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Charge the Phantom 3 battery in car using converter
13414 36 2015-6-14
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info.marcelvoss
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Hi there,

I just bought a used converter that can change my 12V car battery power into 220V pure sine wave power (300Watts)

Has anyone else used something like this for charging the batteries of the Phantom 3 while on the road?

Theoretically it should work, but I havent tried yet.

Marcel
2015-6-14
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bradleydraifing
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United States
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Yes, I have a 300 watt pure sine inverter as well and it works perfectly. Good call on the pure sine, although it will work to charge with one of the cheap-o modified wave inverters, the battery will be maintained better and should last longer while giving consistent flight times with the pure sine. From what I've read and researched it's worth it to shell out the extra money for the pure sine inverter if you care about your electronics.
2015-6-14
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info.marcelvoss
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Thanks Bradley,

So pure sine is actually in any way compatible with a real power outlet?  (Up to 300 Watts of course)

My cigarette lighter outlet btw only has a 15A fuse , shared with the car radio, do you think that is enough to both charge the Phantom 3 battery and turn the radio on?

It would be a max. of 180 Watts.



2015-6-14
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HunterBrooks
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Before DJI started shipping the spare batteries, I did the same thing.  Funny, I had in the garage a hand-held jump starter I used for an old project car I used to have.  So I hooked up my 300 watt inverter to it, and it charged the PH3 battery perfectly.  So now I had a field-charger.  Of course, as soon as I tested it, and placed both the inverter and jump starter in the trunk, my DJI spare batteries arrived.  : )

But at least we know it works.
2015-6-14
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rhutty
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United Kingdom
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I know I'm a Brit, but our cigarette sockets in cars are only 12 volt. 12 x 15 = 180 watts assuming no losses.
I bought a 500 watt inverter which connects direct to the battery. It draws 18 amps when the DJI charger is first connected with a flat phantom 3 battery. Make sure it doesn't flatten your car battery if left connected for an hour
2015-6-14
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Brian.roberts
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bradleydraifing Posted at 2015-6-14 23:23
Your cigarette outlet produces 110 volts with a 15amp fuse so therefor can take 150 watts. The radi ...

That's not how electricity works. Wattage is a function of voltage and amperage. W=VA. A 12v car outlet with a 15A fuse will support a 180watts before blowing a fuse. And you're not going to melt any wires in your car unless you installed them yourself. The fuse is literally designed to keep this from happening. If the wire was thin enough to melt at that amperage, they'd put a smaller fuse in there.

So the DJI pro charger is 100 watts, under the 180 you'll get from the 15 amp circuit at 12v. Of course there are losses in an inverter. The 100 watt charger will pull about 0.9amps at 110 v BTW.

And the size wire needed depends WAY more on amperage draw than distance, especially witb a copper conductor. Distance DOES matter, but less than temperature even, so don't even worry about it. Assuming 12v, and THHN insulation, a 12ga wire would be fine for a 30 amp draw (360 watts at 12v) according to NEC which is always my wiring bible even when it doesn't apply.
2015-6-14
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bradleydraifing
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Brian.roberts Posted at 2015-6-15 04:46
That's not how electricity works. Wattage is a function of voltage and amperage. W=VA. A 12v car o ...

Touchè, statement retracted
2015-6-14
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rogeruzun
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200W Inverters work fine for my P3 Pro charger in my prius.  When I tried to use 150W inverters they were problematic.  They would sometimes just stop providing power when the draw was too large.  No fuse blew but the battery would stop charging.  I bought a 200W inverter from amazon and it works fine, always charges, and has not tripped any fuse on my Prius.
2015-6-14
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info.marcelvoss
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Okay, so if Rhutty says the Phantom charger is pulling 18 amps , that means I have to put in a 20 or 25A fuse instead of the 15A fuse that is in there now.  
Thats quite a heavy load then, but then again, it is a fast charger.
2015-6-15
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info.marcelvoss
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Actually if anybody is interested in this, I have a device that can measure the amount of Watts the charger is using,.
With an almost empty  30% Phantom 3 battery  that is about 110 Watts.  

This means my car fuse of 15A should be able to cope with that, considering of course some losses for the converter.

2015-6-16
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xaq7
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info.marcelvoss Posted at 2015-6-15 19:33
Okay, so if Rhutty says the Phantom charger is pulling 18 amps , that means I have to put in a 20 or ...

In where? Are you just upping the size of a fuse to get around blowing it on an existing circuit?
2015-6-16
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john.lambert4
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rogeruzun@gmail Posted at 2015-6-15 13:59
200W Inverters work fine for my P3 Pro charger in my prius.  When I tried to use 150W inverters they ...

Did you buy just a modified sine wave inverter Roger, or a "Pure Sine Wave" more expensive model?  I'm looking at getting one as well, but don't want to pay the exorbitant price for the pure sine wave ones!
2015-6-16
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info.marcelvoss
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xaq7@hotmail.co Posted at 2015-6-17 00:40
In where? Are you just upping the size of a fuse to get around blowing it on an existing circuit?
...

I was thinking of doing that but at Honda they said it wasnt a really good idea ...I think that upping it from 15 to 20 wouldn't be a problem, if they made the wiring in the car weaker then a 20A fuse, they'd have to be ashamed of themselves...maybe with a french car you would expect that but the japanese  build cars decently
2015-6-16
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john.lambert4
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Received this response from Jaycar re inverters......

Hi John,

Thank you for your enquiry.

The modified sine wave inverter will be adequate for your application.

A pure sine wave inverter is generally only required for;

-        audio applications where excessive hum may be a problem
-        appliances with high initial surge currents like fridges, grinders etc
-        fluorescent lights

The smallest units are rated at 150 watts and are powered from the vehicle lighter socket.
2015-6-16
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rogeruzun
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I bought an inexpensive 200w inverter from amazon.  It was about $20
2015-6-16
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info.marcelvoss
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I bought mine second hand , pure sine and 300 Watts, it was only 10 euro

As an engineer in electronics I'm not sure if you actually NEED pure sine, but I can imagine that the way these modern powersupplies work with electronics instead of just coils, its better not to take any risks.

2015-6-16
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xaq7
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info.marcelvoss Posted at 2015-6-17 06:42
I was thinking of doing that but at Honda they said it wasnt a really good idea ...I think that upp ...

lol. Well I wouldn't recommend it either! However it's pretty simple to run a circuit from the battery, throw in a solenoid on a switched circuit and you can have as much 12 volt power as you want.

What's a little curious is the bird is DC, the car is DC, yet we're converting to AC with an inverter, then converting back to DC with the charger. I wonder if DJI will bring us a 12 volt option for field charging.
2015-6-18
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PS1985
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rogeruzun@gmail Posted at 2015-6-17 08:28
I bought an inexpensive 200w inverter from amazon.  It was about $20

Would you share a link to the one that you bought and that works?
thanks!
2015-7-1
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PS1985
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PS1985 Posted at 2015-7-2 09:56
Would you share a link to the one that you bought and that works?
thanks!

I bought this one from Amazon and it doesn't power the charger: ENERGIZER 500W Power Inverter
It powers my MacBook charger and everything else I've tried. Does anyone know definitively that a pure sine wave inverter is necessary.
thanks for the help!
PS
2015-7-1
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rogeruzun
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This works - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product ... _detailpage_o05_s00
2015-7-7
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jack1144
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DON'T change any fuse sizing. Instead of a blowing(burning actually) a fuse you could burn wires and the vehicle. I've seen it happen.
Also the charger's OUTPUT is not the draw it requires.
If you check the backside of the charger, I believe it says 1.4 amp draw at 120v which approx. is 168 watts of draw.
The vehicle's nominal voltage is normally close to 14volts and a 15 amp fuse burns at approx. 200 watts
Not a lot of margin of error.
What Brian.Roberts said 12 guage wire and fuse at 20amps separate circuit
2015-7-13
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essmd
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I think the best options for remote charging may be one of the following 3 ways for portable power... the premise is it may be best to NOT use your car battery considering the risk of draining it, since inverters does eat energy. (Note I provided Amazon links for demonstration of options)

1) Something I saw on Youtube...Get a separate car battery with a sturdy handle, nothing huge, something bigger than a yard tractor battery, preferably with screwtop mounts, like a moderate marine battery. even better to get an AGM type.  Keep on a trickle charger when not flying.  Use the inverter that you prefer and take these when going flying.  

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=marine+battery+agm&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amarine+battery+agm


2) Pick up a Home UPS device, if it runs my computer and stereo equipment, it can charge my P3 Battery

http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP1000PFCLCD-Sinewave-Compatible-Mini-Tower/dp/B00429N192/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442644674&sr=8-1&keywords=sine+wave+ups


3) Some auto jump-assist units have built-in inverters.  If your not committed to use a pure sine wave inverter, these will do..

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jump+start+inverter&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ajump+start+inverter


Happy Coptering !!!
2015-9-18
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Neville
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essmd Posted at 2015-9-19 16:57
I think the best options for remote charging may be one of the following 3 ways for portable power.. ...

People,
You do not need a pure sine wave inverter and it won't drain your car battery with one full charge (unless your battery is faulty).

I have been using stepped inverters for 30 plus years.  I designed and built my first few in the 70's.  Today it's cheaper to buy one.  I use a 600w stepped inverter and charge two P3batteries at a time USING TWO P3 chargers.  Essentially the P3 charger is a notebook (laptop) power supply.  The incoming 240 (220) volt Ac is rectified and filtered to a dc voltage more than 200v DC.   It then goes through a switch mode function to reduce the voltage to a low level DC (think about 18v).  The rectifier circuit does not care if it is a stepped or pure sine wave.  The reason I selected the stepped is because it is more efficient.  That means less power drain from your battery.

To charge a P3 battery you need about one hour.  On my camper battery it runs the fridge, water pump, lighting and the inverter.  It charged two P3 batteries, the iPad and the controller without any problems.

If in doubt simply charge while you are driving.

Nifty
2015-9-19
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essmd
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Neville Posted at 2015-9-19 03:35
People,
You do not need a pure sine wave inverter and it won't drain your car battery with one full ...

I fully concede to your point about not needing a pure sine waver inverter, as I I have not been convinced that it is necessary. And your recommendation about a step inverter is appreciated.

However, the use of a separate power source other than your car battery is still a consideration depending upon how much flying and charging you plans to do...just an option if an all day adventure.

BTW, what are your thoughts on those multi-battery charging bars, like the following?...I have used it once and it seemed to work just fine for 2 batteries.

http://www.amazon.com/Mudder-Bat ... ntom+3+charging+hub

Also, would it be better to use straight DC current to charge batteries either directly or using one of multi charging plates and a quality 12v to 17.5 volt adapter ?  It seems like this is the most efficient way without DC / AC / DC conversion.

Would you trust this one?

http://www.amazon.com/BTG-Charge ... antom+3+car+charger

Appreciate the feedback
2015-9-19
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ag0n
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Generally, fuse values are based on wire capacity.  If you raise the fuse rating, you likely exceed the safe current capacity of the wire and fittings.  But, what has been said is correct.  You should have no problem and should not run the car battery down.  It will be charged when you're driving anyway.  If you're not driving, take it inside to charge.  Pretty simple.
2015-9-19
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Neville
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Essmd, at the end of the day it is up to the drone owner.  Rather than mess with warrantee and to keep it simple I purchased two chargers.  This gives me some redundancy when I am 'in the bush'.  The other advantage is that I can charge two items at a time.  I do have dual batteries in my vehicle and a third battery in my camper.  I use a solar panel to keep everything running as I am often away for weeks at a time.  

Multi chargers have their place but if you are concerned with your car battery running flat then don't use it.  Simply charge one item, check your car battery and run the motor during charging if it looks like you are running low..  I have  multiple batteries for the drone and can keep everything running including the fridge, water pump, lighting, drone, etc with a 120w solar panel essentially without limit.  

If you wish to use the multi ganged chargers then check your car battery so you don't flatten it and cannot start your motor.  

I plan my days to share the available charge from the solar panel or by running the car and have never had a problem because I monitor the battery voltage.  A multimeter is cheap insurance.
The DC to DC inverters are a fantastic technology and one solution but will this void your drone warrantee or shorten their life?
The issue of efficiencies has been raised but you need to also consider the chemical losses when charging batteries.  Eg use say 50w of battery and you will probably need 125w to charge it.  The DC - DC inverter may not be as efficient as the 12v to 240/220 volt inverter.
For reliability keep it simple and use the DJI charger to ensure warrantee.

You can make it as complicated using fantastic technologies or keep it simple.  I like the simple as it does not void warrantee and looks after those expensive batteries in the drone.  A cheap generator was considered but I did not get one as they cannot be used in many places where we camp and some have dirty power.

Nifty


2015-9-24
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Kit Walker
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Neville Posted at 2015-9-19 18:35
People,
You do not need a pure sine wave inverter and it won't drain your car battery with one full ...

This is my understanding too. Pure sine is really only for electrical equipment that requires are very steady/consistent stream of power. Like a computer hard drive may become damaged if the power levels fluctuate.., however this is not a problem for most devices.

I am not sure if it's required for charging batteries or not. I was actually looking into this myself, but got sidetracked.
2015-9-26
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Neville
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Kit Walker Posted at 2015-9-27 05:30
This is my understanding too. Pure sine is really only for electrical equipment that requires are  ...

Computers use switch mode power supplies and they don't need pure sin wave inverters.  External HDDs     use small 'blister' pack switch mode power supplies so they don't need pure sin wave inverters neither.  I use an external HDD with my notebook to backup the video.  These all run of the  inverter.

What I am saying is to keep it simple, don't pay lots of money for unneeded kit and have fun.

That's why I purchased a 600w stepped inverter, purchased two DJI Chargers and charge two items at a time.  I also have 3 x P3P batteries so I can pick when to charge.  At least I have redundancy should a charger fail.  I also have another inverter fitted to my camper for that purpose.

The P3P batteries are rated at 68w hrs.  You need to allow for the chemical losses in charging so you will need less than 90w hrs to fully charge the battery.  The inverter is better than 90% efficient as is the charger.  So you will need say 110w hrs of car battery to fully charge the P3P battery.  That's 7 Amps (and a bit) for an hour.  need to remember that the lithium polymer battery should never be discharges completely.  I run mine to a minimum of 25% to get better battery life.  This means you will only need a max of 75w hrs to fully charge.  That should not discharge your car battery and if you are not sure start the car or charge it when driving.

I have a 100a hr battery in my camper.  It runs lighting and water pump.  I often charge two P3P batteries, console, iPad and run the notebook with external HDD to save the video without any issues
Pure sine wave inverters in this application just suck more power from your 12v battery

Nifty
2015-10-10
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countrysidegard
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Nifty, can you specify or link the inverter your using pls?
2015-10-10
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Spankybear
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Since the charger is a switching power supply that can run on both 50-60 cycles and 120-240 volt, a pure sine wave inverter is overkill. A good quality modified sine wave inverter is all you need.  A pure sine wave inverter is more for inductance loads like a AC motor. The motor will run better and cooler. Then again what do I know...
2015-10-11
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Neville
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Countrysidegard - it was a cheapy from a store in Broome.  Think it was about $50.  It does not have a badge or brand.  Has been going for a year or more now.
Spankybear - you are spot on "a pure sine wave inverter is overkill"
2015-11-20
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Kneepuck
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Brian.roberts Posted at 2015-6-14 12:46
That's not how electricity works. Wattage is a function of voltage and amperage. W=VA. A 12v car o ...

An added note of caution:  Many inverters consume the full rated power no matter if they have a load on them or not.  So plan accordingly.  Best to leave the car running.
2015-11-21
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Kneepuck
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info.marcelvoss Posted at 2015-6-16 22:53
I bought mine second hand , pure sine and 300 Watts, it was only 10 euro

As an engineer in electron ...

Are you old enough to remember the old style inverters that just used a relay and a step up transformer.  Thing would sit there buzzing away.   You got ac as a square wave instead of a sine . Pretty funny to think of them now,  but used to be,  that was it.
2015-11-21
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essmd
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Much ado about nothing....I have been a subscriber of the philosophy that a pure sine wave converter is absolutely not necessary to charge a D/C battery.. The  A/C to D/C converter that is built in the power supply is not sensitive to the quality of the A/C signal, and acts as a buffer if any inconsistent signals are produced.

There is such an over-sensitivity to protecting our "expensive" toy/device, but an expensive D/C to A/C converter is not necessary.  I have used a regular 300W converter for almost a year, and no issues at all.

No if we were talking about powering a music amplifier...well that's a different conversation.
2016-4-21
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essmd
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essmd Posted at 2015-9-19 10:56
I fully concede to your point about not needing a pure sine waver inverter, as I I have not been c ...

Awesome, while you were replying I was up-voting your comment.

I have both of those items and use them when in the field.  I take a medium car jumper portable battery with a 12 volt port, and use the car-type adapter to power the triple charger...works perfectly for my 3 Pro.

I hope I can find a triple charger for the 4 I just ordered.
2016-4-21
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essmd
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Neville Posted at 2015-9-25 02:01
Essmd, at the end of the day it is up to the drone owner.  Rather than mess with warrantee and to ke ...

I am not aware that the warranty specifies the use of pure-sine wave converter.  If so, how could they prove you did not use one?

I use a simple 12-v car jumper battery with a 12-V port, with these items and I can charge 3 batteries 3 times before the portable 12-volt supply goes to yellow.... 3 solid hours of fly time

http://www.amazon.com/Mudder-Bat ... ntom+3+charging+hub

http://www.amazon.com/BTG-Charge ... antom+3+car+charger

2016-4-21
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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If you want to charge the Phantom batteries for a car, the cheapest way is one of the small chargers available on eBay for about 20 bucks. They use a simple DC-DC voltage doubler circuit to boost 12 volts up to around 17.5 volts. Ones like this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/ ... rue&lpid=107&chn=ps

Remember, all you need to charge a P3 or P4 battery is a power supply that delivers 17.5 volts at around 6 amps. All the charging smarts are in the battery, not the power supply.

2016-4-21
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