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Old 10-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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Dreaded Black Wire Disease

One of our local club members crashed a beautiful plane last Sunday due to what he thinks was a corroded battery connection. He was using NiCd batteries. As he was talking it dawned on me that I have never heard of anyone using Li-ion or LiPoly batteries who had the dreaded black wire disease.

So, my question is when using Li-ion or LiPoly batteries do servo or battery connectors suffer the dreaded black wire disease?
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:48 PM
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NiCads? How old were those?
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:02 PM
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Hell I have a buddy that still flys nothing but Nicad and Niml lol
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:04 PM
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Oh and I have seen black wire many years ago but I’ve never had it happen on any of my planes and I have been flying since the early 90’s not really sure what causes it
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:15 PM
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Copied from Hangtime Hobbies website who took it from the RC Battery clinic. Good article about something that thankfully no longer exists with Lixx based batteries.

>>>> The black wire syndrome is an occupance in battery packs (Ni-Cds) where the negative wire becomes corroded (turns from shinny copper to blue-black). This is the result of either a shorted cell in the pack, the normal wearout failure mode of Ni-Cds, or cell reversal when a pack is left under load for an extended period. The sealing mechanism of a Ni-Cd cell depends to some degree on maintaining a potential across the seal interface. Once this potential goes to zero the cell undergoes what is called creep leakage. With other cells in a pack at some potential above zero the leakage (electrolyte) is "driven" along the negative lead. It can travel for some distance making the wire impossible to solder and at the same time greatly reducing its ability to carry current and even worse, makes the wire somewhat brittle. A switch left on in a plane or transmitter for several months can cause this creepage to go all the way to the switch itself, destroying the battery lead as well as the switch harness. There is no cure. The effected lead, connector, switch harness must be replaced.
This leakage creep takes time so periodic inspection of the packs, making sure that there are no shorted cells insures against the problem. The cells should also be inspected for any evidence of white powder (electrolyte mixed with carbondioxide in the air to form potassium carbonate). In humid conditions this can revert back to mobile electrolyte free to creep along the negative lead. Some "salting" as this white powder is referred to, does not necessarily mean that the cell has leaked. There may have been some slight amount of residual electrolyte left on the cell during the manufacturing process. This can be removed with simple household vinegar and then washed with water after which it is dried by applying a little warmth from your heat gun..

C. Scholefield 8/29/96 <<<<
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
Copied from Hangtime Hobbies website who took it from the RC Battery clinic. Good article about something that thankfully no longer exists with Lixx based batteries.

>>>> The black wire syndrome is an occupance in battery packs (Ni-Cds) where the negative wire becomes corroded (turns from shinny copper to blue-black). This is the result of either a shorted cell in the pack, the normal wearout failure mode of Ni-Cds, or cell reversal when a pack is left under load for an extended period. The sealing mechanism of a Ni-Cd cell depends to some degree on maintaining a potential across the seal interface. Once this potential goes to zero the cell undergoes what is called creep leakage. With other cells in a pack at some potential above zero the leakage (electrolyte) is "driven" along the negative lead. It can travel for some distance making the wire impossible to solder and at the same time greatly reducing its ability to carry current and even worse, makes the wire somewhat brittle. A switch left on in a plane or transmitter for several months can cause this creepage to go all the way to the switch itself, destroying the battery lead as well as the switch harness. There is no cure. The effected lead, connector, switch harness must be replaced.
This leakage creep takes time so periodic inspection of the packs, making sure that there are no shorted cells insures against the problem. The cells should also be inspected for any evidence of white powder (electrolyte mixed with carbondioxide in the air to form potassium carbonate). In humid conditions this can revert back to mobile electrolyte free to creep along the negative lead. Some "salting" as this white powder is referred to, does not necessarily mean that the cell has leaked. There may have been some slight amount of residual electrolyte left on the cell during the manufacturing process. This can be removed with simple household vinegar and then washed with water after which it is dried by applying a little warmth from your heat gun..

C. Scholefield 8/29/96 <<<<
Thanks Truck.

Also thanks to you other guys too!
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:52 AM
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stay away from all pilots flying NiCad and nimh, these batts are dangerous ! anyone who flies as often as us in the dry climates will tell you a NiMh or NiCad horror story. those batts go dead without warning, they have no business being in large or small rc aircraft . todays lithium batts are robust and very powerful with tons of shelf life after a charge. and if your worried about punctures and crash worthiness then get RC Car batts with the hard case .
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:01 AM
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^There are many pilots flying sailplanes that use NiMH cells perfectly fine. They work very appropriately when maintained, and give off all the same warning signs as LiPo cells before they end their cycle. Sailplane pilots in specific use them because they do not have room inside of the fuselage for a hard case LiPo, need the additional weight, and often fly over locations with lots of dry brush where a LiPo fire can cause serious implications. Most transmitters also still use NiMH cells in them, as well as brand new hybrid cars of all things

---------------------

This generally doesn't exist with Lithium tech, though bad contacts can sometimes cause surface oxidation on the connectors.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:21 PM
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the hybrids are using LiIon and unless your keeping the clock on the dash ticking the nimh is lame
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:43 PM
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If Nimh is lame, Nicads are even more lame. I cant think of any consumer gadget that uses either nickel chemistry anymore.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:21 PM
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If Nimh is lame, Nicads are even more lame. I cant think of any consumer gadget that uses either nickel chemistry anymore.
Likewise most newer hybrid / all electric vehicles are using some form of Lithium battery these days though there are some holdouts.

A major problem with Nixx anything is there are so few companies still making them and quality cells can be hard to source. Certain size cells have been extinct for years. Lixx batteries have increased my battery reliability by volumes while reducing my battery expenses to a minimum. When Nixx batteries were common, I replaced quite a few batteries every year. With Lixx technology, replacement cycles are extended for several more years.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:50 PM
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What about the eneloop bats....what do you guys think about them. I recently bought one for a transmitter to replace a failing nimh and am very happy with it so far
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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I still have Niml in one airplane it’s a 1/4 scale aeronca champ they are about 4 years old and still cycle within 2% of rated capacity and am not afraid of them at all
I will use them until they show signs of failing then I will go to Life/a123
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:02 PM
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What about the eneloop bats....what do you guys think about them. I recently bought one for a transmitter to replace a failing nimh and am very happy with it so far
I have an old 7c tx with them and they have worked great for years
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:16 PM
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What about the eneloop bats....what do you guys think about them. I recently bought one for a transmitter to replace a failing nimh and am very happy with it so far
I've used the eneloop batteries for years in transmitters and like them very much. They are a bit expensive though if you buy the real branded ones. They work 100% as advertised and the low self discharge rate / long service life is welcome compared to any normal Nixx type battery. These days, I prefer a LiFe battery where it can be used.
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