LiFe Battery Pack

Want to get your own 9x? Don't know where to buy one? Looking for spares?
User avatar
Rob Thomson
Site Admin
Posts: 4542
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:34 am
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Albury, Guildford
Contact:

LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Rob Thomson » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:11 pm

This question has come up quite often so time for a post.

For one of the simplest battery replacements for the 9x, you want one of these:
HK.1500.TX.L.jpg
These can be purchased from Hobby King

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... pack_.html

They have the correct connectors for the 9x, all polarities are correct, and the last a very very long time!

Simply set your alarm to 8.5v and you are good to go!

Rob
Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
...........if you think it should be in the wiki.. ask me for wiki access, then go add it!


User avatar
rperkins
Posts: 1422
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:51 pm
Country: -

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by rperkins » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:42 pm

What kind of charger would be needed to charge this li-fe battery using the charging port on the tx ? Can I move up to a higher capacity 9.9v li-fe battery and use the same charger. HK has an 1800mah li-fe 9.9v tx battery that will fit in 9x. That is battery I am considering. Thanks
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... se%5F.html

User avatar
GrootWitbaas
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:57 pm
Country: -
Location: Germany

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GrootWitbaas » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:58 am

The 1800 does NOT have the right plug for the TX, and fits very tight (I Have one). The linked one in the 1st post does have the correct plug and does fit nicely in the radio, even with the usb(from the SP board) mounted in the bay. You should use the same care to charge the battery like any normal lipo, even thou the LiFe is safer (and can take more abuse) than LiPo. Most LiPo chargers have a setting for the LiFe but if you dont have one, this will do. Personally I recommend you open the battery cover and charge the LiFe using the spare plug and balance plug, even thou some say you can use the charger port of the radio. the port for the radio was designed for Nixx type batteries, and generally the chargers plugging into this port does not have a cutoff at 10.8v like you need with the 3cell 9,9v LiFe
The 1500 is the better choice IMHO and fits nicely in the battery bay, last forever and a day, and can be charged fast if charged with the correct settings. No need for the higher Capacity one, the Tx does not use that amount of power.
General trouble maker and wannabee Dev

User avatar
rperkins
Posts: 1422
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:51 pm
Country: -

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by rperkins » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:46 am

GrootWitbaas wrote: Most LiPo chargers have a setting for the LiFe but if you dont have one, this will do. Personally I recommend you open the battery cover and charge the LiFe using the spare plug and balance plug.
Thanks for the reply. I have been looking at those fancy chargers and noticed most of them dont come with the power supply. The one you linked to doesnt show a power supply, nor does it say it doesnt come with one. What kind of power supply do you buy ? , and how much does that cost.

I'm just having trouble getting excited spending money on a specialty charger then a power supply for the charger. My mcpx came with a little charger and I have 4 batteries I just rotate in and out. got a few more batteries coming. But that is just a small 1S lipo charger, so it wont work for the tx battery

I was hoping I could just get a wall wart to charge the TX. I probably got one of those around here. I am sold on LI-FE instead of LI-PO for the TX. I guess it just boils down to I didnt realize how finicky these fancy batteries are. I have been careful not to run down my mcpx batteries and to let them cool before recharging, but in hindsight maybe not quite as well as I could have, and my S107 batteries I didnt take care of at all. now I reread rcmodelreviews $8 battery and although he mentioned the tx charging plug, he doesnt use it either.

Ok so I'm slow but I am teachable :)

glad to know I dont need the 1800mah. Thanks for telling me it doesnt fit well.
rperkins

User avatar
jhsa
Posts: 18887
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:13 pm
Country: Germany

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by jhsa » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:53 am

I use a 12V / 5A power supply. It works fine
My er9x/Ersky9x/eepskye Video Tutorials
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5uJhoD7sAKidZmkhMpYpp_qcuIqJXhb9

Donate to Er9x/Ersky9x:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=YHX43JR3J7XGW


User avatar
Rob Thomson
Site Admin
Posts: 4542
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:34 am
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Albury, Guildford
Contact:

LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Rob Thomson » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:05 am

Look on eBay for a laptop power supply. These will normally be the exact match!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
...........if you think it should be in the wiki.. ask me for wiki access, then go add it!

User avatar
GrootWitbaas
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:57 pm
Country: -
Location: Germany

LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GrootWitbaas » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:05 pm

I will link one when I get home.
Here you go on ebay, should make your search easy ...I don't know the seller but it was just the cheapest on the list.

---
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=48.914142,9.426875
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
General trouble maker and wannabee Dev

User avatar
cre8tiveleo
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:13 pm
Country: -
Location: Ontario,(GTA North)
Contact:

LiFe Battery Pack

Post by cre8tiveleo » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:09 pm

I used a tower power supply, just put leads on it for my imax charger, and voila, works like a charm.

User avatar
Redbrickman
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:43 pm
Country: -

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Redbrickman » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:34 pm

This might also be of interest as many of the chargers have the same type of menu system and until you know how to find the LIFE setting it can be a bit frustrating at first.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX_Tuv6WOf8

Daedalus66
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:22 pm
Country: -
Location: Ottawa

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Daedalus66 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:52 am

If you want to use the wall wart charger, you can make up an 8 cell pack of Rayovac pre charged AAcells, using the connecter from the battery holder that comes with the 9x. I paid $14 at Walmart for eight cells. At 2000 mAh, it will take about 24 hours of charging, but not needed often.

Pre charged NiMH have very low self discharge so can sit on the shelf all year and still be ready to use.

In fact, if you only fly non-critical models like the mCX, you might just stick the cells in the holder and accept the slight reduction in reliability.

Eneloops from Sanyo are even better than Rayovac but considerably more expensive.

By the way, I also have LiFe in some transmitters and they work well.

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:42 pm

Wish I had this board when I started playing with the 1500mah LiFE batteries in my own transmitters... Not that you would have saved my much trouble, but at least I'd have company swearing at these...

First off, the LiFE battery DOES work awesome in these transmitters, once you get it charged. 8x 3000mah-AA was lasting me a couple hours at best, and were always dead when I went to use them. I think those are defective batteries, because while they would accept almost 3000mah according to the AC6, the voltage would drop 1.2V down to 1V in the first night of sitting, so they really resisted holding their charge. The LiFE @ 1500mah lasts me about 13 hours of hard use (If programs doing all kinds of calculations is an added drain, I'm the acid test -- see some of my templates elsewhere here).

Re: Wall wart chargers -- not a chance. Don't even think about it. For $17 you can have an AC6 or an XC and charge darn near ANY chemistry battery (NIMH, NiCD, LiPO, LiFE, Lead, etc), and do it MUCH safer and easier and more informedly. And it will save your batteries, because the "matchbox" size 2S/3S chargers that come with many entry models ARE NOT SUFFICIENT. I believe they are not truly balancing chargers, but just cut off when ANY cell reaches 4.2V. My guess there. What I DO know is that when I started out with 450size (3Sx2200) helicopters, I killed several batteries after a couple flights using these cheapie chargers (I had several, so it wasn't just one bad one). The first battery you save will pay for the better charger -- AND you can charge much faster and safer with a good charger.

Back on the question: Can you charge LiFE through the coaxial plug? USING A PROPER SMART CHARGER, Yes.. USING ANY "DUMB" charger that holds a voltage indefinitely instead of cutting off when charged, NO, VERY BAD. But even with a smart charger, like any lithium battery, you SHOULDN'T charge just through that main plug as different cells drain different rates -- you should always "balance charge" when you CAN, and this battery comes with a plug for doing that for a reason. SO USE IT. If you only have one LiFE battery to charge, you'll probably charge through the coaxial jack AND the balance port at once (only because many chargers won't allow you to only use the balance plug). I have two of these batteries, and use a 2x3S >> 6S splitter to charge both batteries at once, without the "main" plug (which goes into the splitter instead of the batteries then).

As for the chargers that don't come with power supplies, you almost certainly have suitable 12-18V "wall wart" plugs laying around from an old laptop. The "trick" is that you want to have 5A at 12V, which is more than most light electronics will give you. If you want it from HK, you can go here or go on Ebay for about $3 or geeks.com for about $5.

And now my oddity: Just as a 3S LiPO is sold as "11.8V" and actually charges to 12.6 and drains down to 11.2, these LiFE batteries are labelled 9.9V and charge AT 10.8V but only charge TO 9.9V ... this will confuse you even worse than finding the LiFE setting that is inexplicably hidden deep in the USER menu of your charger. But, use the LiFE setting, and your charger SHOULD handle the battery correctly. Just don't watch. And then do watch, because for some reason my Accucel-6 charger behaves differently in the single or double charge modes above.... using the splitter, I can put 1500mah into the batteries from dead. Using the main plug and a single battery, I can barely charge the battery at all, because it tries to charge AT 9.9V instead of the "extra push" that actually moves the battery up the charge slope. So, if your charger is insisting the battery is full and it only lasts 30 minutes, you know what to try. :-)

-Gyro
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....

User avatar
Crashj007
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:44 pm
Country: -
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Crashj007 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:16 pm

New guy here, so I'm not sure if this will show up, and pretty sure I can't start a new thread, so here it is. An alternate suggested for Tx battery is two Li cells from RC model Reviews:
http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/tendollarbattery.shtml
It requires a mod to the voltage sensing circuit, but it seems reasonable to me since it reduces the voltage to a reasonable level and has the advantage of providing a lot of power.
Do you experts think this is a good idea?
--
FS-TH9X 2.4GHz 9CH from Nitroplanes
Smartieparts board & backlight
Stock Flysky RF and mainboard
er9x FW V 744

User avatar
erazz
9x Developer
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:25 pm
Country: -
Location: NJ-USA
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by erazz » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:00 pm

Hello new guy!
New guys are always welcome so don't be shy about posting. In the worst case scenario your post will be moved. We try to be accommodating :)
As it is, you picked the right thread.

This mod was the reason I bought the 9x in the first place :D
All the custom firmwares allow you to set different voltage alarm levels. That makes the mod moot. You can just plug in that battery and set the radio to beep when it reaches 7.2v. Simple huh?
Z

BEWARE - WE ARE IN THE AIR!!!
What goes up... Should be controlled by a 9X!

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:02 pm

Crashj007 wrote:New guy here, so I'm not sure if this will show up, and pretty sure I can't start a new thread, so here it is. An alternate suggested for Tx battery is two Li cells from RC model Reviews:
http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/tendollarbattery.shtml
It requires a mod to the voltage sensing circuit, but it seems reasonable to me since it reduces the voltage to a reasonable level and has the advantage of providing a lot of power.
Do you experts think this is a good idea?
I don't think it's a bad idea...

Can anyone else weigh in on what the benefits or detractors are for using the TrustFire type batteries vs. the nicely packaged LiFE pack from HK? Myself, I took the easy way twice... too much soldering when I can have a nice pack all ready to go for $6 or so.

As for voltage alarm, IF you're running ER9X, you're already all set -- unlike the factory OEM firmware, you can select any voltage you want the radio to alarm at (or even none at all, if you prefer to live dangerously close to ruining batteries).

-Gyro
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....

User avatar
wheelspinner20
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Country: -
Location: Michigan, U.S.

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by wheelspinner20 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:09 am

Can anyone else weigh in on what the benefits or detractors are for using the TrustFire type batteries vs. the nicely packaged LiFE pack from HK?
Well, not purely vs. the HK option, however, I would NOT recommend that option at all IF there is no er9x in place. Those particular batteries, have a overcharge and over-discharge protection built in that has failed on a 9x user. The way that the voltage regulator is set up, combined with the battery voltage meter/monitor, as it gets down to around 7.2 volts, the actual voltage drops quickly, while the indicated voltage stays the same or even goes up a little.

One of the cells in Box's set-up went to 0 volts, while he was flying, his screen said 7.2 I belive, and he watched his plane drop from the sky as his radio powered off.

A record of this starts here along with scattered rebuttal http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthre ... d&page=267

Get the ones without the protection built in, AND flash with er9x which has a much better way to monitor the ACTUAL voltage and they will work very well.

Or just go with the HK option.

Pat
no more quippy little latin phrases.! Its old

ReSt
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:34 pm
Country: -

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by ReSt » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:39 am

That info should not stand uncommented.

This only is true for the very old versions of ER9x.

As far as I remember that happened when the voltage measurement was done with the regulated +5V as the reference voltage.
At this time, when battery voltage dropped below +7 volt (depending on the voltage drop of the regulator), the measuered voltage started to increase.

This problem has been solved using the badgap voltage as reference.

A display of 7.2 volt could mean 7.2 volt battery or e.g. 6.4 volt. And with battery voltage dropping further, the measured and displyaed voltage increased further (as you state).
So if you missed the lowest display of around 7.0, you thought to be on the save side, as your display showed you high enough battery voltage.

I personally use two Tx with protected Thrustfire batteries because I can charge them through the normal charge plug of the TX, without having to take care of balancing.

User avatar
GrootWitbaas
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:57 pm
Country: -
Location: Germany

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GrootWitbaas » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:09 am

I can't believe that people are willing to spend more money and time to mod something proven to work. For me the clear easy clean trusted and proven way is the LiFe battery ....but then again, I buy lose a123 cells and build my own flight packs ...well I used to, now I can get LiFe packs cheap from the German Warehouse.
I fully understand if someone use the trustfire option because they have them in use already, but when deciding for the 1st time what way to go, well for me it's clear. Yes some find it hard that you have to open the TX battery holder to charge it. I don't. When the Trustfire option is implemented it should be pointed out that it has to be done the correct way, and that the protection circuit may cause a problem. Both the LiFe and Trustfire options works.
General trouble maker and wannabee Dev

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:00 pm

wheelspinner20 wrote:Those particular batteries, have a overcharge and over-discharge protection built in that has failed on a 9x user.
...
One of the cells in Box's set-up went to 0 volts, while he was flying, his screen said 7.2 I belive, and he watched his plane drop from the sky as his radio powered off.
I wondered about EXACTLY this issue when I first read the TrustFire mod last year. There have been many times I've flown a plane home with the battery alarm beeping, because the Tx battery "looked good" at take off and SUDDENLY dove voltage during a 10min flight. This is far more likely with NiMH batts, but still possible with other chemistries, and I'd rather GET IT HOME (even destroying my Tx battery with over-discharge) than to have a 5lb plane going 120mph suddenly plow into a random person/place/building. The crashed plane is hundreds of dollars, the liability of what it hits is into the thousands or even HIGH thousands if really unlikely (plane hits bus, startled bus driver crashes and kills 30 people... you saved that $6 battery but destroyed the rest of your life). In engineering, there's a concept of "planned failure" -- make the nose of your car obnoxiously delicate and expensive to replace, but save the driver instead of the bumper.

Yes, I set my alarms high enough that I should NEVER worry about the Tx actually shutting down from low voltage -- but "poop happens." I certainly wouldn't want batteries that "randomly" decide to go 7.2 to 3.6V in an instant when the anti-discharge circuit cuts in.

-Gyro
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....

User avatar
Rob Thomson
Site Admin
Posts: 4542
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:34 am
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Albury, Guildford
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Rob Thomson » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:19 pm

I personally just cut out the trustfires protection circuit... then rely on the 9x alarm :D
Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
...........if you think it should be in the wiki.. ask me for wiki access, then go add it!

User avatar
ShowMaster
Posts: 4327
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:44 am
Country: -
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by ShowMaster » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:23 pm

I went from eneloop $40+ packs that work great but are expensive and heavier to using the 1500 Life. I had considered what I think most call the protected trust fire battery but several total TX battery failures at the field changed my mind. One was in the high end JR and a turbine and the other a giant scale plane. Both pilots had their TX's just go dead during a flight. I asked about the battery pack and they both said they used a lipo made for TX use with a protection circuit. I'm sure we know what they were.
I'm technically able to wire up any battery pack and cell configurations others are using but I have chosen the HK 1500 LiFe as my current favorite for the following reasons,
First off, no wiring or modification required to use them. Just charge,plug in, and fly for 10+ hours and charge again.
It suggested that the supplied plugs may not be a solid connection but I'm good so far but watchful.
Charging does require to be on the safe side, using the balance connector and one of the 2 battery connectors with the TX off.
This is a great battery for many in the fact that "it's TX connector is pre wired with the correct 9x polarity" (my 5 are) and keeps the dreaded posts " I just connected my 9x battery backwards and I heard a pop!" from happening. This is also true of building other type pack voltage and cell configs. Many are soldering and modifying for the first time and get lulled into a false sence of ability from reading how easy we make it look here only to find that they lack the experiences of burning up stuff we all had done in the past to get this smart, right? They do OK on the pack and then wire the connector polarity wrong, #1 most popular post on all the TX threads!
Next is the size,
I like the smaller size because it give me room in the battery compartment for other stuff.
Then their's the non fire puffing condition I've yet to test but from what I've found on google about this chemistry suggests it safer than lipo hands down? Any comments on that?

Soon I'm going to try charging through the charge jack and only balance once in a while as a test to see how the battery holds up. I'll use thd life setting on my charger. I'm going to leave the 1 amp diode in and that will limit my charge current to under 1 amp to be safe. I'll see how the smart charger deals with it and monitor the current and end cutoff voltage. Next I may try a 1 amp Schottky Diode because of the lower v drop.
Finally as I do many times, I'll bridge the diode with a 3 A pico fuse for protection and try 1.5 A. The fuse is for jack short protection and if blown I can still charge through the diode if I choose.
Is been posted that the charge path through the TX wiring can't support higher currents and was designed around the standard 50Ma overnight charges for 8 nicads. Higher currents may require a different charge path wiring no matter what newer battery charge is used. I'll post my results.
So to sum it up, as other have said, for many and any many good reasons the LiFe battery pack is a great way to go, this week ha ha.
Buy it, charge it, plug it in with the pre wired correct polarity connector (always triple check this first)
Go fly for 10+ hours all at once or over several weeks, and it'll be there for you.
SM

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:43 pm

ShowMaster wrote:Soon I'm going to try charging through the charge jack and only balance once in a while as a test to see how the battery holds up. I'll use thd life setting on my charger. I'm going to leave the 1 amp diode in and that will limit my charge current to under 1 amp to be safe. I'll see how the smart charger deals with it and monitor the current and end cutoff voltage.
Can someone comment on their findings / reasoning-understanding of the voltages displayed on the charger while charging this LiFE battery? As I stated way back, the AC6 I have shows 10.8V on the "main" screen but 3.3V/cell on the balancing screen. Similarly, the "full" battery reads 9.9 when ER9X is turned on again, so the 10.8 is obviously something weird about the charge process. Can someone confirm if this is normal-weird or malfunction-weird?

Also, I didn't know there was a 1A limiter on the main charge plug of the Tx, but have observed it in action... another reason why I charge ONLY though the balance plug or direct-battery plugs when possible (there's conveniently an extra plug dangling even when connected... look at that!).

-Gyro
1500mah, charged at 240V and 30A off the welding circuit... this battery should be done in about... 8.3 seconds.
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....

User avatar
GrootWitbaas
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:57 pm
Country: -
Location: Germany

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GrootWitbaas » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:18 pm

Well about the LiFe and safety 1st. I made a decision that I will NEVER have a lipo in my house, because of all the stories about how quick and bad they can burn/puff and all the other nice things. Yes sure I have lipo's in my phone ...my mac and other devices, but there they are in a very controlled environment. So after many years when I had time again in my life for RC as a hobby, I read about what is the current norm, and based on this and my decision above, I opted for A123 at the time. There where very limited LiFe batteries around and so I stuck with A123 for every thing. They were a tad bit heavier than Lipo, but I could live with that. They are at least safe (from my perspective)
So Nowadays there are many LiFe batteries and TBH they compare very well with lipo on weight and discharge. So I am in the transition from my homemade A123 packs to all LiFe packs. I use mostly 2s1p and 3s1p but also have some 3s2p. I have not had any bad experience with them, and feel comfortable using and charging them. They can actually take a bit of abuse also.

Now onto the charging and specs for them .... from my experience with them I can say the following. On a 3s your max voltage at charge should be 10.8v. Depending on the battery they can be charged a fairly high rates, but I tend to charge at lower rates (personal pref). When fully charged and still connected to the charger you should see 10.8v and 3,6v per sel. Once you disconnect them they will rapidly drop to 3,3v per sel .... this is normal, I do not know why, but this I have seen many times before. You should keep them >2,8v per cel, but I have a few that went as low as 2,5v with no problems afterwards(I take no responsibility if yours die if it was at 2,5). More information can be found by Google, but here is the wikipedia page with some information on them including this :
Cell voltage = min. discharge voltage = 2.8 V. Working voltage = 3.0 V – 3.3 V. Max. charge voltage = 3.6 V.

If you want to use the charger jack to charge, I'd sugest taking it via a fuse directly to the second battery connection. I will even sugest to replace the cables from the charging jack with some silicone ones. My findings is currently that you can generally get away without balancing for a fair amount of time, but I personally check this at every charge. I am sure it will be easy to put in some form of monitoring for the individual sells, but I honestly did not look into it. That said, I am amazed that I did not see some one making a small circuit for the LiFe packs used in transmitters. Making a small add-on board that can stay in the TX, and can take power from a "wallwart" to charge and balance a simple low power 3s1p LiFe can't be that hard ....I might just look into that ....I just need to find a cheap place in the EU for PCB prototyping :)

Well I hope this answered some questions.
General trouble maker and wannabee Dev

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:21 pm

GrootWitbaas wrote:Cell voltage = min. discharge voltage = 2.8 V. Working voltage = 3.0 V – 3.3 V. Max. charge voltage = 3.6 V.
Well I hope this answered some questions.
Thanks for confirming my "weird" findings, esp. wrt the final charge vs. just been charged voltage dive. As you noted, it goes up to 3.6V on the charger, but almost immediately drops to 3.3 once disconnected from the charger. It DOES crawl downward from there, though, almost like the charger expands the "P" rating instead of the voltage while charging.... Whether I charge a dead battery with 750mah or 1500mah, it will run 3.3 down to 2.7V... but do it slower based on how "well" charged it got.

As for LiPO, I live with a frigging BOMB in my house. I have a box with about 12 large LiPO batteries (2S through 4S, usually 2200mah each). I HAVE a charge-safe bag, but admittedly don't always use it anymore. My house is a cabin, and would NOT do well with a fire... Maybe I'm insane, but I feel acceptably safe the way I charge my batteries (admittedly, usually in banks and at REALLY slow amperages... so a failing battery isn't "punished," just shows up as being hard to balance with the other good ones). I have seen many people apply a very simple passive safety, by just charging batteries in a heavy metal bowl or steel ammo box. It's much more convenient than the bag, for sure, and does direct any fire upward into the air instead of lighting the table it's on. Enough safety? Who knows... I've seen some nasty fireballs of LiPOs that did fail, so 6' to the ceiling may NOT be enough.

I'm tempted to take an older failed 3S1P LiPO into the driveway and do some experiments with fire safety and active failure management... I've seen videos of big batteries shorted or way-overcharged to make them explode, but I wonder how "easy" it really is to get that result by accident. I once had "teeny" 110mah chicklet that flies my Blade mSR in my pocket.... the cap came off and it shorted in my pocket... if that tiny pants-burner is any indication, I should be more concerned about this than I am... :-S

-Gyro
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....

User avatar
wheelspinner20
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Country: -
Location: Michigan, U.S.

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by wheelspinner20 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:33 am

This only is true for the very old versions of ER9x.
ReSt, thanks for commenting. I think I mostly had it right when I said NOT recommended UNLESs er9x is in place. Because of the improved Bandgap voltage measuring. This was assuming the person that was asking was NOT familiar with er9x.

Essentially I was warning against using the trustfire type with the stock firmware setup. I should have been more clear, and less wordy.

Sorry if I gave bad info.

Pat
no more quippy little latin phrases.! Its old

User avatar
erazz
9x Developer
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:25 pm
Country: -
Location: NJ-USA
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by erazz » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:46 am

Bomb? Desktop?

How about 2x 6S 3300MAH monsters on the computer that compiles er9x and eePe every other night? Muhahahhahah.... Livin dangerously.
WP_000518.jpg
Z

BEWARE - WE ARE IN THE AIR!!!
What goes up... Should be controlled by a 9X!

User avatar
Redbrickman
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:43 pm
Country: -

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by Redbrickman » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:01 am

OK, my new 1500 LIFE has arrived from HK and I'm wanting to get it installed and working in the TX

Before I do I just want to be re-assured that...

The servo type plug is correctly wired to plug into the TX, that is red wire centre and black left or right :?

Secondly how do you guys charge it> I have the HK Accucell 6 charger and know how to set it for LIFE but which battery lead is best to charge on?

It has three leads. The servo type connector, a balance connector and another 2 pin. Obviously use the balance lead for balance charging so that leaves the servo type and other 2 pin mini connector to choose from.

For the future, it is possible to charge the battery through the port on the TX without removing it as I don't think the hatch cover is particularly strong :(
Maintain thine airspeed.
Lest the ground arise and smite thee!

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:33 pm

Redbrickman wrote:OK, my new 1500 LIFE has arrived from HK and I'm wanting to get it installed and working in the TX
Before I do I just want to be re-assured that...
The servo type plug is correctly wired to plug into the TX, that is red wire centre and black left or right :?
Secondly how do you guys charge it> I have the HK Accucell 6 charger and know how to set it for LIFE but which battery lead is best to charge on?
It has three leads. The servo type connector, a balance connector and another 2 pin. Obviously use the balance lead for balance charging so that leaves the servo type and other 2 pin mini connector to choose from.
For the future, it is possible to charge the battery through the port on the TX without removing it as I don't think the hatch cover is particularly strong :(
A) Yes, the "servo type" connector fits the 9X radio, and is wired correctly. Even if you put it in backwards, it would simply not be connected and turn on. That said, it is ALWAYS a good idea with Chinese goods to double check the polarity of original battery pack vs. what you received before connecting up.

B) I've covered charging above. You MUST set the charger for LiFE (NOT LiPO) and then use the balance plug AND one of the other connectors (either 2wire connector, OR leaving the servo-type one connected and using the side port as you asked). The ending voltage will be 10.8V (3.6/cell), even though the radio will report 9.9 almost immediately when you power up. Don't discharge below about 8.4 (2.8/cell). You SHOULD be able to put the full 1500mah in and get 13hrs of use when you're running the cycle correctly.

C) Yes, you can charge through the radio's battery jack, BUT you have to limit current to about 1/2 amp or so if you do that. I try to ALWAYS balance charge, so if I'm going to connect up the balance plug anyway I might as well connect to the battery directly. Since I charge two of these batts at once, I use a splitter and ONLY use the balance plugs.

D) You didn't ask: There are extensions available that you can stick on the battery and install into / take outside the battery door for easier access. Only charging every 13 hours or so, I haven't bothered with THIS radio. My old CT6 was another story entirely (30 minute battery life? WTF?)

Good luck!

-Gyro
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....

B12
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:16 pm
Country: -
Location: Finland

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by B12 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:19 pm

GyroGearloose wrote:
A) Yes, the "servo type" connector fits the 9X radio, and is wired correctly. Even if you put it in backwards, it would simply not be connected and turn on. That said, it is ALWAYS a good idea with Chinese goods to double check the polarity of original battery pack vs. what you received before connecting up.
Actually it will work regardless which way you connect it . Both sides are negative and middle pin is positive.

Checking the battery polarity is a good idea anyway.

User avatar
ShowMaster
Posts: 4327
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:44 am
Country: -
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by ShowMaster » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:04 pm

I tried to charge as planed through the charge jack with the diode still in line using the LIfe setting on my charger, no balancing. I wanted to test how well it would charge if at the field. What I found was the charger must be fooled, makes sense, ant shut off way too soon. I only had a few hundred Ma or less put into the battery. I than finished by taking it out of the TX and charging it directly. This time I did a balance charge and the pack took another 300ma.
My test results are incomplete because I never measured the cell voltage max when the charger went through the diode so I'll measure everything next time the pack is low.
This TX does not have the diode bypassed and I may as others have bypass the diode and reside the charge circuit addition g a 3a pico fuse for safety, and go through the on/off switch directly to the battery.
I like the idea of a quick charge at the field without taking the battery out but don't like the idea of being able o turn the TX on while charging so that's why the charge side TX power switch should still be in the charge circuit.

A quick note on the smart chargers we all use and balancing. With most like the Turnigy charger, you have to select one more not so obvious step on the menu to be in the balance mode. In case you missed that step here's what to do.
In any lithium mode, lipo, life, ect. connect your battery to the balance port on your charger. Select the cell count and charge current as usuall. Then before pushing the start charge button, push the right hand select button of the two center buttons one time. You'll get into another menu and balance is one if the options you select. Then hit the start charge button and you charging and balancing. If you don't select the balance mode each time the charger reverts back to the non ballance mode and you don't balance charge even with the battery balance connector hooked up to the charger. You just have a volt meter to read cell voltages then. Most chargers work this way but a few do remember the balance mode after powering down. Something to check if you never have yet because I see so many at the field swearing they always balance charge until I show the the missed balance menu option and they are surprised to know they haven't been all this time. Fooled me for a long time too.
Sent from my iPad before morning coffee.
SM

User avatar
GyroGearloose
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:28 pm
Country: -
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: LiFe Battery Pack

Post by GyroGearloose » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:49 pm

B12 wrote:
GyroGearloose wrote:
A) Yes, the "servo type" connector fits the 9X radio, and is wired correctly. Even if you put it in backwards, it would simply not be connected and turn on. That said, it is ALWAYS a good idea with Chinese goods to double check the polarity of original battery pack vs. what you received before connecting up.
Actually it will work regardless which way you connect it . Both sides are negative and middle pin is positive.
I don't believe so on mine... middle positive, but there's a wire on only one side of that, and I don't see a shunt to the other side.

So, that's why I said the worst that happens, *IF* the middle is stil positive, is that the radio just isn't powered.

-Gyro
I could fly so much better if a second flight wasn't a requirement....


Post Reply

Return to “Where to buy / Spares / Modules? Selling up?”