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Would never have believed it.

Old 03-01-2011, 05:18 AM
  #1  
Glacier Girl
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Default Would never have believed it.

Well I needed a small 4S pack for one of my new birds.
Rather then wait on an order and since I have a slew of 3S packs I decided to build one.

Grabbed a pair of Turnigy 2.2 packs (2200 20-30C)

While I'm disassembling the cells I see on the label is says "Matched Cells"

Yeah right, just HK advertising BS.


SON OF A GUN! Each cell on both packs had a small sticky label stuck to them with the specs hand written on them. Not like the labels were machine applied as each in the same area was not the same as the next one was position wise. Must be at least two folks or two pens used, as some were done in black ink and the others in blue. And from what I could read it looks like the cells were matched pretty darn close, not perfect, but darn close. I've torn apart quite a few packs in my time and this was a first.

Cycled the new pack a couple of times with a balancer, and rechecked voltages on each cell. (Note these were used packs that I built this from) 1/10 of a volt difference between all the cells, both discharged and charged, when I checked em.


Would have never believed it from HK or whoever is building the packs for them. The things you learn.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:36 AM
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Well, that's sure nice to know. I have a few of the matched Turnigy's, and so far they're holding up pretty well. Perhaps this is why!
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:52 AM
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You know I had never heard of HK before last Spring when someone told me to quit spending so much on batteries and get them from HK. When I first saw the prices I was very skeptical about the batteries thinking there has to be some trade off here and I ordered 4 3S packs to begin with and now have about 10 3S packs and have not one problem with them yet and I would say all packs have at least a dozen cycles on them, and just ordered 12 1S nano-techs for my MCX2 at about 1/3 of the cost of my LHS.

Still have some of the more expensive Eflite batteries too, so not saying anything bad about them, but the fact that I can 3 to 4 batteries for the same price makes me think even if the Turnigy batteries do fail first you have to ask do they fail 3 times earlier? I don't know that yet but doubtful!
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:30 PM
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Oh heck I have some OLD HK 3S2100's, Red wrappers, anyone remember them.
They are working on now year 6 or 7, and yep they have lost some zip, but still work great in my low power birds. And yep they were puffy since day one.

Anymore I think with packs we got scammed in the early years. Only a couple of places had em, so they set the prices. And we bought em. Then along came HK and who said let's sell em for what they should be.

I've had really good luck with the HK packs.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:49 PM
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Manufacturing in China has been improving their manufacturing efficiencies - so the costs are dropping. I suspect the quality control and working safety is not on par with the rest of the world, cutting a lot of bureaucratic overhead costs. I'm sure China also loves all the US dollars pouring into their economy - hence they're growing by leaps and bounds on the global scale while the US is stumbling.

jumping off my soap-box (implying it's good policy to keep our dollars at home)....

I get all my LiPo from HobbyCity - LiFePo also from China. I don't think they're the best, but I think they're the best value for me. I wouldn't be able to afford most of my electric projects if it weren't for Zippy packs. Am I being two-faced? I don't think so. I won't condemn you for buying from HobbyCity et al. I do try to use US sources when I feel I can afford to, China when I can't. My only point is to keep things in perspective. I personally feel in the long run it won't matter that much - there is a global shift occurring.

As a side note, my original Zippy and pre-brand name batteries I picked up 4-5 years ago all crapped out pretty bad within a season. Some due to my not taking as good care of them, I think most of it due to much poorer quality for higher prices than now. My first zippy 2100 3S 15C/20C was about $36US. Now you can get a 30C one for, what? $12?

Some of the power options today are pretty phenomenal. Still loving my FG20!
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:46 PM
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Ditto, when I built my first big P-38 I paid $138.00 for 3S3700 20C packs, I needed eight of em.

My new one is getting four 6S packs for under what two of the other packs cost me.


Me I tend to treat my packs pretty well. Always balance charge em, don't run em to cut off, etc. They've held up pretty well.

Only exception was a pair of Align 3S2100s a bud gave me.
Those things were junk from day one. 20C rated and couldn't hold up to a 10C draw. I even used one as a tx pack. It ballooned up so bad I had to pry it out.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
Well, that's sure nice to know. I have a few of the matched Turnigy's, and so far they're holding up pretty well. Perhaps this is why!
My experience has been pretty equally lousy with all brands. Lipos in general just don't last as long as they say they do.

The many cheap Turnigys I have bought have mixed results, with the worst one being a no-voltage balloon right out of the box. One has lasted exceptionally long. Most are/were average. Overall, HK batts seem no worse or better than E-flight or Super Tigre or Thunder Tiger or any other brand - none last very long - so you might as well get a great deal.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:06 AM
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Yeah, some tend to lack longevity. It's a lottery really. Case in point is my recent experience with some HobbyKing LiPos...

The first ones I ever ordered were a pair of 3S, 1300mah 20C Zippy packs. They were great, one of them is still functioning as if it was new, even after some minor cosmetic damage from crashes it was subjected to with little protection. One had a balancing wire break off after a lot of use, which I suspect was from it crashing multiple times and having the wires tugged on by my LED system. So basically, a perfect experience with both batteries, as the only failure was due to physical abuse.

Many months later, I ordered 3 more of the same cells. This time, I noticed that the batteries were a slightly different shape... Thicker than my old reliable packs, with the other dimensions slightly smaller. One cycle later, they all puffed to a small degree. Subsequent flights had one pack puff enough that I retired it, and I'm keeping a real careful eye on the others. So the quality of that batch was awful.

However, all of my turnigy branded cells have held up well. I think one or two refuse to balance charge perfectly every time, but I suspect this is more to do with my charger insisting on getting them VERY close before it accepts that they're the same. My external balancer doesn't have an issue with them and they all perform fine, with no obvious weak cells.

From that alone I'd suggest that for the moment, stick to the Turnigy and Rhino brand cells (I've only owned one Rhino which I lost in a crash, but it was a great cell until then. No puffing, excellent performance as far as I can tell.), and to stay away from the Zippy ones unless the quality has improved.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:34 AM
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MaxAdventure, if there's little being made in the US these days there's NOTHING over here in UK.
The nearest thing I can get to supporting Britain is to buy my stuff from GiantCod, who in turn buy from China.
I have bought a few things from HK (in the spirit of our 'special relationship' of course!) but they always take so long to come that I have wondered if they really were 'in stock' or if they had to wait for them to come from China first.
At least GiantCod deliver inside a couple of days.

Seems to me that the best route to global peace these days lies in trading with developing nations so that they too start becoming better off and eventually becoming like us - too overpaid to compete in the global market. What we need is for the multi-nationals to move into places like North Vietnam and Iran... it'll happen though I probably won't see it.
But for now it's fine with me that my money is helping other nations to prosper.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by eye4wings View Post
MaxAdventure, if there's little being made in the US these days there's NOTHING over here in UK......
Admittedly my fav "American" brands that I do use, I am aware their manufacturing is in Asia (not specifically China AFAIK).

I know I've seen some great things out of England specifically - though all I can recall at the moment are some kits to drool on, local laser cut and/or moulded.


Originally Posted by eye4wings View Post
Seems to me that the best route to global peace these days lies in trading with developing nations so that they too start becoming better off and eventually becoming like us - too overpaid to compete in the global market. What we need is for the multi-nationals to move into places like North Vietnam and Iran... it'll happen though I probably won't see it.
But for now it's fine with me that my money is helping other nations to prosper.
I've wondered that myself, especially with all my old co-workers I've seen let go over the last few years so IBM could hire out of Inda and save a lot of green.

Not to be too world politics oriented, but back to the OP comment on matched: I was under the impression the manufacturing was not exact enough to plan for discharge rating and capacity until the cells were cycled and logged - then you put like cells together to form packs and labeled it at the minimum performing cell. Much like when microprocessors were first made and the clock speed was based on how well each CPU performed when tested - nothing pre-determined.

So matching cells is greatly dependent on how accurate the testing is, then how exacting they match. The closer the better. I remember reading about matching cells for car racing when all we had to use were NiCad. *sigh* I miss the good old NiCad packs. They would take a load of abuse and still give you some juice for your RX, even if they can't put out the amps. People talk about LiPo exploding? Pshaw! Try over charging a NiCad in that little steel case!!! LOL

I still remember the BOOM echoing through the valley and my dads pale face when his Pb tractor battery blew up whilst charging. (never allow a spark next to a charging unsealed Pb battery!) LiPo's are just road flares... easy to light road flares, maybe.
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