I’ll admit, when I purchased the eTronix Powerpal 3.0 I was buying very much from a “value for money” perspective rather than all out performance.
It meets, and exceeds expectations in terms of value for money – being one of the lowest cost chargers on the market for it’s not so small 10 Amp, 80W Output.
It’s actually got enough power to satisfy most club racers who are charging at a 1:1 ratio of Amps to Amp Capacity.
i.e. if you’ve got a 8,000 mah Lipo Battery, you’ll be charging at 8,000 ma (8A) only at 80% of the full 10A capacity of the charger.
With the majority of club racing being under Blinky Mode on the ESCs and only lasting 5 minutes, anything more than 8,000mah is just excessive for GT12 on our 1s Lipos.
I have also used the charger on a 4,800mah NiMh and again it performed really well whilst charging in the NiMh setting – more than enough power coming from the charger.
It’s easy to setup and doesn’t take up a great deal of space.
Charging between races…
This is more an issue of simply charging at the 1:1 ratio of capacity to Amp input than specifically about this charger.
Turning up to a meeting and wanting to recharge a battery between each race is possible, but challenging in most instances – the charge time is more like 2 races worth of wait time.
As a result, turning up with most of your batteries charged for a GT12 racing evening is necessary. You can charge 1-2 more batteries whilst you’re at the club meet taking this approach – but I simply use the charger at home.
Despite it’s mighty charging capability of 10A, it actually only has a discharge (and storage discharge) capability of 1A…
This means if you’ve got 1,000mah too much energy stored after a race, it will take a whole hour to discharge that 1,000mah back down to the storage level.
So the eTronix Powerpal 3.0 is very “hobbyist” in the Discharge and Storage department – it takes a LONG time to get all my batteries back down to storage level after an evening’s racing. (think 4-5 batteries, with an excess of somewhere in the region of 1,000mah – discharged at a decreasing level over time, can take the best part of 6-7 hours!)
Overall It’s Great
I’m not going to be jumping up to a new charger any time soon, and the discharging limitations aren’t something that cause me real problems (working from home all the time, able to discharge whilst I work).
It’s compact, robust enough to be placed in amongst the rest of your kit without things breaking off of it or worrying about loose connections.
I’m a fan!