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Old 10-31-2011, 06:10 AM   #1
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Battery care and feeding

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I know it has been said before but I had to learn the hard way...
Having flown the heck out of my 1 year old 5000mah 6S Nano-tech's and Zippy batteries they are now beginning to lose power early in the flight. I just assumed they were just wearing out from hard use until I tried my SU34 with some 4S Nano-tech's that had very few flights on them. The batteries had little use but had low power very early in the flight. I had left them fully charged for most the summer then topped them up just prior to flying. This must be the problem (storing them fully charged for long periods). They seem to be improving after a few discharge/charge cycles but they are not near their original performance.
Just a heads up for those who plan to park your models for the winter.

It might be best to do your last charge on the "storage" setting on your last day of flying.
Zen thinking * It's rebuildable till it fits back in the box. **
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:31 AM   #2
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Re: Battery care and feeding

I have been reading what there is over on RC Groups about battery care. I did not know that most people and manufacturers recommend a few low intensity flights initially to " break in" new packs. There is apparantly a "storage chemical" in the new packs that must be " used up ", "converted" or whatever and then the packs will deliver juice properly. The real no-no is what you mentioned, prolonged storage at full charge is a killer. Most guys say that after use when the battery has been taken down to about 80 % or to about 3.7-3.8 per cell it is OK. You should charge just before use and not leave packs fully charged longer than a few hours. I have put all my packs on the charger now and drawn them down via the storage mode selection since I am pretty much done with flying. ( fair weather flyer that I am). This probably explains why my Nano-Tech's puff up at every use. I pounded them right from the start. I will purchase new packs for my "next year's" model and try to handle them as recommended. I think I'll buy some of the HK brand and then get a pair of the more expensive ones just to do a real world comparison. The low cost at HK makes this affordable and I still have trouble believing the much more costly XPS or Thunder Power can be that much better. A lot of guys are now saying the Nano-Tech's are no better than the standard 40c rated Turnigy's.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: Battery care and feeding

I've read about not fully charging lipos to their max and storing them for any length of time. So I partially charge them after flying and top them off on the day I fly again.

However, I am using HK 3S 2200 packs costing $8.49 each. So far it has cost me less than 30 cents per flight. Taking the extra time to double charge them seems senseless considering the time involved. But I definitely won't store them for weeks fully charged.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Re: Battery care and feeding

You should always put your LiPo batteries into "storage" mode if you dont plan on using them for a pronged periods. Most good chargers today have a "Storage mode" charge setting. Just set it and let it do its thing, That should bring the cell voltage down to 3.8V/Cell, perfect for prolonged storage (especially over the winter!)
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:11 PM   #5
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Re: Battery care and feeding

I thought the storage mode is for charging up to storage capacity. Had no idea it will discharge to storage capacity! Two years flying electrics and I am learning new stuff all the time! I suppose it would help if the chargers came with usefull instructions.
Thanks Max
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:14 PM   #6
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Re: Battery care and feeding

This is more of a problem for High C rated batteries. The lower ones like 20-25c arnt effected as much. Still it is a good Idea not to leave them charged all week if you only fly on weekends. The easiest way to do it, is to fly with a timer as you should, and after the flight, your cells should be around the 3.7-8 mark. Then just leave them till the next flight session.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: Battery care and feeding

Not all chargers will discharge on a storage charge, Read the manual to make sure.
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