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Home✈️Aircraft🚁Helicoptere-AlignOther › Suggestions, I Need a good Watt Meter
07-17-2006 02:18 PM  14 years ago
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chkin11

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USA

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Suggestions, I Need a good Watt Meter
I looking for a watt meter for monitering the lipos on my Trex while charging (capacity) and perhaps have the ability to mount it in my heli to measure amp draw ect... i know there are several out there but not sure which ones are better. i would like some suggestions on which ones to get and not to get. Thanks in advance
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07-17-2006 08:56 PM  14 years ago
dct

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San Angelo TX.

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I don't see why you would need one? Does your battery charger tell you how many mAh you are putting back into your batteries after flying? You should only be putting about 80% back... Or about 1650mAh on a 2100 pack.. And sears has a hand held amp meter what works great for seeing how many amps you are using.... It just clips over one battery wire and will tell you how many amps....**Now doing Forward Flight And EASY 3d! And having a Ball !!**
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07-18-2006 03:45 AM  14 years ago
chkin11

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i need one to see how far i am discharging my batteries. i have my voltage cutoff set to the high limit but at the end of my flights when the cutoff engages my packs are already swelled up so i need it to determine how far i am discharging my packs to setup an accurate flight timer. my charger is a simple e-flite charger with no readout. i will search around at sears as you suggested. what about the "Watts up" watt meter?
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07-18-2006 04:30 AM  14 years ago
marc8090

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I use the watts up meter and it's great. Your packs should not be swelling up though. What motor and pinion? I can fly my heli until the headspeed drops off to the point where full collective and it won't even hover. I then put the battery on the meter as fast as possible and still get 10 volts or more. Unless you run it on the ground after it won't fly, there is no way to overly discharge the packs.
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07-18-2006 04:44 AM  14 years ago
koko76

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Unless you run it on the ground after it won't fly, there is no way to overly discharge the packs.
Not quite. It is definitely possible to damage a pack by drawing too much current, this would definitely be damage due to overdischarge. You really should not be flying till the heli won't hover anymore anyway.

To the OP, I use an Eagle Tree MicroLogger, it's a great tool that actually allows you to see what you are pulling in flight. They recently came out with a little screen attachment as well, and it will capture and display peak current and voltage levels during the flight before you can get the logger home to download the data. Weighs less than an Oz, and one version comes with Deans plugs installed.
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07-18-2006 02:06 PM  14 years ago
chkin11

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I'm running the Align 430L motor on an 11T pinion. after a 9 minute flight on high voltage protection cutoff on my ESC my packs are hot and swelled. Something is not right. i loosened my gear mesh (it was a little tight) and started timing my flights to 6 min but the packs are still swelling. could be the cheap packs (APEX 2100) but i have 4 packs and they all are doing the same thing. Also my packs used to charge to 12.70 volts now the charger cuts off at 12.55 volts why is that? i have the blinky balancer and use it everytime i charge. i like the options of the flight logger but one question about it, can i use it for charging my batteries to see how much im putting back into them?
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07-18-2006 05:41 PM  14 years ago
dct

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San Angelo TX.

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It's to late,,,, your packs are now BAD!!!!!
running the Align 430L motor on an 11T pinion. after a 9 minute flight on high voltage protection cutoff on my ESC my packs are hot and swelled.

You are using way to much out of your pack....!!!!!! They are shot now!!!!! I have to same setup motor and pinion.. And only fly for 7 or 8 minutes!!! And that is only because I have a loose bird no binding on motor pinion or servos .....
YOU NEED A GOOD BATTERY CHARGER that will tell you how many mAh your are putting back in to your batteries!!!! 2100 battery packs NEVER TAKE OUT MORE THEN 80% OR 1650mAh put back in!!!!! You now need new batteries!~~~~~~~~~~~~~And with that setup you should be using a 35A esc!!!!!And a 15C to 20C battery!!!!
**Now doing Forward Flight And EASY 3d! And having a Ball !!**
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07-18-2006 05:47 PM  14 years ago
smoothound

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I use the watts up meter and it's great. Your packs should not be swelling up though. What motor and pinion? I can fly my heli until the headspeed drops off to the point where full collective and it won't even hover. I then put the battery on the meter as fast as possible and still get 10 volts or more. Unless you run it on the ground after it won't fly, there is no way to overly discharge the packs.
If you are seeing a starting voltage when you charge of 10v you have over discharged, my starting voltage is never less than 11v
Phil
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07-18-2006 06:02 PM  14 years ago
chkin11

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DCT, Calm down buddy, wow!, first off i do have a 35amp esc(read my signature below!)and "a very loose bird", my batt are rated at 15C(Apex 2100) the battery voltage has never dropped below 11V (without a load) and not below 9V under load (ESC cutoff). I dont believe the batteries are bad as they all started going to that voltage at the same time. two of the batt are orig formula and two are new formula. i think they all started reading less voltage when i bought my new (walmart brand) voltmeter. that is why im wanting to get a good ammeter to measure exactly how much i am putting back in (still waiting for suggestions). the E-flite charger i have works fine and will go up to 2amps so its all i need for these batt. i plan on getting new batteries (prob TP's) once i get the ammeter, charging, and flight times figured out. i fly 9 minutes without a prob and still land before the esc cutoff. after they cool the voltage is always over or right at 11V. What is the "dont go below or else voltage" for 3Cell lipos?
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07-18-2006 06:07 PM  14 years ago
ptarp

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IL

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If you are seeing a starting voltage when you charge of 10v you have over discharged, my starting voltage is never less than 11v
Never less that 11v on a 11.1v pack?

from the instructions of my ICE charger (discharging section)...
For Li-Ion/Li-Po batteries, the adjustable range is 2.5 - 3.7V per cell. A setting of 2.8 - 3.0V is recommended.
This would put a 3 cell pack at 8.4v minimum recommeded discharge.

Philip
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07-18-2006 06:10 PM  14 years ago
chkin11

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fully charged 3 cell lipos read around 12.6V
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07-18-2006 06:27 PM  14 years ago
smoothound

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Do what you like, try setting a LVC of 8.4 volts and see what happens

I set my LVC to 9.6v on 3s by the time I come to put it back on the charger it will show around 11v
Phil
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07-18-2006 06:30 PM  14 years ago
smoothound

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This would put a 3 cell pack at 8.4v minimum recommeded discharge.
You may well get away with doing that if you are using your pack as an Rx pack via a BEC or regulator but at Power Pack discharge levels it will be dead or dying within 10 cycles at a 15C discharge level.
Phil
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07-18-2006 06:50 PM  14 years ago
colin8

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Phoenix, AZ

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The Astroflight Wattmeter is the original and a very good unit. There are some others on the market now, but I have no experience with them. IMHO, no electric RC modeler should be without a wattmeter of sometype. Otherwise you are just guessing in regards to voltage/current draw of various motors, ESC and battery combinations. I also use my Astroflight Wattmeter to monitor and verify charging and discharging battery packs too. Onboard monitoring systems like Eagletree are great in that you can record actual voltage/current during flight. This gives you dynamic information whereas wattmeters only give you information while you are looking at the display.

Rgds,
--Colin--
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07-18-2006 07:44 PM  14 years ago
ptarp

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This would put a 3 cell pack at 8.4v minimum recommeded discharge.
You may well get away with doing that if you are using your pack as an Rx pack via a BEC or regulator but at Power Pack discharge levels it will be dead or dying within 10 cycles at a 15C discharge level.
I see...I appreciate the info.

Philip
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07-18-2006 10:55 PM  14 years ago
dct

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I use a Duratrax Ice battery charger , discharger and cycler...
I does cost about $120.00 or so ,,, but it tell you everything about your batteries .. And how much mAh you are putting back in to the battery... With this setup,,, you don't need a Watt Meter,,,,!!
http://WWW.Duratrax.Com
DCT
**Now doing Forward Flight And EASY 3d! And having a Ball !!**
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07-18-2006 11:53 PM  14 years ago
ptarp

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I use a Duratrax Ice battery charger , discharger and cycler...
I does cost about $120.00 or so ,,, but it tell you everything about your batteries .. And how much mAh you are putting back in to the battery... With this setup,,, you don't need a Watt Meter,,,,!!
The Ice is a great charger imo (the one I chose too), but it doesn't give in-flight info like amperage/voltage draw (and temp/rpm...if you have the equipment) to aid you in tweaking your efficiency.

Philip
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07-19-2006 05:00 AM  14 years ago
marc8090

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Long Island, N.Y.

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The "common" industry standard for voltage cutoff is 3.0 volts per cell or 9.0 volts. Running the packs down to 10 volts should pose no problem. I don't usually run the packs down until the heli won't fly anymore, but every once and a while it dumps when you're having just too much fun. At that point the packs are still above 9.0 volts. Myself and others I fly with are consistently putting 2000 to 2100 mah back into our packs. I have countless cycles on the packs with no signs of swelling or decreased performance. I know many people are going to say I'm doing the wrong thing, but it's been working so far.
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07-19-2006 06:39 AM  14 years ago
smoothound

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Lancing, West Sussex, UK.

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Still above 9.0v when off load yes but under load????Phil
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07-19-2006 12:44 PM  14 years ago
chkin11

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USA

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well i ordered a "Watt's up" ammeter last night for $59 shipped. guess thats decent. we'll see how it works!
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