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Old 01-01-2012, 11:38 AM   #81
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

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Originally Posted by nktrnl View Post
Just about any esc should be able to run lipo packs, as long as you stay within the voltage rating of the esc. All the esc see's is the power comming in.
Because I dont fully understand all the fancy lipo stuff my self. I was looking at the Team Orion and Peak racing 4800mah lipo packs, or the Kokam packs. I just dont know if I can bring my self to spend that much for one battery. And I can never just buy one.
Don't you have to be very careful not to drop a lipo past a certain voltage per cell (ie 3.4v/cell)? If you have an older esc, chances are it won't have a Lipo cutoff and therefore you can drain the Lipo battery down to a dangerous level and your buggy may turn into a rolling ball of melted plastic.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:53 AM   #82
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

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Originally Posted by DiggyStyle View Post
Don't you have to be very careful not to drop a lipo past a certain voltage per cell (ie 3.4v/cell)? If you have an older esc, chances are it won't have a Lipo cutoff and therefore you can drain the Lipo battery down to a dangerous level and your buggy may turn into a rolling ball of melted plastic.
did you check the date on the last post in this thread? you are bringing up an oldie.

I think that everyone that has contributed to this thread from 06-08 now runs lipos without issues
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:40 PM   #83
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

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Old 01-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #84
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

I too am thinking of getting lipo batteries.

What kind of runtime could I get out of my stock(not even a gear change) SCX-10 with a 2s 3300 mah lipo?
I chose 3300 because that is the same mah as the 6 cell stick pack I run in it.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:55 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by fred0000 View Post
did you check the date on the last post in this thread? you are bringing up an oldie.

I think that everyone that has contributed to this thread from 06-08 now runs lipos without issues
Then they should delete a thread after it reaches a certain age if they don't want anyone posting to it. Other than that, I say it's fair game...we can chalk it up to "practicing my advice giving".

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Old 01-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #86
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

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Originally Posted by DiggyStyle View Post
Then they should delete a thread after it reaches a certain age if they don't want anyone posting to it. Other than that, I say it's fair game...we can chalk it up to "practicing my advice giving".

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I will say, at least this thread shows someone did a SEARCH, thus I feel it is worth something. Necroposting, maybe, but at least they searched, so I would not hammer them much.

And to help out fred....yes, due to the age of this thread, likely anyone that posted when this thread was "new" is using LiPO's now if they are still in RC.

Last edited by Charlie-III; 01-04-2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Made my post more "forum friendly", fred & I have discussed via PM's.......
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #87
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

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Originally Posted by DiggyStyle View Post
Don't you have to be very careful not to drop a lipo past a certain voltage per cell (ie 3.4v/cell)? If you have an older esc, chances are it won't have a Lipo cutoff and therefore you can drain the Lipo battery down to a dangerous level and your buggy may turn into a rolling ball of melted plastic.
Since Fred and Charlie are too busy pissing on each others shoes, I'll answer your question.

Going past the suggested cut-off point will not automatically destroy a lipo, nor will it cause it to go nuclear. It depends on the applied load and how far down the battery is drained.

If you pay a little bit of attention when you're driving you'll know when its time to swap batteries. Unlike NIMH or NICD, a lipo keeps its voltage high until the very end, then it dumps pretty quickly. When it dumps you'll see a change in performance, and that is when its time to swap it out. Often times I'll catch it before the esc cut-off does.

In all reality, lipo's are relatively safe. They do not spontaneously combust for no reason. For one to fail like what you hear in the horror stories, you have to do something stupid to them. Giving them a serious overcharge or discharge, an improper charge, or physically damaging them can cause them to poof or in the worst cases, boom.

I've owned a couple dozen lipo's over the past few years, and killed more than half of them. None have blown up or caught fire. A little attention and respect and they'll live happily.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

On a side note, even though this thread is old and most of the OP's have already moved on to lipo, there are plenty of people left who have not and will find this thread useful.

Last edited by Duuuuuuuude; 01-04-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:24 AM   #88
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

Just wanted to chime in.

Most modern ESCs that are designed with LiPos in mind have the LVC (low voltage cutoff) built in.

Having only just moved to LiPos myself I can say they are pretty darn good.

Even using a 7.4v LiPo made a huge difference from a 7.2v NiMh.

The reason being it is able to supply more amps than the NiMh pack. The Orion Rocketpack 2s LiPos I got can provide bursts of 150 amps.

As far as C-ratings go - C stands for Capacity so a batterys' C rating is how many times it's capacity it can deliver.

My 3000Mah Orion rocketpack LiPos deliver 25C continuous and 50C burst.

What this means is that the battery can deliver 25-50 times it's rated capacity.
If the rated capacity is 3000Mah - the battery can give 1C (3.0 amps/3000 Milliamps) for one hour.

25 times 3.0 amps is 75 amps (continuous)
50 times 3.0 amps is 150 amps. (Burst)

To clarify again, a 3000Mah battery will give 3.0 amps (or 3000 milliamps) for one hour (hence milliamp-hours)

So a 1500 Mah battery gives 1.5A for one hour.
If it has 20C continuous and 30C burst ratings then it can give 20 times it's capacity (continuous) and 30 times it's capacity in bursts.

These figures would be 30 amps continuous and 45 amps burst.

Do you see?
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:26 AM   #89
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

Since we got this thread kicking again, and for the life of me, i can't remember where the thread for charge/discharge rates and graph for lipos is, maybe someone can help me with a link, i remember something about mah capacity vs c rating somewhere.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:30 PM   #90
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

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Originally Posted by cartronicshn View Post
Since we got this thread kicking again, and for the life of me, i can't remember where the thread for charge/discharge rates and graph for lipos is, maybe someone can help me with a link, i remember something about mah capacity vs c rating somewhere.
Post #9 here...... Lipo Cutoff Voltage.. ....?

I did a search for "discharge graph" (quotes help get both words in a single thread).
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #91
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

Some interesting info from an article... LiPo Battery Safety | rcdriver.com

Lets see if I can copy over the article (from RC Driver).....



Learn from our mistakes before you make yours!

I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable RC enthusiast/racer. Iíve raced at every level of competition, driven everything from 1/18-scale to 1/5-scale motorcycles and travelled all over just to play with toy cars. Iíve worked with NiCd, NiMH and LiPo batteries and been around every form of brushed and brushless motors. Even with this kind of resume, things still happen that can be considered a Ďnewbí move.

A couple months ago, I had a LiPo battery catch fire while working on one of my cars. I did everything right; used a high-end charger, had it set on the correct mode, positive lead to positive plug on the battery and had a balance board correctly connected. Even with all this, it still went up in flames and burned my race-ready Tamiya F104X1 into a pile of molten plastic. Thankfully I was able to get it out the back door before it burst (which it actually did as I was throwing it outÖarm hair doesnít smell very good), but this made me think about getting a real experts opinion and sharing with you my experience.
I contacted my good friend Ling. He worked in the product development department of a company that deals with medical devices. During his time there, he was in charge of developing a wallet sized device that was designed to vaporize liquid insulin. For those of you that donít know, this type of device requires a ton of power in a tiny package. His research led him to the understanding of battery construction, failure analysis and audits of many battery manufacturers. To say that he has some knowledge of LiPo batteries is an understatement. After he heard about my LiPo woes, he contacted me and we had a chat. We decided that this was probably a good time to clear the air about LiPo batteries and this little interview is the result of that chat.

TONY: Ok Ling, what exactly is inside a LiPo battery? How similar is it to the older NiMH cells?


LING: A LiPo cell is a classic battery construction. Itís composed of an anode, a cathode and a separator. These components are inside the aluminum pouch and itís filled with a liquid electrolyte. Oddly enough, the ďPolymerĒ in modern Lithium Polymer cells refers to the electrolyte Ė which isnít a solid polymer at all. The anodes are composed from a copper foil current collector coated with a fine particle graphite slurry. Most cathodes are composed of a LiCoO2 (lithium cobalt dioxide) coated onto an aluminum foil current collector. There are some other mixtures that they throw in there, but for the most part Ė itís LiCoO2 based. The polymeric separator does just that, it physically and electrically separates the anodes and cathodes.
Surprisingly, RC LiPos are the exact same chemistry used in your cell phone or laptop. There is a tradeoff between Li-Ion cells: high energy vs. high power. Laptops and cell phones fall into the high energy category and RC LiPos fall under high power. The difference is really just the architecture of the cell.
The high energy type of cell generally uses a single anode/cathode pair with a separator between the two. This sandwich is generally rolled up in a ďjellyrollĒ format to create either a cylindrical cell or a prismatic (rectangular) cell.
The high power type of cells are made of a multitude of anode cathode pairs. This is a stacked cell configuration. A typical LiPo is composed of 20-30 pairs of anode/cathodes. The separator is either a ďZĒ shaped accordion or a spiral wrapped between the anode/cathode. Think of an RC LiPo as a whole bunch of smaller cells where all the anodes are all welded together and all the cathodes are welded together. The actual thickness of a one Lithium Polymer cell (typically under 10mm thick) is actually limited by the number of anode/cathode pairs that are ultrasonically welded together. If there are too many parts of anode/cathodes, the ultrasonic weld will fail.

TONY: Good to know about the high energy vs. high power. Guess I wonít be hooking up a 6500mAh 65C rated battery to my iPhone. Speaking of that, what does the C rating mean?

LING: Technically, it means the relative charge and discharge capability. For simplicity, take the capacity in amp hours and multiply it by the C rating. So for a 5 amp hour battery, 1C = 5 amps, 2C = 10 amps etc. The discharge C rating is the maximum continuous discharge rating that a cell can handle. There are no industry standards which define when a cell fails a C rating, whether itís the number of cycles, ending temperature, capacity, etc.
In the RC world, the C rating means next to nothing. I can pretty much guarantee you that just about every RC LiPo would self destruct when discharged at the C rating on the label unless itís a short burst. For a 5000mAh battery, a 40C discharge is 200 amps. A complete discharge at 40C would last exactly 1.5 minutes There is absolutely no RC application that dumps the battery in just 1.5 minutes. A genuine Deans connector starts melting at 80 amps continuous Ė a fake Dean fails at even less.

TONY: Well, I always figured some of those numbers were a bit exaggerated. Iím assuming sticking to a quality, brand name battery is probably the best way to get an accurate C-rated pack. Other than that, is there any way to determine a quality pack vs. a cheap pack besides price?

LING: For the average consumer, itís very hard if not impossible. High quality packs are distinguished by higher safety and abuse limits, higher cycle life, better cell to cell consistency, longer shelf life etc. Higher quality cells have higher standards for incoming material inspection, more in process inspection (high pot testing, X-ray detection of stack etc), and generally a much cleaner production line that limits the amount of impurities that can enter the cell. Once the cell is pouched, pretty much all cells look alike (high quality vs low quality) on the outside. The raw cost of a cell from a high quality manufacturer can cost about 4X more than a cell with the same specs from a low end manufacturer. Any high quality pack WILL cost more to produce, however, all expensive packs are not guaranteed to use high quality cells.

TONY: So, as far as LiPos go, it can be a Ďget-what-you-pay-forí situation. Are there any benefits to hard cases vs. soft cases?

LING: Absolutely! Remember the copper anode and aluminum cathode layers I mentioned before? They are separated by a very thin polymer. A dent (especially along the edges) will cause the sharp edges of the copper and aluminum to damage and start eroding away the thin separator. This is exasperated by the naturally expansion/contraction of the battery during charge and discharge. Eventually, the eroded hole will lead to an internal short circuit. Best case, the cells short out internally and no longer hold a charge for an extended amount of time. Worst case, the short builds up temperature and leads to thermal runaway Ė ie. fire. So yes, absolutely, hard cases are beneficial.

TONY: Good to knowÖIíll be placing all of my soft-case packs in a case! Hard-case packs from here on out! Letís talk about charging them. Are there any basic charging guidelines?

LING: There is not much to it. Almost all chargers follow the standard CC/CV charge profile pretty well. With higher charge rates (like 2C and above), there is almost always a big drop in cycle life associated with it. The exception is Lithium Phosphate (LiFe), which does very well at higher charge rates, but those arenít too common yetÖ

TONY: So stick with the standard charging guidelines as far as charging amps?

LING: For LiPos, Iíd recommend charging 1.5C or under with a charger designed specifically for LiPos.

TONY: A question Iím sure everyone wants an answer toÖis it necessary to balance a LiPo pack every time you charge it?

LING: This is a loaded question. For a high quality 2S pack (7.4V), itís highly unlikely that the batteries will eve need balancing. For higher cell counts, 3S and above, itís a good idea to balance charge. For cheap packs, itís always a good idea to balance charge.

TONY: Well, for the sake of safety, is it a problem to balance LiPo packs regardless of their Ďsupposedí quality?

LING: Balancing is an insurance policy. It prevents a cell from getting overcharged. Overcharging is a surefire way to get a LiPo cell to erupt into flames. Unlike NiMH or Ni-Cd, Lithium Polymer batteries cannot tolerate or absorb any overcharge.

TONY: What does it mean when the battery pack looks puffy or bloated?

LING: It just means that the electrolyte has started to break down. A lot of things can cause this: over-charge, over-discharge, over-heating, cell contaminants, internal corrosion, poor material purity, etc. It takes very little liquid to form a whole lot a gas. Unfortunately, puffing is very bad. The anode/cathode layers are vacuum sealed in an aluminum pouch. This vacuum seal helps prevent the anodes/cathodes from shifting around and shorting out on each other. Once puffy, the vacuum is gone and the cell is much more likely to internally short out and, as mentioned before, an internal short may lead to fires.

TONY: So, letís say Iím going to take a short RC break. Are there any good storage tips?

LING: Shelf life is largely determined by temperature. A rule of thumb is with every 10 degrees, the C is double the degradation rate, so keeping the cells in a cool spot is the good idea. Also the cells like to be partially charged Ė usually between 20-80% of full. A fully charged cell stresses the internal chemistry and degrades the cell much faster. Think of it as compressing an overstressed spring Ė if you hold the spring momentarily, it pops back in shape. If you hold it down for a long time Ė it tends to take a set.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #92
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Default Re: I'm thinking of getting a lipo

Second page.......

TONY: So a springy LiPo cell is a bad thing. Check. Well, I actually have a few puffy cells here that Iíve been hanging on to for, ummm, whatever reason. What is the correct procedure for destroying a LiPo pack?

LING: Iíve read about the salt water type disposals. The salt conducts and drains the battery; the water is there in case there is a fire. That will work just fine, but I think itís cumbersome and overkill. Personally, I just discharge the cell at a low amperage rate, usually as low as I can get it. You can run it in your RC car, but I would turn off the low voltage cutoff. You definitely want to go well below the LiPo cutoff. A drained battery has no stored energy. A cell with no stored energy cannot ignite.

TONY: Iím assuming youíll want to run it at a slow speed so as not to stress it out? Iíd hate to have ANOTHER car catch on fire as I do this.

LING: If you have a discharger, Iíd use that and a LiPo sack. This way you donít have to risk a RC vehicle. A discharger can easily take down the energy in a LiPo. If you donít have a discharger, you can run it at low speeds to bleed off the stored energy, though there is still a little bit of risk.

TONY: Ok, well, that should just about do it. Thanks Ling, I appreciate your time in helping with this article.

LING: No problem buddy, Iím here to help. Just let me win the next time we race Ė OK?

TONY: You got it!

WRAP-UP
As you can see, thereís quite a bit going on with LiPos but, if used correctly, they are just like any other cell. Iím sure there are a TON of other questions that could be asked so, in the name of safety, I will be answering any additional questions you might have about LiPo battery safety on this web site.

WORDS: Tony Phalen
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:25 PM   #93
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Does anyone break in new lipo batteries with a series of charge / discharge (low discharge rate of 7C or less) cycles? My Traxxas lipo says to go through 5 cycles and my Venom lipo says 12 times or more! I don't care if I get max performance out of my batteries, I just want them to be safe and last a long time.

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