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Old 10-20-2013, 01:14 AM   #1
sailndive
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Default Battery charging

I'm a long time glow flyer but new to electric. I'm in the process of getting four planes ready to fly and I'm concerned about the time needed to recharge batteries. It seems to me that I will need at least 2 battery packs per plane and more than one charger. I now have a Triton EQ and it takes 70 minutes to chare my smallest 1300 watt bat pack. But I think that the 4000 watt pack took about the same time. Is there a good multiply pack charger? I have lots of questions and need to find a local tutor.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sailndive View Post
I'm a long time glow flyer but new to electric. I'm in the process of getting four planes ready to fly and I'm concerned about the time needed to recharge batteries. It seems to me that I will need at least 2 battery packs per plane and more than one charger. I now have a Triton EQ and it takes 70 minutes to chare my smallest 1300 watt bat pack. But I think that the 4000 watt pack took about the same time. Is there a good multiply pack charger? I have lots of questions and need to find a local tutor.
There are a lot of very good quality chargers out there. I've been using the $$$$ Cellpro Powerlab 8 chargers to charge my 12S2P A123 battery packs at 30 Amps. Charging time is about 15 minutes. But don't try that with LiPo batteries, that is hard on them, and you don't want to let out the magic smoke. Those A123 cells only come in one size, 2300 Milliampere Hours. And, if you want a pack, you pretty much have to build your own, otherwise they get real expensive real fast. You can buy individual cells at $11.99 each from www.voltmanbatteries.com. These cells are about 35% larger in size, about 35% heavier in weight, and 2.8 Volts versus 3.5 Volts for a Lipo. But, they last a LONG LONG time, and can be safely recharged in 10-15 minutes with a high powered charger. They also have zero fire hazard. I permanently mount my A123 battery packs in the airplane.

The Cellpro chargers are pretty much designed for one battery at a time, or multiple batteries of the same exact type with special adapters. Two club members have the Cellpro 10xP chargers, that will charge two batteries at the same time. Cellpro also has their Multi 4 charger at a pretty reasonable price. This is only a 50 watt charger, so charging a 4S LiPo at 4.2 Volts per cell would be max amps equals watts/volts, or 50 watts/(4 times 4.2). That works out to a max charge rate of about 3 Amps on a 4 cell LiPo.
http://www.store.revolectrix.com/Pro...Cellpro-Multi4

Several other club members have the Hitec charger, a very nice unit, but much lower power capacity than the Cellpro units. The Hitec charger has a maximum of 80 watts on four separate batteries, for a total of 320 watts. My Cellpro chargers are rated for about 1400 Watts!

Just a note here, if you're going to stay with electric power, try to buy the best charger you can afford.

Here is info on the Hitec chargers:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&P=9&I=LXCAKG

For maximum life out of your $$$$ LiPo batteries, generally it's best to charge them at the one hour rate. So, if you have a 4 Amp Hour (4000 Mah) battery, it's safe to charge it at a 4 Amp charge rate. The A123 cells can be charged at pretty much any rate your charger can put out.

There is a lot of very good information on electric flight here in www.wattflyer.com. The posting by AEAJR is excellent, and really covers the range of electric power.

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

Hangar 9 Kantana Model
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68844

Hanger 9 Twist 40 Model
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70548

AEAJR's Site on Electric Power
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18521

BEC Linear Current Rating
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63779

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Old 10-20-2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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This is a good place to start if you are new to LiPo batteries:

http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-how-tos

http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-...po-terminology
http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-...-chargers-work
http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-...arging-process
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:48 AM   #4
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I'm with Denny .... I prefer to charge any pack at the 1C rate regardless of what manufacturer reckons it can take ... my reasoning being that I would want maximum life out of my packs and pushing limits on charging is unnecessary.

OK ... 70mins to charge up ... I don't know the Triton EQ charger ... but I guess it's this one :

Specifications
AC input voltage: 110V 60Hz 240V 50Hz DC input: 11-15.0V, banana plugs with mating gator clips Number of outputs: one Battery types, # cells: 1-24 NiCd, NiMH (1.2-28.0V); 1-6 LiPo, LiIon, LiFe (3.3, 3.6 or 3.7V cells); 6, 12, 24V Pb (2V per cell) Fast charge current: 0.1-8.0A linear NiCd, NiMH, auto mode 0.1-8.0A for lithiums (120W max DC, 100W max AC) and Pb Fast charge termination: peak detection for NiCd, NiMH Cc/cv for Pb and lithiums Optional thermal cutoff for all battery types Fast charge safety timer: 0-990 minutes Discharge current: 0.1-3.0A Discharge cutoff voltage: 0.5-1.2V per cell NiCd/NiMH; 2.8V per cell LiPo/LiIon; 2.5V per cell LiFe; 1.8V per cell Pb Battery memories: 10 Programming controls: Dial, 2 push-buttons Display type: 2x16 reverse LCD w/backlight and adjustable angle Audible indicators: 10 melodies, on/off Case material: extruded aluminum Thermal cutoff: 50-150F (10-65C) Safety devices: solid-state overload Cooling fan: built-in Case size: 7.2 x 7.0 x 2.44 in (184 x 178 x 62 mm) Weight: 54.5 oz (1546 g)

NiCd/NiMH specs
Trickle current: 0-300mA Peak sensitivity: 5-20mV NiCd/3-15mV NiMH Peak delay at start: 0-60 minutes Cycle count: 1-10 cycles Cycle delay: 1-60 minutes NiMH maximum charge cap: 0-9900mAh NiMH top off charge: 0-1000mA

Lithium specs
Balancing accuracy: 5mV per cell Balancing connector: JST EH type-adapters available separately Maximum node current: 300mA

.....

If so then why are you taking 70mins for a 1300 pack ? It says you can charge at up to 8A or max 120W on DC or 100W on AC ...

BUT one point that may be influencing your charge time is balancing ...

Pure charge only is quickest but can lead to unbalanced cells ... Balnced Charge though gives best charge but can extend charge time as it needs to cycle charge and discharge to get cells equal.

The charger you have is a reasonable middle road charger and for the size of packs you say you have ... I assume they are 3S (11.1V) ? ... the charger is ideal.

I actually have two B6 chargers which are only 50W each ... but I have no trouble charging up to 5S 3000mAh packs ... my 3S 1300 packs are charged in ~30mins usually from storage or last flight ...

You have 2x my wattage ...

Nigel

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Old 10-20-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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one thing that will influence your plane selection will be battery size. I have had between 10-20 batteries in the 1800-2200 mah size because of how common planes of this size are. I also run either a 4cell 3000mah or a 3 cell 4000mah on the same plane depending on what type of performance or flight times I want out of the same model. the battery size is really just a recommendation, not a requirement.

on my slow stick, I can easily fly for an hour on a single 2209mah battery. most guys run a 1300mah 3 cell. I run a 2200 mah battery. if I bring 5 batteries and one charger, I can fly dusk to dawn all 5 batteries were under $50 shipped.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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i use the powerlab 6 on fast charge. 6 batteries at the same time all being the same cell count. i use a lot of smaller batteries like 1000mah,1300,and 2200mah that I'll charge at the same time. but when flying the 4000mah batteries i won't plug them into the six pack as the charging time seems much longer. fortunately i use 2packs 4000mah 3cells in series to get 6cell packs for the pig.[Sig hog bipe].

like said before,spend a little extra now and complete your charging time quickly. heres a picture of more that you need but cellpro can charge multi batts very safely...thats the key word to read here...very safely!

the 2 cell profour's would due 2 batteries at once. the tool box set up plug into the wall outlet or Can use a buddies generator at the field should i ever need to charge there...i tend to charge enough batteries to fly my larger planes 3 or 4 timesmand have many small pack always at full charge during the week with hopes to fly at a local sport field after work. low cost batteries and always ready to fly. special note:none of my packs land puffed,i time my flights for the way l like to fly. 3mins for the superfly,5 min for the 36" ws extra on a 2200mah pack. 10 min on the larger planes with controlling the throttle wot or i cut the flying time down to 8 min. best way to cut your time spent charging and keep your packs in service longer.

hope this helps your decison to buy better now rather than later. stu


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narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tobydogs View Post
.................special note:none of my packs land puffed,......................
No wonder you've never equalled my 222 then !!

My PKJ and EDF's ALL come down puffed or hot !! No way round it the way I push them .............. and you can forget Nano's - they can't handle it either.

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Old 10-20-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Sailndive, you said you need to find a local tutor, but you didn't say where you are. There is a lot to this lipo stuff and would be easiest face to face.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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my 4000mah packs all come down warm only after 10 minute flight with plenty of wot vertical climb outs. they are zippy packs.

as far as hot goes...all my 1000mah 30c gforce packs come down very hot,but for 3+minutes flying they don't puff at all if i go to 5 min. again i don't just wot and am practicing inverted flying using the delta. i highly recommend gforce batteries as they take a lot of abuse especially when i forget to set the times and barely make it back to land do to lvc.
Quick view
GForce 30C 1000mAh 3S 11.1V LiPO (T Connector)

$10.10 $7.80


i have puffed turnigy batteries and dont use them anymore,but that was a long time ago and maybe they are better made.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #10
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Hi Stu .... big problem for me is to find where I can buy LiPo's ftom if HK is going to try charging $54 shipping for a $8 LiPo ....

Where I live - we don't have good suppliers - we have one supplier who re-labels crap and charges 4x the price !!

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Old 10-20-2013, 09:49 PM   #11
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i admit your at a great disadvantage where acquiring supplies are rare and very costly. this is why your such a good scratch builder.

after posting the lipos not puffing comment i remembered totally ruining a 4 cell zippy lipo in the funjet but i think it was a defective pack from the get go. it would cause the 100amp castle ice to cut power even when fully charged,but would rearm and continue to fly wot.

the other 4 cell pack didn't have that problem. it puffed up so badly on the one flight so bad i seem to remember poking a hole in it and when it started to smoke dropped it in a bucket of water to boil out.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Life's too short for 1c charging, especially if you have lots of packs and remembering that you should never leave a charging battery unattended. Sitting around for hours on end watching batteries charge isnt my idea of fun!

Any decant quality battery these days has a recommended charge rate of 3c and fast charge rates up to 5c and higher. I go with the manufacturers recommendation as i think they should know, and I don't have all day to babysit batteries. I've always charged this way and have several lipos on about 300 cycles which are still working ok and have zero puffing, so it's not doing them any harm at all.

A powerful charger and a parallel charge board is also a great asset as it meant you can charge six batteries simultaneously, or more if you have a dual output charger.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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I work at home and also build in my 'home office' ... the model den is now full to overflow !

So charging is going on while I work or build ... next to me. So time is no problem ... monitoring is no problem .... wife brings me supplies every so often so no problem.

I know what packs I will take with me ... so I charge those ...

If it's a big meet and all day job - I have chargers in the car anyway .. so I can take all or what I need etc.

I still have a sneaky suspicion that factory's may not be completely truthful about C rates ... We all believe that Discharge C rates are overstated - so why not Charge C rates ?

Most packs with supposed high C rates are nanos anyway - and I have had nothing but bad from nanos ... apart from last couple I bought - but it's still early days with them ...

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Old 10-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #14
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PLUS ONE+++ who agrees to getting charging done quickly. even at 2c and fast charge the 6 packs at one time takes 45mins...thats one tv show and fun time typing on forums. i am always am right next to the charging station while watching tv. with the powerlab i also don't worry about the charger as it has many sensors detecting battery conditions and will stop if needed.


jetplaneflyer,heres a youtube vid just for you.....off topic but no one else has to watch a para glider filming over a Scotland cliff and castle. note,at the 3min 30 second mark of the vid the paraglider is filming my sister's house located in the small group of homes on the cliff. very cool vid. this was also the area mel gibson filmed a scean in the movie brave heart. i'll bet we americans screwed all the true fact of the past in that film,but it was a great movie to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzi0MjyAfN0&sns=em

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:31 PM   #15
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Tobydogs,

thanks for the video, that's just 15 miles from my house, I've been to Dunnottar Castle a few times, it's spectacular.

I mean to take by tricopter there one day and do some filming.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I still have a sneaky suspicion that factory's may not be completely truthful about C rates ... We all believe that Discharge C rates are overstated - so why not Charge C rates ?
As i said, I've got many lipos with hundres of cycles that have never been charged at 1c, usuially i charge around 3c but if I'm an a hurry I'll quite often do a 5c charge.

These LiPos are doing fine, no puffing and still decent performance. In fact in the two years that I've had a high output charger and been charging at high c I've not lost a LiPo except for a couple that I stupidly left in a plane for days.

Now i think of it my batteries are actually lasting MUCH better since I started high rate charging. The improvement is no doubt because fast charging means the batteries can be charged immediately before flying so they don't spend long fully charged.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:24 AM   #17
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I've started doing this.
I dropped the cutoff voltage for fast charging slightly.
Fast charge at 2c when the charger stops I switch to balance charge for the last couple %.
Sometimes I don't even bother with that, if your batteries are in good shape and all cells discharge evenly I just fast charge, never end up with cells more that a couple hundredths out this way.
Some of my boat packs are over 3 years old and still running strong, I dump 4000mah in 3 minutes per run using 5000mah cells.
Just started flying this year, still getting used to these low amp draw setups. Been running high end racing boats for years.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:35 PM   #18
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get some high kv motors and let them rip then !

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #19
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LOL still have this little nagging issue of getting the planes back on terra firma without any repairs! My landings need work, a smoother non grass runway would help the nose overs....
Eventually I'd love to build a nice pattern plane. Electric of course.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tobydogs View Post
my 4000mah packs all come down warm only after 10 minute flight with plenty of wot vertical climb outs. they are zippy packs.

as far as hot goes...all my 1000mah 30c gforce packs come down very hot,but for 3+minutes flying they don't puff at all if i go to 5 min. again i don't just wot and am practicing inverted flying using the delta. i highly recommend gforce batteries as they take a lot of abuse especially when i forget to set the times and barely make it back to land do to lvc.
Quick view
GForce 30C 1000mAh 3S 11.1V LiPO (T Connector)

$10.10 $7.80


i have puffed turnigy batteries and dont use them anymore,but that was a long time ago and maybe they are better made.
No international deliverys mate !!

Same old story ...

Cheers
Stu.

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