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HomeAircraftHelicopterBeginners Corner › a123
03-06-2008 02:33 PM  10 years agoPost 1
Jujiro

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Jennings, Louisiana- USA

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I've seen a lit bit about these batteries but not much information on them, except for that they are a cheaper and heavier than normal lipos are. Is there any websites with specific information on them?

I was just curious about things like their construction , performance, flight times, etc. and getting peoples personal opinions on them as well

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03-06-2008 03:19 PM  10 years agoPost 2
JRjoe

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Jonesville , IN USA #1

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Lots of info out there just DAS on a123 batteries


JRjoe.....
Indoor plumbing??? No, we don't need that!!!

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03-06-2008 07:31 PM  10 years agoPost 3
mintaka007

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spokane, wa usa

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pros:
1.)many more cycles out of one battery
2.)wont ignite due to overcharging or crash
3.)less expensive than lipos, especially if you build them
4.)some say balancing isn't much of an issue

Cons:
1.) heavier than lipos
2.) not as long of flight times

As tailspin said, if you do a rr search on a123 and also a google search, you can learn everything from exact specs to how to build your own packs out of the dewalt 36v tool packs.

Joker cx
Trex se
"Franken"Axe
Addictive as cocaine, but cocaine is cheaper!

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03-06-2008 08:13 PM  10 years agoPost 4
BladeRex

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Temecula, Ca

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Don't forget the biggest pro that you can charge them in only 15min so you can almost fly nonstop on only 2 packs. You also don't need to worry about over discharging. I've also read they have a more consistent performance throughout the discharge, not quite as good as a lipo at the start but better toward the end.

I'm still debating on giving them a try myself. Having to buy a new charger and losing some flight time compared to my 4000-5000mah lipo packs since the A123's are only 2300mah or 4600mah if you do a 2p but that would be too heavy for my heli (already pushing it w/ my large lipo packs). I'm already thinking about picking up another charger that can put out more amps for my large lipos and it can do A123 cells as well so I think I'm going to give them a shot. I'm sure if I'm not happy w/ the flight times I can sell off the packs easy.

I do have a question I haven't a definite answer on. Can you use a balancer like the Astro blinky for lipos on A123s?

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03-07-2008 04:14 PM  10 years agoPost 5
MikeC

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Mosinee, WI

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Having to buy a new charger and losing some flight time
Actually losing a lot of flight time unless you go with a high voltage setup which means a new motor and maybe ESC. That plus the new chargers is why I haven't tried them yet.

Mike

Century Swift, TREX 450, Blade MCX, Spektrum DX7

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03-07-2008 05:24 PM  10 years agoPost 6
BladeRex

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Temecula, Ca

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Actually losing a lot of flight time unless you go with a high voltage setup which means a new motor and maybe ESC
I just put a new Phoenix 80 in my 550 which is already over kill (but I can go w/ a pretty crazy motor later on if I want) but it can only handle up to 6s lipo so 7s A123 would probably the max. I was thinking maybe I should have gone w/ the Phoenix 85 so I could run a high voltage setup but my 550 already strong enough for my skill level and I still have room for a motor upgrade. I don't know how well my 550 would fly w/ the added weight of a high voltage setup although so people run nearly twice as much battery as I do on their 550 size Logos but they may not be doing much 3d, then again I'm not at this time, but only because I can't yet.

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03-07-2008 10:03 PM  10 years agoPost 7
MikeC

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Mosinee, WI

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I do like the idea of a tougher cell and I have a CC45HV so I could use the ESC but I would still need a new motor and new chargers. I understand that Astroflight makes a chip to be able to charge the A123 cells with the AF109 but I'm pretty sure I'd have to change the chips every time I switched between battery types.

Mike

Century Swift, TREX 450, Blade MCX, Spektrum DX7

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03-07-2008 11:17 PM  10 years agoPost 8
Jujiro

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Jennings, Louisiana- USA

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Wow . having to go for a high voltage setup sounds like it would offset the benefit of the cheaper batteries a bit . I guess I wouldn't really benefit that much from it since none of my setup go over 6s atm.

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03-08-2008 01:00 AM  10 years agoPost 9
wlfk

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uk

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What and how do you fly?

My T-Rex 450 gets > 10 minutes from a 3s pack with a headspeed of 2500rpm; my logo 600 gets 8-9 minutes from a 9s2p pack with a headspeed of 1830rpm. A123s typically get about 100wH/kg. LiPo are up to 140 I believe, so theoretically you should be getting about 40% extra flight time for a battery of the same weight.

Most people say you should leave 20% in your lipos anyway, which only gives them a 25% advantage over A123s which I run down to the ground. I typically put back > 95% of the stated capacity of the A123 batteries. I have to be careful for the last minute or two, so as not to lose control when the A123s lose power. I generally spend that time nose-in hovering, but that's still flight time gained.

Given that A123 cells cost considerably less to buy and run than LiPos, you get much more flight time for the money, but slightly shorter flights.

I think almost everyone who's doing sports flying would be better off using A123s or similar. People who are doing heavy 3d will still want to use LiPos for the performance. A lot of AP people run A123, unless they're close to the weight limits.

K

A bit like a kite, but 500 times more expensive

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03-08-2008 02:56 AM  10 years agoPost 10
Jujiro

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Jennings, Louisiana- USA

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Ahh I'm just doing light circuits and hovering at the moment a long way off from 3d.

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03-08-2008 03:27 AM  10 years agoPost 11
wlfk

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uk

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I think the only disadvantage of A123 is that the cells come in awkward sizes. This can mean that you don't get quite optimal battery sizes for your application. For example, the 2300 size cells are slightly too large to use 4s on the T-Rex 450 comfortably.

K

A bit like a kite, but 500 times more expensive

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03-08-2008 12:04 PM  10 years agoPost 12
fergus

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Ireland

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I am sold on A123 as well. I have them in two helis and am delighted with the performance. As already stated it is important to go higher voltage to offset the lower capacity cells. In 1p configuration it is especially important. I am running 10s A123 in a Logo500 and it performs great for 5min flights. If used in 2p they hold there voltage better under load so 7s2p would be comparable to 6s in that case but heavier. I have 12s2p in a Joker2 which is similar to 10s lipo.

Being able to take advantage of the fast charge times is the real bonus. The Mastech 5020 power supply allows fast charging in 15mins even on the 12s2p pack. I have plenty of charging info in my gallery.

Most balancers can be used on A123 without issue.

Regards

Fergus

Regards

Fergus

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03-08-2008 12:35 PM  10 years agoPost 13
MikeC

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Mosinee, WI

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I'll have to think about using a 7S2P arrangement in my Swift. I just don't know right now if it could stand the 85% increase in battery weight over the LiPo pack I'm using now. If balancing is necessary (I don't know if it is or not) my Blinkys may or may not work depending on how low the battery is brought down since they need to see a minimum of 3.2 V to start. It would be nice though to have a tougher battery that can be charged up much faster.

Mike

Century Swift, TREX 450, Blade MCX, Spektrum DX7

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03-08-2008 02:02 PM  10 years agoPost 14
Jujiro

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Jennings, Louisiana- USA

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ahhh so the increased weight of the batteries doesn't effect the performance that much ? as long as you up the voltage from the normal used by Lipos . I might have to look into them given the high costs of lipo batteries

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03-08-2008 03:51 PM  10 years agoPost 15
fergus

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Ireland

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Mike the Blinky will not work. They have a special blinky for A123 though.

They do need to be balanced - especially so on the first charge. It is not a big deal to wire TP balancers if you are making your own packs. Its not necessary to balance charge but the addition of a balancer is a good idea while charging. The TP210 balancer or the Bantam PB6 both work well on A123.

For the Swift I would consider going 1p and higher voltage unless you are tied to your current motor and esc. 7s2p will be very heavy for that heli. What lipo, motor Kv are you using and what blades? What kind of performance are you after - sport or 3d?

Jujiro - the weight does pose a penalty especially if going 2p on 500 size helis. Its important to realize and adjust for this. Thats why I went 10s on the Logo500 for good 3d performance.

Regards

Fergus

Regards

Fergus

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03-08-2008 04:40 PM  10 years agoPost 16
Frank Bostwick

rrElite Veteran

Cincinnati Ohio

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Check this.................10S A123 cost= $170!!!
No fire, packs are repairable, charge in 15mins, 1000's of cycles (so they say), highly reconfigurable (word0)

honest flight time 4mins hard 3D

RIP ROMAN

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03-08-2008 04:43 PM  10 years agoPost 17
fergus

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Ireland

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10s A123 is 100 dollars or a bit less - check the well known auction site for the dewalt 36volt packs which gives you 10 cells.

Regards

Fergus

EDIT: No fire - check youtube for video of one being punctured TRY THAT WITH LIPO

Cycles- Jury is still out on 1000's of cycles but for 100 dollars a pack 1000 even would be good enough.

Regards

Fergus

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03-08-2008 06:39 PM  10 years agoPost 18
wlfk

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uk

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To state the obvious, heavier helicopters will fly differently, but there's no fundemental reason a helicopter flying A123 cells should be any heavier than a helicopter flying a LiPo. You can use fewer A123 cells, accepting the fact that you will get slightly shorter flight times as a result.

The issue is that because there are only 2 sizes of A123 cells, you can generally get a battery of the weight that you want, or the voltage that you want, but rarely both together. But provided you buy your motor/esc with A123 cells in mind, you should be able to find setups for everything from a T-Rex 450 upwards.

A123 cells can manage high amperage outputs quite comfortably, so that aspect of performance is rarely a problem.

K

A bit like a kite, but 500 times more expensive

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03-09-2008 04:59 AM  10 years agoPost 19
500Driver

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Burlington, IA

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wlfk,

I read a little higher in the thread...you run a 3s pack in your T-Rex?

Is that just 3s1p? What size cells? What ESC, Motor, Pinion do you run?

Flying more...charging less...that's what I want No hard 3D...just sport...loops and rolls...having fun.

Thanks!
- Don

When in doubt...auto out

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03-09-2008 05:24 AM  10 years agoPost 20
Invrted1

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Cincinnati, Ohio

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I have to ask this because it seems that some here can answer. I am now running a NEU 1907 1.5y with an Align75 ESC on 6S 3700 in my Logo 10 and getting 8 mins of sport flying. What would I have to change to get the same performance and flight times with A123. Specifically, do I need to change motor and ESC? I have already gathered that the resulting setup would be heavier, but by how much? Also I am using an Astro 109 charger now, so is there really a chip that I could install for A123 charging? I am considering the switch because selling off my 2 3700 packs could fund the A123 setup about equal, I think, please correct me if I am wrong on that.

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