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Old 01-31-2012, 04:33 PM
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Jetdesign
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Default RE: Newbie to Electric Pattern

I use the iCharger 1010. I have 2 of them, but if you already have a smaller charger you probably can get away with one. It's nice to have a separate charger for your radio/Rx batteries at the contest field.

If you're going to fly at contests, you will want at least 3 battery packs (battery 'pack' meaning a 10S set). Some days we fly 4 rounds in one day, and I don't know about the upper classes but it always seems that Sportsman and Intermediate often have back-to-back rounds. Need to have 2 packs ready for flight if one is on the charger.

5 packs is over-kill. I generally use 3 packs, but will use 4 on contest weekends.

With 4 packs, you can fly a contest without needing to charge at the field, but you won't get any warmup if there are 4 flights that day. You can charge one pack off your car battery.

I have 5 packs. As I said, it's over-kill, at least for me. I don't fly 10 rounds in a day any more, usually 4-6. One of my packs is pretty heavy and the power sucks, so I use 4/5. I often think I'll fly more than 4 rounds in a day, but many times that doesn't happen. On a long, fun day, I'll fly the 4 and recharge 2, for 6 rounds.

I LOVE the Rhino packs (Hobbycity.com) but they are getting harder to find in the sizes/capacities I want. You should be able to get away with 4000mah packs and keep weight down. It's about 300g savings dropping from 5000 to 4000 (I just did

Zippy packs are really cheap, not the best performing out of my bunch, but very acceptable. If I didn't have to pay over $1000/mo in student loans, I'd buy 4 packs from F3AUnlimited.com as they are light and good performing packs. But, I'm on a tight-ish budget and fly Zippy and Blue Lipo (Hobbypartz.com, very light).

These cheap Chinese packs are coming out to about $80-$90 per pack (10s).

I have a 12V power converter - the Iota 55 (55A). I made a charge box and mounted my chargers and power supply. It plugs into the wall, and plugs into the electric outlets at the field I fly at. The power chord is on a quick-disconnect, so I can bypass the 12V converter and plug my setup into a 12V battery if need be.

Ideally I'd have a Honda 1000W generator, but one of these lottery tickets needs to pay off first.

Long story short, 3 packs at $90 ea and a charger at about $110 should run you about $400. I think 4 is a nice number though, so under $500.