Bad starter or bad battery? - Page 2 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:52 PM   #11
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$15 gel cels?? where???
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:25 PM   #12
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also check battery connections, make sure they're clean and tight.
Just another thought.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CHEVPRO
$15 gel cels?? where???
Alarm suppliers, brand new, must have an account.
Alarm panels need a new one about once every five-seven years.

I pay about $15 for 12V 7Ah batteries.

Originally Posted by benjhind
Who drives a motorcycle in winter?
I have. Roads were clean and dry one February.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CHEVPRO
$15 gel cels?? where???
Sayal Electronics on Matheson Blvd. Right next door to Active Components.
Dave Holmes

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Old 03-10-2008, 03:13 PM   #15
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There is also a Sayal Electronics across the road from the Toyota plant, it is the next building beside the railway tracks in Cambridge (Kitchener).


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Old 03-11-2008, 12:14 AM   #16
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I would suspect the battery.
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Ever since I learned to fly better, I've had a lot less radio problems!
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:57 PM   #17
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Re: Bad starter or bad battery?

Originally Posted by benjhind
My starter doesn't want to turn my engines over any more. The starter is a Sullivan Hi-Tork which I bought used 2 years ago. The battery is a motomaster motorcycle battery which I bought new 2 years ago.

Which is it more likely to be? Is there a way of testing one or the other?

I'd say it is more likely to be the starter, but I'm not even sure that they wear out. It spins like mad, but doesn't have the oomph to push a .40 through compression.


Ben, did you get a chance to check the starter connected directly to your car battery?

I test the torque by gripping the spinning hub lightly with one hand while giving a pulse to the starter with the other. It should just about give you an "Indian rope burn". You should be able to actually stop the hub from spinning but that does tend to make the starter unhappy if you do it too much.

If the starter rotates briskly and with lots of torque, then it's your battery.

Put the mototcycle battery on charge and watch it carefully, even if it's a current-limiting charger. Figure out how long it should be on a slow charge by dividing the capacity of the battery into the rating for the charger on a slow charge. (eg 7 amp battery on a 2-amp charge will take three hours to fully charge). Do not quick-charge or use "boost" on the battery since we're talking bout a lad-acid bettery of some size (ounces of acid and it can generate lots of hydrogen gas -- Boom!)

If the starter doesn't turn over or has little torque on the motorcycle battery, it's time to look for a new one.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:08 PM   #18
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Thanks for the input guys.

When I was using the battery before, it turns out it wasn't topped up. I had charged it a couple of weeks prior, and not used it, assuming that it wouldn't have self-discharged very much.

I topped up the battery, and it will turn over the motor about half the time. Keep in mind this is just a .40. After a few uses, it needs another top-up. So I'm going to assume that the battery isn't completely flat, it is just on its way out. And that the starter still has valuable life left in it. Adhering strictly to my values as a cheap-@$$, I'm going to try to squeeze another season out of the battery, then get a gel cell for the field box. I like to flip-start my engines anyways, but winter can make that a bit of a pain!

Thanks again,

Ben Hindmarsh

"I keep planting planes, but they just won't grow!"
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:30 PM   #19
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Load test battery

Hi Ben

I have a sullivan starter that is about 15 years old and it is still kicking. It sounds to me as though your battery is bad. If you charge it and it still will not turn over your plane with authority there is a simple test you can do with a mutimeter to see if its bad. Charge the battery as per the instructions above to achieve full charge. Overcharging is very bad on lead acid batteries. Once you have it charged use your multimeter and test the voltage. It should be 12.6volts or above slightly. Next hook up your starter and give it a good load ie start your airplane. Immediately after you have done this test the battery with your meter again. If it is above 10.6 volts and continues to climb on the meter as your testing it this shows that the battery is recovering from the load that you put on it. It should not take very long for it to get above 12 volts again. If your battery is below 10.6 after your initial test then its junk. usually they develop a bad cell overtime due to sulfation(plates short out internally). If you don't feel confident to do this test yourself you can take it to the local Napa or other auto parts store and ask them to test it for you. Its very bad to overcharge a lead acid battery and it is equally bad to store a lead acid battery that is under 10.6 volts for any length of time. They are happy when they have a voltage that is above 1.8 volts per cell. If you managed to get two years out of your battery as it is that is really great! Motorcycle batteries are not designed to be used in a high drain application nor are they meant for repeated charging and discharging.

The alarm batteries that someone else spoke about are the way to go anyway! don't have to worry about them falling over in vehicle and spilling acid!

There are a few other tests out there that can be done (specific gravity test, or external load test) but your own load test should tell you if its bad or not! Good Luck!

I am only lookin to have gracefull encounters with terra firma!

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Old 03-17-2008, 09:46 PM   #20
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By chance if you are looking for another field battery, here's a buy to consider. This week's flyer from Walmart.
MAAC # 77858
Ever since I learned to fly better, I've had a lot less radio problems!

Last edited by Flybaby; 05-18-2008 at 10:38 AM.
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