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Hobbyking battery quality question

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Old 05-20-2013, 07:28 PM
  #1
Droiddr
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Default Hobbyking battery quality question

Hi,

According to what I see there are 4 brands (quality??? ) of hobby king lipo batteries

A spec turnigy (expensive)
nano-tech turnigy
turnigy
zippy.

I would like comments on quality and experiences of fellow hobbyists on them. How many cycles can someone expect on any of the types?

Thanks


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Old 05-20-2013, 11:24 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

I have used all of them. Always charge at 1C and never over discharge. Only ever discharge at a rate of .7 x max sustained rated C rating. Balance charge 9 times out of ten and all have lasted for years.

I fly planes, I understand boats are a bit more demanding of batteries.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:59 AM
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Walt Thyng
 
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

They also have a "B" grade line for less demanding applications. I've had the best luck with the Zippy series. My Turnigy packs (not "A" spec or Nano) all puffed after only a few cycles and then began losing capacity quite rapidly.

I recently tried a set of the Zippy Compact series and am so far disappointed. Extremely sudden voltage drop and no recovery. Very strange.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

I am no expert on lipos or charging and these are only my personal opinions and observations. I tend to be a bit cautious. I started using lipos when we were still using brushed motors. So it’s been a while. A little background on my batteries and charging equipment first.

First picture my regular chargers. An original Thunderpower TP 1010C with TP 210 auto balancer, the newer Thunderpower tp 610C with built in balance and last a Hyperion EOS 0606I. All of these chargers work great with no problems what so ever. I have also had my share of Turnigy chargers and they work as advertised. I never had an issue with any of them. When I moved to the larger 5 and 6 cells I found the output power lacking so I ended up purchasing a Powerlab 8 with parallel board. In the second picture you see the Powerlab with the two 47 amp 12 volt dc power supplies which when hooked up in series and powered with my generator will allow the full output of 40 amps.

The third picture is a small sampling of the lipo brands I have been using. From 200 mAh to 5000 mAh, 1 to 6 cells. Some will say that the less expensive packs work as good as the expensive ones do. That is true to a point but when you take into consideration longevity and how hard you work them the more expensive ones will easily outlast the others. That means that two identical packs from the same manufacture but with different C (discharge ratings) the pack with the higher C rating will work harder and maintain its integrity. The pack with the higher C rating will usually be more expensive.

My original electrics were gliders where cooling was minimal and the packs were stressed by full power climb outs at near discharge capacity. Of the 5 original 3s 2100 mAh Thunderpower packs I have 3 left still running strong after over 8 years. Other brands I have tried in there place have all gone to the salt water pail. The packs were twice the cost of any other pack at the time but they are still in use so it balances out I guess.

Of the Hobby King stuff the Rhino and Nano-Tech rate about the same with the Nano-Tech being slightly smaller and lighter. The 6 cell Nano-Tech 65C A-Spec have worked very well so far with me charging the 4.0 at 10 amps in less than 20 minutes.

The last cells I have been trying are the 6S Pulse 4100 45C and I have been charging them at 10 amps in less then 20 minutes as well with no problems. Both the Nano-Tech A-Spec and Pulse have been fine at that charge rate with barely any detectable warmth and no puffing.

In my limited experience the rate of battery failure is caused more by abuse than what you pay for them. That being said cost has a great deal to do with how you can treat those batteries. You will find that cost goes up with a higher C rating, a smaller footprint, lighter weight and more robust construction. If your flying a park flyer with OEM motor the less expensive lower C rating batteries will do just fine. If your pushing your pack by fast charging, high current draw such as helicopter, aerobatics, F5B etc the less expensive batteries will not only fail earlier but the extra weight hinders performance.

If you look carefully at the picture you will notice the two 20C Rhino 4900 packs are 5 cell and one is slightly puffed. The Nano-Tech A-Spec 65C and Pulse 45C are 6 cell at around 4000 mAh. All of these packs were used in 60 inch Edge and MXS models with the 5 cell using a 16X7 prop and the 6 cells using 15X6 prop. The 6 cell packs out perform the 5 cell both in power and time in the air with no puffing and less heat at the end of the run. In my opinion the more expensive higher quality packs in this application are the way to go to get maximum usage.

You must be ready to try different combinations if you want to maximize your investment. Some sort of watt meter is invaluable in comparing battery packs and determining the current draw of your model.

Compared to others I am just a novice but I am learning more and more each day. It seams as fast as you learn there is something new on the market.

One word of caution please get yourself a steel ammunition box and keep your batteries inside when not in use. Never leave a charging pack unattended. Get and use a lipo sack even the small batteries can cause fires if treated badly.

Jump in and get started its fun.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

Well Propworm, thanks for the very detailed explanation.

So far I just bought an Apprentice 15E. I have the battery that comes with it (Eflight 3s 3200mah). I bought an equivalent one from Greathobbies (they have their own branding): big hobbyshop in canada, multiple stores. Bought most of my stuff there and they are great. So far no issues with either pack, but I charge them only at 1C or lower so far.
The great hobbies pack was 40$ (slightly heavier), the eflight one is 45$.

For my 12V starter, I bought (not received yet) 2 Turnigy nano-tech 4s 2200mah. Will try those and see.

Next step is electrifying my old extra 300 (.46 sized), will buy either Turnigy nano-tech or from my LHS depending on how my my starter Turnigy packs do.

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Old 05-21-2013, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

I know Great Hobbies and Hobby Wholesale quite well good companies both. You’re doing things right take it slow until you know how heavy you want to invest. Lots of Hobby King stuff is adequate don’t let others tell you its not. Later when you know more you may choose to buy a little higher end stuff for a favorite project. Until then buy what suits you and just enjoy what you’re doing. If at any time the Hobby King stuff does not do the job you can upgrade. I know too many guys who have been talked into stuff they don’t need because the advisor was a self proclaimed expert. It’s just not worthwhile to put an expensive motor, esc or battery on a model that cost less than any one of the components.

PS the Eflight Apprentice is not a bad choice I have flown and trained a few on them. Do go back to the hobby shop and swap out the small wheels for something 2 to 3 inches in lightweight foam. Make sure the width is the same as the old wheels or narrow enough to fit on the axle and still allow the wheel collar to fit as well. This will make it easier to fly off grass and land as well.

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Old 05-21-2013, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

Thanks

I will take a look at hobby wholesale next I shop.
Your advice sounds real balanced and common sense (common sense is not that common )
You get what you pay for in general, and a cheap battery can be all you need if your application for it makes sense. (current draw, charge time, lifespan etc)
That is why I bought the 2 20$ batteries. I want to chuck my 7Ah lead acid and strap a lipo on my starter. That will get my feet wet for hobbyking stuff. Went with the nano-tech as opposed to the regular turnigy as the prices difference was only 5$ or so.
After this I will see where that takes me for choosing hardware to electrify my extra300.


Good advice on the wheels, but I beat you to it
I knew grass takeoffs were going to be a problem for me with those tiny cheapo wheels as I fly the apprentice next to my place in a school soccer field. There is a fine gravel track along the soccer field which is my runway, if not taking off from the grass ( or 'landing' there)
My friends call the apprentice the weed-whacker since 1 of them flies an apprentice there.

I had 3 2.75 inch du-bro rubber wheels gathering dust. At first I put some glass fiber reinforced tape to adapt for the different wheel axle size. That lasted me a few days until things got gummed up in there and the wheels felt they were on breaks all the time. I just put on a small length of straw that adapts the axle size just great and works well. Simple solutions are best I find.

Now everything is fine for takeoffs and landing on grass or gravel.

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:27 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Droiddr

Thanks

That is why I bought the 2 20$ batteries. I want to chuck my 7Ah lead acid and strap a lipo on my starter. That will get my feet wet for hobbyking stuff. Went with the nano-tech as opposed to the regular turnigy as the prices difference was only 5$ or so.
He he he beat ya to it my version of a lipo powered starter. Its a 12/24 volt Sulivan that I can run on 3 to 6S with a power take off to the black box on the back. Its a regulated 12V with a push on push off button for the electric fuel pump via 2 banana jacks. There is enough room in the tray to hold two glo igniters as well.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Droiddr

I had 3 2.75 inch du-bro rubber wheels gathering dust. At first I put some glass fiber reinforced tape to adapt for the different wheel axle size. That lasted me a few days until things got gummed up in there and the wheels felt they were on breaks all the time. I just put on a small length of straw that adapts the axle size just great and works well. Simple solutions are best I find.

Now everything is fine for takeoffs and landing on grass or gravel.

Thanks!
I use brass tubing and slip it over the original wire if I need to increase the axle diameter. I just crazy glue it in place and use a larger wheel collar. I like the look with the bigger wheels almost looks like tundra tires he he he.

Dennis
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:34 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

Haha, good one.

Well I know it will work then! Almost the same setup except 4s and 2.2ah for me.
Nice setup for the regulated power for the pump. I am assuming here you are not regulating the voltage for the starter....

A nice luxury would be an auto safety shutoff not to over-drain the battery!

The tray is nice!
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

Thanks. The power to the starter is not regulated I don't think I have ever got to the point where I would have been concerned. I used 2100 mAh at first with no problems. You could always use a lipo checker like they have at Hobby King http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._Balancer.html I personally use the Hyperion unit and depend on it. I check each pack and cell when finished charging for percent charge and balance. Just plug in the balance jack. It gives you individual cell charge as well. Does Li-Po, Li-ion, Li-Fe, NiCd and NiMH.

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:17 PM
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Default RE: Hobbyking battery quality question

The zippy's i have the voltage tends to wander off a bit, if left for a week. The older nano techs always stayed constant. I've heard the newer nano techs in larger capacity>3000 aren't as good as quality as the <3000 packs.
I think if i had a junk charger my zippy's would of been ruined by now, but thats just my opinion.
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