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LiIon, LiPo, NiCd & NiMh General General Battery Support


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Old 09-02-2019, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dakota Lithium Battery

I have been looking for a battery to use at the field to charge from. I was wondering if anyone has tried these before?

https://dakotalithium.com/?v=7516fd43adaa

I have never used a charger at the field before and just bought the icharger X8 to try while out flying.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The problem is that those batteries are only 10Ah which is nothing and the packs you will be charging will drain it dry in no time as they likely have just about as much or more capacity as that source battery does unless your intention is to only charge really small capacity micro model packs.

For example a 5000 mAh 6S pack is 5Ah, so charging two packs will drain that battery completely down to nothing and we know you cant drain it all the way down. You wouldn't even get two packs fully charged with that setup and the source battery would be over discharged and damaged.

On top of that a 6S pack is double the voltage of the 12V source battery, so the input current you set to charge at on the charger will require twice as many amps to come from the source battery and this really works the source battery hard. Those batteries look to only be capable of 20A max continuous.

DC battery field charging for higher voltage packs works best when using two 12V 125Ah deep cycle marine batteries in series for 24V. You can get by with a single 12V 125Ah deep cycle battery if charging lower voltage packs since the battery you are are charging isnt higher voltage than the input source battery, so it all depends on what size packs you are trying to charge

Deep cycle batteries can also be repeatedly discharged lower than a typical lead acid car battery can be without damage as fast, typically down to about 30% so you will only get about 70% of the 125Ah battery capacity rating plus losses since nothing electronic is ever 100% efficient.

Check out the sticky on this at the top of this forum for more info on what you will need to field charge using DC batteries: https://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=374446
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They were just a thought. I was looking at the 2 x 12v 23Ah battery mostly. I would be charging 6S 5000mah lipo. Probably only charge it three times while out flying.

I will probably just end up using the charger at home and charge ahead of time.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifheli View Post
They were just a thought. I was looking at the 2 x 12v 23Ah battery mostly. I would be charging 6S 5000mah lipo. Probably only charge it three times while out flying.

I will probably just end up using the charger at home and charge ahead of time.
Those are $389 and 23Ah is still not near enough for our purposes. You need at least 5X times that much capacity for it to be worth your time and money. That's going to be a very expensive and troublesome 24V solution to lug around just to charge your battery maybe three times. Then you have to charge the source batteries back up again and they won't last but a couple years if that since you will be draining them down to their limits over and over again unlike the equipment that they are made to go in.

Your talking $400 just to charge your battery three times. You can get a nice small, portable and quiet generator for about the same cost or less depending on brand and charge and fly all day long with two packs if flying alone

Ive had one of these for a couple years and it worked great when I was field charging. Home Depot puts them on sale during the Holidays and I got mine for $156: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sportsma...2085/300792167

I have a single 6S model, 12S model and a drone and I could alternate flying in turn with two of my buddies all day long using my 4010 Duo charger at 2C charge rate with one pack each model after pre charging my packs the morning before heading to the field.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The charger is cheap right now but the whole setup is costly up front but will last up to about 2000 cycles. $389 for two batteries and $19 for charger. I know shipping will be high. I know I would be pushing the batteries to the edge in use.

Two graphene 6S 5000mah batteries from HRB would be about $300. I bought two graphene batteries to try since HRB had a 15% discount. I will most likely buy two Dinogy Graphene 6s 5000mAh and just charge all four at home and go flying.

I`m not hauling a generator in the trunk of my car so that is out.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If all you you are after is 3-4 flights then investing in that many packs and pre charging is likely your easiest solution. You won't get 2000 charge cycles from those 12V batteries draining them down to the minimum each time to charge 3 packs any more than your helis lipos will last 2000 flights without degradation and subsequent capacity loss.

They are only good for about 18Ah capacity brand new and that is before any efficiency losses and three packs charged needs 15Ah. They will suffer from slow capacity loss just like our lipos do the more they are used, so at some point you won't even have the capacity to charge three times.

The same reason a deep cycle marine battery being used for field charging requires them to be replaced every 1-2 years rather than lasting 5-6+ years being used the way they were designed to be used in the thing they are designed for. Forget the stats that your see on their website.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wonder how it would work just charging my 6S 1800, 2200 & 2600mah batteries from them. Then just charge the 5000mah at home.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifheli View Post
I wonder how it would work just charging my 6S 1800, 2200 & 2600mah batteries from them. Then just charge the 5000mah at home.
You would get more packs charged the smaller the capacity of course, but just do the math and you will see its still not great for the investment.

Your smallest pack of 1.8Ah could on paper be charged 10 times, however this is assuming 100% efficiency which we know isnt reality, so maybe 7-8 times in reality. The 2.6 packs maybe 5 times

You can also get the same capacity as those big batteries using two 5,000 lipo packs. I use a couple 7S Hyperion 5,000 mAh packs to run my charger when I go out and fly only my drone. The packs suck for flying my actual heli because they just cant provide the amps I needed, but they are perfect for recharging my 4S 1,500 drone packs at 2-3 C without stressing them at all, especially since the 7S packs are a good bit higher voltage than the packs I'm charging

I have three drone packs that I pre charge and just keep cycling them on the iCharger Duo as soon as I land and I can fly for several hours like this using packs that I was originally just going to throw out as a charger power source.
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Last edited by Xrayted; 09-02-2019 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I used these (35ah AGM's x2 for 24v) https://www.apexbattery.com/12v-35ah...e-battery.html for the previous 3 years and swapped to smaller batteries (9ah x4 for 24v). I do run solar as well. Either a pair of 50-watt or 100-watt panels in series. So I can stay at the field all day and charge 10-12 sets of packs. I don't always bring my panels and I can charge 3x on my 12s setup from my current setup and 5-6 times from my larger setup (the 35ah were in an ammo can). I charge @ 1/2 c (2.5 amps) or 1c (5amps) if I am in a hurry. I would highly suggest charging slower as it is much easier on the batteries your charging from. Charging from AGM's vs a 120 outlet or generator can certainly have it's drawbacks so consider that. The drawbacks don't affect me so I am good with it. I think for 80% of the folks out there this wouldn't be a good option.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senzafine View Post
I used these (35ah AGM's x2 for 24v) https://www.apexbattery.com/12v-35ah...e-battery.html for the previous 3 years and swapped to smaller batteries (9ah x4 for 24v). I do run solar as well. Either a pair of 50-watt or 100-watt panels in series. So I can stay at the field all day and charge 10-12 sets of packs. I don't always bring my panels and I can charge 3x on my 12s setup from my current setup and 5-6 times from my larger setup (the 35ah were in an ammo can). I charge @ 1/2 c (2.5 amps) or 1c (5amps) if I am in a hurry. I would highly suggest charging slower as it is much easier on the batteries your charging from. Charging from AGM's vs a 120 outlet or generator can certainly have it's drawbacks so consider that. The drawbacks don't affect me so I am good with it. I think for 80% of the folks out there this wouldn't be a good option.
Nice looking setup! Yeah, .5C to 1C isnt going to cut it for most as no one wants to wait more than an hour for each pack to charge unless you already a several packs pre charged and it doesnt drag anything down waiting.

I came to the conclusion a few years ago like many that I would rather invest in a charger/power combo that is capable of fast charging only 1-2 packs and allow me to fly all day rather than throw the same money or typically much more at lipos which are a crap shoot even when new and will ultimately need to be replaced every few years anyway.

I first started using deep cycles which did the trick, but ultimately they need replacing too and I got tired of lugging them around and having to recharge them as well. A good generator on the other hand is lighter, will last many years if not a lifetime for some and also come in handy for other purposes. I kept mine in a plastic storage bin strapped in the back of my little hatchback and there was zero smell. No one ever knew it was back there and it weighed less than just one of my deep cycle batteries

Now I'm lucky that I have a club field with power so the generator has been retired to the garage after more than 2 years trouble free use.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have seen senzafine’s setup and mocked him about it... three funflys later i had my own solar setup almost identical to his first...

I pre charge with the solar at the house 2-6s/1800, 2-6s5000, 6-4s5000 packs. Charge Thursday and Friday after work at 1c... and continue to charge all day at the field using 100w of panels... 2 packs at a time..

If the sun is not out, i ask one of the guys with a generator if i can steal power for 5 bucks...
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don`t fly all day any more. I probably fly at most four hours in the morning. I also fly alone. I`m just trying to find a light setup for charging while out flying. I just bought my first larger electric heli( OXY 5 ). Only ever had larger nitro helis in the past. I have only been flying 360-420 size for several years now. The Dakota batteries were just a thought. Charging the smaller batteries the setup may last a few years but the cost is a bit to much for me right now. I will probably just keep charging at home and then go fly till I`m out of batteries.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayted View Post
You would get more packs charged the smaller the capacity of course, but just do the math and you will see its still not great for the investment.

Your smallest pack of 1.8Ah could on paper be charged 10 times, however this is assuming 100% efficiency which we know isnt reality, so maybe 7-8 times in reality. The 2.6 packs maybe 5 times
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