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LiPo replacement for Spektrum Tx Li-Ion - care and maintenance?

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Richard Clark 203/08/2020 20:36:17
426 forum posts
Posted by Keith Miles 2 on 31/07/2020 21:47:07:

.........My I-Charger 208B, in the base settings menu, has separate provisions for Li-Po, Li-Ion and Li-Fe and the manual for it also quotes significantly different parameters for each cell type in terms of nominal voltage, maximum charge voltage, storage voltage, allowable fast charge and minimum discharge voltage cut-off level.........





I have been re-reading this thread in an attempt to see where everyone now is as you certainly opened a can of worms

Even the I-Charger manufacturer is using the erratic and illogical terminology of "Li-Po, Li-Ion, and Li-Fe" though it's vaguely understandable to the more 'expert' modellers (modellers, 'expert' or no are of course his target) but probably not to other battery users, even 'professional' and 'industrial' ones.

He defines the first type by a casing method, the second is generic as it covers ALL lithium types including the other two, and the third uses the common 'convention' (it's not a 'standard' unfortunately) of defining a battery type by its two main chemicals, which at least makes some sort of sense.


A short history and I hope 'clarification'   for anyone interested.

The very first 'production' lithium batteries were developed by Israel in the  1970s  for military  use.  Due to my then employment I had access to these and used a few  successfully in rc model planes. They used lithium in 'pure metal' form and were  too volatile for 'civilian' use, even industrially. They are still sometimes used in military and space work. They have the   highest power density of all

Then came  lithium oxide batteries which are less volatile. In part of their construction they use  either cobalt (expensive but gives  high output voltage  and thus high power density), iron, or phosphates. The power density is not as high as ones containing  cobalt.

All varieties are available in all case formats and all are lithium ion.


Edited By Richard Clark 2 on 03/08/2020 21:14:41

Keith Miles 203/08/2020 22:53:33
464 forum posts
6 photos

Sorry to open a “can of worms”! Indeed life was much simpler pre-lithium!

As for lithium types, they do, clearly, require different charging regimes and that is certainly an important issue to bear in mind quite apart from other considerations!

It also seems that the greatest cautionary advice and horror stories seem to be focused on Li-Po more than the other two, external charging inside a fire resistant bag being just one piece of advice which is not applied to mobile phones!

I also agree that constantly unplugging and reconnecting a Li-Po is probably not ideal but it’s another trade off for the benefit of being able to fast charge without the risk of damaging the Tx! The same argument could, of course, be made for power packs in electric models which suffer far more constant connection and disconnection and it so happens, one of our members recently experienced apparent uneven running of a motor which appears to have been caused by a weakened connection and overheating of the XT60s sufficient to prevent him from pulling the two halves apart without the eventual careful intervention of a narrow blade screwdriver! It took a good five minutes to separate them!

I am also not sure, aside from the general advice not to charge Li-Pos in-situ, if a battery should be left connected to the PCB internal charging circuit at all whilst it is being externally charged, especially at a much higher current rate but am happy to be advised accordingly.

Keith Miles 206/08/2020 21:27:26
464 forum posts
6 photos

Just got a reply back from Horizon Hobby to my question as to whether or not the supplied Spektrum 2000mah Li-Ion battery that came with my DX9 can be charged with an external charger, bearing in mind the built in electronics of the battery and, presumably certain others of similar design.

As I suspected, their reply was as follows, quoting verbatim:

“It’s not possible to charge the batterie with an external charger. We recommend charging about the charge plug in the TX.

Mit freundlichen Grussen/Kind regards,

Matthias Trier

Horizon Hobby Europe

Technischer Service”

So, it’s either slow charge at 0.2 A for up to 10 hours (as per the Tx manual) or so or swap the supplied battery for something less “intelligent” and more convenient!

Or, perhaps, put an external independent charger in “Li-Ion/Charge” NOT “Balance Charge”, turn up the charge current to a desired level and see if the battery goes up in smoke?

I shall NOT be doing the latter (I fitted a 4-Max Li-Po some time ago) and I am NOT advocating that anyone else should do so unless they know better than either I (perfectly possible!) or the man who sent me the above e-mail (less likely?).

This is just some info for anyone who may have been wondering the same thing and/or may be frustrated by slow Tx charge times for the supplied battery using the supplied power adaptor plugged into the Tx (as per the manual).




Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 06/08/2020 21:42:22

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