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Radio Battery Cycling How Often is It Needed?

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Old 02-07-2003, 10:23 PM
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viper21
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Default Radio Battery Cycling How Often is It Needed?

Hi all I have a question that I have never been able to have answered in my 18 years of flying planes and now RC Cars as well. I have a Hobbico Accucycle that I bought to cycle my radio packs in my planes and in my RD 6000 and my Stylus. I usually run 5 cells 1100 mahr packs in my 40-120 size planes and jets with more than the normal 4 servos. And I am wondering if its okay to use the wall chargers that came with the radio and then cycle the packs both the RX and TX say once a month too see where the capacity is and if there was any bad cells. I had recently been wondering if I needed a second cycler and I was looking at the Hobbico Accucycle Pro. The only think that I don't like about this charger/cycler is that it fast peak charges your batteries and I am not sure if thats a good thing to do on a regular basis? Does anyone know this answer because it also brings me to fast charging at the field. I have several types of fast chargers because I also fly electrics but I don't fast charge unless I really have too. I wonder if my cells can take this fast charging that I try to do at 1C and use a peak detection field charger like the new Hobbico MKII charger that can charge Ni cads and NIHM and LI Polys too. And I am considering adding the Accucycle Plus as my second cycler it charges the TX at 1 mahr and the RX at 500 mahr and peaks them and allows you to do it up to 3 times. Well sorry for the long post but I have never had this question answered to my satisfaction before so I would try here where I get allot of good info.
Thanks Viper
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Old 02-08-2003, 02:07 AM
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Default Cycling batteries

No one has any answers for me about cycling my battaries? I am curious about when to cycle them and how to do it. Should I just use my Accucyle just once a month or more?
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:13 AM
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Default Radio Battery Cycling How Often is It Needed?

I cycle my airplane batteries two to three times a season. There really isn't any need to do more than that unless you fell something isn't right. The only reason I cycle the batteries is for capacity checking.

When I buy a pack, I cycle it a couple times until the capacity stabilizes. I record that number and use it as a future reference. During the season, if I notice any drop off from that initial number, I start to cycle it a couple extra times a season to watch it. If it gets around 85% or so of the initial capacity, I put a big mark on the pack to denote its been demoted to a bench test or smoke battery status.

I cycle my transmitter batteries about twice a season as well. But since I usually run them down more than the on board batteries, i don't feel the need to capacity check them as often. My transmitter has a timer that counts the power on time. I use that as a capacity check. If it looks different than I expect, I capacity check it to see where its at.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:30 AM
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Default Batteries

Thanks Sfaust, thats pretty close to what I have been doing so I guess I have been doing it correctly I have yet to find a bad battery since I bought my cycler though but its nice to have.
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Old 02-08-2003, 05:05 AM
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Default Radio Battery Cycling How Often is It Needed?

Its kind of monotonous for the most part. But when you do uncover a bad battery, it all pays off. Can I assume you are also using a loaded ESV meter to monitor the packs while flying? You didn't mention it, but it sounds like you are already on the right track.
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:02 PM
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Default ESV's

Yes I have always used an expanded scale loaded voltmeter on my flight batteries when I fly them. Infact I am buying the new Digital MKIII Hobbico meter this weekend for measuring my batteries. I have lost a very nice plane to what I am prettty sure was battery problems so I am a little more careful than most about my batteries so thanks much for the help.
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:24 PM
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Default Radio Battery Cycling How Often is It Needed?

You might want to check the meter that I4C products sells. It has a couple advantages. It can load the battery at .5amp, 1amp, and 1.5 amp. And it doesn't require a 9V battery, as it uses the battery power already available.

The only issue I have with the regular meters, is that they only load the battery at 250mah, and as the 9V battery starts to drain, it gives inaccurate readings towards higher readings than actually exist.

For the larger airplanes, the .5amp or 1.0amp loads are a more accurate representation. But the key is consistency. Always use the same reading, and if possible try to discharge on your cycler at the same rate. If you use 250mah, thats fine, just stick with it. In the end, it doesn't matter all that much. Its like reading in whatever language you choose, but the content is still the same.
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Old 02-09-2003, 04:51 PM
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Default Radio Battery Cycling How Often is It Needed?

I cycle my packs 2-3 times a year.
I just look for trends showing that I am loosing capacity, then I just throw the pack away.
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