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Old Mar 01, 2012, 07:20 PM
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I frequent large warbird threads. There is lots of talk about how many minutes you can fly with what pack. There is no talk at all of voltage telemetry systems that I have read. It seems from that the vast majority of large warbirds time their flights. There are many veterans on these threads. It seems reality is the opposite of what you hope. Oh... and no crashes reported due to LiPo failure. Pilot error, bullet plugs popping out, prop failure, ESC failure, yes. I'm sure some have crashed due to LiPo failure, but I haven't seen anyone talk about it.
I'm sure the the Hitec users are using it since it is a standard safety feature. I agree there are a lot of people flying with no idea how much juice they have, which is downright irresponsible especially with a helicopter IMHO. Most of them don't know voltage telemetry exists and that it is inexpensive or already included with their gear. That's no excuse but it is the truth. Staying up with technology is an important part of being a responsible pilot. I wouldn't take someone up in an airplane and time my way to the MAP in foul weather, but that is how people used to do it. Lots of them died.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 07:23 PM
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ESC failure, yes. I'm sure some have crashed due to LiPo failure, but I haven't seen anyone talk about it.
I've never counted, but just guessing I've probably experienced 300-500 flights where a LiPo didn't perform as expected. In the past I did the best I could to get the plane down safely, usually batteries gave up when I most needed full power. Now I wouldn't even consider flying something without a gas gauge. It seems so basic and obvious now. Spektrum has it too but it can become an issue if one is penny wise and pound foolish.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 07:34 PM
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Doesn't make much sense,unless they are just unaware of how easy it is now.I got an XG8 a few months back and just ordered a few flight pack sensors so I can get alarms when I am down to a certain amount of mah left.Seems like the obvious thing to do,and so many systems available today have telemetry.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 01:12 AM
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Doesn't make much sense,unless they are just unaware of how easy it is now.I got an XG8 a few months back and just ordered a few flight pack sensors so I can get alarms when I am down to a certain amount of mah left.Seems like the obvious thing to do,and so many systems available today have telemetry.
Yeah and even if you can't afford to add Spektrum voltage telemetry to each plane or don't want to buy a DX8 there are third party telemetry packs that work better anyway. The Quanum system costs less than a TM1000 and transmits each battery cell plus the total to let you know if your voltage is low because of battery failure or normal use. Outfitting additional planes is only $30 instead of $65 for a Specktrum TM1000 and sensor.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 01:38 AM
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Well, guys... I'm not sure what to say. "downright irresponsible", "no excuse", "Lots of them died"... it all seems like pretty extreme rhetoric about something that's not that big of an issue. I store my LiPo's at proper temps at proper voltages. I fly so I don't need power to get out of dangerous (to humans) trouble. You full scale pilots should understand that one. Think about who you're flying over and where your airplane is aimed... always. So much more than a battery can fail! You need to be always be prepared for a failure, just like keeping potential landing sites in view when you're flying the real thing. These battery telemetry things... they're not a panacea. They only solve one small part of the failure profile. You still have to be prepared for all sorts of other failures. Telemetry battery level wouldn't change my flight discipline one iota. It's a complete non-issue for me. Hell, I'd have to put my reading glasses on to see the damned thing! I know, they give audible alarms... I'm just sayin'... more trouble than it's worth. My packs come back at a little over 3.8. What more do I need?
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 02:52 AM
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You're doing it just the way it's always been done,the way I have always done it,and the way the majority of fliers do it.No one is saying you're negligent or anything like that.My radio comes with the receiver pack voltage telemetry built-in and I like have the additional input from the bird,especially the bigger heli.We pilots try to have fail-safes and redundancy where possible,and having your radio tell you when you're approaching the limit of your receiver or flight pack is just that-another layer of safety.Who doesn't want that?
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 05:59 AM
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You need to be always be prepared for a failure, just like keeping potential landing sites in view when you're flying the real thing. These battery telemetry things... they're not a panacea. They only solve one small part of the failure profile. You still have to be prepared for all sorts of other failures. Telemetry battery level wouldn't change my flight discipline one iota. It's a complete non-issue for me. Hell, I'd have to put my reading glasses on to see the damned thing! I know, they give audible alarms... I'm just sayin'... more trouble than it's worth. My packs come back at a little over 3.8. What more do I need?
I remember my first flight instructor said, "Fuel gauge? What's that? I have to put my reading glasses on to see it. What's it for? It costs too much." But that was 1908. Now most airplanes come with one.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 07:34 AM
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I remember my first flight instructor said, "Fuel gauge? What's that? I have to put my reading glasses on to see it. What's it for? It costs too much." But that was 1908. Now most airplanes come with one.
And most RC gas helis and airplanes do not.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 07:40 AM
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I've never counted, but just guessing I've probably experienced 300-500 flights where a LiPo didn't perform as expected. In the past I did the best I could to get the plane down safely, usually batteries gave up when I most needed full power. Now I wouldn't even consider flying something without a gas gauge. It seems so basic and obvious now. Spektrum has it too but it can become an issue if one is penny wise and pound foolish.
So out of those 300-500 flights that Lipos didn't perform as expected(which I think is highly inflated just like your Spek vs Hitec comparison), how many people were killed or maimed? Just curious, I want to know if I need to wear my helmut next time I go to the field!
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 07:42 AM
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I remember my first flight instructor said, "Fuel gauge? What's that? I have to put my reading glasses on to see it. What's it for? It costs too much." But that was 1908. Now most airplanes come with one.
And JFK relied on instruments and look what happened to him!

Instruments have made things better and easier obviously, but can't be relied on instead of good old common sense.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 09:35 AM
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And JFK relied on instruments and look what happened to him!

Instruments have made things better and easier obviously, but can't be relied on instead of good old common sense.
Yeah... JFK... what a tragedy. All non-commercial civilian pilots should heed this quote: "Don't fly because you have to. Fly because you can." JFK's mistake was taking off in the first place. Surely he did a weather check. Common sense is the most important tool aviators have.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 09:58 AM
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And JFK relied on instruments and look what happened to him!

Instruments have made things better and easier obviously, but can't be relied on instead of good old common sense.
It sounds like you are advocating crashing out of negligence because safe pilots might crash by accident.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 10:04 AM
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I hope we can all find this common ground. Knowing your fuel state is fundamental to safe flying. Whether you buy Hitec of Spektrum, don't operate a large plane or helicopter unless you can determine its fuel state at all times.

Never. Never. Never be unsafe!!
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 10:15 AM
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And most RC gas helis and airplanes do not.
Ok, but how does a discussion about voltage telemetry for safety relate to that comment?

Nitro delivers the exact same fuel content every flight, and can be timed reliably or visually monitored from the ground. LiPo batteries have a very short and finite lifecycle by design.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 01:12 PM
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I have LiPo's with 300+ charges on them. While that is a measurable number, in cost-per-flight it's way cheaper than it would have been for the equivalent in gallons of glow fuel. They aren't designed to fail after a period, they naturally age - just like the cylinders and rings in your car.

Andy
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