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  • Topic: Taking the Plunge - Li-ion

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    • January 6, 2020 8:15 PM EST
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      Hey Rooster!! No worries!!  Thanks for the Don Sweet quote...

      Richard

    • January 6, 2020 8:15 PM EST
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      Hey Rooster!! No worries!!  Thanks for the Don Sweet quote...

      Richard

    • January 6, 2020 8:16 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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    • January 6, 2020 8:18 PM EST
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      Richard Mynderup said:

      Hey Rooster!! No worries!!  Thanks for the Don Sweet quote...

      Richard

       

      No worries on my end Richard as I model Amtrak that no one is interested in anyway so it's all good!

    • January 6, 2020 8:22 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      Michael Kirrene said:

      Now I can see why you two go at it all the time.  Noooowww I see.

       Don seems to have answered Richards question originally without _________

    • January 6, 2020 8:28 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Rooster ' said:
      Michael Kirrene said:

      Now I can see why you two go at it all the time.  Noooowww I see.

       

       We do?

       

      Of course!!  In Greg's profie, who do you think the "Be Nice or STFU" is directed at?
        

       

    • January 7, 2020 1:08 AM EST
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      Michael - Your battery posts are always appreciated. I have learned a ton from you; and thanks to that knowledge some of my oldest on-board LiIon packs are still going strong.  The number one lesson learned: Don't wait for the loco to quit running; charge after a few uses or about 80% of expected charge life.

       

      Thanks for the kind words Jon!

       

      You've garnered some real-world experience... As you note 80% is the warm and fuzzy number for long life. I still cringe when someone brags about how much run tine they realized by running their engines until they stop in their tracks, more fake new from those that don’t know.

       

      Michael

    • January 7, 2020 1:22 AM EST
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      I agree with Jon. What is interesting is that when given data that might not agree, some people get mad and threatened, as opposed to "hey, I did not know that, can you explain further"...

       

      I would think to preserve the investment that would be my top priority.

       

      Greg

       

      Greg,

       

      Unfortunately, it’s a sign of our times. I endeavor to share what I know to be accurate information, nothing more and enjoy the banter learning of and from others. I like the phrase “pay it forward”. I’ve learned so much, from so many over the years, so here I is…………….

       

      Best to quit while I’m not yet entrenched.

       

      Michael

    • January 7, 2020 1:32 AM EST
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      Richard

       

      Sorry to see I may have caused this thread to drift into frivolous posts. In case its not obvious we've been down this track before. Your inquiring post was/is of great interest to many new and old battery power toy train operators. Over the years it has came up often, so there's history herein.

       

      It not a matter of “efficiency”. The goal is to care and feed our batteries as specified by the original cell manufacturers. Your 1A charger does not meet the specification for your 6700mAh batteries. As I mentioned previously it can only charge the 4S2P battery at 1A or 50% of the 2A requirement as published by LG Chem. Confusion herein comes from NOT comprehending said 6700mAh battery is TWO 4S1P, 3350 mAh series wired four cell batteries wired in parallel requiring twice the charge current as the single four cell battery.

       

      Like other battery technologies you can slow charge Lithium batteries, yet all you’ve accomplished is doubling the recommended charge interval while exercising or using the cells chemical matrix with inadequate charge current. The cell OEM’s expressly instruct users NOT to slow charge their Lithium cells, must be something behind their assertion.

       

      FWIW: large capacity batteries like your 6700mAh assembled in series-parallel configuration presents a conundrum with regard to life cycle and typically fail at a much higher rate as compared to simple multi-cell series connected batteries such as the aforementioned 4-cell, 4S1P units the 6700mAh battery is built with.

       

      Key considerations; each battery is arguably only as good as the weakest cell therein. A 4S2P battery could easily have one or more damaged cells. How would you recognize this if the battery seems to work okay? What is the net result if one of the 4S2P’s, 4S1P battery has a bad cell? Slow charging, exposure to heat, deep discharge (2.5V) and sustained MAX current draw will prematurely end your batteries life cycle.

       

      The OEM specification for LG’s INR18650F1L, 18650 Li-Ion cells is: STD charge is 0.975A or rounded up nets, 1 Amp charge current per cell/battery. Your 6700mAh 4S2P battery is essentially TWO four cell batteries wired together in Parallel. Accordingly, 2 x 1A = 2A. Herein lies the problem, finding a charger that meets these cell’s needs. The aforementioned cells require 1A, another may require 2A or 3.5A matters not, simply understand there is no standard herein and not all cells are created/specified equal.

       

      There are several considerations when contemplating a charger. I’d suggest looking into your future engine/battery needs prior to making a decision. Will you always use 6700mAh/14.62V batteries? Do you want a dedicated charger for each battery type and or voltage? Do you want simplicity verses interacting with the charger? How will you power the charger, 12VDC, 120V or both? Do you have or anticipate acquiring batteries other than Lithium based technologies?

       

      There are essentially two types of chargers available. 

       

      1) Dedicated chargers: (chemistry, charge current, battery capacity and voltage specific). These very from 100% dedicated use without the possibility of influencing charge output to chargers that allow you to only select different voltages (3.7, 7.4, 11.1, 14.4, 18.5, 22V) all the while outputting the same charge current or amperage. There are safety features that either type charger employs, such as but not limited to; over-charge, over-voltage, short-circuit and reverse polarity protection.

       

      2) Real “SMART chargers”: these typically will charge NiCd, NiMH, Lithium variants, Lead Acid-Gel-Pb chemistries. There are literally hundreds of offerings available, simply ascertain your needs and go shopping. These chargers require USER interaction, and or data input. Many find them to busy and dislike them. Said Smart chargers range from inexpensive to pricey but allow you to choose/set all charging parameters within a pre-programmed safety net so to speak. The Smart chargers have the safety features noted above plus; improper data rejection, temperature monitoring, ability to monitor each cell individually, MAX elapsed charge/discharge time, battery charge/discharge cycling, battery cell balancing, pre-configured charge programs and algorithms, charge/discharge cycle for long term battery storage and more.

       

      I believe most purchase dedicated chargers for there inherent simplicity. That said if you’re like many of us on the DARK side, you may have multiple engines with different size and voltage batteries requiring multiple chargers and careful use of same. You wouldn’t want to mistakenly charge your 14.4V, 1A charge current battery with your 18.5V, 2A charger.

       

      Finding a dedicated 14.4V, 2A Lithium charger maybe difficult. In such circumstance there is some tolerance with the charge rates, one can climb all the way to 1.625A MAX charge current with these cells (although the STD rate is preferred), there is no specification for charging at less than the published STD of 0.3C/0.975A.

       

      The battery you purchased is more than adequate for Bachman Climax, in fact it’s a good match for long run times IMO.

       

      Share your thoughts on current and future needs and how much you want to interact with a charger. I’ll try and point you in the right direction.

       

      Michael

      This post was edited by Michael Glavin at January 7, 2020 1:43 AM EST
    • January 7, 2020 1:51 AM EST
      • Bundaberg, Queensland Australia
         
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      Richard Mynderup said:

      Ok, gentlemen!!  I don't know any of you personally and I don't wish my original post to be a sore spot for anyone...I'm just a novice looking for some good information to learn from.  And I appreciate all of your comments. 

      I charged one of the batteries yesterday and kept rough idea from beginning to end of the charge.  I had 5 hours and 30 minutes when I checked and saw the green light.  Of course it might have been less because was working on other projects and would  check periodically on it.

      Pete Thornton, to answer your question the batteries are 14.8 volts with mAh of 6700.  They are the 4s2p I'm hoping they are strong enough to power my Bachmann 3-truck Shay pulling the 3 AMS coaches at 6lbs each plus the new Bachmann caboose which is also pretty hefty.

      I do appreciate some of the technical stuff but I have to read it slowly to gain the understanding....

      Michael Glavin you said the Tenergy charger was inadequate...do you have a suggestion for another more efficient one?

      Thanks, Richard

       

      I run my Bachmann 3 truck shay pulling 6 log cars, work car (caboose) and caboose using a 14.8V 5000mAH 4S1P battery (Ternigy Graphene). 

      I charge my batteries, NiMh and Li chemistry, using an Accucel6 chargers (balanced for the Li batteries) of which I have 4, 2 for Li and 2 for NiMH so I can charge more than 1 battery at a time. They are connected to 2 Computer Power Supply Unit's 12V terminals. 

      https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-accucel-6-50w-6a-balancer-charger-w-accessories.html

      I charge at about 1/10C ie for 5000mAH C charge at 500mA, this works for me and I have had no issue so far. The NiMh's are charged in-situ the Li's are charged external to the loco. 

      My knowledge of batteries comes from talking to the guys at the aircraft battery shop on the Navy base I used to work at and reading articles from the battery university.

      This post was edited by GAP at January 7, 2020 2:16 AM EST
    • January 7, 2020 2:11 AM EST
      • Be Nice or STFU
         
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      Michael Kirrene said:

      Sent who a fire extinguisher, Greg? And would you be specific as to who got mad and felt threatened? You looking for one more guy to argue with on the board? Is that what drives you here, buddy? How come you stopped answering my e-mails and PM's, Mr. 2-Faced? Did I offend you in some way by talking to you directly via PM as opposed to on the board where you can tag-team with Glavin?

      on a different forum

      not worth mentioning names

      sorry I missed an email, and I ask in my signature no PMs

      Not mad at you, even with this post

      Greg

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    • January 7, 2020 10:45 AM EST
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      Michael, thank you for the easy to understand explanation of the batteries and charger considerations...I'd quote one of your statements but haven't figured out how to do that 

       

      But to answer your last statement - I plan to stay in the 14.8 arena since all of my current operating engines run off that voltage. I currently have in my arsenal of running engines a Bachmann 3-Truck Shay (which is my main running engine), a Bachmann Connie, Thomas, Percy and James the Red Engine, and a Hartland Disney Lilly Belle.  

      My current collection of being worked on or future RC/Battery installs is an LGB Forney, Bachmann 2-Truck Shay, and an LGB Porter.

      The Shays and Connie are obviously the heavier engines and my thought was to use the 6700 mAh batteries with them.  The 3-Truck and Connie have on board batteries so would try to replace the current NiMh with Li-Ion.  The Thomas collection does/will not pull much weight at all so I would consider a lighter battery.  James is the only one in the "Thomas" series with an on board battery.  I currently have a few NiMh 2200 mAh that run just fine with these. 

      The LGB Forney is being converted to a replica of the Disneyland Fred Gurley and will mainly pull a recreation of the original Retlaw 1 consist (1 Bachmann combine and 5 Bachmann coaches).  I don't anticipate this being a heavy pull.

      So, this is a snapshot of my current and future setup...I'd appreciate any thoughts.

      Richard

    • January 7, 2020 3:15 PM EST
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      As long as you have adequate speed, sounds like a good plan, and standardizing on voltage is a plus.

       

      I do agree, a charger capable of 1 C or at least close would be a good idea, especially if you follow the advice to charge to 80%.... slightly less run time but much better for batteries.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • January 7, 2020 4:21 PM EST
      • Bundaberg, Queensland Australia
         
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      Richard Mynderup said:

      Michael, thank you for the easy to understand explanation of the batteries and charger considerations...I'd quote one of your statements but haven't figured out how to do that 

       

      But to answer your last statement - I plan to stay in the 14.8 arena since all of my current operating engines run off that voltage. I currently have in my arsenal of running engines a Bachmann 3-Truck Shay (which is my main running engine), a Bachmann Connie, Thomas, Percy and James the Red Engine, and a Hartland Disney Lilly Belle.  

      My current collection of being worked on or future RC/Battery installs is an LGB Forney, Bachmann 2-Truck Shay, and an LGB Porter.

      The Shays and Connie are obviously the heavier engines and my thought was to use the 6700 mAh batteries with them.  The 3-Truck and Connie have on board batteries so would try to replace the current NiMh with Li-Ion.  The Thomas collection does/will not pull much weight at all so I would consider a lighter battery.  James is the only one in the "Thomas" series with an on board battery.  I currently have a few NiMh 2200 mAh that run just fine with these. 

      The LGB Forney is being converted to a replica of the Disneyland Fred Gurley and will mainly pull a recreation of the original Retlaw 1 consist (1 Bachmann combine and 5 Bachmann coaches).  I don't anticipate this being a heavy pull.

      So, this is a snapshot of my current and future setup...I'd appreciate any thoughts.

      Richard

      Sounds good to me similar to what I have.

      My roster is;

      • 3 truck Shay and Connie 14.8V 5000mAH Li,
      • LGB switcher pulling 6 scratch built sugar cane bins,
      • Small LGB steamer pulling 3 Bachman coaches these run on 12V 2400mAH NiMH,
      • A number of LGB Stainz and a scratch built diesel pulling some LGB and Aristocraft wagons/flatcars/boxcars and some light weight scratch built wagons all running on 10.8V 2400mAh NiMH. 

      Eventually all the NiMH may be replaced as they fail but I do have a source of tagged cells so I can make my own batteries so that may not happen.

      The size of the batteries was dictated by the amount of room I had in each loco to squeeze them in, the lower voltage does not give a high top end speed but as my railway is a small operation with short trains the top speed being low is more realistic in my opinion.

      Good Luck in your future endeavors. 

    • January 7, 2020 5:11 PM EST
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      Michael Glavin said:
      Jon Radder said:

      Michael - Your battery posts are always appreciated. I have learned a ton from you; and thanks to that knowledge some of my oldest on-board LiIon packs are still going strong.  The number one lesson learned: Don't wait for the loco to quit running; charge after a few uses or about 80% of expected charge life.

       

      Thanks for the kind words Jon!

       

      You've garnered some real-world experience... As you note 80% is the warm and fuzzy number for long life. I still cringe when someone brags about how much run tine they realized by running their engines until they stop in their tracks, more fake new from those that don’t know.

       

      Michael

       

      Greg Elmassian said:

      As long as you have adequate speed, sounds like a good plan, and standardizing on voltage is a plus.

       

      I do agree, a charger capable of 1 C or at least close would be a good idea, especially if you follow the advice to charge to 80%.... slightly less run time but much better for batteries.

       

      Greg

       

      Now I need to ask what advice do I follow on this 

      and please excuse my lack of knowledge in quoting two different postings in my one post

      Do I charge the batteries when they are 80% depleted as Jon stated and Mike recommends or do I

      follow Greg's statement and only charge to 80% of capacity ?

      you guys agreeing to different understandings of the same words confuses the hell out of people

       

    • January 7, 2020 6:48 PM EST
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      Richard,

       

      What sort of life span have you realized of your NiMh batteries?

       

      Standardizing battery voltage is a start for simplifying your charging needs. The next consideration is standardizing cell type and capacity, as the mA rating together with OEM charge specification effects the charge amperage in play.

       

      A 4S1P battery for your lighter needs of the same cell type of your 6700mAH battery would eliminate any need to jump around to meet charge amperage required of other cell brands/type. Furthermore if the typical 4 cell battery configuration flat or stacked won’t work dimensionally, PM me I can help.

       

      I performed a cursory search for a simple charger. i.e, Lithium charge algorithm(s), 14.5V @ 2.0 Amps charge rate (2.0-3.25A is acceptable but the lower number is best), no joy, I’ll keep looking. Are you akin to interacting with a Smart charger?

       

      Michael

    • January 7, 2020 7:10 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      David Marconi,FOGCH said:

      Now I need to ask what advice do I follow on this 

      and please excuse my lack of knowledge in quoting two different postings in my one post

      Do I charge the batteries when they are 80% depleted as Jon stated and Mike recommends or do I

      follow Greg's statement and only charge to 80% of capacity ?

      you guys agreeing to different understandings of the same words confuses the hell out of people

       

       

      Yes! You beat me to it. And did I read somewhere (or dream it) the recommendation to let the batteries fully discharge (loco completely stops) and a different recommendation to let the batteries discharge 80% before recharging? Which is it?

       

       

    • January 7, 2020 7:14 PM EST
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      GAP,

       

      Thanks for sharing your set-up.

       

      I note your working with a hybrid Li-Po in hard plastic case, i.e. Turnigy Graphene battery. I have several hard case 5000mAh Li-Po's I use with trains, planes and cars, great choice IMO. That said the aforementioned battery is a world apart from our 18650 Li-Ion batteries. Of note is the ability monitor/control each cell individually typical of “Balance Charging”.

       

      The charge rate your employing is WELL below industry “standards” for Li-Po’s @ 0.1C or 0.5A for said 5000mA battery. What drives you to slow charge your battery?

       

      Michael

      This post was edited by Michael Glavin at January 7, 2020 7:17 PM EST
    • January 7, 2020 9:29 PM EST
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      The 80% comments are accurate for charge and discharge. I see how as posted the info could easily be misconstrued.

       

      Its well documented the life cycle of Li-Ion is greatly enhanced if charged to constant current voltage threshold and eliminating the saturation charge (approximately 80% or so).

       

      Its also well documented the life cycle of Li-Ion is greatly enhanced if discharged 3.0V or so.

       

      Discharging the battery until such time the onboard PCB opens the circuit at its voltage cut-out specification is UNDESIRABLE. This is a safety feature, nothing more.

       

      Charge your Lithium cells often and discharge moderately for a long life cycle.

       

      Michael

    • January 7, 2020 9:54 PM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      So if one wants to have charging happen at 80% of discharge, does that mean one should buy a battery that is 180% of expected run time?

       

      Example: I want to run 3 hours no stop. Do I need/want to buy a battery that is 3 m.amp hours x 180 to determine the size of my battery?

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