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Old 05-17-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
Dozer Blade
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Default A123/JR powersafe setup

Looking for pics or specific setup of A123 on the JR Powersafe Rx (1222/922) in 40% birds. Would like to stay with Duralite because they have served me well and already have their support equipment (charger/load tester etc.) but that doesn't mean I haven't been looking. Not really into the bling factor (powerbox's, matchbox, hard to understand chargers or fancy switches) KISS is my style.
Been giving ED NANO's a hard look. I like the fact that you can moniter each cell without the complexity of some of the other chargers.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

I use 2 A123 packs going to a single Spektrum 922 receiver. I use the EC bullet connectors as supplied on the receiver. The only switch is the "softswitch" to the receiver.

The packs also have a standard JR charge jack so I can charge them without removing the hatch. I don't generally balance them, but there is also a balance connector to each pack.

So in other words, each pack has three connectors: 1) Ec3 connected to the receiver. I leave this one connected always. 2) Charge jack connected to side of fuselage for field charging (up to 2 or 3 amps), and 3) a balance connector for those occasions when I wish to balance charge them.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

I have been using the A123 cells from Fromeco for a couple of years with good results. I have tried some of the other brands -42%, TBM, etc and they seem to only have about 80 to 90% of the rated capacity when discharged at 2 amps but do work ok. (I usually charge them at 3c or so. When I get a new pack I usually cycle it a couple of times to see what it is doing.) I also set up most of my planes now so that the batteries are easy to move. I have 5 or 6 sets of packs and I move them from plane to plane in lieu of having 20 planes with batteries all wasting away. I simply track of how much each plane uses each flight with a weasel then go with a conservitive margin for error. I always disconnect the batteries from the powersafe receiver as it does draw a small amount of current..
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Seems like a no-brainer to go with this combination. I like being able to get rid of the regs I've been using all these years. I've read some of the other threads but could not get specifics details about using them with the powersafe Rx's. I understand the importance of the balance lead as it is really the only way to moniter each cell for preflight check. Some habits die hard- (load checking for ex.)
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

what kind of pic are you looking for? the way you want to set up your plane is very simple. a123 into the reciever. i changed my 922 to deans and use the soft switch. the best and easiest method i know of.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Quote: Originally Posted by Dozer Blade
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Seems like a no-brainer to go with this combination. I like being able to get rid of the regs I've been using all these years. I've read some of the other threads but could not get specifics details about using them with the powersafe Rx's. I understand the importance of the balance lead as it is really the only way to moniter each cell for preflight check. Some habits die hard- (load checking for ex.)

Just an FYI you CANNOT accurately load check an A123 pack. Their discharge capacity is such that it will not sag under load.......


until it is too late.

Hence the need to keep an eye on your miliamps per flight and recharge accordingly.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Once you overcome the "I have always done it this way" mindset it seem silly to go any other way. I have seen "good " regulators fail and eliminating one more thing that can fail is good. Not being able to load check is not that big an issue to me. If I question how much is left in a pack, I will just charge it.. You can charge most at 4-5c - Thats 15 min-20 min... I have a couple of planes that I don't even use the switch. I just pop the canopy and plug the batteries in to the receiver and unplug after each flight. -1 less thing to fail. A smart-fly pin flag switch will work on the powersafe receivers too. Remember that a "fail safe" switch is "on" when the contacts are open. No current flows thru the switch which is a good thing, but if the switch say shakes apart, the wire insulation frays and touches or it gets some conductive debris in it it can become a closed circuit and will shut of the receiver.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Here's what I've done in my 120" QQ Yak.

Spektrum AR9100 receiver (similar to the 922)

Two Duralite 2300mah A123s

One soft switch (comes with the 9100 and fails ON)

Thats it.

Seth
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Last edited by 3D-Seth; 05-18-2010 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Thanks for the pics and advice everyone. It truly has to be the most simple and robust setup out there. 2Walla makes a good point about the "I have always done it this way mindset." I think that is probably one of the biggest hang-ups for many people on A123, particularly when there is alot of $ and time involved. I have heard some of the battery mfg.'s make the comment that they're going to set back and let the RC community make the decision (As if it is not already that way! )

Know Crashes makes a good point about load checking. In all that I have read about the A123, I have yet to see anyone make the comment about load checking these type batteries. Counting MAh's and balancing seems to be the majority practice.

Speaking of balancing, I see that Duralite sells their A123 in either the external balance config or traditional "plus" pack (balance circuit in pack). I wonder if they would put a balance tab on the traditional "Plus" pack so that I could use either Duralite charger OR fast charge through balance tab. Then again, I'm probably over-complicating things. Just like the ability to charge complete plane at one time with the Duralite 4place charger.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Load testing could still find a dropped cell that would otherwise go undetected until you charged again so there is some benefit of load testing even an A123 pack ... just not for monitoring "level of discharge" which I agree does not work with these due to the discharge curve.

To me, the most cautious approach would be to charge after every flight and load test before each flight ... which is probably overkill. Monitor flight time (battery "on" time) and the mah's consumed to ensure that it is consistent. Periodically balance and fully discharge/charge to ensure that the rated capacity is able to be achieved.

This is what I did when I had the setup in a BVM Kingcat and overkill was well warranted. I had two 2300's into a 1222 and had zero problems. Great setup that I will use in giant scale aerobats moving forward.

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Old 05-19-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

I have the same setup in my Pilot 36% Sbach. Two A123's that I built with deans plugs and balance plugs. Straight into the 922 receiver. I only use the soft switch that came with the receiver and disconnect the batteries when I get done flying for the day.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

I see what you mean about the load tester. I'm sure I'll be keeping mine around! I kind of like the Electrodynamics approach. I know there are alot of great chargers out there that measure Mah. This one measures each cell simultaniousley. Looks simple enough. What do you guys think?
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: A123/JR powersafe setup

Whoops, here's the link: http://electrodynam.com/rc/EDR-207/index.shtml
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