The ToolkitRC M4Q is a beginner-friendly charger that has multiple ports, allowing user to charge four different batteries at the same time. Let’s take a close look at the M4Q LiPo charger in this review and whether you should get it.
Where to Buy ToolkitRC M4Q
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-atxv ($10 off until 4th Feb 2021)
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-cq1b
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-ktk0
It comes with the charger, micro USB cable, AC cable (there are two versions, US and EU, I have the EU version), and a manual.
M4Q LiPo Charger Features
The M4Q charger from ToolkitRC has a very simple design: 1 scroll wheel for menu navigation and selecting options, 1 exit button and a color screen.
There are 4 output ports (four pairs of XT60 and balance port), which means you can charge up to 4 batteries simultaneously.
Unlike parallel charging, these batteries can be all different capacity, cell count and C rating, which is way more convenient than parallel charging. And if you don’t trust parallel charging, you’d probably prefer a multi-channel charger like the M4Q.
Further Reading: What’s parallel charging?
However, it can only charge 2S, 3S and 4S batteries, which is one of the main limitations, because nowadays, 6S is also quite popular.
ToolkitRC M4Q Charger Specifications
The M4Q can be powered by either DC input (e.g. a LiPo battery), or AC.
This is a 200W charger, however you only get the maximum power if you power it from DC, for example from a 4S battery.
If you power it from AC, the output power will be halved – limited to a total 100W (25W per channel). This is less than 2A when charging a 4S battery.
Although the power is lower when using AC, it’s extremely handy for people who just enter the hobby and might not have an external power supply. Note that with DC, it only supports 10V – 18V input voltage (up to 4S).
With AC support, you can use it in the house. With DC support, you can power it with a bigger battery, and charge smaller batteries in the field. For that, this charger is really versatile.
Further Reading: What you should know about field charging.
The charger firmware can be updated through the micro USB port that is located on the back for improvements and bug fixes. However it has no 5V output for charging USB devices, just so you know.
Here is the detailed specs of the M4Q charger:
- Input voltage:
- AC [email protected]
- DC 10V-18V@MAX20A
- Support Battery Types
- LiPo @1-4S
- LiHV @1-4S
- LiFe @1-4S
- Lion @1-4S
- NiMh @1-10S
- Pb @1-8S
- Balance current: 240mA @2-4S
- Balance accuracy: < 0.005V
- Charge power:
- 0.1-5A@50W*4 DC
- 0.1-5A@50W*2 AC
- 0.1-5A@25W*4 AC
- Product size: 150*112*36.5mm
- Charger weight: 450g
- LCD: IPS 3.5inch 480*320 pixels
How To Use M4Q Charger
The menu and user interface are very easy to understand thanks to the color LCD display and simply design.
The top bar shows the input power voltage, current, watt-hour and wattage. And there is the temperature of the charger as well. The rest of the screen is divided into 4 boxes, showing charging status of each port.
Simply press the Exit button to scroll through the four channels, and you can select one of them to start/stop charging.
Before pressing the “Start” button, you can select different charging options like battery type, cells, mode, end voltage and charge current. Very similar to other smart chargers.
Another good thing is it also measures the internal resistance (IR) of each cell of the battery you are charging, which is useful for determining the health of the battery.
There are also a bunch of system settings you can change to customize your charger (by long pressing the roller wheel button).
The included manual is very simple. But you don’t really need much info to use this charger, the menu is fairly self-explanatory.
Other Things You Should Know
Apart from the pro’s and con’s I’ve mentioned so far, there are a few extra things you should know before making your decision.
This charger is quite small, hence the battery connectors are quite close together. Many LiPo batteries have short balance lead, and if you are trying to charge four batteries simultaneously, it can be hard to plug in the cables and it can get quite crowded.
One solution is to get some balance lead extension, you can just leave them plugged in.
Also the fan can get quite loud when the charger gets warm, but that’s to be expected for small chargers like this. Not an issue at all when you are outdoor.
Should You Buy This?
It’s not super power, but having four separate ports, you don’t need that much power as you probably won’t be using a parallel charging board. If you want to use two separate parallel charging boards, you can check out the M6D.
If you are new to FPV, have no AC to DC power supply, and only use 2S to 4S batteries, the M4Q is definitely worth considering. Especially you won’t have to worry about parallel charging. A decent parallel charging board can cost another $20-$30.
If you use 6S, then you probably want something else. For example the M6D which has two separate ports. If you don’t mind having single port, I also recommend the iSDT Q6 Pro (or Plus), which I’ve been using for years and it’s still going strong for me. It doesn’t accept AC input, so you’ll need an external power supply for it, but it’s not difficult to find.