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Best Warbird Batteries?

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:41 PM
  #1
Warbird Man
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Default Best Warbird Batteries?

I posted this question here because it's pertinent to warbirds.
Call me "old school" but I still use Sub-C Ni-Cads. But they are getting harder to find as they are being fazed out by Lipos. Which is fine, but if your like me, You've probably have your RX battery buried somewhere up in the nose behind the firewall making the Rx pack inaccessible. And, we all know your not supposed to recharge Lipos while it's in the plane. Right??? Anyway, Are people just ignoring the possible danger and using lipos anyways or is there a better choice of battery?

So the question is, What is the best battery type(s) to use in warbirds these days? Or should I say, What do you use in your warbird?
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I would suggest you consider life batteries - not lipo, but life. They are available from several sources and are relatively safe compared to lipos. You will need a charger for them and they are lighter than nicads.

Ed
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: rc34074

I would suggest you consider life batteries - not lipo, but life. They are available from several sources and are relatively safe compared to lipos. You will need a charger for them and they are lighter than nicads.

Ed
+1

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:45 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I'm a long-time Ni-Cad user, too. This website had the information I needed to convince me to change to A123 LiFe. (They got my business, too).

http://www.hangtimes.com/a123_batter...iants_faq.html
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:20 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Yes Life is the way to go.
No need for regulators 6.6v , they hold there charge and bags of grunt.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:32 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I agree. Started using Life batteries last year and so far no problems. Nice thing is they charge quickly and hold a charge. You do have to keep the cells balanced and also know what batteries are in each airplane as different MA capacity packs have different charge rates.

This year I will have all my airplanes changed to Life batteries

John
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:25 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I use NiCads also. I use the weight for balance as well as a power source. When I have to change it will be all at once to keep things simple but it will take time and $$$. From what I have read and been told A123's are the way go when the time comes. Of course now I will have to add lead also.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:51 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: dubs1946

Yes Life is the way to go.
No need for regulators 6.6v , they hold there charge and bags of grunt.
+1
Yep got them in my Yellow Aircraft Spitfire and they are working out really well.
Lighter than a 6v sub C pack as well.

Good luck,

Brad
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:27 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I only use A-123 2300 mah. Two on the Jr fail safe rx and one on the engine. Best thing going!!! I get mine from Radical RC.com. Ron
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:45 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Only comment I'd make is that due to some QA issues with LiFe cells (there are a BUNCH of Chinese manufacturers making them) certain vendors in the USA won't sell them any more. My preference is for the A123 brand which is the genuine article, not a copycat.

Oh, one other thing. While I too use the 2300mah size A123's on my aerobats, space considerations on the AW Mustang I just finished caused me to switch to dual 1100mah size batteries. The are almost exactly half the physical size of the 2300's so it's much easier to find a location for them as well as move them around for balance purposes. The 2300's weigh 6oz. each while the 1100's are 3oz. each and remember, the A123 brand can put out 30C continuous and burst to 60C so you'll have plenty of power....
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I'm pretty conservative with my warbird batteries. I still use my good nicads but replace them with NiMh batteries when needed. I know that a123 batteries are the latest and greatest,
but, as I said, I'm very conservative with my warbirds! I have looked into the advantages and disadvantages of NiMh's and a123 batteries and here is my opinion for what it's worth.

NiMh- VS a123.

Size- approximately the same for the same capacity.
Weight- approximately the same for the same capacity
Disadvantages- lose their charge faster than an a123, ~10% per month compared with almost 0 for the a123. You can get NiMh batteries in long life forms that are very close to the same as the a123 as far as charge loss, but at higher cost.
Advantages- No special chargers needed unless you want to quick charge at higher than max suggested rate. I still use my nicad chargers with no problems, I would have to invest in a rather expensive multi-charger for the a123 batteries.
Cost - less, quality of batteries no problem if you stay away from cheap Chinese knock offs.
More or less a direct replacement for nicads with twice the capacity.
Proven technology

Times change and I am sure I will eventually go to a123's or whatever replaces them, but for now, I don't need to replace just for the sake of replacing.

P.S. Those who use LiPo batteries in warbirds (except electrics) are just nuts!!!

Larry
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:55 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

A123's 2300 all the way, you will not look back.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:51 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I've flown enough to see batteries of all different types fail regardless of what type.
The key is battery redundancy in case one fails.
Use 1100 mAh x 2 if you're flying smaller 50cc bird, and use 2100-2300 x 2 if flying the big stuff.
LiFe is the best choice in terms of safety, ease of use, and not need to use regulator (if running old school servos).
The brand of LiFe depends on your budget. I have yet to see the HobbyKing LiFe batteries fail. I've bought over 12 packs to date with about 2 years exeperience with them. Buy Fromeco if you don't mind spending hundreds, at 40-80 bucks a piece.
Use Lipos only if you're willing to take them out of the plane to charge them, so you can closely monitor for "puffing".
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:57 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I've been using the Sanyo Eneloop ni-mh batteries for some time now with good results.

The only disadvantage I can see is they cannot supply large currents without significant
voltge drop. But used with regard for this they seem a good thing.

The AA size is 2000 mAh capacity, I use the 4 cell packs with Futaba & JR (not 2.4 ghz)
radios. I run 2 packs for larger models, a single pack for the others. - John.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

A123s for 2 years now and will never buy NIMH or NiCad ever again...
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:36 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Been using Li-po's for years in my warbirds, turbines, parkflyers etc and never had a problem!! Heaps cheaper than the A123 (genuine) and do exactly the same task. I run them through a voltage regulator ( x2 packs so x2 voltage regulators) so I don't have any worries about voltage sag under any load that safe for an R/X. My flying buddy does the same thing and no problems what so ever.

I don't take them out of the model to charge them, but I am able to see them in most of my models. If you can, I charge them via the balance tab to reduce the risk significantly.

Greatest thing ever! sorry, seems the thing to say.....

Thanks

dave
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I've been using SR Batteries ni-cads for years. I like that you have nose weight where you need it. Take a look at the quality of SR brand as they are well built and do not have to be cycled. I also use Life batteries. I just like having the ni-cad nose weight when and where I need it.

http://www.srbatteries.com/rc.htm

Here is some of the folks they work with and supply ni-cads to:
Northstar
Sky Force
Allied Signal
NASA Langley
NASA Goddard Space Center
NASA Los Alamos National Lab
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Johnson Space Center
Space Shuttle Program
Hubble Space Telescope
AeroVironment
BAI Aero Systems
Dow Chemical
Boeing Aerospace
Bose
AT&T
Harris Corp.
ILC Space Systems
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Missile and Space
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
M.I.T.
US Naval Research Lab
Rockwell International
US Army Missile Command
Redstone Arsenal
National Air & Space Museum
Brookhaven National Labs
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
NASA Lewis Research Center
Naval Surface Warfare Center
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:51 PM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Hangtimes.com Very good website find Veltro. Very good info on Lifes. I'll give them a try.

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Old 04-29-2012, 06:59 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I switched all my non-electric planes to A123's last year when I started having trouble finding NiCds. I have one FMA Labs PL-8 and 2 of the Cellpro 4 chargers. I use the Cellpro 4 chargers to charge the A123's. Even at 1C they take less than 15 min to charge. LIke others have said, no appreciable loss of charge while storing and all the power you could need on demand. I balance charge through the taps and have 6" balance tap extension so I can charge in the plane. I have modified my switches so that they are 20ga wire from the battery to the switch. Then 20 ga to the rx with a diode inline to drop the voltage to 6volts. I also have pig-tailed a LED off the RX power lead so when I turn on the switch I have an idicator that I can see easily.
I have bought my A123's from EP Buddy and they have been flawless, and very affordable.
Go For It!
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:28 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

I've switched everything over too life packs last year...
I'm useing the hobbico Life Souce packs and they have been good

I run two of them for back up

One thing I don't think I saw mentioned about Life packs, is you really can't check the voltage to know if they are safe to fly. You have to do a couple flights, charge them and see how many mah you put back in. Keep adding flights until you have taken out what you wanted to use. I don't use more than 80% of the pack... being honest with RX I would say I don't even use 50% of the available mah.

The reason for this is the way a life pack discharges, they hold there voltage right up until they are dead then then just fall off dead

If you go into some of the battery fourms and compare discharge graphs you will be shocked... a Nimh will have a swooping down hill voltage on the graph. You can test it and know you are close to safe flying end. The Life on the same graph is a straight line all the way across it's discharge never losing voltage....then at the end it falls straight off a cliff and it's party over.

Most of the issues I have heard from guys flying life on the RX packs is they were testing them like a nicad or nimh and thought they had head room to make another flight, packed dropped off and it's party over. You never want to use more than 80% of a Life or Lipo. It won't damage a Life pack like a Lipo...but it will just stop working when it hits the end of it's mah.

It sounds like a bad thing, but it just shows how incredible Life packs are... your not going to have a brown out and your servos will have the same power from the first flight until your last

I love them
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:49 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

It looks like were limited to just 1100 and 2300 mAh packs. What are you all using? Is a 1100 enough for a 1/5th scale plane for lets say 3 -15 min. flights or does everyone just use the 2300s?
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:49 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Im old school.

4,8V 3600 nimh in all my birds.
Never lost a plane because of power issues.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:43 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Quote:
It looks like were limited to just 1100 and 2300 mAh packs. What are you all using? Is a 1100 enough for a 1/5th scale plane for lets say 3 -15 min. flights or does everyone just use the 2300s?
I'm useing two life source 2100 mah in my TF GS P-47 and a 1/6 Jet... but they have 3200 mah also. With life souce make sure you get the 10c packs not the 1c...

http://www.lifesourcebatteries.com/receiver-packs.html

heres more info why they are great packs:

http://www.lifesourcebatteries.com/reasons.html


I also like the Hyperion Life packs... nice quality they have 3800 mah:

http://www.allerc.com/batteries-lith..._4_93_158.html
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:09 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Warbird Man

It looks like were limited to just 1100 and 2300 mAh packs. What are you all using? Is a 1100 enough for a 1/5th scale plane for lets say 3 -15 min. flights or does everyone just use the 2300s?
Haven't flown the Mustang yet but it has dual 1100's on the rx and another on the ignition module so you get essentially the same capacity and weight as a single 2300 but with redundancy.

The only way to tell what you'll get for flight times is to do as noted; fly it a couple of times and recharge to see how many mah's you use per flight. All my aerobats I have down to about how many mah's they use per minute. I suspect that the Mustang won't be much different and possibly less battery usage than my little 50cc aerobat 'cause it's got lots more servo travel with lots more deflections per flight while doing aerobatics or some 3D. It uses about 13-15 mah per minute on the rx and about 7-8 mah per minute on the ignition module.

My 33% size Edge with a ZDZ-100 uses about 25 mah per minute on the rx and my 2.6 Comp-Arf with a DA-120 uses about 35 mah per minute on the rx.

Because they can be recharged so quickly, I rarely run my batteries past the 50% mark of total capacity before charging.

Hope that helps give you some idea?
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:13 AM
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Default RE: Best Warbird Batteries?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Warbird Man

It looks like were limited to just 1100 and 2300 mAh packs. What are you all using? Is a 1100 enough for a 1/5th scale plane for lets say 3 -15 min. flights or does everyone just use the 2300s?
I run thte 1100 on the ignition and 2300 on the Rx, with 50cc aerobats and warbrids. I would "guess" that you would have enough for 3-15 min flights but the recharge time is so fast, I usually recharge after two flights. By the time I've had a rest or a cup of coffee the pack is recharged. These are so much different that NiCd you have to really change your thinking about charging the night before, etc...
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