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Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

Old 02-20-2007, 02:57 PM
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Kevlar
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Default Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

So I got this Hobbico Accu Cycle off RCU and it seems to work...I think.

I put on a Rx battery, hit discharge (red led lights) - discharges battery and then green (charge) led lights. mA meter starts to ascend and then stops at 31 (mA?) after about 1 hour. I leave it for another 4/5 hours thinking it will go to trickle, but nothing. Battery is very slightly warm, and pegs full green on my Expanded scale VM.

SETUP: Std 4.8V Rx battery, charger set at 125mA charge rate, 4-cells, 250 mA discharge. So what should be happening? What should I do / look for on the meters? How long should this take?

Now on to the Tx battery. So I can’t just plug the Accu Cycle into the standard charge plug for the Tx charger and discharge / charge? When I do, it won’t discharge but states it’s charging. I did remove the battery and then it cycled through discharge, back to charge – meter ascended to read 6 mA and stayed at the level. Again waited 4/5 hours, but no change to trickle and battery read 11.1 V on Futaba radio.

What gives. Am I doing something wrong, to impatient or do I have a bad charger.

Thanks!
Old 02-20-2007, 03:25 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

G'day Mate,
I think you are impatient, leave the thing alone & let it do it's job. It may be faulty, I dunno, but leave it on until it stops charging.
What is a standard RX battery, I assume you mean 600Mah, if the battery was flat when you started, you would need to put in 140% of 600, at 125Ma to charge it, about 840Ma, that would take nearly 7 hours, do you see where I'm heading.
I think 125Ma is a bit high, go for about 60 or 70 Ma, it will take longer, but never hurt the pack.
Old 02-20-2007, 03:33 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??


ORIGINAL: alan0899

G'day Mate,
I think you are impatient, leave the thing alone & let it do it's job. It may be faulty, I dunno, but leave it on until it stops charging.
What is a standard RX battery, I assume you mean 600Mah, if the battery was flat when you started, you would need to put in 140% of 600, at 125Ma to charge it, about 840Ma, that would take nearly 7 hours, do you see where I'm heading.
I think 125Ma is a bit high, go for about 60 or 70 Ma, it will take longer, but never hurt the pack.
I figured I might be a little impatient...just didn't want to damage the cells, or the charger. I can also select a lower chare rate, 60-80 mA I believe. Maybe I'll try that after I go through a discharge cycle.

How often should you cycle your batteries. Just trying to get ready for the flying season.
Old 02-20-2007, 03:54 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

G'day Mate,
I cycle my new packs 3 or 4 times to get the capacity up, I also wrirte down all the data, for every pack, which I number, so I can identify them, then about every 2 months, we fly all year round here, I do it this often because I have had planes crash due to bad cells, but it does take about 3 years to begin to have failures, & I like to keep track of em.
Old 02-20-2007, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

You wont be able to discharge the tx batteries while the batteries are connected. Most tx are diode protected (current only flows to the battery) so discharge through the charge jack isn't possible. Instead turn on the tx and let the batteries run down to 1.1v a cell and recharge.
Do be careful using an Accu Cycle, always check your batteries using an expanded scale volt meter.
deep cycle about once a month if you fly 2 times a week or so. every other month if you fly the weekends
Old 02-20-2007, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

This is a simple cycler. connect the battery, select discharge rate, select display either mah or time, select number of cells, select charge rate. Discharge button resets display and starts counting time or mah, mah is most useful. after voltage is detected at less than 1.05 V per cell the dishcharge quits and a 15 hour charge is initiated. The display holds the mah discharged. It does nothing to count the charge sequence only the discharge. The unit is for only NiCD or NiMH cells. When flashing it is on trickle charge.

I too bought mine off ebay. Hobbico website has downloadable manual. Search forums for a calibration procedure. They are often off. You'll need a amp meter for this. However calibration is not necessary. Just run three discharge cycles and record average mah. Compare this over time to watch drop in performance. I do mine once maybe twice a year. When mah drops to a level, I use 85% of original test, I toss. I have not had to toss a pack, some are 4 years old. Do not go by manufactureres nameplate unless you calibrate the accu-cycle first. Mine was reading low mah by 15%.

Mine stays in the shop subjected to lots of balsa dust. The selector switch for charge rate gets dirty and hinders operation. Buy some contact cleaner and spray into switch while working back and forth. THis cleans up switch and restores performance. I noticed this when one pack gave mah readings all over the board. Checking it against amp meter showed the problem with switch.

Simple unit that handles everything about nicd and nimh.

Old 02-20-2007, 06:50 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

Mine my be an earlier model, red and yellow lights, but it will automatically go to trickle when the charging cycle is done. Use the lowest charge rate and it will go to trickle (flashing) when done.
Old 02-20-2007, 06:54 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

Sounds like you are doing the right thing.
Can you make a picture of your readings and post it?
I have one and it works great.

ORIGINAL: Kevlar

So I got this Hobbico Accu Cycle off RCU and it seems to work...I think.

I put on a Rx battery, hit discharge (red led lights) - discharges battery and then green (charge) led lights. mA meter starts to ascend and then stops at 31 (mA?) after about 1 hour. I leave it for another 4/5 hours thinking it will go to trickle, but nothing. Battery is very slightly warm, and pegs full green on my Expanded scale VM.

SETUP: Std 4.8V Rx battery, charger set at 125mA charge rate, 4-cells, 250 mA discharge. So what should be happening? What should I do / look for on the meters? How long should this take?

Now on to the Tx battery. So I can’t just plug the Accu Cycle into the standard charge plug for the Tx charger and discharge / charge? When I do, it won’t discharge but states it’s charging. I did remove the battery and then it cycled through discharge, back to charge – meter ascended to read 6 mA and stayed at the level. Again waited 4/5 hours, but no change to trickle and battery read 11.1 V on Futaba radio.

What gives. Am I doing something wrong, to impatient or do I have a bad charger.

Thanks!
Old 02-20-2007, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

Kvlar,

On your TX, you can take off the back of your TX and install a bypass wire accross the diode that prevents it from being able to discharge. Its very simple. If your not sure, ask your local guru or out of the AMA in your area, someone knows how to do it. Done properly, it's safe for your TX ...... Greg
Old 02-20-2007, 09:26 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??


ORIGINAL: Rod Bender

Kvlar,

On your TX, you can take off the back of your TX and install a bypass wire accross the diode that prevents it from being able to discharge. Its very simple. If your not sure, ask your local guru or out of the AMA in your area, someone knows how to do it. Done properly, it's safe for your TX ...... Greg
Greg,

Do you have a drawing or 'schematic' of that wire bypass?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

ORIGINAL: Geistware

Sounds like you are doing the right thing.
Can you make a picture of your readings and post it?
I have one and it works great.
Okay - here are the pics with (2) batteries installed.

Pic 1: Hydramax NiMH 4.8V battery rated at 1450 mA. Plugged in to charge and the mA's did not increase...maybe had to wait longer due to it's capacity? Charger set at 125 mA based on chart on left of panel

Pic 2: Cadnica NiMH 4.8V battery not sure of rating, didn't want to peel back shrink-wrap. Discharged to 98 mA until it started the charge cycle. Charger set at 50 mA...

SOOOOO....what the heck does all this mean. I tried a different pack yesterday and it stopped at 13 mA before cycling to charge.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:46 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

Kvlar,

Every TX is different. I can take a pic of mine and show you, but you really need to know what your doing to do this safely. Again, in your MA mag, check under your area for your electronics guru, or someone at your field should have the know how.

On your batteries.....the mAh only show what is discharged, not charging. Also, are your batteries NiCad, Nmhd ? or Lipo ?

Greg
Old 02-20-2007, 11:33 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

This is a timed charger, it charges for 15 hours then switches to trickle. The green led flashes when in trickle mode. Look at your charger. The table that has battery size charge rate. in the pciture with the 1450 mah 4.8 hydramax battery you have it set correctly. You need to wait 15 hours for the charge to complete. since it is only 7 hours between your posts you have not waited for accu cycle to complete its charge sequence.

I would guess these batteries work fine? after all if they just put out 98 mah you'd would have crashed shortly after takeoff. Take your 4.8 receiver pack and charge it with your normal charger according to instructions. Then place it on the accucycle just as your picture shows. Hit the discharge cycle and see what you get. You should get near 1450 mah.

If you do not get near 1450 mah, and given that you see same poor performance on other packs, I think you may have a defective accu cycle or perhaps loose connections.

You have a voltmeter so observe voltage cutoff. Hook it to battery and charger at same time. observe when the charger switches from discharge to charge, it should be 4.2 volts on a 4.8 four cell battery. A loose connection can cause a premature end to the discharge step and a low mah reading. Same loose connection during charge would lead to lack of complete charge and a low reading on mah on discharge.

Here is a download link for the instruction manual

Expanded scale voltmeter is better than a voltmeter. However each are nearly useless when determining amount of charge left in battery on nimh and nicad chemistry. If you have a electricians multimeter, know how to operate it and basic DC electrical knowledge use it to check discharge and charge rates. Most multimeters even the cheap ones will read milliamp DC current.

I also found link to calibration of the accu cycle.



[link=http://[link]http://www.hobbico.com/manuals/index.html[/link]]hobbico accu cycle manual[/link][link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_1526489/anchors_1526489/mpage_1/key_accu%252Ccycle%252Ccalibration/anchor/tm.htm#1526489]accu cycle calibration[/link]
Old 02-21-2007, 08:11 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??


ORIGINAL: badger5964

This is a timed charger, it charges for 15 hours then switches to trickle. The green led flashes when in trickle mode. Look at your charger. The table that has battery size charge rate. in the pciture with the 1450 mah 4.8 hydramax battery you have it set correctly. You need to wait 15 hours for the charge to complete. since it is only 7 hours between your posts you have not waited for accu cycle to complete its charge sequence.

I would guess these batteries work fine? after all if they just put out 98 mah you'd would have crashed shortly after takeoff. Take your 4.8 receiver pack and charge it with your normal charger according to instructions. Then place it on the accucycle just as your picture shows. Hit the discharge cycle and see what you get. You should get near 1450 mah.

If you do not get near 1450 mah, and given that you see same poor performance on other packs, I think you may have a defective accu cycle or perhaps loose connections.

You have a voltmeter so observe voltage cutoff. Hook it to battery and charger at same time. observe when the charger switches from discharge to charge, it should be 4.2 volts on a 4.8 four cell battery. A loose connection can cause a premature end to the discharge step and a low mah reading. Same loose connection during charge would lead to lack of complete charge and a low reading on mah on discharge.

Here is a download link for the instruction manual

Expanded scale voltmeter is better than a voltmeter. However each are nearly useless when determining amount of charge left in battery on nimh and nicad chemistry. If you have a electricians multimeter, know how to operate it and basic DC electrical knowledge use it to check discharge and charge rates. Most multimeters even the cheap ones will read milliamp DC current.

I also found link to calibration of the accu cycle.



[link=http://[link]http://www.hobbico.com/manuals/index.html[/link]]hobbico accu cycle manual[/link][link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_1526489/anchors_1526489/mpage_1/key_accu%252Ccycle%252Ccalibration/anchor/tm.htm#1526489]accu cycle calibration[/link]

Ok thanks, I'll test as you state. But more importantly - the discharge cycle will state how much current was 'removed' on a full pack (so 98 mA was the at rest capacity of the last pacK?). Guess I need to get fully charged Rx batteries to develop some solid charging / discharging standards. I'll charge with the normal overnight walwart charger and retest.

Also, since this is a simple charger, it won't let me know if I have 1 bad cell in the pack....while I play around with this Accucycle, can anyone recommend an alternative?

Thanks!
Old 02-21-2007, 10:49 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??


ORIGINAL: Kevlar

Ok thanks, I'll test as you state. But more importantly - the discharge cycle will state how much current was 'removed' on a full pack (so 98 mA was the at rest capacity of the last pacK?). Guess I need to get fully charged Rx batteries to develop some solid charging / discharging standards. I'll charge with the normal overnight walwart charger and retest.

Also, since this is a simple charger, it won't let me know if I have 1 bad cell in the pack....while I play around with this Accucycle, can anyone recommend an alternative?
Thanks!
Kvlar,

Charge your batteries for 12-15hrs, then do the discharge. The accu cycle will discharge the batteries, give you a reading of what the batteries held from last charge, then will automatically start charging for 15 hrs, then automatically switch to trickle. I have 2 of these chargers and they work fine.

I will work on a pic later on in the day for your bypass question ....... Greg
Old 02-21-2007, 11:51 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

OK, in looking at the two pictures, how long had the left picture been charging?
It should take about 12 to 16 hours to charge that pack the way you have it set.
How long did you wait? Remember you would have to wait 1 hour before it reads 125.
Old 02-21-2007, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

YOu are correct in that the 98 represents remaining charge in pack.

It can tell you if you have a bad cell. If you can't get a near 1450 mah reading from the hydrimax pack in picture one. You have a bad pack probably result of bad cell.
Old 02-22-2007, 12:32 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Accu Cycle ??

Okay, I think it works fine at least the Rx side as I haven't played with the Tx side. I threw an almost fully charged std 4.8v 600mA battery on last night and let it drain. This morning it was on charge cycle and it had drained 526 mA. Just like I state earlier...patience is a virtue

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