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AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too

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Old 03-04-2005, 01:52 PM
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abel_pranger
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Default AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too

There's been a lot of discussion here and elsewhere about AMA's position on LiPo batteries, too often focused on Dave Brown and his naive rambling about them. That is to be expected, due to his high profile and the perception that he is a control freak inclined to ban or at least make odious rules to discourage our use of them. As JR has frequently pointed out, DB isn't the whole of the EC and what is AMA policy isn't necessarily what we would expect from him.
I just got around to reading Bob Aberle's FAQ article in Mar 2005 MA. A Q&A exchange therein reminded me that there are less visible people in AMA that are quietly molding and implementing AMA policy re LiPo's in a positive way. In summary, Bob had mentioned that he was going to follow a review of Hobbico's SuperStar EP that was in the Mar 04 issue of AMA's E-zine Sport Aviator with an article detailing application of LiPo batteries to it. Editor Frank Granelli decided it would be wise go to a more advanced trainer model for an article on upgrading to LiPo power. He doesn't mention why Granelli thought it would be wise, but I suspect it was because he doesn't think encouraging rank newbies to use Lipo's is a good thing safety-wise, an if so I agree, as do many others that are using them. Like many other 'high performance' items used by modelers, LiPo's require more respectful thought to use safely and responsibly than the 'utility' items they replace, and beginners have more than enough to be thinking about with their first trainers.
Just wanted to cite that example of somebody in AMA that has their head screwed on straight while making policy; I'm sure there are others.

Abel
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Old 03-04-2005, 02:53 PM
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mongo
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too

actually, having used lipo tech fer some time now, i would much prefeer to teach the tech to rank newbies.
much easier to start with a clean slate, than to try to erase, unlearn, decades of now wrong thinking.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:47 PM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too


ORIGINAL: mongo

actually, having used lipo tech fer some time now, i would much prefeer to teach the tech to rank newbies.
much easier to start with a clean slate, than to try to erase, unlearn, decades of now wrong thinking.
If the guy has decades of wrong thinking behind him and he's still a rank newbie, you're prolly trying to teach a pig to sing.
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too


ORIGINAL: abel_pranger


If the guy has decades of wrong thinking behind him and he's still a rank newbie, you're prolly trying to teach a pig to sing.
OR to read. Question is: how do you get the info out. People have proved recently they will not read.
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Old 03-04-2005, 05:27 PM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too


ORIGINAL: J_R


ORIGINAL: abel_pranger


If the guy has decades of wrong thinking behind him and he's still a rank newbie, you're prolly trying to teach a pig to sing.
OR to read. Question is: how do you get the info out. People have proved recently they will not read.
Hi JR-
I think we discussed that question just recently. My thinking was that while people won't read all the junk mail that lands in their mailbox, they do read things that pertain directly to their interests; a hobby by definition pertains to their particular interests. Also, note that Granelli in the example I cited didn't have to get anyone to read anything to put in effect the policy decision that he made.

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Old 03-05-2005, 12:34 AM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too

what i was trying to say, without much luck it seems, was that it is way easier to teach a rank amature, than it is to un teach some old fart who has had decades of nicad experience, and the "i always did this with em before attitude".
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Old 03-05-2005, 04:21 AM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too

Mongo,
Knowing this has made me extremely careful with my 'entry' into the eflight world with lipos. I perceive them as dangerous if not handled right, and I have not 'internalized' the correct ways yet.

Abel, I don't think Granelli did that by mistake. But I have a bad attitude about anyone that insists on standing in the way of progress.

JR, we can only push a rope part way up the hill.

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Old 03-05-2005, 12:04 PM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too


ORIGINAL: mongo

what i was trying to say, without much luck it seems, was that it is way easier to teach a rank amature, than it is to un teach some old fart who has had decades of nicad experience, and the "i always did this with em before attitude".
mongo-

Your message got through fine, sorry I couldn't resist the urge to make light of a twisted image it conjured up in my (twisted) mind.

I agree it is easier to teach somebody when you don't have to start by getting him to unlearn deeply imbedded habits that don't work with the new tech. I think NiCds are more appropriate to a first electric model, where the KISS principle seems the best approach to making it a successful experience. The chargers are simple and pretty goof-proof, and NiCds are the most tolerant of misuse. Put a new pack that came with the ARF package on charge for 15 minutes and go - it won't be up to snuff because it wasn't cycled a few times per directions, but it won't be harmed either. You can run them till they go flat out of juice and not harm them, at least for the short term. Even an upgrade to NiMh for more duration in the same size pack gets away some from the KISS motive. You can get away with just cycling a NiCd on fast charge to balance a pack, but it doesn't work for NiMh - you really need to give them an overnight charge periodically to balance them. Most of the cheap chargers don't have any provision for that periodic slow charge, so it's either buy another charger or be frustrated with the lack of performance.
As you know, LiPos add a whole new dimension to the care and feeding required, and the consequences of not being fastidious about it can be considerably more severe. I don't know of any LiPo charger yet in the marketplace that allows or approaches within a country mile the plug 'n play simplicity of using NiCds. The automatic chargers available today don't have enough smarts to be trusted, and the consequences may be serious when they err, so the manual chargers are better choice at this time - but require the operator to apply the smarts, of course. Keeping cells in balance is a must for safety, yet many packs are still being sold that don't give the user access to the individual cells so they can be checked. You don't get away with over-discharging them either. Lot's of things to be learned, and should learned, but I don't think it is necessary or desirable for the newbie to have to do that for his first trainer. The technology is advancing rapidly and I'm confident it will reach the plug 'n play simplicity of NiCds eventually, as it has in the market for consumer products like cameras and cell phones.

Im not hardass bent on prohibiting use of LiPo batteries in basic trainers by any means, but for now I won't be encouraging it either.

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Old 03-05-2005, 10:18 PM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too

I've been using lithium batts since I first learned how to dissect Sony cellphones 4 years ago. Retrofitted the charger to be able to charge them. Soldered up all my own packs. I sure as **** didn't learn it from the AMA site or mag. Best source for electric plane information is from rcgoups on the Ezone. I trust those guys more than anyone else. More knowledge there than anywhere else on the planet. However, it seems that Model Aviaton in the latest issue (electric flight and brushless motors) on the front cover snubbed them. Wanna know all the ins and outs of lipoly packs? Go to the battery section on RCgroups and ask away! Rant mode is now off.

Dave...
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: AMA and LiPo's - There's Good News Too


ORIGINAL: Jim Branaum

Mongo,
Knowing this has made me extremely careful with my 'entry' into the eflight world with lipos. I perceive them as dangerous if not handled right, and I have not 'internalized' the correct ways yet.

Abel, I don't think Granelli did that by mistake. But I have a bad attitude about anyone that insists on standing in the way of progress.

JR, we can only push a rope part way up the hill.

Hi Jim-

I wanted to cogitate on your post for a while before responding, but didn't really come to any enlightment in so doing. Obviously I made a shot in the dark re Granelli's action and his motivation for same, as they were not stated explicitly. Based on my interpretation, I thought it a well-reasoned action, but admittedly I have a bias as he seemed to agree with my view of how things should be. I didn't see it as standing in the way, but more as taking a stand to the side in this instance. You didn't, and I'm interested to know more as to why. I didn't intend to make a statement but rather to solicit discussion, and your input is valued. I'm just not grasping it yet.

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