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matelot
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Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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Location: Back in Blighty

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:07 pm
PostPost subject: Charging DIY battery packs
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I've cannibalised a battery holder from a Christmas wreath. It holds 4 x AA and has an on/off switch, and I'd like to charge them via the iCharger 206B.

a. Should the batteries (NiMH) be the same mAh capacity, e.g. I've a variety of 2500s, 1600s, 1450s etc?;

b. Is a balance plug required?

c. What C charge rate is advisable? I've a German multi-charger, but it maxes at 250mAh and doesn't seem to perform very well;

Anything to watch out for with the on/off switch?

Cheers
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pjdog
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:31 pm
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Howdy Matlot:

I don't know if France has a radio shack stores. But I use 2500mAh NiCads from redio Shack. I do charge them seperatly in a radio shack charger but they work great. Beats replace batteries all the time with throw aways.

I don't see any problem with the on/off switch.

The charger I have will charge up to 8 AA's at one time. Charging 8 at once it charges a 0.67A, 4 at a time it will charge at 1.3A or just two at a time it charges at 2.5A.

My little charger for AA NiCads charges a 600MA doing 4 AA's.

These were very inexpensive chargers.

I hope this helps.

I've loaded some pictures but I alwyas have trouble with that? don't know why?

Jack
http://www.electric-rc-helicopter.com/phpbb/userpix/4331_2500_nicad_002_1.jpg

http://www.electric-rc-helicopter.com/phpbb/userpix/4331_aa_charger_002_1.jpg


Last edited by pjdog on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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matelot
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:47 pm
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.
Cheers, Jack. As I've got the iCharger, I'd like to use its capacity for charging NiMHs. Currently (excuse pun) charging 4 x 2500mAh at 0.5amp. All seem to be going OK and batteries staying cold.

They got rather hot in the old charger.

Where I've got only a couple to charge, I'm going to make up some metal blanks (old nails?) just to short the unneeded connections.

Cheers

Edit: sorted your pics. You're putting in a hyperlink, but enclosing it in square brackets [......]. Remove the brackets, highlight the link, then click the Img button. Voila!

If you click on 'Quote' for this post, you'll see the format.



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tombo242
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Location: Santo Estêvão, East Algarve, Portugal. Now 82, but still feels 22.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:37 pm
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Well folks, here's my own "Cheap as usual" solution,



Materials:
String (for hanging it up)
Piece of plastic water pipe (holds the batteries)
M3 stud/screw and nuts (negative connector)
M12 bolt washers and nuts (positive terminal, nuts give weight, washer guides)
Piece of heat shrink (locks the positive wire to the terminal)
Battery connector ( connects to charger)
Li-Po and other battery charger (makes it work)

Charges 1 to 4 batteries, (my longer one does 10). Just set the charger to NiMh and a suitable current 0.3~0.5A is good, if they start to get too warm cut it down and wait for the "End" bleaps.

Tom.
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matelot
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:08 pm
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Fantastic - you've even got the same Tronic batteries as me!

Any probs with mixing capacities or states of charge? I read a suggestion about very low trickling if there's a large disparity in charge state.
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Burgess
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:12 am
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Useful sites
http://www.powerstream.com/NiMH.htm

http://www.greenbatteries.com/bachfa.html#charger differences

And good old wiki what's it covers the basics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel%E2%80%93metal_hydride_battery

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__10382__iCharger_206B_300W_8s_Balance_Charger.html


Always charge and or discharge NiMH cells of identical manufacture, capacity, and age. Specifications can and do differ from one manufacturer to another. The chemistry and construction methods can change from time to time.

Charging NiMH cells in series, charge parameters will be probably be via current and delta voltage, for the whole series of cells in the pack.

The chargers with individual cell-cradles, smart charges charge can also be controlled by temperature via thermistors, some view this as the preferred method for NiHM cells. It is normal for NiMH cells to get worm during charging, but not excessively so.

The iCharger 206B has facility to measure internal resistance. So you could group the cells you have into sets for a more efficient charge and discharge.

Also has a temp probe that can be used to monitor charging NiMHs.

Burgess
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matelot
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:25 am
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..
Many thanks, Burgess.

All very useful to know. The areas of knowledge to which model helicopters leads is quite something. Laughing

Cheers.
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Burgess
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:06 am
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Yeah, they ought to teach RC Helis in schools, would cover a whole spectrum of subjects in one go and they'd have fun hands on learning too.
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pjdog
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:16 am
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Tom:

You never cease to amaze me with your creativity. Great looking charger.

Jack
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tombo242
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:49 pm
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Thanks Jack Smile

Could be that as I hate spending money on something that never seems to last long and love to recycle, I have a small range of home made tools. Got a box of battery connectors that do various things, seems that you often need to temporarily change the connector on things so I try to have an adaptor on hand for every occasion.

Tom.
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