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View Full Version : Adding balancing taps. Won't do it again.


Turbojoe
12-13-2005, 01:39 AM
I've got a relatively new TP 3S 1320 GenII pack that just doesn't have the poop it used to have. I had it in a plane that was pushing it right to the limit for amp draw and it caused an imbalance.

I had bought a TP-205 balancer a few weeks back to use on my new Pro-Lite packs that I use in my heli. I got a couple of add on taps at the same time. I just did an add on to the problem GenII pack. Never again. The pucker factor alone makes it not worthwhile. Trying to remove all of the fiber reinforced packing tape is the scariest part. I was afraid it would either tear the tabs off or cause them to short out. Once that was off it was on to pulling off the Kapton tape to expose the tabs for soldering. I got that off and did the soldering no problem. Taped it all back up and added new shrink wrap. The balancer is plugged in and doing its thing right now. Flashing cell 2 and 3.

Honestly the packing tape is the worst part of the whole job. If you don't cut it where it overlaps you could do some serious damage by shorting out the pack.

I probably won't go through this on any of my other GenII packs. I hate to salt water soak and trash them if I have to but if that's what it takes then oh well. I'll just replace them with Pro-Lites from now on. It's almost worth it for the extra performance they give.


Joe

ForestCam
12-13-2005, 01:41 AM
Where do you get your shrink wrap? I have three 2s packs and I want 2 3s packs.

Turbojoe
12-13-2005, 02:46 AM
Where do you get your shrink wrap? I have three 2s packs and I want 2 3s packs.

I got the shrink wrap at the LHS. May be a bit of a trip out here for you to get some.;)

Well it looks like tapping it worked. I did a .3 amp charge with the balancer attached. I then hooked the pack to the Wattmeter and plugged it in to a plane and ran it up for at least 30 seconds at 10.1 amps initial draw. Voltage never dropped below 9.6. In use this pack would go into 9.0 volt LVC in about 30 seconds of flight. I tested a known good pack right behind it and got the same readings. It's starting to look like this pack is back from the dead. I won't know for certain until I get to fly it again next weekend.


Joe

trogdor
12-13-2005, 03:54 AM
hmmm, I've had similar problems with a number of gen2 tp packs and some older ones as well. I've considered adding taps for awhile to see what would happen. I'm interested to know how things go on the next few flights with that pack.. maybe its worth the pain.

ragbag
12-13-2005, 10:10 AM
Here is a site for shrink wrap:

http://radicalrc.secure-mall.com/shop/?shop=1&cart=376405&cat=1&noCookiePassThrough=Y&PHPSESSID=d4caa3908b85afab06b91af32503e6bf

Radical RC, he can help with a lot of stuff, been electric a long time.

By George

debhicks
12-13-2005, 10:15 AM
We carry a vast selection of Heatshrink. Clear so you can inspect your work/pack Heatshrink (http://www.willshobbies.com)

We have the small stuff and up to 3 inch. I redo packs for a lot of our customers.

sheerLuck
12-13-2005, 05:54 PM
Another source for clear shrink wrap :

http://airdyn.com/superior/cs.shtml

Larry

glenclif
12-13-2005, 07:19 PM
I redo packs for a lot of our customers.


Debbie,

How much do you charge to redo 3s packs? I have several 3s GenII Tp's and a couple of 3S Kokhams, and would love to add taps. PM me if you prefer.

Thanks,

Glenn

Turbojoe
12-13-2005, 10:00 PM
Debbie,

How much do you charge to redo 3s packs? I have several 3s GenII Tp's and a couple of 3S Kokhams, and would love to add taps. PM me if you prefer.

Thanks,

Glenn

Deb,

Post the price here. I may send you a bunch of packs.


Joe

rotary65
12-16-2005, 07:11 PM
Don't salt water and trash your TP packs - they're worth 50% off G3 packs from Thunder Power under their upgrade program.

retiredVTT
12-16-2005, 08:41 PM
just checking ...are TP Gen 3 packs the ProLite series..?

Bill

everydayflyer
12-16-2005, 09:05 PM
That is the general term used however ProLites do not have a Gen. number assigned to them by TP.

http://www.thunderpower-batteries.com/html/batteries.html


Charles

retiredVTT
12-16-2005, 09:28 PM
10/4..thanks Charles,

Interesting seeing the retail of $84.95 on the 3S 2100 PL..because I have purchased three packs two weeks ago for $62.95 each, so it's dog eat dog out there, especially when you get two firms each saying.."we will NOT be undersold" and also offering "free shipping" ...the consumer wins..!

Bill

everydayflyer
12-16-2005, 09:46 PM
The site at link I provided is ground zero / home for TP. It is an easy site to see TP products but not a great place to shop. Charlie Wang does not compete with his distributors/retailers.

Charles

Turbojoe
12-16-2005, 10:18 PM
Don't salt water and trash your TP packs - they're worth 50% off G3 packs from Thunder Power under their upgrade program.

I sent in a 900 GenII that was crash damaged and a 2100 GenII pack that puffed for no known reason. They called me back and offered the 50% deal but said it was a one time deal. I was happy because I got 1320 Pro-Lites for the 900's and Pro-Lites for the 2100's as well. It was $70.00 total for both packs. I'd love to trade up all of my GenII's for Pro-Lites but I don't want to push my luck with TP. They've done right by me.


Joe

glenclif
12-16-2005, 10:31 PM
What ever happened to Deb Hicks? We never heard from her on the price to reconfigure the older packs.

rotary65
12-16-2005, 11:27 PM
I sent in a 900 GenII that was crash damaged and a 2100 GenII pack that puffed for no known reason. They called me back and offered the 50% deal but said it was a one time deal. I was happy because I got 1320 Pro-Lites for the 900's and Pro-Lites for the 2100's as well. It was $70.00 total for both packs. I'd love to trade up all of my GenII's for Pro-Lites but I don't want to push my luck with TP. They've done right by me.


Joe

I just received 3 new prolite packs back from TP after sending in my three dead G2 packs (overheated center cells, Trex Mega 16/15/3 13T) - certainly not TP's fault (just not the ideal pack for this application at 12C). They're a terrific supplier and they've earned my business. They didn't ask what the cause was and didn't say it was one time. It seems to be a way to ensure customer loyalty. My new G3 (ProLite) packs run ~6 degrees Celcius lower - they handle the load better than the old packs. They specifically sell the G3 packs as Trex heli suitable too. Nice to know because my old packs had less than 30 cycles each on them when they died (gradually from 12 minutes to 6).

ForestCam
12-16-2005, 11:53 PM
Another source for clear shrink wrap :

http://airdyn.com/superior/cs.shtml

Larry

Hmmmm... my Poly-Quests will be 1.75" x .75" and if the wrap shrinks 45%... carry the two...

Turbojoe
12-16-2005, 11:54 PM
My GenII 1320 pack appears to have been resurrected after adding the taps and balancing. I may not get to fly this weekend so it may be a while before I know for sure. I have 3 other GenII 2100 and 5 GenII 1320 packs that I'd love to trade up for Pro-Lites but they're doing fine right now. I guess I'll wait until I kill them to send them in. ;)
The T-Rex really is hard on packs and I just have the Align 420LF motor in mine. Packs get fairly warm after 10 minutes. Under 130 degrees but not by much. The two Pro-Lite packs that I have are awesome in the T-Rex.


Joe

rotary65
12-17-2005, 07:00 AM
I added taps to my G2 packs in an attempt to extend their cycles (using a TP205 balancer), but it didn't help much in the end. The cells were on their way out and no amount of balancing could reverse the trend. I think I only got 3 or 4 extra cycles in the end. In retrospect, a smaller pinion may have made a real difference in the pack temperature. My G2 packs were consistently ending the flights with 140F temperatures - they just couldn't take it. The G3 packs are running ~130 F - I'm not convinced they'll last all that much longer.

So far, the major operating expense associated with the Trex is turning out to be batteries.

Rugar
12-17-2005, 01:56 PM
So far, the major operating expense associated with the Trex is turning out to be batteries.

I think that can be said for E-Flight in any application.

Highlander
12-17-2005, 02:51 PM
I heard the TP 50% off Upgrade deal was over with. Are they still doing that!?!

I have a couple of 3S 2100 packs I'd like to send them. Address? Return Auth #?? What else do I need?!?

Bryan

Rugar
12-17-2005, 03:05 PM
I heard the TP 50% off Upgrade deal was over with. Are they still doing that!?!

I have a couple of 3S 2100 packs I'd like to send them. Address? Return Auth #?? What else do I need?!?

Bryan

Scroll to bottom of the screen on their web site and click on contact info. Give em a call and see what they say.

http://www.thunderpower-batteries.com/

starcad
12-18-2005, 05:33 PM
Hey Joe, What LHS are you going to in Mesa. I only found a few in the phone book and they were not worth the trip into. Since I'm up there almost every week I'd like to find a few good LHS's so I can pick up things that you can't get here in Tucson.

I got the shrink wrap at the LHS. May be a bit of a trip out here for you to get some.;)

Well it looks like tapping it worked. I did a .3 amp charge with the balancer attached. I then hooked the pack to the Wattmeter and plugged it in to a plane and ran it up for at least 30 seconds at 10.1 amps initial draw. Voltage never dropped below 9.6. In use this pack would go into 9.0 volt LVC in about 30 seconds of flight. I tested a known good pack right behind it and got the same readings. It's starting to look like this pack is back from the dead. I won't know for certain until I get to fly it again next weekend.


Joe

Turbojoe
12-18-2005, 07:57 PM
Hey Joe, What LHS are you going to in Mesa. I only found a few in the phone book and they were not worth the trip into. Since I'm up there almost every week I'd like to find a few good LHS's so I can pick up things that you can't get here in Tucson.

My favorite is D&D at the southeast corner of 63rd and Main. The stock isn't always the best but they're friendly and customer oriented. They're less than a mile from my house so they're very convenient for me.

Viper Hobbies is at the northeast corner of Greenfield and University. They've got more stock but they really suck for customer service. They'd rather BS with the car/truck guys or play with their cars than take my money. They are fast becoming a last resort shop for me. :mad:

A little further west of here, Adventure Hobbies is on the southeast corner of Dobson and Ray in Chandler. Just off the 101. Nathan is a great guy. Very knowledgeable and friendly. They are pretty well stocked. The best stocked heli shop that I know of. Prices are starting to creep up a bit but still not bad.

Duncan's RC is on 35th Ave. just north of Glendale Ave in Phoenix. It's a small shop but very very nice guys there. Decent prices on what the have.

Franks Hobbies is up north on Cactus. Just west of the 51. It's at the first cross street (don't know the name) across from K-Mart and behind Burger King. It's an older established place so they're more glow oriented. They are starting to carry more electric stuff though. Prices are very good and I've found some AMAZING deals there on occasion.

I know there are many more places but these are the only ones I frequent.


Joe

Turbojoe
12-18-2005, 08:59 PM
Hmmm.....It's looking like the taps paid off. I flew the pack earlier on the Slow Stick. I fully expected it to smoke, burn and explode in mid flight so I wanted it out in the open so I could see the show.:D

No problems at all. I flew 17 minutes on a very mild gear prop setup and the pack was only 74 degrees when I landed. When I got home I plugged it into the TP205 balancer and there was no indication of imbalance. I charged it at 1C with the balancer plugged in and never got an imbalance indication. It took 670mah to charge on the Triton. It's looking like this pack is back from the dead. Yay!


Joe

trogdor
12-19-2005, 10:52 PM
That's great, thanks for the report, I just ordered 5 taps for old packs in the hopes I can keep them going awhile longer.

Turbojoe
12-19-2005, 11:40 PM
I just got back from flying that pack again but in a SwitchBack with an AXI 2212/34 this time. I only flew for about 10 minutes though. The clouds were weird and I had a hard time seeing the plane against them. I wanted to purposely run it down to LVC to see if it would go out of balance again. I guess I'll have to try again Saturday as I doubt I'll get to fly again during the week. The pack did come down cool with no problems during flight. I'll throw it on the charger in a while to see what happens. I have plugged it in to the balancer and it checks okay.

Joe

trogdor
01-19-2006, 04:25 PM
I recently bought the TP balancer and a bunch of taps to add to my older packs including TP gen2, Kokam, APEX and "generic".

I found the packs using the PC board to join the battery leads to be very easy. Just trim all tap wires to the correct length and tin, heat the solder blob already on the board and add the tap wire.

The TP packs were a bit trickier because of all the tape and fragile battery leads that were just joined directly by spot welding and easily bent. But really after the first one it was pretty easy and with some flux and helping hands getting the tap wire to stick wasn't that hard.

Anyway, I added the taps to these 6 old packs to see if there would be a possible performance increase as turbojoe reported. I fly 3D planes though so am always pushing much harder than the slow stick would! On at least one pack I tested, a 1320 gen2 3s pack, it didn't help as it totally dumps voltage at only 8 amp draw - hadn't noticed it that bad before but it was weak. Still have to test the rest, probably this weekend. The APEX was new and out of balance already as were the two other new apex packs that already had taps... nice. They are performing well so far though.

In the end it was an interesting experience to see how these packs are assembled and I'll at least have a way to determine if a cell really goes bad. Not sure it really helps in my case and similar to what Rotary65 said, I think the currently accepted tanic standard of lipo break-in would have helped much more. Most of these packs were from the days when most folks were saying just charge and fly full blast from new... I'm trying the breakin on new packs these days with high hopes.

BTW, the 2.5 inch heat shrink seems to be about perfect for 3s lipos in the 900-2100tp size range.

Turbojoe
01-19-2006, 05:26 PM
The pack I added taps to has been flown several more times and still seems good as new. I know I said I'd never do it again but I have another 1320 pack that just isn't up to snuff anymore and I'll bet it's out of balance. I may get brave and try this again. Twice. I'm planning to do an electric conversion of a Goldberg Eaglet and I may use some of my older GenII 1320's to make a 3S3P pack. I'll be buying some more Pro-Lites soon and want to be able to put the older ones to good use in the conversion plane. All three packs will need taps then.


Joe