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Old Apr 12, 2013, 03:27 PM
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smrouss's Avatar
Western Mass
Joined Feb 2008
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Lipo Alternative

Hi All,
I've been flying electric for about 5 years and have exclusively used lipo batteries on my planes. Recently, I've begun taking my trusty old EZ Star slope soaring. The landing zone of my local slope is on the side of a mountain and consists of large rocks, stumps and trees and landings are usually controlled crashes into something hard. Given this situation, for fire-safety reasons, I'm thinking of using a different type of battery. I like using the EZ star with the motor rather than a pure glider as I'm a beginning sloper and the motor has saved me from losing the plane in the woods beneath the slope on more than one occasion.

So my question is, does anyone have a recommendation of a non-lipo battery for this type of application? I'm currently using a 3S 2100mah Lipo in the plane.

Many thanks for your help!
smrouss
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 03:53 PM
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Mark Wood's Avatar
United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
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NiMh but that will considerably add to the weight of the plane.

mw
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 03:59 PM
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smrouss's Avatar
Western Mass
Joined Feb 2008
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I was wondering about that. What would a similar sized NiMH battery be? Is it as simple as just matching up the voltage and capacity to what I'm using for a Lipo or are there different discharge "C" rating or other complexities that I need to consider? Thanks for your help
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 06:35 PM
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Mark Wood's Avatar
United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smrouss View Post
I was wondering about that. What would a similar sized NiMH battery be? Is it as simple as just matching up the voltage and capacity to what I'm using for a Lipo or are there different discharge "C" rating or other complexities that I need to consider? Thanks for your help
It depends on the amp draw. You might get away with some A cells or you would have to go with subC-sized cells. Regardless, you'd wind up with a 10 cell pack just to get the voltage.

mw
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 12:58 AM
"Fly, yes... Land, No"
OutcastZeroOne's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Cruz
Joined May 2005
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The other option is going with Li-Ions. I used to run 2s 2500 Li-Ion packs in my Mini-T.

Li-Ion are different from Lipo in that Li-Ion have a metal case. I used to run 18650 sized cells in my Mini-T packs. Having the nice metal case ment they could take a beating. Only real issue iwth Li-Ion is that only Sanyo seems to make hi C rated Li-Ions. but the high C Li-Ions are low capacity. Max Ive seen is 1500mah at 10c.

F.Y.I. the 18650 can size is what was used a lot for laptops. They are the main size of battery used in all the new Li-Ion powered cordless tools. Also the Tesla is powered by 18650 cell, just a lot of them.
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 03:19 AM
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Julez's Avatar
Germany
Joined Dec 2003
5,327 Posts
I have powered similar sized planes with 4s 1100mAh 18650 A123 packs. It worked really nice. When you can live with half the capacity, do it. When slope soaring, the motor should not be the only thing that makes your plane stay up anyways
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 06:21 AM
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Kingston, Canada
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I did run the li-ion 18650 cells but found I had to run 4 cells to equal the 3 cell lipo for the same power.

Gord.
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:40 AM
"Fly, yes... Land, No"
OutcastZeroOne's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Cruz
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One place I used to get mine from was www.batteryspace.com. They are located in Richmond CA, just north of San Francisco.

Used to be if you put "Batteryspace" in the coupon section of checkout you would also get 5% off too. But that was years ago.
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:38 PM
left, left, oh, my other left!
smrouss's Avatar
Western Mass
Joined Feb 2008
412 Posts
Thanks everyone, that's all great info. I think I can definitely go with a lower capacity pack on the slope than I have been using for regular flying and you have given me some good options to consider.
Thanks again!
Smrouss
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 11:40 PM
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Australia, VIC, Melbourne
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A few pieces of sheet AL made into a protective case might be something to consider. Only real difference between LiIon and LiPo these days anyway.

Or maybe some armour in the battery compartment of the plane?
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 01:15 AM
"Fly, yes... Land, No"
OutcastZeroOne's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Cruz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertstalker View Post
A few pieces of sheet AL made into a protective case might be something to consider. Only real difference between LiIon and LiPo these days anyway.

Or maybe some armour in the battery compartment of the plane?
could wrap it in EPP packing foam too, though aluminum would act as a heat sink, but be heavy.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 05:53 AM
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Kingston, Canada
Joined Jun 2004
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These are fairly big batts but they are vulnerable sitting under the motor for CG purposes. The brown part around the batts is plastic drain pipe cut to fit the batts. with heavy duty tie straps to hold them in place around the batts. On my heli batts with one end of of the batt facing forward. I hockey tape on about 1 in. thick rubbery packing foam to the front end of the batt.

Gord.
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