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3 or more planes....charging question...

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Old 03-07-2006, 09:32 PM
  #1  
lalaland
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Default 3 or more planes....charging question...

If you have 3 or more planes that are built and ready to fly at anytime, do you keep them charged at all times, discharged and charge them the night before flying, or what?

I'd like to know how you go about it.

And how many do you have that are ready to fly?

big dan
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:39 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I just use a field charger on them when I'm ready. Every now and then I cycle them to make sure they are OK. I have 10 planes ready to fly. If I think about it, I charge one before I leave the house, one on the way to the field, and start another when I get to the field. I have a trailer, so charging them is no problem. I usually don't fly more than 3 planes in a day.

However, I'm fixing to invest in a charger (from ACE) that will charge 6 batteries at once. It will slow charge them for 16 hours, and then go into a trickle after that. So, I'll have 6 fresh batteries every time I go out. Eventually, I'll buy another so that they can all be hooked up all the time, and ready to go at a minutes notice. That way I can save the field charger for what it is intended--charging at the field between flights.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:53 AM
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iamrandy
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

there is a company that advertises in model aviation a product called " lil trickler". i have one of these. it charges up to 3 airplanes at once, orkeeps them charged. that way if you have just one of these you can have 3 planes ready to fly. more planes than 3? then get more of these. they cost $29.99 and are well worth it.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:00 AM
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burgh_guy61
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I have 8 planes ready to fly and use a hobico multi charger which can charge 4 different size packs at a time but only nicads. I also have a triton charger for lipos and to help assist in cycling batteries, also i have a digi pace for cycling. This many different charges has evolved along with my involvement in the hobby. I keep records of battery pack ages and how they respond to a cycle to make sure or try to prevent battery failure. I tend to replace packs after 3 years of use as they are cheap in comparison to a plane. I usually start charging planes i want to fly the next day the night before and do a cycle on a pack about every 4-6 weeks. This might be extreme but it is just the way i was taught. Just my 2cents
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I use six quick-change rotating batteries for my fleet. When the wing is put on the battery is installed. I use two transmitters with multiple models.

Three batteries are full charged and on trickle all the time.

With a battery in each airplane maintenance was a nightmare. Simply getting the airplanes close to a charger is a problem. My wife thinks I have too many airplanes.

Bill
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I have 15 planes in flyable condition. I just pick out 3 or 4 I may want to fly the next day and charge them with the charger that came with my radios. I also have a Hobbico Accu Cycle I can charage a couple planes on and a Hobbico Accu Cycle Elite for NiMH equipped planes and Tx. I carefully record everything in a notebook so I can tell with the cyclers it a battery shows trouble. I also have a feild charger I always have in my flight box so I can charge or recharge a plane at the feild.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:56 AM
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AVGJohn
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I have 15 planes in flyable condition. I just pick out 3 or 4 I may want to fly the next day and charge them with the charger that came with my radios. I also have a Hobbico Accu Cycle I can charage a couple planes on and a Hobbico Accu Cycle Elite for NiMH equipped planes and Tx. I carefully record everything in a notebook so I can tell with the cyclers it a battery shows trouble. I also have a feild charger I always have in my flight box so I can charge or recharge a plane at the feild.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:24 PM
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kamakazie frank
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I have three favorite planes that I fly out of my fleet. As long as I have been flying I've always discharged or cycled my batteries before the next days flying. Never had a failure in flight..........always caught by cycling. Better safe than sorry!

kf
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:32 PM
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lalaland
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

Thanks for all the replys. All I have ever done after flying was turn on the transmitter and receiver and let them go dead. Then wait an hour and give them about 15 hours charge with the wall charger that came with my radios.

If a plane is just sitting around and your not going to fly it for a while, should the batteries be kept in a Charged State or a Discharged State.

I'd like to know what the best thing to do is.

Thanks

big dan (da rc dummy)
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:31 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

You really should not be allowing them to run down on their own. That is a good way to make a pack unbalanced, and even to kill a cell. Cyclers are designed to make sure no cell goes below a certain charge level, so as not to "kill" the cell. I've accidentally left my stuff on before, and no harm was done. I just would not make a habbit out of it!

Also, iamrandy, you illuded to a 3 pack charger, but never linked to it. What charger are you referring to?
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I have an Ultimate Charger that's been in constant use for 12 years. A good value, in my book. http://www.ultimatecharger.com/html/..._Ultimate.html
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:52 PM
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lalaland
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I've been discharging my batteries by turning on the transmitter and receiver and letting them go dead for the last 30 years and have never had any go bad on me.

I've either been lucky, or not to discharge them the way I do is just a MYTH! Maybe manufacturers want you to beleive everything they say so you will buy their product.

I've seen guys at the flying field complain about only getting 2 or 3 flights and their batteries are low. Last summer I got 15 flights out of one charge in one day. Futaba Radio, standard servos, and using the wall charger that came with the radio. I even had an old plane stored above the rafters in my garage for 5 years with the radio still installed in it. Got it down, blew the dust out of the carburator, charged it up with my (wall charger) : ) and flew it the next day 10 flights. I sure like those wall chargers!

I was just wondering about fast chargers and dischargers because I never used them and it seems to make you think about getting them after seeing or hearing about them, especially since a lot of other guys have them. Or maybe it's all a big ego thing seeing them in their $119 flight tote. I still use an empty 5 gallon bucket to haul my fuel and tools in. I'd rather invest my $119 in another plane or towards a nice engine. No one has ever laughed or questioned me about my 5 gallon flight tote. They only ask me how I get so many flights out of one charge.

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Old 03-08-2006, 07:35 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

Well, I have you to know that NiCD memory is just a myth as well, so it's not your charging mething (or discharging method, for that matter) that is getting you longer flight times, and more flights.

Good luck to you, and your 30 years of experience. I would never discharge a cell below 1.1 volts. And, with just leaving something on constantly, you never really know what each cell was discharged to. Also, you never know if the pack is balanced when it is recharged as well.

I suppose that next you will tell me that for that entire 30 years, you've used the same battery packs.

you're welcomed for the advice. It is free. Keep it, or leave it. I was giving it to all, not just you.

You seem to have a lot of questions about charging batteries, for someone who has apparently mastered the art.

BTW, I don't have a 119 dollar field tote. It cost 20 bucks. And, I bet you have the same amount of tools, or more that I have, so I guess in the end, you've saved about 20 bucks over the years carrying that 5 gallon bucket around.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I cycle my batteries with 25 ohm ballast resistors that cost less than $1. I use two for the receiver (in parallel) and one for the transmitter. I attach a volt meter, and watch for the voltage to drop to 1 volt per cell while I do something else. Then I charge with the wall charger, and a cheap outlet timer. Call it the poor man's battery cycler.

On my models, a charged pack will give me over 2 hours of flight time. But I fly 25 to 40 size models, which have modest current demands. So after I cycle them once, I give them bump charges for the next half dozen times (6 or 8 hours). Then cycle them again.

Seems to work fine.

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Old 03-08-2006, 09:16 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

snitch
there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, since you are monitoring the voltage during the discharge process.

Yes, you are correct--the smaller the plane, the less overall demand on current from the battery.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I use all nimh packs and field charge.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:10 AM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

I charge at the field the # of models that I want to clean up at the end of the day. This has nothing to do with the number of models I have that I could fly, if I wanted to clean up that many. Must be getting lazy in my old age.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:43 AM
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

ORIGINAL: bigdanusa

do you keep them charged at all times
That depends on what kind of batteries you use. I charge my LiPos as soon as convenient after flying and they are ready to fly a week or two later.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:26 AM
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kamakazie frank
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

Hey Big Dan:

Invest in one of these. I have two sitting on my workbench.

Just my 2 cents!

kf

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXL357&P=RF
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:48 AM
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lalaland
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Default RE: 3 or more planes....charging question...

Thanks Frank

I'll sure look into that Hobbico Accu-Cycle Tx/Rx Battery Cycler.

I can use all the help I can get on here.

big dan
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