ToolKitRc M9 review: The talking drone LIPO charger

ToolKitRC M9

In addition to the lots of inbuilt functionalities, the ToolKitRc M9 features cool voice alerts and a multi-angle colour display. With a size slightly bigger than your smartphone and output power of 600W, it is very portable and powerful. Is the ToolKitRc M9 the only charger you need on your drone backpack? Let’s find out from this review!

Along with all electronic gears, battery chargers also evolved a lot in the last few years. Now, they are smaller, much more powerful, safer, and packed with tons of handy features. The ToolKitRc M9 is intended to be used in both ways, as a field and desktop charger. Featuring a wide range of input voltage (7~35V), with the right adapter, it can be powered from your car’s cigarette lighter socket or a high-capacity LIPO pack. Thanks to its 65W USB Type-C out, it allows charging your drone battery, mobile phone, tablet, and even your laptop.

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ToolKitRc M9 features 

  • Multi-chemistry with up to 8 cells;
  • Massive 600W output;
  • Dual USB fast charging 65W (USB Type C + USB A);
  • All in one functionality:
    • Charge/Discharge/Storage/Balance
    • Wattmeter (7-35V / 20A@600W)
    • Battery meter (internal resistor)
    • Signal source output (PWM/PPM 8CH/SBUS 18CH)
    • Signal tester measure (PWM/PPM/SBUS/ESC)
    • DC output (step-up/step-down 1-35V@1-20A)
  • Customizable voice alerts and welcome screen;
  • Multi-angle color 2.4″ IPS LCD (320*240);
  • Upgradable firmware.

ToolkitRC M9 review

Disclosure: I received this drone charger as part of a product review collaboration with TooltikRC. 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.

ToolkitRC was founded in 2018 and is committed to the development, production, and sales of intelligent and easy-to-use RC accessories. Their product range includes multifunction tools, basic chargers, testers, and adapters. The M9 is their latest multifunction charger designed for those expecting a lot more than just basic functionalities.

Unboxing

The M9 multi-charger comes in a compact box with a USB-to-USB cable, screen protector,  and quick start guide included. No AC adapter or at least an XT60 to DC adapter is provided. Probably it is intended to be used as a field charger by using a high-capacity LIPO pack as a power source. If you have any fully charged LiPo you are not going to fly in the following days, you can transfer back the energy to the big battery. It will not save the earth, but still a great feature for transferring energy from one LIPO to another.

M9 cables

ToolKitRc M9 measures 108*71*36mm and weighs just 235grams. On the back, there is a power input XT60 plug (7-35V), a micro SD slot, and a loudspeaker. The XT60 output and 8S balance ports are on the opposite side, along with USB Type-C and Type-A ports. It has a temperature-controlled cooling fan on the left side that starts only when needed. I like that the charging XT60 port has an RGB LED that lights in different colours, according to the working type.

LED illuminated XT60 port

By default, the PWM/PPM/SBUS signal input/output ports are not visible. You need to hardly remove a plastic cover to be accessible and usable.

Display and Controls

Probably the sweetest thing about the M9 is its foldable colour display. The IPS LCD has a resolution of 320*240 pixels and its angle can be tilted by 0-80 degrees. You can choose from multiple themes (colour schemes). I find the dark mode more friendly with your eye than the default theme.

Cooling system and tilt screen

In addition to the handy metal jog wheel with a push function (OK), there is only a single button (Exit). Navigating through action menus\program configuration\system settings is easy and intuitive. Scrolling up/down you can navigate between pages and menus. Press shortly to set charging parameters or press and hold to enter in system settings interface.

Controls

Every action is confirmed by voice prompts. Initially, I thought that is funny and useful at the same time, but after a few usages, I found it annoying and without much sense. Instead, the customizable start-up logo is very cool.

Working modes

Like most computerized chargers, the ToolkitRC has 3 main functions: Charger, Discharge, and Storage. Before starting, you need to select your battery type. The M9 is compatible with the most common rechargeable chemistry standards (Lipo, LiHV, LiFe, Lion, LTO, NiMh, and PB). You can charge up to 8cell LIPO batteries once at a time or multiple using a parallel breakout board. The charging current can be adjusted on the fly if you want to speed up the process a little bit.

main functions

You can opt between internal resistance (Up to 3A), Recycling – Battery to Battery (up to 20A), or External Load for discharging.

For the longest lifespan, LiPos should be stored at room temperature at ~3.8V/cell. Most modern smart chargers, including the ToolKitRC M9, have a ‘Storage’ function that will either charge the LIPO up to that voltage or discharge them down to that voltage, whichever is needed.

Price and availability

The M9 multi-function charger can be purchased from a wide range of ToolkitRC partners. Currently is available at Banggood for only US$72.99 with 9% off. Additionally, you may need an AC/DC adapter and XT30 to XT60 converter. ToolkitRC has two compatible power adapters, the ADP180 (19.5V-XT60 @max 180W ) and ADP100 (20V-XT60 @max 100W). With almost zero cost, if you have an old laptop charger, you can easily replace the stock plug with an XT60 one and use it with the M9 charger.

Extra features

Battery internal resistance meter

1. Internal resistance meter

The internal resistance of both the LiPo pack and the individual cells within the battery is one of the very best ways to monitor your battery’s condition. Using the ToolkitRC M9, you monitor the internal resistance during the entire charging process.

Power supply mode

2. Power source mode (DC to DC converter)

The built-in adjustable power source is a handy feature when you want to test a new device that doesn’t come with a power adapter. Regardless of the input voltage, you can set anything between 1 and 35V by 0.1V steps. The output current can be set from 1 to 20A (the input source must have sufficient power).

Signal IN/Out

3. Measure signal and Generate test signal

The M9 charger can measure and generate PWM, PPM, and SBUS signals as well. For example, while the “PWM measure” allows testing each individual channel of your radio receiver, the “PWM signal out” can simulate an 8CH transmitter to your flight controller.

65W PD USB Type-C output

4. USB phone charging

The ToolkitRC M9 has two types of USB ports, Type C and Type-A. During charge, you can monitor Voltage, Current, Capacity, Elapsed time, and Protocol. My Samsung S21 detected the M9 as a ‘Superfast charger’. Through the USB ports, you can charge not just smartphones but also gimbals, remote controllers, action cameras and many more types of devices. The 65W output allows charging even your laptop, in no time.

Backplate

  • Price/performance ratio
  • Design and build quality
  • Battery compatibility
  • Cell compatibility
  • Easy to use
4.3

Summary

The ToolKitRc M9 has a massive output of 600W in a pocket size. In addition to basic functionalities, it comes with customizable voice prompts servo tester mode, battery meter, power supply mode, 65W PD charger, and more.

Pros

  • Compact and powerful;
  • Lots of built-in features;
  • Wide range of input voltage;
  • Foldable colour display and voice alters;
  • Integrated up to 65W PD charger.

Cons

  • No DC to XT60 and XT30 to XT60 adapters included;
  • Lack of built-in AC/DC adapter.
Sending
User Review
4 (3 votes)

Technical specifications

ToolKitRc M9 technical specifications

Input voltage 7.0~35.0V (MAX 25A)
Battery type Lipo LiHV LiFe Lion LTO@1-8S
NiMh @1-20S Pb @1-10S
Balance current 1000mA @ 4.2V
Charging power 600W @MAX 20A
Discharge power Recycle mode: 600W@MAX 20A
Normal mode: 20W@3A
USB Type-C Power 5.0-20.0V@60W
Size/Weight 108*71*36mm/235grams
Tester / Input
PWM 880-2200us @ 20-400Hz
PPM 880-2200us * 8CH @ 20-50Hz
SBUS 880-2200us * 16CH @ 20-100Hz
Voltage 1.0-5.0V @ 1-8S
Internal resistance 0.1 mR-99R @ 1-8S
ESC 600W @ 20A
Signal generator / Output
PWM 500-2500us @ 20-1000Hz
PPM 880-2200us * 8CH @ 20-50Hz
SBUS 880-2200us * 16CH @ 20-100Hz
Power supply 1.0-35.0V @1.0-20A mode:CC CV
Overcurrent response <5ms
Safety recommendations for LIPO batteries (Using, Charging, Balancing & Storing)
  • Always store, charge, and discharge your LIPOs in a charging safe bag (nonflammable container);
  • Do not store your LiPo batteries in extreme temperatures below 0C or above 50C;
  • When storing batteries for extended periods, store them at a half-charged state;
  • Always use dedicated LiPo chargers like the M9;
  • Double-check settings before starting any charging program (Chemistry, Cell Count, Current);
  • Ensure that charging leads are connected correctly;
  • Never, under any circumstances shortcircuit the battery (positive and negative leads touch each other); 
  • Never leave charging LIPO packs unattended;
  • Do not overcharge or over-discharge batteries;
  • Never use a LiPo pack that is ballooned or has damages due to a crash;
  • Dispose of LIPOs by fully discharging and returning them to a local battery recycling facility.

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