A lot of the electronics I use & projects I construct use batteries, mainly of the lithium variety. As charging this chemistry can be a little explosive if not done correctly, I decided a proper charger was required. This charger is capable of handling packs up to 6 cells for Lithium, and up to 20v for lead-acids.
The usual DC input barrel jack on the left, with an external temp sensor for fast charging NiCd/NiMH chemistry batteries. The µUSB port registers under Linux as USB HID, probably so drivers aren’t required. Unfortunately the software is Windows only, but it doesn’t provide anything handy like charging graphs or stats. Just a way to alter settings & control charging from a PC. On other versions of this charger there’s a setting to change the temp sensor port into a TTL serial output, which would be much handier.
The other side of the charger has the main DC output jacks & the pack balancing connections.
Here’s the top cover removed from the charger, showing most of the internals. A standard HD44780 LCD provides the user interface, the CPU & it’s associated logic is hidden under there somewhere.
The PCB has nice heavy tracks to handle the 6A of current this charger is capable of.
The output side of the board. Here the resistive pack balancing network can be seen behind the vertical daughter board holding the connectors, along with the output current shunt between the DC output banana jacks & the last tactile button.
Unfortunately the LCD is soldered directly to the board, and my desoldering tool couldn’t quite get all the solder out, so time to get a bit violent. I’ve gently bent the header so I could see the brains of the charger. The main CPU is a Megwin MA84G564AD48, which is an Intel 8081 clone with USB support. Unfortunately I was unable to find a datasheet for this part, and the page on Megwin’s site is Chinese only.
I was hoping it was an ATMega328, as I have seen in other versions of this charger, as there are custom firmwares available to increase the feature set of the charger, but no dice on this one. I do think the µUSB port is unique to this version though, so avoiding models with that port probably would get a hackable version.
There’s some glue logic for controlling the resistor taps on the balancing network, and a few op-amps for voltage & current readings.
All the power diodes & switching FETs for the DC-DC converter are mounted on the bottom of the PCB, and clamped against the aluminium casing when the PCB is screwed down. Not the best way to ensure great contact, but Chinese tech, so m’eh.