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A123 / BlaCK & DECKER vpx 1100 mAh

Old 11-10-2007, 09:26 PM
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everydayflyer
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Default A123 / BlaCK & DECKER vpx 1100 mAh

As no one here has started a thread on these as yet.

No official word on RC Universe but there are a few threads there as there are on RC Groups also.


A comparison to LiPoly graph,some low discharge rates through taps which shows expected voltage in receiver / servo pack applications and a sock it to it up to 30A discharge graph.


These are available at HomeDepot,Wal-Mart, etc. for $20 for a two cell power module for the new VPX line from B&D.


I charged the cells at 5A for testing purposes and have charged a 4S pack at 10A.
These cells seem to be just as rugged as their big brothers. They should make great receiver packs for large electrics and any glow / gas model. They should also work well in electric powered models where the 2300 cells are just a bit to heavy.

Charles
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:11 AM
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Larry3215
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Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post
As no one here has started a thread on these as yet.

No official word on RC Universe but there are a few threads there as there are on RC Groups also.


A comparison to LiPoly graph,some low discharge rates through taps which shows expected voltage in receiver / servo pack applications and a sock it to it up to 30A discharge graph.


These are available at HomeDepot,Wal-Mart, etc. for $20 for a two cell power module for the new VPX line from B&D.


I charged the cells at 5A for testing purposes and have charged a 4S pack at 10A.
These cells seem to be just as rugged as their big brothers. They should make great receiver packs for large electrics and any glow / gas model. They should also work well in electric powered models where the 2300 cells are just a bit to heavy.

Charles
As usual, nice work Charles!

Thanks for putting in the testing time and letting us know about it.

Do you know if anyone is selling individual cells or ready made packs yet?

Thanks!

Larry
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:59 PM
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Thanks Larry

Do you know if anyone is selling individual cells or ready made packs yet

http://www.battlepack.com/

has them but as expected A123 chargers their dealers more than you can purchase them for by way of power tools packs.
Steve gets $14 per cell and everyone has the 2 cell B&D packs for $20. Very easy to remove cells and they have welded tabs so building packs is simple for DIY type.

Charles
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:37 AM
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The welded tabs make doing the conversion worth the trouble.

I may try some of these in my 30% Yak conversion. I need a tad more nose weight than the 2S 2100 lipo packs Im using now.

Im tempted to try them without a regulator, but the initial voltage of a 2S pack is going to be too hi for my comfort level - even with 5 large digitals trying to pull them down.

Thanks again Charles!

Larry
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:57 PM
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2S fine for rec. / servo pack with no regulator.



Charles
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:34 PM
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I got the exact same discharge capacity as Charles. Flew the pack this morning in my Tantrum, AXI 2208-34 w/ APC 10 X 6 E-prop. 16 Amps @ WOT, but this plane will do it all (except unlimited vertical) at moderate throttle setting. Got over 4 minute flight with CellPro indicating 50% capacity remaining. I looks like a winner for sport flying smaller models. Has anyone worn out an A123 pack yet, I'm nearing two hundred flights with 4S2P 2300 packs in Telemaster.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:50 PM
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Red - I havent seen anything indicationg major capacity loss over time - yet. A few reports of catastrophic failures - probably due to over charging more than anything else.

Charles - what concerns me is the initial voltage at low loads. Id be running at least 2ea 2P packs.

Some digital servos dont like much over 6.1-6.2 volts or they go nuts or die all together. There have been reports (rumors) of some rx's also not liking over 6.5 volts.

Im also concerned, now that I take a closer look at the graphs, about the voltage under load.

My setup - 5 large (over 330 ounce torque each) digitals - will only draw under an amp at idle BUT at flight speeds and full 3D throws, each servo can draw 5-8 plus amps peak. Thats well over 25-30 amp peak load.

The problem is that the performance of the servos drops off dramatically as the voltage drops below 6 volts. Thats where the reg comes in handy on the larger models.

Its a nuisance haveing a rudder that will hold easily one moment but wont hold when you add in another controll input. It makes for unpridictable flying.

Right now I have 2ea 10 amp constant (20 amp peak) regulators in there running off 2 seperate 2100 20C lipo. The voltage is set to 6.1 volts at the regulator so that the servos see a constant 5.9-6.0 volts even under moderate loads. I still get some voltage drop over the long servo lead wires at full loads though.

As I look at the graphs, regulators would not be much use with these batteries unless I went 3S but that would generate too much heat for them under the hi loads and the larger voltage to drop down.

These would probably be fine for smaller models with lower servo loads tho. Maybe non digitals.

Larry
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:04 AM
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2S 1P 2300s are being used by those flying 30% and larger gaser.

There would be no advantage using 2S2P1100S instead of 2S1P 2300 as the 2P 1100 would weigh more.


If you are refering to the voltage drop in the 1,2 and 3A discharge rate graph remember that these were through the balancing leads and I noted that voltage at cells was 0.1V higher. tab leads are poor curent carries and I also had to use yet anothe adapter. Big plane with many digital servo do not use 24 or 26 ga, leads I hope. Most balancing leads get rather warm with 3 amps. going through them.
Charles

Last edited by everydayflyer; 11-13-2007 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:14 AM
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Good point on the weight, thanks!

No, I was looking at the higher discharge rate graphs. The voltage drops to under 3 volts even at 9 amps. Im going to be seeing 30 amp plus peaks. That would have my servos seeing well under 5 volts at times. That would cut my servo torque way down.

Plus Im still leary of running my gear much over 6 volts even for a short time.

Yeah I know some guys are doing it and getting away with it just fine. Others say there are problems or at least potential problems - as I mentioned above. There has been quite a bit of debate on both sides and I suspect BOTH sides are correct to some degree.

As usual - YMMV

I think I'll stick with my regs and lipos for my particular setup tho. Too much money in the air to take chances!

Thanks again!

Larry
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:19 PM
  #10  
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Default B & D VPX A123 Racing 1100 mAh cell in a Foamie

Fancy Foam Edge 540

http://fancyfoam.com/EDGE540HPK.htm


Hi Max 2812/850,GWS SF 12X6 and 4S A123 B&D 1100 pack.

1/2 Throttle 16A 180 watts / WOT 21A 221 Watts.

AUW 18.7 oz. 360 sq. in. wing loading 7.48 oz. per sq.ft.


Flew two flights with 4S 1100 A123 then two flights with TP ProLites 1320 3S folowed by two more flights with 1100s.


Pro Llites 3.2 oz. A123 1100 6.4 oz. IMO the extra weight is not realy all that bad as the extra voltage/ power makes up for it. Extreme slow flight such as high Alpha KE suffers but then that is not really my bag anyway.

Charles
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:02 AM
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Thats some interesting numbers Charles.

Those under load voltages are far better than you would normally see with a 1320 pack - more like what a 2100 pack would hold.

Im tempted to try some myself.

Same weight as a 2100 pack, less capacity than a 1320 pack, holds volts like a 2100 pack, costs less than a 1320 pack, charges 10 times faster, safer than either..... Trade offs trade offs....

Larry
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:05 PM
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Default A123 Racing / B&D / VPX 4S pack testing continued.

All the important stuff is on the Graphs

These are 10A charges and 8A discharges.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:59 AM
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May I ask what HW and SW you used to test and record the discharge data?
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:28 PM
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Red Scholefield
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Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
May I ask what HW and SW you used to test and record the discharge data?
Note at the top of the discharge curve screens: West Mountain Radio CBA. No serious electric flyer should be without one of these jewels.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:48 AM
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Default No voltage drop.

I received a DEWALT pack for Christmas and set them up as 3 packs.

Today a recharge on the cellpro said 99 % & went in balance mode immediately. They make my Makita cordless drill pack look like garbage.

Has any body tried to squeeze these & B&D PVX cells into tool packs ?

Rich
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:04 AM
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Okay, I'm a little dense when it comes to some of this stuff. I see you're using the CBA to discharge, but what are you using for a charger? If the voltage is is 3.4 - 3.6 can one use a regular hacked Astro 109 to charge them?

Home Depot had them on sale today for 14.99 per pack.
Walt
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:20 AM
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AF109 with A123 Ver. chip or LiPoly Ver. with this mod.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...t=602445&pp=15

I would tell you that they can be charged to 4.2 per cell but then another great debate gets started.

What do I use ,well I did use a modified AF109 but loaned it to my son along with Cell Pro 4. I use TP1010c / Cell Pro 10 , Balance Pro HD, Hyperion DUO or a Dan Baldwin Terminator or Terminator II with a Ni charger. Mostly I charge these 1100s at 5A so mostly CP 10 or hyperion DUO set to 5Amps. charge rate.

Charles
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:59 PM
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EDF,
Thanks. By the way I goofed it's Lowes that has the VPX on sale. Going to pick some up today.
My charger is a hacked AF 109 by Big E R/C (now OOB).
Walt
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:26 PM
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FYI

http://www.battlepack.com/A123.asp

carries the K2 Energy Solutions LiFePo cells . The LFP 18650P is the same size as the VPX but is 1250 mAh or 250 more than the VPX will deliver and they are $7ea. but OOS at present.


Big E R/C (now OOB).
Wondered why I had not seen any post of his in months .Sorry to see him go as he was a great vendor to deal with.


Charles
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:35 PM
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My understanding is that Big E had some personal problems and hopes to be back in business soon.

Lowe's is discontinuing the VPX series (I got four packs yesterday) so it's good to know of another source.

Just opened the packs last night. Too tired to do more safely, but am wondering if you can remove the cardboard tubes? There appears to be a yellow plastic jacket underneath.

One more question, there must be other suppliers of balance connectors beside Radical R/C. I went to Fry's, Mouser and Digikey, but didn't know what to ask the searchers.
TIA,
Walt
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:02 PM
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18650 cells (like vpx) not all equal?

Trashed my B&D pack in a crash but had some similar appearing 18650 out of electrical devices. These do not have the current limiter on them (it was on a PCB board as part of the pack).
Made a 4S pack and don't seem to be able to get any more than about 85W out of them and that's for a short while. Then I can hear the motor wavering and slowing down.

So-it appears these cells just don't cut it? I have another set out of a different application and am not sure if I should bother with the work.

FWIW went looking for vpx cells at Lowes and HD yesterday. None (even full price) to be had at local stores.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:33 PM
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18650 is a size designation, not a part number of a cell type. A123 is only one supplier of cells in that size. That number does not even desingate the chemistry.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Al_M View Post
18650 is a size designation, not a part number of a cell type. A123 is only one supplier of cells in that size. That number does not even desingate the chemistry.
That's as I figured. No way to tell anything about these cells if I don't know the origins?

I did scrap the pack in question and built another out of the next set of 'mystery' 18650 cells. This pack works a bit better, BUT only if I overcharge. Draining the pack to 8v and then charging in A123 setting on my Cellpro to 3.6v/cell hardly puts anything back at all the the performance is lacking both in terms of output and time.

So, changed to 'standard' lipo and charged up to 16v at 1C. Battery cool. Put in about 1200mA. Much better performance on a bench test but not up to vpx standards. Gets merely warm on a WOT 10A motor test. Haven't pushed the envelope any harder than that. Thought I'd nibble away at the bench and see what I might learn.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:46 PM
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Did an easy flight test with the 16v charge. Slow stick type craft with a 12A motor used moderately. I'm a little apprehensive at much WOT as I'm only using a TBird 18 and don't want to melt it. Flew fairly normally and didn't seem much different than a 2200 3S. Flew to LVC at 9V.

Charged at 1C/standard lipo on the Cellpro. Then ran a bench test with 4 tail light bulbs and a wattmeter.
16.3v_start > drops to 12.3v_load @ 7.5A/97W. Didn't time it but went like 4 minutes and the bulbs shut down. Pulled out .513aH. 114 degrees.

Substituted a small 12v halogen and left on the same wattmeter.
New start volts 14.6v > 13.4v_load @ 1.8A/27W.
Again, did not time but ran a long time this way for a total of 1.8aH used up. Stopped it at 12v under load, bounced back to 13.2v with the load off.

Now charging again at 1C on the Cellpro.
It told me it was 13.8v and 4% to start. 3.19/3.28/3.32/3.31 cell volts (poor balance I'd guess).
1C seems to be topping out at 1.4A charge rate.
Put back 1.8aH for 16.8v. Barely warm.
Next time I might fly it with the wattmeter attached.

Last edited by flydiver; 08-27-2008 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:00 AM
  #25  
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In the continuing spirit of research the fully charged 4S mystery battery was put on a bench test with a 12A Suppo and Castle PH-25. It cut out within 15 sec. LVC at 9V. Flight test after topping confirmed the same thing. It would fly at 1/2 throttle but would not take full throttle.
Don't think it is Lipo. Have no idea what it is. Certainly is not a good battery for even modest flying.
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