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Batteries & Chargers Discuss Li-P, Li-Ion, NiMh, Nicad battery technology and the chargers that juice 'em up!

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Old 01-26-2012, 01:58 AM   #1
golfryan
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Default Do balance and volts really matter

Im new to RC and I am a guy that likes to know alot about stuff before I embark on it. I have been reading alot on lipos how to take care of them, how to charge them, how to balance them. It seems like alot of work I have to 3c battery one 1800 one 2200 I have a stock Hawk sky and the cheap charger that comes with it. Should I spend all the money on a good charger and volt testers, and go though all the work to find out how much my plane uses in a 20 min flight to calculate how many minutes I should fly or is it fine to keep flying till i notice the batterys are weak and just recharging them.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:25 AM   #2
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First of all welcome to wattflyer you have found one fo the best sources for info on this hobby. I have learned tons from these folks.

Now to your question In my Humble Opinion and I do mean humble because I to am a newbie to Rc . I have only been doing this for less than a year, I do believe that a quality charger is a good investment maybe one of the more important ones however and some may diasagree, if you are new to RC and have never flown before your best investment is time. What I mean by that is learn to fly your plane using the charger your plane came with. Try to meet up with some folks in your area to help you learn such as a club or maybe some folks that frequent you Local Hobby Store. You wil be fine once you learn how to fly it and catch the bug of this very addicting hobby. Trust me if I can fly a Super Cub and now some other planes you can. I think you will want to eventually invest in a good transmitter and a good battery charger once each become affordable to you. Just my 2 cents. Have a blast my friend and I promise this hobby really is a blast I now leave you with all the great experience here at wattflyer that will probably give you better advice than I.

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Old 01-26-2012, 03:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by golfryan View Post
Im new to RC and I am a guy that likes to know alot about stuff before I embark on it. I have been reading alot on lipos how to take care of them, how to charge them, how to balance them. It seems like alot of work I have to 3c battery one 1800 one 2200 I have a stock Hawk sky and the cheap charger that comes with it. Should I spend all the money on a good charger and volt testers, and go though all the work to find out how much my plane uses in a 20 min flight to calculate how many minutes I should fly or is it fine to keep flying till i notice the batterys are weak and just recharging them.
Yup
Welcome to www.wattflyer.com!

IMHO, balancing those LiPo cells is, or should be important. You may have read about these LiPo batteries igniting, and going off like a blow torch that can't be shut off. At least a few of those violent LiPo failures were the result of charging the LiPo battery in an unsafe manner. One example would be the use of a Nicad or Nickel Hydride charger for charging a LiPo battery. That can almost guarentee a fire.

Another issue is cost. If you've got a high dollar electric power system with perhaps a 6S1P 5000 Mah (Six Series, One Parallel 5.0 Ampere Hour) LiPo battery, that battery is going to be expensive. It makes good sense to do the best you can to properly charge and maintain that battery.

On the other hand, if you've got a "Cheap" LiPo battery that cost's maybe $15 or $20, if its damaged, you can replace it for the cost of a couple trips to McDonalds.

In either case, your batteries should last longer with a proper charger with a balancer setup. A lot of good chargers are out there, and most of them work very well. One good one is the Cellpro line, for your 3S1P pack, their Cellpro 4S unit.

If you should consider going to high power electric models down the road, consider buying the upper class of the Cellpro chargers, such as their Cellpro 10S series, or even the Cellpro Powerlab 8 ($$$$) series. The '8 charger will likely be the last charger you'll ever have to buy. (I picked up the Cellpro Powerlab 8 charger last summer. Very nice!)

The following threads cover a lot of this stuff, with one showing "How to kill a LiPo".

Thread on 70 size glow engine conversion to electric
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45222

Hacker 6S2P A123 powered Models
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44686

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Old 01-26-2012, 03:08 AM   #4
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Thanks it's really hard for me. Closest hobby store is 45 miles away and same with the closest club! it's a blast probably have 15-20 good flights getting pretty good! Just don't want to ruin my battery's and waste some money!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by golfryan View Post
Thanks it's really hard for me. Closest hobby store is 45 miles away and same with the closest club! it's a blast probably have 15-20 good flights getting pretty good! Just don't want to ruin my battery's and waste some money!!
Forty Five Miles? You must be in the boonies! And I complain at 12.5 miles from my club. The hobby shop is 20 miles, one way.

Have you checked the AMA for clubs in your area, maybe you'd be lucky and find another club closer.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/clubs.aspx

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Old 01-26-2012, 03:28 AM   #6
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Yeah I live in the middle of no where Michigan!! Any more advice on battery's
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Yup
Welcome to www.wattflyer.com!

IMHO, balancing those LiPo cells is, or should be important. You may have read about these LiPo batteries igniting, and going off like a blow torch that can't be shut off. At least a few of those violent LiPo failures were the result of charging the LiPo battery in an unsafe manner. One example would be the use of a Nicad or Nickel Hydride charger for charging a LiPo battery. That can almost guarentee a fire.

Another issue is cost. If you've got a high dollar electric power system with perhaps a 6S1P 5000 Mah (Six Series, One Parallel 5.0 Ampere Hour) LiPo battery, that battery is going to be expensive. It makes good sense to do the best you can to properly charge and maintain that battery.

On the other hand, if you've got a "Cheap" LiPo battery that cost's maybe $15 or $20, if its damaged, you can replace it for the cost of a couple trips to McDonalds.

In either case, your batteries should last longer with a proper charger with a balancer setup. A lot of good chargers are out there, and most of them work very well. One good one is the Cellpro line, for your 3S1P pack, their Cellpro 4S unit.

If you should consider going to high power electric models down the road, consider buying the upper class of the Cellpro chargers, such as their Cellpro 10S series, or even the Cellpro Powerlab 8 ($$$$) series. The '8 charger will likely be the last charger you'll ever have to buy. (I picked up the Cellpro Powerlab 8 charger last summer. Very nice!)

The following threads cover a lot of this stuff, with one showing "How to kill a LiPo".

Thread on 70 size glow engine conversion to electric
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45222

Hacker 6S2P A123 powered Models
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44686

I will propably stick with the cheap battery's for a while they are 15 bucks and it's all the fun I need flying everyday there isn't wind
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by golfryan View Post
Yeah I live in the middle of no where Michigan!! Any more advice on battery's

Yeah I traveled up to the Northern part of Michigan several years ago on business, to look at an electric power substation issue they had with our equipment.

Only way to get there was to drive from Milwaukee, absolutely no flights of any kind existed. We drove for near an hour and never saw a town up there.

Out of curiosity, what is your zipcode? The AMA showed several thousand clubs within 75 miles of somewhere in central Michigan.

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Old 01-26-2012, 04:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Yeah I traveled up to the Northern part of Michigan several years ago on business, to look at an electric power substation issue they had with our equipment.

Only way to get there was to drive from Milwaukee, absolutely no flights of any kind existed. We drove for near an hour and never saw a town up there.

Out of curiosity, what is your zipcode? The AMA showed several thousand clubs within 75 miles of somewhere in central Michigan.

There two really close like 12 miles neither are used a lot, the only time there are people at them is when they hold an event which us once a year!! Is it bad I'm excited for July 20 when they have there event!
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by golfryan View Post
Should I spend all the money on a good charger and volt testers, and go though all the work to find out how much my plane uses in a 20 min flight to calculate how many minutes I should fly or is it fine to keep flying till i notice the batterys are weak and just recharging them.
Naw, keep going until it screws up somehow. Then come back for more info. You'll have a better idea of what particular info you should have been paying attention to by then.
That's the usual method. We only recommend better chargers and watching to all those freaking tedious electronic details to make flying complicated and miserable.

fly
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: Do balance and volts really matter

Im new to RC and I am a guy that likes to know alot about stuff before I embark on it. I have been reading alot on lipos how to take care of them, how to charge them, how to balance them. ....... Should I spend all the money on a good charger and volt testers, and go though all the work to find out how much my plane uses in a 20 min flight to calculate how many minutes I should fly or is it fine to keep flying till i notice the batterys are weak and just recharging them.
Yes, yes, yes....and read more stickies in general electrics and beginners sections til you believe it as the gospel!....then repeat til you dream in LVC's, watts and amps or til you walk aimlessly thru walmart saying "hey I can use that on my plane!"....and so it begins where 45 miles to LHS seem to get shorter and shorter every time there is a need!.....


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Old 01-26-2012, 05:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by golfryan View Post
I will propably stick with the cheap battery's for a while they are 15 bucks and it's all the fun I need flying everyday there isn't wind
OK, I will suggest that you charge them in a fire proof container or way from anything that could catch fire. Also its a good idea to make sure your fire insurance is up to date.

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Old 01-26-2012, 05:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Red Scholefield View Post
OK, I will suggest that you charge them in a fire proof container or way from anything that could catch fire. Also its a good idea to make sure your fire insurance is up to date.
From what I've read, it appears that if you have your LiPo ignite it self in a fireproof container inside your home, it takes a (long) while for the stink from the smoke to go away.

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Old 01-29-2012, 04:50 AM   #14
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I store my lipos in a ammo can. I also found a fireproof charging bag on e-bay for about $7. After I charge my batteries, I store them in these. I have 14 lipos of different sizes I got at Hobby King ang some of them are over 2 years old with many charges on them.
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