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Old Jul 06, 2013, 09:10 PM
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Syracuse, NY
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Same charger for A123 Lifes and HK zippy lifes?

Help! I bought a zippy 4s 4200 LiFe pack thinking it was A123 cells in disguise. HK doesn't offer a clue about how to charge them, just chargers they will sell you that support the chemistry. I have a Ginzel Spectra charger that will do A123's, but are all LiFe configurations the same? The zippy pack states the same voltage as a 4s 123 pack would have - 13.2 volts.
Also, my charger doesn't have balancing. This has never been a problem because I only charge Lipos and use a blinky to balance. Always used the A123 charger for A 123s.
What have I got myself into?
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Old Jul 06, 2013, 09:30 PM
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United States, OR, Canby
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Charge them the same. It would be nice to balance charge them though but my Kawasaki motorcycle has one big LiFe battery in it and it doesn't balance charge it. Speaking of which LiFe batteries can be charged as Pb lead acid batteries too.
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Old Jul 07, 2013, 10:29 AM
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Syracuse, NY
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Thanks for the reply Bob. I will give it a whirl.
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Old Jul 07, 2013, 04:48 PM
KK4TYF /Baron Von Nick
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USA, VA, Spotsylvania
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Originally Posted by 600Bob View Post
Charge them the same. It would be nice to balance charge them though but my Kawasaki motorcycle has one big LiFe battery in it and it doesn't balance charge it. Speaking of which LiFe batteries can be charged as Pb lead acid batteries too.
They can? I didn't know this....Explain how maybe?
Your motorcycle might just have a charge circuit in it so that it can use regular PB chargers, jumper cables, etc. If not, then that's awesome and good to know for the future.
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Old Jul 07, 2013, 06:14 PM
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They can? I didn't know this....Explain how maybe?
Your motorcycle might just have a charge circuit in it so that it can use regular PB chargers, jumper cables, etc. If not, then that's awesome and good to know for the future.
Well I have also read in other posts that LiFe can be charged as Pb, the volts per cell is the same for LiFe and Pb and LiFe can be charged at a much higher C rate than Pb.

My motorcycle came with a Pb battery so that is what is is designed to charge, then I purchased a LiFe battery that is for motorcycles, it doesn't have any special charging circuit in it but they do sell a balancing charger for it to use during the "off" season if you want to.
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Old Jul 07, 2013, 06:23 PM
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Need to be careful here with regard to replacing Pb with LiFe. To be specific, each three Pb cells may be replaced by two LiFe cells. e.g. - A six cell (12 volt nominal) Pb battery may be replaced by a four cell (13.2 volt nominal) LiFe battery in many circumstances.

There are both LiFe motorcycle and automobile starter batteries that are direct drop-in replacements for the standard Pb starter batteries with no changes necessary on the vehicle charging system. They are, however, MUCH more expensive than Pb batteries.

My portable jump starter consists of a 4S4P LiFePO4 pack made from A123 cells that I used to use in my airplanes. I'm convinced that it's the best portable starter on the planet.

Mark
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Old Jul 07, 2013, 06:30 PM
KK4TYF /Baron Von Nick
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USA, VA, Spotsylvania
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Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
Need to be careful here with regard to replacing Pb with LiFe. To be specific, each three Pb cells may be replaced by two LiFe cells. e.g. - A six cell (12 volt nominal) Pb battery may be replaced by a four cell (13.2 volt nominal) LiFe battery in many circumstances.

There are both LiFe motorcycle and automobile starter batteries that are direct drop-in replacements for the standard Pb starter batteries with no changes necessary on the vehicle charging system. They are, however, MUCH more expensive than Pb batteries.

My portable jump starter consists of a 4S4P LiFePO4 pack made from A123 cells that I used to use in my airplanes. I'm convinced that it's the best portable starter on the planet.

Mark
Thanks for clearing that up, I figured it was something like that.
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Old Jul 07, 2013, 06:36 PM
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Yeah I shouldn't have said that LiFe and Pb have the same volts per cell but that the correct number of LiFe cells adds up to the common voltages for Pb batteries.

Yes the LiFe battery for my motorcycle was WAY more expensive than a Pb battery. However it was hard to find a replacement Pb battery of the right size to fit the bike which was an 18 AH that weighed about 13 lbs in a 950 lb. bike. The LiFe battery is IIRC a 22 AH that is slightly smaller in physical size and weighs about 3 lbs.
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