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-   -   Charging RX and TX batteries (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/questions-answers-154/7959139-charging-rx-tx-batteries.html)

tcraftpo 09-16-2008 05:41 AM

Charging RX and TX batteries
 
I was just wondering what people use to charge there RX and TX batteries? I currently charge with the charger supplied with the radio, but now I will be buying bigger capacity packs and different chemistries ( ie: NiMh) I also wanted to know if it is a good idea to put the batts on a charger that will keep them under a trickle charge, so when I am ready to fly, they are ready to fly. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Pat

MinnFlyer 09-16-2008 08:23 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
I use an Accucycle. It can charge at 2 rates (50a and 125a) which is nice for charging both standard and large capacity batteries, plus it can be switched between 4 and 5 cell Rx packs.

Once charged, it switches to trickle mode.

The only down side is: it can only charge one Rx and one Tx at a time.

But I also have a "Lil Trickler" which I use with those standard Wall Wart chargers to keep things topped off. It will hold up to 3 chargers at once.

airbusdrvr 09-16-2008 08:50 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
It kinda depends on the number of planes you need to charge and if you have more than one transmitter. I use the supplied wall wart for my transmitter, but have a couple of chargers to do my planes. I usually take two planes to the field and have two SuperNova 250SS chargers that I charge the planes with the night before. Then on the way to the field they get a top off charge. Also, with the SuperNova and similar type chargers, you can program it to charge your transmitter at the field, if needed. There are many variables in the plane charging. If you fly many flights, you may want a charger for the field that runs from 12VDC or 120AC if available. If, however, you only fly four or five flights, charging at home should work. But do always use a loaded voltmeter to check your receiver battery before each flight. Batteries do get old and start to loose capacity.

tcraftpo 09-17-2008 05:29 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
Thanks for the info guys! MinnFlyer: Do you know if the AccuCycle will charge NiMh packs? I will be installing a 1500 mAh ( approx.) NiMh RX pack in a new plane and am guessing that the Wall Wart ( made fo NiCds) that came with the radio won't charge the new packs. Let me know.....Pat

bkdavy 09-17-2008 07:09 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
Another downside to the Accucycle is that it charges at a constant rate for a predetermined time - 15 hrs. Doing the math, 15 hours at 125 mA gives 1875 mah, which is above the capacity of your 1500 mah pack. The accucycle is good for giving you a readout of your actual battery capacity. You might want to look at one of the many smart chargers that are available. I have the Superbrain 959, and regularly use it to charge my reciever and transmitter packs. They will monitor the voltage required toachieve the selected charging current, and stop when the voltage drops slightly, a characteristic of a fully charged NiCd or NiMH batteries (Peak Detection).

You do have to be careful on the NiMH packs to not exceet their max charging rate, particularly when you get into the higher capacity packs. They can get fragile. A 1500 mah pack should be pretty robust. I normally charge my reciever and transmitter batteries at 500 ma. I'll probably be looking for a newer charger in the future that allows a lower charging rate, as my 959 is not very good for the initial forming charge on NiMH packs.

The wall-wart charger that you have is probably a 50ma constant current charger, and will work. Just realize it will take 30+ hours to charge your 1500mah pack.

Brad

BarracudaHockey 09-17-2008 07:35 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
The Accucyle Elite is a very flexable charger and has settings for Nicad/Nimh as well as up to 3 cell Lipo.

da Rock 09-17-2008 10:02 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
Charge the RX and TX? How about at the same time, and with a smart charger?

Do it all the time.

Come home from the flying field and plug the airplane and the transmitter into one charger. Go take a shower and have supper. Come back down to the basement and look to see how much juice the airplane used and how much juice the transmitter took. Those give you some clue how healthy the two batteries are. In the last couple of years, that has led to swapping out a couple of batteries that just might have cost a couple of airplanes.

The Accucycle Elite is a charger that can charge two different capacity batteries at the same time. And will tell you what it took to fill 'em up. And will work off your house (A/C) or off your car battery (D/C).

BTW, those swapped out batteries? One was going bad. The others needed cycling. Did that with the Elite over night. Man, we got some awesome modeling tools nowadays.

Rodney 09-17-2008 10:44 AM

RE: Charging RX and TX batteries
 
There are at least three versions of the Accucyle, which one do you have? If the Elite, it is very programmable and adaptable for NiCad, NiMh and LiPO. Since you can program the trickle charge as well as charge rate, it makes doing the initial forming charges on NiCad and NiMh easy, just program the trickle charge rate the same as the charge rate and let it do its 15 hour charge to give the proper form charging. If using the peak detection feature, just make sure the charge rate is high enough to get a reliable indication of when peak charge is attained. If on LiPo, no worry unless you program in the wrong number of cells as it will stop charging when each cell reaches 4.2 volts (just make sure the battery is balanced). I usually use an external balancer on LiPo's which are connected while the charge is being done as the Elite does not have a balance function.


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