Thursday, May 26, 2016

Supercharge Your Life with MC3000

Ever feel drained, exhausted, burned out?

SkyRC has launched a "Multi-Chemistry" solution to at least correctly charge the heart of those gadgets we need with cylindrical batteries. As the manual of the new MC3000 charger states:

Charging batteries is usually a primitive, boring task. Can't fool you friends, it still is. In fact, this charger merely knows three elementary routines: charge, discharge, rest. However... refining, combining and repeating them in impressive cycles will make you feel dominant and superior! We believe that operating the device will bring some fun and satisfaction to an otherwise mundane activity: charging one's empty batteries. The MC3000 may be the most joyful not so compact 4-bay universal round battery charger in the world.
The manual is very good and it teaches you all you need to know to set up an excellent battery charging strategy for your household. It's a good idea to design a fixed schedule for all devices in the home that use cylindricals and to make sure that they are all frequently loaded with freshly charged batteries. This way you can guarantee all family members that no longer will any device ever fail due to a drained battery.

Of course one must ensure that all members in the household understand and accept the regime because if one carelessly mixes batteries that have not been verified to match, unbalanced discharges may take place and it would take several extra cycles to get it all sorted out again. Unnecessary stress and anxieties may ensue in the social sphere.

Program your charge with your smart phone
It does not make a difference if you charge one battery or four and if fully loaded, every single battery gets an individual treatment which you can monitor on your smart phone or, if you prefer this, on your computer with a standard mini USB connection.
Charging the powerful Nitecore flashlight battery

iPhone screen snapshot showing the discharge over time
If you are not sure about the stamina of a battery , it's a good idea to simply initiate a full refresh procedure for it so the battery is drained, rested, fully charged, drained again and charged again, several times over and in the end, after a few days, you get a full report about the battery's health and competence. An internal probe monitors the temperature of the battery and the charger and if there is any indication of overheating, the procedure is paused or the device will cool itself with the very effective yet low-noise high-speed fan.
Monitoring the charging on the iPhone
The charger can be programmed and operated using the buttons on the front, which can be a complicated routine, much like the way we programmed out first CPU experimental boards in the 1980's, but it keeps the mind awake and hones one's patience.

The manual is very helpful with practical tips like "A blinking green SNB means happiness. The  electric charge (mAh) is often lackadaisically called capacity. Stay away from children."

Charging / refreshing a set of Eneloop batteries
The charger is able to work with more battery types than you've ever seen in your lifetime and to protect the average user, some options like charging RAMs (Rechargeable Alkalines) are even permanently hidden from the menu and the manufacturer will only provide the key to unlock this option after you have sent them proof of ownership of such a battery.

Cycled and fully charged, ready to go
The authors of the manual have made it a technically complete document which makes reading it an experience like a course that refreshes all you've been taught about electronics long ago and the more complicated paragraphs are sprinkled with a dry humor like "for programs with even lower CC charging currents than 0.05A you could try to be clever with the TRICKLE C option. If you are confused, turn it OFF. You can reset the calibration to ex factory conditions with the Calibration Reset menu item in GSV. Good luck." 

There are also some real gems in the "Error Message" section. For instance, if "unknown err thx" appears on screen, be advised that this may be a "spontaneous extraordinary internal error of unknown origin and magnitude, sneaky bug, thanks for your comprehension. Ignore or unplug from mains."

The FAQ pages are also well written, very informative and here as well the authors have managed to wedge in a few jokes. I won't give them away as some pure joy must remain to exclusively discover for new owners themselves.

I sent compliments to the team and mr. Karl Peng replied: "I will forward it to the project team, they'll be happy to hear that someone has read the manual :)=)"

Go get one!

More info on this blog:
(also check your his brilliant lab setup and swoon!)

There's a video byJulian Ilett online:

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