Xiegu X6100 Battery Charging Questions and Answers
One of the Radioddity customers posed these
well-thought-out questions about the
battery charging system and procedures. These are important issues that every
X6100 owner should be aware of.
1. Can the X6100 be left connected permanently to an external charger or external source of dc power with the charger turned off?
Yes, it can be left connected. The Green LED will show activity if the Charger has not been toggled Off in the Radio Setting1 Menu.
2. Can or should the X6100 be operated from an external power source with the charger turned off?
Yes, as long as the Charger is toggled off in the Radio Setting 1 Menu, there is no problem running from an external power source. (13.8 VDC @ 3.4 Amps or above current capacity). The radio will operate from 9 to 15 VDC with current capacity requirements increased at a lower voltage than 13.8 VDC and reduced above 13.8VDC up to 15 VDC.
3. When should the charger be turned off?
The Charger should be used with the radio powered off. The Battery Management System (BMS) will start with a constant current charge that is indicated by a flashing Green LED. When the current demand from the battery tapers down to a steady low current set point, the charge state shifts to Constant Voltage for the 'finishing charge'. During this charging state, the Green LED will glow constantly. It is during this charging state that the 2 cells should be balanced-charged to their maximum of 4.2 VDC. The LED (in theory) should turn off when this state is completed, but there may be a conflict between the actual indicator of the completed charge and the LED Staying on to remind that the charger is still connected. I would recommend charging overnight, then toggling the charger back off in the System Setting1 Menu.
4. When should the charger be turned on?
The BMS will monitor battery capacity and voltage. It has voltage set points to first disable transmit capability and a 2nd set point to power the radio down to prevent the battery from being discharged below the point it can properly accept a charge. At this point, the charger should be enabled. During the first 4 charge /discharge cycles, you should charge fully and let the radio discharge the battery until the BMS shuts it down. After that, the battery has been 'built' to its rated current capacity and is more tolerant to partial charge cycles to top off a charge before the radio BMS shuts it down. The battery has a projected set number of charge/discharge cycles, so partial charging should be avoided if possible.
5. Does operating X6100 from an external power source with charger turned off affect the internal batteries of the X6100?
There should be no effect on the battery when the charger is off as indicated by the lack of the Green LED activity. I have not tried to generate a test setup to check for any current draw in milliamps or microamps to confirm this. There is no heat felt when the charger is off, and the radio remains connected to an external power source.
6. When operating the X6100 from an external power source to boost the output wattage should the charger be turned on or off?
The Charger should always be turned off when the radio is being operated; even for receive only. When the battery is under load, the BMS cannot sense a reduction in current demand. If used un-squelched, or for transmitting, the BMS only senses a rise in the current demand. This can cause excessive heat when the heat from the Power Amplifier (PA) components internal to the radio is combined with heat from the BMS circuit / Battery pack combination. The radio uses Passive Cooling (no cooling fan). The surface area of the outer case can dissipate heat from normal operations. Constant, or near constant carrier modes like FT8 (or other digital sound card modes), as well as CW and RTTY, place a higher demand on the PA section of the radio. The by-product is heating. Add the additional heat build-up from the charger circuit and the heat can become excessive. Combine this further with working in direct or near direct sunlight and the radio may shut down.
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