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Building lipo packs
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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 02:50 pm
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mwiz64
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Anyone want a good, cheap lipo charger that doesn't require balance charging? Here is a used Astroflight 109 Lithium charger for sale. It's not mine and I don't know the guy. I just see that it's offered at a good price and I know it's a good, very easy to use lipo charger. Having once owned two of them, I think they are perfect for what we're wanting to do here with our train batteries.

How does it work? Turn the dial (the only adjustment on the entire charger) all the way off. Then connect the battery. Let it detect the cell count by itself. You'll see that on the display. Then dial in the charge rate you want. Example: If you have a 200mah lipo and you want to charge it at 1C dial in 0.2 amps and let it go. How simple is that?

Here is the link. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1980522

Last edited on Wed Aug 21st, 2013 03:16 pm by mwiz64



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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 06:50 pm
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Horny Dublo
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I have tried running my Hornby OO gauge West Country class pacific with 2S Li-ion and it was too slow even without a load so it had to be 3S - I have just converted another loco in a similar way but have used 'protected' Li-ion 10440 or AAA size batteries - I charged them all individually at 1C with a cheapo chinese charger that I use for RC cars ..



I have yet to run the loco so will monitor, but I will be quite happy if I only need to balance charge the pack every 20 or 30 charges  - Normal charging will be through the tender buffers wired to the battery pack against live buffer stops in a siding, connected to the charger. As the charger will only charge at a maximum of 12.6V which is well within the voltage limit of the Rx60 receiver, there will be no need to switch off the battery ..



Well thats the plan, but yet to be tested ..... :old dude:

Andy




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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 07:16 pm
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mwiz64
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That's an interesting screen name, Andy....

I like your solution to charging through the bumper pads/buffer stops. I'll be very interested in hearing how well that works out for you.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 11:50 pm
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Pete Steinmetz
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Andy:

How are you connecting the cells together?

How will you keep tight contact between the tender buffers and the buffer stops?

There are 3 cell AAA battery holders available that allow removal of the cells for individual charging. Never a worry about cell balancing if the cells are charged individually. I can't tell from the photo how much extra room there is in the tender.

Please let us know how this turns out.

Pete Steinmetz



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 07:27 am
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Horny Dublo
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Hi Pete

The cells are linked by soldering wire to the ends. The tender buffers and bufferstops are spring loaded - If the contact is not reliable I may have to use copper tape over the buffer stops or lightly 'tin' the surface with solder - Not yet tested but I will let you know how it goes

There is very little clearance between the tender body and the cells so the holder would not fit. It is not a problem to use small crocodile clips to attach the charging leads to each cell, or the pack could be wired for connection to a small 3S balance plug.

Thanks .. Andy



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 07:59 am
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Horny Dublo
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mwiz64 wrote: That's an interesting screen name, Andy....


 

Mike - My typing skills diminish with age so the name was mistyped but I quite liked it so it stayed! - Not really appropriate for an old railway modeller but what the heck .. :old dude:



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 Posted: Sat Aug 24th, 2013 09:28 pm
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Pete Steinmetz
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Building and charging battery packs.  Getting ready for the Narrow Gauge Convention.  I just finished a 352035 3S pack at 170mAh.
Each cell is 3.5mm thick X 30mm long X 20mm wide.  Each cell has it's own PCM.
Charging at 100ma on a Hi Tech X1 charger
I am not doing any balancing.

I am also watching the Little League World Series.

For any of you coming to the convention, look me up.

I am going to test out the smaller packs and see how much run time I get on a Bachmann 2-6-0 with a Tsunami 750 sound decoder.

If I can get close to one hour, I will be happy.

Pete Steinmetz



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