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dx6i Advice for when to recharge batteries?

Old 12-15-2011, 01:06 AM
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Nieuport Fly Guy
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Default dx6i Advice for when to recharge batteries?

One question I have always had is...on my dx6i...how do you know when it is time to recharge the batteries? Is there a low battery warning? Or...is there a certain amount of fly time and then it is time to recharge them? Appreciate the help. (the batteries are the rechargable spektrum batteries that came with the dx6i).
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:40 AM
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Fishbonez
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This is a good question. I always recharge after a big day of flying. Though it seems they do not run down very fast. I have often wondered it myself. I did run the batteries to what I believe was dead by mistake. I forgot to shut it off but I did not notice anything to let me know that it was getting low. I sure would hate to find out during a flight that could get ugly
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:38 AM
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From p.30 of the manual:
[Low Batery Alarm
When the battery voltage drop below 4.3 volts an alarm will sound and the screen will flash.]

NiMh are essentially dead at 1.0v/cell and voltage will fall off rapidly around that area.
I think I wouldn't push it much below 4.4-4.5v. If needed you should be OK right up to low battery alarm but I sure wouldn't fly after that.
The scale is based on alkaline batteries so you won't see it 'full' with rechargeables but it'll hang a long time around nominal 4.8v. Charge will drop fairly fast from top (almost 6v) to the mid-5.0v range and slowly drop from there.

When those batteries start to show age get some Eneloops - MUCH better NiMh. I'm not impressed with the Spektrum NiMh I got and I've seen a LOT of NiMh.

Do not get taken in my extremely high mA NiMh (2500mA or more for AA). Most of them are lousy.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:57 AM
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And just in case you haven't noticed the battery voltage is right there on the display whenever it's switched on .

Steve
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:32 AM
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kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by Nieuport Fly Guy View Post
One question I have always had is...on my dx6i...how do you know when it is time to recharge the batteries? Is there a low battery warning? Or...is there a certain amount of fly time and then it is time to recharge them? Appreciate the help. (the batteries are the rechargable spektrum batteries that came with the dx6i).
If you're running Nih batteries, along with the original 12 hour wall wart charger, It's safe to just charge them the night before going out flying.

If you're worried about that "Memory Effect" on your transmitter battery, I've tested more nicad battery packs than I can count at work before retiring. After running tests on various customer Nicad battery packs for many years, I only ran across a couple of batteries that had a memory issue. And those batteries were worn out.

To keep tract of your transmitter battery pack its good to do a discharge test on the battery pack at the beginning of the flying season, or perhaps once a year. And, secondly, at the beginning of the flying season, it's wise to fully charge the battery, leave it on the shelf for a week or three, and then run a discharge test. The Nih battery should not loose more than 10 - 15% or so capacity in that month.

I've cought several Nih and Nicad batteries that had individual cells that went flat after a few weeks, sitting on the shelf. If that happens, just replace the battery.

Take a look at the thread below, the first six pages of the referenced PDF file covers the Nicad/Nih batteries we use in our models.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45173
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:09 AM
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Not all nimh are the same - there are differing capacities just like lipos.

Most nimh will lost as stated, 10-15% a month or more, especially as they age. I've seen batts go essentially dead in as little as 2 weeks!

Eneloops by sony (and now others on the market) will hold 90% of their charge for a year or more - way better than the old nimh batts IMO. If they're of this type they'll state it on the batt and the package.

Good to know about the voltage! Was at a fly in and had a guy check over my new model and not sure the issue (too close with the tx to the plane? ) but he had a brown out type episode then blamed the 'low voltage' in the radio...5.5v. New batts went in and I don't think it went above 5.8v. I had a good 6 or 7 hours on those batts over a month + time frame if I recall.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
Not all nimh are the same - there are differing capacities just like lipos.

Most nimh will lost as stated, 10-15% a month or more, especially as they age. I've seen batts go essentially dead in as little as 2 weeks!

Eneloops by sony (and now others on the market) will hold 90% of their charge for a year or more - way better than the old nimh batts IMO. If they're of this type they'll state it on the batt and the package.

Good to know about the voltage! Was at a fly in and had a guy check over my new model and not sure the issue (too close with the tx to the plane? ) but he had a brown out type episode then blamed the 'low voltage' in the radio...5.5v. New batts went in and I don't think it went above 5.8v. I had a good 6 or 7 hours on those batts over a month + time frame if I recall.
As indicated, IMHO, any Nih battery that goes dead in two weeks is ready for the recycle bin. I would not use such a battery in a flashlight.

Those Eneloop batteries are pretty good. I bought eight of them for my digital camera a year and half ago. Those cells put out their rated milliampere hours, and will keep their charge for better part of a year.

Would not use the Eneloop batteries in a receiver battery pack in anything over a 500 watt model though. I've measured the peak current of a Hitec 645MG servo at over two amps each. Those "AA" sized Nih batteries simply can't provide the many amperes required by the larger models and their servos.

IMHO, it's best to go with one of those switching power supply uBEC's such as Castle Creations 10 Amp uBEC, or a two cell 2300 Mah A123 battery for the big models. Or even both the uBEC and a 2300 Mah A123 battery as a dual battery supply for a $$$$ giant scale model.
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