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Old 04-04-2009, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A123 threatened by 5C speed charging Hyperion Generation 3 lipos?

How do you see the new third generation Hyperion lipos against A123s? Hyperion states they can be 5C "speed charged" and have up to 4 times more cycles in them.

I've new to rc, but am considering going A123 on my 450 heli, but then these new lipos were announced, pulling in on the A123s former enormous charge time advantage.

I realize that the new lipos will require powerful chargers to take advantage of 5C charging, whereas the A123s can be simply zip-charged right off the power source.

The new lipos will be available in many configurations also.

And the lipos still have more energy per weight.

Staying lipo on the 450 will save me from having to buy 4400 Kv motor and new ESC.

What do you think? Should I still go for A123?

And a side note question. If going A123, does the Scorpion -8 make more sense to buy than -6, for longer beginner training, or how do I max that?

Last edited by holsen; 04-05-2009 at 03:22 AM..
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The nice thing about electronics..... as long as you can supply the volts, amps, and run time any battery will work.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The new lipo's should be fantastic, but A123 still has the advantages of very low fire danger and longer service life. I flew my 450 on a CC35 and 3600kV motor just fine on 3SA123 (and loved those chargerless 8 min refills, nonstop flying on two packs ).
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvsixer View Post
The new lipo's should be fantastic, but A123 still has the advantages of very low fire danger and longer service life. I flew my 450 on a CC35 and 3600kV motor just fine on 3SA123 (and loved those chargerless 8 min refills, nonstop flying on two packs ).
+1, as long as lipos remain less able to handle an impact I'm sticking with A123's. I taco'ed 3 packs in one month least year and it almost ruined the hobby for me (even with cheap HC lipos).

Now we just need to reduce the size of A123's to the size of a watch battery
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't think that new LiPo stuff isn't going to come without a pretty price. My major decision factor was cost....A123 was least expensive for my Trex 600.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Prices on the new "generation 3" lipos from Hyperion seems quite normal for well known brand names. See examples at

http://www.hyperion-eu.com/catalog/type/19

Of course Zippy lipos from hobbycity.com are way cheaper, but can't be 5C charged.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Still the A123 can be reconfigured for many helis, airplanes, cars, boats. As long as you have a hot iron the packs can be broke down and rebuilt over and over again. If you crash hard enough to dis-assemble the pack that just means the pack is one step closer to being reconfigured

My 12 years old can charge his own a123 with out supervision, a job I could not imagine with a lipo.

And then the storage deal. You may store an a123 however. I have even saved them after being at zero volts for who knows how long.

The only a123 I have completely killed was put on a peak detection charger by accident. Over charging seems to be the only sure fire way to kill them dead.

I good variable DC power supply is all you need to charge them and its a good multi-use item to have around anyway. After getting a Mastec, I don't no How I survived with out one. Oh yea, I can charge Lipos on it too.

What about balancing? I have almost forgotten about balancing.

Low voltage cutoff? No need with A123. I fly until it looses it's punch and then land.

My last batch of a123 cost me $5 per cell. Thats cheaper than a zippy.

I build everything from the onset with a123 in mind so the problem for me is how to get a lipo to work with the a123 stuff instead of the other way around.

Lipos; I have them and I love the power but I hate them all the same!

The argument is still big time one sided for me but it is good to see the lipo's coming around. Now if they would just make them inflammable.

Last edited by t2o; 04-06-2009 at 11:50 AM.. Reason: (sp)
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am currious to see the new lipo's but for the reasons above, saftey, and just ease of reconfigureing the A123's are still great, I see lots of posts stating A123's can not be used for 3D and only good for sport flying but I beg to differ! once set up properly the A123's are really hard to beat. and for the cost I don't think they can be beat.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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+1 for the safe and worry-free charging, a huge part of the attraction of A123 for me

+1 for the mechanical robustness, I crash a lot and so far, my A123 packs have taken it much better than my lipos used to

+1 for price. 5C chargeable lipos will still be expensive compared to A123 and we don't really know how well they will last.

+1 for fuss-free storage. Leave them charged or part charged or even discharged (not recommended) and odds are they will be just fine months later. My lipos get storage charged and put in the fridge if not being flown for more than a few weeks. Even so they are aging on-the-shelf.

I have yet to see charge curves for these new 5C lipos but traditionally as you increase the charge rate for LiPo you get diminishing returns due to the rapid voltage rise driving the charger into the CV phase. 5C may be no faster than 3C, we don't know yet. A123 on the other hand have a very flat charge curve with a sudden rapid rise towards the end. This is ideal for fast charging since you get real value from the higher current during the CC phase.


So I too am curious to see some real-world end-user data on the new 5C-chargeable LiPos but even if it is genuine 5C performance, they will not displace A123 for me or I suspect many others for the reasons given above.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Look at this Danish forum for Hyperion G3 5C charge graph:

http://www.rc-unionen.dk/nytforum/to...15&whichpage=1
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holsen View Post
Look at this Danish forum for Hyperion G3 5C charge graph:

http://www.rc-unionen.dk/nytforum/to...15&whichpage=1

Translated by Google:

http://translate.google.com/translat...D1&sl=da&tl=en
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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A slightly over-literal answer to the title is that A123 cells are made mostly for cars and power tools, where LiPo cannot be used due to safety concerns. As such, A123 are certainly not 'threatened' by the new Hyperion LiPos because r/c flying only accounts for a tiny part of their sales.

Personally I welcome the new LiPos and there will doubtless be those who will either choose them over A123 or who will choose to change from A123 to Hyperion. So long as that decision is right for them, I see no problems with this. Personally I will be sticking to A123 primarily because of the safety and low-voltage tolerance.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlfk View Post
...A123 cells are made mostly for cars and power tools, where LiPo cannot be used due to safety concerns.
And to think of all those lipo's next to millions of peoples ears, in pockets, and on laps .
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
And to think of all those lipo's next to millions of peoples ears, in pockets, and on laps .
Ha! I had thought they weren't being used any more, but you are quite right.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The beauty of A123 is zip charging it in 9 minutes as soon as it lands... at 130F. Yet, if these hyperions do last 4x more and can handle 5C, I would consider having a lipo heli again. I've done some searching and found almost nothing on these batts... Anyone trying them?
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I can't tell ya how many times I've heard this crap over the last few years. Every few months there is some new and greatest lipo. Be it new chemistry or more power or what ever. Everyone jumps on board and then in a couple of months you start hearing the complaints. I have yet to here or see any lipo brand last more than 80 cycles when your doing smack down 3d. There is the durability factor as well. I just crashed my logo a few days ago and the Outrage pack went up in flames. Only had 5 flights on it. There maybe a weight penalty with a123s, but its the only penalty!
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holsen View Post
How do you see the new third generation Hyperion lipos against A123s? Hyperion states they can be 5C "speed charged" and have up to 4 times more cycles in them.

I've new to rc, but am considering going A123 on my 450 heli, but then these new lipos were announced, pulling in on the A123s former enormous charge time advantage.

I realize that the new lipos will require powerful chargers to take advantage of 5C charging, whereas the A123s can be simply zip-charged right off the power source.

The new lipos will be available in many configurations also.

And the lipos still have more energy per weight.

Staying lipo on the 450 will save me from having to buy 4400 Kv motor and new ESC.

What do you think? Should I still go for A123?

And a side note question. If going A123, does the Scorpion -8 make more sense to buy than -6, for longer beginner training, or how do I max that?
...5C "speed charged" and have up to 4 times more cycles in them.

How much is "4 times more cycles"? How does that compare to A123 = 1000 cycles
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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From my perspective there clearly has been significant improvement in LiPo technology over the past two or three years and it trickles down from the premium packs to the cheapies. The cheapies of today are comparable to the premium packs of perhaps 12 to 18 months ago in terms of performance (IR/voltage under load) and lifetime.

The premium packs of today have astonishingly low IR (around 2mOhm compared to last years's 8mOhm) which means more power delivered to the motor, more consistant headspeed and *critically* less internal heating for the same total load. Heat is one the biggest factors in pack cycle life so the claims of increased cycle life may well prove to be true so long as the new packs are not loaded any harder than the ones they replace.

For example, if you are currently flying a 25C/10mOhm pack and averaging say 30A, you are dissipating 9W in the pack. That is quite a lot and leads to significant heating. In the same application a new generation 40C/2mOhm pack delivering 30A will only be dissipating 1.8W. In crude terms that means it would take about 5 times as long to reach the same temperature, but your flight will be about the same duration so hence the pack will remain much cooler.

Time will tell how the new ones hold up and as mentioned, they are no more electrically or mechanically robust than previous generations of LiPo, but I suspect they will be very appealling to many and some A123 users will not doubt find a role for them too.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Just thought I'd provide some info I haven't seen anywhere here yet. We use the batteries for an offshore project at work and our vendor here in Norway has provided the neat details of some tests the military has conducted on the durability of these batteries. The A123's has been (and still is) charged and discharged over 6000 (!) cycles without measurable reduction in capacity! For crying out loud, my grandchildren can inherit my packs
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