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A123 Racing Battery News 06Dec08

Posted by tanker in Batteries, News, TRex.
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A123 Racing, in partnership with Continental Automative Systems, has the contract to make the battery packs for the new Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid electric car by GM. Hopefully this will progress battery technology for RC applications and bring down prices (also see the Volt on Wikipedia and the GM Volt blog).

In hobby related news, A123 now has 6S1P 2300mAh packs for the T-Rex 500 and similar helis. Max amperage is 138A and weight is ~500g. Voltage is slightly lower at 19.8v (3.3v/cell nominal) instead of 22.2v so they will not have the equivalent kick for the same number of cells. Think of them as 5S packs but gear them appropriately for the actual voltage. Also, you will need an ESC that you can set the low voltage cutoff appropriately (stock T-Rex 500 ESC will not work. Castle Creations and Scorpion are options). These packs are Li-Ion packs using nanophosphate and are safer and more durable than traditional LiPos and can be quick charged (15-20min) and handle more cycles, but they do weigh a bit more. They also make good options for receiver packs. You will also need a charger that can charge A123 cells (many of the higher end LiPo chargers can). Max Amps carries A123 packs as does BP Hobbies.

CellMeter-8 — Review 27May08

Posted by tanker in Batteries, General Heli, Products, Tools.
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CellMater-8It is always a good idea to check the voltage of your packs just before you put them in your heli for a flight. Sure you may have charged them at home or at the field but mistakes happen. With the low voltage warnings on most RC helis a low pack is not a huge deal but it is certainly not something you want to get as soon as you take off and flip over into an inverted hover! And if you fly fixed-wing a low pack can be disastrous.