Creation date: Sept. 15, 2010
Thanks to Dale over at EPBuddy for sending me a ParaBoard to use, review and show off.
With the popularity of parallel charging increasing daily, a need for useful parallel charging accessories has arisen. First available were parallel cables and although these work well, an all-in-one solution has been wanted by many. EP Buddy has stepped up and designed an all-in-one parallel charging solution, the ParaBoard. The ParaBoard combines all parallel wiring connections on a single board. This not only greatly reduces clutter when parallel charging but also just makes it easier to use. It is available with most balance connectors including JST-XH, TP, Hyperion and Kokam, and is very reasonably priced.
The JST-XH ParaBoard
The first thing that came to mind when I pulled the ParaBoard out of the package was that it was heavier than I expected. I expected some weight from all the connectors and such, but it is far more "dense" that it looks. This is likely from the heavy circuit board used and the wide traces. That leads me into my next observation, build quality. The board is very solid and everything feels very nice. All the wire used appears to be silicone sheathed and is a nice heavy gauge, 14awg on the main leads and 20awg on the balance wires. It is also a nice length, about 8in long. The plastic surrounding the board feels a little cheap but fits very well and looks fine.
The board ships with a 7-pin (6s) balance lead that has JST-XH connectors on both ends and 5 t-plug covers to prevent shorts when packs are plugged in and they fit very snugly over the t-plug connectors. The front shows the board type silk screened on the PCB and the back shows a sticker with some basic info on it.
The board, leads and covers.
The label on the back.
Unscrewing the 4 screws on the back allows
the case to be removed from the board.
The circuit layout on the JST-XH board is very straight forward and well done. Effectively there is a horseshoe shaped set of traces that connects all the different balance connectors together. Then there are 2 wide traces that run down the front and back of the board to carry the current to the t-plug connectors. All the soldering looks very good.
The nice, thick traces.
Overall I am very impressed with the design and build quality of the board. It uses nice wire and is well laid out. Currently I only have 3 wishes/complains.
Using the ParaBoard
The ParaBoard is of course a parallel charging board (see my Parallel charging how-to for more info). It is compatible with almost all chargers except for those from FMA (see note below). To use it you simply connect it to the 6s balance port and the main leads. Then you can charge up to 6 packs that are the same type and cell count, regardless of the capacity of each pack.
Well that is all there is to using it. Just plug it in, connect up the packs and charge. It really is as simple as that.
The ParaBoard is a very handy addition to any charger (well almost any). It is well thought out and well built. I expect these to be very popular among the parallel charging believers, I know I will be using mine!
Last updated: Sept. 21, 2010