|Weight:||7 ounces (193g)|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||106 x 35 x 23mm|
|Maximum Continuous Current:||286A @ 65C|
|Charging Current:||1C (2.2A) to 8C (17.6A)|
|Connectors:||E-flite EC3 power lead; JST-XH balancing lead|
|Distributor/Available From:||2DogRC.com, Fayetteville, North Carolina USA|
If there's one thing that can be said for electric model flight, it's that the amazing lithium polymer batteries we now use have a rather finite service life.
We can balance them during and after charging, we can be careful not to overdischarge them, but time and repeated cycling eventually play catchup.
When I volunteered to review the Hobbymate HB790 MEMS gyro for RCGroups.com and sister site Crackroll.com, I wanted to present this neat little clone gyro in the best possible light.
To do so, I would need some new batteries since all of my 2200mAh li-po packs were getting really long in the proverbial tooth.
Short flight times and in the case of one model, overheating where previously there was none were all becoming the norm.
Mark Grohe of 2DogRC.com responded to my request for a pack or two for the gyro review with the promise of an exciting new product.
That product is the Mad Dog 2200mAh 3S 65C li-po.
No, you read that right. These amazing new packs, fresh off the shipping container, are rated by the factory for bursts of up to sixty-five times normal capacity and are backed by 2DogRC's lifetime warranty. Not only would I be able to test that gyro in a high-drain helicopter, but I was now able to see whether or not a couple of other models which were exhibiting some weird symptoms would benefit as well. Of course, any new battery would have made a difference, but in the case of two of the models I'm about to discuss, high drain was a problem from the get-go even with regular 20 and 30C packs.
One of those packs was the Mad Dog 2200mAh 3S 35C unit that Mark provided for my review of the Hacker Model Production Extra 330 SC 1200 ARF full-fuselage foamie. That pack has since been run through a series of airplanes and helicopters, survived a minor helicopter crash with little more than torn shrink wrap and is finally starting to run out of breath according to a wattmeter connected to the Extra. Mark was kind enough to extend the lifetime warranty to that pack, allowing me to step up to a third 65C for only half price including shipping.
Might a fourth or even a fifth be on the way? I'm thinking yes and soon. Any li-po with a 65C discharge rating and an 8C recharge rating is definitely worth consideration.
Our test subjects will be the aforementioned Extra 330 along with an HK 450TT Pro helicopter, a Flyzone Switch and a Rotor Concept HPQ1 quadcopter. The Extra and the 450TT were previous RCGroups reviews I'd done, the quadcopter was reviewed by Michael Heer and the Switch turned out to be an unexpected surprise.
Time to move some electrons and put these packs to the test in an RCGroups.com exclusive!
Each Mad Dog 65C pack comes with the following:
E-flite fans, rejoice, for here is an aftermarket pack with an EC3 connector soldered up and ready to fly. I, on the other hand, have Deans Ultra-Plugs on my models.
I e-mailed Mark to ask if it would be OK to solder on some Deans plugs in lieu of the EC3s and he wrote back to say to go for it.
And go for it we shall.
This somewhat troublesome little machine managed to follow me home from the 2012 AMA Expo in Ontario, California thanks to Bob Ornelas, a friend who put up the $299 purchase price for several for members of our group. Bob, sad to say, gave up on his and it's currently up for consignment at a local hobby shop. Michael Heer had the privilege of reviewing the HPQ1 and his review is here.
Most of the problems with this model stemmed from an inferior radio system. Even with four motors and two control boards, the factory claims a flight time of 18 - 25 minutes with the supplied 2400mAh pack, but I suspect that is as much of an inflated claim as the mile-high operational ceiling.
Sudden throttle changes sometimes caused rudder blowout, even with the supplied pack. Changing the radio to a Spektrum DX6i and AR600 full-range receiver eliminated the radio glitches, brownouts and and drifting trim issues, but loss of rudder control after a few minutes with the aging batteries was a new problem. One of those brownouts had resulted in a crash which damaged the original pack, so I never had the opportunity to fly the HPQ1 with the new radio and original battery.
I should mention that the only other changes I'd made to the quad were to the props. I'd experimented with APC 8x4.5 standard and reverse rotation props, settling on a set of carbon-filled GemFan 8x3.8 quadrotor props from RCDude.com.
Off I went to a local softball park with the HPQ1 and one of the Mad Dog packs in tow. Once I got it in the air, I started the 6:00 countdown timer on the DX6i and proceeded to do some throttle punching.
Zoom! Off it went, straight up and in perfect control. I tried that maneuver a couple of times and with the same result. The Mad Dog simply shrugged off the assault on its monstrous C rating.
Some fast forward flight in the outfield helped to discharge the pack and there wasn't the slightest hint of loss of rudder control. Nor was there after the six-minute timer ran out. I took it out for another couple of minutes and still no hint of rudder loss. If anything, this was one of the most satisfying flights I'd experienced in months of flying and experimentation. The pack itself came down at ambient temperature and it might well have gone 20 minutes; it only took a half hour to recharge it.
Hooking up the Super Whattmeter and carefully throttling up to full showed an initial charge of 12.51 volts with a draw of only 18.6 amps at a strong 12.3 volts. Five minutes spent hovering the quad in the garage to scrub off more of the charge showed 12.03 volts on my ElectriFly Triton EQ charger.
After only sixteen minutes, the Mad Dog was topped off and ready to fly once more.
This amazing full-fuselage foam aerobat has become one of my favorite planes ever since its 2011 review. It remains in as-tested condition except for the removal of the foam strut covers and wheel covers and the addition of Great Planes wheel retainers. The review is available here.
The original power setup is:
Mark had sent a 30C Mad Dog pack for the review and that battery's decal is the one shown atop the model's cowl. It's also the one which suffered a crash in the 450TT and which may have contributed to its shortened life.
The power system provided by Hacker Motor in Phoenix, Arizona is a powerful, well-matched one, but it had a tendency even when new to pull a lot of current, especially on startup. Punching the throttle would inevitably result in a stuttering motor, but which would come up to full throttle after a few hiccups. This was the model which resulted in an overheated pack, one which got hot enough to melt the adhesive on the Velcro retaining strip. I called Hacker Motor with that same pack connected to an AstroFlight Super Whattmeter thinking there might have been a problem with the ESC, but the numbers clearly showed a weak, old pack.
My assumption was, if a pack rated for 65C wouldn't hold up and not hiccup, no pack would.
The video is proof positive it did.
The Extra 330 rocketed skyward faster than I'd ever seen it do. So-so vertical climb turned into nearly unlimited vertical climb. I intentionally did some high-drain, full-throttle passes over the runway and into the somewhat crisp wind. Still no throttle response issues; it never flew better.
A check of the pack immediately upon landing showed that it was ever so slightly above ambient temperature even after the thrashing I'd given it. Charging the pack took only 45 minutes later that day.
The Super Whattmeter showed some really interesting numbers after the pack was recharged. The pack was at 12.56 volts before the current draw test, peaking at 31.68 amps and 11.8 volts at full throttle; average half throttle numbers showed the system pulling an even 11 amps at 12 volts. After the test, the pack was at 12.46 volts and topped off in five minutes.
Chalk up another successful flight with Mad Dog power.
Our final test in the review is a now-familiar helicopter which I reviewed in 2011 and followed up by a real "acid test." This was intended as an all-HobbyKing review, right down to the Zippy 2200mAh 20C batteries. They still work OK as of this writing, but they're becoming kind of weak and have always landed slightly on the warm side when flown in this heli. One actually puffed slightly after a couple of flights, not too surprising given the cost. The original review is here.
It, like the Extra 330, still retains its orignal power setup:
This helicopter was the reason I got the packs in the first place; recall that I'd planned to use it as a test bed for the Hobbymate HB790 gyro.
Its first flight with a Mad Dog under the canopy was a revelation.
The head speed prior to takeoff was faster than it had ever been, even when the other packs were new. The model flew for just under six minutes according to the timer on the Airtronics SD-6G radio I fly it with. Note that while the discharge rate is far higher than normal, the capacity is not.
Still, the HK450TT responded to sudden throttle changes and idle up changes without the slightest hiccup. Before the Mad Dog, sudden throttle changes would result in brief tail twitches and threats of brownout. No longer.
The real test would come during the video shoot. After about two minutes of flying the helicopter, I got to chatting with one of our club members.
John Williamson, age 10, is a terrific young pilot who's come up from a beat-up ParkZone Super Cub to a four-channel Flyzone Switch. I have a Switch; I'd reviewed it in 2010 for the AMA's MASportflyer.com e-zine. I also know that it loves to slurp electrons and its SuperTigre 1800mAh pack is physically larger than most other packs.
John had been watching the video shoots and as he and I chatted, I had the idea of putting his Switch in the air with the partially discharged Mad Dog pack. It would, of course, be under supervision by his father and I. John loved the idea and we got the Switch ready to go.
I warned him to please limit the flight time since the battery was partially discharged, but to go ahead and have fun with the throttle while it was in the air.
John punched the throttle on takeoff and the Switch blasted down the runway without the slightest sign of brownout. It cruised beautifully at about half throttle with a few high-speed blasts thrown in without a problem for about three minutes. It landed with what appeared to be plenty of oomph and the recharge time later on bore that out; the pack was back to full charge in about 45 minutes.
To put it mildly, that isn't too shabby for a pack flown through two high-drain models without recharging.
Of course! The 2200mAh size is a common one found in a plethora of models and the EC3 connector makes it a perfect choice for use in many Horizon Hobby models. A beginner with little or no soldering experience should seek assistance in changing out the connectors if desired since even the briefest of short circuits will destroy this or any lithium polymer battery.
Mark Grohe spent a lot of time, money and effort venting li-pos from a number of manufacturers before settling on these marvelous packs. They will shrug off the largest current-draining assaults imaginable and come back for more, including recharges of up to 8C. Add to that the 2DogRC lifetime warranty on all Mad Dog packs and these batteries get an enthusiastic two thumbs up. Way, way up. They're affordable and will work far better in the long run than low-priced packs, making these a far bigger bargain.
If your model is worth it to you, it's worth a Mad Dog 65C li-po.
Tremendous thanks once more go to Mark Grohe for his unwavering support here at RCGroups. I always look forward to working with Mark and I highly recommend his wonderful products backed by his equally wonderful service.
Angela Haglund is the administrator without whom none of these reviews are possible and she maintains an overwhelming schedule both here and at her day job.
We here at the authors' forum at RCGroups.com thank you, our readers, for your support as well. All of us are glad you're here at our family-friendly site and we all invite you to check in often for the latest in all things radio controlled.
See you all next time!
These packs are simply terrific:
As for the minuses:
Could you point us to the data that supports the following pro: "Initial testing supports the claim of the high discharge rate".
I thoroughly read through the review and I did not see any empirical test data that supports the 65C claim. A 65C (286A) discharge curve would be handy. I would even settle for measured individual cell internal resistance.
Haha, hard to say. Gauge and length not specified and cannot see much in the photos. Good point though. ;)
The tap wires are the thickest I've ever seen on a battery this size and I'm basing my "initial testing" claim on the high-drain setup on the Hacker Extra. Soldering those Deans connectors was a real bear because of the wire thickness, even with a Jigs Up soldering jig. In retrospect, some flux might have helped.
I'll ask Mark to forward his data, something I probably should have done in the first place. I'll post it here when I get it.
To be clear, the 'tap wires' that grim and I were referring to were the balance tap wire gauge and length, not the main output wires (which are presumably 12 AWG).
I've just e-mailed Mark Grohe and I'll post the data the moment I get it.
Hum... seems like the wrong picture and page title for this battery :)
Someone got copy/paste happy :)
The article links to the wrong page! Oy...
In any event, please note the review is purely a subjective one done in real world situations; it was purely my idea to do the review since he was kind enough to offer a couple of samples for the review of the Hobbymate HB790 gyro. I know from experience that Mark does a stellar job of choosing and backing his products.
Thanks for the sharp eyes, Grim. :)
Thank you for the review. I appreciate the time you took to do this, even though the primary review was for the other item. I am glad you linked to the wrong picture because I realized I had not put up the New Battery picture of the 3300 6 battery. Sometimes when our new products come in, we sell out before I get a chance to take a picture!
Keep up the good work!
How about a report back after a couple of months of actual use.
In all honesty, I'd be more impressed if there was a singular standard test from EVERY battery mfg. used to judge the performance data. We all know, or at least should know, not every pack will deliver as advertised. However, the consumer should have some expectaion that there would at least be a 98% compliance with advertised rating and longevity rating from the mfg. Anything else is just a lie!
As an example, a 65c discharge rating from 1 mfg. may not be the same as another. Is the 65c good for 30 seconds or 5 minutes? Is an 8c charge good for 3 times or 100 times? There are just to many variables from the mfgs. that remain inconsistent and therein remains the problem from my perspective. Until the people in this hobby start DEMANDING a valuation of testing to a certain standard, then everything is nothing more then a given opinion by the user or mfg.
As long as I'm on my high horse and preaching, this hobby needs a singular standard for balancing taps. I know there's a plethorea of money to made by the mfgs. for differences in taps but it costs every one of us for this dog & pony show to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars every year and this needs to be stopped! Devleop a standard and stick with it. 1 balance tap for EVERY pack. How simple would that be?
I'll save my disgust for mandatory registration to buy from any vendor to my blog.
Attached is my dualsky 11.1v 30c 1300mah from 2dogsRC which I bet the same with maddog lipos. Although I dont know what gauge of the balanced tap either but its made of silicone wire, kind of flimsy and it it is short indeed.
The original connector of the battery on review actually has a DC3 connector which is compatible with EC3 and XT60
FWIW, I acquired my dualsky lipos from 2dogsRC last year. Checked the IR as received, at room temp of 77F, it has an IR of 8 on each cell which translate to 24C or maximum discharge of 31A .
I wonder if we can get the IR data of the invidual cell of the battery in review from 2dogsRC? I'm pretty sure he can use the Wayne Gile ESR that he purchased :)
Mad Dog batteries are NOT from Dualsky.
You IR reading needs to be at 72F to use the tool you link to.
Balance leads are appropriate for current that balance chargers use.
I won't post IR data for many reasons, one being the website it is sold on posts their battery IR readings yet still market their batteries at a Higher C then "maximum C" from the meter, checkout the big packs. This does not give me confidence on accuracy. (This is covered in numerous other threads and more relevant there.)
I am with you 100%! I wish manufactures had a standard on C rating, it would make my purchasing lot easier and take out alot of the competition that sells cheap junk!
I also agree 100% with you on the taps, but I would add connectors as well! Every time E-Flite releases a new plane they stick a different connector somewhere. I bet I could out sell the E-Flite batteries at my stores months earlier if all the taps were the same.
On the registration, I agree as well. However it is is hard to mail you a box without your address!
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