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Old 01-18-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
Tim Marks
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Default Sneak Peek at the NEW Cellpro PowerLab 8 (v2)

UNLEASH THE POWER!

POWER you have been waiting for, SAFETY you have come to expect in a Cellpro!

INTRODUCTION:

Well we have been at it now for around 15 months all told. We’re getting anxious to let the world know what we’ve been focused on for all this time. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag and give you a sneak peek at what’s heading your way.

Welcome to the new thread dedicated entirely to an open discussion about the new FMA/REVOLECTRIX Cellpro PowerLab 8 Battery Workstation. Not only is this thread about an exciting new product, it represents a new concept for FMA Direct. Of course we have always been diligent about beta testing our new products carefully to ensure they work as advertised when they hit the streets, but this is the first time we have been inclined to open up our beta test program to our valued customer base in advance of the anticipated product release date. What’s even more unusual is that we are choosing to tell you all about this awesome new unit not through advertisements, but through the words of our dedicated and capable PowerLab 8 beta team members. Collectively, this group represents more than 100 years of modeling experience and work with electronic instruments and testing. This unique thread is being started by FMA Direct, but it will be monitored by the beta team. You are invited to ask technical questions or inquire about available features to your heart’s content. Answers will be supplied by team members who now have logged cumulatively, thousands of happy hours with the prototypes each has received. From time-to-time, we may step in to offer assistance in this regard; however, for the most part, this is their thread. ENJOY!

Meet the Beta Team:
Glen Crandall
Jack Doherty
Charles Langley
Heyward Macdonald
Steve Meliza

But before you start asking questions, take a quick look at the specifications and the feature set of this ground-breaking new battery management system:

PowerLab 8 Specifications:

For Battery types: Lithium Polymer (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 2s unbalanced), Lithium Ion (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 2s unbalanced), Lithium Manganese (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 2s unbalanced), A123 (LiFePO4) (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 9s unbalanced), NiCd (1s to 21s), NiMH (1s to 21s), 6v, 12v, 24v Lead Acid batteries (Flooded, Gel, AGM, SLA)

Pack capacity: 20 mAh to 360Ah

Input voltage: 10-32VDC, reverse polarity protected

Input current: 1A to 50A, software limited

Power conversion: Synchronous DC/DC converter, supports multiple switcher frequencies of 31.25 kHz, 62.5 kHz, 125 kHz; user selectable by preset, 85% to 93% efficiency depending on output current

Output battery charge current: Adjustable range 10mA to 40A, limited by 60A input current*

Output battery discharge current: Internal discharge 10mA to 10A, 100W max
Regenerative discharge 10mA to 40A, 1344W max**

Continuous max output power: 612W @ +12VDC input, 1344W @ +26.35VDC

Cell balancing: Resolution 78uV (16 bit) for 1s-8s Li or A123 (LiFePO4) balanced charging

Voltage calibration: Cell voltage measurements are factory calibrated to a standard traceable to NIST; calibration is to +/- 6 mV

Current calibration: Charge current is factory calibrated on a 4A standard; calibration is to +/- 1mA

Measurement accuracy:
Voltage resolution: 78uV (16 bit)
Voltage tolerance: +/- 6mV
Charge current: +/- 1%
Capacity added to pack: +/- 1%
Percent capacity (“Fuel”): +/- 5% (with accurate fuel table defined for battery being charged)

Serial data output: 19.2kbps, 8 bits, 1 start bit, 1 stop bit, no parity

Data integrity: Checksum, CRC checking

Cooling fans: Twin, 13 CFM, 50mm diameter

Heat sink: Internal 200W aluminum, thin finned

Output battery connector: “Cellpro” compatible, JST PA series, 9 position

LCD: 2 line, 16 character, light grey/blue backlit

Footnotes:
* Please note, for safety reasons, available charger current may be limited for certain battery types and/or charging modes, e.g., non-balanced charge of Li
** Please check bullet number 8 in the section titled “Major Features” below for a detailed description of Regenerative Discharge

PowerLab 8 (v2) Feature Set:

Major Features:
• Selectable charge rates range 10mA to 40A
• Continuous maximum output power rating, 1344W @ +26.35VDC input voltage, 612W @ +12VDC input voltage
• Using +24VDC to +32VDC input, 1344W output will deliver full current rating (40A) over the full range of output voltage up to 33.6V
• Smart power management allows customer to select between programmable input power sources. Using the Charge Control Software (CCS), choose from several templates to get you in the ballpark, then fine tune the settings. Available settings include power supply input current limit, input low voltage limit, regenerative discharge rate and voltage limit. PowerLab 8 stores 1 set-up for Power Supply and 1 set-up for Battery and asks for verification one time on start-up
• PowerLab 8 (v2) supports charging through node wires only (automatic current limiting to 3A maximum) or node wires in combination with discharge wires (charge rate support up to 40A max)
• Initiate charge, discharge, monitor, and multiple cycles at the PL8 or via remote control from the CCS. Graph all major operations when using CCS.
• Open Architecture presets allow for customization of any User Preset including show/hide presets on unit, preset name editing, up to 100 parameters control how presets are displayed and charging/discharge/cycling parameters associated with particular batteries and/or charging strategies. Unit includes 25 user preset banks pre-loaded for most major battery type/chemistries, plus 50 library presets.
• Environmentally friendly, industry first, regenerative discharge capability of up to 1344W. Unlike traditional methods of discharge, which deplete the output battery’s energy in the form of heat across a transistor, regenerative discharge takes most of that energy and puts it back into the input battery. In other words, when you discharge your LiPo for storage, you will be re-charging your Lead Acid input battery. The total amount of power that you can achieve is limited only by the amount of current that your input battery can accept, or 1344W, whichever is lower.
• PowerLab 8 (v2) is also equipped with a traditional, 100W internal discharge capability which is non-regenerative.
• Twin cooling fans
• Massive over-sized internal heat sink
• 10AWG silicon input power cable and heavy-duty, removable plier clips
• Massive sendust core toroid capable of 60A continuous input current requirement for maximum output specifications

Other Features:
• Supports native Cellpro batteries automatically
• Adapters available for all popular R/C battery brands
• 2 line, 16 character backlit LCD
• Available opto-isolated PC interface and free Charge Control Software (CCS)
• Intuitive 4 button user interface
• Sleek and attractive high-impact ABS enclosure for maximum airflow efficiency
• Sturdy Aluminum top panel with reliable, recessed tactile buttons
• Quick “preset over-ride access” to common charging parameters like setting charge and discharge current and operational modes of charge/discharge/monitor/cycle(s)
• Additional advanced options menu for adjusting in-depth charging parameters and global options at the unit
• GUI PC software (CCS) allows access to 25 User Presets and 50 Library Presets stored in the unit or available in unlimited number on the P.C.
• Free and reliable firmware updates for the life of the product using the CCS
• Automatic Low voltage restore for recovering damaged or over-discharged packs
• Programmable options allow speaker ON/OFF or volume, LCD contrast, customized welcome screen, and much more
• Cold weather mode reduces end-charge voltage; parameters adjustable by customer including ON/OFF, end-charge voltage offset reduction, and temperature
• Multiple product cases can be interlocked
• Expansion Channel mode whereby one PowerLab 8 (v2) primary (master) can control one or more expansion channels, send over preset information, control all aspects of charging and balancing. This feature is perfect for charging multiple packs of same chemistry and capacity using multiple devices such as split packs connected in series during operation all at unbelievable rates.
• Auto charge mode available utilizing advanced fuel gauging technology
• Customizable fuel table lookup values based on presets. Fuel tables can be created using a Fuel Table Wizard in the CCS and applied to individual battery brands by presets for improved accuracy
• Industry’s first Safe Parallel adapters available to maximize available power potential. Safely connect two (2s-8s Cellpro brand) packs or (2s-6s Other brand) packs of equal cell count/capacity together in parallel; charge, discharge, cycle, or monitor on a single PowerLab 8 (v2). These items are peripheral products, available separately, or included as a part of PL8 combos.

Please note: all specifications and features listed above subject to change prior to delivery.

Price range for the Cellpro PowerLab 8 will start between $250 and $300. Current retail price for the basic unit currently $229.95. Delivery of first production run (v1) occured in Summer, 2010. That's all we can say for now. We will of course update you as time goes by. If you are in joining the FMA Direct email list for announcements about products and specials, you can join at the following link:

http://www.fmadirect.com/email.htm

To get a better idea of the power levels attainable using the Cellpro PowerLab 8, check the following link from the FMA Direct website which will direct you to a zip file. This zip file contains an interactive spreadsheet designed to answer several key questions relating to power supply requirements, available charge rates and/or power levels: http://www.revolectrix.com/support_docs/item_1301.zip

The manual for this product can be downloaded from the FMA Direct website in PDF format at the following link: http://revolectrix.fmadirect.com/sup.../item_1369.pdf

The PL8 (v2) Charge Control Software (CCS) is available for download and install at the following link: http://www.revolectrix.com/pl8_software_v2.html This Windows program does not require that you have the PL8 in order to install and run the software. Check the on-line help with direct access to pertinent information by clicking the "?" buttons throughout the various tabs.


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Old 01-18-2010, 11:16 PM   #2
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OH MY!!!!

Where is that drooling Icon?

2012 SEFF Night Bowling Champion!
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:47 PM   #3
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You folks at FMA have been busy fer sure!

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:14 AM   #4
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Default PS-8 Beta Test Team

Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
OH MY!!!!

Where is that drooling Icon?
I know!

As a Beta Tester, I have about 300 hours of working with it, and I am still amazed.

If you have questions about the capabilities or operation of this instrument, the Beta Team can respond. Just post away.

heyward
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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Hello fellow flyers,

FYI the people at FMA developed a "PowerLab Current Calculator" Excel spread sheet. This spread sheet can be down loaded from the following site.

http://www.fmadirect.com/support_docs/item_1301.zip

It is very helpful, convenient and easy to use. It addresses six major power supply/PowerLab questions you may have.

Jack
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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Single pack charging only?
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by idealhobbies View Post
Single pack charging only?
Well, it is a single charger, yes. You can charge packs in serial or parallel and FMA is working to make an additional device to permit very safe parallel charging of two packs.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:00 PM   #8
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Using parallel and series adapters and harness which I made I have charged 4 each 4S 3300LmAh LiPolys configured as a 8S2P 6600 at 30Amps. or 4.5C. That is a nonimal 960 watts output from the charger.

This was done to prove to my satisfaction that this charger would indeed meet the specification claimed. IMO configuring and using such an array is best left to those with enough knowledge and experience that they do not have to ask how do you do that.

Please do not expect me to give wiring details for these. Once again FMA is developing a safe interface for up to 6S parallel charging.

Charlles


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Old 01-19-2010, 06:48 PM   #9
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I would assume any two pack charging would require the same chemistry? Also, can the NiCad/NiMh charging methods be described? I still use Nickle based batteries for quite a few power applications for surface vehicles, etc. I love that FMA is providing a charging solution that crosses all the different consumer chemistry!!!! I can finally dump my POS TritonII that just sits around in case I need to deal with Pb batteries.

This is sure going to be nice next to my CellPro10 ......

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MaxAdventure View Post
I would assume any two pack charging would require the same chemistry? Also, can the NiCad/NiMh charging methods be described? I still use Nickle based batteries for quite a few power applications for surface vehicles, etc. I love that FMA is providing a charging solution that crosses all the different consumer chemistry!!!! I can finally dump my POS TritonII that just sits around in case I need to deal with Pb batteries.

This is sure going to be nice next to my CellPro10 ......

Or even better two PowerLabs joined Master/Slave.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #11
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Yes parallel charging required same chemistry,same cell count same as any single channel(out put ) charger.

As per specs. from above

For Battery types: Lithium Polymer (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 2s unbalanced), Lithium Ion (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 2s unbalanced), Lithium Manganese (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 2s unbalanced), A123 (LiFePO4) (1s to 8s balanced, 1s to 9s unbalanced), NiCd (1s to 21s), NiMH (1s to 21s), 6v, 12v, 24v Lead Acid batteries (Flooded, Gel, AGM, SLA)
Up to 21 cells Ni. peak detection , sensitivity user programmable 1-25 mV, Default Presets include Fast charge with trickle for both Ni cad and Ni cad 24 Hr. trickle. At present Max. charge rate for Ni is limited to 6 amps. which many feel is high enough.

This charger is so versatile that it is difficult to find a logical situation which can not be programed into it.

I should add that I have not tried the full range of mV settings . I have charged numerous NiMH cells and packs from 600 to 3300 mAh and it has done extremely well with the supplied Presets.

I have also charged a selection of Pb 6-24 volts and once again it has done an excellent job.. It has a Preset for Flooded cells and also one for Sealed AM /Gel and I have used all three types.

The selection of LiFePO4 I have charged range from 1100 to 2300 mAh 1-8 cells up to 4ea. 4S 2300 in a 8S 2P configuration. The selection of LiPoly charged has been from 120 mAh single cells up to the 4 ea. 4S 3300 2p (8S6600) mentioned above .

I have averaged over 10 hours per day for the past 7 weeks with it now and I am duly impressed.

Charles
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:11 PM   #12
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Default Power Supplies

Being exited about the product, I started hunting things to feed it:

http://www.capovani.com/iinfo.cfm?itemno=79446 @ $675US
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-CONDOR-GPMP-...item439c3eb82f close @ 37A

http://wattsupply.com/s.nl/it.A/id.569/.f closer @ 41A and $260US

http://wattsupply.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2236/.f and it's big enough @ 62A/24V and $377US

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:31 PM   #13
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Charles and Jack have done some impressive things with very inexpensive server power supplies. It's a very DIY type of project and not for everyone, but you can't beat the price.

Also look into Mean Well power supplies, I have a 600W 15V unit that is enough for most tasks. Mine came used from eBay at a reasonable price ($60-70 for two of them I think). They also make 24V supplies of higher wattage which is what you'd need to run the PL8 at full power from 120VAC. But at that point you best be making sure you're not going to start blowing fuses or tripping breakers.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MaxAdventure View Post
Being exited about the product, I started hunting things to feed it:

http://www.capovani.com/iinfo.cfm?itemno=79446 @ $675US
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-CONDOR-GPMP-...item439c3eb82f close @ 37A

http://wattsupply.com/s.nl/it.A/id.569/.f closer @ 41A and $260US

http://wattsupply.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2236/.f and it's big enough @ 62A/24V and $377US
Don't over look the input requirement on the ID.2236, it is of 180V - 264V. Most flight fields only have 110v available.

Jack
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SteveM732 View Post
Charles and Jack have done some impressive things with very inexpensive server power supplies. It's a very DIY type of project and not for everyone, but you can't beat the price.

Also look into Mean Well power supplies, I have a 600W 15V unit that is enough for most tasks. Mine came used from eBay at a reasonable price ($60-70 for two of them I think). They also make 24V supplies of higher wattage which is what you'd need to run the PL8 at full power from 120VAC. But at that point you best be making sure you're not going to start blowing fuses or tripping breakers.
- Two of my current charger power supplies are computer system take-outs that I've modified for use. Thanks for the heads-up on 'Mean Well'.

Originally Posted by Jack Doherty View Post
Don't over look the input requirement on the ID.2236, it is of 180V - 264V. Most flight fields only have 110v available.

Jack
My thinking is that if I were to purchase this tool, I'd expect to use it at it's full capacity at home and would need to feed it well. Product like the CellPro10 and Multi4 would be good to take to the field. Honestly I'm still surprised to hear anyone even as A/C at a flying field! I have yet to see a field here in Colorado with that (although my primary club did put in Solar D/C supply last year).

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MaxAdventure View Post
- Two of my current charger power supplies are computer system take-outs that I've modified for use. Thanks for the heads-up on 'Mean Well'.



My thinking is that if I were to purchase this tool, I'd expect to use it at it's full capacity at home and would need to feed it well. Product like the CellPro10 and Multi4 would be good to take to the field. Honestly I'm still surprised to hear anyone even as A/C at a flying field! I have yet to see a field here in Colorado with that (although my primary club did put in Solar D/C supply last year).


The local field I attend has electricity. I attended 10+ helicopter fun fly this past season and all but one had electricity. Most were in the Texas area and one in Louisiana and one Oklahoma. Some even provided RV/camper hook ups.

I just took it for granted that most RC fields had electricity these days.

Jack
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jack Doherty View Post
I just took it for granted that most RC fields had electricity these days.

Jack
I don't know about most fields, but my club's field doesn't have any electricity and probably never will since we don't own the land.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SteveM732 View Post
I don't know about most fields, but my club's field doesn't have any electricity and probably never will since we don't own the land.

Steve,

If there a any electrical lines close by, the electric companies can sometimes be very accommodating. Every flying site is different however and has it's own set of unique problems.

Jack
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jack Doherty View Post
<snip>
I just took it for granted that most RC fields had electricity these days.
Jack
The field where I fly here in the Atlanta area not only has 110v but also two 12vdc 30 amp power supplies. On top of that the county pays the power bill.

Glen
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:31 AM   #20
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CCRC has a great site facilities wise. Relief rooms with hot and cold running water,flushing thrones, nice concessions area, covered pit area/ benches with AC outlets ,spectator bleachers, nice graveled parking area, separate flight areas for fixed wing and helis, asphalt and sod runways. just wish they had more usable air space. Years ago when I was a member for close to 20 years we (they) had lots of flying space and a runway and that was about it.

I fly mostly from what was a hay field and still is all around it but it is close.

I have a 24V 55A power supply for home use and two 125Ah deep cycle for field use. They are setup to be used paralleled or on series as needed.

While the PL8 will only do up to 500 watts on 12V that is still not to shabby..

Sorry for being OT but us old timers digress at times.


Charles
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:45 AM   #21
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I don't think it is too big a digression to explore power sources available at the field. I had assumed very few had access to 120VAC at the field but it sounds like the norm in some parts of the country.

For some of us a lead-acid battery is the only option at the field. Others either have 120VAC, solar DC, or run generators. Each one needing a different means to power the PL8, which is a problem to be addressed before balance tap adapters, parallel charging and other such details.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:03 AM   #22
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This is not on the most recent topics WOW the biggest hottest charger anyone has for now, and Cheap.....

"I'ld rather be flying"

"B&D 1100 Cells and A123 2300 cells are my
best friends."

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:20 PM   #23
AEAJR
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Been thinking about building a tow plane for aerotowing gliders. This would be the perfect charger for those big battery packs.

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Old 01-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #24
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For most flying fields?
Suitcase generators?
Honda or honeywell 1000-2000 watts.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post
CCRC has a great site facilities wise. Relief rooms with hot and cold running water,flushing thrones, nice concessions area, covered pit area/ benches with AC outlets ,spectator bleachers, nice graveled parking area, separate flight areas for fixed wing and helis, asphalt and sod runways. just wish they had more usable air space. Years ago when I was a member for close to 20 years we (they) had lots of flying space and a runway and that was about it.

I fly mostly from what was a hay field and still is all around it but it is close.

I have a 24V 55A power supply for home use and two 125Ah deep cycle for field use. They are setup to be used paralleled or on series as needed.

While the PL8 will only do up to 500 watts on 12V that is still not to shabby..

Sorry for being OT but us old timers digress at times.


Charles
We have a hole in the ground with one of those little houses over it How do you pay for all those amenities? Private donation, part of a public park system, etc??
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