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Receiver Battery Question

Old 07-26-2020, 03:31 PM
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kneeforu
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Default Receiver Battery Question

I have not flown in about 5 years and getting back in to the hobby. In the past, I had used 4.8v nicd receiver batteries. The batteries are old and I want to replace them with new, but I am wondering now, what are the best batteries for receivers? Should I switch to nimh, and if so, would I need a new charger for those as well?

Receiver is the Futaba R617FS. Standard servo setup on Venus II


Thanks!

Bill

Last edited by kneeforu; 07-26-2020 at 04:14 PM.
Old 07-27-2020, 03:45 AM
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If the charger is the standard wall charger that comes with the transmitter/receiver it will probably charge the NiMH but will take quite a while since they are typically higher capacity than NiCd. My NiMH are 2500 MAH and when fully discharged take over two hours with a good multi-battery type, 1 Amp charge rate charger.

Batteries America used to carry a lot of replacement batteries of all types for low prices. Battery chargers, OTOH, opens a whole new can of worms. Some will tell you to spend hundreds of dollars on one. I think you can get a decent Imax for around $50 that will charge/discharge/balance any battery type you will use.. I have an old Hobbymate I have been using for over 20 years. I've done LIPOs, LIONs, NiCds, NiMHs, and even PBs. It will take a 6 cell LIPO and at least a 8 cell NiMH.
Old 07-27-2020, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kneeforu View Post
I have not flown in about 5 years and getting back in to the hobby. In the past, I had used 4.8v nicd receiver batteries. The batteries are old and I want to replace them with new, but I am wondering now, what are the best batteries for receivers? Should I switch to nimh, and if so, would I need a new charger for those as well?

Receiver is the Futaba R617FS. Standard servo setup on Venus II


Thanks!

Bill
Your regular wall charger is fine for nimh packs, just charge over night like you did with nicd packs,, the wall charger will be fine for both 4.8 or 6.0 volt packs

Now when you do think about going to another chemistry like Lipo or Life you'll need a different charger and a lot depends on the size of packs and how long you want to wait

Personally I've switched to Life/A123 RX packs,, I use both 1100 and 2500 packs and charge with a Cellpro Multi-4,, typically iy only takes 10-15 minutes to peak out a pack and you're ready to go

good luck
Old 07-27-2020, 09:12 AM
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I made the switch to the Life/A123s as well. Nicds like we used years ago aren't made anywhere as good as they used to be. I was only getting a couple of years out of a pack and that was a good one. Go to hangtimehobbies.com and read up about A123s. The Hitec charger they sell is perfect for charging as well. I charge my batteries AFTER i'm done flying for the day then they are ready to go for next time even if that is a few months down the road.

carl
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:52 AM
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Default Batteries

Go to LiFe battery, more voltage, faster and stronger servo response, and hold charge for long time. Also LiFe do require a different charger., there are plenty of multi battery chargers out there and some are priced under $ 40.00 and work well with all types of batteries. Also start out with higher voltage and fly all day and still have more than 4.8 volt and no worries about loss of receiver voltage. Win win with LiFe battery, plus less weight too.
Old 07-29-2020, 10:07 AM
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kneeforu
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Thank you all. Great information. Much appreciated!
Old 09-26-2020, 02:19 PM
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If I may resurrect this thread, I too I'm getting back into RC planes after a 20 year hiatus! I have a fleet of 6 planes, 4 Glow and 2 gliders! All of my Radio gear is outdated which I did take care of with a Spektrum DX6 and spare receivers. All of the servos I have are JR 507's 513's 517's (4.6v) stuff, I was hoping to be able to use these.

I have noticed that people have gone to 2s LIFe for flight battery packs. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that all of the servos I have will not play nice with this voltage? or is this a misnomer just not sure.

Also I have a GP J-3 Cub that I am putting a twin into and I'm going to use a Sullivan onboard igniter and am wondering if I need a seperate battery for it or use a high capacity 2s LiFe battery for everything.

For a charger I have an old Thunder Tiger TP610C and DC power supply!
Old 09-26-2020, 03:07 PM
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LiFe packs are pretty close to using 5 cell NiCads that we used to do in the old days. Generally old receivers and servos will work well with them. Yes, you are pushing the voltage a bit, but not extremely so. I've even run some really old Kraft servos and RCD receivers with them, for long periods.
Note that there are two "kinds" of LiFe batteries on the market. Ones that resemble LiPo's, made from foil wrapped "bags", and ones made specifically by "Lithium werks", who bought out and renamed what used to be called "A123". Those look like the traditional metal cell Nicads. Generally regarded as the best, but they aren't real small - 2500 mah or bigger, so may be too much for some applications. I've had excellent results using some of the small (700 mah) "bag" style (some for years)...but others question how long lived they are. So A123's are LiFe batteries...but not all LiFe's are "A123".
You'll have to look at specs for your specific glow ignitor, to see if it can be used with the packs - it appears that recent models can. If it is old, you'll have to ask Sullivan what the acceptable voltage range is. If it is good, then yes, you can just use one pack for everything. In that case, I'd just get a pack made by Lithium werks, as you'll need the capacity anyway.
Hangtime Hobbies and Electro Dynamics are two battery vendors for "A123" that come to mind.
A quick look at the manual for your charger indicates that it does have a setting for "A123", but you should verify to make sure yours isn't an older version without. Do NOT use a regular LiPo setting for LiFe batteries!
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Old 09-26-2020, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tedsander View Post
LiFe packs are pretty close to using 5 cell NiCads that we used to do in the old days. Generally old receivers and servos will work well with them. Yes, you are pushing the voltage a bit, but not extremely so. I've even run some really old Kraft servos and RCD receivers with them, for long periods.
Note that there are two "kinds" of LiFe batteries on the market. Ones that resemble LiPo's, made from foil wrapped "bags", and ones made specifically by "Lithium werks", who bought out and renamed what used to be called "A123". Those look like the traditional metal cell Nicads. Generally regarded as the best, but they aren't real small - 2500 mah or bigger, so may be too much for some applications. I've had excellent results using some of the small (700 mah) "bag" style (some for years)...but others question how long lived they are. So A123's are LiFe batteries...but not all LiFe's are "A123".
You'll have to look at specs for your specific glow ignitor, to see if it can be used with the packs - it appears that recent models can. If it is old, you'll have to ask Sullivan what the acceptable voltage range is. If it is good, then yes, you can just use one pack for everything. In that case, I'd just get a pack made by Lithium werks, as you'll need the capacity anyway.
Hangtime Hobbies and Electro Dynamics are two battery vendors for "A123" that come to mind.
A quick look at the manual for your charger indicates that it does have a setting for "A123", but you should verify to make sure yours isn't an older version without. Do NOT use a regular LiPo setting for LiFe batteries!
Thanks Tedsanders! The Sullivan onboard igniter says that it will work with voltages from 1.2-7.6 so I'm guessing that it has a regulator so as not to burn out the plugs? Also the idea of LiFe was planted in my head from this YT vid from Redwing RC He talks about using LiFe batteries Resembling LiPo's. I did however look at the A123 cells you speak of from Hang time and Radical rc, I did send them both an email heard from Radical but never got a reply Hang time. To be clear that inquire was for running separate batteries for the electronics and the Glow driver. When I saw the vid from Redwing RC I wondered if I went with a large enough pack, if I could just run both I just didn't know if that was a good practice or not.


Old 09-26-2020, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Diryt8 View Post
Thanks Tedsanders! The Sullivan onboard igniter says that it will work with voltages from 1.2-7.6 so I'm guessing that it has a regulator so as not to burn out the plugs? Also the idea of LiFe was planted in my head from this YT vid from Redwing RC He talks about using LiFe batteries Resembling LiPo's. I did however look at the A123 cells you speak of from Hang time and Radical rc, I did send them both an email heard from Radical but never got a reply Hang time. To be clear that inquire was for running separate batteries for the electronics and the Glow driver. When I saw the vid from Redwing RC I wondered if I went with a large enough pack, if I could just run both I just didn't know if that was a good practice or not.
Sounds like they do use a regulator, since glow plugs only need 1.2-1.5 or so volts. They likely deliberately made it just so anyone could use whatever battery they wanted. Running a glow driver will be just fine. Now if you were asking about a gasoline engine...that is a whole different kettle of fish, due to the spark plug....
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:07 AM
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LiFe is definitely the best we have going for us today. If you want the best of the best make sure you get them built from A123 cells. (A123 is a brand name).
LeisureRcModels.com sells them for a very reasonable price.
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:32 AM
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Running one pack for everything will work fine with the right capacity. I run all gassers. On a 67" profile I have a DLE20cc. A single 2500 LiFe 2cell pack will get me 4 flights with more than 50% left. I fell like the ignition probably pulls more than glow plugs. When I ran a 1.20 twin OS in a Cub years ago the plugs only had power under 1/3 power anyway.

David
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:25 PM
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Default Best on off Switch

I just lost a plane to a on off switch that failed. I think it is one that came with an old Futaba radio. What is a good reliable switch to use. I think I should replace the switches in all my planes. Help
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for the extra info guys! I think i'm going to go with a separate pack for the glow driver! Going to go with a 2 cell LiFe 2500mA, should give me plenty of run time.
Old 10-09-2020, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rams View Post
I just lost a plane to a on off switch that failed. I think it is one that came with an old Futaba radio. What is a good reliable switch to use. I think I should replace the switches in all my planes. Help
Futaba used to make a heavy duty. Not sure if they still do. I like the switches from Valley View RC with the fuel dot built in.

David

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