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Old 12-23-2008, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default Battery issues

First let me just say that i am new to the site and happy to be a part of this RC commuinity. I am new to the hobby and currently run an RS4 pro 2 with a Trinity 27 turn P2K motor and a mustang GTR body, will post pics later...

Ok here is the deal.. i just completed my car and just recently bought top of the line batteries and had the gys at the shop set them up and etc... The batteries I am using is the SMC Ener G 4600's they are Ni MH batteries and for some reason they wont receive a full charge.. let me explain.. they are supposed to get up to 10-11 Volts and the highest i have seen is like 9.17 and sometimes my charger will false peak in like 7 minutes.. sometimes it wont... when i charge them 3 of the 6 batteries get warm or hot and the others are still cold.... I have a vision peak Ultra Charger... I would like to know if anyone here has any clue as to what is going on.... The batteries are a lot of money and if I need to replace them i need to know... I went to the hobby shop and the owner there just kind of blew me off saying that they were swamped and didn't have time to be messing with them at the moment.... Anyway. i don't think it is the charger but i will get to the bottom of this and hopefully you guys can help....
Also here are the details on how these batteries have been treated... I have researched these batteries before i ever even used them.. went to the SMC site and i have followed all of their directions.. After use I wait 2 hours and put a 600sec charge on them for storage and I do not overcharge them I was charging them at the highest 3.00 amps. the guy at the shop said they should be charged @ 4.6 amps so since then i have done that.. however They still arent getting peak capacity and they are brand new, I just feel I have a lame battery.... I also don't think that only 3 of the 6 batteries should be getting warm.. it just happens to be the three that are connected together that are or arent getting warm....
Any help would be nice.. thanks in advance...
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:41 AM   #2
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I hate to say it but enr g cells kind of suck. Charge it until its warm and then put it on a nice tray. Watch the leds. It sounds like you might have a weak or dead cell. If its weak you might get really really lucky and be able to bring it back but its rare.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:42 AM   #3
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i would like to ask if u solder the battery correctly ? u need to have hv a multimeter to test on each cell and see the voltage....
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:50 AM   #4
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Sounds to me like your cells are out of ballance, what you need to do is ballance the cells by using a discharging tray, this will bring the voltage down to 0.9v per cell and will remove majority of the capacity so when you charge them you will be getting 4400 to 4600 mah in the pack. If you haven't done this then before you charge your cells your cells might be out of sinc....

Batt Cappacity ma
1 700
2 790
3 800
4 100
5 150
6 75

if your batteries are similar to above before you charge them then cells 1,2,3 will peak before the rest and when they peak(take max charge) the charge there after will turn into heat so cells 1,2,3 will get hot when cells 4,5,6 will stay cool....

I have 6 packs of SMC cells and none of then take more charge than 4500ma, this seems to be quite common with these cells.

However if you have been equalising the packs before charge then the next option would be to have a look at the end caps of the cells to see if any have vented, you will notice a salty residue around the caps.

Hope this help mate..


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Old 12-23-2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joezjr View Post
I hate to say it but enr g cells kind of suck. Charge it until its warm and then put it on a nice tray. Watch the leds. It sounds like you might have a weak or dead cell. If its weak you might get really really lucky and be able to bring it back but its rare.
Enrgy cells do not suck, they are very stable and i have yet to see or here of any problems with then, they hold there voltage very well have need very little care.. example i race my cells once every two weeks, i run them then staore them as they come off the track, two weeks later i tray them then charge them then run them, and repeat no problems in 9 months and i race mod with them so they get hammered......

if you do have a dead cell then take the cells back to the model shops and they should replace them for you..

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Old 12-23-2008, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RS4Pro2GT View Post
First let me just say that i am new to the site and happy to be a part of this RC commuinity. I am new to the hobby and currently run an RS4 pro 2 with a Trinity 27 turn P2K motor and a mustang GTR body, will post pics later...

Ok here is the deal.. i just completed my car and just recently bought top of the line batteries and had the gys at the shop set them up and etc... The batteries I am using is the SMC Ener G 4600's they are Ni MH batteries and for some reason they wont receive a full charge.. let me explain.. they are supposed to get up to 10-11 Volts and the highest i have seen is like 9.17 and sometimes my charger will false peak in like 7 minutes.. sometimes it wont... when i charge them 3 of the 6 batteries get warm or hot and the others are still cold.... I have a vision peak Ultra Charger... I would like to know if anyone here has any clue as to what is going on.... The batteries are a lot of money and if I need to replace them i need to know... I went to the hobby shop and the owner there just kind of blew me off saying that they were swamped and didn't have time to be messing with them at the moment.... Anyway. i don't think it is the charger but i will get to the bottom of this and hopefully you guys can help....
Also here are the details on how these batteries have been treated... I have researched these batteries before i ever even used them.. went to the SMC site and i have followed all of their directions.. After use I wait 2 hours and put a 600sec charge on them for storage and I do not overcharge them I was charging them at the highest 3.00 amps. the guy at the shop said they should be charged @ 4.6 amps so since then i have done that.. however They still arent getting peak capacity and they are brand new, I just feel I have a lame battery.... I also don't think that only 3 of the 6 batteries should be getting warm.. it just happens to be the three that are connected together that are or arent getting warm....
Any help would be nice.. thanks in advance...
10-11 volts is kind of high for a 6 cell pack. even peak, they should be right around 9. my guess is that if you are charging and trying to get the to 10-11 volts you have already over charged them
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:40 AM   #7
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9.17 is a great peak voltage, the higher the peak voltage the crappier the battery. (in most cases) IMO there is nothing wrong with the brand of cells you have. sounds like you were doing fine with the charging, but weren't happy with the peak voltage (which was actually ok). as suggested, if you don't have a equalizing tray, you should get one. next time your hobby shop blows you off, ask them for a name of a good online hobby store.


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Old 12-23-2008, 08:52 AM   #8
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Skypilot, I agree with you on the hobby shop deal. He is getting very very poor customer service. The words "too busy" should never be in a retailers vocabulary.
Second, the reason I say the cells kind of suck is I bought one 4 cell pack from smc, and one 4 cell pack from promatch. Each pack had a cell die in it. But the reason I used the word kinda is because before those cells died they were awsome.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:07 AM   #9
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10-11 volts is kind of high for a 6 cell pack. even peak, they should be right around 9. my guess is that if you are charging and trying to get the to 10-11 volts you have already over charged them
Actually I havent tried to get 10-11 volts, I just stated that I thought they should and that the highest i have seen is 9.17... The reason I made the 10-11 comment was because that is what they guy at the shop said.... When it is done charging. I don't charge them again. the only time I do is when i get a false peak within like 7 minutes.... About the discharge tray... I think i read somewhere that you could just run the batteries down in the car so I have been doing that I run the car till it doesn't move anymore.... How much are these trays in general and if i go to the "hooby shop" should they test the cells for me to see if they have been matched correctly?Or if one is lame? I don't believe i have the tools to do so, nor would I know what to look for.... Thank you guys for your advice so far, you guys are great!!...
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:10 AM   #10
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i would like to ask if u solder the battery correctly ? u need to have hv a multimeter to test on each cell and see the voltage....
The guy at hobby World soldered them for me...
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:35 AM   #11
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Where are you located?? Hobby World sounds very familiar, and if its the place I'm thinking it is, the guy who does the soldering of packs should be shot with a ball of dry solder joint like so many of his jobs are like, and I can't believe what they charge to do that for either.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by joezjr View Post
Skypilot, I agree with you on the hobby shop deal. He is getting very very poor customer service. The words "too busy" should never be in a retailers vocabulary.
Normally I'd agree completely, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are another matter... hobby shops ARE usually swamped this time of year.

My advice would be to use an equalizing tray right before charging, either a Novak Smart tray, Trinity DPD, or MuchMore CTX-D. Then charge til the pack peaks, and don't look for a specific voltage at the end, the better a pack is, the lower the peak voltage reading will be typically.

Charge 4600's at 6 amps, they should take anywhere from 45 to 50 minutes to hit full charge after the equalizing tray.

I'd maybe also look into a better charger than the Vision Peak series...
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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Normally I'd agree completely, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are another matter... hobby shops ARE usually swamped this time of year.

My advice would be to use an equalizing tray right before charging, either a Novak Smart tray, Trinity DPD, or MuchMore CTX-D. Then charge til the pack peaks, and don't look for a specific voltage at the end, the better a pack is, the lower the peak voltage reading will be typically.

Charge 4600's at 6 amps, they should take anywhere from 45 to 50 minutes to hit full charge after the equalizing tray.

I'd maybe also look into a better charger than the Vision Peak series...

I'm located in Jax, Fl to answer one question..
I thought that this was a good enough charger as the SMC site recomends a vision peak charger.... The soldering looks decent and it didn't cost much to get it done really... I guess I'll look into getting a discharge pack.. Today i charged the batteries and they did fine with a Volt reading of 7.7 or so....
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:28 PM   #14
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I think the most important question that no one has asked or answered - HOW ARE THEY PERFORMING IN THE CAR??????????

ive had much more luck and less headaches going by how the batteries do in the car than what the charger says.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RS4Pro2GT View Post
About the discharge tray... I think i read somewhere that you could just run the batteries down in the car so I have been doing that I run the car till it doesn't move anymore.... How much are these trays in general and if i go to the "hooby shop" should they test the cells for me to see if they have been matched correctly?Or if one is lame? I don't believe i have the tools to do so, nor would I know what to look for.... Thank you guys for your advice so far, you guys are great!!...

You should NOT run the car until it can't move anymore, that is NOT a good thing for the batteries. You don't want to discharge below .9v per cell. The proper way to treat high end batteries is to stop running when the car slows noticeably, or if you're racing and the race ends before the car slows noticeably, you'd then discharge the pack at 30 amps to 3.6v for a 4 cell pack, or 5.4v for a 6 cell pack.

If you're going to run the pack again the same day, let it cool, then tray it to .9v per cell, then charge at 6 amps.

If you're going to store the pack, charge it at 6 amps for ten to fifteen minutes before putting it away. Next time you use it, discharge at 30 amps to 3.6v(4 cell) or 5.4v(6 cell) then tray to .9v per cell, then charge.

About the trays... in an earlier post I mentioned the Novask Smart Tray, the Trinity DPD, and the Much More CTX-D. The Novak would be the lowest priced of the three, You can find them for 75 bucks or so. The reason for the tray is that you want to avoid discharging the pack as a whole pack so that some cells don't get overdischarged while others have some charge left in them... the tray looks at each cell individually. This also gets all the cells to the same voltage before you start the charge. Every time you run the pack, somoe of the cells discharge more than others, this happens even with high quality properly matched packs. By usinig the tray you keep the pack in balance.

As far as the hobby shop testing to see if the pack has been matched properly... few if any shops will have the equipment or expertise to do this. They may be able to test for and spot a dead or bad cell in the pack, but beyond that most shops would be helpless.
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Last edited by Trips; 12-23-2008 at 01:47 PM.
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