ISDT BG-8S Review | Smart Battery Checker
The BG-8S is , in short, a fancy battery checker by ISDT. Despite not sounding too exciting it’s worth noting what ISDT have achieved with their chargers in a short space of time.
ISDT took the classic four button chargers that were awkward to use and produced a much improved LCD screen interface. At the same time they packed a huge amount of power into a tiny space leaving us with more portable field chargers.
The BG-8S takes the same philosophies as their chargers to bring us a new generation of lipo checker.
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Explore the list of useful drone tools in build process
What’s in the Box
- BG-8S Lipo Checker
- Screen Protector
- Wrist Strap
The box for this product was small so I wasn’t expecting to see much in it. A screen protector was a really nice addition considering I plan on throwing it in my bag for field use.
The included wrist strap is a nice idea but sadly it was way to small for my wrist.
In terms of design and quality the checker feels like it’s well made and will be fine to store loose in my tool or lipo bag. The three control buttons are low profile and unlikely to get damaged.
There’s not much to say here as the design is very simple with an XT60 and balance connector slot on one side and a USB out and mini USB upgrade port on the other. Considering the size of the screen and the height of an XT60 connector the checker is nice and pocket sized.
Something as simple as a lipo checker is surprisingly hard to review! The best way I could think would be to cover the features and my share thoughts on them. Let’s start with the obvious one….
Full colour Battery Checker
The most important thing for a lipo checker is that it should be quick and easy use. It’s no good having a fancy interface if I have to wait 10 seconds and navigate through a menu to check my packs.
Upon plugging in the balance connector you get a quick splash screen ~1s then a main screen showing all of the cell voltages. This screen is bright and was easy to read outside allowing me to sort through my lipos much quicker than normal. The BG-8S can monitor lipos with up to 8 cells which is more than enough for our applications.
USB Charge Port
The BG-8S features a USB port you can use to charge your phone/GoPro or any other USB device from. What’s even better is that the port is QC3.0 rated. This means that it is capable of quick charging your phone and can even power 9V USB devices such as the TS80 soldering iron.
To sweeten the deal ISDT have added a feature most XT60 to USB adaptors have missed which is a battery cut off. By simply setting a minimum battery or cell voltage the power to the USB port will cut off preventing your batteries from getting damaged. Some USB convertors only have an alarm to warn you of this so a full cut off system is awesome. This is an ideal and convenient way to get your batteries back to storage voltage.
If for whatever reason a lipo becomes unbalanced the checker is able to shift some of that power around to balance out the cells. This is done quite slowly and only works when the average cell voltage is above your configured minimum voltage. It doesn’t work in conjunction with the USB charge feature but may be useful for the odd time when you if you come down with one particularly bad cell.
A bit of a random feature but still useful for some is the SBUS/PWM checker. This allows you to plug in an SBUS capable receiver and check the outputs on each channel. This is particularly useful for troubleshooting faulty/unbound receivers’ and one to have in your fault finding quiver.
You can also use the PWM tester to check for signals from your FC to you motor should you wish.
The BG in the name stands for Batt Go. Batt Go is a battery management system created by ISDT where a small PCB located in special batteries keeps info like the batteries history and charge details. The XT60 on these lipos has an extra pin that the checker uses to read this information. I don’t have or know of any Batt Go capable batteries to test this feature but to be honest I’m not too interested in this kind of tech as it will add most cost to lipos and limit options. If this is something you are interested in it’s certainly a nice feature to have on the checker but I most likely won’t be using it.
I’m struggling to think of any… The ISDT chargers always had an annoying beep that you couldn’t turn off, the BG-8S finally fixes that and lets you set it to be silent.
If I had to knit pick I would say that the screen protector is tough to apply without getting bubbles and the wrist strap is too small!
Who should get one?
Honestly this is an easy one… everyone! In my opinion there is no point anymore in buying one of the cheap lipo checkers anymore. The slightly increased price of this is the only negative I could find and frankly it’s a bargain for what you get.
The BG-8S is far easier to use than it’s rivals and the USB port/battery discharge feature make it the perfect tool for managing your packs in the field. I’m actually tempted to get myself a second one so I can keep one in my bag and one at home!
+ Full Colour Screen
+ Easy to use
+ USB Port (QC3.0)
+ Low voltage cut off/alarms
+ SBUS/PWM tester
+ Included screen protector
-Slightly more expensive than the cheap lipo checkers
Contributor: Ashley Norman aka Speed Sloth