Review: ToolkitRC M7 LiPo Charger – More Powerful and Easier to Use than M6

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

The ToolkitRC M7 is the successor of the M6, a multi-functional budget LiPo charger. Although they share many features, and are the same size and price, the M7 is more powerful and has been improved in a lot of areas.

The M7 is a compact portable LiPo charger that you can use indoor as well as outdoor. Learn about how to choose a LiPo charger here.

Left: M7, Right M6

Where to Buy?

It doesn’t come with a lot of stuff, just a manual booklet and a USB cable for firmware update.

Features and Specs

Let’s talk about the key features of the ToolkitRC M7 LiPo charger.

  • Affordable at $40
  • Small and light weight (90g!)
  • Better user experience thanks to the physical button, scroll wheel, and much improved/optimized user interface

The M7 is rated 200W, powerful enough to charge 8x 4S 1500mAh batteries simultaneously at 1C using a parallel charging board.

Apart from all the common battery types (LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, Li-Ion etc), it also supports charging DJI batteries for the Mavic, Phantom and Inspire.

You can discharge batteries with the M7 too. However internal discharging can be quite slow (at 10W), but you can hook up an external load to the charger’s input XT60 connector to speed things up (up to 200W).

The M7 is not just a charger, it’s a testing/measuring device too.

It can measure IR (internal resistance of each LiPo cell), it can read and generate radio signal such as PWM, SBUS and PPM, and it can be used as a power supply as well. This is useful for debugging drone electronics like flight controller, radio receiver and ESC.

Charger firmware can be updated through the USB port. Simply plug it into your computer and it will appear as an external drive, then you just drop the firmware file in there and restart it. Firmware files can be downloaded from ToolkitRC’s website.

The ToolkitRC M7 is DC powered only, which means you will need to a power supply such as the P200 we just reviewed. Of course you can also power it from a large battery, which is useful for field charging.

Specifications

  • Input voltage: 7.0-28.0V @MAX 12A
  • Charger power: 200W @MAX 10A
  • Supported Battery Types:
  • Balance current: 400mA @2-6S
  • Discharge power:
    • 200W @MAX 10A Recycle mode (external load)
    • [email protected] Normal mode (internal load)
  • USB: 2.1A @5.0V
  • Display: IPS 2.0-inch LCD 320*240
  • Dimension: 73*51*27 mm
  • Weight: 90g

Input (Servo Header Pins):

  • PWM: 880-2200us @20-400Hz
  • PPM: 880-2200us*8CH @20-50Hz
  • SBUS: 880-2200us*16CH @20-100Hz
  • Voltage: 1.0-5.0V @1-6S
  • Internal resistance: 1-99mR @1-6S
  • ESC: [email protected] PWM Output

Output (Servo Header Pins):

  • PWM: 500-2500us @20-1000Hz
  • PPM: 880-2200us*8CH @20-50Hz
  • SBUS: 880-2200us*16CH @20-100Hz
  • Power supply: 1.0-28.0V @1.0-10A mode:CC+CV
  • OverCurrent Cutoff time: <5ms

Closer Look at the M7 Charger

On the input side of the M7, there are the XT60 connector, servo header pins for the testing functionalities, and USB port for firmware update and charging your phone/camera.

The output side: XT60 connector and balance connector that supports 2S to 6S.

It uses a physical push button (exit) and roller wheel button, these makes menu navigation so much easier and faster than a touch screen. The color LCD screen is bright and has a great wide viewing angle.

The stand (legs) is foldable, and the fan only comes on when the charger gets hot which is a nice touch to keep the noise down.

Simply connect a LiPo to the charger, the M7 will automatically detect the number of cells. (or you can set it manually if you want)

It measures IR of the LiPo cells during charging:

In system settings (hold down roller button for 3 seconds), you get to customize the charger.

I checked the input and output voltage readings from the charger against my multimeter (calibrated). The result is pretty good, but there’s room for improvement for sure. Just to give you an idea, here’s the readings from a 4S LiPo.

M7 ChargerMultimeter
Input XT6015.41415.43
Output XT6016.5716.53
Cell 14.1274.123
Cell 24.1484.137
Cell 34.1574.126
Cell 44.1484.129

You should also check the voltage accuracy of your charger, preferably with a 6S battery so you get to check the whole balance port. If voltages are off, you can easily calibrate it. To get to the calibration menu, power on the M7 charger, then immediately hold down the roller button before the screen comes on.

Here’s part of the manual that comes with the charger:

Conclusion

Definitely a worthy upgrade from the M6, I love all the improvements they made. The testing features are also a great way to troubleshoot your drone electronics like flight controller, radio receiver and ESC.

If I have to point out something negative about it, it would be the fan cover on the bottom. The particular part of the plastic housing seems to be thinner and softer than the previous version, and if you hold the charger in your hand and squeeze it just slightly, it can touch and obstruct the spinning fan. Not really an issue though if you just put it on the ground/table :)

And the foldable legs can fall out if they get in the way when you unplug the LiPo, it happens at least twice during the week i was using the M7.

These are not really deal breakers, just things to be aware of.

Compared to the iSDT Q8, the main downside is the M7’s lower balance current at only 0.4A/cell, which means especially towards the last few percent of the charge cycle, it’s going to take much longer to finish than the Q8 (1.5A/cell).

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5 comments

Michael S. 31st May 2021 - 7:48 pm

Hey Oscar,
I read that you can discharge a LiPo back into a source Battery, OR into an external Load up to 200W.
How does this work? Do I need to add a Resistor to the input? How many Ohms? Of course it needs to be able to manage 200W of heat, just need to know about about the Ohms required.
Thanks in advance!

Reply
Dudeson 3rd May 2021 - 2:33 pm

Hey Oscar, another amazing article! Thank you so much! I now you don’t want to sound biased or anything like that… but what is your valuable opinion on ToolkitRC vs ISDT? There is another player in this price range, ISDT 608AC which already comes with both options, AC as well as DC, and it’s basically the same price of ToolkitRC M7 + ADP-100 power supply. I am about to buy my first 6s charger and I would love if I could get your advice between those two options. Thank you so much in advance!

Reply
Oscar 3rd May 2021 - 2:41 pm Reply
Jeffers 2nd April 2021 - 4:16 pm

Hey Oscar, love the site but just concerned that this is another review of the M7 where the charging capabilities haven’t been tested over a period of time. This approach was taken with the M6 and it was by far the worst and potentially dangerous charger I’ve ever used. It overcharged, even calibrated it was inaccurate when measuring cells and it would never complete a charge, charging a battery for hours trickling amps into it even when trickle charge was disabled. That’s burning house down stuff.

I think if you’re going to be recommending items which have a high potential of causing fires, a basic analysis of its main feature needs to explored to ensure that anybody that buys it knows what they’re in for

Reply
Oscar 3rd April 2021 - 12:03 am

I’ve been using my M7 for over two weeks now in the house as well as in the field, no problems so far.
I guess what you mean is it is a bit slow to finish charging especially the last 2-3 percent due to its low balance current (0.4A/cell), but it’s not overcharging the battery, and that shouldn’t cause any danger, it’s just taking time trying to balance the cells. If you are in a rush, just stop the charge and start the next battery, missing the last 2 percent won’t be a problem.
If you are looking for one with higher balance current, check out the isdt Q8, it can do 1.5A/cell.

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