R/C Workbench Gear: Duratrax Onyx 225 AC/DC Advanced Balancing Charger

By: Tim Gluth

Keep your battery packs powered up with this budget-friendly charger.

The joy of getting a new radio-controlled car, truck, boat, or aircraft is an amazing feeling. The euphoria that rushes over you as you open the box and delicately take out each parts bag, component, and item (or rip into the packaging like Cookie Monster attacking a plate of cookies), there’s nothing better. There is, however, one small catch. You typically need to wait a while before you can get your new machine out for it’s maiden voyage. Why? Because charging.

Thankfully, there are a wide variety of battery chargers that can get your battery packs charged up quickly. Duratrax one brand that features a number options when it comes to finding the right battery charger for your needs. One model in particular, the Onyx 225 AC/DC Advanced Balancing Charger, is not only capable of charging an array of battery types, but it’s also an investment that’s easy on your wallet.

The Onyx 225 includes 10 charging routines built-in, but can also handle customized settings. A 2-line, 16-character display provides you with details about the charging process as your pack is being replenished. This is a welcome feature for keeping a watchful eye on your charging status, along with giving you the information that you need to ensure the health of your battery.

Four output adapters are included (Tamiya, Traxxas High-Current, Star Plug, and ElectriFly balancing board), providing a wide array of capability for your pack. The charging station uses a push-button control interface with audible alerts, letting you know when your pack has been sufficiently charged.


  • AC input: 110V AC 60Hz
  • DC input: 11-15V DC
  • Output Power: 60W (AC & DC)
  • Battery types: 1-15 NiCd or NiMH (1.2-18.0V) 1-6S Lithium (3.7-22.2V)
  • Battery capacity range: 100-60,000mAh
  • Programmable: Yes
  • Model Memory: 10
  • Fast charge current: 0.1-6.0A linear
  • Fast charge termination: peak detection (NiCd/NiMH); cc/cv (Li)
  • Fast charge safety timer: 90 minutes
  • Peak sensitivity: 3-20mV, adjustable
  • Auto-trickle current: 1/20 fast charge setting or 0-250mA (manual)
  • Lithium balancing connector: JST XH
  • Lithium balancing accuracy: 5mV per cell
  • Lithium node current (max.): 300mA
  • Controls: 4 push buttons
  • Display type: 2 x 16 reversed, backlit matrix LCD
  • Data displayed: Input, output, peak & cell voltages; charge time, current & capacity
  • Input connections: Detachable DC lead with alligator clips; detachable AC lead with standard plug
  • Output connections: banana jacks for 4mm plugs (main); Banana to Star Plug & Banana to Traxxas® HCC adapters; ElectriFly balance board w/cable adapter; radio jack w/universal connector
  • Safety/Protection: solid-state reverse polarity and current overload circuitry; 0-300 minute safety timer; fan
  • Case size: 5.2 x 5.5 x 2.1 in (134 x 140 x 54 mm)
  • Weight (w/o cords): 11.1 oz (314 g)

Priced at $89.99, this is a budget-minded charger with an impressive feature-set. With a little searching, you should be able to find this charger with a price as low as $59.98. Learn more about the Onyx 225 AC/DC Advanced Balancing Charger at Duratrax.com.

Image credit: Duratrax

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