I picked up one of these a few months back and love it. Though, as far as battery chargers go, it’s not cheap coming in at just under $300 by the time you add taxes and shipping (it retails for $269.95).
The Hyperion Duo is a 360 watt, dual port, balancing charger that can pretty much charge almost anything you can throw at it including:
- 1-6 Cells Lithium Polymer
- 1-6 Cells Lithium Ion
- 1-6 Cells A123
- 1-16 Cells Nicd/Nimh
- 1-12 Lead Acid
Because of its dual port design, it can charge two battery packs simultaneously whether you network them together and charge / balance them as a single pack (ex. charge 2 x 5s lipo packs as a 10s), or if you charge two unrelated batteries such as a NiCd and a LiPo pack at the same time.
This is one of the reasons I’m such a fan of this charger – the amount of time it saves by being able to charge 2 batteries at the same time, even if they’re completely unrelated is astronomical.
One of the main heli’s I fly runs off a 10s power system (2 x 5s) which I used to charge and balance with an Astro Flight 109 and a Thunder power TP210 balancer. With that setup, the total charging and balancing time was about 5 hours, but with the Hyperion Duo, it only takes about 70 minutes, keeping downtime to a minimum and allowing you to get back in the air that much sooner.
And with a total output power of 360 watts or 180 watts per channel, you can change two 6s packs at up to 8A each. The Duo can charge batteries at 0.1A – 10A or anything in between in 0.1A increments.
The charger also features an integrated balancer with 300mA of balance power per cell, and with the variety of balance adapters made available by Hyperion, you can balance almost any pack imaginable.
(Balance adapters for various LiPo packs.)
Another great feature which isn’t seen on a lot of other chargers it that it can run off an input voltage of 11 – 18 volts. There are a couple benefits of this:
- It’s compatible with a wide range of power supplies across many different output voltages and amperage ratings.
- It’s more efficient when charging higher voltage packs.
It’s also very easy to use. Without the manual (it wasn’t included in he box – apparently they weren’t able to get it printed in time to include it with the chargers, but they did provide a link to a downloadable manual.) it took about 2 minutes to figure out how to use it.
The Duo’s menu is well laid out and simple to use and allows for selectability between output channels and all of the charging specifications. Each output channel features 10 memory positions that you can set depending on the batteries you are charging.
Some of its other features include a 2 line blue backlit display which is easy to read in daylight or the dark, user defined alarms, reverse polarity protection, dual cooling fans and a PC data port to upgrade firmware.
Using the menu, you can display all kinds of info about your batteries on the screen including the mAh you put into back the pack, the voltage per cell, the battery temperature, charging time and so on.
You can also set things like how many amps you want your packs to charge at, the total charge capacity of the battery as a percent and a safety timer which turns the charge off after a predetermined amount of time.
It even has alligator clips that can easily be fitted on the bullet connectors to charge off your car or other battery.
Hyperion also has optional temperature monitors than can be used to monitor packs while charging and shut down the charger if the pack gets too hot. The shutdown temperature is user selectable.
While the Hyperion DUO is a great charger, it’s not perfect…
It doesn’t have a built in pack discharger and in a high end charger of this calliper, a discharger for cycling packs is pretty much a standard feature. I don’t know if it was too expensive or complicated to add, but you’d think that Hyperion would lose a lot of sales because it’s missing. If you want something that will discharge or cycle your packs, you pretty much need to keep a second battery charger around.
Tip: While the DUO won’t discharge your LiPo packs, it has a “Store Mode” feature that will slowly discharge the cells (using the balancer) down to a 3.9V per cell storage voltage if your packs won’t be used for a week or more.
The other downside of this charger it that it can only charge up to 6s LiPo packs. With the higher power 10s and 12s setups favoured by some electric RC helicopter pilots (myself included), you can’t charge the higher voltage batteries with this charger.
You can charge 2 x 5s or 2 x 6s packs to make a 10s or a 12s pack, but you can’t charge a single battery pack above 6s.
While I can honestly say that purchasing this charger is one of the best RC helicopter investments I’ve made, I’m a little disappointed by its two limitations that prevent it from being a true ‘all in one’ RC battery charger.Have a question about this article or anything else RC Heli related? Ask it in our brand new RC Helicopter Forum and you'll get expert answers quick.
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