Disclosure: I am a technical consultant and support for smart powercharge. I was involved in the development of the SPC 4500, SPC P3, SPC M100+ and SPC P4 from the initial blueprint design to the final stage prototype testings and ongoing QA and QC. I am not an employee or have any financial interests in the company. The owner and I are good friends with the common quest to create the ultimate charging station for DJI’s drones.
What is a charger?
In its simplest form, a battery charger is a transforming device that converts one voltage to another voltage and is used to supply energy into a rechargeable battery by forcing an electric current through it.
The supplied DJI Phantom 4 Charger is simply transformers that converts 110-240 V to 17.4V at 100W to charge the P4 smart battery. If you only have one or two batteries, this is more than sufficient for your needs. However, if you have three or more batteries, it can quickly become an inconvenience and an alternate solution is now available.
Enter smart powercharge SPC P4, a professional charging station for DJI P4 batteries. Based on the best selling SPC 4500 inspire 1 charger which took 5 months from design to production, no compromised was accepted during the design or manufacturing process. The objective was to create the ultimate power charging station in term of functions and quality. Only quality components were sourced and used in the production. Think of the SPC P4 as 8 individual chargers fused into a compact form. Yes 8 chargers and it has the following features:
1. Charge 4 Batteries Simultaneously (Up to 6 when used with the DJI i1 RC Cable)
2. Charge 2 REMOTE CONTROLS at same time with batteries.
3. Charge 2 USB devices such as your iPAD or iPhone, Go Pro etc or both with batteries and remotes all simultaneously. (8 devices charging at the same time)
4. Deep cycle and condition your batteries according to DJI recommendation
5. Auto charge your batteries after DEEP CYCLE MODE.
6. Charge and discharge to STORAGE MODE
7. FIRMWARE Upgradable
What is a smart battery?
A “smart charger” should not be confused with a “smart battery”. DJI’s smart battery series contain an Integrated circuit chip that communicate with DJI’s quad via serial protocol to convey information about the battery’s characteristics and condition. As such it is a proprietary system and only DJI’s smart batteries can be used with DJI’s quads. The DJI batteries are not cheap for their capacity and class. Thus taking good care of the batteries will not only enhance the safety of your aircraft, it will enable you to get more recharge cycles and maximise your return on investment.
What is a smart charger?
A smart charger is defined as a charger that can respond to the condition of a battery, and modify its charging actions accordingly. The SPC P4 is a commercial grade QUAD Charging Station designed and built exclusively for the DJI SMART BATTERY (LiPo) that is used in your Phantom 4. This system is MICRO-PROCESSOR controlled to ensure each battery is treated as an individual and not simply a parallel charging board or a charging hub.
For DJI Phantom 4 smart battery, the voltage across the battery increases slowly during the charging process, until the battery is fully charged. After that, the voltage decreases, which indicates to an intelligent charger that the battery is fully charged. The SPC P4 is a ΔV charger, “delta-V,” or sometimes “delta peak”, charger, indicating that it monitor the voltage change.
The intelligent charger monitors the battery’s voltage and temperature to determine the optimum charge current and to terminate charging. Charging current is set to a maximum of 100W per channel to prolongs the life of your P4 batteries. The SPC P4 monitors the individual voltage and temperature to each battery ensuring that each battery is charged safely eliminating damage and LIPO safety concerns.
To make a professional charger, a robust power supply is the main requirement. The Power supply unit in Smart powercharge is custom built to commercial specification specially to meet smart powercharge’s requirement which includes:
Universal AC input and full range automatic switching between 85~264 VAC. Ensuring simple plug and play via IEC plug and world wide compatibility.
The 501W PSU has built in active PFC function, PF > 0.95/230 VAC or PF > 0.98/110V at max load. A high PFC means greater efficiency and you can use a pure sine wave inverter or a inverter generator rated at only 600W RMS to power the SPC P4. At 88% efficiency the PSU is gentle to the environment too.
Safety is of utmost importance when dealing with mains power and LiPo. Smart powercharge charger includes the following protection features as standard. Short circuit protection – important when you have 17.4V terminals. Overload, Over voltage and Over temperature protection – the unit will shut down to provide protection and automatically reset once the offending cause is removed.
The SPC P4 is a high quality charger capable of charging or deep cycling 4 DJI Smart Batteries simultaneously, 2 USB devices such as your iPhone, iPads, Androids or any other USB device and 2 DJI remote controls (via 2 charging ports on the end of device), all at the same time.
When using the optional Osmo P4 battery cable from DJI, you can charge 6 x Phantom 4 batteries simultaneously on the SPCP4 by using the two RC ports.
Unique to the SPC P4 is the deep cycle function. This is an important feature to ensure the optimum health for the DJI’s smart battery. Deep cycle should be done every 10 cycles as per DJI’s recommendation. You can even DEEP CYCLE selected batteries while charging others. To activate deep cycle mode – fly your battery to 25% or less, turn ON your battery, insert into a slot, press the red cycling button, you are done. The discharge is set to 8%. After the battery reaches 8%, the system will automatically charge the battery to full capacity.
Storage mode is included to allow easy and simple charge or discharge to storage level. Regardless of you battery’s level and percentage, simply press and hold the red button on the bay for 5 secs until it start to flash. Turn on your battery, insert into the activated port and the SPCP4 will either charge or discharge your battery to storage level.
The SPC P4 charger is FirmWare updatable to keep abreast with DJI’s battery FW. Simply use the indicated USB port for future FW updates.
Made in Taiwan to strict FCC and CE standards, the SPC P4 is build to last the life of your Phantom 4 and to provide many years of trouble free service.
Some may complains that $499 may be high for a charger, when you consider it is actually 8 chargers in one and with the added features of battery conditioning, storage mode, FW updates and a robust commercial grade PSU, you will be hard pressed to buy one for the same money and features. Most quality hobby chargers costs nearly as much and does not even include a FCC or CE PSU. There is a special $50 discount code for the first 200 orders exclusive to our group members. Use code lynhP4 at checkout.
If you are looking for a professional solution to charging multiple batteries, the SPC P4 meets and exceeds all FCC and CE certification. Backed up by unrivalled after sales support and service, the end users are getting professional equipment and service at a hobby level price. It is a quality built product capable of delivering outstanding long term performance whilst protecting and prolonging your Phantom 3 batteries.