Lipo or nimh for first plane - RC Groups
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Jun 30, 2004, 06:16 AM
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doctor_prox's Avatar

Lipo or nimh for first plane

I am going to order myself a GWS E-starter for my first plane, i hope its not too fast for me but i think ill be ok having flown micro helis etc, anyone started on one?
My problem is with buying an ESC and battery. Ive got a nice charger that can do nicd/nimh/lipoly but im not sure what to pick. I was going to order a nimh pack simply because theres less to worry about but someone i know in RC says lipolys would be best for me due to the longer flight times, he thinks with nimh i will get "a minute to settle down, a few minutes of power then it sags".
I wouldnt mind it if a "few minutes" was like 10 mins or so because they can charge quite fast. Is he right? What kind of times would i be looking at with a nimh pack? Im not sure if i will need 8.4v or 9.6v for a 300 or 350c motor.
Should i get lipo to start with? Also the esc i was going to get has its LVC too low for lipo but the guy says i will be able to tell when its low, or make an alarm thing.

Thanks for any help.
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Jun 30, 2004, 06:52 AM
Plane Crazy
I think bagged lipos are not ideal for beginners bc they get easily damaged in a crash, resulting at best in loss of a very expensive pack, at worst in an explosion that might damage and burn whatever is around. The are really sensitive to mechanical insult - search some around this forum the hear from peoples experiences.

Its true that the power to weight ratio is astounding but I think its to risky for a beginner's plane where the question is not if but when it is going to crash.
Your heli experience wiill be helpful, no doubt - but you WILL crash, as we all did and still do.

There is a battery in between Lipos and NiMh, Konion 1100mAh from Kontronik, its actually a Li- Ion cell in a metal casing, weight more than traditional lipos but way less than Nixx batteries.
One cell at 40g roughly equals 3x1100mAh NiCads at 3.7V nominal, though fully charged its a bit over 4V, Discharge is 12C contd and 20C burst. I have a 4S4P pack built and I am very happy with it.
I heard that GWS planes are weight sensitive, so this might be an option.

As a first plane, I personally can recommend the Easystar from MPX - very stable can be tweaked for more response once you get familiar, extremely crash resistant and easy to repair at the field.

Its a pusher motor glider made of elapor, a very flexible foam.

People teach themselves to fly on this thing, then two weeks later convert it for aerial photography.

Heres's some survivability pics showign the result of a 120ft vertical WOT nose in ( I tried to get it out of inverted but run out of airspace) and the repaired nose. BTW, flew the plane today.
Last edited by splash99; Jun 30, 2004 at 06:57 AM.
Jun 30, 2004, 08:44 AM
Registered User
doctor_prox's Avatar
hmm sounds alright, but i am in the UK so i dont know where to get those packs. I heard that li-ion are even more dangerous than lipoly because they are hard cased and cant expand and loose heat or something. I think i will stick to the e-starter its only 25, the easystar is almost double.

Thanks for the advice
Jun 30, 2004, 08:51 AM
Castle Tech
Joe Ford's Avatar
go with nimh til you learn to fly...with all the crashing during the learning process I imagine you will have a pack failure which might turn you off to r/c flight altogether
Jun 30, 2004, 08:53 AM
Registered User
mattg's Avatar
I haven't seen the E-starter so really I can't comment on it but I have seen the Easystar and I think it's the best beginners plane I've seen. I think it's worth every penny after watching club mates go from nervous novice to confident flyer so quickly with this one. It's really durable and it flies really well on its standard setup. Just my 2 cents.
Oh yeah go with NiMH, there's nothing wrong with them at all and you should get at least 10min out of them if you cruise around a bit.
Jun 30, 2004, 08:58 AM
Registered User
Nimh batts for a beginner for will get performance, just not blistering .

E-Starter is not a good first plane, try a slow stick or pico tiger moth. Learn to fly with a tail only plane first, then get an aileron trainer . While the E-S will fly straight off the board, you can easily over control it the first time out and bust it up.
Jun 30, 2004, 11:53 AM
Registered User
doctor_prox's Avatar
So nimh, but what size 7 or 8 cell? 650 or 1050mah?
Jun 30, 2004, 06:37 PM
Registered User
WingMan33's Avatar
Hands down Nimh buy them at .Mike B cheers.
Jun 30, 2004, 07:47 PM
Plane Crazy
go for 8 cells - NiMh have 1.1V per cell compared to Nicads with 1.2V, so a 8cell NimH is 8.8V compared to a 7cell Nicad at 8.4V
I have the KAN1050, a very good cell for a good price. IF you go for the 650 it has to be for weight reason
Jun 30, 2004, 09:31 PM
Registered User
WingMan33's Avatar
What splash said the Kan 1050 are great at less than 2 bucks each and like the other guy said sort a start out with Nimh batteries and wene you get good, Get Bigger Nimh batteries!!!!! Blistering if you know what your doing Cheers Mike B.
Jul 01, 2004, 05:33 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Actually, I am going to throw down a challenge, and say that personally I think you should either get Nicads, or LIPOS.

Nicads don't last long, but they charge fast. As a beginner, flight times tend to be rather short anyway, and Nicads are tough as old boots.

NiMh take a long tme to charge, but don't give LIPO flight times.

LIPOS are best, for performance. But they do need a lot of care from the safety point of view. Read up and if happy get those.

I've got a couple of 7 cell 600AE type packs that will be up on UK e-bay soon. Nicads. If you are interested in those, and a simple charger for em. PM me. I'd rather sell em to someone on E-zone. They served me well, now I am all LIPO. About the same weight and power as 7-8 cell KAN 1050.
Jul 01, 2004, 01:04 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by vintage1
NiMh take a long tme to charge, but don't give LIPO flight times.
I don't often disagree with V1, but the above is only true for vintage NiMH cells. The latest high-performance NiMH cells (I use 2/3AA NiMH from Cheap Battery Packs) behave more like NiCd. I have had no problems charging mine at 2C, so they can be charged in 30 minutes or less. The latest NiMH cells are inexpensive, deliver roughly twice the flight time (or half the pack weight) of comparable NiCd and are environmentally friendly. NiMH is about halfway between NiCd and Li in power density, and so makes an excellent compromise.
Jul 01, 2004, 05:28 PM
Registered User
WingMan33's Avatar
Dave this is scary But I totaly agree with what you stated !! Cheers Mike B.
Jul 01, 2004, 05:46 PM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
> I think i will stick to the e-starter its only 25, the easystar is almost double.

The slow stick is only 20 pounds - just do a quick search to see how many people have taught themselves to fly with one and then bought an E-starter as a second plane.

If you just want one pack I'd say Nicads on the grounds that they're cheaper than nimh so you won't be spending so much on stuff that you aren't going to reuse later.

If you want to fly for longer it's a fine balance - if you spend about 20 pounds you could have two nicads that'll last 5 minutes each or one nimh that'll last 10 minutes. At that point it's slightly advantagous to have fewer (nimh) packs because it simplifies charging.

Otherwise do a price/capacity comparison on the packs available. Don't discount importing them from the US though, the exchange rate is very good at the moment.

Robin (my first lipos are in mid-atlantic, on their way to me now and I'm excited like a kid on christmas eve - doubly so because my nicads only lasted 3 minutes in today's wind)
Jul 01, 2004, 07:37 PM
Registered User
doctor_prox's Avatar
hmm i'd like to import a lot of stuff, im just worried that it will end up costing me a lot in tax and duties.
What is the most common thing people do when trying to fly for the first time, apart from landings i cant see how it would be that much harder, i have a huge field outside my house.
If people think i will have trouble with the e-starter i may just get a beaver instead, sticks arent really my thing, however im interested in aerial photography.

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