All-new from SkyRC is the B6neo 200W pocket smart charger. It has the size of a matchbox and packs many features, including a 1-inch display, dual-power input, up to 10A charging current, and 6S LiPo compatibility. Furthermore, it doubles as a customizable power supply and battery checker (cell voltage and internal resistance).
LiPo batteries have multiple cells, and it’s crucial to ensure that each cell within the battery pack is charged evenly to prevent overcharging or undercharging, which can lead to battery damage or even fires. Smart LiPo chargers like this B6 Neo feature balance connector, which monitors and balances the voltage of each individual cell during the charging/discharge process.
The SKYRC B6neo chargers allow you to adjust the voltage and current settings, giving you more control over the charging/discharge process. This can be especially useful if you have different types of batteries with varying charging requirements. It is multi-chemistry and is compatible with the most common RC rechargeables, including LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, and LiIon batteries.
SKYRC B6 Neo charger review
Disclosure: I received this pocket LIPO charger as part of a product review collaboration with Makerfire. Product specs and quality may vary according to the manufacturer’s reliability, so I cannot guarantee that you will get a charger that performs exactly the same as seen in my review.
Unlike the other similar products I recently reviewed, this B6neo ships in an ultra-small box. SkyRC does not include a power adapter or any cable with the unit. Just a tiny printed quick-start guide is provided. The detailed online user manual can be found here.
At a glance
The B6Neo is nicely built, even if it is entirely made of plastic, not aluminum like its predecessor, the B6 Mini (see photo below). It measures 70x50x32mm and weighs just 83 grams. The sample unit I received has a black, grey, and silver color scheme, but other cool color options are available, too. The front panel is divided into two parts: on the left is the big LCD screen, and on the right are the three control buttons. All the connectors and buttons are nicely labeled.
The balance socket (up to 6 cells) and the XT60 charging port are located on the right side of the housing —no onboard XT30 plug, so you will need to use an XT30-XT60 adapter for smaller-capacity batteries. On the opposite side are the XT60 DC and USB Type-C input ports. On the bottom is a cooling fan that you should avoid covering. Through the vent holes, you can peek inside, but only a big heatsink is visible.
It can be powered through the XT60 connector from 10 to 28 volts (max 200W) or via a PD charger (max 80W). As a DC power source, you can use a dedicated AC/DC power supply inside or a power station outside. Using my Kovol Sprint 120W ( up to 100W/Channel) PD charger, the displayed power by B6neo was 60W (20V x 3A).
User Interface and Operation
As I previously mentioned, the SkyRC B6 Neo has only three buttons (Up/Down/Select), making the operation straightforward. You can access the system setting menu by long pressing the enter (select) button. Using the arrow keys, you can toggle between the main, cell voltage, IR, and Input power screens.
I found it easy to program and was glad the process was very similar to my other smart chargers. You only need to select the chemistry (battery type), number of cells, and desired current. In the case of LiPo, LiHV (High Voltage LiPO), and LiION batteries, you can opt for Balance CHG, Charge, Storage, or Discharge program.
The Charge program (direct charge) allows you to refuel without connecting the balance connector. Unfortunately, there is no “just balancing” program that normalizes cell voltage across the battery pack. It is worth mentioning that the balancing current is Max. 500mA and the discharge power is up to 24W.
During the charging process, the main screen shows the charging current and power, battery voltage, charged current, and elapsed time. There is also a visual indicator (battery icon with four bars) that shows the charging level.
Pricing, availability, and options
The B6 Neo charger is available at Makerfire for only $45.21 or $78.40 with an included 100W (20V/5A) power adapter. You can choose from Crimson Sky, Mysterious Black, Sakura Blossom, Sunlit Sky, and Festive Gold color schemes. Additionally, you may need an XT60 to XT30 converter for smaller LIPO batteries.
SKYRC B6 B6neo: Key features
- [Stunning! In every way] With the two-tone body design and playful color options, B6neo adds a touch of fun to your routine charging session. Stand out in the racing field with a pop of color and impress other players with your unique personality. Choose from bold, bright, or classic, subdued color schemes that perfectly match your style. Make your RC charging shine with SkyRC B6neo!
- [High power & Dual input] It features an XT60 interface as its DC input and a de-facto trendy Type-C PD input interface, ensuring greater flexibility and convenience in charging your RC batteries. When powered by DC, the B6 Neo can charge up to an impressive 200W, while it can handle up to 80W with USB PD input.
- [Discharging Multiplied by Balance Port] The built-in balance port enables B6neo to discharge faster, allowing it to discharge at up to 24W when used with the main port. In contrast, the discharge rate when using the main port alone is limited to just 10W.
- [Versatile 2-in-1: Check Batteries Easily] When the balance port is connected, B6neo is a versatile battery checker capable of measuring cell voltage and the balance state of LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, and LiIon batteries. The overall voltage and individual cell’s voltage will be displayed on the fly to help tell whether the battery is charged or discharged and whether it requires balancing. It will work as a safeguard for batteries, as, for example, LiPo battery is renowned for their high energy density and lightweight properties. Proper care and monitoring are crucial to ensure their safety and longevity.
- [So Pro. So is Digital Power] B6neo is professional in charging and can act as a digital power supply. After clicking on the menu, B6neo is ready for your application, offering an optimal voltage of 5-27V with 0.1V increment adjustable 1-10A current.
Short circuit, Overload, and Reverse polarity protection are all included!
- [Enhanced Protection, Assured Safety] The SkyRC B6neo charger is built-in with several essential safety features ensuring optimal charging safety. Short-circuit, Over-temperature, Capacity, Time-out, Cut-off, and Over-voltage Protection.
- [Hassle-Free Firmware Upgrade] Upgrade your charger effortlessly with the complimentary Charger Master App. Stay informed and receive instant prompts whenever a firmware update is available. Updating your charger is as simple as connecting it via the Type-C port. Enjoy a happier charger as each upgrade brings bug fixes and compatibility, improved stability, and enhanced performance.
|Input voltage||DC XT60|
|Input current||DC XT60|
|Max output power||DC XT60|
|Working modes||LiPo/LiFe/LiIon/LiHV||Balance CHG, Charge, Storage, Discharge|
|NiMH/NiCd||Charge, Re-Peak, CYCLE_C_D, CYCLE_D_C,|
|Pb||Normal, AGM Charge, Cold Charge, Discharge|
|DC power supply||5.0-27.0V, 1.0-10.0A|
|Discharge current||All||0.1A-2A (Max. 24W (±10%) based on 6S(4.2V/cell)|
|Balance current||LiPo/LiFe/LiIon/LiHV||Max. 500mA|
How to Update Firmware on the B6Neo?
First, download and install the Charger Master (Windows APP) from here. The latest, V1.21, is compatible with the SkyRC “Neo” series. The download speed from their server is super slow, so endow you with a lot of patience.
Initially, I just connected the charger to my computer and waited for a popup to show up and say that a new device was installed and ready to use -but nothing happened. Next, I started the Charge Master app, which also said: “Not connected”. Reading another SkyRC B6neo review, I discovered that you must simultaneously press the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons while connecting the charger to enter into communication mode. When successfully connected, you need to click on the button labeled “Check For New Version” -if a new firmware version is available, click on the “Update” button, and you are done. Mine had v1.61 stock firmware and updated it to v1.63.