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Old Nov 16, 2011, 11:13 PM
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Somewhere in central Oklahoma
Joined Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by teflon97239 View Post
My 5x package of 600's should be here from eBay any day. So while I wait out the pouring rain and 20 kt winds, I plan to give them a 3/4 charge. Then, when it calms down just a bit, fly them maybe 3 minutes each the first few times.

The variable rate charger I got with the 120SR works in 1/10th amp increments from 0.1 to 0.7. Should I just pump 'em up to maybe 0.3A? 0.4?

So is that a fair rule of thumb? Hold off a little on the amps and keep the flights relatively short?
The variable rate charger is still going to fully charge the battery. But by setting it at a lower rate, it takes longer to do so. But it is more friendly to the batteries if you charge them slower, and keep your flights around five minutes. I do not use a timer either. I dis-connect the garage door from the opener, and push the open button when I am ready to fly. When the light goes off after five minutes, I land. ;-)


I use the four-port Selectra charger, which only charges at .3a. But it can charge four of them at a time. So I fly one for five minutes, let it cool down for five minutes, stick it on the charger. Fly with another pack and repeat. By the time you get the fifth battery ready for the charger, the first will likely be ready again. I fly mine once every fifteen minutes, let it cool down for ten minutes, lube up some things and fly it again. With five batteries and a four-port charger, I can just about fly every fifteen minutes all day long.

And when its windy outside (always in november), I just fly it in the garage. If I move my motorcycles and the trash can outside, I can fly circles and figure eights until I am blue in the face.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 05:13 PM
Look ma, no hands!
1Pilgrim's Avatar
United States, WI, Sheboygan
Joined Aug 2011
1,252 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by teflon97239 View Post
My 5x package of 600's should be here from eBay any day. So while I wait out the pouring rain and 20 kt winds, I plan to give them a 3/4 charge. Then, when it calms down just a bit, fly them maybe 3 minutes each the first few times.

The variable rate charger I got with the 120SR works in 1/10th amp increments from 0.1 to 0.7. Should I just pump 'em up to maybe 0.3A? 0.4?

I want to get everything broken in gently so I don't toast these batteries like the 4 brand new E-Flites I ignorantly wasted last summer. (Thought they needed deep-cycling like old school police radios and boat/RV batteries).

So is that a fair rule of thumb? Hold off a little on the amps and keep the flights relatively short?
IMHO you're right on with charging at 0.3 amps; I'd suggest charging at that rate indefinitely. Limiting flights to 3 minutes for the first half dozen cycles will also extend battery life quite a bit. That said, I would really encourage you to get accustomed to using the timer on your tx. Here's a "real world" example of what it could do for you:

Last night I flew my SR 120 in a h.s. gymnasium. It was the 1st time I got to go out and really flog the heli; what a blast! I got in seven 4-minute flights spaced out with flights on my MCX2.

I'm recharging the SR 120 batteriess today. Here are the post-flight voltages and the amps "put back" on the first 4 batts (Hyperion 550's with about ten 3-minute cycles on them):

#1 - 3.79V 295mA
#2 - 3.79V 293mA
#3 - 3.79V 292mA
#4 - 3.79V 295mA

I'm still breaking in 4 more Hyperions at 3 minutes. After 10 cycles I'll be comfortable upping the flight time to 5 minutes (that's as long as I ever want to fly - saves the motors). This is the consistency I hope to get from all my batts; it should lead to many more cycles than I ever got when charging at 0.5 amps and flying for 6 minutes right out of the box.

Good battery management and flight time discipline does pay off. The money I save not buying batteries will help to pay for more helis & "stuff"!

To make it easier to time my flights without fooling with the settings, I set up 3 different "models" in my tx, giving each a unique name and a corresponding time on the timer:
"SR 120 3" - 3 minutes
"SR 120 4" - 4 minutes
"SR 120 5" - 5 minutes

All I have to do is switch models depending on the battery I'm flying - it's practically painless.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 05:19 PM
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United States, TX, Houston
Joined Aug 2011
629 Posts
Man, what a great post. I learned some good stuff reading that. Thanks.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 05:29 PM
NotAnotherMomentLostToSei zures
Chap1012's Avatar
United States, MA, Malden
Joined Mar 2008
10,838 Posts
Excellent Pilgrim. I keep good record of my batts as well. Nice job

Mike.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 05:46 PM
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United States, WI, Sheboygan
Joined Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Chap1012 View Post
Excellent Pilgrim. I keep good record of my batts as well. Nice job

Mike.
Thanks, Mike - guess where I learned it

Jon
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 06:10 PM
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1Pilgrim's Avatar
United States, WI, Sheboygan
Joined Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by 1Pilgrim View Post
To make it easier to time my flights without fooling with the settings, I set up 3 different "models" in my tx, giving each a unique name and a corresponding time on the timer:
"SR 120 3" - 3 minutes
"SR 120 4" - 4 minutes
"SR 120 5" - 5 minutes

All I have to do is switch models depending on the battery I'm flying - it's practically painless.
This is probably "old news" for a lot of people, but if you're new to the dx6i it may seem like a real PITA to set up new models that are the same except for the timer setting. It's actually very simple:

Select the model you want to duplicate - I do all my flight testing on my 4-minute model "SR 120 4" so that's the one I always duplicate.

Go to the next-to-last screen in the Setup list (Copy/Reset).

Copy the model you're in onto the new model number, e.g. "3".

Go back to the first screen in the Adjust list (Model) and load the new model, in this case "3".

Go to back to the Setup list and change the Model Name and Timer.

That's it - you now have two models with the same settings except for the model name & timer.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 08:17 PM
Bruno, GOOD DOG
A Rdnek's Avatar
United States, IA, Grinnell
Joined Aug 2007
4,003 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Pilgrim View Post
IMHO you're right on with charging at 0.3 amps; I'd suggest charging at that rate indefinitely. Limiting flights to 3 minutes for the first half dozen cycles will also extend battery life quite a bit. That said, I would really encourage you to get accustomed to using the timer on your tx. Here's a "real world" example of what it could do for you:

Last night I flew my SR 120 in a h.s. gymnasium. It was the 1st time I got to go out and really flog the heli; what a blast! I got in seven 4-minute flights spaced out with flights on my MCX2.

I'm recharging the SR 120 batteriess today. Here are the post-flight voltages and the amps "put back" on the first 4 batts (Hyperion 550's with about ten 3-minute cycles on them):

#1 - 3.79V 295mA
#2 - 3.79V 293mA
#3 - 3.79V 292mA
#4 - 3.79V 295mA

I'm still breaking in 4 more Hyperions at 3 minutes. After 10 cycles I'll be comfortable upping the flight time to 5 minutes (that's as long as I ever want to fly - saves the motors). This is the consistency I hope to get from all my batts; it should lead to many more cycles than I ever got when charging at 0.5 amps and flying for 6 minutes right out of the box.

Good battery management and flight time discipline does pay off. The money I save not buying batteries will help to pay for more helis & "stuff"!

To make it easier to time my flights without fooling with the settings, I set up 3 different "models" in my tx, giving each a unique name and a corresponding time on the timer:
"SR 120 3" - 3 minutes
"SR 120 4" - 4 minutes
"SR 120 5" - 5 minutes

All I have to do is switch models depending on the battery I'm flying - it's practically painless.
Don't you have to "rebind" each time you change "models"?
Ron
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Saxguy1000's Avatar
Virginia Beach
Joined Dec 2009
2,790 Posts
Pilgrim, I am with you on break in and avoid LVC. But, I have to wonder if that is all to maintaining the batteries.

bvmjets.com recommended that you should keep you batteries at 60-70% charge if storing for more than a week. They, also, go to the trouble of explaining that you should never allow your batteries to reach a temperature (amp draw) of more than 125 degrees F.

Thunder Tiger info sheet recommends 50% if storing for more than a month.

Venom info sheet tells you to discharge to 50% for storage, but not saying when to do it. What they say on here, however, is that you should never discharge a pack greater than the recommended discharge rate which they give the math on how to figure that.

John Salt explains how the Internal resistance will make a big difference in your life. This would certainly explain why some batteries croak sooner than others despite our good practices.

On a web site that I just discovered, Mile High RC, they state, "Lithium Polymer batteries were designed for mobile devices and not for R/C use. Although some manufacturers now see the R/C market as a good viable market. In general Lithium polymer technology was not originally intended for high rate use as in R/C applications." This actually makes sense, but I think this depends highly on the quality of the batteries, the density as well as the soldering, wire size, gold terminals.

Lastly, our total use of the battery has got to make a big difference. Denting a battery, pulling on wires, not letting them cool before charging and all these things have got to contribute to shorter life. This has got to explain why some us get long life out of cheapo batteries while everyone else is cursing them.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Joined Aug 2011
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A fine wealth of really useful here info about minimizing battery abuse. Thanks to all who weigh in.

None of my radios have timers, and I typically get so wrapped up in flying (the plane and the helo) that looking at my watch sort of slips my mind.

So, assuming that I've observed due dilgence and broken my new batts in very gently and gradually over a few weeks...

...let's say I've had a good flight, the helo starts to fade and I set it down. I notice the red light flashing as I land. The light shines solid again right after I let it rest for a second. So right in that moment, where am I in relation to LVC when that happens the first time? Obviously time to pull the battery. Or is even that too late?
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 01:11 AM
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Somewhere in central Oklahoma
Joined Oct 2007
831 Posts
I took my 120SR to work tonight and flew it inside the hangar several times. One of those times, the dang tail rotor departed the heli, and it started spinning crazily, from about 20 feet up!

Fortunately it was not unmanagable. I just backed off the throttle and let it land while spinning. Picked up the tail rotor about twenty feet away lying on the floor. Put a dot of super-glue on it and stuck it back on. Held for two flights after that.

That was unique.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 05:52 AM
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Inside vs Outside

Now that its dark when I get home, I have been flying the 120 in the garage. I can't believe how well behaved it is. Maybe due the confined space I'm gentler on the sticks? I am new at this, been flying it outside for a couple months any time there is no wind. Outside its drifts all over the place, but in the garage I can almost "park" in one spot. I also practice flying a square pattern, but no FF, just gentle nudges to keep it moving. I'm sure the flybar likes that since I don't have any pendulum effect going on. Also doesn't get into any TBE convulsions. I also picked up a MSR for indoor flying, but still tweaking it to get it to "behave".
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 08:23 AM
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BattleDude's Avatar
United States, WY, Crowheart
Joined Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jburg View Post
Now that its dark when I get home, I have been flying the 120 in the garage. I can't believe how well behaved it is. Maybe due the confined space I'm gentler on the sticks? I am new at this, been flying it outside for a couple months any time there is no wind. Outside its drifts all over the place, but in the garage I can almost "park" in one spot. I also practice flying a square pattern, but no FF, just gentle nudges to keep it moving. I'm sure the flybar likes that since I don't have any pendulum effect going on. Also doesn't get into any TBE convulsions. I also picked up a MSR for indoor flying, but still tweaking it to get it to "behave".
Yup Jburg, that is what I have been saying. The breeze outdoors is hard to get a handle on. Anyone could learn to fly a 120SR in a gymnasium. That is why I really like to fly inside, it easier to get a feel for the heli with 0 wind.
Kyle
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 08:32 AM
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livonia bob's Avatar
United States, MI, Livonia
Joined Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbxer55 View Post
I took my 120SR to work tonight and flew it inside the hangar several times. One of those times, the dang tail rotor departed the heli, and it started spinning crazily, from about 20 feet up!

Fortunately it was not unmanagable. I just backed off the throttle and let it land while spinning. Picked up the tail rotor about twenty feet away lying on the floor. Put a dot of super-glue on it and stuck it back on. Held for two flights after that.

That was unique.
Did you find the bearing?
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 09:26 AM
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United States, WI, Sheboygan
Joined Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by A Rdnek View Post
Don't you have to "rebind" each time you change "models"?
Ron
Yes, but how hard is that? Oops, sorry - you're right, I did forget to include that last step in the process.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 09:37 AM
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United States, WI, Sheboygan
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Originally Posted by livonia bob View Post
Did you find the bearing?
I have a spare bearing but didn't put it on the last time the tail rotor popped off. The rotor wouldn't push far enough onto the motor pinion with the bearing in the way. I may regret it the next time I smack the tail boom but that hasn't happened for quite a while; the tail motor will probably wear out before then.
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