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Old Feb 14, 2004, 02:30 AM
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Newbie question from an old airhead...

I've been flying RC for over ten years now, but I'm very new to this whole electric business and I'm sure you've all read this question but here goes.
While I regularly cycle the nicads in my nine other large RC planes, I've heard you don't have to cycle nimh's. I have two new park flyers that I'm toying with for something to do in the winter and I'm having a lot of fun with something that doesn't take a lot of preparation.
One is a Wing Dragon with a seven cell 1100 ma nimh pack and I have a Wattage Corsair with an eight cell 1050 ma nimh pack. The thing is that for now, I never fly them enough to run the pack down all the way. Maybe ten minute flights at most because of the cold.
Do I need to cycle the batteries somehow or just run them down once in a while? If I need to cycle, where can I get a decent, low cost cycler? I don't plan on having more than two parkflyers at any one time and I'm not really into the science all that much so it's gotta be cheap and it's gotta be easy.....
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Old Feb 14, 2004, 04:12 AM
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Neither NiMH or NiCd really need cycling. If you normally fast charge them then it can be worth running them a fair way down and giving them a slow charge from time to time just to let them equalise but even that's not essential. I have NiMH batteries that have never been anything but fast-charged from day 1 and they're still working well.

Steve
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Old Feb 14, 2004, 04:15 AM
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I'd have to disagree about nicads....

But I have heard that about nimh's. If my nicads set too long on trickle I've found that cycling brings them back up to peak power.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Neither one should be trickle charged for long periods, according to most experts. Cycling does improve their capacity.

Store NiCads discharged to 1.0 volts or less.

NiMH they say to store charged. I can't tell the difference, though.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 07:06 PM
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I've found the opposite true on nicads...

My building shed is basically unheated. If I store my nicads discharged I have a very hard time getting them to cycle back up in the spring. What I usually do is cycle them once a month during the off season. It's kinda hard to dissassemble eight aircraft and take all the batteries out.
Some of my packs are at least five seasons old and so far they've held up very nicely doing it this way.
I was wondering about nimh's though because I've heard they don't retain a "memory".
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 09:32 PM
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Batteries shouldnt have a memory! It means the batt only charges to a ceartion point every time. (Not full) I dont remember what causes it though,
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 10:43 PM
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That's why I cycle my nicads....

I usually cycle them once a month in the off season and twice a month during flying season.
I know there is a lot of controversy on this subject but I've seen for myself what not cycling can do. Even if it does "nothing" it still serves as a guage for battery "health" and since I have started cycling I have caught a few bad packs, I have never lost a plane from pack failure.
I don't think it's because they charge to a certain point as much as they don't discharge as much.
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