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Old 01-12-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
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Questions?? How important is it to use LiPo Balancers?

How important is it to have/use a balancer for my lithium-ion polymer battery packs? I don't want to open any old wounds or start a flame war, but it seems that there are widely varying opinions on when and whether LiPo balancing is necessary.

I've used 2 cell 7.4V and 3 cell 11.1V Li-Polys in my B/BL planes for years on a simple Electrifly Triton do-everything-except-balance-Lipo charger without issue. I've had great flight times and all the power I needed (well, I suppose I could ALWAYS use MORE POWER ) but never concerned myself with balancing.

Now that I'm moving up to newer 8000maH 2S2P packs for my BL E-Revo, I was told that I should get and use a LiPo balancer. I'd just like to get current comments please.

BTW, I've ordered one, but would still like some expert advice.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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They definitely need balancing, not on every charge or even every 10 charges but they will need balancing. You can get one of those Astro Blinky balancers that isn't tied to a specific charger. Also get one of those $10 cell checkers so you can have a rough idea of each cells voltage.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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I have a Hyperion charger with built-in balancing, and when I've charged other racer's batteries that are not normally balanced charged - they say they can notice an improvment.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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This is exactly what I was looking for. Something tangible that made sense. When I was using them for flying, there was nothing to compare against since I was the only flyer.

Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
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I think a lot depends on the quality and age of the batteries. I suspect most who say its not needed have relatively new high quality packs. Lower quality packs, or even better packs with more age, I think it will become more apparent how much better it is to have a balancing setup.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rektafew View Post
How important is it to have/use a balancer for my lithium-ion polymer battery packs? I don't want to open any old wounds or start a flame war, but it seems that there are widely varying opinions on when and whether LiPo balancing is necessary.

I've used 2 cell 7.4V and 3 cell 11.1V Li-Polys in my B/BL planes for years on a simple Electrifly Triton do-everything-except-balance-Lipo charger without issue. I've had great flight times and all the power I needed (well, I suppose I could ALWAYS use MORE POWER ) but never concerned myself with balancing.

Now that I'm moving up to newer 8000maH 2S2P packs for my BL E-Revo, I was told that I should get and use a LiPo balancer. I'd just like to get current comments please.

BTW, I've ordered one, but would still like some expert advice.

Thanks in advance!
Brian
It isn't something that needs to be done constantly, but definitely recommended every few cycles. Just get a charger with an automatic balancer so you don't have to think about it.

The higher quality packs seem to stay in balance longer and under load that the cheap packs. If you are running cheaper lipo packs (i.e., zippy brand) I would recommend balancing them every cycle as they can get out of balance a little easier than the high dollar packs in IMHO.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
I think a lot depends on the quality and age of the batteries. I suspect most who say its not needed have relatively new high quality packs. Lower quality packs, or even better packs with more age, I think it will become more apparent how much better it is to have a balancing setup.
I know that my "Thunder Power" LiPos are/were well respected in the flying community so this plays out well. Quality in = Quality out. I'll be interested to see how my "tenured" cells look once I get the balancer in.

Thanks Dave.

Brian
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Edumakated View Post
It isn't something that needs to be done constantly, but definitely recommended every few cycles. Just get a charger with an automatic balancer so you don't have to think about it.

The higher quality packs seem to stay in balance longer and under load that the cheap packs. If you are running cheaper lipo packs (i.e., zippy brand) I would recommend balancing them every cycle as they can get out of balance a little easier than the high dollar packs in IMHO.
This may be the best way for me to go and I appreciate the advice. I have a couple of chargers now that don't balance and just ordered a balancer so I may bite the bullet if I see my use growing. I find that I have a tendency to get into a hobby in a big way and then the excitement wanes somewhat. I will look into the balancing chargers though since it would certainly expedite and ensure the proper care of these high dollar packs. Thanks
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:58 PM   #9
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I find that I have a tendency to get into a hobby in a big way and then the excitement wanes somewhat.

I was the same way till i tried Off road racing. At my home track LIR the guys are really great and feel like old friends so pretty much my interest hasn't wained.

Thanks guys ! Thanks Betts !



I finally bought a balancer. after 18 months of running lipo's

get a balance charger for 50 bucks, it's money better spent then a balancer.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
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Depending on which lipos you use, it's easy to probe the voltage on each side of the pack.

if both sides are the same (or VERY close) on voltage, there isn't a lot of benefit to balancing at that time...

However, if a fully charged pack sees 4.22v on 1/2 the pack, and 4.04v on the other side, it IS out of balance...(I balance mine after they are charged)

The difference probably won't be a noticable huge difference on OFFROAD, where some of the On-Road and Oval WILL show a pretty good performance difference.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:53 PM   #11
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I have been running 3 orion lipos for a little over a year now and check them often for balance but the don't need it often. About 6 months ago I bought a B44 and got a Max Amps 6000mah pack... That pack needs balanced once a week! I thought there was something wrong with it so I called them and they say this is normal for saddle packs...?? One time it was so far off my balancer wouldn't bring it back close so I checked the cells and they were way off the one was 4.19 and the other was 4.10.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by trickedyfz450 View Post
I have been running 3 orion lipos for a little over a year now and check them often for balance but the don't need it often. About 6 months ago I bought a B44 and got a Max Amps 6000mah pack... That pack needs balanced once a week! I thought there was something wrong with it so I called them and they say this is normal for saddle packs...?? One time it was so far off my balancer wouldn't bring it back close so I checked the cells and they were way off the one was 4.19 and the other was 4.10.

This was exactly the thing that caused me to pose the question. I'm running much higher current draws now and with the 8000maH packs, I realized that I had better be doing it right!
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickedyfz450 View Post
I have been running 3 orion lipos for a little over a year now and check them often for balance but the don't need it often. About 6 months ago I bought a B44 and got a Max Amps 6000mah pack... That pack needs balanced once a week! I thought there was something wrong with it so I called them and they say this is normal for saddle packs...?? One time it was so far off my balancer wouldn't bring it back close so I checked the cells and they were way off the one was 4.19 and the other was 4.10.


I'm curious?? Do you think the orion's are alot better than the maxamps in terms of quality? I see alot of racers at my local track that use the maxamps and i'm curious.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:11 PM   #14
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I finally bought a balancer. after 18 months of running lipo's

get a balance charger for 50 bucks, it's money better spent then a balancer.
Hmmmm. $50 is a price that sounds almost too cheap! What did you get?

I looked at the Hyperion EOS and was impressed with some of the praise they get still but wonder who makes the best-bang-for-the-buck balancing charger that will support larger LiPos.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #15
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http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=7373&Product_Name=Turnig y_Accucel-6_50W_5A_Bal/Chrg_(USA_Warehouse)
cost me like 52.98 shipped.
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