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Thread: Receiver power assurance

  1. #1
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    Receiver power assurance

    Receiver power is a critical aspect of radio control safety, most experience modelers at some point have lost control of an aircraft due to a problem with the receiver power system, either a bad battery, and undercharged battery, or a failed switch or bad connection of some type.
    The bigger, faster, heavier, the more expensive a model it is, the more attention you want to pay to receiver power assurance. Modelers who fly models that are on the high end often use practices that set a higher standard that can be followed to help you fly safer and with less chance of loosing your investment or hurting somebody with an out of control aircraft.
    This discussion will focus of some of those practices like dual batteries, quality switches, when to use BEC and when not too, etc.
    I will post some things I have learned, maybe some of you know some other things, so please contribute what you have learned too.

    RE

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    Receiver battery types

    Traditional battery packs generally consisted of Nicad batteries years ago, but now there are more choices. NiMH came along and became popular, and often are now shipped as standard factory packs when you buy a radio system. Nicads are reliable for a couple of years but eventually begin to lose capacity. They have a memory issue and need to discharged to a low level from time to time keep them healthy. They also need to discharged to a lesser level for long term storage if not used for several months. Shelf life for a charge state is better than NIMH packs, but still should be charged completely before heading to the flying field.

    NIMH packs are able to be charged faster, and can provide higher capacities for their size and weight than Nicads. This makes them more popular these days, but lose their charge faster, so it is even more important to charge them completely before taking them to the flying field.

    Either pack type should be sized properly for the load, and checked before each flight. You need to determine when to replace your receiver packs by continually re-assessing the health of the pack, and when you begin to have less flight time before the charge state shows "no fly".

    Monitoring capacity and checking the charge state will be a good subject for another post.

    As to receiver battery packs, beyond the familiar NICAD and NIMH, newer options like: LIPO, LION, LIfe, and A123 batteries are also types to consider. These newer exotic types will be discussed a little bit in the next post

    RE Note: this discussion thread is under construction.
    Last edited by Richard Evans; 08-04-2010 at 05:18 AM.

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    A123 is the battery of choice for me. It's safe (wont puff and burn), recharges in as little as 10 minutes, is lighter than a comparable NiCad, more reliable than NiMh, and doesnt need a regulator. I have converted all my jets to A123 and even have one with the ECU on A123. As my other ECU batteries age I will replace them with A123 also.

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