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Old 01-11-2006, 11:13 AM   #1
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Arrow Smart Tray vs. Battery Doctor 8.0

Hello,

I currently have a Novak Smart Tray and it works great.
The main inconvenient is that I build my packs the other way around and I have to always push them in with the tabs on the bottom and make sure that everything makes contact.

I was looking at Tekin's Battery Doctor 8.0 and I saw that it's non-polarized. That's an advantage for me b/c I wouldn't have to worry about bars not making contact b/c I could put the pack in any way I want to.

So, if anyone has experience with both trays, could you tell me if you thought one was better than the other and why please?

Right now by looking at the Tekin:

-Non-polarized
-Smaller
-No need to plug in

Only really small advantage I see is that the Novak discharges at 2.7A while the Tekin discharges at 2.0A, but I discharge the pack at 30A on my GFX before equalizing it anyways, so this is unimportant.


So, what are your thoughts on these trays? Do I have ANYTHING to lose by selling my Smart Tray and getting a Battery Doctor?
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Old 01-11-2006, 11:36 AM   #2
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Both work well, but it can depend on what type of cells you are using. I have placed 3800's on the Tekin tray and lost 45 seconds of run time just like most battery companies will tell you. So if you are using 3800's I would stick with Novak. If you use GP's the Tekin seems to work well with those cells IMO. The Tekin takes alot longer than the Novak even though they have a similar rate of discharge. The Tekin seems to be more of a overnight tray vs. at the track with the Novak. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:21 PM   #3
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I use 3800's. Thanks for you input.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:46 PM   #4
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M Lane-Can you please explain to me why you think the Tekin has lost runtime for you.
The lowest it goes is .5 per cell.
Please do NOT tell people this unless you have facts.
My 3800's have been charged and discharged over 20 times now and I have lost about 8-12 seconds total.
Maybe it's something YOUR doing wrong and not the tray.
You NEVER store 3800's at .5 per cell.They dont tell you to do this either.
This tray is used either between charges or when you 1st get to the track with your packs that are discharged to 5.4 or 3.6 per pack.
Everyone has to understand something here.To get the advantage of LOW Ir's and Higher Voltage of the IB 3800's your going to have to care for them just a lil different than 3700's.
We had this same issue back when 3000's were out.The Sanyo's acted like nicads and the low IR's found in the panasonic packs were great but had to be cared for different is all.
Alot of people that sell IB's recommend the Tekin Battery Doctor and this is for a REASON.
You simply wanna use a Charger/Discharger or OTHER type of discharge device at 20-30 amps to bring the cells to 5.4(6cell) or 3.6(4 cell).
When you get to the track you THEN Use the battery doctor to bring the cells to .5 before charging.
If you run the pack and wanna run it again you then discharge to 5.4 or 3.6 and then tray again if you like.
When you are going to stop running them for the day you then would wanna discharge at 20-30 amps down to 5.4 or 3.6 and store if racing within a 7-10 day period.
If it's longer simply put 150-200 seconds of runtime back in the cell.

The MAIN concern guys is that the IB's drain a lil faster than GP's which if stored for too long could reverse the cell and cause damage.

If M-Lane is loosing time then he is STORING his cells at .5 or lower and not running them again fast enough.
I promise you the tray DID NOT loose runtime.The USER did in how he treated his cells.Not meant to be personal towards M Lane but his statement is false.

Regards,
Les

P.S.
The features are:
-Non-polarized
-Smaller
-No need to plug in
-2 4cell packs at once if needed.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:42 PM   #5
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I have had a Novak tray for over a year and recently got a Tekin tray when I joined the team. I used both for a while to compare the two and ended up sticking with the Tekin tray solely. I have seen more voltage, lower IR, and more consistent charges using the Tekin tray with no loss in runtime. I let the packs sit in the Tekin tray 30 mins to 1 hr before I charge them only. Traying both before and after the run will hurt runtime and overall performance.
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:22 PM   #6
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I based my opinion on what I have observed while using the Tekin tray, and nothing more. It has been MY experience that the Tekin tray takes longer to reach its cutoff than most people would think. This is based on attaching a voltmeter to the pack while on the tray. I have found that a pack starting at 5.4 takes at least an hour for the lights to go out. In fact when in normal light the lights appear to be out, but the voltmeter still reads above .8 per cell. Funning thing is if you go into a dark room you will notice that the lights still have a slight illumination to them, and when the lights do finally go out the cells are near .7 ea. as advertised. Also, the cutoff on all three of my Tekin trays varies from .475 to .485 per cell not the advertised .5.
As far as loosing run time I have cycled packs on my T-35 after waiting for the Tekin to reach a point were the cells stop dropping voltage per a voltmeter and then recycled them to find the drop in runtime. You see I enjoy testing the things that I use to see what they actually do. Since 3800's have to be cared for a little more carefully I would recommend the Novak tray for the AVERAGE racer. The Tekin trays are great thats why I own them, but everything I have posted is what I have learned from my testing, and nothing more. If you have to remove batteries from a tray within a certain amount of time so you don't damage the cells I don't think it's the best for the Average racer. There are other things to worry about at the track other than trays. If you are trying to equalize your cells how well is this done unless the cells reach a consistant cutoff. Tray for 30 mins = ? or tray for 60mins = ?
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:08 PM   #7
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OK, thanks guys, so what I get from this is that the Tekin is at least as good as the Smart Tray, but you have to pay attention and take the pack out as soon as the LEDs go out.

So the Tekin just requires more attention, but is just as good as the smart tray.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M LANE
I based my opinion on what I have observed while using the Tekin tray, and nothing more. It has been MY experience that the Tekin tray takes longer to reach its cutoff than most people would think. This is based on attaching a voltmeter to the pack while on the tray. I have found that a pack starting at 5.4 takes at least an hour for the lights to go out. In fact when in normal light the lights appear to be out, but the voltmeter still reads above .8 per cell. Funning thing is if you go into a dark room you will notice that the lights still have a slight illumination to them, and when the lights do finally go out the cells are near .7 ea. as advertised. Also, the cutoff on all three of my Tekin trays varies from .475 to .485 per cell not the advertised .5.
As far as loosing run time I have cycled packs on my T-35 after waiting for the Tekin to reach a point were the cells stop dropping voltage per a voltmeter and then recycled them to find the drop in runtime. You see I enjoy testing the things that I use to see what they actually do. Since 3800's have to be cared for a little more carefully I would recommend the Novak tray for the AVERAGE racer. The Tekin trays are great thats why I own them, but everything I have posted is what I have learned from my testing, and nothing more. If you have to remove batteries from a tray within a certain amount of time so you don't damage the cells I don't think it's the best for the Average racer. There are other things to worry about at the track other than trays. If you are trying to equalize your cells how well is this done unless the cells reach a consistant cutoff. Tray for 30 mins = ? or tray for 60mins = ?
In my experience it has never taken that long for my packs to pull down to a point where the light's are out. ( I am certain they are out because I cover the leds with my hand to check ) It does take alot longer than normal if I do not dump them to 5.4 on my gfx first. I'd say on avg about 20 minutes max for the led's to go out.

Not trying to argue here....just sharing mpe ( my personal experience )


I do not yet have enough cycle's on my packs since using the trays to cycle them again and make a runtime/voltage determination, but will post when I do.

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Old 01-11-2006, 04:47 PM   #9
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SC,
I'm curious if you have tested the cell voltage when you think the lights have gone out? This is how I got started on the whole testing thing with the Tekin trays. I also thought the lights were out, but the voltmeter did not read .7 as I understand is the level when they are suppost to be out. I tried several meters to confirm the readings. Next time you think they are out go into total darkness, and also try a voltmeter when you are about to remove the pack. I'd be interested in your findings. I know all three of my trays act the same.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:09 PM   #10
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I havent done any of the test's you describe. Here's my routine: Go to the track, get setup and dump a pack to 5.40

Tray the pack, do it again...( I have 2 tekin trays )...when I see the led's go out the pack come's off the tray...sit's for maybe 10 minutes and goe's on the gfx @ 6.0 amps with a .03 cutoff.

I am not trying to minimalize what you've posted...but I am far more concerned with corner speed in my chassis than I am about .025 to .015 volt's in a cell.

imo that little of a difference is acceptable.

I never leave the pack's in the tray's after the last led has went out. It's not perfect....but for me it is good enough. Again I will post my finding's on a cycle of my packs after I have about 20 cycle's on them using the trays to equalize them...( provided of course this thread still exists )

But, if the cell's get worse #'s across the board...what will be the actual cause? Will it be that the trays hurt them, or that there is a weak cell in the pack? What if the pack's never cycled out to the #'s that were on the label's to begin with? What if you touch the side of a cell with your iron as your soldering the pack in the car?

I have found a matcher I trust to buy from, his pack's to this point have cycled out better than the #'s on the labels.

My point in all this is there are too many variables. But hey man, whatever float's your boat...myself personally, I am a ce-dyno/motor whore :-)


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Old 01-11-2006, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
when I see the led's go out the pack come's off the tray...sit's for maybe 10 minutes and goe's on the gfx @ 6.0 amps with a .03 cutoff.
You should start charging the pack IMMEDIATELY after it's done equalizing for best results.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:34 PM   #12
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Your right such minimal voltage differances is splitting hairs, but at least I know for myself what the tray is doing. Alot of this is from me wanting to get info on the Tekins before buying them, but couldn't find much info. Tekin's own site has racers asking about the whole .5/.7 lights on lights out stuff with no great answers to the questions so thats why I tested the trays myself. That is also why I will be trying the conversion for my Integy 0-30's
that is suppost to allow for a .9 per cell cutoff. I also was a dyno junky for awhile, but learned the track is the best dyno there is, and moved on to other time consuming things LOL! Remeber it's a hobby and everybody finds interests in different areas.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3blue
You should start charging the pack IMMEDIATELY after it's done equalizing for best results.
Your correct, however I do not do this as recently there has been so many heats throughout the day if I do that my battery will be sitting for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes + waiting for my heat race to come up...10 minutes in my earlier post is a estimate...it depend's on the crowd...sometimes longer...sometimes not....( more variables )

I always try to have my packs peak off like 1/2 way thru the heat before mine is up...whether or not I hit that mark is a different thing.


It is a hobby...after a very long break from it...I am back

Alot has changed...battery's, motors, and their related tool's and such. Quite the learning curve. But I am having a ball.

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Old 01-12-2006, 04:51 PM   #14
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Just an FYI we are working on our programmable tray as well. Each battery and user seems to prefer a different magic. Our Battery Surgeon will have adjustable cutoff and current draw. One size does not fit all and we are all about adjustbility. Who knows what the 4000+ cells are going to like?

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Old 01-12-2006, 05:42 PM   #15
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The programmable tray sounds nice...a couple suggestions if I may.

1: make the tray non polarized.
2: make the tray run off of a power supply, so it doesnt need to draw current from the battery to power it.
3: remember to keep it simple...straight forward...

I'm really glad to see the Tekin name back, I hope your product's continue to set the standard that they have in the past.

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