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Tinkering with the iSDT SC-608 as drone parts arrive in the mail

One of the things I would like to do the most this summer before I hit my junior year of high school is build a fully functioning, at least multi-featured drone, with the goal of building both racing quadcopter, and provided that I still have time, an AP (aerial photography) hexacopter. I intend to build a quadcopter first because I don't have any experience with building drones, so I need to learn how they work first before I can attempt any big projects. Thus, I've essentially assigned myself the task of successfully building a cheap quadcopter and not crashing it. I do believe that's possible.

Today, I received XT60 connectors in the mail from Amazon (pictured below). They were not very expensive, I bought 5 pairs for only a few dollars. They have soldering cups on one end and connect to each other on the other end, and seem to be found everywhere regarding the remote control hobby, from cars to planes to drones.

5 pairs (sans 1 male connector) of XT60 connectors.

One of the things I found more interesting are about soldering cups - which only today did I learn of its existence. They do not allow you to push the wire into the connector, which makes it marginally harder to solder, especially since I do not have the lazy alligator clip arms commonly used for soldering - instead, I was forced to hold four things at the same time: the cable, the solder, the soldering iron, and the connector. It was difficult!

Today's goal was to connect up my charger that I bought from China, the iSDT SC-608, which seems to be an advanced interactive charger that has many features in a small package. I'm using an industrial power supply, which is more than enough since some people are stripping Xbox power supplies in order to power theirs. The video is linked below.

The iSDT SC-608 is a very interesting charger that came out of China, especially since it's so small and compact yet can power 150W, and uses XT60 connectors for both input and output. This makes it a very convenient little charger, and it's not expensive unlike chargers (especially advanced ones) of previous years: it's only $40. Below is a picture of the iSDT smart charger in action, and it reportedly supports up to 6 Amps, but I set it to 3 Amps out of safety, since I didn't want anything blowing up in my room. In hindsight, 1Amp would have been enough to make sure it works. The picture below has the charger discharging the li-po battery to 3.8V, commonly regarded as "storage voltage" because since I don't have all the parts yet for the drone, it doesn't make sense to actually try and charge it to 4.2V, since that can quickly degrade the battery and in the interest of saving money, I would like to not do that. I believe that many other batteries do have this smart discharging feature built in, like the DJI Phantom's "advanced intelligent flight batteries" that are really just 3S batteries with a controller board. It's honestly quite a smart idea for DJI to implement such a thing for consumers that don't really know what they are doing and simply want an easy-to-fly drone.

The iSDT SC-608 discharging a 4S battery to 3.8V.

The batteries I decided to spring for were "China Hobby Line's" (although they shipped from another state within the continental United States, and therefore I'm not entirely sure where the name "China" came from, but I digress) 70C 1300mAh high power 4S li-po battery. I have never heard of a "C" rating before this, but a quick Google search reveals that it's simply the maximum current that can be drawn at once, hence Current rating. You can find it by multiplying the capacity (1.3Ah) by the C rating (70C) to get the continuous current that can be drawn from the battery. For this battery, that's 91A, which is honestly a lot higher than I expected. It appears, if my assumptions are correct, that dividing this by 60 gives me 1.5, or 1.5 minutes at peak power usage. That's an impressively short timespan. These batteries also seem to have a "burst" rating, where, for short periods of time additional current is drawn. Mine seems to have a burst rating of 120C, which gives us 156A of maximum current. That's a whole lot of current!

One thing I noticed about industrial power supplies is that they don't have traditional power out similar to PC consumer power supplies. I've attached a photo below. Instead, you attach connectors manually, and there are three positive terminals and three negative terminals.

A photo of the power supply and two cables connected.

That's it for this write-up, however. I did find the iSDT SC-608 to be a great charger, and if you want more information on it, I have it on my video, linked above!

Bye for now,

Gideon Tong