From RC Driver Issue: 134
In the RC Driver office, if you bring in a tool, part, car, bag of chips, it’s all fair game to anyone else in the office. Because of this unwritten rule, time after time I head into Tony’s office to retrieve my calipers. But it’s OK, because I usually stick a battery on his Hitec X4 charger while I’m there. This multiple battery charger has really made a name for Hitec and is a go-to charger for all types of RC drivers from racers to bashers. The Hitec X4 is easy to use and can handle all types of popular hobby batteries, so when I saw that Hitec was releasing the new X1 Pro charger, I was instantly drawn in and curious. Would it do everything I needed in a charger? The X1 Pro and ePowerBox arrived on my desk and I was instantly wowed with its small com- pact size, but because it is small, that doesn’t mean it is lacking in features. Check out what this charger combo dishes out.
Manufacturer: Hitec Product: X1 Pro Charger/ ePowerBox 17A Supply Combo
Part No.: 61070
Dimensions: X1- 3.6 x 4.4 x 2.0 in.; ePB- 5.0 x 3.6 x 2.0 in.
Weight: X1- 14.3oz; ePB- 21oz.
What instantly impresses with the X1 Pro is its small size; I mean really small. In fact, I think I’ve eaten donuts larger than the X1.
The charger looks fantastic with its silver aluminum outer casing and black anodized aluminum side plates. Logos and battery capability information are screen printed on the face of the charger and in primary view is the 2×16 LCD blue backlit screen and single toggle-style function knob. On the side of the panel are the charger output jacks, temp sensor port, balance plug input and a DC input plug. The opposite panel is bare, with the exception of the fan cutout to draw air in and over the internals. Now let’s talk charging ability. The X1 Pro will charge 1-6S LiPo, LiFe and LiIon, 1-15 cell NiMh and NiCd and also 2-20 cell PB batteries. This charger has all of your radio control charging needs covered.
The power supply itself is nearly the same size as the charger. It has several output ports to power external chargers or you can stack the X1 on top of the supply and con- nect the two via the double-sided banana plug jacks. In the capabilities department, the unit can pump out 17 amps of continuous 13.8V DC power. Perhaps more impor- tantly the ePB has a 5V/ 2.1A USB port on the side that you can use to charge any device; my iPhone appreciates this feature, Hitec. Finally it has overload protection and a temperature controlled cooling fan to keep temps in check.
What better way to test out a charger than to take it to the track for some practice ses- sions. But before I even headed to the track, I packed up the X1 Pro and ePB in my pit bag. The two can be stacked as one unit with the included banana plugs, which is great when it’s sitting stationary, but the two can twist and turn if jolted so it’s probably best to transport them separated. There was certainly more room in my pit bag with these compact items tucked away in the back of one pit bag drawer. Then at the track while I was setting up my pit stall, I tucked the charger over into one corner cleanly with minimal wires in the way and plenty of room to spread out my tools.
Enough with the de-cluttered landscape chat, let’s talk ease-of-use. First up, I charged up some packs for race day. I put a TrakPower 2S 5600mAh LiPo pack on charge on a safe 5.6A charge rate and charged up the pack easily while I worked on my car. Using the screen, you can monitor charge time, the milliamps readout, charge rate and the type of battery you have set to charge. The pack worked perfectly out on the track, but after I had run it out, it was time to try out some of the other features of the X1. The X1 boasts that it can charge up to 16A and its 17A power supply should be able to maintain the draw. So I hooked up another TrakPower 2S pack and cranked up the charge rate to 16A in Fast Charge Mode. The X1 slowly brings the charge rate up safely as not to instantly overpower the pack or cause a huge drain to the supply. As the charge rate increased, the LED light meter on the ePB started reaching towards the Max Ouput range. As the charge hit 16A the supply held steady in the orange of the readout and never hit the red Max LED. The X1 charged the pack fast and I was out on the track in a much shorter amount of time. But I was curious what the charger’s abilities were with other packs. I then hooked a Reedy Wolfpack 3S LiPo pack, configured the charger to charge the pack at the right cell count and at 16A and toggled the button for a charge. The charger slowly increased the charge rate, but as it neared a 13A charge, the supply’s meter was in the red zone and the charger shut down and restart- ed. The current draw was too much, so after resetting the charge rate to 12A for the 3S pack, I tried a fast charge again and this time the X1 and supply was able to fast charge the 3S pack. Out of curiosity, I tried fast- charging a 4S Thunder Power pack, too and found its charge limit to be 10A.
Next I tried balancing a pack. That discharged 2S pack from earlier was placed onto the charger with the balance port con- nected and a 5.6A charge rate selected in Balance mode. I observed the charge rate where it initially brought the pack up near storage and then dropped the charge rate down to balance the cells.
After my LiPo charge checks, I went on to charging NiMh and LiFe packs, but I won’t bore you with details, the X1 does its job of charging the packs and charging them well. Overall, the charger is easy to scroll through the menus and set the parameters. The only thing that took time to get used to was hold- ing the toggle button to the left for a few seconds to initiate the charge, then don’t forget to press the button to confirm the charge type so the X1 can get started.
The X1 and ePowerBox combo is an awesome charge combo for the racer or those looking to gain more room on the bench. Its small size and big abilities make it a great all- around charger for anyone in any radio control hobby, not just those of us who run RC cars. Hitec is not just a leader in radios and servos, but they are in the charger world, too. The potent power combo you see here will certainly be in my pits for some time to come and I highly recommend it if you are looking to add a high end compact charger to your stable.
Hitec hitecrcd.com, (858) 748-8440