Li-Ion/Polymer Battery Charger/Balancer - 80W, 5A

This charger accurately balances and charges Lithium Polymer, LiFe (A123), NiCd and NiMH batteries. It will handle LiPo/LiFe up to 6S and NiMH/NiCd up to 15S and shows individual cell voltage during charge with realtime updates throughout the charge cycle.

The intuitive menu system means charging and cycling is an easy process and can be done quickly and accurately either in the field, by using a 12V input such as a car battery, or at home with a 12V power supply.

Bundled with the charger are a number of input and output wires which should satisfy most any charging requirement. This charger has a JST-XH charge plug, which makes it compatible with Zippy, HXT, iMax and any pack with a JST-XH adapter.

Note: A power supply is not included. The DC input jack is not the same as the standard 5.5mm size we use. It has a larger pin diameter. Thankfully, it does come with a barrel jack to alligator clip adapter.

Note: Although the enclosure is labeled as an Imax B6, this is not the same charger as the more expensive charger by the same name.

  • Ni-MH/NiCd cells: 1~15
  • Li-ion/Poly cells: 1~6
  • Delta-peak sensitivity (NiMH/NiCd)
  • Large range of charge currents
  • Store function, allows safe storage current
  • Time limit function
  • Input voltage monitoring (protects car batteries in the field)
  • Data storage (Store up to 5 packs in memory)
  • Battery break in and cycling
  • Input Voltage: 11~18V
  • Circuit power: Max Charge: 80W / Max Discharge: 5W
  • Charge Current Range: .1~6.0A
  • Pb battery voltage: 2~20v* 133x87x33mm
  • Weight: 277g

Li-Ion/Polymer Battery Charger/Balancer - 80W, 5A Product Help and Resources

Power supply for use with AC power

If you're not using a 12 volt battery as your power source, you need to locate a AC to DC power supply that can deliver 12 volts DC at 5 amps or more. The only power supply SparkFun currently carries that would meet this requirement is our Mean Well Switching Power Supply - 12VDC, 12.5A.

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Flokos / about 13 years ago / 4

    @Joriss :I think you have these problems because you might not have the genuine version , there are 2 versions on the market.
    The genuine one works perfect though the other one is unpredictable cause is made from many different manufacturers .
    If I am not right please correct me ...
    And Im making the question to Sparkfun people .
    Is this one the genuine version?

    • The "real" one has a holographic sticker on the back with a scratch off area. Under the scratch off area is a registration number.

    • Joriss / about 13 years ago / 1

      Hm, how can I see which one I have?

      • Flokos / about 13 years ago / 1

        I think the genuine has a stamb on the back of it that says genuine and it may be gold or silver ...

  • Member #268820 / about 12 years ago / 2

    Not genuine its a fake one do not buy

  • frank26080115 / about 13 years ago / 2

    To people who need a AC-DC converter to use this charger, make sure it is rated for the charging current you want to charge at. I use a power brick from a old laptop.
    I usually put my battery inside a cooking pot while charging as a safety precaution. You can also buy special fire-proof bags designed for battery charging elsewhere.

  • Scott17 / about 9 years ago / 1

    By the way, the DC barrel jack for the voltage input has a 2.5mm pin and 5.5mm overall diameter. I work for a brick and mortar Sparkfun distributor and every once in a while I modify a 12V 5A power supply to have the proper jack.

  • Member #517027 / about 9 years ago / 1
    1. Has sparkfun EVER sold non-genuine imax/B6 chargers? In other words if I bought one of these, at any point in time, can I be promised that it is genuine?

    2. I do not understand all that balance connector business, but gather it has to do with multi (2S, 3S and more) cell LIPOs. How do I charge the plan batteries with JST only, like here?

    3. I imagine/hope that connecting vcc and ground are all I need.

  • sealfish / about 10 years ago / 1

    Will the 12V 600mA wall power supply you sell work with this charger? I

  • Member #479449 / about 10 years ago / 1

    is this charger compatible with PRT-00341?

  • kilnaar / about 10 years ago / 1

    eeek. Ok, I purchased this charger back in Dec from Sparkfun and have just verified it is indeed a counterfeit.

    Are these indeed safe? Should I toss it out and purchase a genuine somewhere?

  • Member #543135 / about 10 years ago / 1

    can i charge to 7.4 li ion cell in series with it

  • Member #534677 / about 10 years ago / 1

    good day the battery charger cable is 100-240 V ac / dc input power?

  • Member #534677 / about 10 years ago / 1

    good day the battery charger cable is 100-240 V ac / dc input power?

  • These are fake (and dangerous!). There's a genuine Turnigy one here.

  • marmarti / about 11 years ago / 1

    Hello, good morning. Can i power an Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz or Pro Micro - 5V/16MHz with this battery

  • Member #355246 / about 11 years ago / 1

    "Note: Although the enclosure is labeled as an Imax B6, this is not the same charger as the more expensive charger by the same name."

    Wait. Is SparkFun selling counterfeit chargers?

    • swarren / about 9 years ago / 1

      I assume this is because there's a mains/AC powered version of this that's a bunch more expensive. Same model number with "AC" on the end.

  • / about 11 years ago / 1

    Will this work with 7.4V battery that is made of two of these connected in series?

  • Member #439497 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Anyone know the brand of the balance connectors? I have found connectors called JST-XH but would like to buy some from Mouser or Digikey.

  • Member #347514 / about 11 years ago / 1

    will this charger work with your 110ma little lipos?

  • jwatte / about 12 years ago / 1

    Are there extension cables available for the JST connectors? I'd like to charge my battery in-site, because they're a pain to remove, but the JST wire is too short to get to where I can put the charger.

  • Jimnz / about 12 years ago / 1

    HELP!!!! Just received this charger and a 7.4v 2S battery The selection screen only shows me 1S, 3S or 6S. What the ....? If I connect the batt pack and try to charge I (correctly) get a voltage error message.

    • Jimnz / about 12 years ago / 1

      Problem solved. Thanks to the excellent work of Tech Support!

  • Qube / about 12 years ago / 1

    I purchased this unit and on closer inspection, the unit appears to be missing the authentication decal. My unit would not even turn on when powered. Buyer beware.

  • girlinmotio / about 12 years ago / 1

    Pretty cheap build quality. Mine was missing 2 screws from one end so the panel was loose. Plus the buzzer was ridiculously loud. So loud in fact that it made my ears twitch so I removed it. Much more pleasant to charge now. All in all, very low quality - I'm glad it was only $33.

  • Member #245890 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I don't understand how this would work. The lipo batteries Sparkfun carry all seem to have a 2 wire jst connector. The smallest connection that I see on this charger is a 3 wire connector. What am I missing?

    • while it will work with our single cell lipos, it's really made to work with the batteries listed below in the related products.

      if you just have a single cell lipo (like the ones with just a 2-wire JST connector), you can use our basic lipo charger, or the USB lipoly charger.

  • Member #268820 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Is this a fake one because there is no serial number on mine.....

  • Rock_Ranger / about 13 years ago / 1

    Quick question. I'm trying to understand Auto vs. Manual mode with NiCd/NiMh batteries. Does manual mode mean that I "manually" set the charge rate (amps) and the charger automatically shuts off when the battery is full or does it mean that I set the charge rate and it runs until I shut it off?

    It seems like in auto mode the charger sets the charge rate, but I chose the max current.

    Is this correct?

  • SortiG / about 13 years ago / 1

    Does Sparkfun sell a wall power adapter for this? The description just says "It has a larger pin diameter" but doesn't say the size. Can anyone who purchased this recommend a US compatible wall power adapter?
    Thanks alot

  • jwin / about 13 years ago * / 1

    Can anyone recommend where to get a 11-18V power supply for this?
    All I can find laying around is a 12 2.0A adapter and current range goes up to 6.0A. Will the 2.0A work?

  • tbitson / about 13 years ago / 1

    Is there a DC-DC converter in this? If I input 12v DC it will charge a lead-acid battery up to 14v.

  • Bangwaiter / about 13 years ago / 1

    If you look at the second image, there is text Pb 2-20V, does that mean this charger also charges Pb batteries?

    • JustinHoMi / about 13 years ago / 1

      Yeah, if you look in the manual you'll see that it will charge Lead Acid batteries.

  • hodx / about 13 years ago / 1

    I like this charger....too bad Adafruit hasn't seen the light yet

    • Farnsworth / about 13 years ago / 1

      Sorry, I don't get the Adafruit reference ... can you explain?

  • Minor59er / about 13 years ago / 1

    This charger looks really really similar to the accucell 6. Is it me, or is it just a generic hardware with a custom body?
    Also i do own an accucell 6, and if this charger is the same hardware, its a very nice charger. And you can just use an ATX PSU to hook up to the charger.

    • bobski / about 13 years ago / 1

      There are literally dozens of different brands and models of chargers out there that seem to use this same core design. Some have an internal AC-DC power supply, others (like this one) just have a DC power jack. The specs and connector layout vary a little, but they're pretty obviously all derived from one base design.
      I have a Supermate DC6 by Detrum. Same 16x2 display and 4 buttons on the front, power jack and servo-like connector on the left side, charge output banana jacks and balance connector on the right. As scicior mentioned above, it has a ATMEGA168 at it's heart.
      As far as differences, the DC6 has a black-on-green display rather than white-on-blue, and only has the largest size balance connector on the charger itself... An adapter board and cable provides all the other sizes. The DC6 has a big sticker with dome-buttons (but still regular PCB-mount clickers underneath) rather than chromed metal buttons. Very minor differences really.

      • JustinHoMi / about 13 years ago / 1

        So which one is the original? The Accucell-6 claims to be.

        • Fulg / about 13 years ago / 1

          My understanding is that they are all copies of the Bantam BC6 (the original "4-button charger"), in a different form-factor. I've had an iMax B6 for more than 2 years and it's been working great.
          Keep in mind that the 50W maximum charge rate means that this is an entry-level LiPo charger; once you start using bigger LiPo packs (say 6s 2600mAh), you'll need to switch to a 150W charger (BC8, Accucel8, etc) to get reasonable charging times.
          The LiPo discharge rate is fairly limited on it (only 1A), so you won't be using it on full LiPos unless you have plenty of spare time.

    • I think it is nearly identical, but don't hold me to it.

  • Whoa. A123 Battery charging?! Holy KillaCycles!

    • Okay. Weird situation here. I was on the A123 Systems website and found out that the AMP20 Prismatic Pouch Cells has a rating of 2,400 Watts/Kg and one cell has a wattage of 66W. So I divided 2,400 by 66 and got 36.363636... in grams. What the Pfargtl?! LiPolys are supposed to have better energy density than LiFePo4 and a 2Ah LiPo here is like 35 grams without protection circuit!
      So what am I doing wrong here? 'Cause I did the same with their AHR32113 Cylindrical Cells which I don't know the weight of either, and got ~185g, which makes sense. But a 66 watt pack weighing considerably less than a 14.5 watt? Help! All I know is the AMP20 has 2,400 W*kg and the AHR32113 has 2,700! Ahh! This is completely boggling my mind!

      • Energy Density chart according to calculations:
        Cell: | AMP20 | 32113 | SF 2Ah |
        M(g): |36.363...|~185.95|~36 [1] |
        W*g: |~1.85 |~12.806|0.1833... |
        These are pretty close to my calculations I did before I even got out of the bed... With a cheap calculator...

  • JustinHoMi / about 13 years ago / 1

    Has anybody used one of these on a small lead acid battery, such as the 12v batteries used in alarm systems?

    • tbitson / about 13 years ago / 1

      Yep. Works fine, but keep the battery charged if that's what your thinking. Once the charge cycle is complete, the charger shuts off.

  • scicior / about 13 years ago / 1

    This looks very similar to the charger I've been using. If so, I'm in the process of reverse engineering it (mine has an atmel mega168 in it). Also, on mine the temp sensor can be configured as what they call a "usb port". Really, it outputs TTL serial at 9,600 baud... One pin is +5V, one pin is ground, the middle pin outputs binary data (with some ASCII). Google for LogView for a program that can record/plot all the parameters...
    - Steven Ciciora

    • tbitson / about 13 years ago / 1

      Steven, do you know what the temperature sensor is? Thermistor? The SparkFun one does not have the temp sensor, and I'd like to add it. How does it connect?

      • The Lightning Stalker / about 10 years ago / 1

        I'm fairly sure it is an NTC thermistor of some type, most likely 100k. I belive Hobby King Sells them.

  • Joriss / about 13 years ago / 1

    I would REALLY not recommend this charger. I've been using the 8 cell version for various LiFePo and LiPo packs, and the balancing accuracy is awful. Cells voltage differences often are higher then before balancing, and I blew up a complete battery pack when it was being balanced.
    Maybe I've got a unlucky model, but just so you know, I'd think twice before charging my 100$ battery pack with this device.

  • Ashley_Nelson / about 13 years ago /

    Awesome charger. This one is the best I've seen.

    • what kind of power supply did you use?

      • Ashley_Nelson / about 12 years ago / 1

        I use a laboratory power supply :) set for 18V, any 12V 2A wall wart power supply will be alright, well,12V 5A if you want to charge a car battery)

        • would this work?

          It's this same thing with a power supply included

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5

Based on 6 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Good product but looks like Chinese clone (not from original iMAX)

The charger works as expected but there are some bugs in firmware. For ex, Capacity Cut-off menu has bug in displaying mAH. It should display 500mAH as 500mAH but displays 5000mAH. There are others bug too (including cooling vent, gold plated socket, etc) and finally I searched on YouTube about how to check for fake and it looks like this one is Chinese clone (not original from iMAX).

Still, works as expected but due to firmware bug (and cheap hardware), I cannot say about its reliability.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Half a charger

This is not a battery charger; this is half a battery charger. YOU have to supply the other half. Silly of me to have not read carefully; they admit it in the description:

"Note: A power supply is not included. The DC input jack is not the same as the standard 5.5mm size we use. It has a larger pin diameter. Thankfully, it does come with a barrel jack to alligator clip adapter."

In short, you have to supply the actual AC adapter. SparkFun doesn't appear to sell anything suitable. And I'm kinda annoyed with the notion that using alligator clips as an integral part of high-current wiring is OK.

Hello, and thanks for your review. We do have a few power supplies that will work with this charger although we don't have the correct barrel jack. You could use the included alligator clip cable to make an adapter though. The alligator cable was originally intended to be used to connect the charger directly to a 12 volt battery but could be re-purposed if you weren't going to use a 12v battery with the charger. The power supplies below will work with this charger. Power Supply - 60W, 12V Mean Well Switching Power Supply - 12VDC, 12.5A

Great Charger, could be priced more competitively..

This is a standard iMax B6 that works great. However I wish that Sparkfun would price this product more competitively, as it can be bought MUCH cheaper elsewhere.

I bought my first one here

and, due to its awesome engineered design, I bought the updated version, so I can charge more batteries.

I use a lot of Li Ion/Li Poly batteries, as well as Ni Metal Hydrides so it is possible now, to dedicate one for each battery chemistry... Quite a help!!!

charges ok, missing connectors

lacks connectors for balance monitor inputs

Works ok, but definitely a B6 clone

First off, be aware this is a clone of the iMAX B6. It has all the tell tale signs: Non-copper output, CE/FC branding on the front, not back, lacking holographic sticker and verifiable S/N.

The unit works ok, not great. breaks connection with battery randomly. (might be the lower quality wires), voltage is off sometimes, "inc" button doesn't work at random. Appears to be software issue. Price is lower, so you get what you pay for. I didn't know better when I purchased and would have spent more on a real B6.