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Old Jan 05, 2013, 01:24 AM
Heli's rule!
dacaur's Avatar
Midvale, Utah, USA
Joined Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_of_49 View Post
Not true. Lipos are affected very little by cold. The majority of my flights on my mcx2 and 120sr were outdoors at this time of year last January at temperatures around freezing... I'd take them out any time the temp was anywhere between -6 and +3 Celsius... no noticeable difference in run times from indoors. I'm currently running my Losi and Traxxas buggy and truck outdoors in even colder temperatures... no noticeable difference in run times. These are lipos ranging from 1S 120mah to 2S 5000mah. If your RC is dying after 30 seconds it's the design of the circuit that can't handle the cold and is forcing it to LVC, not the battery. My Scout CX has this issue in the cold... 30 seconds in the cold and it's done... I can pull it's battery, put it in my mcx2 (still outdoors) and continue no problem. It was a very knowledgeable RCG member, Martyn McKinney, who I first came across discussing this circuit design issue with the Scout making me realize my lipo wasn't the problem. I've been happily winter running all my RC's outdoors (except the Scout) ever since. I'm talking Canadian winters, not California ones

I've discussed this several times over in the Champ threads where I have also mentioned there's a youtube video posted on my blog of me running a non edited 6 minute flight on my mcx2 outdoors last winter at 0 degress Celsius..
Oh, so I guess your experience invalidates years and years of everyone elses experience....

Its a fact that cold effectively lowers the C rating of the battery.

There are a few reasons you might not notice it.

If your model can work with the new lower C rating (amp draw is still below what the battery can supply), then you wont notice anything.

If your models amp rating is close enough to the batteries C rating so that the warmth generated by the discharging battery is greater than that lost to the cold, the battery stays warm and you wont notice anything.

In an RC car, the batteries are big enough and protected enough that its not an issue.

Starting with a warm battery, with any of those scenarios, you will be fine.

I can take my UM p-51 out in the winter and fly. Going from my warm car, the first battery is warm to start, so works ok at first. If I fly around slowly with low throttle, it will quickly hit LVC, but if I fly around at full throttle, I will get normal flight times, as the battery stays warm. If I kept my remaining batteries in my pocket, nice and warm, I get the same results, but if I forget and leave them in the box on the ground, by the time i finish the first flight they are already cold, so quickly hit LVC no matter the throttle setting....

Try this, take your battery outside a half hour before you plan to use it, to let it get cold through, then see how well it works.... Good luck
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 01:38 AM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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My Lipos are affected by S. California winter. That's just my own experience.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 02:26 AM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Canada, AB, Edmonton
Joined Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by dacaur View Post
Oh, so I guess your experience invalidates years and years of everyone elses experience....

snip


You said... "Flying outside when its cold isnt a great idea. "

I pointed out that I have alot of fun flying and driving all my RC's issue free in the cold. Why would that be a bad idea?


You said... "when the battery gets cold it will lose power and the heli will go into LVC prematurely"

Mine don't do that. Well, my Scout CX does, but it's not because of the battery. Ask Mr. McKinney about that one... he's a knowledgeable dude, even troubleshooted my 120sr and discovered a blown FET in my ESC, through email


You said... "With an airplane you can fly full throttle which will heat up the battery and counter the cold, but with a FP heli, you cant do that obviously"

My 120sr is a fixed pitch heli... 90% of its flights have been 5-6 minute ones outdoors in Canadian winter and early spring temperatures... even with the stock E-flite battteries.


You said... "The smaller the battery the quicker you lose power (the quicker it gets cold"

All my winter flights on my mcx2 were full length flights with 125 to 160mah lipos... I pointed out where to find a contiguous non edited video of one of my flights doing just that.


You said... "I tried to fly my nano a few days ago in my backyard, its been below freezing for the past couple weeks, and expected to stay below for at least another week or more . Well, with a freshly charged battery I took off, and in less than 30 seconds it crashed down into the snow, even though I took it to full throttle"

I pointed out that my Scout CX does the same under the same conditions and that it's not because of the battery, which can immediately be pulled from that heli, placed in a different heli whose circuitry is not susceptible to cold, and flown outdoors the remaining time that battery is capable of in that particular bird indoors. I offered this as a possible explanation for the behavior of your Nano under the same conditions.


You said... "Try this, take your battery outside a half hour before you plan to use it, to let it get cold through, then see how well it works.... Good luck"

Well, common sense would dictate that that's probably not the wisest way to approach doing this successfully, is it? My point was that putting a fresh warm battery in your RC and running it for it's typical length of time without being affected by cold before the end of your run is not only plausible, It's possible... I know because I do it all the time. If that's the case, I don't see why it's a "bad idea."


I've spent the better part of the past 2 nights watching guys fly their Champs, Carbon Cubs and Super Cubs on floats and skis outdoors in the winter... doesn't seem like a bad idea to me, it looks like a blast. Can't wait to get mine out on the snow.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 02:46 AM
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May I add that after a few minutes, all batteries will get warm...my tandem rescue battery gets very warm afte a good 5 min flight....I let it cool down before I charge it again...all batteries will get warm to the touch as well as the motors......a lot if us, however, have experienced early LVC in the cold.......guess it is the case of crappy batteries.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 02:55 AM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Canada, AB, Edmonton
Joined Dec 2011
6,493 Posts
... or the circuitry
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 03:00 AM
Heli's rule!
dacaur's Avatar
Midvale, Utah, USA
Joined Mar 2005
8,594 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_of_49 View Post
You said... "Try this, take your battery outside a half hour before you plan to use it, to let it get cold through, then see how well it works.... Good luck"

Well, common sense would dictate that that's probably not the wisest way to approach doing this successfully, is it? My point was that putting a fresh warm battery in your RC and running it for it's typical length of time without being affected by cold before the end of your run is not only plausible, It's possible... I know because I do it all the time. If that's the case, I don't see why it's a "bad idea."
You said..... Not true. Lipos are affected very little by cold.

I gave you a very simple test to show you how wrong that is. Common sense would dictate thats about the only way to rule out the variables I mentioned, along with your "circuit theory". Like I said, under some circumstances the battery will either say warm enough due to the amp draw being close enough to the batteries rated discharge, or the model might not draw enough power for the lower C rating to matter, this is especially true with aftermarket batteries.

In my experience, lipos and cold don't mix. Based on many people I have talked to over the years, you are in the minority if you don't have any problems with it.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 03:20 AM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
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Canada, AB, Edmonton
Joined Dec 2011
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Compared to trying to use other types of batteries to run RC's in the winter... yes, they are your best bet.

"you are in the minority if you don't have any problems with it."

I doubt that, I was just discussing this with a local flying buddy... his experieneces echo mine

The circuit thing isn't a theory and it certainly isn't mine. It was discussed in another thread regarding a particular brand and model of heli... which I happen to own... so I put it to the test. Coming across that thread was one of the best things that's happened to me in RC because if I hadn't, I would have gone on thinking lipos couldn't handle the cold and would never have even entertained the thought of taking any other of my current and future purchases outdoors in the cold. Except for my Champ which was purchased this past simmer, that's where most of my toys have spent their time.

... because of that, I just wouldn't want someone new to this to be discouraged from trying something they might get alot of enjoyment from because of something they read on the interwebs. In fact, if any noobs are reading this, you should know that I'm just a shite disturber here and everyone knows it. I'm a bad apple, a rotten seed, I'm no damn good. Don't fall in love with me


... I should be banned.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Joined Jul 2005
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Has anyone found a good alternative tail motor for their 120 SR while still using there original tail boom? Having the same problem as many tail motors keep burning out. Has anyone used the msr main motor?
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 11:59 AM
Easy on the Sticks!
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United States, WY, Crowheart
Joined Aug 2011
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There is no doubt in my mind that my batts are effected by cold. I have more experience with this in my planes vs my helis, so I will I am refering to my two UM planes for the purpose of this post.

My PZ UM P51 Stang has the batt mounted underneath and up front of course. So does my PZ UM Spitfire, but it has a removable plastic cover.

The Stang's batt is mounted in a position to be extremely wind chilled.
It definately has less runtime when I fly in the cold, around 25 deg F.
But like North's experience, it is very little, and in no way keeps me from flying at that temp.

The Spitfire is effected even less, I am assuming because the batt has a plastic cover, and stays a bit warmer for the duration of the flight.

What I have noticed, is that the last half of the flight, seems to have less horsepower than when the ambient temp is warmer. I assumed that this was because the batt was getting wind chilled during flight, and getting colder, and colder.

I keep my batts warm and always start with a warm batt, so these observations are based on that. If a person started with a cold frozen batt, I am thinking it may be different.

I run my planes full throttle for the whole flight sometimes, and it does not warm my batts, they always come off the plane feeling cold to the touch.

So, my experience has been that cold does effect my Lipo's, but not much. At least not to the point that I would not fly. I know it is minimal enough that it would take data to see exactly how much.

Cold does effect Lipo's, the real question is how much.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 03:03 PM
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United States, NH
Joined Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GillyWI View Post
Oh and you guys might find this humorous, I had the throttle trim set so far down (trying to make it less sensitive) that I could not get the heli airborne, not enough throttle! By the time i had this realization I had the battery tuckered out already. Blah!
Gilly, you may have realized this already, but the trims do not adjust or affect sensitivity. They move a servo either left or right of center for minute adjustments. When you move the throttle trim down, it will be just as sensitive as before, but rather than having 0 throttle at the bottom and full at the top, you will have negative throttle at the bottom and won't be able to achieve full throttle.

You end up having to move the throttle up a few notches before you hit zero throttle.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 07:01 PM
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Thanks Dave. I think I am getting it now, but thanks for mentioning it, I still have lots to learn.

I haven't had a chance to play with it today, and Packers game about to start, but hopefully spend more time with it in the next couple days, I have off work a couple days now and all the flight batts are charged up!

To get the trims back to a neutral positon, I have to have the heli and tx on correct? In a ready-to-fly state in other words?
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 07:03 PM
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And what affect would having that link come off have on things? It was off when i was trying to fly it outside, the link was on the basement floor, no idea exactly when it came off.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 07:20 PM
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Joined Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by GillyWI View Post
Thanks Dave. I think I am getting it now, but thanks for mentioning it, I still have lots to learn.

I haven't had a chance to play with it today, and Packers game about to start, but hopefully spend more time with it in the next couple days, I have off work a couple days now and all the flight batts are charged up!

To get the trims back to a neutral positon, I have to have the heli and tx on correct? In a ready-to-fly state in other words?
The trim adjustment is strictly on the transmitter, it doesn't actually change anything on the model, the model just responds to where the trim is set, so only the TX needs to be on. And if you put football before flying you're never gonna get anywhere
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 07:43 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Canada, AB, Edmonton
Joined Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GillyWI View Post
And what affect would having that link come off have on things? It was off when i was trying to fly it outside, the link was on the basement floor, no idea exactly when it came off.
They link the flybar to the rotor and do so at the 45 degrees it needs to be... almost uncontrollable with one missing. A crash is usually imminent if you can even get it airborne for any amount of time.

Sorry it took so long for any of us to respond to you first mentioning it... 38 posts ago
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 10:27 PM
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Right, you did mention it, but then didn't comment on it.

So, good news, I did reset the trims to neutral, just in the TX, then I plugged in the flight battery and i could hear what must have been the servos going back where they belong. So I guess the answer is it is OK to reset trims with the heli off, they will reset themselves. They were all way off, the aileron was maxed out one way (fast beeping), it was easy to hear when they are in the middle, as noted here, the one long beep.

I can now pop it off the floor NO problem. I will need to go outside to get the hang of it, I can't get it under control quite fast enough yet. As noted before yeah it tries pulling left right away. I can correct that OK, but as a novice I have to learn to get the whole machine steady and is hard to do with the steel support pole in the middle of the area, wants to wander too much.
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