Sunday, August 20, 2017
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Thunder Power Ultra Micro Batteries & TP103 Charger

New power options for your small models

One of the great advantages offered by all the new micro models coming out is the ability to fly just about anywhere at any time. Whether your preference is for a classic WWI or WWII fighter, a civilian runabout or a homebuilt scale or freelance sport model designed to use the equipment from a worn out RTF airframe, these little models are just the ticket for a romp around the cul-de-sac on a calm evening while the grill is warming up, or any other time you need a quick fix of RC.

As these models offer such immediate fun, it only reasons that you will want a few spare batteries around and a way to keep them charged quickly and efficiently. Obvious evidence of the widespread popularity of these models is the variety of models available, along with the appearance of accessory batteries and chargers for this market segment.

For the last few months I have been flying indoors a couple of times a week with several of the new Thunder Power ultra-micro G4 Pro Lite cells. These single cell packs are available in 125 and 160mAh sizes, and share the same connector commonly used by many manufacturers of numerous popular RTF micro aircraft and helicopters. With a 25C discharge rate, these cells offer the ability to deliver 3-4 amps of current, or 10-14 watts. That is a tremendous amount of power from such a small cell, and that same low internal resistance that allows them to deliver at that rate also allows you to recharge them quickly.

CHARGING OPTIONS

These cells are rated for a 5C charge rate, meaning they could be fully refreshed in about 12 minutes. That works out to give useable charging rates of 625mA and 800mA! Designed to support these new cells, as well as any other single-cell batteries you might already have with the same connector, is Thunder Powers new pocketsize TP103CQ charger. This charger works from 12 volts DC, and comes with clip leads that can be used with a 12-volt power source. It is also available in an AC-DC combo including the charger and the TP1201P AC-to-DC 1-amp power supply, compatible with 100-240 volt AC power. The TP103CQ charger features four independent ports, and simple plug-and-play operation. Connect it to a large capacity 3S LiPo or the combo AC power supply and look for the red LEDs as you plug in your micro batteries. The individual batteries will be ready for your next mission as their lights go green. Thunder Power is well aware that not all ultra-micro cells can handle such high charge rates for long, so they have set the charge rate of this charger to a more modest 300mA.

BATTERY PERFORMANCE

As I reach for a fresh battery these days, I find myself more often than not looking for that familiar Thunder Power lightning bolt. I have found that my models perform better initially and hold additional power longer. The clear implication of my flight testing is that the Thunder Power cells deliver a higher voltage throughout their cycle and quantitative numbers with my West Mountain Radio CBA tester confirm that. They also seem to be holding up very well with many cycles. Ive been very pleased with these cells, and look forward to flying them for quite some time to come.

SPECS

CHARGER: TP103CQ

TYPE: Ultra-Micro LiPo AC/DC Charger

FOR: single-cell 3.7V Micro LiPo batteries

INPUT POWER: 100-240V AC or 11-15V DC

CHARGE CURRENT: 0.3 amps per port (5 watts max)

CHARGE PORTS: Four independent

STREET PRICE: $24.99, TP103CQ; $34.99, TP103CQ-ACDC combo with 100-240V AC adapter

Links

Thunder Power RC, www.thunderpowerrc.com, (702) 228-8883

West Mountain Radio, www.westmountainradio.com , (262) 522-6503