Review: Lumenier ParaGuard Parallel Charging Boards

The Lumenier ParaGuard are parallel charging boards with built-in fuses – a must-have feature when it comes to parallel charging LiPo batteries. In this review we will take a look at the features and quality of the ParaGuard.

Before getting one of these boards, you should learn how to safely parallel charging LiPo batteries in this tutorial.

What Protections Does ParaGuard Offer?

Common user mistakes in parallel charging are:

  • connecting LiPo’s of different cell count
  • reversed polarity
  • plugging in balance port incorrectly
  • battery failure

All of these can cause current surge which could burn out the charging board, overheat the batteries and even catch fire. The built-in fuses in the ParaGuard protects your equipment from further damage and might even prevent a fire.

Where to Buy?

Also available on Amazon (US): https://amzn.to/3hZRP45

The ParaGuard comes with the following items: XT60 to XT60 cable, XT60 to 4mm banana jack cable, and Balance Port cable.

ParaGuard Specs

Versions XT30 XT60
Max Total Current 40A 60A
Max Current per Output 20A 30A
Max Balance Current 2A 2A
Cell Count Support 1S – 4S 1S – 6S
Main Port Fuse 10A 15A

Both XT30 and XT60 versions have the following features:

  • Automotive fuse with LED indicator built into the main port (XT30/XT60)
  • Buzzer alarm triggered when one or more main connectors is shorted/break
  • Self-resetting thermal fuses between every balancing pin with LED indication

Is 40A / 60A Enough?

With the XT60 version, if I was charging six 6S 1500mAh at 1C, that’s only 9A (1.5×6). And even at 5C, that’s 54A (1.5x5x6).

With the XT30 version, charging six 4S 650mAh at 1C, that’s 3.9A. And even at 5C that’s only 19.5A, way below the limit.

So for me, that’s more than enough. Do the same calculation for your batteries and see what the maximum charge current you can use.

Closer Look at the Lumenier Paraguard

I really like how the outputs are nicely spaced out, batteries aren’t getting too “crowded” and it’s easy to plug them in.

There are automotive fuses for every XT60 output.

These are blade fuses with 15A rating. When a current surge over 15A, the fuse blows, and it effectively becomes an open circuit and your battery will be disconnected from the parallel board. In my opinion this is a must-have safety feature on parallel charging board.

And these automotive fuses are cheap and replaceable, you can get spare from here: https://amzn.to/3eDd8X0. Make sure you get the ones with longer legs.

To simulate a blown fuse, I simply removed it from the parallel charging board. With the battery still connected to the Paraguard, it started beeping and the LED lit up to warn me about it.

However, I think there might be a bug. When there are 2 or more LiPo plugged in, if only one of the fuses blows (or removed), it doesn’t trigger the buzzer. I have asked Lumenier about this and waiting for a reply.

I measured the beeper volume and it was not as loud as advertised (80dB), I am only getting 73.2dB at 1 meter distance. But still If you are in the same room when charging, you should definitely hear it.

The balance port also has fuses, those are self-resetting thermal fuses rated for 2A (they reset automatically). These are great to prevent damage caused by user errors such as accidentally plugging the balance connector in backward.

When a balance port fuse blows, the same warning mechanism happens: the buzzer goes off and an LED lights up to indicate which pin in the balance port causes the issue.

Here is a closer look at the inside of the ParaGuard. You can see those self-resetting fuses under the circuit board.

There is still solder paste left on the board, not really an issue as it doesn’t affect performance. I guess they didn’t expect anyone to look underneath :D

I really like how much solder they used on the traces, it’s a good sign of reliability and efficiency  thanks to the lower resistance.

I am very happy with the quality so far.

Here is a comparison, if you look at a cheap parallel charging board I have, you can see they often cut corners and use very little solder on those traces. (not to mention the lack of fuses in the balance port!)

It’s slightly bigger than my old XT60 parallel charging board, but it’s a 6-port instead of a 4-port, so actually it’s more compact :)

The ParaGuard comes with both traditional 4mm banana style power lead, as well as XT60 lead which is handy for ISDT and ToolkitRC chargers.

Most cheap parallel charging boards like the old one I have, only comes with the banana style connector. To use it with my iSDT Q6, I had to modify it which was annoying.

The included balance lead uses standard 7-pin JST-XH connector, should fits all the chargers perfectly.

They also offer the XT30 version. It has the exact same features as the XT60, but with a slightly smaller form factor and XT30 connectors.

It’s great for those who fly mostly toothpicks and whoops. For better flexibility you could use XT60 to XT30 adapters instead of buying both boards: https://amzn.to/31iCxBk

On their product page, they claim these boards support 1S, but you have no way of plugging in common 1S batteries without adapters. I wish they have included JST-PH connectors on these boards for those tiny whoop 1S batteries.

The blade fuses on the XT30 version are rated for 10A, but has the same dimensions as the 15A fuses, you can get spare from here: https://amzn.to/2NwJlU7

Although the XT30 version is smaller than the XT60, it’s still not as compact as my old XT30 charging board. I wish it was made more portable for field charging. But looking at the bright side, at least you can plug those batteries in easily given the generous space. :)

I also love the replaceable fuses. My old one also has fuses but they are soldered directly to the board, making replacement extremely difficult. Not to mention it doesn’t have any fuses for the balance port, and it’s a major safety concern for me.

However it does have a voltage display, as well as JST-PH connectors for my 1S LiPo’s which are very handy features. Mind you, charging 1S LiPo using this board is quite slow, and I prefer to use a special cable like this.

Here is my old XT30 charging board: https://bit.ly/2ksvAux

Conclusion

Overall, The Lumenier ParaGuard is a really well made parallel charging board. Thanks to GetFPV for sending these over for the review, they are going to replace my old boards and will be my daily drivers from now on :) I am still waiting for GetFPV to get back to me regarding the potential bug I found, but it’s not a biggie, it’s still totally functional and does what it’s supposed to – a parallel charging board.

You can get it from:

Also available on Amazon (US): https://amzn.to/3hZRP45

Some improvement I’d like to see in the future:

  • Display for total voltage
  • Make them smaller for portability, especially the XT30 version
  • Built-in JST-PH for 1S LiPo

2 thoughts on “Review: Lumenier ParaGuard Parallel Charging Boards

  1. Buds

    If I use an adapter and charge xt30 batteries, will I need to replace 15 amp fuses with 10 amp fuses and change them out when going back to larger batteries?

    Reply

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