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Old 02-19-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default Noob questions about charging my lipo...

Ok so I have a Duratrax ICE

A Great Planes Equinox balancer, and this lipo…

http://www.ehobbies.com/vnr1555t.htm...mpaign=froogle

Now the question I have is this…I need a power supply. The guy at the LHS said that I need something that will push at least 15 amps to properly charge this battery…I can’t pick up a power supply this week, so I was going to just use a car battery for right now. So, here are my questions….

Will a car battery work to operate this charger properly?
What specific car battery should I look for?
Since this is a 2C lipo, obviously I charge it with the 2C plug from the Equinox, but I don’t know really where to proceed from there…can someone walk me step-by-step through the process of making SURE I am doing this right?

What amp setting do I use on the ICE?

I just leave the Equinox in Interface mode while charging?

When I am done for the day or between runs, do I just plug the lipo into the equinox and set it to balance mode? How long do I leave it this way?

I just hear way too many horror stories of lipo charging, and I don’t want to ruin a brand new $100 battery.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by CaptainHowdyt13 View Post
Ok so I have a Duratrax ICE

A Great Planes Equinox balancer, and this lipo…

http://www.ehobbies.com/vnr1555t.htm...mpaign=froogle

Now the question I have is this…I need a power supply. The guy at the LHS said that I need something that will push at least 15 amps to properly charge this battery…I can’t pick up a power supply this week, so I was going to just use a car battery for right now. So, here are my questions….

Will a car battery work to operate this charger properly?
What specific car battery should I look for?
Since this is a 2C lipo, obviously I charge it with the 2C plug from the Equinox, but I don’t know really where to proceed from there…can someone walk me step-by-step through the process of making SURE I am doing this right?

What amp setting do I use on the ICE?

I just leave the Equinox in Interface mode while charging?

When I am done for the day or between runs, do I just plug the lipo into the equinox and set it to balance mode? How long do I leave it this way?

I just hear way too many horror stories of lipo charging, and I don’t want to ruin a brand new $100 battery.
First, may I suggest going to a place of zen for yourself and forgetting about all Lipo horror stories. They're not tough to deal with.

A car battery will work great, so go ahead, no worries at all. The only requirement that matters is 12volt.

As far as a power supply goes, 15amp is good; but not an absolute must. It is nice though if you decide to use more than one charger down the road. Shop around though, there is no need to spend more than $75 on a power suppply, you can even find then for $50 if you look.

Always charge Lipos at 1C, which is just the mah divided by 1000. So if you have a 4000mah battery charge it at 4 amps, simple as that.

You are correct about the balancer, set it to Interface mode (by pushing the button twice after you hooked the battery up, the Interface light will blink) and start the charger. I can clarify more if you need. Let the battery charge, as it gets full the input amperage will drop until it reaches 0, that is normal. When it's done, disconnect the battery and go have fun.

At the end of the day is where Lipos really shine. You don't have to do anything really. It is suggested that you put a little charge back in them so they don't overdischarge while they're sitting. I've heard that Lipos like to be left with about a half charge.

The only thing you need to be careful about is to not over discharge the battery. Never use the chargers discharge function with the battery. Stop the vehicle at the first sign of performance loss, and always unplug in from the car when you're done.

Hope this helps. It really is simple, you'll see.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:58 PM   #3
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First, may I suggest going to a place of zen for yourself and forgetting about all Lipo horror stories. They're not tough to deal with.

A car battery will work great, so go ahead, no worries at all. The only requirement that matters is 12volt.

As far as a power supply goes, 15amp is good; but not an absolute must. It is nice though if you decide to use more than one charger down the road. Shop around though, there is no need to spend more than $75 on a power suppply, you can even find then for $50 if you look.

Always charge Lipos at 1C, which is just the mah divided by 1000. So if you have a 4000mah battery charge it at 4 amps, simple as that.

You are correct about the balancer, set it to Interface mode (by pushing the button twice after you hooked the battery up, the Interface light will blink) and start the charger. I can clarify more if you need. Let the battery charge, as it gets full the input amperage will drop until it reaches 0, that is normal. When it's done, disconnect the battery and go have fun.

At the end of the day is where Lipos really shine. You don't have to do anything really. It is suggested that you put a little charge back in them so they don't overdischarge while they're sitting. I've heard that Lipos like to be left with about a half charge.

The only thing you need to be careful about is to not over discharge the battery. Never use the chargers discharge function with the battery. Stop the vehicle at the first sign of performance loss, and always unplug in from the car when you're done.

Hope this helps. It really is simple, you'll see.

Thanks man, I really appreciate your help. So, when it comes to discharing, when I see the car start to die out, just pull the battery, put about half a charge on it, and store it? Seems simply enough.

So once I plug it into the Equinox, and then the equinox into the ICE, in what order do I start everything up? Put the Equinox into interface mode first, set my charger to "LIPO", set it to 4 amps, and crank it up? After it's done, just unplug it straight out of the equinox, or pull the equinox out of the charger first?
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, and obviously, when charging, I just connect the balance tap out of the battery into the equinox, and the deans plug into the charger, right? I know this sounds like a completely stupid question, but I'd rather get hazed on the internet for asking a dumb question than burning down my pit table.

Also, I'm really old school, I used to race 10 years ago. All this new, fancy lipo, brushless stuff.

Give me back my RC10 World's Car, and Trinity Midnight. lol
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, and obviously, when charging, I just connect the balance tap out of the battery into the equinox, and the deans plug into the charger, right? I know this sounds like a completely stupid question, but I'd rather get hazed on the internet for asking a dumb question than burning down my pit table.

Also, I'm really old school, I used to race 10 years ago. All this new, fancy lipo, brushless stuff.

Give me back my RC10 World's Car, and Trinity Midnight. lol
I hear ya. I jumped back in after my last car 15 years ago being a Bolink pan car.

You're dead on with when to stop the car.

The order for charging:
1) Hook up charger to power source
2) Plug Equinox balancer into Ice charger via the banana plugs
3) Plug white balancing plug on battery into the balancer (the deans plug is not used). When you plug the battery into the balancer, two amber lights on the right side will light up telling you the balancer is connected.
4) Put the balancer into Interface mode (push the button twice)
5) Start the charger on Lipo mode at 4amps
6) Open beer.

It's against what you and I were used to but you don't charge through the deans plug at all; that's only for the output with the setup your using.

The other thing is that you can charge and run this thing back to back for as long as you want. It'll never die. You'll quickly forget the "good ole days" of 1800 mah Nicds, trust me.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:29 PM   #6
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I hear ya. I jumped back in after my last car 15 years ago being a Bolink pan car.

You're dead on with when to stop the car.

The order for charging:
1) Hook up charger to power source
2) Plug Equinox balancer into Ice charger via the banana plugs
3) Plug white balancing plug on battery into the balancer (the deans plug is not used). When you plug the battery into the balancer, two amber lights on the right side will light up telling you the balancer is connected.
4) Put the balancer into Interface mode (push the button twice)
5) Start the charger on Lipo mode at 4amps
6) Open beer.

It's against what you and I were used to but you don't charge through the deans plug at all; that's only for the output with the setup your using.

The other thing is that you can charge and run this thing back to back for as long as you want. It'll never die. You'll quickly forget the "good ole days" of 1800 mah Nicds, trust me.
LOL 1800mah Nicds....man I miss all that. I was like 14 years old, and I got my World's Car brand new. Back then, that was the shit. I had my Trinity Midnight stock motor and some nicds...haha THEN, the B2 came out, and I got one the day it released, and woah man, was I instantly cool.

It's a shame I sold that World's Car...it was in amazing shape when I sold it, and if I had let it sit on the shelf until now, it might be worth something to someone.

Thanks for all your help...just a few more questions...

I ordered an OFNA power supply, but it won't be here in time for Saturday, so just for the weekend, I'll just pop my hood and use my battery in my car. How fast would this drain my battery? Would I have to start my car every now and then during the day? Also, about how long does it take for these to reach full charge at 4A? It sucks I only have one lipo battery, so hopefully I'll have time between heats to charge it up.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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LOL 1800mah Nicds....man I miss all that. I was like 14 years old, and I got my World's Car brand new. Back then, that was the shit. I had my Trinity Midnight stock motor and some nicds...haha THEN, the B2 came out, and I got one the day it released, and woah man, was I instantly cool.

It's a shame I sold that World's Car...it was in amazing shape when I sold it, and if I had let it sit on the shelf until now, it might be worth something to someone.

Thanks for all your help...just a few more questions...

I ordered an OFNA power supply, but it won't be here in time for Saturday, so just for the weekend, I'll just pop my hood and use my battery in my car. How fast would this drain my battery? Would I have to start my car every now and then during the day? Also, about how long does it take for these to reach full charge at 4A? It sucks I only have one lipo battery, so hopefully I'll have time between heats to charge it up.
At most you'll be putting about 2500 mah into the pack at the end of each heat. I can't imagine the car battery would be phased by that. Maybe after like 3 charges you'd want to start it up to be safe. As far as charge time goes, it takes about 35 minutes at 4 amps to put about 2000 mah into the pack. So as long as there's more than 35 minutes between your heats you're good to go. The other thing to remember is that a Lipo give a much more consistent voltage; therefore even if it's not fully charged you won't be able to tell much a a difference. When a Lipo is fully charged you get a little bit higher output for the first minute at best then it's just a consistent 7.4 volts. So even if the pack isn't complete, run it anyway, just keep an eye on the performance drop off.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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I would suggest starting the car every couple charges. It will go longer than that, but modern car batteries do not like being ran down very far.

Best to use a marine deep cycling/trolling battery. I use one for big and outdoor races with a small charger on it. It's a Rube Goldberg setup, but then I don't have to worry about power outages. (big races tend to trip circuit breakers, outdoors generators run out of gas, people trip on extension cords, etc)
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:03 PM   #9
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so yeah, I went out and ran it. Runs great! I didn't have time to apply a small charge to the lipo when I was done, but I stopped running the car when
I noticed it start slowing down. Is this enough juice to leave on the lipo?
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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You don't necessarily have to charge anything for Lipo storage. Just don't leave it close to thresh hold if you're not going to use it for few weeks or more.

General rule of thumb for Lipos is don't drain them below 20% capacity (i.e. for 4000mah, you should leave more than 800mah charge. This is not voltage).

Even if your lipo cut off is set, I would not run it until it cuts off. Drained voltage depends on the quality of the battery. Voltage should be specified on the warning label, if it's not, do not go below 3.4 or 3.3 per cell. You should charge to 4.2 per cell and drain them to 3.7 or 3.6 per cell.

This is safest case for all lipos.
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