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LiPo ESR Meter Mark II

As I get deeper into a hobby, I typically add a few items that makes improves the experience.  I use a variety of LiPo batteries in my models.  They are certainly an investment and if I can keep them in good condition and monitor their performance, I see that as both an economic and safety enhancement to my flying.  Because of that, I recently purchased the new version of the LiPo ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) Meter which is now being called the LiPo ESR Meter Mark II.  Having done some reading regarding the original LiPo ESR Meter (now referred to as the Mark I model), I can see that the updates to the Mark II version were a nice improvement. 


LiPo ESR Mark II meter

What does the Mark II do?  It measures the internal resistance (IR) of the battery.  Batteries with lower resistance provide more current without suffering from overheating.  We all should know that overheating can result in cell damage and even cause a fire or explosion.  As a battery ages, its IR will increase.  As a battery is charged and discharged, its IR will increase.  Larger capacity packs have lower IR values than smaller capacity packs, given everything else equal.  So as we use (and hopefully not abuse) our batteries in our models, their ability to supply as much current as when they were new will decrease.  That doesn't mean an older battery is no longer useful when it no longer gives you the performance you want from your screaming eagle war bird.  If your can switch it over to a model that has lower current demands, it can continue to power that aircraft for the some time into the future.  Indeed, the capacity (C) rating of the battery is what it is all about and the Mark II will help you keep track of your battery's capacity.


LiPo ESR Meter Mark II powered

The Mark II will accommodate LiPos ranging from 1 to 6 cells and capacities from 100 to 25,000 mAH.  The main power leads come with an XT60 connector.  If your battery collection is comprised of something other than XT60 style batteries and you don't want to use an adapter (which can influence the meter's accuracy), you can remove the XT60 and attach your connector of choice to the meter.....just be sure to observe proper polarity. 

The balance lead connector is a regular JST-XH connector that has been modified to allow 1 to 6 cell leads to be connected.  To use, just orient the negative lead of your battery's JST connector to the first black wire on the meter's JST connector and plug them together.  Reverse polarity protection is provided for both the balance and main battery leads.  As noted on the meter's front panel, "ALWAYS connect the mains first"


ESR screen 1

When the main battery leads are connected to the Mark II, the multiline LCD display is illuminated.  It displays the pack voltage and the last used pack capacity which is very handy if you are checking a number of batteries with the same capacity.  To accurately obtain the ESR of the battery, you need to select the correct battery capacity on the meter. 


ESR screen 2

After connecting the main battery leads, press and hold the left front panel button for a second.  You will be presented with the first of five preset battery capacity screens.  Use the left button to scroll among the choices and the right button to select it.  The 5th screen has several empty spaces you can edit to store a selection that is not in the list.  You can also change/edit an existing battery in the list.  The first screen contains five of the most popular sizes by default.  Follow the prompts on the screen to scroll and chose (or edit) the correct battery capacity for the battery you are testing.


ESR screen 3 

Upon making your choice for battery capacity, you are presented with another screen that allows you to edit the value (changing it to one not on the list) or you can push the right button to use the value as displayed.   Pretty easy, yes?


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