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  1. #1

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    Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Troy Built Models has Li-Ion cells for a lot less than Duralite , Powerflite, etc.. (like $33 vs $48)

    Anyone see this in person or fly these yet?? I need 5 packs for an upcoming project and that is a lot of savings... of course TBM says they are great and they are using them in all their planes.... but I don't like to be the guinea pig with a $3K+ model....

    I was burned once by off-brand batteries, but TB has a good rep so I doubt they would put their name on cheap stuff...
    I am leaning toward giving them a try...

    DP

  2. #2

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    I have not used the Troybuilt lithium batteries, but I have heard that they are the exact same cells as the Duralites and Powerflights. I have heard of others using them with no problems at all.
    I am using Duralites, mainly because I've already bought them.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    I'm am using 3 of the 2200's and have had great luck with them so far and I have ordered 2 of their 4400's for my 39% Extra.

    John
    Build a man a fire, he\'ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire,he\'ll be warm for the rest of his life
    www.jkbraziel.com

  4. #4
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Don't know about the Troy Built's, but check out Fromeco. Lots of people are using the Relion Lithium Ions with great success. They are supposed to be the same cells that Powerflite use. I bought (3) 2200mAh and (3) regulated switches for under $250. They look like high quality pieces.
    Pauly
    Corona RC Club

  5. #5

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Hi Guys,

    I'm not bad mouthing TBM, they have really good products. I am just reporting what happened to me.

    I bought two of their 2200ma batteries last Spring. When I bought them they told me with my setup (2 batteries, 2 switches, 2 receivers, and 2 regulators), that I would probably get 15 flights. I didn't really think I would get 15 flights. When I went to the field the first day I got 6 flights. Two weeks later I could only get 5 flights, two months after that I could only get 4 flights, 6 months after I bought the batteries I now have to take my charger to the field with me and put it on between flights to get 3 flights. I called Troy Built and told them of my problem and they told me they would not stand behind the batteries. If I wanted to ship them back to TBM, plus pay for shipping to the manufacturer, they would send them in to find out what is wrong. I decided not to do that. I just bought two 2200ma batteries from Fromeco. I have heard good things about them on the net. They were very friendly and helpful on the phone. I'll let you know in 6 months how these work.

    Big Bob

  6. #6

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    There are only two or three companies WW that make the Li-Ion cells, so if everyone is using the same cells it just comes down to the assembly that matters. If the cells can take the vibration, heat, etc. then it is the welds and wiring quality that will determine how long they last.

    Electrical failure of batteries is rare, and almost always is created by excess current draw, running the Li-Ion pack below 5.5V or overcharging (i.e. using too aggressive a charge rate or a defective charger) ... a dirty charger (i.e a/c leaking into the d/c charge circuit via noise) will also kill the cells, that is why I only use a d/c charger connected to a 12V battery.

    Bob - you might want to check your charger! Sounds to me like the charger might be the problem and not the batteries. Just a thought before you roast your new batteries!!

    I never charge Li-Ion batteries higher than 200- 300ma, no matter what the label or mfr says. I consistently get 15-20 flights on my duralites and in 6 months have seen no degradation. I am using a Triton Charger and the batteries peak every time at 8.35V. I also supervise the charging cycle. Duralite won't stand by my batteries either, as I have elected to use my own charger instead of theirs. I don't blame them. I don't blame TBM either - they have no control over the charging process then, and that is where nearly all Li-Ion killings occur - at charging!

    Li-Ion is the best thing to happen to R/C since the gasoline engine and electronic ignition. Treat the packs right and they will outlast, and outperform ANY NiCad or NiMh cells around.... make mistakes though and they can be very unforgiving!!

    Anyone seen "under the skin" of the TBM packs????


    DP

  7. #7

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Just wanted to let you know I used two of the Northwest Model Products chargers sold by Central Hobby's. I have also used a Duralite Plus charger and I also have a Triton charger, but so far I have only used that for my foamies. I have never heard of anybody having problems with these chargers. The guy at TBM said these charges would be fine. When I first got them they were coming off the chargers at 7.90. Now they come off the chargers at 7.55. These readings were taken with a 1 amp load. I never run them below 7 volts as per TBM's instructions People tell me this type of reaction is typical of old cells. I think it is possible that I may have gotten some older cells.

    Big Bob

  8. #8

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Li-Ion is the best thing to happen to R/C since the gasoline engine and electronic ignition. Treat the packs right and they will outlast, and outperform ANY NiCad or NiMh cells around.... make mistakes though and they can be very unforgiving!!
    Very good advice. The biggest horror stories you hear about Li-Ion batteries is from folks that didn't follow the instructions and thought they knew it all. These guys think that Li-Ions work like their NiCads or NiMi's. NO!!!! THEY DON'T! And this is why they blew them up or started a fire.

    Li-Ion technology has been around for quite awhile now (IE: Laptops, Cell Phones, Digital Cam Recorders, etc). The reason these are so safe is because the manufacture made it 'goof-proof'. They use their own charger that fits into the unit and charges the Li-Ion battery up. Now we're porting the Li-Ion's over to the RC world. This is great as these batteries where made for our hobby. Only problem is that folks don't read or do not use the proper charger. That's the number one mistake. The next is things pointed out by 'Desertpig', like taking them below 6.5v. This will quickly shorten their charge life span. Also you don't need to 'top off' these packs. They will hold their charge for years. (This is how the cell phone manufactures can ship a cell phone with a full charge in the pack. Great for them as it can sit in shipping and stock without losing the charge.) Pretty basically, if your going to take the plunge and use Li-Ion's in your planes you'll be very, very happy with them. Just take the time to read a bit about them and learn how to care for them.

    The major companies that sell Li-Ion packs have the necessary equipment to weld the packs together properly, check to see if there is a loss of voltage after the weld, use good wiring and shrink wrap to hold it all together. I personally know what Fromeco went through to get a top notch welder to do it right. These things aren't cheap either, your talking over 10G's for a used unit!

    Bottom line, buy from a reputable company! Then read the instructions, then enjoy many, many flights without having to recharge.
    Check out the line of Li-Ion packs and accessories from Fromeco. They aren't out to make a zillion, just enough to let them keep producing good packs and equipment for the RC aircraft modelers. Why? Because they are RC folks them selfs!
    Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

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  9. #9

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    S
    ORIGINAL: bobknudsen

    Just wanted to let you know I used two of the Northwest Model Products chargers sold by Central Hobby's. I have also used a Duralite Plus charger and I also have a Triton charger, but so far I have only used that for my foamies. I have never heard of anybody having problems with these chargers. The guy at TBM said these charges would be fine. When I first got them they were coming off the chargers at 7.90. Now they come off the chargers at 7.55. These readings were taken with a 1 amp load. I never run them below 7 volts as per TBM's instructions People tell me this type of reaction is typical of old cells. I think it is possible that I may have gotten some older cells.

    Big Bob
    Bob,
    Sounds like you have done your homework so you know how to handle the batteries -- you might want to check your charger for a/c leakage (assuming its an a/c charger) -use a hi resolution digital volt meter like a Fluke, HP, etc) and set it to AC mode. Make sure there is no more than a few millivolts of AC getting to the pack. Any more than 10 mv and you are cooking it! Li-Ion cells REALLY LIKE PURE DC. Also stick a ammeter inline to measure the charge current coming out of the charger. I have seen a lot of problems with chargers violating their rated output unbeknownst to the user... didn't matter the brand, I have seen it with the cheapos and the expensive ones... for that reason, I check mine from time to time...

    Also note, that if you "fast charge" a Li-Ion pack even once, it will reduce its capacity over time. Packs may be rated at a safe charge rate as high as 2C, but they will not last nearly as long a packs charged routinely at 1/5C. With Li-Ion there is most definitely a tradeoff in speed vs. pack life, a lot more so than with NiCads.

    I use my Triton set it for 200 mah and 7.4V. It peaks up to just below the 8.5V cut-off. My packs come off charge after a 1/2 hour "idle down" with a 1a load pull about 7.8v consistently. This has been after well over 100 cycles. The do-not-fly voltage is 6.9 volts. If a 2-cell pack ever discharges below 5.5V, use it on a smoke pump, but never on your receiver again...

    Oh Yeah.. it is possible the cells were old. Not to disclaim anyone, but Li-Ion will discharge some over time albeit nowhere as fast as NiMh or even NiCd. If a battery sat on a shelf for YEARS in a less than fully charged state, it could theoretically go below the minimum charge per cell (3.45V) and that would most certainly weaken it. I doubt that happened though given the extreme popularity of these cells. Most suppliers are having a hard time keeping up with demand , so if its sitting, its not sitting very long....

    DP

  10. #10

    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Hi DP,

    One thing that has not been mentioned yet is I stand behind our products, and as long as I don't get the felling that someone has purposefully ruined a pack to get a new pack I will replace what ever is busted, even if you have had an oopps. This is one thing that (from what I have heard) TBM is not doing, understandably so as I don't think they are actually building the batteries themselves, I think they are using a Assembler for their packs. My business partner and I build everything that goes out the door.


    Kurt Cook
    Fromeco Scale Avionics LLC
    www.fromeco.org
    wingnut@sandynet.org
    Kurt Cook
    Fromeco Scale Avionics LLC
    www.fromeco.org
    flyfromeco@fromeco.org

  11. #11

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Thanks for the info Kurt,
    I sent you an email... let me know what you think!

    DP

  12. #12
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    You guys keep talking about chargers that are leaking AC into the battery being very bad for the batts.

    What about the Sirius charger that uses the same RPC system as their NiCd chargers? It basically puts a little in the batt, then takes a little out, and on and on....

    Do the batt's react differently to this RPC system than they do to 60Hz leaking through an AC charger?
    Don\'t Sweat the Petty Things, Pet the Sweaty Things.

  13. #13

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    NiCads and NiMh are a lot more tolerant to AC leakage.. In fact, both usually can be charged with "filterless and regulatorless" rectifiers typical of a wall adaptor. A wall adaptor is nothing more than a small transformer and a diode bridge rectifier.. there can be as much as 50mvac leakage. Of course, the more AC getting to a NiCad, the less life it will have over time, but it will still last quite a long time ( think cordless drills, mini vac, etc that always sits on the chargers) . I don't ever use wall adaptors to charge any of my radio related batteries for this reason.

    All LiIon cell chargers have DC regulators built in some cases the packs themselves do. These regulators also have a filter circuit to cancel the AC component. Some are better than others, but most will filter out to less than 1 mv ac.

    A DC charger is by far the best for ANY battery type, and that is why I only use them. Yes, they are more of a pain as you have to lug a heavy master 12V battery (small car battery)around and charge it once in awhile, on the other hand - I never have to look for a place to plug it in when I need it!!

    DP

  14. #14
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Bob,

    You dont want to use a duralite plus charger on a pack that does not have the duralite circut on board. I tested one of these chargers and it put out 8.7 volts, that is not good for the battery. Duralite has the charge safe circut on each battery to regulate the input to 8.4 volts.

  15. #15

    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Hello Quist,

    I have pulled this from the Duralite Support page this is Emory answering a question that someone asked, the short and sweet version of the question was, "Can I charge Li-po cells with my Duralite Charger?" Here is Emory's response:
    The charger should work just fine for any Lithium Polymer 2 cell packs. You're obviously always safer when charging any Lithium battery when packs are supplied with charge safe circuitry. You can verify the output voltage of the charger with a simple volt meter; look for 8.4 to 8.5 volts for the two cell pack.

    Have a great weekend,

    Emory
    I have also done alot of testing as we have had some questions from customers asking can I use a Duralite charger to charge your packs? Up until about a week ago, I was only able to answer with a I don't honestly know. The safe Charge Circuitry calls in to play alot of questions. Fortunately I was able to get my hands on a Duralite Plus Charger and I did some testing. Disclaimer::: This testing only represents the charger that I tested, I would certainly hope that all of the chargers are designed the same way, furthermore I would not think that Emory would of had someone design a charger that had a extremely high Termination voltage that is kept in check by the Safe Charge Circuitry. We would advise against that if we building this stuff for him.

    Here is what I have found.

    Pictures are at the very bottom of the page.

    Port 1 Which is the first picture clearly shows charge termination @ 8.42VDC.

    Port 2 Which is the Second picture is still charging @ 8.43VDC however,,,,,,, it is only charging @ 12.3mAh close to termination however I didn't really want to wait for it. The disparity between this channel 2 and channel 1 is probably nothing more than individual component tolerances which is totally normal.

    Port 3 Which is the third picture again clearly shows charge termination @ 8.42VDC.

    Port 4 Which is the forth picture like channel 2 is still charging but please notice the current at which it is charging 8.1mAh @ 8.43VDC very close to termination and I was not going to wait for it.

    One final observation on this charger the charger channels sit at about 9.65VDC unloaded, (no battery hooked up) this is perfectly normal, our charger sits at about 8.7VDC unloaded but only charges to 8.37VDC.

    Quist, If I were you I would send in your charger as it sounds like there is something wrong with it, it should not charge the batteries to 8.7VDC. While you are not going to blow anything up you will take life off the cells by charging them that high constantly. (If all you use is the Duralite Cells with SCC then disregard)

    From the Excerpt that I have taken from another post made by the owner of Duralite himself, to the testing that I have done, I would surmise that the Duralite charger is safe to use on Lithium Ion/Poly batteries that are configured @ 7.4VDC.
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    Kurt Cook
    Fromeco Scale Avionics LLC
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    flyfromeco@fromeco.org

  16. #16

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Kurt,

    That's outstanding. Thanks for doing this for us. I too have the duralite charger and after reading Tony's post I was concerned
    and I was planning to do what you did on my charger. I will still do it just to be on the safe side and compare with your results.

    Say, do you accept trade in's?? My duralite 4 port charger plus cash (less than $100) for one of your 3 port chargers

    I like the 2amp option on your charger not to mention the cool looks and I just wish I didn't already have the duralite.

    Again thanks for your input,

    Stratos.-

  17. #17

    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Hi Stratos,


    Your welcome for the information!

    That's a good one . May be someday we will do a used car thing, "We will buy no matter what you owe?" heheheh.

    Kurt Cook
    Fromeco Scale Avionics LLC
    Kurt Cook
    Fromeco Scale Avionics LLC
    www.fromeco.org
    flyfromeco@fromeco.org

  18. #18

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Stratos:

    You could even trade/buy four or five ports with the Fromeco charger!!! Nice thing is it can be upgraded at any time.
    Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

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  19. #19
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Soooo.... Sirius Lithium?

    Any ideas if the RPC is as bad for te batts and leaking AC is?
    Don\'t Sweat the Petty Things, Pet the Sweaty Things.

  20. #20
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Maybe mine had a problem?

    Carbon wingnut, thanks for the info.

  21. #21

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    As far as the Sirius Lithium charger goes, it can only charge one pack at a time (one port) and only at a 500mAh rate. For that kind of money you can get a 3 to 5 port charger. But even with these down falls, it's a good Lithium charger.
    Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

    There is a Fine Line Between Hobby and Insanity

  22. #22
    sillyness's Avatar
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    It'll do any rate up to 1500 mA. I just like it because you learn a little about what's going into your batteries every time. I'm just a little concerned about the RPC being the same as leaking AC into the battery pack.
    Don\'t Sweat the Petty Things, Pet the Sweaty Things.

  23. #23
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    just keeping a eye on the post.

    Thanks Kurt
    \"Opinions are like Buttholes EveryBody has one \"

  24. #24

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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    sillyness:

    Oppsss, sorry..You are correct, it is adjustable from 500mAh to 1500 mAh. (But not any rate.) Yes, I understand your question (which I can't answer), but my observation still stands, if your going to pay $150 for a Lithium charger you can get one that has 3 to 5 ports for that money instead of the one the Sirius has. One of the biggest beef's I've heard from folks is they can't charge all their Lithium packs at one time because of lack of ports. I've always used Sirius chargers for NiCad & NiMi and they have preformed very well for me, but (just my opinion) they failed at their Lithium charger. If they where to add 2 or 3 more ports to it, then (for the price) I would consider it. As for your original question, can't answer that honestly unless Sirius would be so generous as to send one over so it can be put on the bench and scrutinized.
    Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

    There is a Fine Line Between Hobby and Insanity

  25. #25
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    RE: Anyone using TBM batteries ????????

    Where in Western NY are you from? I'm moving to Belleville Ontario soon.
    Don\'t Sweat the Petty Things, Pet the Sweaty Things.


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