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Charging Yoke or: How I learned to stop Opus contention and love my iSDT chargers
I've mentioned these 'yokes' many times of late, so thought I'd make a build page for them and just reference this thread in future.

I say 'yokes' as I once shared a house with an Irish guy ... and he called absolutely everything a yoke.  Some of that rubbed off on me.  It kinda seems appropriate for this, so yoke it is for me!

I mainly use iSDT for my charging solutions, and they all have XT60 plugs for their charge ports.  Handy.

PLAN:  I will edit this text as I hoover up all my relevant posts on this topic, and include them in this post.

KEY:  Pics will be useful here (feed the gallery!), and they follow their respective description.


overview of a 6s4p charging yoke (yes, thats a junk piece of 4x2 wood from a dumpster dive ... or 2 x 4 for you yanks ...).  I use three of these -- each yoke having slightly different features/design.  This one illustrated below is the most versatile and rugged of them all, so far.


using this i can make a 1-6s string in an instant.  I use them constantly to recharge already tested cells.  To the top if needed, otherwise to 3.92V for warm storage.  I also hover all my [cartridge based] batteries around this level, so quick rejigging without charging is trivial.

I try to keep it 3 or 4p.  with 1 or 2p the balance charger finds it harder to cope..  eg if I have 9 cells to charge say, I would normally put them into a 3s3p config, which would be nice and stable.  13 cells is my least favorite number ... not enough for 6s (@3+p), but too many for 3s.  *shrug* anyways Im hoping you get what Im saying here.

balance lead protector (this balance lead gets unplugged and plugged zillions of times.  yes, zillions is a real number, honest!).  not 'vital' on this rig, except to save the inconvenience of having to make repairs at annoying time etc.  However, on my electric skateboard these are ESSENTIAL kit.  it scares me to think what would happen if one of my balance leads started rattling around in there ...

'back'-side (no fuses, just busbar)


'front'-side (cell level fusing -- 5A tinned copper fuse wire, spade connectors to clip the positive lead to)

I have much bigger yokes, namely a 4s20p (shown below) which is invaluable ... and recently added a 6s12p which can quickly be reset to be a 6s5p+6s7p config though I never really use it that way.  These I mainly use for pre-charging cells very slowly (20-50mA per cell) from 0.05V up to about 3.9V with a CC/CV PSU (Ruideng DPS5015 is my preferred, as it takes a 48VDC input -- just).  Then I balance/top them off with a balance charger relatively quickly (I might go up to 100mA per cell).

I really need to take photos showing the busbars (on the behind) and the cell level fusing (very hidden between cell holders)..

as well as precharging I also use this yoke to DEACTIVATE cells that I have written off.  Before I take them (back) to the recycler, I do 'the right thing' and deactivate them.  Totally kill them.  How?  Easy ... I just attach this yoke to the input of a CC/CV charger, or a working balance charger (if its working at <20W), and just drain the proverbial heck out of them.  Rest them.  Repeat.  By the time they've been through 'the widow maker' ... they are fully kaput.  Sometime their polarities even flip ... by accident ... thats going too far, and is never intended.  I'm just illustrating how dead they get!  That way I can be sure that no fires in their warehouse is being caused by me.  AND it also means noone else can really use them again ... which is what I want.  You really dont want to use anything I throw away...  Any substandard cells that test low get diverted to another local member who has a use for them.

BlueSwordM, iamnotarealdog, Wolf And 1 others like this post
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all systems nominal... rock on.
this is great man, would love to see more...
Could you clarify one point. I see your notes on buss bars front and back but the one picture in drawer has black wires soldered to tabs coming up through the mounting holes.

Is this a different setup?

Do you leave the 2x4 in place as I do not see that in drawer either

(01-28-2019, 12:14 AM)Chablis_m Wrote: Could you clarify one point.  I see your notes on buss bars front and back but the one picture in drawer has black wires soldered to tabs coming up through the mounting holes.

Is this a different setup?

Do you leave the 2x4 in place as I do not see that in drawer either

hmmmm, I think I know what you mean ... I'll give it a go, let me know if Ive completely missed the point of your Q.   thanks for your interest.

YES, the 4s20p (in drawer) one is a different beast than the 6s4p (2x4 wood attached). 

the main difference is that the one in drawer stays under my workbench.  its quite a pain to move, especially impossible when fully loaded ... AND perhaps more notably it is FIXED to a 4s config.  the black wires on this one are the -ve, B1, B2, B3 for balance lead (often left disconnected as i main CC/CV charge on this yoke).  the red are both +ve, and the white is the BATT -ve .. I really need to take photos showing the busbars (on the behind) and the cell level fusing (very hidden between cell holders)..

OTOH the smaller yoke does get to leave the house every now and again when I have a show and tell to do or similar.  the 6s one can be reconfigured for 1s - 6s by moving the red crocodile clip.  that black wire is just the -ve to the balance lead, soldered to same busbar as the white wire (BATT -ve).  It currently lives at the extreme left of my workbench, so I have all the wires coming from its 'right hand' side ('front side' in above description).
--    ----    ----    ----    ----    ----    ----    ----    ----    ----    --
all systems nominal... rock on.

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