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Electric Battery-Charger-pSupply
› Generator vs Deep Cycle Batteries
08-01-2011 05:26 PM  6 years agoPost 1
Terrabit

rrElite Veteran

Seattle, WA - USA

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Conundrum!

I'm torn between buying a generator and a couple large deep cycle batteries for field charging. I'd probably only end up using them twice a month through the summer months and rarely in the off season. Maybe twelve times a year? Could be more.

I can pick up a 2000W Honda generator new for around $800 or a crappy one for $200. Or, I can pick up a quality set of Trojan 130Ah deep cycle batteries for $400 or a cheap set for $200. The Honda generator would be the best option in terms of value in the long run but my immediate budget is about $200. I may just have to suffer for a few months until I can afford the Honda.

Any thoughts?

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08-01-2011 05:49 PM  6 years agoPost 2
dxflyer

rrApprentice

Bay area, California

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Buy a cheap one and buy a long extension cord until you can get a honda or similar. I have flying buddy who bought the cheap one from harbor freight and is working well. However that is only about 900 watts.. I would look in craigslist and see if anybody is selling a used one.

The deep cycle batteries are a bit more hassle and will probably not go for long term.

Logo 600 12S vbar, Logo 500 vbar
Protos FBL vbar

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08-01-2011 08:30 PM  6 years agoPost 3
Gregor99

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Western Wa

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I used a deep cycle at the field for the first two years. This was before the 1000+ watt craze so a single battery as all that was needed. It was nice to have power ready to go, no noise, no gas. Just plug in and start charging.

For my setup the end of the Pb battery was caused by my 600 electric. I could only get 4, maybe 5 charges out of it before was below 50%. There were a couple times when the Pb battery was done, but I wasn't. I ended up charging off of my running car. If I was flying two days in a row that meant I would need to charge the Pb battery at night. Plus I would usally charge all of my flight packs at home so there's less work for the charger to do. If it rained the next day, that could mean all packs now need to be brought down to storage charge.

While all of that is not teribly difficult, it is combersome. Compare it to my current routine. Load up the car the night before. Helis, two Harbor Frieght cases and the generator. In the morning, grab some coffee, get in the car and go. At the field, its 15 minutes from storage to full charge for 4 packs. Fly, charge, fly, charge. Pack up, go home. Next day, in get the car and head out and it do it again.

I'm really loving, not having to care for Pb battery or be concerned about its state of charge. Just throw all my gear in the car and go. This must be what it feels like to own a nitro, except better.

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08-02-2011 01:23 AM  6 years agoPost 4
Ace Dude

rrProfessor

USA

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Try to make due and keep saving for the Honda. The wait will be worth it.

  

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08-02-2011 06:37 AM  6 years agoPost 5
HeliMan Dave

rrVeteran

Suburban Chicago

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Terrabit,

Get the Yamaha or Honda.

I have the 2000W Yamaha. Works great powering a Super Duo 3 and PL8 with a 24v 70A power supply.

Logo 700 / 600 / 500 V-Bar NEO / Blade 180CFX / mCPX BL / Nano / V-Control

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08-02-2011 02:41 PM  6 years agoPost 6
GScott

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Lewis Center, OH

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One thing to keep in mind for the generator is the smell. If your trunk is not 100% sealed you will get gas fumes in the car. I have a 1000w Yamaha and unless I put it in a plastic tote type container I cannot drive long distances without getting nauseous from the smell.

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08-02-2011 06:01 PM  6 years agoPost 7
Band1086

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Kennewick, Wa. USA

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Save for the 2000i, it's well worth it. Don't go the deep cycle way, instead charge from your car bat with engine running until you can afford a good gen...mo.

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08-02-2011 06:13 PM  6 years agoPost 8
Gregor99

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Western Wa

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One thing to keep in mind for the generator is the smell.
I have the Honda 2000eu and don't have this issue unless the generator has recently been run. I have a 4 door sedan and put the Honda on the floor behind the front passenger seat. I try to make sure I shut off the generator and let it sit for a while before putting it in the car. If I'm in a hurry roll down the rear windows while I'm driving.

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08-02-2011 07:32 PM  6 years agoPost 9
Terrabit

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Seattle, WA - USA

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Cool guys, thanks for the feedback. I drive a truck so the smell is not an issue. I'll probably hold off for now and and pick up Honda in a couple months.

Peace out yo!

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08-02-2011 07:35 PM  6 years agoPost 10
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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Keep in mind, the lead acid batteries will pull your arms out the sockets if you need to move them much.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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08-02-2011 09:06 PM  6 years agoPost 11
Terrabit

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Seattle, WA - USA

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It's cool. I do curls with 115lbs. And I'm talking five sets of ten on the preacher seat. If you don't speak freeweights, that's respectable for a 44yo.

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08-02-2011 11:08 PM  6 years agoPost 12
TomC

rrKey Veteran

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Just my opinion but I think now days you are better off just buying extra battery packs. Thanks to low cost HK packs I no longer worry about field charging. No more back aches from packing 50kg deep cycle batteries around.

I charge at home with a couple of 40amp power supplies, go to the field, and just fly.

Cheers,
TomC

Nqx,Mcpx-BL,300x,450x,500x,550x
Ion-x, 10s ,SS
TT X50E 10s, HC3-Sx

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08-02-2011 11:31 PM  6 years agoPost 13
Terrabit

rrElite Veteran

Seattle, WA - USA

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I've used lots of HK packs. I use six 6s 20c 2650's for my Protos right now. But HK packs are heavy for their capacity and c rating. And I would much rather fly a lighter ship. It's just more fun to me. I'm currently running six 6s Gens Ace 30c 5300's in my 700E that are very reasonable for their price at 750g's and $95/ea, or just about double the cost of HK packs. Of course, TP packs are even lighter per capacity and c rating.

The idea would be to use fewer sets of higher quality lipos and rotate them more frequently. Lipos like to be cycled. They'll deteriorate just about as fast sitting on a shelf as they will flying in your heli. I'd rather cycle two sets six times than six sets twice. By my calculations that's three times the cycle life, plus you get to fly a lighter ship.

Just a thought.

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08-02-2011 11:42 PM  6 years agoPost 14
dxflyer

rrApprentice

Bay area, California

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One big reason why I went with high amp charger and a generator because in the long run I save money by buying less batteries and cycling more of the batteries. 4 6s 5000 batteries for my 700 and 4 6s 4000 for my 600 batteries and I can fly all day long back to back with a generator and pl8 setup.

Logo 600 12S vbar, Logo 500 vbar
Protos FBL vbar

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08-02-2011 11:47 PM  6 years agoPost 15
Terrabit

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Seattle, WA - USA

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I feel you man. I have two PL8's. 2800 watts of charge capacity though, I only get to use 1600 of it now. That's plenty for me. I just charged four of my 6s 5300's in roughly fifteen minutes.

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08-03-2011 01:37 AM  6 years agoPost 16
Ace4

rrApprentice

Chandler, AZ

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The field that I fly at doesn't allow generators. (yet they are fine with me idling my car while I charge, go figure) I am probably going to pick up two deep cycle batteries when it cools off here, since on 24V I would be able to parallel charge at 4C instead of 2C.

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08-03-2011 02:50 AM  6 years agoPost 17
helicraze

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Victoria - Australia

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If your budget does not allow it then get a bigger budget!

I would get a generator. I did

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08-03-2011 04:07 AM  6 years agoPost 18
Raptorz499

rrKey Veteran

NJ

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I vote generator...less batteries laying around is very nice!

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08-03-2011 06:26 PM  6 years agoPost 19
BladeStrikes

rrElite Veteran

Shelby TWP,Mi

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Im happy as hell with my new $120.00 dollar gen and it's warranted for 4 year's .Ive been charging two 6S 5000mAh pack's at the same time for my 700E in 17 min's @ 15A ..

Watch at YouTube

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10-01-2011 03:44 AM  6 years agoPost 20
ktepheliflier

rrNovice

Lafayette CO 80026

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Fix the smell problem with the honda
I have fixed the fuel smell problem with my Honda 2000i with a cheap plastic connector from AutoZone. There are two vent lines inside the main compartment door. After using a flat-head screw driver to unscrew the main door screw you will see two clear PVC vent lines running into the bottom/side of the plastic housing. (These vents allow fuel vapors and raw fuel to exit the carb and the fuel tank when the generator is moved, like inside of a car while traveling. The problem is that these vents have to be open during operation.) I use one hard plastic/PVC connector and leave it on one of the vent lines at all times. At the end of the day I plug the second vent line into the connector which seals the system keeping the fumes from leaking into your house or car. As long as you also turn the switch on the fuel cap to the off position, the fuel smell will be greatly reduced or eliminated completely. The problems are: If you forget to unplug the vent lines from each other, the generator will not run. The second issue is if you keep your generator in a place where it is subjected to extreme heat I could imagine some issues with over pressurization of the main fuel system. I am not a Honda engineer, nor do I claim to know everything about the ramifications of making this modification to your generator. I do know that I have used this method for about a year or so and have had no adverse issues with my generator. I would post pics, but my generator is in my jeep for the weekend. PM me and I can send some pics, but it is pretty self-explanatory once you look inside the main access panel.

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