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  1. #1

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    field charging lipos

    Hi all, I want to be able to charge myLipo batteriesat our field. We have no power there. 12v or 24v deep cycle batteries are what I want to use. I have a 730i Hyperion charger. I don’t want a genset, tough the portable power source stations are cool.

    >>

    What works? And, how do you figure out how many batteries can charged from a deep cycle battery from a DC charger?>>

    >>Rudy


  2. #2

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    RE: field charging lipos

    I use an Optima Blue Top deep cycle battery. I get 2 full charges from it at the field, sometimes 3 if I don't run the packs down too far. It is small and relatively light. I have been using this battery since late 2007 and it is still going strong. The key is to have a good, intelligent, battery charger for it. The maintenance charge cycle is really, really important. I happen to charge mine off a Minn Kota charger. Don't use one of the auto store cheapo chargers. It will kill that battery. The charge cycle needs to have the multiple charge profiles that most intelligent chargers provide. I also sometimes charge it from my Iota 55 (when I am at a contest). I am not sure if the Iota has an equivalent charging profile to the Minn Kota. I also leave it connected in maintenance charge mode for a few days each week.
    Team BJCraft

  3. #3
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    RE: field charging lipos

    I have a box with 3 chargers - 2 for power packs and one for Rx/Tx. We have power at the field, but truthfully, I rarely get more than 5 flights in a day. It would be easier to just have 5 fully charged packs and bring them to the field. I usually end up having to dis-charge something.

    Of course it all depends on your routine. If I'm alone, 4 solo flights and I'm bored. If my friends are at the field, I end up chatting and get in about 4 flights between breaths.

    Of course there are many ways to skin a cat, so do what you think will work best for you. My thoughts are that it is best to store lipos at a storage charge, and charge just before use. My opinion is that a 12v is just another battery to charge.

    I have considered getting a 12v many, many times. Considered up to the point of walking into Walmart or Auto parts store, looking at the battery, picking it up, then putting it down and walking out. To me it's just not worth it. 5 packs charged is more than enough for now, and maybe one day I'll have a nice Japanese generator.
    Joe Marri
    Enjoying all things aviation.

  4. #4
    Silent-AV8R's Avatar
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    RE: field charging lipos

    I'll add my +1 for the Optima method.
    I don't always charge at the field, but when I do, I use an Optima.
    I am the most interesting pilot in the world, or not[&:]
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  5. #5

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Hi rudy, I have an extra car battery( 110Ah) in the back of my van wired into the charging circuit of the van through a special unit for that purpose. I can charge a number of packs at 5A with a cell pro 10s at the field if I want extra flights. If the car battery goes low I just start the engine and the voltage instantly goes up.
    Paul Houlihan

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Hi Rudy,

    It's more easy to don't charge on field. Have 4 or 5 flying packs, charged at house, and let's go!

    For training, buy chinese batteries. It's the cheapest way. I use them from two years without problem.

    Blue skies,

  7. #7

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    RE: field charging lipos


    ORIGINAL: gaRCfield

    I have a box with 3 chargers - 2 for power packs and one for Rx/Tx. We have power at the field, but truthfully, I rarely get more than 5 flights in a day. It would be easier to just have 5 fully charged packs and bring them to the field. I usually end up having to dis-charge something.

    Of course it all depends on your routine. If I'm alone, 4 solo flights and I'm bored. If my friends are at the field, I end up chatting and get in about 4 flights between breaths.

    Of course there are many ways to skin a cat, so do what you think will work best for you. My thoughts are that it is best to store lipos at a storage charge, and charge just before use. My opinion is that a 12v is just another battery to charge.

    I have considered getting a 12v many, many times. Considered up to the point of walking into Walmart or Auto parts store, looking at the battery, picking it up, then putting it down and walking out. To me it's just not worth it. 5 packs charged is more than enough for now, and maybe one day I'll have a nice Japanese generator.
    Joe, I considered the weight and size - as well as the 'care and feeding' - of a deep-cycle marine battery and decided to go with the 1kw Honda generator. Good prices at WiseSales.com Some of the Yamahas are pretty quiet, almost as quiet as a Honda, but under no circumstances should you get a cheapo 2-cycle unit! Whatever you get, make sure it is capable of automatically raising and lowering the engine speed based on current demand.
    Bob

  8. #8

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Did the marine battery battery thing for a few years and got tired of only charging one pack @1c at a time. If I had to do it over maybe I would get two so I could have 24v and more capacity.
    Started with higher c charge rates at the end of last year and haven't looked back. Bought a Honda 2k and am very happy. I also bought a disconnect panel for the house to run my furnace or frig during outages to justify the cost.

    Built a 24v ps from two HP 600 power supplies and use a fma 10 xp. I fly a lot after work so everything lives in my van and the first thing out of the car is the genie and the chargers. By the time I change my clothes and put the plane together my first pack is ready.

    I hate listening to the gennie and they are expensive but I don't miss staying up at night babysitting packs and leaving charged packs in my car. Higher c packs really don't like to sit charged very long.
    Anthony Romano
    Team Airtronics, Team Castle Creations
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  9. #9
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    RE: field charging lipos

    I have the same issue with power at the field, so I have six packs, fly all of them and then go home.
    In the WC in Portugal, the electric guys had the car engines running all day long to power the charges during practices, it is simply easier to use the car than transporting bulky/heavy charger/batteries setup in my opinion. Chinesse batteries will work good to as JClaude suggested.

  10. #10

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Hey, thanks for all the solid replies. I pretty much knew the answer but more info solidifies the outcome. I have seven lipo’s to practice with but that isn’t enough practice time. I’m just getting into Pattern and I haven’t been flying very long either. Good fun and challenging to get it right and fly consistently. Oh Doctor, I’d like consistency. I’ll be at the district 8 Oregon Aerobatic Challenge in Molalla and see what others are using there this weekend.

    >>

    Rudy>>


  11. #11

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    RE: field charging lipos

    ORIGINAL: Rudy

    Β*Hey, thanks for all the solid replies. I pretty much knew the answer but more info solidifies the outcome. I have seven lipo’s to practice with but that isn’t enough practice time. I’m just getting into Pattern and I haven’t been flying very long either. Good fun and challenging to get it right and fly consistently. Oh Doctor, I’d like consistency. Β*I’ll be at the district 8 Oregon Aerobatic Challenge in Molalla and see what others are using there this weekend.

    >>

    Rudy>>


    Welcome to Pattern, Rudy, and good luck at the contest!

    Another advantage of having a field charging capability (whatever the power source) at a contest is that you can charge batteries for the next day while at the field and not have to babysit them in a hotel room while all of your buds are out hoisting brewskis!!
    Bob

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    RE: field charging lipos

    To cut down on the generator noise, I carry a 25' extension cord with me and place the generator at the front bumper of my van with the exhaust pointing away. All of my flying, pit activity and so on is done from the rear of the van. It's amazing how much that reduces the aggravating sound of my Honda 1000w generator. My only personal rule on that is to put the generator back in the van the instant I shut it off, lest I forget about it and run over it.

    Verne


    ORIGINAL: Anthony-RCU

    Did the marine battery battery thing for a few years and got tired of only charging one pack @1c at a time. If I had to do it over maybe I would get two so I could have 24v and more capacity.
    Started with higher c charge rates at the end of last year and haven't looked back. Bought a Honda 2k and am very happy. I also bought a disconnect panel for the house to run my furnace or frig during outages to justify the cost.

    Built a 24v ps from two HP 600 power supplies and use a fma 10 xp. I fly a lot after work so everything lives in my van and the first thing out of the car is the genie and the chargers. By the time I change my clothes and put the plane together my first pack is ready.

    I hate listening to the gennie and they are expensive but I don't miss staying up at night babysitting packs and leaving charged packs in my car. Higher c packs really don't like to sit charged very long.

  13. #13

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Ha! Ditto exactly, Verne!

    Only problem is, when it is in the front of the car it is so quiet I sometimes forget to turn it off when it isn't needed. But if it's that quiet, that's a good problem.[8D]
    Bob

  14. #14

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    RE: field charging lipos


    ORIGINAL: cmoulder


    ORIGINAL: gaRCfield

    I have a box with 3 chargers - 2 for power packs and one for Rx/Tx. We have power at the field, but truthfully, I rarely get more than 5 flights in a day. It would be easier to just have 5 fully charged packs and bring them to the field. I usually end up having to dis-charge something.

    Of course it all depends on your routine. If I'm alone, 4 solo flights and I'm bored. If my friends are at the field, I end up chatting and get in about 4 flights between breaths.

    Of course there are many ways to skin a cat, so do what you think will work best for you. My thoughts are that it is best to store lipos at a storage charge, and charge just before use. My opinion is that a 12v is just another battery to charge.

    I have considered getting a 12v many, many times. Considered up to the point of walking into Walmart or Auto parts store, looking at the battery, picking it up, then putting it down and walking out. To me it's just not worth it. 5 packs charged is more than enough for now, and maybe one day I'll have a nice Japanese generator.
    Joe, I considered the weight and size - as well as the 'care and feeding' - of a deep-cycle marine battery and decided to go with the 1kw Honda generator. Good prices at WiseSales.com Some of the Yamahas are pretty quiet, almost as quiet as a Honda, but under no circumstances should you get a cheapo 2-cycle unit! Whatever you get, make sure it is capable of automatically raising and lowering the engine speed based on current demand.

    I'd go with the Honda generator too. Like others, I did the deep cycle battery thing for a while but carrying a big heavy battery around that only gave two 10s charges got tiresome. I now use the Honda with a 27V PSU to power my TP820CD. Works great and can easily charge at 2C (limited by my PSU) and as many times as I like. Often I will charge one pack at home in the morning and charge the rest at the field. Too easy.

    BTW, don't waste your money with cheap generators. Buy a Honda. I've also heard that Yamaha generators are good too.

    Cheers,
    Jason.

  15. #15

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Rudy

    Like most of the other guys I tend to go to the field with charged packs. I have a Cellpro 10XP and a 12V power supply at home to charge my packs. I have a 12V caravan battery 85amp/ hour which I take to the field with my Cellpro charger. As I only have two sets of 8S/10S packs I have to do some charging at the field, I charge at 9 amps and can charge a set in about 30 minutes assuming I have taken around 3000 mah out of the pack. I can get three charges out of the 12V battery before the voltage drops too low and the charge slows right down.I charge the 12V battery with a Hyperion charger which I replaced with my Cellpro and charge at 4amps. Hope this helps.

    John

  16. #16

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Recently picked up a Wal-Mart 122 AMP Deep Cycle Marine Battery $81 w/ core credit, $9 more without . Made by Johnson Controls- a well respected company) and the plastic tub( $8) . They even put it in the vehicle and told me it's store policy not to accept a tip( which I offered). Have it behind my seat on the floor of my Odyssey and don't plan to move it as it is damn heavy- Johnson Controls sez 61 lbs. - it feels heavier.
    So far, so good. I use a TP 820CD . I've charged two 10S bricks(5300 5S Gens Ace) , one brick at a time @ 2 AMP; once home and in the garage , attach my "Battery Tender" . After roughly 14-16 hrs., the charge was complete for that amount of usage.
    I also fly e-UKIE Stunt and have charged four individual 5S 3300 Gens Ace @ 1AMP.

    Haven't measured the limit of the battery just yet because after 4 flights in this heat, I wanna go for ice cream , a cold drink or just get home.

    Down the road, I hope to wire it to my vehicle's altenator.

  17. #17
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    RE: field charging lipos

    Hi guys,
       I'm just curious why you say don't buy the 2-stroke cheapo generators.  I have had one of the 800W generators for 2 years now powering a 50Amp power supply driving a Cellpro 10s and an XP at the same time and haven't had any issues.  I agree 100% that Honda and Yamaha make great generators but when you walk in to Harbor Freight and see 800W for $89.95, it's hard to pass up.  Is there an issue with these types i.e. dirty power or something?  The thing gets awesome mileage and the worst part about the whole thing is having to mix the oil and gas but really, that's not a huge deal.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    Scott McHarg

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  18. #18

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Hi Scott,

    I can't speak from first hand experience with the cheapie two stroke generators but can say that people who did have them didn't use them for long. They seem to be noisy and as you point out, you have to mix the fuel. The cleanliness of the output is another possible issue as one person I know of did kill two power supplies. Often we run the scoring computer off the Hondas and have no issues. Down here, some guys are running the $300 cheapie four stroke generators. While they do seem to work ok, they are noisier than the Honda and often don't have an output at start-up which means turning it off and restarting until you do have output. They usually run like a hairy goat too.

    I purchased the Honda 2000i some years ago and it's a fantastic unit. I can also run a full size refrigerator and water pump off it when we have a power outage at home. It's quiet and runs great. It usually starts first pull too....

    At the end of the day, you generally get what you pay for.

    Regards,
    Jason.

  19. #19

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    RE: field charging lipos

    I have had the $85 gen for about four years now and have used it for fans, drills, hair dryer, coffee pot ,etc. I also know a few pattern fellows that are using it with no issue so thought I would do the same since I already had one. The first time I plugged my Cellpro power supply into it, it blew. I checked the voltage with my meter and the gen was putting out any where between 120v to 250v. It was spiking all over the place. There is no regulator on these things so it is governed by the RPM. So if you have a load on it or if the rpm is where it should be, you are getting away with it. I have heard some people using these are putting an inline voltage regulator on them, but those cost almost as much as the gen. Of course that would still be cheaper that the Hondas.

    The good news is that my wife saw the thing pop and smoke so she said get the cheap thing out of the house and spend what ever you need to get a good one.

    Allan

  20. #20
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    RE: field charging lipos

    I am only considering a Japanese generator (Honda, Yamaha is also good) - most of the guys I see with them have them behind a van. I NEVER even notice them running until I need to go to my truck for something, walk around the corner, and see and hear it. I am always amazed at how quiet they are.

    And, because I've asked a lot of questions and talked to a lot of people. I've heard of generators that work great the first year, and spend half their lives in small engine repair shops. Every day in this hobby I learn more and more to to buy the right thing, and buy it once. I'm tired of chasing problems I caused by trying to do something different or at a reduced cost.

    I am sure I would use it at home - it would be really nice to have one for outdoor projects, extended camping trips, emergencies, etc. If I buy one, I don't want to wonder if it's going to start every time I go to use it.
    Joe Marri
    Enjoying all things aviation.

  21. #21
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    RE: field charging lipos

    I have three generators, I found the honeywell 1000i generator while being a little louder than the honda puts out clean power at a good price point, that is the one I mostly use for field charging... When at a contest I also have my Onan 5500 in the RV, that gives lots of power for charging as well as running the AC to keep things cool. I also have a standard "contractor" type 6500 watt generator at the house that I use in the case of power outages when I need more power than the 1000 will put out... if you get an appropriate generator for the job you want it should work out for you. I found it nice to have the smaller generator for when I do not need lots of power than to pay for the gas in the larger ones... The smaller generator payed for itself by now in gas savings alone over running the big ones.

  22. #22
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    RE: field charging lipos


    ORIGINAL: gaRCfield

    I am only considering a Japanese generator (Honda, Yamaha is also good) - most of the guys I see with them have them behind a van. I NEVER even notice them running until I need to go to my truck for something, walk around the corner, and see and hear it. I am always amazed at how quiet they are.

    And, because I've asked a lot of questions and talked to a lot of people. I've heard of generators that work great the first year, and spend half their lives in small engine repair shops. Every day in this hobby I learn more and more to to buy the right thing, and buy it once. I'm tired of chasing problems I caused by trying to do something different or at a reduced cost.

    I am sure I would use it at home - it would be really nice to have one for outdoor projects, extended camping trips, emergencies, etc. If I buy one, I don't want to wonder if it's going to start every time I go to use it.
    Joe,

    Between the two, get the Yamaha. Having owned both the Yamaha and the Honda, and now own the 2000W Yamaha, it is slightly lighter and quieter. I also like that is has a fuel gauge on it. I've been VERY happy with my Yamaha. The Honda is good too, but I have been more impressed by the Yamaha,

    Arch
    Team Futaba, Aero-Model / Hacker, Tech Aero Designs, F3A Unlimited, Team BJ Craft, Thunder Power RC, Castle Creations

  23. #23

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    RE: field charging lipos

    Walmart sell a Regulated 2000watt Hyundai for $500 here in Canada . Ive been using one for the last two years with no problems.

    It's the 62db low noise type with Eco mode so it runs a slow as possible for the given charge rate.

    I charge anywhere from 10 - 15 amps, charge time 20-30 min

    (and yes my gene is usually at the front of the truck also )

    Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over ?


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