The Charsoon Antimatter is a powerful charger at an affordable price.  With charging support of 30Amps or 1000W, this charger is purpose-built for charging a lot of batteries extremely fast.  At a discounted price point of around $100, this is a great price for a quality charger that should never need an upgrade.  However, unlike some of the other chargers we have recently reviewed, this one isn’t quite ready to charge batteries off the shelf.  You will need to get a power supply unit and make a few cable modifications before plugging in your first battery.  Worry not, as we cover the entire process in this review. Ready to get started?  Great!  Let’s break down the parts list and specs for the Antimatter!

 

What comes with the Charsoon Antimatter?

All right, so what comes in the box?  Pretty standard fare for a charger, but let’s cover what’s included:

charsoon antimatter unboxed

  • Charsoon Antimatter battery charger
  • User manual
  • Large alligator clamps (x2) with banana plug ports on each clamp
  • Small alligator clips, positive and negative
  • Solderable connector cable x1
  • Standard balance charger board x1

The solderable connector is a nice touch.  Rather than include a bunch of cables that might get thrown into a drawer, I can just solder on whatever connector I need (in this case XT60).  However, the lack of a packaged XT60 male plug is worth noting for people who don’t have a stockpile of spare parts in the workbench.  Either way, expect to build your own charging cable or use a para-board with bullet connectors!

 

Charger Specifications

Here are the Charsoon Antimatter specs from Banggood.  This charger is available in a few different formats (250W 10A, 300W 20A, and 1000W 30A).  This article focuses on the 1000W 30A version.

Brand Name Charsoon
Model Number  Antimatter
Input Voltage DC: 5 – 36V
Charge Current 0.05 ~ 30A
Discharge Current 0.05 ~ 30A
Maximum Charge Capacity 1000W@input voltage 23V
(500W@input voltage 12V)
Maximum Discharge Capacity 80W
Maximum Extern Discharge Power Capacity 1200W@40V/30A
Maximum Regenerative Discharge Power Capacity 1000W
Current Drain For Balancing LiPoly <500mAh/cell
Balance Accuracy <10mV
Battery Setup Memory 10
Lithium (Li-poly/LiIo/LiFe) Cell Count 1 ~ 10 series
NiCd/NiMH Cell Count 1 ~ 25 series
Pb Battery Voltage 2 ~ 36V
Log Files Storage 16Mbit (31 hours)
Intelligent Temperature Control Yes
PC Connect USB Port
Dimensions 143 x 146 x 55mm
Weight 870g

The charger supports LiPo, LiLo, LiFe, Ni-Cd, NiMH, and Pb batteries.  For the purpose of our review, we are just sticking to standard quadcopter LiPo batteries.

 

Charsoon Antimatter initial setup

After unboxing the Charsoon Antimatter, we need some way to power it so we can start charging batteries!  For higher end chargers like this, you need a 12V power supply unit to provide power to the charger.  In other words, the Antimatter will not plug into the wall by itself. We recommend using re-purposed server power supplies for this purpose, like the HP Proliant power supply. In this article, we are using a rather crappy power supply we got from Amazon that we are testing out. Getting it to work required splicing in AC power from your house lines and the charger was not well built, therefore we cannot recommend it. Again – we recommend a Proliant power supply. Check out Joshua Bardwell’s power supply video for tips on how to set a Proliant up.

Anyhow, the process of hooking your charger up once the power supply is configured s fairly straightforward.  If you have a power supply that is compatible with the Charsoon Antimatter’s installed banana plugs, you are all set!  Just plug the connectors into the appropriate slots (positive to positive, negative to negative), turn on the power supply, and the charger should boot up.

On the other hand, if you don’t have compatible plugins on your power supply, you will need to come up with an appropriate solution.  In my case, I cut off the banana plugs and directly connected the wire leads to my power supply.

adjusting the cables

Cutting the cables and applying a bit of solder.

Similarly, if you already have a power supply with an XT60 connection, you could remove the banana plugs and install an XT60 connector to your Charsoon input cable. When configured this way, you can power the Charsoon with a 3S battery at the field. Bullet connectors that come with many other chargers and power supply’s are also an option.  Go with whatever is easiest for you depending on the materials you have or your connector of choice!

powered charger

Everything wired up!

After connecting everything together, the charger booted up quickly after I plugged in the power supply.

charger balance and power port

Balance board connector, temp sensor, and power outputs.

 

usb input

Power input and USB connection.

As many people have reported, the charger is uncannily similar to the Turnigy Reaktor.  The speculation is that the Antimatter is a clone of this popular charger. This is undoubtedly true – but it’s worth keeping in mind that the Reaktor itself is a clone of another charger from ProgressiveRC. Clones are just how this industry work, and this charger certainly isn’t some cheap knockoff. Build quality is solid with easy to press buttons, metal frame, and a UI that responds quickly to each input. Similarly, the wires supplied with the charger are thick and covered in high-quality silicone. This is easily a charger you could expect to pay $250 or more for just a few years ago.

Now that we have everything hooked up and ready to go, let’s get to charging some batteries!

charger on battery bunker

Wired up Antimatter charging batteries in my modified battery bunker.

Charging batteries with the Charsoon Antimatter

Charging is extremely straightforward.  If you have ever charged a LiPo before, the UI shouldn’t be any surprise.  You have your standard charge, fast charge, balance charge, storage, and discharge options.  There is a slew of additional features, customization, and settings you can toy with to meet your charging needs.  Here is a pic from the manual showcasing the entire UI flow:

Charsoon Antimatter program flow

Charsoon Antimatter program flow

I took some old 3S batteries out to test some of the features.  One small but hugely convenient feature is the battery identification.  On a balance charge, I simply plugged in the discharge cable and balance leads and the charger instantly identified the battery information and cell count.  For someone like me that was using an antiquated charger where you had to select the cell count and confirm, this is a welcome user-error safety change!

charsoon charge

To start with, I mainly tested discharging and charging batteries.  Not much to report here – the charger worked as expected and quickly performed each task.  There are some neat addon features that you can utilize here depending on your needs.  For example, you can connect an external device (e.g. a lightbulb) to expedite discharging.  Again, navigation is simple and it was easy to move from one setting to the next.

Some people might be turned off by the non-stop end of cycle beeping alarm, but I personally am a fan.  I tend to listen to music while charging batteries and repairing my quad.  Too many times I have had my old charger beep once while I was distracted, only to find that the charging completed when I check the charger later.  Obviously, you should never leave your charging batteries unattended, but realistically are you going to listen for a single beep pattern for the entire charging duration?  Having the end of cycle alarm constant is a great way to remember to swap out batteries quickly.  That said, you can turn off or modify the end of cycle beeping in the settings menu.

Battery logging: amazing for people that want useful battery data

One feature that sets this charger apart is its battery logging abilities.  Using the USB port, you can connect the Antimatter to your PC and record information on battery charging or discharging.  Using a program called LogView, you can build some nifty graphs that chart the battery’s statistics.  Best of all, this feature can be run live while the charger is actively running!  This is a great way to gather metrics on your batteries. With careful log analysis, you can identify wear trends and figure out when it is time to retire a battery from your stock. It can also be used to run discharge test cycles, determining how much power each battery can push out with what kind of voltage drop. If you are looking to find your best battery for your next race, this is a great way to do that.

logview data

LogView showcasing a discharge cycle on a 3S battery.

 

Why go with the more expensive 1000V 30A version versus the cheaper alternatives?

So, why should you go with this charger over cheaper alternatives?  You can get the 300W 20A version of the Antimatter for nearly half the price. Why spend the extra money on the 1000W 30A version?

Well, if you plan to fly a ton of packs, the 30A version will let you spend more time at the field and less time at home charging packs.  If you are at all interested in parallel charging, the 1000W 30A version of the Charsoon Antimatter will put out much more power and charge your parallel setup faster.  For those serious about getting in practice time and taking a full bag of batteries to the field, this charger will remove the stress and time commitment around recharging your stash.  Gone are the days of babysitting your charger and swapping individual batteries.  With this charging setup, you can easily power a fully saturated parallel board (or two!) and charge your largest batteries quickly and efficiently.

Let’s do some battery charging math. If we take the max amps divided by mAh divided by 1000, we can calculate how many batteries this beast of a charger can handle.  Using that formula and assuming a 1300 mAh 4S battery (the default battery on the market currently), we can calculate that the 1000V 30A version can charge 23 batteries at a time at 1C.  Now for 99% of the multcopter population, this is likely overkill in a single session.   However, at the same time it does offer a future proof solution to pilots serious about flying.  You will charge batteries faster and have the ability to move to higher cell counts without missing a beat.

Rather than buying a cheaper mid-range charger and upgrading later, this is a charging solution that will carry you though the foreseeable future. Back in 2015 and early 2016, 3S batteries were all the rage.  Now in early 2017, the community has pretty much universally moved to 4S.  As battery technology improves and changes, this charger is a solid investment in any RC endeavor.  If you want to use this charger for jets, cars, or other RC hobbies, you are good to go!

Additionally, with features such as battery logging, multiple charge / discharge settings, and the ability to charge multiple battery types, this is a quality investment for serious / professional pilots looking to watch their equipment more closely.

Honestly, though – for beginners or weekend fliers, we recommend you stick with the 300W Antimatter. You simply will not get enough for your extra $50 unless you want logging capabilities or you want to be able to charge lots of big batteries.

A note on parallel charging

We plan to add a section on using this charger with a parallel board in the near future.  We want to finish up an article on safety considerations to make while parallel charging first before making any recommendations.  Parallel charging does have significant safety risks, and we want to make sure our readers understand these before they start connecting batteries to a paraboard!  We plan to reference the safety checklist from that article and give our thoughts on parallel charging with the Antimatter in coming weeks – check back soon!

 

Conclusion

If you are looking for a powerful charging setup at an affordable price, this is a hard combo to beat.  The charger itself will set you back around $120 without any discounts.  However, we have seen the price dip to around 20% off with coupons and daily sales, so expect to pay around $100 if you wait for deals.  Considering that this charger is almost certainly a clone of the $150 Turnigy Reaktor – and that of chargers that cost $250 or more, that’s a solid discount for what is essentially the same product.

Charging and discharging were both efficient, and I had no problems navigating the UI.  Depending on your use case and willingness to try more advanced charging techniques (external discharging attachments, parallel charging, etc.), this charger should be able to get the job done.

However, the Antimatter will take a bit more time to setup for beginner pilots.  Wiring the charger to a power supply may be daunting to new hobbyists only familiar with standard plug and play style battery chargers.  Realistically, this is going to be the case with nearly any powerful charger in this price range.  Not really a downside, but rather a warning to newer pilots: don’t expect to unbox the Antimatter and find a wall plug!

If you are looking to spend more time at the field and less time charging batteries, this is a great package that should last you a long time.  As always, we plan on keeping this review up to date with any changes, issues, or mods we perform with the Charsoon Antimatter!  Obviously, we can only test so many batteries in a review period, so we will keep you posted if we run into any issues after more charges down the line!

Interested in this charger?  You can get it at Banggood by clicking this link.  Furthermore, as we discussed, you may need a few odds and ends to get up and running:

charsoon antimatter banggood

 

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