Originally posted by 24601
... I talked to the fastest elestric guy I have seen around these parts and I couldn't believe what he said. He has never used one. He ... wins races left and right, etc.
I don't think the point of a discharge / equalizer is to make you faster/better/smarter/stronger. Practice and experience has obviously made this person 'the fastest electric guy'
What a discharge tray (high amp) generally gets you is more punchy packs. R/C Batteries (no matter NiCd or NiMh) usually like to be charged/discharged consistently. A 20Amp discharge is not uncommon when racing. After a run it is generally best to 'drain' a pack at a similar rate as to how it was raced.
Equalizer trays (low amp) help keep matched packs matched. Over time, matched battery packs will be come 'unmatched' if not maintained. This is where the equalizer comes into the picture.
Cells in a pack generally do not discharge 100% equally. The cells in a good matched pack will discharge 'very near equally', but to maintain this equality an equalizer is necessary. Because (most) chargers charge the entire pack, it is important to have the cells as close to equal 'emptiness' as possible before charging. Say one cell is at 20% capacity while the other 5 are at 10% ... the cell at 20% will most likely get overcharged which will eventually lead to a matched pack becoming very unmatched.
So, after a high amp discharge, the equalizer can safely bring each cell
down to the desired voltage (0.0 up to 0.9 volts per cell). With 'old school' analog equalizers you have to watch the little bulb/light next to each cell until it goes out. This is approx. 0.9 volt per cell. I have found this to work OK ... but it isn't very accurate and is a pain to keep an eye on.
On to the point of this post...
I recently got the Novak digital equalizing tray. I will never buy an analog tray again! This tray is AWESOME to say the least. Basically you can 'set it and forget it' (sounds like an info-mercial
). I saw positive results with the first pack I used on the tray. The pack took a better charge than it has in over 6 months ([geek]I know for sure because I log my battery charge/discharge info. [/geek]) When I raced this pack, it also 'felt' better than it has in many months. More punch and a sudden dump (the sign of a well matched pack). I'm thinking I will get a second (or third) one as soon as I can unload my analog trays.
I would highly recommend the Novak tray. Sure it is (relatively) expensive but it is cutting edge and well worth the money, in my opinion.