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My Lipo Setup - what's wrong?

Old 07-12-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default My Lipo Setup - what's wrong?

I recently purchased a plane from a friend. He said he wasn't sure if the battery was good or not, so I'm on a mission to determine if it is usable, or if I need to buy a new one. Here's the details:

Thunder Power 910 mah LiPo

Thunder Power TP-205V Auto-Balancer

Hobbico MK11 Charger

When I plug the battery into the balancer I get the 3 blinking red LED's indicating it has correctly sensed a 3S battery. The status light is off during this.

After the initial indication, I get the 2CL and 3CL red LED's flashing for about 10 seconds or so, then nothing.

The manual for the TP-205V says this:
B: Imbalance 0.03 to 0.2V: yellow status LED”off”, red LED(s) flash for 5 seconds
Charge at 0.3A to balance the pack or proceed carefully with 0.5C charge.
If yellow status LED ”flashes”, pack average voltage is below 3.6V
Proceed with normal charging

So I charged it on my MK11 at .3 amps until it beeped. This only took 10-15 minutes. I removed the battery and placed it back on the balancer. This time, it correctly identified the battery and appeared to be balancing. It would blink the 1CL light slowly and then the 2CL and 3CL simultaneously also. I t would alternate between the 2 combinations for about 5 minutes or so, then everything would stop, indicating that maybe it was done?

I put it back on the balancer and it did the original thing it did where it would blink the 2CL and 3CL red LED's for about 5-10 seconds and then stop.

So at this point, I repeated the whole process I just mentioned and I am back to square one again. That's what led me here!

Does anyone have any insight as to what's going on here? Is my LiPo dead? Undercharged? Overcharged? Unbalanced? Paperweight?

I hope I was thorough enough to explain what's going on. Please let me know if I missed something vital to finding a solution to this problem.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-13-2008, 04:58 AM
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Are you running the battery pack down between charges? It's a bad idea to charge a freshly charged battery.

If you have been running the pack down then it's possible you have a bad cell. I'm not 100% familiar with that balancer. If you have access to a VOM I'd take individual cell readings both before and after a balance cycle and report back here.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:31 AM
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Thanks for the reply! I did not run the battery down before I attempted to charge again. I only did this 1 time so hopefully I didn't mess it up.

I just ran the battery down with the plane on about 1/4 throttle for a while. I will try again tomorrow to charge it up and see how it goes. I don't have access to a VOM here, but I can probably get to one tomorrow at the flying field.

When I was running the battery down earlier, I ran it up to full throttle a few times but I didn't feel like I was getting the kind of power out of the plane that I thought I should. I guess this is related to the possible/probable battery issue.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:40 AM
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Lipos should not be discharged below 3.0v. Depending on the plane's power setup and the low voltage cut-off of the ESC it is possible you (and maybe your buddy) have done this?

In general it is not a good idea to run a battery down on a static plane. Lack of airflow increases the possibly of heat damage.

A decent lipo properly charged does NOT need to be 'topped off' like NiXX. They hold their charge well.
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