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I spent hours trying to find a DC Li-Po charger that I can use to recharge my Drone's battery. I am looking for a DC charger accepting voltage between 24 to 48 V. This seems to exists.

However, I also would like a remote control port for monitoring the charge through a computer. USB/CAN/RS-232, Ethernet, any communication port would be fine.

All the chargers I can find have fancy designs and huge LCD displays. I don't want any user interface on the charger.

My goal is to make a charging platform for my drone. Solar panels recharge batteries (I have the system in place), then when the drone lends, it can be charged autonomously.

Any advice?

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  • $\begingroup$ how will the battery be charged autonomously ? Inductive charging circuit or something ? No off the shelf charger will support that. And if so how will you balance the cells ? If not inductive then how you get the balance port plugged in after the drone lands ? $\endgroup$
    – tavis
    May 11 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ A connector under the drone is connected during the landing. It has the balancing and the power $\endgroup$
    – nowox
    May 11 at 4:51
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There are a few chargers with data ports but they may not work the way you want. These chargers have so many options that a remote interface would be quite complex, and the manuals often don't give much detail about the features available. Complex chargers always wait for you to confirm that it is set to the right type of battery before charging, and require you to press a button.

I think the way to go would be a really dumb charger that is set up specifically for your battery size. A charger like this will just start as soon as the battery is plugged in.

Lipo charging is pretty simple, you just provide a constant current until it hits a maximum voltage, then the charger reduces the current to the voltage constant.

You could build a simple circuit to do this, but you can also buy basic boards that do it for you. They're cheap and designed to be integrated into electronics projects.

You can monitor the pack voltage and individual cell voltages with an Arduino, Raspberry Pi or other device, depending what you want to do with the data. These all have inputs that are capable of measuring voltages sufficiently accurately to detect imbalances or tell when the battery is charged.

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I also dream of a recharging platform sometime in the future. I was thinking about having some sort of arm that would extend to the charging port on the station using some array of lasers, sensors and so on. But this is like a wet dream that I hope to finish by this time next year.

Have a look at this. Or, if you like adventure, get any charger and hack it to send data to your PC. I'd gladly help you do that lol.

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