ASG Advanced Charger
Battery technology for airsoft replicas moves on at a startling rate, with batteries themselves becoming more powerful. Safe charging is a must though, so Bill Thomas gets to grips with an advanced charger from Action Sport Games (ASG)…
Once upon a time, all electric airsoft replicas relied on quite bulky nickelmetal hydride (abbreviated to NiMH or Ni–MH) battery technology to power them, but as many of the early models were of standard setup (think of an M4 with a straightforward plastic two-piece handguard) these could be easily accommodated. As accessorising your chosen rifle or carbine became more popular though, with a wider selection of rails and butts/stocks coming to market, it would often be the case that the battery would have to be carried externally, as there was no space for it internally anymore; various battery boxes and even a battery sling appeared to deal with this.
As battery technology advanced though, many of us started using lithium polymer batteries, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer batteries (abbreviated variously as LiPo, LIP, Li-poly) as their higher discharge currents and better energy density compared to more traditional NiMH batteries gave a very noticeable performance gain, and in many cases a significant reduction in size and weight. Due to their very nature though, LiPo battery packs with cells connected in series require a specialised charger to monitor the charge on a per-cell basis, so that all cells are brought to the same state of charge; if they’re not, you can end up with quite spectacular, and explosive, results!
Even more recently, we’ve seen lithium iron phosphate (LiFe) batteries coming into the mix, as these offer longer lifetimes, better power density (the rate that energy can be drawn from them) and are inherently safer than previous technology.
Action Sport Games (ASG) offer a huge range of high-quality licenced electric airsoft replicas, and of course offer an equally large range of batteries to power them, so it came as absolutely no surprise to me when they sent me their very latest charger to look at, and as always, they are right up front with their technology. The Digital Multifunctional Battery Charger can charge all current battery types in the market, including the new generation of LiPo 4.35V batteries (a standard LiPo is 4.2V).
What makes it even more advanced than any other chargers is the wide range of unique new features, which takes things to a completely new level; it can be used as Lithium Battery Meter and Battery Internal Resistance Meter. There are Automatic Charging Current Limit, Capacity Limit, Temperature Threshold and Processing Time Limit, which makes the charger safe to use. All of these features are controllable via your home PC, with the ChargeMaster program and Smartphone via the available app. ChargeMaster is a free program that gives you an unparalleled ability to operate the charger through your computer. You can monitor pack voltage, cell voltage and other data during the charging, view charge data in real-time graphs and you can initiate, control charging and update the firmware.
The unit comes with a standard UK plug and can charge all known battery types; LiHV, LiPo, LiFe, LiIo, NiMh, NiCd and Pb. All battery types can be Cyclic charged and data can be stored, and the charger even has special Lithium charge programs; Balance, Storage, Fast, Standard, and Discharge. The charger comes with a universal charging lead with six different plugs, and expert users can use the customisable voltage output to get the most out of their batteries; a Nixx Repeak program gives you the ability to push your batteries even further. There’s also an integrated LiPo test function to ensure that you can charge these more safely than ever.
Luckily, the charger also comes with an extremely comprehensive instruction manual, as without this you would certainly get lost in all the intricacy and sheer mass of functions! This really is a superb piece of kit and well worth every penny of the SRP of £59.95. ASG do recommend that if you know someone that already uses one of these chargers also speak to them, and I’m certain that one of the clever video boffins will get an instructional video up online soon! Overall, this is a cracking bit of kit and as it adds to the overall safety of charging even the most volatile batteries, it comes thoroughly recommended.
|Charge Circuit Power Max||60W|
|Discharge Circuit Power||10W|
|Charge Current Range||0.1-6A|
|Discharge Current Range||0.1-2A|
|Current Drain for Balancing Port||Max 200mA/cell|
|Trickle Charging Current||50mA-300mA & OFF|
|LiPo/LiFe/Lilon/LiHV Battery Cell Count||2-4S|
|NiMH/NiCd Battery Cell Count||6-8S|
|Pb Battery Voltage||6-12V|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates