One of the most practical gadgets I have tried is the IMAX B6 multifunction charger. A product that can be used to power a multitude of projects with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, since it allows charging batteries of different types that are used in projects of many makers.
All these DIY projects need power, and it is not always possible to leave the Arduino board connected to the PC's USB to power it or maybe you need a type of special food. It is also not possible, sometimes, to have a specific type of charger for each battery. With the IMAX B6 charger you can get what you need thanks to everything it offers you.
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What is IMAX B6?
As the IMAX B6 it's a charger Universal that is capable of working with multiple power outputs, and charging all types of batteries, such as lead or Pb, Ni-Cd (up to 15 cells, Ni-MH up to 15 cells, Li -Po up to 6 cells, Li-Fe up to 6 cells, etc.
It has a maximum power of 80w, more than enough to feed one or several projects at the same time. That power can power up to 18 Ni-HM batteries at the same time, to give you an idea.
Also allows fast charge, thanks to a high-performance microprocessor and integrated software that is specifically adapted to each operation. You can get all the safety information in the product manual, which you should read when purchasing it so as not to use it unsafe or beyond its capabilities.
It also has an LCD screen as a display, with 2 lines and 16 characters to be able to choose the type of battery, protection programs, charging time, fast mode (charging time, maximum capacity are automatically adapted), and all the configuration options with its buttons. In addition, you will see the information of the battery so that it is in perfect condition to use it with the maximum charge. All safely thanks to its central chip ...
You can also charge and discharge Li-Po batteries cyclically, each cell individually, allowing you to revive cells and activate 100% of the battery. Therefore, it serves as a repair apparatus for bad batteries.
Between their exits, it has 5 for micro connectors to connect the cells, plus an output of two banana plugs to connect load power if you need it. Includes a set of 5 different connection cables to fit almost all batteries on the market. An extra connection cable with crocodile clips allows an external battery to be connected to the power input.
Between other technical characteristics of the IMAX B6 you will find:
- Maximum intensity: 5A
- Maximum power: 80W
- Display: 2 lines 16 characters display.
- Input voltage: 11 ~ 18V.
- Output voltage: Depending on the type of battery, it will adapt.
You can find the IMAX B6 in a multitude of online and specialized stores, such as buy it on amazon. Its price is quite cheap, and for just over € 30 you can have this complete charging device.
En the package is included the IMAX B6 charger itself, the multifunction cable and various adapters, 1 universal crocodile-type clip, and the adapter to connect the charger to a conventional power outlet, as well as the instruction manual.
If you are interested in the IMAX B6, maybe you are also interested know about the relay module of Arduino to also control devices of greater power. You may also be interested in the TP4056 module, a module for battery charging that we have already described here. And even the batteries CR2032.
Types of batteries and accumulators
Companies that batteries, cells or accumulators, are devices that allow to store electrical energy in cells or produce it from chemical reactions. There are two main types of batteries, rechargeable and non-rechargeable. The former allow energy to be charged over and over again for reuse, while the latter are for single use and must be discarded.
Regarding their composition, they can be found various types of batteries main that you can use with this IMAX B6 mostly. Some of the most important are:
- Batteries or alkaline batteries: They are usually disposable, and use potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte. A chemical reaction between zinc and magnesium dioxide generates the electric current between its two terminals. They are usually very durable, but once they come to an end they have to be replaced and thrown away at a recycling point.
- Lead acid batteries: they are widely used in the automotive industry, such as cars, motorcycles, boats, etc. They are made up of two lead electrodes and, thanks to lead sulfate, which loses electrons and is reduced to metallic lead, energy is generated. They are inexpensive, and easily produced. Against it, it has how polluting they are due to the heavy metal they use as a base and that they are heavy.
- Nickel Batteries: they have a low cost, but also a low performance. They have been used in various applications, especially in industrial machines. Within this type there are subtypes:
- Ni-Fe: Nickel Iron uses nickel-plated steel sheets and nickel hydroxide, as well as a mixture of caustic potash and distilled water as the electrolyte. The yield is 65%, but they can last more than 80 years.
- Ni-Cd: Nickel cadmium ones use cadmium anode and nickel hydroxide cathode. The electrolyte is potassium hydroxide. They are rechargeable, and nothing happens to them when overcharging them, but as a drawback they have their low energy density of 50Wh / kg.
- Ni-MH: Nickel hydroxide anode and metal hydride cathode are very common. They do not have as much memory effect as the previous ones, and they have good endurance. But at low temperatures they do not have acceptable performance. They are of course rechargeable, and have been used in consumer electric vehicles.
- Lithium batteries: These are batteries that are widely used today due to their higher performance and that have been replacing the previous ones. Their memory effect is less, they allow recharging. The energy density they have allows them to make powerful and durable batteries with a discreet size. Inside there are variants:
- Li-Ion: Lithium-ion batteries use lithium salt as electrolyte and generate the chemical reaction to generate electrical current. However, the life of these batteries is average, since they usually last about 3 years. In addition, they tend to overheat, and the reactive element on which they are based can cause them to explode or ignite.
- LiPo: They are similar to the previous ones, but they use lithium polymer. The problem is that they are practically useless if they are discharged below a minimum of 3v.
- Graphene batteries: They are newer, and might solve some of the problems of the old ones. They use graphene (carbon in a single atom shell) as a base. However, they are under investigation and graphene is difficult to produce.