charger is robust and has balance connector and other ports built right into the side of the unit.  Wow, maybe I should dust this, looks really dusty in these photos!

[IMG]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4565718&d=1327006954[/IMG]

[IMG]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4565719&d=1327006954[/IMG]

These adapters are all included with the charger, and have XT60 connectors on the other ends of them.

[IMG]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4565720&d=1327006954[/IMG]

I highly recommend that you buy a balance connector extension for the type of battery that you are charging (2S, 3S, 4S, 5S, or 6S) because it will be hard to plug the battery's balance plug in when it's also in a Li-Po sack or other protection device.  XT60 connectors come standard, Deans plugs are not included.

[IMG]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4565723&d=1327006954[/IMG]

Nice blue back lit screen!

[IMG]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4565721&d=1327006954[/IMG]

PROS

-Back Lit Screen
-Discharging Function
-200 Watts (10A)
-LiPo/Fe/Ion, NiMH/CD, and PB Battery Charging
-Many Adapters Included + Alligator Clips
-Has Safety Features Like mAH and Temperature Cutoff
-Can Save Up to 10 Battery Settings (like model memory on radios)
-Balance Connectors Built-In to Unit
-Small, Compact, and Rugged Design

CONS

-The charger doesn't sit correctly on flat surfaces, like a chair with one leg shorter than the other. :confused: Very annoying when trying to press buttons and having the charger bump the table constantly.
-Manual is sometimes awkward to understand because it seems like it was directly translated from another language.
-Fan gets loud and annoying after a while.
-USB connection does NOT work!

CONCLUSION

I would recommend this charger to anyone looking for an inexpensive charger.  At only about $30 USD, you can't go wrong with the myriad of batteries that you can charge and features that it has!

:)

Dan

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Hobby King ECO 6-10 Balance Charger Review