SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
Thread Tools
Old May 06, 2015, 03:34 PM
WestCoastD is online now
Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Registered User
Joined Apr 2014
110 Posts
Discussion
New Radio Systems and Support Gear

I'm an old-school modeler (from the 1970's) just getting back into flying. Actually I'm a much more experienced rc boater/racer.

Anyway, I still own much of my original rc gear (mostly form 1980's), including- radio control systems (mostly Airtronics), engines, model kits (airplane, boat and car models), as well as radio control support gear. I've since sold-off my 1980's Airtronics radio gear, and have purchased new systems (Airtronics Aquila 6-ch Computer Radio for aircraft, Airtronics M12 Competition Pistol Radio for boats and cars).

I still have my extensive collection of (original) Ace R/C gear, including- Ace HD 500 charger, Ace Digipace I (Heavy Duty) charger/cycler, Ace R/C ChargeMaster, and other assorted electronics support devices.

Moreover I recently purchased new 6v NiMH Rx battery packs from SR Batteries, a popular after-market custom nicad pack builder (going back to 1970's):
http://www.srbatteries.com/rxpks.htm

I'm figuring this way I could still employ my original Ace charging/cycling gear. I've never experienced any issues with my original NiMH packs, and figured it should'nt make any difference over using LiPO or LiFe packs.

I'm wondering if I should continue to support traditional nicad components or switch everything to new LiPO or LiFe packs? Which means (really) dumping all my old Ace R/C gear (and several NiMH packs)?
WestCoastD is online now Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old May 06, 2015, 07:21 PM
davidmc36 is online now
Find More Posts by davidmc36
No bounce, No play.
davidmc36's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Oct 2010
4,236 Posts
NiMH Rx packs? I still use them in all planes that do not run the Rx from the ESC BEC. I even ran Spektrum DSM2 for two seasons on 4 cell NiMH which some say is a big No-No. Not an issue if you charge right before you go flying and don't try to run like ten 1/4 scale servos on it.

I use 5 cell these days simply because they are readily available at sensible cost and all the 4 cell units I had were worn out.

No reason to dump the NiMH stuff when you set up your planes with good gear so you don't have crummy high resistance connections, you don't overload the capability of the battery, and don't go flying with a battery pack that was charged a week ago.
davidmc36 is online now Find More Posts by davidmc36
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2015, 08:16 PM
WestCoastD is online now
Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Registered User
Joined Apr 2014
110 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmc36 View Post
NiMH Rx packs? I still use them in all planes that do not run the Rx from the ESC BEC. I even ran Spektrum DSM2 for two seasons on 4 cell NiMH which some say is a big No-No. Not an issue if you charge right before you go flying and don't try to run like ten 1/4 scale servos on it.

I use 5 cell these days simply because they are readily available at sensible cost and all the 4 cell units I had were worn out.

No reason to dump the NiMH stuff when you set up your planes with good gear so you don't have crummy high resistance connections, you don't overload the capability of the battery, and don't go flying with a battery pack that was charged a week ago.
thanks for your input! Just what I figured.

I pretty much run gas (nitro) powered models, no electric. So I do not use any ESC's, etc.,...Just like you I use 5-cell, 6v exclusively. I prefer the added servo torque.

For aircraft I use mostly 3 to 4-channel configurations using mini and micro size servo's. For boats I use 3-channel configuration with standard size high-power, fast, servo's, only larger capacity packs (600mah to 1000mah).

Although, now I'm looking into switching over my traditional, heavy, 12v motorcycle/gel-cell batteries for electric starters to (possibly) small size LiPO pack(s)?
WestCoastD is online now Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2015, 08:33 PM
davidmc36 is online now
Find More Posts by davidmc36
No bounce, No play.
davidmc36's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Oct 2010
4,236 Posts
I would be inclined to use even larger capacity packs. My smallest is 2200mah.

As far as the 12v batteries, a motorcycle guru at work swears by Shorai. His bikes and all the ones at the training academy he helps run use them.

http://shoraipower.com/products

They are made to be drop-in replacements for motorcycles etc. but may be a good alternate if maintained properly. I can't say for sure but I thought he said they were LiFePo. Would be similar to changing over to LiPo as you would need to monitor either one to avoid taking them below a certain voltage.
davidmc36 is online now Find More Posts by davidmc36
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2015, 09:33 PM
Daedalus66 is offline
Find More Posts by Daedalus66
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
18,042 Posts
I too still have some equipment left over from the 70s that is still in use. But I have updated in some areas.

I stopped carrying a 12v battery when I realized that my starter was far more convenient if powered by an old 4s 3700 LiPo.

And I now use a hand cranked fuel pump. As for glow starting, I use a single C-size NiCd. So the power panel is redundant.

For powering the receiver and servos in medium-size models, I use 4 or 5 cell NiMH of 1500 to 2000 mAh capacity, either AA or half-A cells.

I'm curious to know what size engines you are running that power models with micro servos. I fly several models with 35-year old OS 25FSR engines and I'm the only person at the field with an engine smaller than .45! (Except for one who flies very small diesels occasionally.) Many of the rest fly 25 to 150cc gas. The smaller models are almost exclusively electric.
Daedalus66 is offline Find More Posts by Daedalus66
Reply With Quote
Old May 07, 2015, 04:57 AM
Buschbarber is online now
Find More Posts by Buschbarber
Registered User
Buschbarber's Avatar
United States, NY, Rochester
Joined Apr 2004
1,247 Posts
I have been flying RC for almost 40 years. I stopped using Ni cad/NiMh batteries when LiFe/A123 Tx/Rx batteries became available.

I have a busy schedule and like to fly every day. I like to be able to fly at a moments notice and not have to wait for long charging cycles.

NiCad/NiMh self discharge sitting on the shelf. They always require constant, time consuming charging. NiMh will many times False Peak chargers chargers if the charge current is above .5 amps. They are also heavy batteries. 4.8v Rx packs are not avgood choice for 2.4 radios. With any brand, there is a higher risk of Briwnout.

Lithium batteries are lighter, charge fast, and hold their charge for months. I am always resdy to fly at a moments notice. I use at least 2500 mah packs in all my Tx and Rx.

We just had a fellow club member come out yesterday with a brand new 4 Star 60. He had two year old Hydramax NiMh 6v Rx batteries that he said were freshly charged. He did not check the Rx battery before flight or Range check, but we did not know that as he was an experienced modeler. One minute into the flight, the radio went dead. The plane decended slowly with no control and no failsafe. Plane destroyed and Rx battery reading 4.86v no load and 1v under .5a load.

Yes, you can fly safely with NiCad/NiMh, but there are too many reasons not to. Most new servos are 6v compatible and many are 8v compatible. Use Lithium.
Buschbarber is online now Find More Posts by Buschbarber
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2015, 12:18 AM
WestCoastD is online now
Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Registered User
Joined Apr 2014
110 Posts
appreciate all your comments here. Yeah, I'm using mostly brand-new, custom built, NiMH packs. I only use 6v Rx packs (5-cell, 1000mah and larger). I have never used a 4.8v Rx pack- ever. I use my Ace R/C Digipace to cycle/charge packs, really does maintain packs pretty well.

I'm an rc boater/racer primarily. We are used to using [only] 5-cell 6v Rx packs to optimize servo torque (for rudder).

I will definitely start out using NiMH, and eventually transition to LiFE packs.
WestCoastD is online now Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2015, 08:36 AM
Soarmark is offline
Find More Posts by Soarmark
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
741 Posts
+1 for LiFE packs. I have converted all of my regularly flown full function sailplanes to LiFE from NiMH...hated the self discharge and long charge times. Plus the LiFE have more head room for the 2.4 equipment.
Soarmark is offline Find More Posts by Soarmark
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2015, 11:14 AM
MattyB is online now
Find More Posts by MattyB
Taranis Tyro...
MattyB's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Hitchin
Joined Jan 2004
4,493 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soarmark View Post
+1 for LiFE packs. I have converted all of my regularly flown full function sailplanes to LiFE from NiMH...hated the self discharge and long charge times. Plus the LiFE have more head room for the 2.4 equipment.
Agreed, but a word of advice to the OP - LiFe has a very flat discharge curve, so it can be difficult to know the state of your pack. For this reason it's best to add additional capacity (say 50%) over what you think you need if you have the space to do so; in an ideal world you would could monitor the mah using a current sensor and telemetry alarms, but for most people it is simpler and cheaper to just overspec the battery and charge it to fill each flying session.
MattyB is online now Find More Posts by MattyB
Last edited by MattyB; May 14, 2015 at 06:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2015, 04:46 PM
WestCoastD is online now
Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Registered User
Joined Apr 2014
110 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyB View Post
Agreed, but a word of advice to the OP - LiFe has a very flat discharge curve, so it can be difficult to know the state of your pack. For this reason it;s best to add additional capacity (say 50%) over what you think you need if you have the space to do so
thanks, exactly right. Partly the reason why I like the simplicity of NiMH packs (in terms of current characteristics).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyB View Post
in an ideal world you would could monitor the mah using a current sensor and telemetry alarms, but for most people it is simpler and cheaper to jsut overspec the battery and charge it to fill each flying session.
I just use my Ace R/C DigiPace. I keep multiple 6v NiMH Rx packs charging simultaneously. Every so often I run discharge and cycle them to check health.

I always carry back-up packs when at the field. To be honest I've never had any NiMh pack failures. Although I'm just getting moreso into flying now, so i will experience some new behavior

Thanks for your comments..............
WestCoastD is online now Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2015, 01:16 PM
WestCoastD is online now
Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Registered User
Joined Apr 2014
110 Posts
So, what are the more popular charger/cyclers out there for LiPo or LiFe packs? (using 6.0v & 7.2v Rx packs, and 9v Tx packs)
WestCoastD is online now Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2015, 01:34 PM
Buschbarber is online now
Find More Posts by Buschbarber
Registered User
Buschbarber's Avatar
United States, NY, Rochester
Joined Apr 2004
1,247 Posts
I have been using the FMA charger line for years. 4S, 4S Multi, 10S, 10S XP, Powerlab 8, etc. They are very versatile and extremely reliable. You can update the firmware using your PC or Laptop and also monitor the charge if you wish.

They display the voltage for each cell as well as the combined voltage. They can handle LiPo, LithIon, and LiFe/A123. The Multi versions also can charge NiCad/NiMh and Lead Acid.

You can view the voltage of the Source (power supply or battery) and set the Charge Current manually. It will display the elapsed time of the charge. Some can even display the Internal Resistance of each cell which can be helpful in detecting an aging battery or cell.

Google FMA or Revolectric chargers.
Buschbarber is online now Find More Posts by Buschbarber
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2015, 01:51 PM
davidmc36 is online now
Find More Posts by davidmc36
No bounce, No play.
davidmc36's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Oct 2010
4,236 Posts
FMA, Top notch choice. I use a PL6.

Also have 306B for smaller stuff.

http://www.revolectrix.com/pl6_description_tab.htm

http://www.progressiverc.com/icharger-306b.html
davidmc36 is online now Find More Posts by davidmc36
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2015, 11:31 PM
WestCoastD is online now
Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Registered User
Joined Apr 2014
110 Posts
Thanks. I like that they have unit's capable of charging all battery types (or chemical types)
WestCoastD is online now Find More Posts by WestCoastD
Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2015, 12:15 AM
4*60 is offline
Find More Posts by 4*60
most exalted one
Canada, BC, Blind Bay
Joined Aug 2002
3,794 Posts
For Rx packs there are lots of $25/30 chargers that do lipo life lion pb NiMH nicd and do the charging or balancing well. No need to waste good money on overpriced overhyped gear.
4*60 is offline Find More Posts by 4*60
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sold DJI F550 New, Loaded, E300 System, Naza M V2, AeroXcraft landing gear NEW fltekdiver Aircraft - Electric - Multirotor (FS/W) 2 Feb 03, 2015 09:23 PM
Discussion NEW CINESTAR 3 Axis Brushless GIMBAL system & Steadicam LANDING GEAR aopen3434 UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 0 Dec 15, 2014 05:11 AM
Sold Futaba 7 CAP radio system, new! nero1156 Aircraft - General - Radio Equipment (FS/W) 1 Dec 14, 2014 07:18 AM
Discussion Head Tracker Radio Support. List of supported radio and instructions pecel lele Radios 0 Jul 02, 2014 03:30 AM
Discussion Head Tracker Radio Support. List of supported radio and instructions brondol Radios 0 Jun 16, 2014 02:09 AM