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A123 Battery and charger HELP please

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Old 09-15-2010, 10:35 PM
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flyerdave
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Default A123 Battery and charger HELP please

Bought a plane a couple weeks ago ( Aeroworks 50cc Ultimate) that has A123-2300ma for receiver and A123-1100ma for ignition. Brought the plane home and put it on the test stand, ran the engine for quite a while until the Rx battery went out. Ordered a charger(FMA Cellpro Multi 4), printed out the manual and studied it. Finally got the charger today, went out hooked it up, set it on A123 2300ma Accurate charge. It read the fuel at start 0% and charged at 4 amps for about 40 minutes. When it finished, it read 100% and so I went back to the test stand to run in the engine some more. I only ran the engine for 10-12 minutes then went back to the charger, hooked it up and the fuel at start read THIRTY EIGHT percent (38%). This is after only 12 minutes on the bench! Either I don't know what I'm doing with the charger, or this battery isn't right.I'm thinking about pulling out the a123 and put in my trusty JR 2700ma 6 volt NiMH. Could the battery be bad or am I doing something wrong? Thanks
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:33 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

did you balance charge it , you have to wait for the second set of beeeeeps
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:24 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

I was balance charging. The switch charge port has a balance terminal built in. As I was charging the pack, I would push the mode button and one of the displays was the balance status of the two cells. I was not however aware of a second set of beeps.Did I not complete this process?
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:35 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

flyerdave:

I have the same issue with some new batteries I bought. What is more important is how many mah are restored during the charge which the Multi4 tells you and is an indicator of how much battery energy is used. After about five flights using high torque JR 8611a and 8711 servos, I find that I restore about 450-500 mah. When you compare this to the packs capacity of 2300 mah, you have only used about 22% of capacity. That is the gauge I use to determine what is happening. As a esult, I'm usig 90-100 mah per flight. When you start flying with these batteries, you should also make this determination for your plane. Also, you should not let your A123 packs run down below approximately 2 volts and especially down to zero as this can do harm to the battery pack and shorten its life. Whenyou run the pack to low, it is difficult to charge the pack and may require that you put the pack on a nicad charger to jump start the charge.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:41 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

The Multi4 beeps once when the battery pack is brought to almost 100% charge and then goes into a balance mode (charge). When the balance charge is complete, it will beep again constantly for about five seconds and the charge display should read "DONE". Now the pack is fully charge and balance. Read the charger instructions, this is covered there. Once you get familiar with the charge operation, you'll see how easy the Multi 4 is
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

Thanks for the help. Could I have damaged the battery when I was first running the plane on my bench and let the battery completely die? It has 10 servos,7 of which are high torque digitals,the other three are standard torque digitals for throttle, smoke and choke. When I was out on the bench, what I noticed was that after about 30-35 minutes, the flying surfaces started to fall and had no response from the radio, the throttle however was still responding( I guess because it needs much less current to function).This is when I shut everything down.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

Do a cycle to make sure the battery is good. I've had A123 in my plane for 3 years and can get 10 15min flights before charging. My 35% averages about 300ma per flight. I'm using 2 2300ma packs. I have one A123 on my 100cc engine and also smoke. I average about 150ma per flight. Dennis
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:04 AM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

Are there any suppliers who sell a superior battery or are all A123's pretty much the same quality. (This may be a foolish question, but I am so new at A123's, I know very little about them) I know that there are huge quality differences in many of the NiMH brands. Thanks
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:04 PM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please


Why not call FMA Direct and ask them the questions you have.  They are the Pros and a bunch of nice people. I have been using A123 batteries for 4 years now with the FMA 4S charger and no problems

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:26 PM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

flyerdave:


If your A123 accepts a charge from your Multi4, you probably did NO damage. When you discharge an A123 pack too far, you will find that the pack will not accept a charge. I understand this is from the way the charger identifies the remaining capacity in the pack as it needs to read a certain level of voltage and when it is not there, it won't charge. I have completely discharged an A123 pack and got it restored by charging it first on a quick nicad charge for about 15 minutes then switching it over to an A123 charge. But discharging A123's too far will shorten their life span.

Regarding a reliable source of A123 packs, look at www.hangtimes.com He is expensive but sells good products and gives you good support. I have bought 10 packs from him and I'm extremely pleased with his product and support.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:58 PM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

This may be a silly question. If you got 12 minutes at 38% remaining and are dissapointed , then how much time was expected from around 2300 mah?

Next question would be what is average current during the bench test?
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please


Quote:
ORIGINAL: flyerdave

Are there any suppliers who sell a superior battery or are all A123's pretty much the same quality. (This may be a foolish question, but I am so new at A123's, I know very little about them) I know that there are huge quality differences in many of the NiMH brands. Thanks

If you have A123 batteries they are all manufactured by A123 System Inc. So, no matter who the supplier, they are the same battery. Now if you don't have A123 and actually have LiFe (and mistakenly calling them A123), than all bets are off.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: A123 Battery and charger HELP please

Do you have a way to do a discharge and readout to see how much current was stored in the batter? If you have an old Triton or similar chager, you can do it on the Nimh discharge settting.
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