Electric Charger – Mobile iCharger Control

I cannot believe I have not seen this earlier, this is done with a clear “user-first” principle it’s nothing short of fantastic, have a look!

For Support?

Since so many of you are asking support-related question, please read this: Please go here for support: https://github.com/johncclayton/electric/issues

This page is just news :)

Electric Charger

That is what developers call it, Electric Charger. A way to control your Duo-series iCharger, that means 306, 308, 406 or 4010. And it looks sleek! I especially like the nice and platform-unison look of the mobile interface. Yes, both Android and iOS are supported. And yes, both phones and tablets. Now there’s a start!

For sale?

Nope, it’s not for sale, it’s DIY and the core is open-source! And you guys know how I like that! Let’s take a quick glimpse on what the UI looks like in the mobile phone:

The app shows all the vital information like charge current, charged capacity etc on the main screen (above). Of course cell-voltages with balancing indicator as on Duo’s screen is visible too.

To start an operation we need to select the type (above), could not get any simpler than this.

We can use any of presets available, the preset selection screen shows the name, battery-chemistry, charge- and discharge-current.

If you don’t want to use a preset setting you can select custom settings (above), this is really easy, set the number of packs, capacity and charge-rate in C and off you go. Nice and sleek!

DIY? How does it work?

As said, it’s DIY. You need a Raspberry Pi 3 with WiFi connected to your iCharger. Working principle is simple as a concept:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 connected to iCharger’s USB-port
  • Mobile phone’s app connecting to Raspberry
  • Use iCharger from your mobile phone or tablet!

Yes, it is that easy as an principle.  There’s some cool features available too, how about a notification on your phpne when charger is done? Or vibrate the phone a bit?

How-To get Electric Charger?

The creators of Electric Charger have made a easy to understand How-To user guide for the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s available HERE. Do not be afraid of Raspberry and linux, Electric Charger is available as complete and ready to run image for Raspberry. Basically here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the ready image-file
  2. Flash the image to SD-card
  3. Put the SD-card to your Raspberry Pi 3
  4. Connect Raspberry to iCharger and power
  5. Power up iCharger and Raspberry
  6. Start your phone and open the app

In the essence that’s it. User friendliness is strong in this one! Have a go yourself!

Useful stuff, links and so on

Here’s some links to get you going:

  • Electric Charger source code in github here.
  • Android app page in Play Store is here.
  • iOS app page in App Store is here.
  • How To guide with download links to image is here.

Support is done by authors, there’s also a Helifreak discussion available here.

RCT Thoughts

This is a brilliant execution on a subject there’s really never been anything available. Yes, I have my solution but due to complexity and it not running in easy-to-get-and-use hardware it’s never been really possible to share in the same way. And the fact that these guys have mobile-apps for both platforms is fantastic!

Great work!

24 thoughts on “Electric Charger – Mobile iCharger Control

  1. Hello.

    Very interesting.
    I have and use 2pcs Icharger 3010b.
    Icharger 3010b not supported ?

    BR, Dmitriy.

  2. Hey, Neil here – I wrote the UI. Thanks for the great write up. Re chargers, we I think can support all the dual channel ones (that have a 'smart' USB interface). The single channel chargers don't have the same internals, so won't ever be supported.

    We're likely missing some identifiers for the 306 and 406. Only because we don't have those units ourselves. Should be really simple for us to add tho – we just need the numbers from them.

    If you have one of those chargers: Ping us on helifreak (waferthin) or raise an issue on the github page and we'll take it from there.

  3. 149/5000

    Hello Neil, when can you expect an update for the 4010duo?
    I can not call the "Presets" on my 4010duo and start nothing.

    1. Please ask here: https://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=795128 This is a news-story of Electric, I don't think developers are monitoring this.

  4. Hello Neil,

    Great work, i've install it and it works perfekt, thanks :)

    @Tero, your Site is awesome, thumbs up, found many interesting things on it. Great work too :)

  5. Hullo! Thank you for the kind words!

    We'll be releasing 'case fan' support soon, thanks to helifreak user 'thebum'. He did a fork + some hardware implementation, and that's being merged into the main code over the next day or two. Whee!

    What does it all mean? Oh. good q. Just that you can turn on the case fans only when the charger goes over a given temp (and turn them off again when that temp drops).

  6. I am at the point where you connect the Raspberry Pi 3 to the charger. How is this done? I didn't get a cord with mine. The cord that came with the charger has a full size USB on one end. Thoughts?

  7. I flashed the SD card and inserted into the PI, opened the app but app can not find the PI, just keeps searching. What am I doing wrong? any ideas? Thanks………………………..

  8. There’s section as ”issues”, post your question there? As said, I’m not the author of Electric, I can’t gove support to that.

  9. Any way we can make this work on Pi Zero W? the Pi3 works great, but its a little bulky in my small charge case. Thanks Neil for giving us this option on our icharger duo's. I'm sure theres a lot more development to come to anyone who can contribute. Thanks everyone

    1. My guess is no based on this: The Pi Zero W has a 1 core ARMv6 processor running at 1GHz with 512MB of RAM. The Pi3B has a quad-core Cortex-A53 ARMv8-A processor running at 1.2GHz with 1GB of RAM

      Please ask on Electric github here: https://github.com/johncclayton/electric

      1. Thanks for the reply. I know the Pi Zero W has only 1 core and 512mb ram. I'm not sure if its enough to run electric. Does electric really need that much power of the Pi3 on the icharger?

  10. I just finished my set up and got everything working (somewhat). Im having two problems tho. First, on the app it is hard to get the options to pop up when I touch the cells for me to tell it what to do. Secondly, everything works as it should on my IPhone (except for the touch thing), but the app on my IPad won't work. It doesn't display all the info on the screen. Only a couple cells show up and I have it selected to show all. Also, only channel one is displayed. I tried downloading the app again with thought maybe there was a glitch in the download process but that didn't change anything.

    Have you seen this before with an IPad? Is it normal for it to be a little difficult to select what you want on the screen?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks!

    1. Please go here for support: https://github.com/johncclayton/electric/issues
      This page is just news :)

  11. I have been trying to get this working with no joy.
    I have tried on both new and old windows computers as well as a Mac, but generally get the same result with just the red light flashing a sequence of flashes. I tried loading Rasbian and saw that there is a green light flashing if it starts loading the software.

    The only thing I can think of is that there is a new Raspberry, this is from the site. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (note the plus on the end) is the latest generation board released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation on 14 March 2018.

    Could there be some difference here?

    Thanks,

    Murray

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