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  • Topic: Aaaaahhhhh...batteries!

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    • July 13, 2021 9:42 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      I run the lithium-poly cells and all three packs I've received have the separate terminals for balanced charging.

       

      You can actually watch as the charger balances out the cells after an initial charge.  The LEDs on the charger will flicker accordingly as cells are balanced.

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at July 13, 2021 9:45 PM EDT
    • July 14, 2021 11:48 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Todd Brody said:

      I run the lithium-poly cells and all three packs I've received have the separate terminals for balanced charging.

       

      You can actually watch as the charger balances out the cells after an initial charge.  The LEDs on the charger will flicker accordingly as cells are balanced.

       

      Exactly, but I believe we are discussing Lithium Ion. I don't know many who run the poly cells.

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    • July 15, 2021 1:56 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      I don't know why not?  They seem cheaper to buy and have the same ratings as the Lithium ion.  I have ~$50 into the 14.8V, 5,200 mAH Li-poly battery and a charger that will go from 1 to 3 aH and can do 2, 3, or 4 cells. 

    • July 15, 2021 4:50 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Todd Brody said:

      I don't know why not?  They seem cheaper to buy and have the same ratings as the Lithium ion.  I have ~$50 into the 14.8V, 5,200 mAH Li-poly battery and a charger that will go from 1 to 3 aH and can do 2, 3, or 4 cells. 

      Good point.

      But, when they first came out there were all sorts of caveats and warnings.  Not so much now.   Perhaps this is a good sign!

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      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 17, 2021 12:37 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Don't the R/C guys still use fireproof containers to charge LiPoly ?

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    • July 17, 2021 2:41 AM EDT
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      Don't the R/C guys still use fireproof containers to charge LiPoly ?

       

      No. I don't think so.... In fact, kind a rare IME. Been around and used Li-PO's for nearly twenty years with RC cars, boats, airplanes and more. While I have had pouches and such provided by sponsors, I never used them. I only charge batteries in a safe, ventilated place, with proper chargers, supervision and with MAXIMUM time intervals as recommended by all of the OEM cell manufacturers. OEM spec sheets suggest the MAXIMUM time their cells should be undercharge is typically 3 hours, NOT 6 hours, overnight or whatever.

       

      The caveats, caution and stigma are pretty much the same for Li-Ion's and Li-PO's. Early in the exposure of Li-Ion's to hobby culture the volatility and the proper care and feeding of said batteries was unknown and or not common knowledge. Most of the problems can be attributed to the USER, not the technology. Li-Ions came to the masses several years before the availability/popularity of Li-PO's. There were many early reports of smoke and more, generally related to improper charging and or chargers, nothing more.

       

      I have used, abused, cycled, tested literally thousands of Lithium batteries, beginning in 2002. I have yet to have a failure mode with regard to fire, smoke and the like. That said plenty of them have failed; swelled, shorted, had short life cycles and more. Yes, prudent interaction with same is a must, Lithium battery technology does present itself as problematic by design, but is widely used in today’s world.

       

      Li-Po's are well suited for trains IMO. If your concerned about the pliable pouch envelope hard case enclosures are commonplace nowadays. Safety ancillary devices such as utilized by Li-Ion batteries are applicable to Li-PO's. The RC industry as a whole rarely uses Li-Ion batteries! Li-Po's rule and always have! That said it’s kind of inferior in the scheme of things with proper implementation and TRUE SMART chargers that monitor cells individually. Like most things, USER(s) interface with technology tells the tale.

       

      How many enthusiasts do you know that invest 25K and more in 250mph turbine powered RC jets that aren't using Li-Po's? Me thinks they are safe enough for our toy trains if properly utilized and cared for. Many-many moons ago I shared my thoughts on the viability of the Li-Ion batteries interlaced with our trains (wasn't well received herein). I suggested my experience with them was less than satisfactory as robust power supplies for RC aircraft on board flight systems. Short life cycles, cost and failure modes were commonplace. That said our atypical application of stacking multiple cells in series-parallel configurations  in the scheme of things is the worst-case scenario for Li-Ion cells as well as other technologies. Li-PO’s with balance charge pigtails circumvents this well-known shortcoming.

       

      Michael

    • July 18, 2021 12:42 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Michael Glavin said: I only charge batteries in a safe, ventilated place, with proper chargers, supervision and with MAXIMUM time intervals as recommended by all of the OEM cell manufacturers. OEM spec sheets suggest the MAXIMUM time their cells should be undercharge is typically 3 hours, NOT 6 hours, overnight or whatever.

       

       

       

      The caveats, caution and stigma are pretty much the same for Li-Ion's and Li-PO's. Early in the exposure of Li-Ion's to hobby culture the volatility and the proper care and feeding of said batteries was unknown and or not common knowledge. Most of the problems can be attributed to the USER, not the technology. Li-Ions came to the ma

      sses several years before the availability/popularity of Li-PO's. There were many early reports of smoke and more, generally related to improper charging and or chargers, nothing more.

       

      I have used, abused, cycled, tested literally thousands of Lithium batteries, beginning in 2002. I have yet to have a failure mode with regard to fire, smoke and the like. That said plenty of them have failed; swelled, shorted, had short life cycles and more. Yes, prudent interaction with same is a must, Lithium battery technology does present itself as problematic by design, but is widely used in today’s world.

       

      Michael

       

      Thanks for chiming in Michael. I can always count on you for good advice. 

       

      Based on what you said above about charging Li-Poly, is it a correct assumption that Li-Ion is a better choice for permanent mounting inside a plastic locomotive?

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    • July 18, 2021 2:08 PM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Jon Radder said:
      Based on what you said above about charging Li-Poly, is it a correct assumption that Li-Ion is a better choice for permanent mounting inside a plastic locomotive?
      Michael Glavin said:
      Li-Po's are well suited for trains IMO. If your concerned about the pliable pouch envelope hard case enclosures are commonplace nowadays. Safety ancillary devices such as utilized by Li-Ion batteries are applicable to Li-PO's. The RC industry as a whole rarely uses Li-Ion batteries! Li-Po's rule and always have! That said it’s kind of inferior in the scheme of things with proper implementation and TRUE SMART chargers that monitor cells individually. Like most things, USER(s) interface with technology tells the tale.

      Jon, you lost me there.

      I've used Li-poly occasionally, and as Michael says, they really are the same as Li-Ion, just different shapes.

       

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at July 18, 2021 2:10 PM EDT
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        Pete

    • July 19, 2021 2:28 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Sorry Pete -

       

      I was replying with a cell phone while traveling and my cut and paste skills on Android are quite lacking

       

      My question was related to heat and expansion while charging Li-Poly.  If this is no longer a concern, than have at it!

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