Typically, LiPo chargers can only manage a discharge current of 2-3A, which can become quite time-consuming, especially if you’re dealing with numerous or large batteries. Enter the SkyRC BD350 Discharger, an impressive solution to this problem. Capable of delivering an astonishing 350W discharge power, this tool also boasts a maximum discharge current of up to 40A. As an added bonus, it can even function as a battery analyzer when paired with SkyRC’s newest chargers. Dive into the world of efficient power management with this remarkable device.
“Why would you want to discharge your batteries” you might ask, well for a couple of reasons:
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Where To Buy?
Get your SkyRC BD350 Discharger from AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dm2vwmp
Upon unboxing, you’ll find the discharger itself, a pair of cables for connecting to your charger, and an simple and clear instruction manual.
The SKYRC BD350 stands out as a robust 350W discharger, boasting a discharge current reaching up to 40A. It’s designed to be fully compatible with the SKYRC D200neo and T1000 chargers. To give you a sense of its speed, consider this: If you have a fully-charged 6S 1100mAh LiPo, it would take merely 4 to 5 minutes to discharge it completely – equivalent to putting it through a flight on your quad.
But that’s not all – the SKYRC BD350 doubles as a battery analyzer when paired with SkyRC’s Charge Master PC Software. This software allows the BD350 to measure and record data such as voltage, current, mAh, and power over time, logging the data in CSV files for easy analysis. With this, you can effortlessly generate graphs and compare the performance of various batteries, getting a measure of their true capacities. This takes the guesswork out of selecting the best battery for your FPV drones, providing you with data-driven insights for making informed decisions.
Here are the technical details of the SKYRC BD350:
- Discharge Voltage Range: 3.0V-28.0V
- Discharge Power: 350W
- Discharge Current Range: 0.1-40A
- Working Voltage: DC 5V
- Over-Temperature Protection: Activates at temperatures above 95°C
- Dimensions: 157mm x 105mm x 93mm
- Weight: 1224g
The SKYRC BD350 also includes an LED status indicator to keep you updated on its operational status:
- Solid Green: The discharger is in standby mode.
- Solid Red: The discharger is actively discharging.
- Flashing Red: There’s an error; the discharger has encountered an issue.
It’s important to note that at the time of this review, the BD350 Discharger is only compatible with two specific chargers from SkyRC: the T1000 and the D200Neo. While we might see compatibility expand to include more chargers in the future, those are likely to be SkyRC chargers as well.
The BD350 is not a standalone product. You will need to have one of these specific chargers to work. This compatibility requirement is an important consideration when determining if the BD350 Discharger and Battery Analyzer is the right fit for your setup.
How To Use
The BD350 is an external discharger that attaches directly to your battery charger, the connection is simple and easy. The package includes an XT60 cable and a 4-pin data cable which you’ll need for the connection.
The next step involves plugging the battery that needs discharging into the charger. Remember, you must use Port A on the charger for this task, Port B does not work.
Before you kick off the discharge process, you can set the discharge current and end voltage, then you’re good to press start.
The BD350 has an LED status indicator that signals various states of operation. A steady green light means the device is on standby mode. A solid red light indicates that discharging is in progress, and a flashing red light signals an error.
As soon as the discharging process initiates, the LED turns red and the fan kicks into action. The discharge process can be easily stopped, too. A simple press of a button on your charger and the BD350 immediately ceases discharging.
Exploring the Battery Analyzer Feature
The BD350 offers a bonus feature when paired with the T1000 or D200Neo charger. If you connect the charger to your computer via USB, it allows real-time logging and monitoring of discharge data. This enables the insightful comparison and analysis of battery performance.
I found immense value in this feature as it empowered me to compare the performance of various batteries.
Putting Max Power to the Test
In order to verify the claimed 350W power limit, I tried discharging my 6S 10000mAh LiPo at full power. I set the discharge current to 20A, as expected, the peak discharging current only reaches 15A because the discharger already reached its 350W power limit. In fact, it slightly exceeded the 350W limit, peaking around 355W. The maximum discharge current of 40A would only be utilized when discharging lower cell count batteries such as 2S or 3S, (whatever reaches the limits first, either current or power).
However, the discharger doesn’t seem to maintain its max power throughout the entire discharge. After about 4 minutes, I noticed a drop in power to around 320-330W (current drops to around 14A). I suspect that overheating might be the cause of this phenomenon. So, if you plan on analyzing battery performance using this discharger and are discharging at maximum power for long durations, this unexpected and inconsistent drop in discharge current might prove to be less than ideal for your needs. For this reason I think the BD350 is more suited for testing batteries with smaller capacity.
Apart from the unexpected discharge current drop, there are also other issues you should be aware of.
While the specifications claim that it supports discharging down to 3V, my experience tells a slightly different story. I found that when discharging a fully charged 1S LiPo, an error can occur during the process, indicating that the input voltage was too low. It seems that the minimum cell count it can comfortably handle is 2S.
Additionally, I noticed that the discharge current tended to fluctuate somewhat. It often turned out to be slightly higher than the set current (by around 0.1-0.5A), with the difference becoming more noticeable the higher the discharge current. According to the specifications, this variation may be considered normal behavior. The spec sheet notes the Discharge Current as follows: 0.1-2A±0.1A, 2.1-20±5%, 0-40±6%. However, it’s worth being aware of these fluctuations in case they impact your usage or data analysis.
You can specify the cut-off voltage as the total voltage of the whole battery, not per cell. But actually the discharger will work out the voltage per cell automatically, so if one of the cells drops below that voltage the discharge will stop to prevent damage to the cells. For example if you set the cut-off voltage to 18V for a 6S battery, the discharging will stop whenever one of the cells drops below 3V, even when the total voltage of the battery pack is over 18V. This is a great safety feature, but I do wish they let user input cut-off voltage per cell instead of the total voltage to avoid confusion in this instance.
For those already using the SkyRC D200Neo or T1000 chargers, the BD350 presents itself as a great companion for discharging and analyzing batteries.
The SkyRC BD350 Discharger, in my experience, is a fantastic tool for battery maintenance. The substantial discharge capacity it offers, along with the capability of real-time battery analysis, positions it as an invaluable piece of equipment for tech-savvy pilots.