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Monday, April 22, 2024
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Hitec X1 Touch Multi-Charger

Review: Hitec X1 Touch Multi-Charger

Review: Hitec X1 Touch Multi-Charger

Hitec has released a new touch screen charger that is sure to catch the eye of those wanting this type of technology sitting in their pits. The X1 Touch is the little brother to Hitec’s X1-200, but it’s still packed full of killer features as well as one of the best user interfaces (UI) I’ve seen.

THE FACTS
Battery Type: NiMh, NiCd, LiPo, Li-Ion and Lead Acid Batteries
Cell Count: 1-15 NiCd, NiMh, 1-6 Lithium
Balancer: Built-in
Charge Rate: .1 to 7.0A
Discharge Rate: .1 to 2.0A
Display: 3.2” High-Resolution Touch Screen
AC Power Supply: Internal

THE GOODS
Checking out the external features, I noticed that the X1 Touch only uses a tiny 5.5”x6.5” footprint, so it won’t take up much space in your pit. Secondly, its semi-matte bright red face surrounds a 3.2” color LCD touch display. Turning it, the right side has the standard AC input port. Flipping it over shows a temperature port, PC link port, balance port, DC input port and positive/negative battery banana-plug ports. A pair of big, 1.5” cooling fans are located on the back panel while an air intake duct sucks air through the front. For those that like to see the charger’s face without having to stand up, Hitec has installed a pair of “feet” on the underside to tilt the X1 up.

Review: Hitec X1 Touch Multi-Charger

So what about this awesome UI? After plugging it in, the X1 did a quick startup, displaying the Hitec logo for a few seconds and then landing on the charge screen. At the top of the display it shows your current settings: battery type, cell count, charge/discharge current and the preset you’re using (if you’ve chosen one). Below that are two useable menus (battery type and operation) and, below that, a strip of four setup menus.

This is where it gets extremely easy to use. Basically, in the battery type menu you select which type of battery you’re charging (using the up/down arrows) followed by the operation; charge, discharge, storage, etc. (again, using up/down arrows). That’s it! Press Start and the X1 moves over to another screen that lets you monitor how the charge is going. This screen shows Capacity, Voltage, Time, External Temperature (if the optional sensor is installed), Current and Internal Temperature. A Balance Status button lets you monitor balance status (duh) and internal resistance of the pack. A Graph button lets you see the total pack voltage in graph mode.

The lower four setup menus offer the user the ability to customize the charging activity. The first and second buttons let you change the number of cells, batteries capacity and charge rates. The third button controls the system settings such as the units beeps, LCD brightness and color display modes (either blue, red, yellow or green). It also handles LiPo cutoff, temperature cutoff and additional charging parameters. The fourth button is the user presets. The X1 comes with one preset already loaded (2S LiPo at 1A), but up to five different presets can be saved. Simply hit the Preset button, select your option and press Start to charge the pack.

Review: Hitec X1 Touch Multi-Charger

The X1 comes with everything you need to start charging; AC cord, DC cord, charging cable with Deans plug already attached and one of Hitec’s brilliant balancing boards. I say brilliant, simply because this board has plugs on it for EVERY balance plug out there! I’m used to carrying around 10 different balance boards to charge all my different LiPos…not anymore!

THE WORKS
To test the charger, I pulled one of my MaxAmps 5450mAh LiPos off the shelf and preset the X1 to charge a 2S 5400mAh LiPo. I hooked it up and pressed Start. It charged the pack in roughly 35 minutes which is right on par with other chargers. The fan kicked on a few times and seemed a bit loud in my quiet office, but at the track I bet you’ll never hear it.

Review: Hitec X1 Touch Multi-Charger

I only found two real downsides to this charger and both are me just being picky. The first is the inclusion of only one charging lead; it’s got a Deans plug on it and, if you have different plugs on your batteries, you’ll either have to change them or get a charge lead with a different plug. The second bummer is that it only charges one battery at a time. When I go to the track, I’m a multi-battery-charging type of guy so I would need two or three of these to keep things rolling along (and I would…I love this charger!). If you’re used to charging only one at a time, then definitely give the X1 a look, and put some “Hitec” equipment in your pit!

LINKS
Hitec, HitecRCD.com, (858) 748-6948

Words: Tony Phalen
Photos by: Walter Sidas

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