Who has just ONE radio controlled vehicle today? Not too many people. In fact, most people who are involved with this great hobby have 2 or more (in my case, many more) vehicles across several platforms. Those that do have one vehicle have several packs, of varying chemistries, for their ride too. Because of this, charging one single solitary pack at a time just won’t cut it and lugging multiple chargers (and sometimes power supplies) to the track is just a hassle. Hitec realized this years ago and has for a long while now created phenomenal multi-output chargers. One of their newest entries, the X2 AC Plus Black Edition Dual Output Charger is loaded with the newest features, like the ability to link with a smartphone and can charge two separate packs at up to 10.0A at the same time! Between this, the small footprint and much more we just had to give it a try!
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
X2 AC Plus Black Edition Charger
Two (2) x XH Adaptor Lithium Battery Balance Boards
Two (2) x Banana Connectors with XT60 Connector Charging Cable
Two (2) x 2 Pin T-Type Charging Cables
Receiver Battery Charging Cables
Alligator Clip Charge Cable
Let’s talk about the physical make-up of the charger. The top of the X2 AC Plus Black Edition Charger features an easy to read 128 x 64 LCD display that is surrounded by a black (well, this is a Back Edition charger so…) plastic cover. It displays both A and B channels in a split screen/top bottom view; Channel A up top and Channel B on the bottom.
Below the LCD screen there are 5 control buttons. The first toggles between CH A and CH B outputs. Moving right is the BATT/PROG button allows you to select which battery type you are using. In addition, you can also filter through to the Battery Meter, Battery Resistance, Battery Memory and System Settings section of the charger. This button also is used to stop the charging process. The next two buttons, DEC and INC are used to scroll up or down through the various menus to alter the values. They are also used to check the status of individual cells during the charging process. The last button, ENTER, starts the charging process as well and confirms any value changes within the settings.
The front of the X2 AC Plus Black Edition features the two charging ports. Each side includes a positive and negative banana plug port, six-pin balance connector port and a 3-pin temp port (temp sensor sold separately). Set between the two is a 5v/2.1-amp USB charge port and PC Link port to be used with the Hitec Charge Master software.[/stextbox]
Let’s talk functionality. In this day and age a charger must be versatile and the X2 AC Plus Black Edition from Hitec is and more. To begin with, it has a 10-model memory so it can save your most commonly used charge parameters for up to 10 batteries. It has the capability of charging NiCD and NiMH packs up to 15 cells in size. While most people don’t have a 15 cell NiMH pack, people with ready to run vehicles do have 6 or 7-cell packs that fall into this category. Also, the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition can charge every variety of lithium based pack; from popular LiPo packs to LiFe, LiIon and the newest LiHV packs, it can charge these packs that racers use up to 6S in size! With the popularity of electric 1:8 vehicles and 1:5 electric conversions that require more than one LiPo battery and 4S and 6S packs, the X2 AC Plus Black Edition is an easy pick. Additionally, it can charge Pb (lead acid) batteries that are sometimes used in starter boxes. Finally, and perhaps one of my favorite features, the Passport Duo 400W Dual Charger has a 5V/2.1A USB output that is perfect for powering up smartphones, tablets and a wide variety of other electronic devices on the market.
Now that you know what the X2 AC Plus Black Edition can charge, I’m sure you want to know some of its charging options. First off, it can charge two packs lithium based batteries, up to 6S in size, at 10.0A. This is VERY helpful as this can greatly reduce charge times of high capacity, multi-cell packs. The X2 AC Plus Black Edition also comes with two external JST-XH balancing boards. Charging in balancing mode ensures that each cell of the pack has equal voltage. This increases battery performance and improves longevity. Progress of each cell during charging can be monitored with the built-in lithium battery meter. Since the balancing boards are external they can be removed when charging non-lithium passed packs or can be changed when charging packs that use different balancing connectors. Lithium battery modes include Balance Charge (probably the most popular setting), Fast Charge, Storage Charge, Charge and Discharge.
Moving over to NiMH and NiCd packs, the X2 AC Plus Black Edition utilized a Delta-Peak sensitivity that shuts off once the battery reached capacity. Additionally, it can be programmed to perform a re-peak charge following the initial peak charge. This is done to improve battery performance and to make sure the pack reached capacity during the initial peak charge.[/stextbox]
PRODUCT: X2 AC Plus Black Edition Charger / Discharger Power Supply
PART NUMBER: 44270
PRICE: From $109.99
COMPATIABLE CELL TYPES: NiCd/MiMH 1-15 cells, LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, LiIon 1-6 cells, Pb 10 cells/2-20 volts
CHARGE RATE: .1 – 10.0A per channel in .1A increments
DISCHARGE RATE: .1 – 2.0A per channel in .1A increments
BALANCE CURRENT DRAIN: 300mAh per cell
CHARGING CAPACITY: 100mAh to 50,000mAh
USER MEMORY: 10 profiles
It talks! No, it is not like Hal 9000 (I’m afraid I can’t let you do that) from 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: The Year We Make Contact, but there are verbal cues to inform the user of the mode, battery type selected and more. Even experienced users can mistakenly make incorrect selections when programming a charger and this cool feature is a nice fail safe. Techies will love that the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition can be operated with a computer and smartphone/tablet devices. The Charge Master software, available for free at www.hitecrcd.com. Once you download and install the Charge Master software plug the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition into your computer with a USB cable (not included) and follow the easy to understand prompts. This software will allow you to fully control the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition, monitor charge process with a neat little graph, upgrade the software and more. The Hitec LinkPower X app I installed on my iPhone connects to the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition via Bluetooth 4.0 and has many of the same features as the Charge Master software.
LET’S GIVE IT A TRY
I used the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition to charge up the New Wave 4S LiPo 8000mAh pack for my HoBao Racing Hyper VTe 1:8 GT On-Road RTR. I hooked the big pack up to CH A (port 1, Channel A), set the charge current for 8.0 amps (a 1C charge rate) using the Balance charge option and pressed start. The X2 AC Plus Black Edition did its precharge check to ensure a 4S battery was indeed hooked up and then began to charge the 4S, 8000mAh LiPo pack. While it was doing its thing, I clicked over to the Battery Meter and Battery Resistance
For a second test, I hooked up a pair of Duratrax Onyx 5000mAh 3S LiPo packs I use in my new 2018 ARRMA Typhon 6S BLX. Because these batteries use the XT90 type connectors I did need to use some adapters but this by no means is a big deal. I used my iPhone with the LinkPower X app to program in all the settings and set the X2 AC Plus Black Edition to 10A per channel (a 2C charge rate) and in just a few moments both packs were charging. The charger performed as expected, with the internal fans kicking on to keep all the internal components of the X2 AC Plus Black Edition cool under pressure so to speak.
WHAT WE LIKED:
- Can charge two LiPo packs, up to 6S in size at up to 10A at the same time
- I can change my smartphone, tablet and other portable electronics devices with it
- The lithium balancers are on external boards
- Can charge just about anything
- Easy to read screen split screen menus
- Sturdy design
- Compatible with Charge Master software
- Easy to use LinkPower X app
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED:
- Not a thing!
Changers sure have evolved over time. I started out over 25-years ago using a 15-minute “peak” charger and now, I have the all-encompassing Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition. It is more capable than any two chargers I had previously used, and takes up less room than any two. Being able to change any battery on the market makes it versatile as it can work with RTR packs that beginners use and high cell, high capacity packs that racers and hardcore bashers use. Tech geeks will love the ability to link hook it up to a computer with the Charge Master software and will really love the smartphone app too! If you are in the market for a new charger the Hitec X2 AC Plus Black Edition is ideal as it is loaded with features and priced right.