No matter how serious you are about R/C, one day or another, you’ll have to buy a quality battery charger. Less experimented R/C enthusiasts will want to upgrade their charger with something that better suite their increasing needs. Casual and diehard racers will want the latest charger with the latest technologies and features to have a little advantage over competitors.
A good charger is as much important as good quality batteries. Even if today’s LiPo batteries are more stable than the first ones released many years ago, I’m still remembering all those videos and bad stories about LiPo batteries catching fire. This is for this reason that I prefer to pay a little more for a high quality charger that I can trust.
The new Reedy 1216-C2 AC/DC Dual charger is the top of the line charger from Reedy/Team Associated. Even if the charger is packed with tons of advanced features, it’s still very easy to use. Less experimented users will have no difficulties to get familiar with charger’s functions. The menus are quite easy to navigate through and it took me just few minutes to manage how to program the charger. The two backlited LCD displays are easy to read even at full sunlight. The Reedy 1216-C2 comes with a powerful integrated power supply letting you charge two LiPo/LiFe/LiIo/NiMH/NiCd/Pb packs simultaneously from 0.1A up to 12A… That’s quite powerful! Discharging batteries can be done at 5A.
If you are like me and like to keep things as simple as possible, the charger can hold 10 different charge/discharge profiles per channel. It makes charging and discharging batteries much easier. A fast charging mode reduces charging times by shortening the charging overall processes. A storage charging mode will charge and optimize the batteries before storing them for a long period of time. This is a useful feature that I really appreciate when I store most of my LiPo packs for the winter.
The terminal voltage control feature lets you charge your LiPo pack up to 4.23v per cell. Adding a little more voltage can be an advantage for some classes of racing when allowed by race organizers. Even if I’ve always thought that 1S LiPo pack doesn’t need to be balanced, the Reedy charger has a 1S balance mode. I didn’t test the feature but Reedy says that the 1S balance mode reads more accurately the cell voltage for a more precise charging. A special balance lead is required though.
To protect batteries from overcharging, it is possible to set a time and capacity charge limits. When the charger reaches any of these limits, it stops charging.
The others things:
As a bonus, there is a 5v/2.1A USB port to charge a cell phone, tablet or whatever you want. Using 220-240V? No problem the integrated power supply can handle the extra juice by simply selecting the correct input voltage with the switch on the side of the charger. There is a PC link connector located on the side, obviously some firmware upgrades or data logging could be eventually done. This is not the case yet but I can expect the possibility in the future. The Reedy 1216-C2 comes with two 2-6S XH adapters, two T-Plug charge leads and a XT-60 charge lead.
I’ve used an old Reedy 4S 5500mAh pack and a 7500mAh Wolfpack 2S pack to test my new Reedy 1216-C2 charger. Once the charge and balance leads connected to the charger, few buttons presses and the charger was already taking care of my batteries. Even if my batteries can be charged at more than 1C rate, I’ve set my charger to 5.5A and 7.5A. During the entire charging process, it was easy to monitor the charging rate, elapsed time, mAh, cell voltage and others informations. After few minutes, each packs showed perfectly balanced cells. After few minutes, the charger got a little hot and the integrated fans kicked in. The good news is that the fans are not extremely noisy. It is a good news (for my wife) because I frequently charge my LiPo packs during watching TV in the living room. The fans are variable speed and they just stayed at full speed for few seconds until the charger got a little cooler. When the packs got fully charged, a little melody played. Both packs were perfectly balanced and slightly warm. No matter the chemistry, all packs I’ve charged with the Reedy 1216-C2, they always been perfectly charged.
- Suites R/C enthusiasts’ needs from beginners to world champs
- AC/DC power inputs
- 12A charging capable
- Charging and balancing connectors are located in front
- I can’t get used to the name… 1216-C2
- Can be a little pricey for newcomers
- 120W x2 Digital AC/DC Balance Charger
- 100-120V/220-240V AC Input
- 1-6S LiPo/LiFe/LiIo, 1-15 NiMH/NiCd, Pb 2-20V Compatible
- Maximum 12A Charge (120W) / 5A Discharge (10W)
- 10-Profile Charger Memory
- Terminal Voltage Control (TVC)
- 1S Balance Mode
- Dual Backlit LCD Screens
- Heavy-duty heatsink and cooling fans
- 5V/2.1A USB Charge/Accessory Port
- Input Voltage: AC100-120V/220-240V, DC 11-18V
- Charge/Discharge Power: Max 120W/10W (x2)
- Charge/Discharge Current: 0.1-12.0A/0.1-5.0A
- Balance Current: 300mA/cell
- LiPo/LiFe/LiIo Cell Count: 1-6 series
- NiMH/NiCd Cell Count: 1-15 series
- Pb Battery Voltage: 2-20V (1-10 cells)
- Dimensions: 180 x 139 x 60mm
- Weight: 1148g/40.5oz
With a 175$us street price, the Reedy 1216-C2 AC/DC Dual charger is an excellent choice and it comes with all bells and whistles I could expect in a high end charger. I’d like to say something negative about the Reedy 1216-C2 but I can’t. Every times I’ve charged any of my battery packs, no matters the battery chemistry, the Reedy 1216-C2 did a flawlessly job time after time. This charger makes battery charging so simple and safe. Plug, charge, enjoy!