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CellMeter-8 — Review 27May08

Posted by tanker in Batteries, General Heli, Products, Tools.
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CellMater-8It is always a good idea to check the voltage of your packs just before you put them in your heli for a flight. Sure you may have charged them at home or at the field but mistakes happen. With the low voltage warnings on most RC helis a low pack is not a huge deal but it is certainly not something you want to get as soon as you take off and flip over into an inverted hover! And if you fly fixed-wing a low pack can be disastrous.

Ep-Plane’s CellMeter-8 (and CellMeter-4) solves this problem. It is a handy little meter that gives not just the voltage on your pack but the voltage of each cell in your pack along with a ‘fuel’ gauge for both voltage and cell balance. The CellMeter is a small plastic device about 4” x 1” x1” with a large LCD screen. The CellMeter-4 handles 2-4 cell packs and the CellMeter-8 handles 2-8 cell packs. When you plug the balance connector of your battery into the CellMeter it shows you different views with the press of a button. Views include a simple view showing voltage, cell count, and the two gauges; a more detailed view with cell count, total voltage, capacity percentage and the voltages of the lowest and highest cell with a max difference; and a very detailed view with voltages of each cell out to three decimal places. The fuel gauge seems to be set to show 4.2v per cell as ‘full’ and 3.3v per cell as ’empty.’ Thus the percentage of capacity is based on that range. It also beeps a warning if your cells are out of balance (or have a low or high voltage condition).

CellMeter PinsThe CellMeter is very light. The only real issue with it is that the pins are somewhat fragile and care needs to be taken when plugging in packs (less of an issue if you need an adapter). Of the batteries I tested Align and Flight Power packs plug in directly but Thunder Power and Air Thunder packs need adapters (which can be purchased). You also need to be careful to plug the balance connector in the right way with the ground lined up toward the bottom as indicated.

Overall the CellMeter is a handy device that makes checking your batteries quick and painless. It should be a part of every flyer’s kit. Recommended.

Note: The pictures shown here show the CellMeter-8 with a shrink wrapped body. Mine came with a red plastic body that looks better and is probably sturdier and has a plastic guard under the pins.

You can purchase the CellMeter-4 and -8 from Hobby-Lobby.

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