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Old 05-26-2019, 01:47 PM
Flyingtightwad is offline
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Help!
Life batteries

I have no experience using life batteries on ignition and receiver..always having used nmhydrides..I purchased a nice sbach that is running life 2s 2500s on both, using star hobby miracle switches I believe there called along with a optikill..my questions are as follows..with the batteries buried in the frt of the fuse/cowl area I assume one does not worry about balancing?...also is a digital volt meter usable to check voltage both static and loaded at the field?..thank you all!
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:54 PM
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Balancing yes, charging in the plane is fine though. Depends on your setup and who installed them, my Life batteries have an external 3 wire balance jack that uses a CellPro to balance charge them

Nothing you can do with a voltage check, charge them, fly them and charge again, see how much you put back in, from that using your capacity you can come up with a figure for the number of safe flights but I can tell you're looking minimum 4 to 5 flights using maybe half your capacity
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:04 PM
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Ok well there has been no provision made for balancing..only charge..maybe I need to tear down and rethink this thing a bit..
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:15 PM
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Go to Hangtime Hobbies. You can get packs wired anyway you want. That way, balancing is easy. I have used nothing but their batteries for several years and they are great. I won't use anything else on my rx's. All you need is a balancing charger.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:39 PM
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I've used lipos for years in my electrics and understand the need for balancing packs..but never using lifes and seeing as how these were buried and no provision made I thought I had better ask
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:12 PM
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I would confirm there is no way to balance. If there is a 3 wire connector in use to charge, many will use that 3rd position as the balance lead (white wire). With it installed, you make yourself an adapter for your charger and you are able to balance charge with the battery in place, using a standard 3 wire charge jack.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tms261 View Post
Go to Hangtime Hobbies. You can get packs wired anyway you want. That way, balancing is easy. I have used nothing but their batteries for several years and they are great. I won't use anything else on my rx's. All you need is a balancing charger.
Got to second the Hangtime Hobbies. I've used their three wire LiFe (A123) setup for about 8 years now and have charged them in the plane using their recommended charge cable for single lead setup. I just remove one lead in the switched wiring as per their instructions so that I send the correct voltage to my receiver and servos. It is a simple "no-brainer" setup that works for larger gas setups.
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Last edited by MarksHangar; 05-26-2019 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Adding A123.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:55 AM
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2S LiFe, especially if they are A123 can type cells, are fairly tolerant of being used unbalanced. Balancing is best practice and will extend their life but is not critical. In the early days of LiFe when we used power tool pack cells we often used them unbalanced.


Otherwise they are pretty much interchangeable for NiMH. No regulators needed, you can safely charge in the plane, you can store them charged/discharged/ partially charged with no impact on lifespan.


Just use a proper LiFe rated charger and remmber you cannot trust a voltage check. You have to measure capacity and count flights.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:47 PM
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2S LiFe, especially if they are A123 can type cells, are fairly tolerant of being used unbalanced. Balancing is best practice and will extend their life but is not critical. In the early days of LiFe when we used power tool pack cells we often used them unbalanced.


Otherwise they are pretty much interchangeable for NiMH. No regulators needed, you can safely charge in the plane, you can store them charged/discharged/ partially charged with no impact on lifespan.


Just use a proper LiFe rated charger and remmber you cannot trust a voltage check. You have to measure capacity and count flights.
Agree 100% with above but would add that most quality LiFe batteries will have a balance lead that can easily be extended to a convenient access point in the airframe. I balance maybe every 10 charge cycles and rarely ever see the cells mismatched. I use mostly A123 batteries but also use a few poly pack style packs. The A123 are a more consistent battery but zero problems with the poly types. The A123 cells have a much lower IR than the poly types.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:00 PM
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I have to agree with the last 2posts...sadly I have some packs that I have never balanced and have some that have only been ballanced a few times. Have never had an issue. I don't recommend not ballancing...just saying they are quite resilient and forgiving
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:29 PM
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Thanks one and all for your help...I appreciate it very much!!!
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:02 PM
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A few things regarding me first using Lixx batteries some years ago. I am always one that is slow to adopt new technology even though I worked with hi tech for decades. LiFe and LiPo batteries had been in common use for quite some time when I first tried them in RC applications. From there I have never looked back and would only use Nixx batteries in some legacy equipment that just couldn't use a Lixx battery due to size, voltage or charger restrictions. So many advantages to use Lixx batteries and so few reasons to stay with Nixx.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:39 PM
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Same here. IT and networking background taught me to have a darn good reason for switching from technology known to work without issue. I could give a darn about latest and greatest. LiFe was a stuggle for me at first (LOTS of homework/research!), but was forced to move in that direction due to some disastrous NiMh related issues I was having. LiFe best thing to happen to me!
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:32 PM
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wrongwayfeldman
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Same here. IT and networking background taught me to have a darn good reason for switching from technology known to work without issue. I could give a darn about latest and greatest. LiFe was a stuggle for me at first (LOTS of homework/research!), but was forced to move in that direction due to some disastrous NiMh related issues I was having. LiFe best thing to happen to me!
Totally agree....I hate change, especially for no good reason. I used NiMh for years and after a friend's plane started smoking in flight he emergency landed and we tore the canopy off to yank out the smoldering NiMh battery pack before it caught the fuel tank it was near on fire. After that, another fellow flyer showed us the a123 bats he had started using with success. We were all sold and have been using Life/a123 since .
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:43 AM
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I went to life batteries about 5 years ago. I used charged them every use without balancing for years without failure. Id say maybe 6 or 8 of these 1600 - 2200 and even a pair of 3200 in a bigger biplane.
Today I ordered a 2 wire balance buddy from Hangtimes Hobbies.
They said this inline charge modifier will balance cells - Worth a try. I know balanced cells is what we want.
I'm just saying I have 5 yr old Life batteries that have been balance charged maybe twice still quite even.
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