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Old Nov 03, 2003, 02:22 PM
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Ontario, Canada
Joined Nov 2003
26 Posts
How much can I get out of 1600 NiMh AA

I have an 8 cell pack that I was hoping to put in a Zagi, but someone mentioned that the performance will likely be marginal. My question is...
How much current can I draw from these cells and what effect does a high current draw have on the pack?
Is the max draw determined by the size of the cell or the capacity of the battery or both?


The pack is 8 cell AA 1600 mah NiMh
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Old Nov 03, 2003, 02:57 PM
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United States, NY, Spencerport
Joined Oct 2001
2,801 Posts
There's no way to know how much current you can draw from the pack except by trial and error.

What determines how much current you can draw is how the cell was manufactured. Capacity and physical size are good indications, but they are not always accurate.

Take, for example, the typical AA NiMH. These are designed for maximum capacity, not for high current, since they're meant for use in digital cameras and children's toys. The manufacturer crams as much electrolyte and substrate into the cell as physically possible.

Think of a battery like a clown car; the more clowns in the car, the slower they have to move getting in and out to avoid hurting each other and damaging the car. If you put 16 clowns on a big roomy van (like a Sub C cell) they can pile out quickly, but if you stuff them into a VW Beetle (like a AA cell), you're going to be ripping off limbs trying to get them out quickly
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Old Nov 03, 2003, 07:24 PM
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
Joined May 2003
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Matt'a advice is good! One problem is that every brand of AA cell is different - I have seen published discharge rates for AA NiMh cells from different manufacturers and obviously of different construction, ranging from <1C up to >20C. A common figure seems to be 9C, but until you test YOUR cells you'll never know what they can produce.

Cheers, Phil
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Old Nov 03, 2003, 09:41 PM
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hoppy's Avatar
Space Coast
Joined Oct 2000
20,280 Posts
The acid test:
Fly them for 5 min, land, and feel the packs. Are they hot? If not, fly for another 5 min and do the touch test again. If they are getting HOT, like I wouldn't want to hold those for very long, they probably won't last long. If they are just warm, fly away.
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Old Nov 03, 2003, 10:02 PM
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United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
Joined Feb 2000
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Most bargain AA NiMh will take 10 amps and that's about it. The newer KANs will run nicely at 15 amps or so.

mw
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Old Nov 04, 2003, 10:53 AM
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United States, NY, Spencerport
Joined Oct 2001
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...and not one comment about the clown car analogy? I'm disappointed in you guys!
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Old Nov 04, 2003, 11:01 AM
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Joined Jul 2002
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Analogy response......

I thought about it, but then had visions of Ronald McDonald with his limbs ripped off, which put me off my Happy Meal . -thumbs
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Old Nov 04, 2003, 12:41 PM
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Near Austin
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the clown thing made me laff out loud.... pretty good analogy. I run the ol' RatShack 8 cell NiMh desiged for their RC cars and abuse them way too much on BL setups. They draw down pretty good and can keep a Mega running for a good 11-15 minutes on my AP wing.

CTF
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Old Nov 04, 2003, 12:55 PM
Space Coast USA
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Space Coast
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20,280 Posts
An 18 cell pack -
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Old Nov 04, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Near Austin
Joined Dec 2001
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Uh-oh.... that pack has been ABUSED!

I can't see too many arms and legs there...

CTF
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