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HelicopterBeginners Corner › Battery Ideas for Blade 400?
07-08-2008 02:36 AM  9 years agoPost 1
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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Dear Readers,

This is a post to further my heli buying & flying experience. Due to responses from an earlier post, I decided to buy an e-flite Blade 400. It should be arriving in about 3 days. I have seen video and have read forums about the included charger not coming with any power source. Is this true? Any suggestions for one?

Also, I was looking into buying a few more batteries to take out with me in a possible field box for a longer flying experience. I've heard bad things about the included charger killing batteries (any ideas?), so I'm looking into getting some more batteries, and possibly a new charger for them. I have not sodered (spelling?) anything yet, so recomendations for ready-to-go chargers would be appreciated.

Summary

1) What is a good power source for a charger?
2) What would be some good batteries (under $40 each) for it?
3) What would be a recomenended charger (instead of stock)
4) Anyone NOT have problems with stock charger ?

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07-09-2008 06:57 PM  9 years agoPost 2
FlyinLow21

rrNovice

Gilbert,AZ

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First get a "real" charger because the stock one takes forever to charge.
Second try x-cite batteries they have 3s 1800's for like 36$ or go to dealextreme.com and look at the mystery 2100 Mah. 3s packs many people are using those for 27 dollars.
Third a good charger would be either a hyperion or the new thunder power one.
Just my .02

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07-09-2008 09:00 PM  9 years agoPost 3
rotormonkey

rrKey Veteran

Ottawa, ON - Canada

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1) What is a good power source for a charger?
Anything that will give you 12 volts of power. UPS batteries, car batteries, etc. For plugging them into the home power I use a $30 PC power supply that's been modded for this purpose. Works like a charm, and I highly recommend it. It's much cheaper than getting a 12V power supply store bought.
2) What would be some good batteries (under $40 each) for it?
Like FlyinLow said, Mystery packs are probably the most popular in that price range. But they're definately not top of the line. If you want consistent power and lots of cycles you'd probably be better off spending the money on Kong Power, Thunder Power, or Flight Power, or any of the other big names.
3) What would be a recomenended charger (instead of stock)
The two FlyinLow mentioned are good. I personally have a Triton Jr. Just get anything that has an LCD display, and can charge multiple types of batteries (Li-Po, Li-Ion, NiCd, NiMH, Pb, etc).
4) Anyone NOT have problems with stock charger ?
Stock charger just isn't very sophistimucated. It'll get the job done. My advice is if you're going to get Mystery packs, just stick with the stock charger. Mystery packs will be considered expendable imho. If you get expensive ones and want to take care of them, get something better -- Along with a balancer if the charger you get isn't a balance charger.

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07-20-2008 11:12 PM  9 years agoPost 4
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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Charging problems

Dear Readers,

I have been flying my Blade 400 for a few weeks now. My charger has been acting up on me while charging. I'm currently using a 12v 9Amp motorcycle battery as a power source. When I plug in a volt meter to the power source battery, i see that its dropping the volts under 11v, down to almost 10.2v. When this happens, my batter flashes all 4 LEDs on it and it cuts off temporarilly until the voltage is back above 11.
I'm still using the stock 3-cell Li-PO 11.1v batteries. Does that output of the power source have to maintain at least an 11.1v output to keep the charger going? Just wondering. I feel that my power source might not have gotten fully charged after purchase. Should I stay with that as my power source, or get something with some more amps instead? Right now, I have a 75 Amp 12v Car battery charging it and it seems to be doing ok. Its a borrowed battery though, and I'm trying to figure out what the best route is to take.

Please let me know what you think.

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07-21-2008 04:25 AM  9 years agoPost 5
Speedfrek

rrNovice

Herrin, il

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If your charging a motorcycle battery at 75 amps that thing is junk. It won't hold a charge since you are burning it up. For the stock charger I but the end off of a 12 volt power wheels charger and wired it up to the stock charger. It works fine for free. But the computer power supply works great. There are instructions on line to build your own for pennies..

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07-21-2008 11:00 PM  9 years agoPost 6
heliman79

rrApprentice

Dothan, alabama united states

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i had the same problem with mine at first, was trying to use the a c adapter used for my cp pro, the charger that comes with the 400 has to have atleast 3 amps of steady current. use a good car battery or the ac power source from eflite.

Yes i have an ADDICTION and no i dont need HELP!

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07-22-2008 03:19 PM  9 years agoPost 7
rotormonkey

rrKey Veteran

Ottawa, ON - Canada

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SpeedFreek, nowhere in his post did he say anything about charging the battery at 75A. The battery he is charging FROM is currently a 75Ah Pb.

In any event, the problem is that that 9Ah motorcycle battery is probably old if you can't even get one full charge off of it. A 9ah should give you at least 2 or 3. What happens is that as the battery power depletes, the voltage drops as you're taking amperage. Your charger requires 12v to run, when the power source drops below that, it stops working.

FYI: Putting a multimeter on the motorcycle battery will probably show > 12V since it isn't under load anymore.

As for an alternative, that depends on your application. If you need a mobile power source you're looking at batteries or a small generator. If you want something you can use at home, either rig up a power supply from a PC power supply (howtos all over the place on this), or use the eflite wall adapter if all you're using is the eflite charger.

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07-24-2008 04:04 AM  9 years agoPost 8
cubicus

rrNovice

Guatemala

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RyeGuy83,

What you are describing seems to be your little battery reaching it's discharched level. Charge it and you could use it again. However you may consider that this battery, at 9Ah will not be able to provide you with a lot of juice for charging packs. You'll be able to charge about 3, 2000mAh packs, but you'll deplet the battery's energy almost completely.

These little batteries, and other regualr lead acid batteries not marked as a "Deep Discharge Battery" (usually Marine) don't like to be fully discharged. This could shorten the life span of the battery and affect performance. They are designed to work together with a charging source such as an alternator preventing them to fully discharge.

Take into account where you'll be charging. If at home, your best option is probably a 12V - 15V power supply you can connect to an AC outlet. A PC PSU(Power Supply Unit) converted to a Lab/Workbench PS is easy to do and very cost effective.
If charging at the field, you could use your car's battery, but you should be carefull not treat it as an endless power source or you may shorten the battery life in your car and you don't want that. Now 3S, 2Ah won't do much harm, but a closer look should be taken to charge 6S, 8S and above with your car.

The other option for the field is to acquire a Deep Discharge battery.

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08-06-2008 12:16 AM  9 years agoPost 9
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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ABF Batteries?

I was at a funfly yesterday before our bad storms. Someone there had mentioned ABF batteries to me. Said they're really cheap (Around $20-25 each) and they last a really long time. He was sporting about 10 of them the other day and gave me the website to buy them from. I was wondering if anyone else has ever heard of them or tried them out? Please let me know.

BTW - now running HiTec HS65-HDs on head and HiTec HS81-MG on tail.

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08-06-2008 12:36 AM  9 years agoPost 10
stocky

rrKey Veteran

Taxachusetts

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Charger

Cellpro 4S

http://www.fmadirect.com/products.htm?cat=45&nid=4

For the $$ I think this one is hard to beat.

Don't forget the adaptor for whatever battery you choose.

Charges my 2100 3S's in about 1/2 hour on auto mode.

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08-06-2008 06:45 AM  9 years agoPost 11
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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For charging B400 packs one of the cheapest, smallest and simplest power supply I know of is a "Monitor Power Supply". That is just a simple way of saying 12V 5A switching power supply. They have tons of them on eBay.
http://search.ebay.com/search/searc...v+5a&category0=

I you are planning on flying your B400 a lot, I would go with a 2100 or 2200 pack instead of the 1800s. The added flight time is priceless. As for brands, I would not skip too much. Yeah you might have great results running some $30 2100 packs but more likely you will not be near as happy with them as a nicer battery. The Outrage packs are a very good value and seem to be tough and work well. I understand that PerformancePlusRC batteries use the same cells but a little cheaper. Both these batteries come with good warranties and include a "crash" replacement that might save you some money if you trash one in a crash. Anyhow that is my .02 on batteries.

As for the charger. Yeah the EFlite one seems to work but it tells you nothing and is simply a cheap low-end charger. Like said before, buy one with some smarts and a LCD. You need to know how much mAh you use form your batteries so you can keep them healthy. I too highly recommend the FMA CellPro 4s. There are a lot of other charges that work well but most will be twice as much with a balancer. Seems like a no brainer to me.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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08-10-2008 03:30 AM  9 years agoPost 12
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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Charger / Balancer

Dear Readers,

Do you think its better to have a balancing charger -or- a Power Supply + Charger + Balancer combination (3 diff. units) ? For Blade 400 owners, what has worked well for you so far? I'm currently still just using the stock battery / balancing charger. The battery seems to have to charge for almost 3 hours right now while being hooked up to my car battery. Is that usual? I'm trying to find a charger / balancer combo or single unit that can charge a battery in about 1- 1.5 hrs, and possibly charge two batteries at once. I'm trying to stay at or under $100. Any recommendations?

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08-10-2008 06:26 AM  9 years agoPost 13
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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The $100 mark closes most doors. The CellPro 4S is under that but that is about it. And remember that most stand alone balancers are $50 all by themselves. With all the charger choices today, there is absolutely no reason for a new pilot to have a separate balancer. Just get a charger with one built in. Then there comes the power supply part. Of all the chargers in the world, most require a 12V source. Some like the $170 E-STATION BC6 have a power supply built in but that is one of few exceptions. So for charging 1800-2200 3s packs, plan on getting a 12V 5A power supply for your new charger. Like I said before, this can be a "Monitor Power Supply" or a converted PC power supply or a car battery.

To narrow down your list I only see 2 possible chargers that I would recommend in that price range and that is the CellPro and the TP610c. In either case charging at 1C will get you a charged pack in about 65min and charging at 2C will get you one in about 35min.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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08-10-2008 11:53 PM  9 years agoPost 14
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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Sweetness!

Thanks Chris for your advice. I've been lookin at the CellPro 4s. Why would you want to charge a 3-cell at 2c? maybe i'm just lost? Please explain. Either way... its better than 2.5 hrs waiting on one battery. thanks a bunch. ttyl

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08-11-2008 12:22 AM  9 years agoPost 15
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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Charging at 2C (or twice the rated the capacity) denotes the charge current and will allow you to charge a pack in 30-35min regardless of the size. There are lots of folks on both side of the idea of 2C charging but many of us have done it for a long time with zero issues. Anyhow if you are interested in both sides, do a search for it and read until you decide if it is something you would like to do. Regardless, any good balance charger will facilitate 2C charging.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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08-11-2008 03:05 AM  9 years agoPost 16
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely look into getting it. I just have to see if I'll need any special adapters for my lipo packs. Checking into it on another CellPro thread as well.

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08-11-2008 03:55 AM  9 years agoPost 17
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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If you are using E-Flite packs, then you will need an adapter for pretty much any decent charger out there. Those run the eflight/align/esky/mega power/etc balance connector also referred to as a JST balance connector. FMA calls it "CP-GP/KO" adapter. I prefer to make my own adapters. I bought some of these a while back
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...em=250279813270
And then I bought some cellpro pig tails when I got my charger. I soldered them together and now I have a very clean and nice "extension" adapter cable. I did the same thing with my for my TP plug batteries.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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08-11-2008 04:00 AM  9 years agoPost 18
RyeGuy83

rrApprentice

Crest Hill, IL - United States

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I'll look into that. I might just buy the cellpro adapter board that FMA offers

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