Ni- Cad Life span - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:39 PM   #1
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I am: Kevin L
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Ni- Cad Life span

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At what point do you decide that a battery is at the end of it's life? Is it based on results from cycling ie: not producing the same mah as when it was new or the age of the battery?
The reason I ask is I have two 600mah packs (RX and TX) that are producing between 85-90% of their rated capacity but they are 6 ys old. Should I be concerned about the age, the mah or both?
Thanks, Kevin.
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:41 PM   #2
Gary Maker
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I am: Gary M.
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This should help you. Taken directly from Red Scholefield's "Battery Clinic" site.

Battery life can be described in terms of years of service or number of charge/discharge cycles. Under controlled conditions, a Ni-Cd cell can last up to 10 years with minimum cycling. On the other hand, cells have been cycled up to ten thousand times, again under controlled conditions. Notice how we say, "under controlled conditions". Ni-Cd cells employing the same basic technology, are powering satellites for nearly two decades. The key elements that determine cell life are temperature, overcharging conditions, and, to a smaller extent, type and depth of discharge. These key factors are tied to the number of cycles and the age of the cells, so both time and cycling indirectly become elements in determining cell life. We generally define failure as the point where the cell fails to yield 80% of its rated capacity.

For more detailed information go directly the RC Battery Clinic: Scroll down to "Basic Ni-Cad Stuff" and go to the heading "Battery Life"

Even with new battery packs, its recommended that you use your ESV to check your battery's voltage under load after each flight to avoid a loss of power at any time! This is even more critical as your battery starts to decrese in capacity and ages as in your case. If at all in doubt, replace the pack. Compared to the cost of your whole plane, it is relatively cheep insurance to replace the pack, not to mention the safety concern if having a complete battery failure in the air!

Hope this is of help!
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Radios used: Spektrum DX6i
Current builds: 1/4 scale J3 Cub & Neiuport 17 and KMP B-25.
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