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Old Apr 05, 2009, 04:26 PM
Sopwith Camel's Cousin
Between my tx and crashed aircraft
Joined Mar 2006
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Low power indicator on Controller for Air Hogs Cyclone (Silverlit Stingray)?

Silly question:
Do I get some kind of indication (beep, light going on or off)
when the batteries are too low on a controller
for an Air Hogs Cyclone (Silverlit Stingray) when

*I am trying to fly

*I am trying to charge the plane's battery

Thanks
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Old Apr 05, 2009, 06:26 PM
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When you need more power to keep same flight then batteries are going low.
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Old Apr 05, 2009, 06:29 PM
Sopwith Camel's Cousin
Between my tx and crashed aircraft
Joined Mar 2006
3,793 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrcsti
When you need more power to keep same flight then batteries are going low.
I know about this to detect when the plane's battery is low.

What I am wondering is detecting when the controller's batteries
(the 4 AA batteries) are getting weak while I am

*charging the plane or

*flying
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Old Apr 06, 2009, 08:39 PM
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You could wire up one of those 4.8V/6V LED battery checker things.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 03:17 PM
Sopwith Camel's Cousin
Between my tx and crashed aircraft
Joined Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy2No
You could wire up one of those 4.8V/6V LED battery checker things.
Any idea of what voltage reading would be considered too low (for flying, for charging)? Thanks.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Good point. New alkaline batteries are about 1.6V or so. I normally just check the batteries with a volt meter before I take planes to a fly-in. If it's gone below 1.5V I think about replacing them. At 1.4V I always replace them, so that's 5.6V. I keep the part used ones for other things, like testing new toys.

I expect the charger will still charge down to about 5V, though I've never tried it. You could check it with some NiMH or NiCd cells because they have a lower voltage. What counts is the voltage the batteries fall to when they're in use, of course, but the LED meter would give you some idea of that.

For example, NiMH tend to be about 1.4V fully charged (some types can be a bit less, I think), and would hold most of that voltage running the charger or flying the plane. If that works, you can take that as a safe minimum, and mark the position on the LED meter. If you have a multimeter you could connect that up as well and calibrate it exactly, but that would be near enough.

I doubt if you could do any harm by trying to charge with low batteries so it should be safe to experiment a bit.

I've been flying a couple of my Stingrays at a club meeting today. I'll put NiMH batteries in one of the controllers and see if it charges up. I'll let you know.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 06:32 PM
The RC bug bit me!
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flying-llama, I've recently noticed both lights blinking on the TX toward the end of charging the aircraft. I don't fly mine everyday, so I've never changed the batteries. I couldn't find it described in the directions, but I think this might be the "low bat" signal. Haven't measured voltage though, blinking wasnt' consistent enough to bother me yet. Just noticed the odd behavior the other day.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 07:00 PM
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I've just tried it with 4 NiCd AAs, charged to about 1.33V each, so thats 5.3V ish, slightly less in use. It charged fine. I checked it by plugging it into one with reasonably new AAs afterwards. It stopped charging after 15 seconds or so, which is about what happens if you try to charge one that's just been charged.

I flew it briefly too, or rather bounced it off the walls of my bedroom, with and without the booster plugged in.

If alkaline AAs are down to 1.3V they drop quite a bit more under load than when they've got more left in them. With a meter that shows the voltage in use, you won't have to worry about that though. See what it shows with 4 NiCd or NiMH and use that as a starting point.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 07:02 PM
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Phantom68c,

I don't tend to stick around and watch but maybe that just means "nearly finished charging". A lot of lipo chargers do something similar.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 10:34 PM
Sopwith Camel's Cousin
Between my tx and crashed aircraft
Joined Mar 2006
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I decided to try things out by putting a really weak set of batteries
(too low to run a CO detector) into the controller.

When I switch to 'on' (to fly), I get the normal red power light.
Edit (later): when I ran the controller for a little bit, that red light
went from being on (or flickering) to being in a definite blink on/blink off,
repeat, mode.

When I tried charging a Cyclone that I know needed charging:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom68c
flying-llama, I've recently noticed both lights blinking on the TX toward the end of charging the aircraft. I don't fly mine everyday, so I've never changed the batteries. I couldn't find it described in the directions, but I think this might be the "low bat" signal. Haven't measured voltage though, blinking wasnt' consistent enough to bother me yet. Just noticed the odd behavior the other day.
I got this same both red and green light blinking as soon as I turned the
switch to charge.

On my previous charges, I had been looking every so often at the lights,
and I always had been seeing either the lights on or off, but never blinking,
so I think this blinking lights is a low battery indicator for charging.

Thanks!
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Last edited by flying-llama; Apr 07, 2009 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Controller red power light also blinks on low battery when flying
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 10:45 PM
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Manchester, UK
Joined Nov 2005
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Interesting. I haven't seen that, but then I always preempt the batteries failing.

I guess if the plane responds, you can fly it. When I fly in a sports hall there are moments when it loses the signal and it just cuts and starts falling. Usually it picks it up again before it's fallen too far. I imagine the same thing happens sooner / nearer to if the batteries are fading - i.e. reduced range.

They're quite hard to damage so just go for it It's nice to know they can be run on rechargeables anyway. I've been using alkalines because they're more reliable, and I can get them in sets of six in pound shops (everything for a pound, which is now just a tiny bit more than a dollar). I suppose I ought to use rechargeables though, or at least try it. I'm guessing the range is less if the voltage is less so fresh alkalines may give better range than freshly charged NiMH or NiCd.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 10:51 PM
Sopwith Camel's Cousin
Between my tx and crashed aircraft
Joined Mar 2006
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Hello Andy2No,

You probably missed this later edit to my previous post:
"when I ran the controller for a little bit (in flying mode), that red light
went from being on (or flickering) to being in a definite blink on/blink off,
repeat, mode."

Thanks.
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 11:02 PM
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I did yes

They put a lot of work into these things. I bought a few recently because they were on offer. I think they'd be good for converting to two channel planes but I haven't decided what to do with them yet.

I added an elevator trim tab to one, which is just the tail of a small foam glider, shaped like a bird. I attached it just below the top of the fin with a blob of UHU POR to make a hinge. It worked quite well, but it was a bit fragile - I could trim it for pointless out of control 3D, more or less stable harrier, or fast forward flight (ending in a crash, usually, but a fast one ).

I think they have a lot of potential. I'd like to try adding a bit more wing area and making something like an IFO, but two channel.

I also thought of using them in pairs, on different channels, to make something with two control surfaces and either one or two motors. I would need a modified transmitter to control it all, really, but I've got a few of those now.

As usual, I'm big on ideas but small on execution
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