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Solved Battery.

#1
I was simply wandering if there was any way of measuring how much power is left in your lipo battery, even if it means landing the plane to have a look. Also, what do you guys charge your batteries off. So far I have stuck to a car battery - is this the right thing?
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#2
To answer your first question, get one of these LiPo voltage testers. Super cheap, and they are light enough to leave on the plane while flying. You can set them to beep at specific cell voltages and you'll be able to hear from the ground when the battery is getting low.

To answer your second question, get a decent AC/DC lipo charger that has a setting for storage mode. I prefer the IMAX B6, as it will run on AC or DC power, assuming you get the right one. Also, it's cheap and has a storage function.
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#4
So would that go directly into a mains plug socket?
No, these plug into the balance lead on the battery, the little (usually white) plug with the thinner wires.

Also, I didn't realize you weren't in the US. You can likely get the exact same items from Hobbyking for similar prices.
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#7
I already have the charger. The battery balance lead plugs into the charger then the charger clips onto a 12V power outlet which I assumed was a car battery.
Yes, most super cheap chargers that come with RTF kits are like that. They run off a car battery so you can use them at the field. They are OK to get you started, but they really aren't that great for LiPo health in the long term.

Your batteries don't like to be stored at full charge; it will damage them over time. A charger like the one I linked above will allow you to charge the batteries to 3.8V per cell for when you arent flying. This will keep the batteries healthy and give you a much longer life out of each one.

The super cheap chargers don't have this function. They just charge to full. Also, the B6 will charge at up to 5 Amps, so assuming you have a battery with a high enough charge C rating, you will have less downtime between flights waiting to recharge.
 
#9
Yes, most super cheap chargers that come with RTF kits are like that. They run off a car battery so you can use them at the field. They are OK to get you started, but they really aren't that great for LiPo health in the long term.

Your batteries don't like to be stored at full charge; it will damage them over time. A charger like the one I linked above will allow you to charge the batteries to 3.8V per cell for when you arent flying. This will keep the batteries healthy and give you a much longer life out of each one.

The super cheap chargers don't have this function. They just charge to full. Also, the B6 will charge at up to 5 Amps, so assuming you have a battery with a high enough charge C rating, you will have less downtime between flights waiting to recharge.
My battery only copes with 3 amps but I will definitely look at getting the IMAX B6. Thanks.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#10
Once you have worked out how long you can fly until your battery hits 3.5-3.6v PER CELL, set a timer on the TX with 1 min less on it than the time to flat of the battery, that way you have a reserve.
Most decent fixed wing ESC’s should come with over discharge protection or can be programmed for it, they pulse or cut the throttle to a set % when the voltage hits 3.5per cell. That will protect your battery.
A better charger is always an investment, it allows you to use storage charge functions for days you can’t fly and will prolong the life of your battery. Personally I would rather spend $30-50 for a better quality, higher output charger. The B6 is just about OK but it is well known for QC issues with fakes and has a relatively low power output so suffers a bit with larger size or cell count batteries.
The charge rate of the battery is determined by its capacity, you should only charge at 1C. For example 2200mah battery would be charged at 2200 divided by 1000= 2.2A.