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Basis questions?

Old 04-15-2007, 09:13 AM
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Default Basis questions?

I posted this in the airplane forum but this look like a better place.
I bought a basic Futaba controller for a beginner plane two years ago. It has sat in the basement with the plane all that time. The plane is almost done and I’m concerned about the batteries.
Are they still good? I have no chargers or test equipment except the chargers that came with them.
I need to buy a spare set for the transmitter and receiver anyway so if they are no good I will buy tow sets if I have to. So what type of batteries should I buy and any good web sites to buy from? Thanks.
I did not see a battery forum so if there is a better place to post this please let me know.
Old 04-15-2007, 11:12 AM
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Default RE: Basis questions?

Stan, before anyone can help you you have to help them. Are you talking about a regular Futaba system with nicds for the transmitter and receiver? The kind that comes with a charger with 2 wires to simultaneously charge both batteries, or are you talking about an electric plane with a flight battery/esc? Have the batteries ever been charged or discharged? And why would you look for a "spare set"? If you're talking nitro plane with 4.8 volt receiver pack these are generally foam wrapped and mounted in the plane semi-permanently. Batteries DO go bad, but you generally don't tear your receiver battery out at the flight line unless there's a problem.

Do you have any friends who fly? Is there a club you can join? Ultimately, the only way to determine if your rechargeable batteries are good is with a decent charger/cycler. Your transmitter should have a meter or at least some lights which indicate the status of the batteries, but unless you buy a meter for your plane or have a checker, there's no way to know if you are good to go for flight except the knowledge that you have just charged up and that you have no reason to suspect your batteries are bad. Of course, you MUST check the operation of your flight controls before every flight.

If your radio system is a modern one with the 2 wire charger, and you have never charged your batteries (or even if you have but a long time ago) I would say just plug them in and let them charge for about 15 hours, and then see how they work. But for the best results and maximum amount of fun, find some friends who are in the hobby. If you aren't a flyer and have put a lot of work into your plane and try to fly it by yourself, be prepared for a short flight that doesn't end well. Trust me on that one. I'm speaking from personal experience.
Rick
Old 04-15-2007, 12:27 PM
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Default RE: Basis questions?


ORIGINAL: Azzir325

Stan, before anyone can help you you have to help them. Are you talking about a regular Futaba system with nicds for the transmitter and receiver? The kind that comes with a charger with 2 wires to simultaneously charge both batteries, or are you talking about an electric plane with a flight battery/esc? Have the batteries ever been charged or discharged? And why would you look for a "spare set"? If you're talking nitro plane with 4.8 volt receiver pack these are generally foam wrapped and mounted in the plane semi-permanently. Batteries DO go bad, but you generally don't tear your receiver battery out at the flight line unless there's a problem.

Do you have any friends who fly? Is there a club you can join? Ultimately, the only way to determine if your rechargeable batteries are good is with a decent charger/cycler. Your transmitter should have a meter or at least some lights which indicate the status of the batteries, but unless you buy a meter for your plane or have a checker, there's no way to know if you are good to go for flight except the knowledge that you have just charged up and that you have no reason to suspect your batteries are bad. Of course, you MUST check the operation of your flight controls before every flight.

If your radio system is a modern one with the 2 wire charger, and you have never charged your batteries (or even if you have but a long time ago) I would say just plug them in and let them charge for about 15 hours, and then see how they work. But for the best results and maximum amount of fun, find some friends who are in the hobby. If you aren't a flyer and have put a lot of work into your plane and try to fly it by yourself, be prepared for a short flight that doesn't end well. Trust me on that one. I'm speaking from personal experience.
Rick
Thanks for the fast reply. My controller is a standard Futaba Skysport with nicds. The charger has one wall plug and two wires for the transmitter and the receiver. They have never been charged so I guess I’ll charge them both for about 15 hours.
I do have a club I’m in the process of joining. You have to go to two meeting to become a member. My second meeting will be early May so I just want to make sure everything is ready by then.
I use to fly twenty years ago and I’m going to or have someone teach my boy to fly. I assume if we spend half a day at the field one set of batteries won’t be enough. Should I buy a field charger instead of spare batteries? If so, what type? Anything that would charge both packs in about ½ hour would be fine.

Old 04-15-2007, 12:39 PM
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Default RE: Basis questions?

You should realize that if you take 3 or 4 flights in a half day at the field, you've done good. Remember, the other guys are going to fly too, and there's always lots of talking and such. Fully charged batteries should be good for 4 flights, no problem.

I'm no expert on chargers. When I finally broke down and bought a charger, it was a Triton. It seems to get the job done and works off 12 volt car battery. If you are going flying with a group of club members, there'll prolly be someone there who will have a voltage checker and a charger that would be willing to help you. Good luck. By the way, what kind of plane are you building?
Rick
Old 04-19-2007, 11:59 AM
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Default RE: Basis questions?

The battery manufactuerers call for a 3 year total life for a Nicad battery. You can get more but I always recommend replacing the flight battery after 3 years. This is safe. The transmitter is another story and you can go longer although it is still safer to replace every three years. since it is only 2 years the battery might be ok. It depend on how long it sat fully discharged. It would be a good idea to cycle tha betrery a couple fo times to determine if the battery is OK.

If you do not have a fast charger that discharges too (it might be a good idea to get one and a field voltage meter too), you can simply fully charge the transmitter, turn it on and once in a while for about 10 minutes at a time move the sticks. When the battery begins to drop as indicated from the meter or LCD display (go to about 9.8 volts). Simply turn it off and charge again. If you are getting decent voltage on the transmitter indicator (such as 10.6 volts and up) when fully charged your battery is probably OK. I would also check in the amnual to see what the suggested amount of time you can get from a fully charged battery. If you are close you are good.

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