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Ageing lipos!

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Nick Farrow18/09/2019 11:00:44
157 forum posts
9 photos


I have a number of lipos that are showing something like 60-70% of their capacity. They 'sag' quickly when used and when put on a discharge/charge cycle confirm that the capacity is reduced.

I was wondering what to do with them, they can be used for flying but with such a restricted and diminishing flight time they a a bit of a liability. On the other hand they still have some useful capacity, but I have yet to find a use for them!

Time for the bin, or do you have any ideas! ??



Geoff S18/09/2019 11:17:52
3767 forum posts
36 photos

If you still have some ic engines then they may work OK on an electric starter - saves lugging a heavy lead acid battery around. Or use in something less critical like a small rc car, perhaps?

Our bathroom radio is mains/battery but we use it with batteries. It's an ageing Roberts which should take 6 'D' cells, which would be costly, but I've modified it to take a 7 cell NiMH 3000 mAH pack. That pack has been in use for over 5 years but perhaps your old LiPos might be used in something like that.


Martin Harris18/09/2019 11:27:30
9501 forum posts
256 photos

While old NiMH cells are fine, I would be wary of using old LiPos around the home due to the fire risk.

Brian Hammond18/09/2019 13:43:54
357 forum posts

Replaced the battery in my Lidl drill with an old Lipo and it is better than new and lasts longer!

Old Geezer18/09/2019 14:11:40
670 forum posts

Like Geoff - I use a pensioned off rechargeable - in my case a 4S 2300 LiFe flight pack - so much lighter than the alternatives and never seems to need topping up ( but I do anyway, when I think about it ). I would never use the LiFe in another airframe - this one cost me a much flown ( & much loved ) hack when it browned out a Spekkie Rx when I tried go round again when I overshot a landing. I know - that's why we have timers. Carelessness costs airframes!

Don Fry18/09/2019 15:41:00
4557 forum posts
54 photos

I've got a HobbyKing USB CHARGER. CHEAP.

Plug any 2-6s lipo, or any other li chemistry battery. It tells you the individual cell voltage. And it has a USB socket in the ther end. Currently running this I Pad.

has auto shut off, will not over discharge the lipo.

I would also second the use of old lipos for engine starters. I favour 4 s for 12 volt starters. I find it minimises switch welding.

Chris Walby18/09/2019 16:27:13
1323 forum posts
332 photos

I pensioned off an old and slightly puffy lipo for starter duty, only problem was when I came to recharge it (not balance, but C1) the lipo puffed up and then vented!

I would be inclined to dispose of them at end of life and be very careful of using and especially recharging lipos that no longer perform well.

BikerDon18/09/2019 16:34:42
38 forum posts
7 photos

When they start to deteriorate,I use my old 3S/4S LiPos for things that used to be driven by 12V lead acid batteries. Such as the compressor for my air retracts, electric starter, i/c control panel, field charger etc

Edited By BikerDon on 18/09/2019 16:36:17

Nick Farrow19/09/2019 16:54:53
157 forum posts
9 photos

Thanks all,

I just wanted to make sure I was not missing a trick

I am nevos of using them for household devices, like you. However I do strip them down and pick the 2 best cells and use them for a tx power source (with a voltage regulator) that seems to work for me.

Just as an aside, would you expect new packs to balance? I have had some 1800mah (nanotech) from hobbyking that wont balance, Do they accept them as returns in this case?



BikerDon19/09/2019 20:08:43
38 forum posts
7 photos

Posted by Nick Farrow on 19/09/2019 16:54:53:


Just as an aside, would you expect new packs to balance? I have had some 1800mah (nanotech) from hobbyking that wont balance, Do they accept them as returns in this case?

A lot of my LiPos don't balance, they just sit there balancing on my budget charger until it times out at 120 mins. I would be more likely to blame your charger if its not a decent (£££ ) one. The way the budget ones balance is really naff - they just bung a resistor across the cells with high voltage while charging, this really isn't ideal. Trust me I was an electronics engineer for many years...

Edited By BikerDon on 19/09/2019 20:09:33

Edited By BikerDon on 19/09/2019 20:10:01

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