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Old May 25, 2011, 11:15 AM
Park City, UT
Joined Mar 2011
24 Posts
Discussion
Metal-hydride or LiPo...which would you use?

I just picked up a Spirit 100 ARF and I am wondering whether I should use a metal-hydride battery pack or a LiPo. I am leaning towards metal-hydride because I:

- don't need a ESC w/ BEC
- safer to handle/charge
- cheaper

So on a plane w/o a motor, why would I want to use a LiPo?
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Old May 25, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Daxanator's Avatar
Draper, Ut
Joined Aug 2005
428 Posts
My understanding is :
LiPo : Longer battery life, cold resistance, lighter, less crash resistant.
NiMH : Cheap, easy to charge, heavier, more crash resistant, doesn't like cold.

Really up to you what you use. But I use NiMH in everything. Mostly because they are cheap and readily available (wallmart) if you build your own pack. That said Bobby and Dan swear by LiPo. Maybe they can chime in..
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Old May 25, 2011, 12:28 PM
Park City, UT
Joined Mar 2011
24 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daxanator View Post
My understanding is :
LiPo : Longer battery life, cold resistance, lighter, less crash resistant.
NiMH : Cheap, easy to charge, heavier, more crash resistant, doesn't like cold.

Really up to you what you use. But I use NiMH in everything. Mostly because they are cheap and readily available (wallmart) if you build your own pack. That said Bobby and Dan swear by LiPo. Maybe they can chime in..
Have you ever had a sailplane that didn't need additional nose weight.....even with M-MH pack? ;-)
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Old May 25, 2011, 01:39 PM
Just plane Mad
paramtn's Avatar
utah
Joined Dec 2002
407 Posts
Battery

ALL MY GLIDERS HAVE NIMH IN THEM. Never had any problems with them. It should blow south all day if you are interested in getting some time in. I will take extra planes if you want to fly. Should be up there about 4 if wind holds thru evening.
Ted
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Old May 25, 2011, 01:49 PM
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Daxanator's Avatar
Draper, Ut
Joined Aug 2005
428 Posts
Yep thats right. I just didn't want to babble on about that..it still can make a difference in the AUW. How much depends on the plane. But for something simple like the spirit just solder up a Energizer NiMH AA pack and go fly! IMO
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Old May 25, 2011, 03:35 PM
Mike M.
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United States, UT, Eden
Joined Jan 2010
5,071 Posts
Lipo all the way for me, at least in DLGs where physical size and weight are so important. Several other reasons:

1. Shelf life. Charge after you fly and it will still be topped off and ready to go a week or two later. NiMH's loose charge rather quickly when sitting and must be constantly topped off to insure full charge.
2. No "cycling" needed for conditioning. Lipos can always take any size top-off charge without worrying about discharging first.
3. If your glider needs nose weight anyway, you can always use a larger capacity lipo. More running time is weight well spent.
4. Lipos seem to have less tendency to false peak on the charger (my experience anyway, YMMV). This cost me an expensive plane once on a NiMH that I "thought" was fully charged.
5. Lipos seem more efficient and last longer. I replaced all the 400mAh NiMH's in my DLG's with 360mAh lipos, and the smaller lipos easily last 50% longer than the larger NiMH's. Don't know why...
6. I have to run a voltage regulator with the lipo, but have never had an issue with one. They add a few grams of weight, but still much lighter than NiMH. Plus, the regulators I use have built in low voltage alarm LEDs that turn on as a visual indicator when it's time to stop flying. Bonus feature.
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Old May 25, 2011, 11:31 PM
Great, kid! Don't get Cocky!
HahnSolo's Avatar
Joined Sep 2006
527 Posts
This is one of those subjects that polarizes people (no pun intended).

In reality, there is NO reason to use expensive and potentially risky LiPo's in a plane that has no high current draw requirements from a motor. Any standard radio system works very well with simple NimH cells that are inexpensive and readily available. In addition, the NimH pack can be used to balance a bird that almost always requires nose weight.

In regards to self-discharge, the newest types of NimH cells are designed to retain upwards of 85% of their original charge even after one year of just sitting on a shelf. I am starting to use Sanyo "Eneloop" batteries almost exclusively in all my birds and am very happy with their performance. I can have a 4-cell, 2000mah pack made at Battery Specialists for less than $25.

Ultimately, it's your decision, but based on the responses in this thread, most flyers are very happy with the cost and performance of NimH's. Just my 2 cents. . .

Solo
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Old May 26, 2011, 09:25 AM
hot air rises...
jfinch's Avatar
Pleasant Grove, UT
Joined Jul 2005
7,713 Posts
I like both and use both in my gliders. Good lists of pros and cons of each chemisty.

Another advantage of NiMH is they can be drained to zero and safely recharged. I can't count how many times I've screwed up and left either my TX or RX left on overnight. I've done that a couple times with Lipos too but I had to replace them after that stunt.
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