In this video, we unbox and go over the basic features of the Spektrum AC S2100 Multi-Chemistry Battery Charger featuring SMART technology.
Spektrum was the first rc brand to embrace smart technology in the world of RC. The DX6R transmitter Incorporated an Android operating system to create a smart radio. They are now expanding upon what smart means with a new line of battery chargers. they recently provided the channel with one of their new AC S2100 SMART Chargers, and it’s pretty impressive
Inside the box itself you will find a nice little hunk of a charger. The very front of the charger features two charging ports and two balance ports. The first piece of the smart charging technology is found in these charging ports, as they utilize the new IC3 battery connector that Horizon Hobby has launched.
The IC3 connector is very similar to the previous generation EC3 connector. It basically uses a shrouded barrel and tube connector to plug into each other, however there is a small pin between both of these connectors. This is what transfers the data between your battery, if it is so equipped, and the charger. This does more than just balance charge your battery however, there is a small integrated circuit board inside each Spektrum SMART battery that retains information such as cycles, voltage, and other information to really allow you to monitor the life of your battery pack. It also makes it possible for the smart chargers to automatically detect the battery type when plugged in, setting the charging parameters accordingly. It takes the confusion out of setting up a charger for less experienced hobbyists.
The overall footprint of the AC S2100 is pretty small, a lot smaller than the Orion Touch Duo charger I’ve used for the past four or five years. Much like that Orion charger, the AC S2100 features a color display. Unlike the Orion charger, however, the display is not touch screen. Instead, it uses a jog dial, very similar to the iPod classic. Most users should be pretty familiar with how this works and, I have to admit, I had my doubts but playing around with it initially it worked well.
Since the SMART charger is designed to work with SMART batteries you may find a few quirks when initially setting it up. if you want to set up one side of the charger for high voltage LiPO batteries and the other side for standard LiPO batteries, you can’t exactly do that. By that I mean you have to set the chemistry and charge type for the battery on one channel and start charging before you can set the chemistry type and charging profile for the other channel. like I say, it’s a minor quirk but once you understand that’s how the menu structure on this charger works I don’t think it’ll be a major issue
No charge leads or adapters are included with the AC S2100, something that may leave some people scratching their heads. The reason for that is simple, this is designed to be part of a charging system, the charger is just part of the puzzle. To get the most out of it you will want to use SMART equipped batteries, however it’s not required. For someone like me who uses a lot of shorty LiPO batteries for my Team Associated B6 .1D Lite you can still use regular, non smart equipped batteries, and Spektrum either has adapters available for that or they will be available in the near future.
My initial reaction is that this is a nicely put together piece of hardware. I’ve gotten to use it a little bit so far and I really like how it’s performed. Make sure you stay tuned for our follow-up review here on the channel.