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Turnigy Accucel 6. Review, teardown and hacking.


Review


I am not going to waffle on here. I use it a lot. I've charged Lipo, Lion, Lead Acid even Trustfires on it.
It works and only costs about $30 with postage from Hobby King.

The only thing that might make it better is an exposed ISP port, a serial link and open source firmware. All of which in theory is hackable.

Teardown

Dave Jones has done an excellent teardown of the Accucel 6 charger in his Electrical Engineering Video Blog. Highly reccomended if you are a nerd like me. Lately I have been spending a lot of my spare time watching his videos, hence the lack of updates in the past month.

www.eevblog.com 

EEVBlog YouTube channel

Dave if you read this, you are an inspiration and I love your work. I hope you don't mind if I link to your video:


Hacking.

Dave mentioned hacking the firmware to make a constant current dummy load. Ideal for testing those flashed ESCs. I'm working on some code to get the KK2 working under Arduino. Once that is done I might do the same for the Accucel 6.

From what I have read there a lot of clones of this charger and the Turnigy version is a clone also. Other versions included an FTDI chip for interfacing with a computer. I wonder if the firmware still communicates on the USART.

Some people swap out the resistors for higher accuracy ones, but there is a calibration mode for that.

Resources:

Some guys started writing new firmware for it but the thread died back in 2010. 





There is also a load of talk to sift through in the product comments at Hobby King. Also a bunch of crap in the files tab.. 

Lastly, the place to start the Atmega32A.

For now I am not going to go further with this charger. It does its job perfectly well and until it stops working or I get another one I will leave it as is.