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› Charging flight packs from deep cycle battery
10-11-2013 03:43 AM  4 years agoPost 1
Slowpoke

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Dublin, OH

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I am getting ready to purchase 1 or 2 Optima yellow top deep cycle batteries to charge my 6S 5000mah flight packs at the field.

I'm trying to get a ballpark estimate of how many packs I can charge before the battery gets to its safe discharge limit. I may consider using two or more in parallel.

I'm using a iCharger 106B+, and will parallel charge two or four packs at a time.

The battery specs are 750CCA, and 55AH capacity.

Thanks

Doug

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10-11-2013 04:03 AM  4 years agoPost 2
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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55 ah total capacity. 40% safe usage rule for long term deep cycle life (should never go past 50% of capacity on lead acid deep cycle batteries). That leaves you with 22 ah's of safe capacity. Each 6S 5000mah pack is 5 ah. So, a 12s 5,000ah pack is really 10ah. You can expect to get two 12s packs charged with no worries. Hardly sounds worth the effort and investment, especially with yellow tops.

I did all the math and decided to buy a quality generator.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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10-11-2013 04:05 AM  4 years agoPost 3
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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Alternately, I have a 48v golf cart that uses 225ah 6v batteries x8. These batteries weigh 80 pounds each, cost $120 each, and can charge five times as many 12s packs as the battery you have quoted. They are not a viable option as dedicated charger power supply in my opinion, but they do well for golf cart service and double duty as an iCharger 4010duo power supply when flying from the golf cart.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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10-11-2013 04:09 AM  4 years agoPost 4
Ace Dude

rrProfessor

USA

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Anything you ever wanted to know about deep cycle batteries can be found in this FAQ:

http://www.solar-electric.com/deep-...attery-faq.html

  

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10-11-2013 04:17 AM  4 years agoPost 5
Slowpoke

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Dublin, OH

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Tyler,

Thanks for the quick reply. I was expecting to get a few more packs out of a battery, so I can see your point about the generator.

I know even less about generators than I do about batteries. What spec should I look for? Would a 2000 watt be enough? Any other things I should look for?

Thanks again

Doug

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10-11-2013 05:09 AM  4 years agoPost 6
rcflyerheli

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Granbury, TX USA

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A 10a charge rate on a 24v charger is 240 watts. There is efficiency loss, so theoretically you can charge 6 6s packs at 10a, or 1440 watts. My power supply is only capable of delivering 1200 watts, so the power supply, not the generator will be the limiting issue. I am running a 2000 watt with no issues at all.

However, if you go the gen route, make sure you get an inverter type output.

Goblin 700, Trex 700DFC, Gaui X7, Logo 690SX, Logo 600SX; Trex 470 Trex 500
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10-11-2013 04:42 PM  4 years agoPost 7
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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A Honda 2000 unit can happily charge at 1,600 watts continuous. That is about 45-50amps of charger output, whether it be a single or dual output charger. My experience comes from running three server power supplies in series for a 37.5 v feed into my iCharger, so efficiency may be higher than a 24v power supply.

If running dual charge channels you can charge at a higher rate per channel by staggering each channel by eight minutes, or so. The first channel will begin to ramp down as the second channel ramps up.

Examples. Two channels started at the same time can charge at 22amps each. However, you could charge the first channel at 30 amps. When the output begins to taper off, usually within 5-10 minutes, the charger will decrease to 10-15 amps. At this time channel two can begin charging at 30 amps without overloading the system because the total demand is still within the 40-50 amp max. This method works well for flying with two or three packs back to back.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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10-11-2013 04:50 PM  4 years agoPost 8
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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I speculate that anyone willing to buy yellow top sealed batteries is a consumer willing to invest in the best. Having said that, please consider the Honda and Yamaha inverter 2000 watt generators. The forums are loaded will long debates and discussions on this topic.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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10-11-2013 04:59 PM  4 years agoPost 9
JKos

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Redondo Beach, CA

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6S 5000mah flight packs
I'm using a iCharger 106B+, and will parallel charge two or four packs at a time.
Under those conditions, you are going to be at the field waiting for them to be charged for quite a while.

The smallest of generators will handle that charger. Such as the little ones from Harbor Freight that go on sale for like $69.

- John

RR rules!

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10-11-2013 06:51 PM  4 years agoPost 10
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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JKos is correct, you need some muscle in the charger to keep in the air. Parallel charging only helps when you have charging amps on tap.
2,000 watt charger are the current standard for 12s flying.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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10-11-2013 07:10 PM  4 years agoPost 11
Slowpoke

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Dublin, OH

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Yes, looking at the replies I see it's the charger and the power supply, not just the generator wattage that determines what you can charge and how fast. It looks like my current charger (it's a 206b, not a 106b like I previously stated), is the bottleneck.

My power supply is a FeatherPower pc server supply, 12v 47A.

I think I will upgrade to the i308Duo, and start looking for a Honda or Yamaha 2000 generator.

Thanks for all the great replies. Having flown nitro for so long, I never really had to deal with the high capacity lipos. It's a whole new ball game. Never thought I'd need to know MATH to fly helis.

I can fly the nitro while the batteries are charging.

Doug

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10-11-2013 07:10 PM  4 years agoPost 12
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

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After flying this season charging 5300mah packs two at a time plus a few other packs at the same time I'm confident saying I could have done all that with a 1000 watt generator. Even pulling 30A while charging my 2200 isn't working too hard. It's when other folks at the field hook into the generator and run another 30A+ that is really goes full throttle.

Having said that I'm really glad I bought a 2200 watt generator because I've tested it and it will start my 25 cu/ft refrigerator. If power goes out that'll be a really handy item to have on hand.

I will also start and run my 10" table saw so I could use that somewhere else if I ever wanted to. I could envision other uses too such as a small electric chain saw or other stuff.

The one question still is whether it'd start an RV A/C unit. The 2000 watt class generators are not rated to start them but I've seen videos of guys starting the 13,500 btu rooftop units with a 2000W generator. I just haven't tried it.

bottom line - generator is slightly more expensive than a couple of yellow tops but will do a lot more and last a lot longer.
I think I will upgrade to the i308Duo
I just did that - you won't be sorry, great charger. Keep your i106 though it's nice being able to charge small stuff at the same time your big packs are charging.

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10-11-2013 07:47 PM  4 years agoPost 13
Slowpoke

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Dublin, OH

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One more question: Is an inverter gererator a must, or will the power supply between the generator and charger (don't know the term I'm looking for) "work"?

Doug

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10-11-2013 08:06 PM  4 years agoPost 14
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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Everything is happier with clean power, but it is not essential. For future use with a laptop, for power outages ( television ), etc I opted for an inverter. No regrets.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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10-11-2013 08:25 PM  4 years agoPost 15
jschenck

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La Vista, NE.

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agree - I've charged with the $89 2-stroke generator and the $300 open frame 'job site' type generator and they work fine - smelly and noisy.

The inverter type lets me not worry about what I plug into it though. plus it's super quiet, uses little gas and packs away nice.

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10-11-2013 08:29 PM  4 years agoPost 16
rcflyerheli

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Granbury, TX USA

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The smallest of generators will handle that charger. Such as the little ones from Harbor Freight that go on sale for like $69.
I would be very leery about that particular generator. First, it is not an inverter type, and having owned one, I found it totally unsatisfactory. It will not even power a 60W light. I am probably sure that it is defective, but I have pretty well junked it for the 2000W Champion inverter that I was lucky enough to win at a funfly last year. After some tech support issues when I first put it into service, it's been running great and gives me all the power I need. I can max out my power supply before I overload the generator.

Goblin 700, Trex 700DFC, Gaui X7, Logo 690SX, Logo 600SX; Trex 470 Trex 500
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10-11-2013 08:53 PM  4 years agoPost 17
JKos

rrProfessor

Redondo Beach, CA

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I would be very leery about that particular generator.
I had one and it worked just fine. Smelly and noisy, yes. Cheap, yes. Extension cord to get it further away? Already had one. It is not a long-term investment; that's for sure. But for the price, it worked. Do I highly recommend it? No.

I passed it on to a neighbor who used it to keep his sump pump going while a hurricane/tropical storm rolled through.

- John

RR rules!

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10-25-2013 03:18 AM  4 years agoPost 18
Slowpoke

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Dublin, OH

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OK, not broke yet, but getting there.

I purchased a Ryobi 2200 watt inverter generator from Home Depot. Nice and quiet, compact and only $550.

Purchased a i308 Duo Charger and a 47A power supply from Feather Merchants. Definitely charges those 6s packs faster.

I would still like to purchase a couple of standard deep cycle batteries to keep in the trailer to run the lights and for the smaller battery chargers. On the deep cycle info link the Ace Dude posted - as well as thru out the forum, it states that deep cycles should only be routinely discharged to 50%. It says a 50% discharged battery should be 12.18 volts. Can I just keep a digital volt meter hooked up to the battery and when it hits 12.18 start the charger?

Do they make checkers for lead acid like the Futaba lipo gauge that I have that actually show percentage of charge? Can they be constantly attached to the battery, so when I see 50% I can start the charger?

Slowpoke

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10-25-2013 02:49 PM  4 years agoPost 19
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

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One option would be to set your charger to alarm when it hit's 12.20V input.

These Ryobi generators have a native 12V output which is intended to charger large pB batteries so you can field charge a deep cycle battery. I know other generators have that option too such as some models of the Champion. It's handy to know that if I did kill the battery on my truck and I had the generator with me I can get it charged. Or the battery on an RV or boat if I found myself in that situation.

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