Which Voltmeter??? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:44 AM   #1
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Which Voltmeter???

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Any recommendations on which voltmeter to get - primarily for checking Nicad & Nimh receiver batteries, but if there is one that does Lipo's as well.... Something easy to use & read as I am electrically challenged...

I tried searching the forum and found much on electric flight but I am primarily a nitro guy.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Which Voltmeter???

You don't need a hobby specific voltmeter, just go to Canadian Tire or Home Depot and pick up a $20-$40 meter. Either a voltmeter or a multimeter will work.

They are also not battery specific, they just read voltage, the power source doesn't matter.
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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Re: Which Voltmeter???

I like the Hobbico Digital Voltmeter III - will measure 4,5 and 8 cell packs under simulated load (or optionally no load). Mainly for flight packs & Tx readings and you can get various leads for your particular radio.

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Old 11-26-2010, 02:43 PM   #4
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Re: Which Voltmeter???

I have been using this one for a few years now and seems to work pretty well. I like the idea of "load" testing my batteries. That is something that you can't do with an off the shelf voltmeter unless you built your own circuitry to do so.



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Old 11-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: Which Voltmeter???

I bought one at CTC for $10 on sale . For a load all you need to do is add a resistor across the terminals. You can adjust the resistor value to supply any load you want. I used two 4.7 ohm resistors in series to give me approximately 9 ohms. ( just happened to have them sitting around )
So the current on a 5 volt pack is about .55 amps. On a 6 volt pack it is around .65 amps .
NiCd and NiMh batteries can be tested this way, but I don't rely on battery voltage to tell the condition of a Lipo or Life battery. For these batteries it is better to check the amount needed to charge them after a couple of flights and from that determine how many flights you can have.
For example: If after 2 flights it takes 800 milliamps to charge the battery you are using 400 ma. per flight. So if you have a 2200 ma. battery you should be able to get 4 flights ( 1600 ma. ) and still have a comfortable safety margin.
Hobby King sell a nice voltmeter for testing lipos. It gives the total voltage as well as the voltage of each cell. http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=8927 Mine has worked great for more than a year now..

Here is another type of battery checker that works fine for Nicd and Nimh batteries
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Last edited by bobreib; 11-28-2010 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
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Re: Which Voltmeter???

I have the same Li-Po checker bobreib has and it works very well and is accurate to 10mV on each cell...
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Re: Which Voltmeter???

Thanks to all for the info & recommendations. I picked up a multimeter for $10.00 and it is working well. May not be foolproof like the H9 or Hobbico but it will do for now!
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