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Old 08-05-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
rnbiker
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Default What size 6 volt receiver pack for 50 nitro heli?

I'm looking at going to a 6 volt (nicad only) pack on my .50 size helicopters to increase servo performance.... I ordered a 2400mah JR, but it was WAY bigger and heavier than I expected. For you guys running 6 volt systems, what size battery are you using that works well and isn't too big and heavy? I want a high enough capacity that I can charge maybe every two flights or so (maybe 10 minutes each) but light enough not to negatively impact my flight performance. Also....I do I need a regulator to do this if my servos/gyro will handle 6 volts and will it be a lot more wear and tear on my electronics running at 6 volts? An LHS owner here said that running at 6 volts might make my servos more subject to failure and possibly burn them out....but, I figure if they give the specs for a 6 volt system, surely they are engineered to run safely and reliably at 6 volts...right? Help me out here guys.....
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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I have ran 6 volts on my 3d planes for a while and they have lasted forever, 9 years! I am in high school but take engineering classes at the local community college and dont see any changes in the quality of my servos. I think your cool. The capacity is not so much important as the size of the cell, I have a 2400 pack but it is AA size cells and very light. You probably have some sub C cells. So look for 2400 cells in the AA size.

I know a little off topic but why dont you go to lipo with a regulator? Hell you can build your own for 15 bucks, just make sure its a switching regulator. Oh and a 2000 lipo pack will last you all day and charge in 30 mins.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. My LHS guys put me off of nimh and lipo citing "reliability" issues with them. They say when they fail, it is sudden and fatal. As for the nicads....yes, these (the JR pack) were sub-c cells. The LHS didn't mention AA versions of this capacity pack, so I didn't know they were available. Do you know a good place online to buy these? Also, I have a background in electronics, so if I could get a reliable schematic, I could no doubt fashion a regulator of my own...but, I was wondering if it was even necessary to run one. The guys at my field said the only change I need to do to run a 6 volt system was to buy a 6 volt battery...so I thought, what the hell....easy enough (as I was wondering why I even bought the 4.8 volt batts to start with). I want the extra speed and torque from the 6 volt system, so long as the trade-off isn't lower system reliability. All of my servos specify EITHER 4.8 or 6 volts, my Spektrum receivers are said to be self-regulating for either voltage and I'm pretty sure my CY Solid G and Mini-G gyros are both able to run on 6 volts.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #4
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I meant the regulator for lipos. My professor, who just passed the day before graduation, gave me the schematics himself. Ill see if I can find it. As for the reliability, I trust mine cause I made it and the offerings are really great too if you wanna buy. To buy the cells look around I got mine from a lhs that closed. You don't need a reg for nicad packs though.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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Try the Sanyo or Enerloop NiMH cells. They don't have the self-discharge problems that typical NiMH packs have.

Another alternative is a 2S A123 pack, which would put out around 7.2V fully charged; a fully charged 5S NiMH or NiCd pack would put out about 7V. You might have to run a more elaborate (i.e. more than just a diode) step-down for the rudder servo, but your 6V servos would probably be just fine with it.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info.... I saw the Enerloop cells on the Batteries America website, but I'm now a bit put-off by the whole nimh thing. I run only one flight battery with no system redundancy....therefore, I'm counting on the nicad packs and their tendency to slowly lose their ability to keep a charge and worried about a sudden failure in an nimh or lipo pack. The sanyo nicad 4.8's have been great, so if I could just find a similar configuration in a 6 volt pack, it would be great. There is a battery store (called The Battery Store) here in town that makes custom battery packs for any application and it is right next door to my local heli LHS..... So, I'm thinking about making a trip there and seeing what can be done with AA nicad cells in a 6 volt setup and see what they come up with. I'll just have to strike a balance between capacity and weight as best I can. I do really appreciate the inputs, but I'm wondering if anyone out there is using 6 volt nicads and where they get them. Surely someone out there is using this setup and has a great vendor they already use....or is everyone really using either lipos or nimh packs? It just seems that reliability goes to the nicad setup, as you usually know in advance when they are going bad and they tend to do so gradually. If there is anyone using a 6 volt nicad pack out there....where'd you get it?? Thanks so much for the input, as usual. It is good to hear varied opinions on these things...which is why I keep coming back to Helifreak. You guys rock!
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Mate don't be put off by NiMh or LiPo, any battery, regardless of the compositon, if not monitored once it gets to below 4.8V total the RX is going to brown out regardless!!!

The key thing is to know the limitations of the battery and there discharge rate. Personally, I've seen more heli's/planks go in from over discharged NiMh/NiCad packs than what I have seen from LiPo's Plus the weight saving with a LiPo far outweighs the use of the other, if weight of the aircraft is a concern.

LiPo's hold a charge better too. Main thing with a new aircraft/battery combination is to measure how many mAh you use per flight. Do a flight on a fully charged pack, bring it in and charge it, see how much you put back in and give yourself a fudge factor and then you'll know pretty closely how many flights per charge you can get out of it. I have always done it this way, and have never had a bad experience (like a heli going off air)

hth
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:44 PM   #8
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I prefer the lipos myself, lighter and smaller,
I am running a 2S 2100mah lipo on my heli and after 4 or 5 flights each lasting about 8 to 10 minutes I am only putting 1000mah back into the battery. I got 2 of them so I don't have to wait for it to charge then fly again.. As stated above, if you monitor your battery after every couple of flights you'll be fine. I am also running the Arizona regulator with 6v at the servos for the head and 5v for the gyro and tail.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:15 AM   #9
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I've been wondering the same thing. I have a 2700 mAh JR 4-cell NiMH on my Century Falcon SE. After 2 tanks (30 minutes), I end up putting in around 1050 mAh back in. Since I have a few LiPos that have been retired from my Blade 400, I'm thinking about using my CC BEC with these. Yes, they weigh a bit more, but I'm more concerned about having a good 5.2-5.5V power supply. You can't get that from 4-cell NiMH under load.

I just put in an order with battlepack.com for a 2sA123 pack as well. I'm going to experiment with this to see what works. The 2sA123 under load should be right around 6V.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatbob View Post
I just put in an order with battlepack.com for a 2sA123 pack as well. I'm going to experiment with this to see what works. The 2sA123 under load should be right around 6V.
Please post back and let us know what you found out.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:56 AM   #11
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I'm running a 2150mah NiMH pack in my 600 and it's fine as far as weight and size. I'm not sure how many flights I could comfortably get out of it yet. On my 700 I was running a 2300mah A123 pack. The most flights I did on one charge was 7 and I wound up putting 1300mah back in the battery. That's with relatively power hungry Align servos.

The drawback of the A123 batteries is that the voltage decay is relatively level until the end and then it drops off siginificantly. That just means you can't use a volt meter to monitor the status very effectively.

I'm also planning on using A123 batteries on my 44 Magnum. The plan on that is to use the Weasel from Fromeco so I know how much mah's are being consumed. That should give a very good indication of remaining charge.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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1) Lipos with a regulator are a well proven, high amp capability system. And lipos don't fail suddenly, but yes, regulators can. But so can NiCd packs. Lipo setups eithe rwork or don't.

2) In general, NiMH setups are not recommended because they are not great for high amp draw setups. But some of the newer cells ccan hqandle it, or go with an over size pack.

3) NiCd have their own issues. bad cells, fine voltage, until you put a load on them, failed solder joints, etc. ALL systems require some work to keep running.

4) A123 type setups are nie, as long as you already have a charger for them. Only downside is you can't really monitor the charge state using voltage, their discharge curves are too flat.

Average draw for a 50 is about 300 mAH per flight (conservative). If you have any binding or such, that can go up a good bit.

I run a 2S lipo with regulator (Scott Grey Reactor X or Perfect Regulators CCPM regulator) on my 50 nitros. A 3000 mAH NiMH pack on my gasser.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Okay, so I'm warming up to the idea of lipo battery and a regulator. It seems a lot of people are using them and I am well-aquainted with the virtue of weight savings. I might actually try this setup with my Kinetic .50 to see how it works out. Is the Arizona regulator a good one to use? Also, what about those components that state "for nicad use only" on the package/specs? Does running a good regulator make this a non-issue, or does it still apply? I've noticed some servos specify this and I was wondering what difference it would make if the power was coming from a clean regulator as the source to the components. It shouldn't matter, should it? Or does it?
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:06 PM   #14
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I like the Perfect Regulators CCPM and the Scott Grey ReactorX.

Both supply one voltage to the cyclic servos and the Rx and other servos get a 5.0 or 5.2 volts
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBum View Post
Please post back and let us know what you found out.
So, I did the following today:

1. Got my 2SA123 from Battlepacks installed
2. Installed my CC BEC and programmed it for 5.7 V.

I ran two tanks through it, nothing wild, but ended up putting 650 mAh back in. Now, I'm not running 8717 servos or anything real high power (except an 8417 on the tail). My Voltwatch never dropped the LED above the highest indicator, even when I was do hard climbouts. The A123 option really works nice, even though they weigh more.

I'm really happy with the A123 RX pack. I can charge them quickly, and they don't sag below my regulated voltage.
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