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mCX USB Charger Now Available

Old 12-19-2008, 01:49 AM
  #1  
KE4NYV
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Default mCX USB Charger Now Available

The mCX USB Charger that I have been developing is now available for ordering. We have a limit quantity for this first round, so the first orders will ship and then any others will be backordered for about 1-2 weeks. If you DO NOT want to chance being put on the backorder list, please email us and check on stock before you order.

Since this is a new area for my company, we have decided to start a new division under the name E-Heli. We may change this if we are conflicting with any other "E-Heli" companies

Please visit the link below to go to our ordering page:

http://www.rpc-electronics.com/eheli/index.htm

At this time, we are working on procurring a UK dealer, but nothing is yet set in stone. We will however, in the meantime ship overseas.

Thanks!
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:47 PM
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Just a quick update. The next batch of chargers will ship out tomorrow morning. I'm sorry that I did not get them out sooner for an early Christmas present, but one of my suppliers JUST delivered much needed parts tonight.

The I expect to ship out the next batch by next week. I am at the mercy of my suppliers and their holiday shutdowns. That will teach me to release a new product at Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:43 PM
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Default USB Charger

Hey thats a fantastic idea and a dandy looking little charger (for less than a new stock one).

Can you tell us the charge rate (current in mA)? Also, would it be possible to run it off an alternate power source (say 4 AA batts) with the appropriate adapter?
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Old 12-25-2008, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rcflyair View Post
Can you tell us the charge rate (current in mA)?
The rate is 100mA. The charge time is about 40 minutes. A little longer than the stock charger, but no batteries to replace over and over.

Also, would it be possible to run it off an alternate power source (say 4 AA batts) with the appropriate adapter?
This charger must be ran on a strict regulated +5VDC since it's based on a USB power supply. This means it will work with any USB port of a computer, as well as common USB staye chargers for common electronics like Blackberries, most Garmin Nuvi GPS Receivers, TomTom GPS Receivers and many cell phone chargers, such as the one from the Motorola Razr and Krazr.

4AA batteries would equate to 6V and that would be too much for this charger.

However, we are working on a gang charger that will allow you to charge up to 4 batteries at a time. This charge will NOT be USB power, rather DC powered from any source of +9-20VDC. More info on these when we are closer to releasing them.

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2008, 02:15 PM
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Oh Neat! I'd really like to have one of these chargers, but my front yard and my Gym do not have USB power sockets. The battery-charger-charger fits right in my flight foam carrier and goes with me everywhere my Vapor goes. And that same foam has a slot to carry an extra set or two of AAs.

Given that the mCX heli uses a 110 mAH pack, it would presumably take a l o n g time to charge that pack on this charger unit. Even longer for the 130 mAH pack now available and in use (I have one of them). So a selectable charge rate might be desirable, or perhaps a charger set up for the higher rate for those just flying helis and only using the higher-capacity cells. Things can get complicated, but clearly you ought to keep this simple and inexpensive!

A gang charger sounds good, but it takes us right back to needing a 9-20VDC, so a wall-wart, cigar lighter plug and battery or an entire car!, or something would be needed.

So I find myself watching and waiting to see how this all works out.

Merry Christmas!
Jim


Originally Posted by KE4NYV View Post
The rate is 100mA. The charge time is about 40 minutes. A little longer than the stock charger, but no batteries to replace over and over.



This charger must be ran on a strict regulated +5VDC since it's based on a USB power supply. This means it will work with any USB port of a computer, as well as common USB staye chargers for common electronics like Blackberries, most Garmin Nuvi GPS Receivers, TomTom GPS Receivers and many cell phone chargers, such as the one from the Motorola Razr and Krazr.

4AA batteries would equate to 6V and that would be too much for this charger.

However, we are working on a gang charger that will allow you to charge up to 4 batteries at a time. This charge will NOT be USB power, rather DC powered from any source of +9-20VDC. More info on these when we are closer to releasing them.

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by KE4NYV View Post
However, we are working on a gang charger that will allow you to charge up to 4 batteries at a time. This charge will NOT be USB power, rather DC powered from any source of +9-20VDC. More info on these when we are closer to releasing them.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Jason. This gang charger sound like an EXCELLENT idea, especially for our Saturday evening indoor flying sessions we have up here. Any ETA for availability?

Also, I can't remember if this was addressed, so I apologize if it is a repeat question: Will your chargers charge JUST the 110mAh 3.7V Lipos for the mCX, or will it automatically accommodate the 70mAh and 130mAh batteries as well?
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rocket_jim View Post
Given that the mCX heli uses a 110 mAH pack, it would presumably take a l o n g time to charge that pack on this charger unit.
We are consistently charging mCX lipos in 40 minutes with our charger. About 10 minutes longer than the stock charger AND you are assured to get a real full charge. My experience with the stock charger was, as the AA depleated, the charge cycle took longer and it did'nt always fully charge the battery.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Merry Christmas, Jason. This gang charger sound like an EXCELLENT idea, especially for our Saturday evening indoor flying sessions we have up here. Any ETA for availability?
Merry Christmas!

I have decided to strip it back to a three-cell charger because I found a great semi-clear case to build this charger into and I just could'nt squeeze in four ports. Not a big deal in my opinion. Three cells at a time will keep you going a while

I actually spent about 2 hours this morning refining the board design, since I found this case. I had to resize and do some mounting hole placement. My board house re-opens just after New Years. So when they do, I will be placing an order for boards immediately. They have a 10 day turnaround. Once I have them in hand and I can build a prototype to test, I will have a better idea of when I will have them for sale.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:54 PM
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WOW! I know what the hot Christmas item was this year!

Everyone in the US alone must have received a new mCX under the tree.

We were flooded with charger orders this weekend and they are still coming in. At this point we have over 50 orders pending.

I spent time a couple nights ago getting parts ordered for another 100 chargers. Again, I am at the mercy of my suppliers and since some are shut down through New Years, I won't get the parts until after the first. Luckily, that isn't far away.

I appreciate everyone's patience as we get these orders filled.

Please email us at eheli @ rpc-electronics.com (Remove Spaces) if there are any questions about orders. I have a few emails that came in and I will be getting to those today. Please don't think that I passed you up or forgot about you, if you are one of them.

Thanks!

Jason
E-Heli
http://www.rpc-electronics.com/eheli
RPC Electronics
http://www.rpc-electronics.com
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:03 PM
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Jason,

Any ballpark ideas for a pricing on your 3-port charger?
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:45 PM
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tuning in. I hate the included charger with the MCX. I took it apparent and made it work with my lipo chargers. I would love a 3 gang charger.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:51 PM
  #12  
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UPDATE:

Another batch of orders shipped today. I received a partial shipment of part last night and was able to assemble about 12 chargers to pack and ship.

At this point, we are looking to get in more parts and get them sent to a contracted shop. I can't build enough chargers by hand to keep up, so we are getting them assembled (in the US). We will do final assembly including heat shrinking and final testing.

Just packing the orders and printing invoices is enough to keep us busy.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Jason,

Any ballpark ideas for a pricing on your 3-port charger?
At this point, the ballpark is $30-40. That will charge up to three batteries at one time and will include the wall adapter. The power connector is a standard 2.1mm barrel plug, so this can also be used with a +12VDC lighter plug adapters.

Such as:

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Old 01-01-2009, 06:58 PM
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Jason,

Very nice. As soon as they are ready, I will be happy to order one.

Of course, I would not be averse to reviewing one for you if you just happened to send one my way.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:08 PM
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To help with some of the questions that we keep getting over and over, I have addeda Frequently Asked Questions page on the E-Heli website at:

http://www.rpc-electronics.com/eheli/faq.htm
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:10 AM
  #16  
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For those who were asking about using USB lighter adapters with our USB charger, I bought one from SparkFun:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8638

It came in today and I gave it a try with our charger, our $3 USB cable and the adapter. Worked great! I was able to charge one of my dead mCX batteries in the same ~40 minutes charge cycle time.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:51 AM
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I've had several private emails asking how I was assembling the chargers before I decided to hire an assembly house.

The process is actually not that complicated for a board this simple. We use a solder paste and electric skillet (Yes, the kind you cook in.) We start by snapping off a row of boards. We then use syringes with very small needles and use them to dispense the paste to each pad. We then place the parts one by one. The entired panel then goes to the skillet for re-flow. As the skillet heats up, the solder paste will start to soften and then turn to a molten, shiny solder. After it cools down, we do a full inspection, test and final assembly.

Here is a picture of a finished panel:

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Old 01-11-2009, 01:28 PM
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I just ordered one last week and I can't wait to get it

How current are you on shipping orders?
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Heli Jim View Post
I just ordered one last week and I can't wait to get it

How current are you on shipping orders?
We are so close to getting caught up I can taste it! Actually, we are still in the window of a week to get everything ready to start shipping.

I want to again thank everyone who has placed an order and has been extremely patient with us! Your patronage is more than appreciated! I am just very sorry that it has taken us so long to get these orders going. Never in my dreams did I think we would sell out the first batches so fast and then backorder so many orders this quick.

We have 100 boards coming in. Once we get the boards in, I plan to pack and ship orders in 25 boards at a time. That means, by the time I get the boards back in, I should have all pending orders up to 100 boards shipped within four days. Obviously, since some orders were for more than one charger, I will not be able to ship 100 orders immediately, but we have parts on the way again to take care of the residual orders.

Thanks again!
Jason
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www.rpc-electronics/eheli
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:54 PM
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Jason,

Any progress on the 3-gang unit?
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Jason,

Any progress on the 3-gang unit?
Yes! I actually just had some prototype cases come in yesterday. These are nice translucent blue cases that will house the new multi-charger. So far, I really like how they look.

The first run of boards that will fit in this case are only a few days away from getting here. As soon as I get them in-hand, I will be building up a couple to test, take pictures and show off here and a few other message boards.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:36 AM
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Jason, I anxiously await those pictures!
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:09 PM
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I just want to give everyone an update on the pending orders. I KNOW I AM STARTING TO SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD!

Again, thank you to EVERYONE who has placed and order has has been incredibly patient with us!

I know that I stated before that we would start shipping at the end of this week, but we are still a little behind. All parts were in Friday. I overnighted everything to our assembly house. Due to the location of the assembly house and the Monday holiday, they will not be delivered until Tuesday. That put us behind again.

I was assured by the assembly house that they can turn everything around in two days, barring any problems. It's a very simple job, so I don't expect any problem with that. I have requested they be overnighted back to me. As soon as they come in, I will be doing final tests and then packing orders. At this point, instead of doing it in four waves like I said I would, I will most likely take a day off my day job and do the whole batch in one day. This will allow me to get all of the orders out the next day.

Thanks again!
Jason
RPC Electronics/E-Heli
www.rpc-electronics.com/eheli
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:03 PM
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We are on schedule to start shipping orders this weekend. The assembly house has confirmed that they are in the process of assembly and will be shipping the units to me by tomorrow.

THIS IS IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW!

If for any reason you wish to have your order refunded, PLEASE contact us directly and we will gladly issue one. I have already refunded a few orders for those who did not wish to wait any longer. We understand that we have fallen behind and some people are not happy with that. I am very sorry, but I am trying to get these out as soon as possible.

By contacting us directly, I can issue a refund without any problems. Several people have filed complaints with their credit cards before contacting me. I of course refunded these orders, BUT PayPal then forwards the chargeback penalty to me from the credit card. The typical fee is $10, so every time this happens, not only do I loose the sale, but it costs me $10 on top of it. PLEASE contact me first and I will refund the order.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:48 AM
  #25  
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I want to give some hope to those waiting on their charger to come in the mail

The results of six straight hours of building, invoicing and packing:



These will ship out first thing tomorrow.
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