I originally bought a Tenergy TB6B to charge the 4000 and 5000mAh batteries I was using for my DJI Innovations F550 hexacopter. It did a good job, but when I bought a 6000mAh battery, it wasn’t sufficient to the task. It maxes out its charging capacity at 5 amps (5000mAh). I bought an Eco 10-6 because it could handle output currents up to 10 amps. Here’s what I’ve learned about them:

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While the 10-6 has a higher current capability, the way it comes demands it be powered by a 12v battery. The battery needs to be able to furnish a consistent 10 amps, so the smaller lead acid batteries used for battery backup units (UPS) won’t cut it –unless you connect it to a battery charger that can provide 10 amps. This leaves you with a charger powering a battery that is powering a charger that’s charging a battery. Pretty weird. I discovered this when I tried to charge a 6000mAh LiPo and kept getting a LOW INPUT VOLUME error message. I was running the charger off of a lawn tractor battery, and under the charger’s load, it was unable to provide the needed current. So I hooked up my car battery charger and with the car charger and the tractor battery I managed to get the 6000mAh battery charged. I have since created a charging station that amounts to an 8 amp DC power supply in parallel with a 12v lead acid UPS battery. This provides sufficient power to operate the Eco 10-6 to charge the 6000mAh LiPo.

The TB6B doesn’t require so many gyrations just to make it work. I bought a 6 amp power supply and jacked it into the charger and it works just fine –up to the charger’s limit of 5000mAh batteries.

Both of the chargers function exactly the same way in terms of operation. Select the type of battery, select the type of charge, select the voltages and current capacity and start up the charger. The switches and menus of the two unit are the same. In terms of physical size, the Eco 10-6 is almost one-third larger than the Tenergy TB6B. This is due to the very large heat sink and fan that the Eco uses to keep itself cool under high current draw.

Both of the units offer a connector for a temperature sensor and a USB port to use a PC to monitor battery temp during charging. This is helpful for NiCd and NiMh batteries and possibly Pb batteries, it isn’t needed for Lithium battery types.

Both chargers offer multiple balance ports that take the usual JST connector, size dependent on the number of cells in the battery. The Eco connectors are built into the side of the charger, the Tenergy offers a dongle, but both accomplish the same purpose. Both chargers are able to do custom discharging as well as charging, and for charging offers Standard, Balanced, Fast and Storage charging rates, all customer configurable.

The Eco was priced almost two and a half times greater than the Tenergy, and I tend to think that makes the Eco too pricey, considering the small difference in current capability between the two. It’s especially true considering the high expense of a 10 amp power supply. But if you have batteries greater in capacity than 5000mAh then you simply can’t use the Tenergy TB6B, it isn’t strong enough.

With adequate power, both chargers perform well and do a good job. They’re both easy to use and do a good and (if desired) speedy job charging batteries.

 

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