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Old 10-29-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
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battery cycle and discharging

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I recently bought a new RX battery pack and I would like to take good care of it because my last one failed during flight -could not hold a proper charge anymore-. so i have been looking for some ways to extend the life of my batteries. I heard that it is importsnt to COMPLETELY discharge Ni-Cd batteries before charging them again. If this is true, what should i use to accomplish this?
My friend uses a wire with a resistor and basically shorts the battery, it seems to work for him and in 5 years he has never had a problem. Should i do this as a cheap way to discharge my batteries???
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Old 10-29-2006, 02:45 PM   #2
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You should NOT discharge your Nicads completely or they can reverse polarity between postive and negative. You should discharge down to
1.1 VoltDC per each cell or 4.4 Volt per pack of four. The resistor gives the pack a simulated load and passes the current thru acting as a heat sink also. You can monitor the discharge with a digital voltmeter or
purchase an "automatic" discharger. Note that you can also overcharge
the pack also and damage it. This is normally at the point when you can feel it getting warm after it reaches 5.25 volts.
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:39 PM   #3
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thanks, i'll try to remember this. And yes i have ordered a little discharging unit
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:29 PM   #4
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Sorry, I don't mean to contradict but I believe the cut-off discharge voltage is 0.9 volts per cell. Reading the instructions of my Triton charger it says that cells indeed can be discharged to 0.9 v per cell. So for a 4 cell 4.8v battery pack, it can be safely discharged down to 3.60 volts.

Here is a clip taken directly from Red's Battery Clinic article "Basic Ni-cad Stuff" @

"Every nickel-cadmium cell or battery has a specific rated capacity, discharge voltage, and effective resistance. Individual cells are rated at 1.2 volts and voltage for batteries are multiples of the individual cell nominal voltage of 1.2 volts. Five cells connected in series would result in a 6 volt battery. As you can see, however, the discharge voltage will probably exceed 1.2 volts for some portion of the discharge period. Most manufacturers rate cell capacity by stating a conservative estimate of the amount of capacity that can be discharged from a relatively new, fully charged cell. The accepted rating practice is to state a cell rating in ampere-hours (or milliampere-hours) to a cutoff voltage of 0.9 volts at 5 hour discharge rate.
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:16 AM   #5
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I had the exact problem you had. I have a Triton JR charger and one of the many functions it has is battery cycling. It comes with a chart that tells you, depending on the number of cells and capacity, exactly what voltage to discharge to. Then it charges to full capacity. Made an incredible difference!
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