If you’re looking for a simple, easy to use balance charger for your LiPo batteries (or any other rechargeable RC battery), the iMAX B6AC V2 LiPo battery charger is definitely one of the top picks.
It is hands down one of the best LiPo chargers…
And it won’t break the bank either.
In this review I’ll go over some of the features of the iMAX B6 and I’ll show you what makes it such a great addition to your RC arsenal.
iMAX B6AC V2 Overview, Best LiPo Charger for the Money
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The iMAX B6AC by SkyRC, is a high performance battery charging and discharging station that works with virtually all RC battery types. It can handle lithium poly/ion batteries up to 6 cells, nickel batteries up to 15 cells and lead acid batteries from 2-20 volts. The charger has a 6 amp max charge current and a 2 amp max discharge current. Total power is 50 watts.
The overall size of the charger is nice and compact too…at 5.3 x 5.7 inches, it’s small enough to toss into your gear bag.
An aluminum housing makes for a nice quality feel. The buttons and menus are very easy to navigate and intuitively placed. They have a nice positive feedback when you press them too.
This is a multiple power source charger, meaning that it can be plugged into your wall or it can be hooked up to your car or truck battery out at the field. The charger operates on both AC & DC current…and all necessary charging cables are included. There are DC only versions of the iMAX B6 available too but I highly recommend the AC version, which makes it so much more versatile.
Monitor charging stats & set the programming with a micro-USB cable connected to your PC and the free Charge Master control software. You can even control and monitor the process remotely with your smartphone. A really cool feature but requires a WiFi module, which is not included with the charger. It must be purchased separately.
You really can’t go wrong with this battery charger for your LiPos. So simple to use, and reliable. And compared to other quality LiPo battery chargers, what you get for the price with the iMAX B6AC – considering all the features – is well worth it.
Very Easy Charging and Discharging Functions
When I first got my quadcopter, it took FOREVER to charge my LiPo batteries. The charger that came with it was a tiny little thing that only charged my LiPo battery through its balance leads. I didn’t have any idea what the cell voltages were or what the charging current was. I also couldn’t properly discharge my LiPo for long term storage.
Discharging a LiPo for storage is very important if you want your battery to last. The battery’s cells need to be discharged down to 3.8V in order to safely store the battery. My problem was that there was no way for me to know the voltage of the battery with the charger I had since there was no display.
Then I got an iMAX B6AC. Wow, what a difference!
Charging is so much faster now, and safer since i can see what the individual cell voltages are and how much current the battery is getting. The charging current is controlled automatically by the iMAX B6, based on the battery capacity it detected and what you entered. In other words, it always optimized.
But where it really comes in handy for me is:
The built in storage mode.
It’s really easy to use. Navigate to the LiPo Storage mode in the top menu and press enter.
Then you simply enter the number of cells & the battery’s capacity and the iMAX B6 does the rest. After analyzing the battery, it asks you to confirm and with the press of a button the automatic process is started. Your LiPo will now be properly balanced discharged down to 3.8v per cell, allowing it to be stored without worry of ruining your pack.
Make Sure It’s a Genuine iMAX B6, from SkyRC
If you do decide to get your own iMAX B6 balance charger, (I highly recommend you do, it really is a great charger) please do make sure you’re getting a genuine one. There are a lot of fakes out there selling for a lot less money, but believe me…it’s not worth it. Who knows what shotty circuitry is in those knockoffs. They are not to be trusted.
It’s much better to spend a little more money for something that’s quality and genuine. A small price to pay considering it could mean the difference between charging your LiPo or extinguishing a fire.
You absolutely want a real version, look for the SKYRC hologram sticker. It has a security code in it that you can use to verify the authenticity:
Like the one on this iMAX B6AC at Amazon…click the image below to read some of the awesome reviews of this LiPo charger on Amazon.com.
What’s In the Box
Order a iMAX B6AC and here’s what you’ll get:
- the SKYRC iMAX B6AC V2 Charger
- AC power cord
- DC charging cable with alligator clips
- One T plug with banana connector charging cable
- One T plug with XT60 connector charging cable
- Three T plugs, each with one alligator clip, Futaba style & JST connector charging cables
The B6AC V2, an upgraded version of the original B6AC. It’s way more accurate and a lot more stable thanks to the microprocessor controlled battery management system.
New features on this version include charging limits that make it safer than the original version like a current limit, capacity limit & temperature threshold limit (requires an optional temp sensor).
The charger automatically shuts off if it reaches any of these limits during the charging process – which is a good thing.
The last thing you want is a fire due to a crappy charger, or defective battery that your charger couldn’t detect.
Regardless, you should ALWAYS charge and discharge your LiPo batteries in a fire proof container like a LiPo safe bag, ammo can or something similar.
For a lot more info on how to properly handle your LiPo batteries, please read our Ultimate LiPo Battery Guide.
Here are some of the additional features and specs of the iMAX B6AC:
Advanced Operating Software
The auto charging/discharging functions will automatically adjust the current during the battery charging process. This helps to prevent overcharging of lithium batteries which can lead to explosions or fire. The iMAX B6 disconnects the circuit automatically and alarms you if a problem is detected.
Charger Master PC Control Software and WiFi Smartphone Control
Charge Master is free software that lets you operate the charger through your computer. You can also monitor pack voltage, cell voltage, other data and view the charge rate with real time graphs.
Add on the WiFi module, and the Charge Master functions can be done remotely from your smartphone. This doesn’t mean you can leave the charger completely unattended, you should always be nearby. But, it does mean that you don’t have to get up from the couch to check your stats or set a charge program.
LiPo Battery Meter
Use the built in battery meter to check total voltage, highest voltage, lowest voltage and internal cell voltage of your LiPo battery. Check for unbalance between cells or damaged cells, catch a problem before it becomes serious.
You can also measure the internal resistance and individual cell resistance.
Built in data store and load functions. The iMAX B6 can store up to 10 different charge/discharge profiles so you won’t have to configure all the settings every time. Ten profiles should be more than enough for most people.
Temperature Probe Socket
Charging causes an internal chemical reaction:
Which produces heat.
With the addition of the temperature probe (purchased separately), the charger will abort the process when the battery reaches a dangerous temperature limit – potentially saving you and all your belongings. One of the best features of this LiPo charger, in my opinion.
For NiMH/NiCd batteries, the charger can peak charge the battery multiple times (once, twice, or three times in a row – automatically). This helps to ensure a full charge for your battery.
You can set up to 5 cycles continuously of either charge > discharge or discharge > charge, for breaking in new battery packs or refreshing older ones. Another convenient feature, so you don’t have to keep re-starting every time the cycle finishes.
iMAX B6AC V2 Specifications
|Dimensions||135mm x 144mm x 36mm||Charging Current||0.1-6.0 A|
|Net Weight||632 g||Discharge Current||0.1-2.0 A|
|AC Input Voltage||100-240 V||Lithium Battery Cells||1-6S|
|DC Input Voltage||11-18 V||Nickel Battery Cells||1-15S|
|Power||Charge Max: 50 W
Discharge Max: 5 W
|Lead Acid Battery Voltage||2-20 V|
It’s easy to see that the iMAX B6AC battery charger’s long list of features and easy to use charging/discharging functions make it the best LiPo charger for the price.
But don’t just take my word for it:
Be sure to click the link below to find out more and get your hands on your own iMAX B6AC today!