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battery cyclers

Old 03-24-2003, 01:27 AM
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peppster
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Default battery cyclers

Hi guys, I am learning more about this hobby every day, but I have a question, are battery cyclers reaally necessary?, and why. I have two planes, and only one radio, I use it maybe twice a week, and I charge it the night before flying for about 9 hours, as per manual, I think I have a good charge, as I havent had any battery failures yet.Is it only needed on older radio equiptment?what exactly do they do? Can anybody out there please explain to a new guy, why these are needed, I just dont know, and thank you all in advance, you guys have been a great help to me,thanks...peppster...
Old 03-24-2003, 02:26 AM
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Stick Jammer
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Default battery cyclers

Go here for lots of good info on batteries:

http://www.rcbatteryclinic.com/
Old 03-25-2003, 07:25 PM
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greenboot
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Default battery cyclers

Well I don't cycle my batteries and they work just fine. I also fly regularly and use the standard charger. I charge based on how long I last flew and how long it has sat since last being flown. 2 hours charging per flight plus one hour for each day sitting, but never more than 10 hours total.

I monitor my batteries with a volt meter between flights so I know they are in good shape. I field charge if they drop to 4.8.

Many others will recommend regular cycling which seems to do no harm. And it does tell you the exact capacity of the pack.

Tom
Old 03-25-2003, 08:28 PM
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MHawker
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Default battery cyclers

If you are using NIMH batteries, there is some debate on the value of cycling them. Suffice it to say, if you buy a charger/cycler, you will have the ability to discharge your batteries which will allow you to get a idea of the capacity of your packs. When you see your capacities going down, it's time to replace them.

This is better than finding out in the air that it was a bad pack.

Good luck with your decision.

Mike
Old 03-25-2003, 09:38 PM
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FLYBOY
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Default battery cyclers

I borrowed a cycler for a while but bought one a few years ago. I mainly cycle them a few times just to get an idea of how long they will last on a charge. If they start loosing time, I tend to pitch them. Some people say that ni cads develope a memory. I don't know enough about batteries to comment on that one but I don't think I really believe it. I have never seen anything that indicates they will. They will cycle at the recommended Mah or close, and if they get down to about 80% of that, I figure they are gone. Haven't ever had a problem doing that.
Old 03-25-2003, 11:36 PM
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GrnBrt
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Default battery cyclers

I use an ACE abacus to cycle my batteries down and see how they are doing. If i had done it more I wouldn't have lost a plane to battery failure in flight. Yes I checked it out just before the flight with a voltmeter and it showed a full charge but trouble was waiting for me on that flight. I also have a quick charge that my friend in Australia designed and it will show you right then if a battery is starting to go bad way before anything else will.
Old 03-26-2003, 12:39 AM
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RCaeroguy
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Default battery cyclers

Well, if I understand things. And that's not likely. The standard wall charger that comes with our radios is just a dumb "soap on a rope" type charger. It has no brain. Nothing to tell it to shut off. It just keeps giving the battery what it wants. No trickle, no nothing. A battery cycler, does a couple of things. It discharges the batteries to a known point (1.0 or 1.1 volts per cell). This keeps the charger from "cooking" the cells. By draining the cells, it minimizes the memory effect NiCds are known for. Also, most cyclers have a couple of displays on them that indicate the capacity of the battery in question. Typically, if the indicated capacity is less than 75% of the rated capacity, it's time for new batteries.

By the way, a fully discharged NiCd cell with no load (open circuit) is roughly 1.1volts per cell. Weird.

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