Go Back  RCU Forums > Electric Aircraft Universe > Electric Pattern Aircraft
Reload this Page >

Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Notices
Electric Pattern Aircraft Discuss epowered pattern aircraft in this forum

Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Old 04-03-2010, 01:43 AM
  #1  
KeithB
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
KeithB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

There was quitea bit of interesting discussion and experimentation late last year on cheaper battery brands (Zippy, True R/C, Rhino, Flightmax, etc.).Now that some time has passed, and many of usneed to buy batteries for this season, it would be great to revive that discussion and see what the experience over time has been with these less expensive brands as well as havediscussions on any new developments and battery options that may now be available.

If you've tried any of these less expensive batteries please share you latest experience and viewpoint on the reliability/suitability for competition pattern flying.

Thanks,
Keith B

Old 04-03-2010, 02:49 AM
  #2  
Jason Arnold
 
Jason Arnold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Posts: 1,341
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Here in Australia the cheaper batteries are going quite well. There were a few puffed packs early in the piece but they seem to be pretty good now.

Personally I spend a little extra and use Thunder Power. Why do I do this??? They are significantly lighter for one. Secondly, the back-up support is very good.

If the cheaper packs can be made lighter then I might give them a go.

Cheers
Jason.
Old 04-03-2010, 12:44 PM
  #3  
Velco
Senior Member
 
Velco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Belgrade, SERBIA, YUGOSLAVIA
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?



I started 3 yrs ago with LiPolice 15C (probably just some re branded Zippy) and was completely disappointed. After that I bought Kokam H5 30-50Cspending over 1000$ and was happy with them until I tried Rhino some 18 months ago. Much lower internal resistance in the favor of Rhino.



In the mean time I tested Flightmax and Turnigy. On one Turnigy 6S 3600 30C after just ten flights one cell just died, luckily not in the air! Flightmax were 4S 2650 30C that were quite OK.



As my small Rhinos are still performing flawlessly for this season I have purchased 6 packs 5S Rhino 4900 25C and 4 packs 4S 2250 40C to be used on all of my planes.



Velco

Old 04-09-2010, 09:12 PM
  #4  
KeithB
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
KeithB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Isure was hoping to get a better discussion going with this topic. It's something I'm sure a lot of people could benefit from.

Anyone else have any input?

Keith B
Old 04-10-2010, 06:57 AM
  #5  
tph1
Senior Member
My Feedback: (12)
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Rockledge, FL
Posts: 1,025
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

I agree with Velco, my 6S Rhinos are going well, I don't have anything else to compare them to but I have no problems with them and flight times and power have been what I was told to expect with my set up
Old 04-10-2010, 07:06 AM
  #6  
2Sunny
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: pound ridge, NY
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

I have two [link=http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=7654]Rhino 4900s [/link] (1255g/44.5 ozs and $65) that have approximately 30 cycles and are just under a year old. They still have ones and twos for resistance numbers, hold their voltage above 35 volts in flight for a minimum of 8 minutes, and always come down cool to the touch. I have one set of [link=http://www.espritmodel.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=10753]Thunder Power Prolite V2 5350[/link] s (1170g/41.5 ozs and $210) that is just over a year old and has about 40 cycles on it. The resistance numbers are fives and sixes and the battery is coming down hot if I push it to 8 minutes. 7 minutes seems o.k. It holds 33 volts minimum in flight. I also have data on a TrueRC pack and I think I even have graphs from "then" and "now" for all the batteries, but sadly I have to go to work until Monday night so I'll have to add more to this discussion next week. I would also note that [link=http://www.electric-f3a.com/]Electric-F3A.com[/link] has some great data to keep those interested working for a while

My short answer is the Rhinos can't be beat so far, and Thunder Power will need to adjust their pricing enormously if they are going to remain viable.




Joe
Old 04-10-2010, 09:05 AM
  #7  
EHFAI
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 278
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Nice try Keith, probably the best comparison is $/flight as use habits will vary the parameters during life making comparisons difficult at best. Number of flights until batteries are unusable divided into cost is pretty definitive.

Unfortunately it takes a good deal of time to reach the end of life for most good batteries. I've generally observed "premium" packs available cost around $2.50/flt or less, that's generally 150+ cycles. That number has improved from around $4/flt a few years ago. It'll take a while for the performance of the current "new tech premium" packs to be determined - but prices are lower and expectations higher - time will tell. My experience with the "premium" packs is that preformance and reliability have continually improved with time to the present. "Last years" packs were excellent and the expectations for the current tech are even better. So overall a good value considering price & reliability.

My observations of the "low price" packs being used by others is that they are generally performing well, tend to be a bit heavier, and some are better than others. OTOH, these only need exceed 60 or so flights to be cost competitive. Just not enough info yet to reach any valid conclusion as to their long term value.


From my view there's more to value than just price - but that's me.


Old 04-11-2010, 01:37 PM
  #8  
wagen017
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Eindhoven, NETHERLANDS
Posts: 969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

My three Rhino 10S 4900mAh packs have seen 60 flights sofar and I don't notice any significant performance loss to date on them. I did have an issue with two packs reviving after winter (I stored them in my garage which was quite cold this winter for prolonged time which I think was a bit too much).

Regarding internal resistance I have become a little carefull since this seems to vary a lot with temperature. My best reference is to measure immediately after flight. My packs now measure at 12-18mOhm on 10S after flight which is still good.

With the high nitro prices over here I am flying for free as of now.. As far as I can see there is no reason why I should change these packs now so this could be a cheap summer!

Volkert
Old 04-11-2010, 02:24 PM
  #9  
KeithB
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
KeithB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

I’ve been looking at some of the packs that Hobby King has listed. The Zippy Flightmax 5000mAh 5S1P comes in both 15C and 20C with the 20C being about 84 grams (2.9 oz) heavier for two 5S packs.Has anyone tried the 15C packs? These look closer to the TP Prolite V2 packs.

KeithB
Old 04-11-2010, 02:30 PM
  #10  
can773
My Feedback: (1)
 
can773's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Calgary, AB, CANADA
Posts: 2,286
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?


ORIGINAL: 2Sunny
I have one set of [link=http://www.espritmodel.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=10753]Thunder Power Prolite V2 5350[/link] s (1170g/41.5 ozs and $210) that is just over a year old and has about 40 cycles on it. The resistance numbers are fives and sixes and the battery is coming down hot if I push it to 8 minutes. 7 minutes seems o.k. It holds 33 volts minimum in flight.

Joe
Hi Joe,

That sounds very poor, I have flown the 5300 PL2's since July 2008 (I have two of the 4 original packs made up for the 2008 Nats), those combined with 4 newer packs have never been that poor after only 40 flights, in fact the ones are 100+ cycles are not that poor! I have discharge curves that show a new pack compared to an 80 cycle year only pack and there is only 1%-2% difference in voltage between the two.

You should talk to TP about that battery, I think they are warrantied for a year, and they should be performing virtually as new based on the age.
Old 04-11-2010, 04:22 PM
  #11  
J-P
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Saint Nom , FRANCE
Posts: 381
Likes: 0
Received 27 Likes on 18 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Hi Joe

I have 4 x 4350 mah 10S TP , more than 80 flights each with my Integral, Hacker C50 XL 13 engine - 21 X 14 E APC, and 7 x 4350mah 6S TP for my Miss Wind 50 S
They run cool, +15 degrees celsius after an 8 mn flight, and never go below 37 volts for the 10S

TP are light, and I don't notice more than 2% difference compare to a new set.
I have higher IR numbers than yours from the beginning, but they are very stable
The new G4 models should be cycled 300 times........

I have 4 Flight Power 5350 F3A 10S, 2 years old, that were unbalanced when charging with the TP 1010C charger and FP balancer after 75 flights
After 100 flights and using the Cellpro 10S, they are competitive again
Maybe a good charger could help.

The 1010i+, same as the NEU X10 charger is the next one I want to try, similar to the Cellpro 10S, more expensive, but having the same functions plus a discharge capacity to 7 A.

As Chad said, you should talk to TP.

JP
Old 04-13-2010, 09:03 PM
  #12  
2Sunny
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: pound ridge, NY
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Chad & J-P,

Thanks for the support. After encouragement from you and my mentor C. Moon I have decided to contact TP about my battery set. It was one of the first sets that I tried to do everything just right with from the beginning and have always used my CellPro 10S to charge them. I am aware that my experience is NOT the norm so I can only assume that a) I did something to harm them b) I have a set of lower quality than normal batteries. In any case I will be contacting TP to see if they can help.

Thanks again for the advice!


Joe
Old 04-14-2010, 03:42 PM
  #13  
SanJoseDale
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Keith, I just retired two flight packs of the Zippy Flight max 15C, I run a Pletty. They both had around 135 cycles, and were plenty strong until now. The weight is virtually the same as the TP 5300, at 1/4 thecost, so I think they were a good deal. I just ordered some more of these. Now, theTP feel like Zippy's on steroids, but they are plenty good for practice, at least for my money.

Dale
Old 04-14-2010, 09:19 PM
  #14  
KeithB
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
KeithB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?


ORIGINAL: dolstinske

Keith, I just retired two flight packs of the Zippy Flight max 15C, I run a Pletty. They both had around 135 cycles, and were plenty strong until now. The weight is virtually the same as the TP 5300, at 1/4 thecost, so I think they were a good deal. I just ordered some more of these. Now, theTP feel like Zippy's on steroids, but they are plenty good for practice, at least for my money.

Dale
Dale, your comment about TPfeel like Zippy's on steroids confused me. Did you get new TP 5300's that feel that way?Please elaborate.

Thanks,
Keith
Old 04-15-2010, 01:43 PM
  #15  
SanJoseDale
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Keith, Yes these are the new TP 5300 Prolite V2 that I have, at full throttle, they have more power than the Zippy's, but I really don't find I need it.

Dale
Old 04-20-2010, 10:26 AM
  #16  
Patterndude1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Posts: 147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

I'm just going to stick with Thunder Power because that is who I have been with forever and I have never had any complaints with any of my flight packs.. A couple of pattern guys at my field use them, but its just been for practice so far.
Old 04-20-2010, 12:55 PM
  #17  
tommy s
My Feedback: (55)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Tomball, TX
Posts: 1,395
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

The 4900mah 4S (x2) Rhino packs in my Wind 110 are starting their 2nd year
and still performing well, more power than the airplane needs, so they have been
a great value cost wise for me. I figure when you pass 60 or so flights you're
pretty much flying free with these batteries. As a side note the only battery failure
I've had since I started flying electric was 4S Thunder Power which was replaced
promptly under warranty but I decided they all can have problems so I changed to
the low priced ones. I'm sure the premium brands have much better customer service,
I've never sent anything back to Hong Kong but I can imagine it might be a hassle.

tommy s
Old 04-20-2010, 04:02 PM
  #18  
2Sunny
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: pound ridge, NY
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

As promised a little data for the geeky types. Both graphs are from batteries with about 30 cycles and one year old. The first graph is a Rhino pack the second is a TP ProLite V2 5300. The main observation is that the Rhinos hold a higher voltage and produce a higher RPM than the TP batteries. This is not new information as last year I posted several graphs and some of the "pros" on the board caught a mistake I made in representing a certain graph as having come from a TP when in fact it was a Rhino graph and they saw that the voltage was higher than average for the TP. For me the big advantage of the TP is the weight savings, but now there appear to be some other lightweight and cheap options on the way. Fortunately for my Delro I can run the Rhinos and still make weight

Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Nl30275.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	54.7 KB
ID:	1421660   Click image for larger version

Name:	Uq49458.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	57.0 KB
ID:	1421661   Click image for larger version

Name:	Ca82747.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	103.9 KB
ID:	1421662  
Old 04-21-2010, 12:36 AM
  #19  
wagen017
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Eindhoven, NETHERLANDS
Posts: 969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

that's good info Joe! You mention lighter options for the Rhino other then PRolites 5300. What would those be? I think the Rhino is a great battery but I would like to loose some 80-100 grams if possible but still have ~5000 capacity.

Volkert
Old 04-21-2010, 01:55 AM
  #20  
Hans Meij
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NETHERLANDS
Posts: 668
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

ORIGINAL: wagen017
I think the Rhino is a great battery but I would like to loose some 80-100 grams if possible but still have ~5000 capacity.
Hi Volkert, I use the Rhino in a 4s+6s configuration (25 C). The advantage is that you do not have the thick wires going over the length of the pack.
Taped together with 4mm connectors it weighs 1220 gr.
Old 04-21-2010, 08:41 AM
  #21  
lectrictech
Member
My Feedback: (2)
 
lectrictech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Luray, VA
Posts: 70
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Has anyone tried the Blue Lipo from Hobby Partz? I was looking at the 5S 20C 5000 for a 10S setup. Weight is 1220 complete if info is correct. It would be good to buy here than pay freight from HK for Zippies or Rhinos. Plus HK always seems to be out of stock. I'm going to use them in a Impact and overall weight is not a problem as far as 11lb limit. I'll be flying the Interm. class anyway.
Old 04-21-2010, 10:28 AM
  #22  
Patterndude1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Posts: 147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Ok well I went ahead and ordered 4x of the 5,000 mAh of the cheaper packs so lets see how they do.
Old 04-21-2010, 11:40 AM
  #23  
dreadnaut
My Feedback: (5)
 
dreadnaut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Oceanside, CA
Posts: 1,234
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

Just starting in electric and now have 4 double packs of 4s4000 Zippy's I have only run one of them so far, but this post is on a slightly off topic matter. As my second set was inbound from HK last weekend we had a little "incident" here in San Diego where there was a small explosion and fire at the local FedEx depot. Police, bomb squad, and news vultures all descended. It turned out that a couple of "lithium" batteries had shorted out in a package. They were not the ones I had coming from HK (I got them the next day), but now I
have concerns about the implications of this event to our future of mail ordering them.

2x4s4000 Zippy
Castle ICE75
AXI 4130-20

I have a spread sheet to track performance of the batteries, and hope to maiden the plane in one or two weeks.
Old 04-21-2010, 01:39 PM
  #24  
RC_Pattern_Flyer
My Feedback: (1)
 
RC_Pattern_Flyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,119
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?

oh no... mine are supposed to be on their way!

Chuck
Old 04-21-2010, 02:06 PM
  #25  
2Sunny
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: pound ridge, NY
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Cheaper batteries, what have we learned?


ORIGINAL: wagen017

that's good info Joe! You mention lighter options for the Rhino other then PRolites 5300. What would those be? I think the Rhino is a great battery but I would like to loose some 80-100 grams if possible but still have ~5000 capacity.

Volkert

Hey Volkert,

How's the weather over there? Any ash on your car?


Anyways, as to the new options . . . the blue packs shown in the picture above are a set I was lucky enough to be asked to test. They weigh 1167 grams ready-to-fly, have held a higher voltage than my Rhinos, and are rated 25C/5000. If they hold up well after 60 cycles I would say they are a big winner as I believe pricing will be well below TP prices though not as cheap as Zippys or Rhinos. Three cycles since breakin so far so 57 cycles to go ; let's hope the weather holds up!



Joe

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.