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Old Jan 03, 2010, 12:14 PM
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OK with PZ Radian stock charger/ESC/Li-PO?

Is is safe to use the charger/ESC/Li-Po combo that comes with the ParkZone RTF Radian package?

I am using a 1.5 amp AC - 12V power supply with the balancing charger. Seemed to charge the battery OK, but I was surprised at how quickly it seemed to be charged the first time. Are these batteries shipped with nearly a full charge? Also, does the suppled ESC automatically and properly cut off before recommended discharge level?

Also I am somewhat confused by conflicting instructions. Printed instructions indicate full charge has been reached when green light glows steady and you get a three second tone. On my first charge so far with this set-up, I never got a steady green light but DID get a three second tone and alternating rd/green lights...which is some sort of "error code" according to the printing on the charger itself. If indeed it IS and error code, there's no trouble shooting script or instructions for what to do when you get the error code!

Meanwhile, the motor seems to run fine and the controls work as expected.

I am really surprised at the lack of detailed instructions and warnings for what seems to be a potentially EXTREMELY dangerous technology. Plastic dry cleaning bags have better warnings than any of the literature that came stock with this kit.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 01:21 PM
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I just read the instructions. They spell out exactly what you are seeing. Get your instructions, and tell us what exactly is confusing you. We'll make it simple to understand.... no problem...

Chuck
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 01:42 PM
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The lipo is fine, the charger is satisfactory but lame, and the ESC is decent.

As a functional rule of thumb for good lipo care NEVER run a lipo to LVC unless you specifically have an ESC that you can set a higher and safer LVC. The eflite is NOT ONE. It can be programmed for either 9.2v for 3S (not too bad) or 74% of initial charge (you don't want to go there).
You wont' kill the lipo outright, you'll just be a bit hard on it if you do that one a regular basis. Gliders can be harder on batteries in some ways because it's hard to track how much battery you are using up and you can run it with the throttle really low so when you hit LVC there is little voltage sag and essentially no current left. In other words, you can run it to death.

Lipos are usually shipped 50% full so will charge fairly rapidly, especially if you had it set > 1.3a, the proper setting for that lipo.
If the charger alternately blinks reg/green it is balancing. That particular charger will sometimes NEVER seem to finish that process on some batteries even though it in fact is fine. Some kinda glitch. Very annoying.

Don't expect technical data out of HobbyZone. They are terrible in that regard. Their info even from calling customer service is about as useful as the car owners manual in your glove box. Remember, they cater to the beginner market.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 05:29 PM
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The only thing that concerns me is the alternating red and green, that supposedly indicates an ERROR...so should I just let it go, while watching, and wait for the steady green and tone? Or abort the charge because of the supposed ERROR? (That I don't know the cause of) Should I get a meter that would indicate to me the state of charge of the LiPo? If so, what source?
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JOHNNYDXYZ View Post
The only thing that concerns me is the alternating red and green, that supposedly indicates an ERROR...so should I just let it go, while watching, and wait for the steady green and tone? Or abort the charge because of the supposed ERROR? (That I don't know the cause of)
It says...

When the charger is charging the battery.... the red light will flash when it's charging correctly.

It also says that if the green light flashes while the red light is flashing, it means the charger is balancing the cells for you.

Did you miss that part?
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 06:13 PM
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I saw it do that, but the error message seemed different. I guess I'll just take it out when I THINK the battery is fully charged...whenever it warms up enough up here...and fly it. I don't think I will need much motor run for the maiden flight.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 06:15 PM
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I saw it do that, but the error message seemed different. I guess I'll just take it out when I THINK the battery is fully charged...whenever it warms up enough up here...and fly it. I don't think I will need much motor run for the maiden flight.
If the battery is not charged right, you'll ruin the Li-Po.... no ifs ands or buts about it.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 06:26 PM
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If you're going to fly electrics you might as well do yourself a favor and get a digital voltmeter. It's pretty much an essential tool for monitoring your batteries. With it you can check to see if your lipo is fully charged or not. You can also check your battery's state of charge in the field when you want to know if you can get one more flight in without abusing your lipo. These instruments can be had surprisingly inexpensively if you shop around.

The charger that comes with the Radian works but is about as minimal as you can get. If you like electric flight at all you will want and truly need a more sophisticated charger. Some pretty nice ones come up for sale now and again in the classifieds of this site if you're looking to save some $.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 08:12 PM
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Call HobbyZone. Bitch at them. Make THEM explain it. Maybe if ENOUGH folks make customer service miserable for long enough they'll fix some of this stuff.
Jeez, one gets tired of their electronic crap after awhile.

Don't get me wrong, the Radian is a GREAT plane-I've got one. It truely is in a class by itself for the price.
They CAN make very good planes, then cripple them with substandard electronics. For the Radian, it's the charger.
I have that charger, 3 of them. One works, once. I've never tried it again. 2 have died, just fall over...and.....died.
I NEVER use the PZ lipo charger anymore.
Oddly I have 2 PZ NiMh chargers that are doing fine and I still use them. Of course 2 others died also, you got it, just fell over....and....died.
Now, service wise, they would probably replace them. Shipping would be WAY more than the product is worth.
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