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Old 06-09-2006, 09:46 AM   #1
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Battery Evaluation

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Sorry for yet another post on batteries, I couldn't find what I was looking for in the topics.

I've got a 940ma receiver pack. My cycler (Hobbico Accu-Cycle Elite) discharged it at a rate of .30a. It lasted 145:43 minutes, and it sucked out 735ma from the pack. I realize that the pack, when new, was probably closer to the 940ma rating. Even though this pack does not come up to the 940ma rating, it is still approximately as good, or better, than my stock 600ma packs (in terms of runtime) - or am I wrong here?

So, my question is - is this pack safe to use? I would think so, but wanted to confirm with the experts.

Note - this pack will be used to run just a standard receiver with four standard servos.
Colin Jensen
Regina Windy Flyers
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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The Sanyo Engineering Handbooks available at for Ni-Cd batteries state:

"The service life of CADNICA batteries is generally considered to terminate when their available capacity has been lowered to less than 60% of the nominal capacity."

In the Twicell (Ni-MH) Engineering Handbook they state:

"The charge/discharge cycle life of a rechargeable battery is generally defined to be the point at which battery capacity declines to 60% of the rated capacity and further charging/discharging does not restore battery capacity."

Also note that capacity ratings are based on a 5 hour rate, C/5.

60% of 940mAh is 564mAh so your battery is still ok according to the info in Sanyo's Engineering Handbooks for Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:21 AM   #3
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For RC applications I'd lean more toward 75-80%... your safety is on the line. Lower capacity and higher self-discharge rates are signs of impending seperator failure in 1 or more cells... also the more cells you have in series the shorter the life of the pack. If a seperator fails the cell will short out internally and act like a peice of wire. Your 4.8V pack will now be a 3.6V pack and your gear will stop working... crash. You can get away with a little more if you use a 6.0V pack... you have built-in back-up should a cell short out.

I think Red Schoefield (the RC battery guru) also recommends about 80% as a throw-away point. Personally, I replace my packs every 2 years regardless of how well they seem to be doing... time will likely kill your packs before use will.
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