The Venom Pro Charger is designed to be a do-it-all workhorse and, as such, is capable of charging almost every type of battery. It supports Ni-Cd, NiMH, LiPo, Li-ON/Li-FE and lead acid batteries. I tested it by charging a range of batteries from 1/10-scale racing packs to 1/8-scale starter-box gel-cells.
The Venom Pro Charger is a very nice looking unit. Not only does the green aluminum look suit the charger well, the metal is very durable and will handle any bumps and drops that happen on or off the track. What is more important than the outer looks is how the interface handles while being used. One great feature is that the screen is backlit; this is very helpful in low light situations. Coupled with the back light are very easy to read menu settings, which are very clear to understand. There is nothing in the menus that may confuse the user. Anyone can pick up the charger and start using it, the Pro Charger is very user friendly. While the Venom is not the smallest charger in the world, it remains compact with an integrated fan to keep things cool.
Programming is a breeze, just hit the menu button to cycle through the battery types, set whether you would like the charger to charge, discharge, cycle, or one of my favorite features lipo storage mode. When using lipo storage, the charger will discharge (or charge) a battery up to 3.7 volts per cell. This is a perfect resting voltage for long term storage of your lipo packs. Another great feature is when you are balancing the lipo packs and using the included balancer, you can just hit the increase or decrease button and it will show the current voltage of every individual cell. A loud warning beep lets you know when charging is done.
The Venom Pro Charger includes an impressive supply of adapters for your batteries. You can hook up the charger to alligator clips, charge your receiver packs, and even charge your glow plug. Of course, you can charge batteries with the common Tamiya-type plug (a Traxxas plug and Deans plug are included as well). Having all these adapters in your toolbox comes in handy at the track or when out bashing.
I’ve rarely seen other chargers offer the ability to tweak and tune different profiles with your PC by using a USB adapter. This permits great customization, which will streamline use of the Pro Charger for different charging applications. The software is easy to use and the charger hooks up to a USB port on the computer. The software is included on a CD with the charger and is simple to install. It allows for an ever more user friendly programming interface. You can also save different profiles and quickly switch between every setting that can be programmed by loading a new profile. You also can record data such as voltage, current, capacity and temperature during the charging phase. It lays it out in graphical form for in depth information on your packs.
The Pro Charger includes a temperature probe, so in the event of a problem, the charger will react before severe damage occurs. While you should always monitor your battery packs while charging, having an extra safety net is always a plus. The charger also seems foolproof; if you set the wrong number of LiPo cells, for instance, the charger will not charge the packs.
I like the programmability and overall usefulness of the charger. I know that this charger can do it all. With all the various charging leads, USB tenability and features, the Venom Pro Charger is highly functional and convenient. It is great taking one charger to the track instead of multiple units. I also like that Venom offers a package that includes the power supply.
> 1 to 6-cell LiPo, Li-ON/Li-FE
> 1 to 15 cells for NiCd and NiMH
> 0.1 to 5.0A charge rate
> Charging adapters included; Traxxas High Current Connector, Tamiya, Alligator Clip, Futaba, Deans, glow igniter and JST plug
> Temperature probe
> 10 charging profiles programmable with USB and included software
> Included LiPo balancer
> Available with and without power supply
> Street price: $110 w/o power supply, $140 with