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keeping lipos warm in winter

Old 01-07-2010, 09:01 PM
  #1  
huntjulien
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Default keeping lipos warm in winter

okay i live in saskatoon, saskatchewan, canada. essentially its snowy and cold during the winter. i have a super cub and still want to fly with my lipos but i hear that the lipos dont handle the cold to well. i want to know if anyone has tried flying lipos im the cold by keeping them warm somehow... does anyone know what i should do??? should i insulate it with foam? use chemical hand warmer? any ideas?
also would love ideas for skis
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:49 PM
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MaxAdventure
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I keep my lipos in my pockets when it's close to freezing temps. I have a few that just can't seem to put out the amps if it's cold so I can't use them for high drain applications like a helicopter. Most show some signs of reduced capacity. I try to cover up cooling holes. Each model is a little different, if the pack gets worked enough to generate heat, they often keep themselves warm enough to work well. Little tiny batteries like my Parkzone Sukhoi are almost useless. I'm only flying down to about 25F. It's warmer 35F-45F often enough in the winters here in CO I don't usually go out much colder. I've read about wrapping them in some foam like RX foam to hold the heat they do generate.

I just threw together some floats for a home brew trainer out of scrap 1" foam board, coated them in packing tape and it's been flying GREAT in the snow! It's only a little bigger than a supercub and I'm sure they'd work great on the supercub too. I glued 1" sq 1/8 ply for mount blocks, added a second set of wire gear in the back. made micro mount straps from old hinges and screwed them in. I'm hoping they work even half as well off the water as they do on snow. The problem with scale size skis is they'll trip up in little hills/holes and a foot print will tip the plane. These floats are about 66% of the fuse length and I can sail across all sorts of bumps and tracks on take off and landing.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:42 PM
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Angler-Hi
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I usually just take some disposable hand warmers, wrap them around one or two li-pos, and shove them down inside a wool sock. I leave them in my truck until I'm ready to use em. On my 3s 2200mah li-pos, they usually work quite well with this method. They stay warm enough to get your plane moving, and like Max said, the heat they generate is usually enough to sustain them. Good luck bud.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:58 PM
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crxmanpat
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I usually keep my lipos in the garage when not flying. The night before I know I'm going out to the field I'll bring them inside. On the way to the field I'll keep them nice and warm with the car heater. When I get to the field I leave my flight box in the car, and only bring a lipo out just before going into the plane.

This seems to work for me.

Pat
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:50 AM
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MaxAdventure
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Originally Posted by Angler-Hi View Post
I usually just take some disposable hand warmers, wrap them around one or two li-pos, and shove them down inside a wool sock.
Originally Posted by crxmanpat View Post
. On the way to the field I'll keep them nice and warm with the car heater.

Pat
no offense guys, but TX and AZ??? What are your winter temps? LOL. I was thinking I've never flown as cold as Saskatoon so maybe my methods aren't enough.

Both are good ideas I want to use, I do try to keep my packs in the car till I'm ready to use them, although I often forget to warm them up the night before!

Last time I flew an RC plane in Mesa, my wheels were melting into the seat of the car!!! Of course I only spent summers there, never the winter.

So, what are your guy's reference temps, out of curiosity? You have to admit it's funny with your sig locations talking about cold weather.....
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:05 AM
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Angler-Hi
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Originally Posted by MaxAdventure View Post
no offense guys, but TX and AZ??? What are your winter temps? LOL. I was thinking I've never flown as cold as Saskatoon so maybe my methods aren't enough.

Both are good ideas I want to use, I do try to keep my packs in the car till I'm ready to use them, although I often forget to warm them up the night before!

Last time I flew an RC plane in Mesa, my wheels were melting into the seat of the car!!! Of course I only spent summers there, never the winter.

So, what are your guy's reference temps, out of curiosity? You have to admit it's funny with your sig locations talking about cold weather.....
Well I live in central Texas...todays temps were in the high 20's. This is one of the warmer mornings we've had so far.
http://www.accuweather.com/us/tx/kil...ay=1&hbhhour=7
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:40 AM
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huntjulien
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well in saskatoon the it can gets realy really cold. the coldest id be flying in though is probly -20 f

sadly it often get as cold as -60f
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:55 AM
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I suffer through 45 in the mornings, and 70 in the afternoon. It's a tough life!

But all kidding aside, it does get below freezing here once in a while. On those days I do what I said above. Should work no matter what the ambient temp outside.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:47 PM
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it's -20C out right now, I'm not going flying! (well, and I should be working.....)
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:21 PM
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For bigger packs that wont fit in my shirt pocket, I use a small six pack cooler and one of those cheap heating pads (about $10 at Walgreens drugs) that you put into the Microwave for about 90 seconds to heat up. Then wrap packs in that and slip it in the cooler. Stays warm for hours!
A buddy of mine uses a old small couch pillow and filled it with rice and does the same thing on a bigger scale. Nukes it for a couple of minutes and his packs and snacks stay warm in a small cooler.....

-5*F today and the windchill is about -24*,,,,,,,Think I'll pass on the real thing and just play with the simulator!!!!!!!

Bob
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:04 PM
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huntjulien
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haha its sooo cold up in saskatoon (although today was warm, but i work) but i cant wait for winter to end i want to fly now!!! why must i suffer?

yeah i think im going to make a little insulation foam container that will how it for flight. i will keep them warm in advance by keeping them in and insulated box with a neck warmer thing filled with dried beans that i can heat up in the micro wave. iv covered the air vents with tape and i am just going to wing it on on of the days which are warmer... warm being -10c
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:38 AM
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I made these little envelopes from the foam that a lot of electronics comes wrapped in. Taped together with what else, hockey tape velcro closure and velcroed to the side of the fuse. They generate enough to keep themselves warm.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:31 AM
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Glacier Girl
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Something I've run into with using the heating pads you toss in the microwave. How they work is by the bean/rice/corn having a high moisture content.

When you heat them up they give off a moist heat. You are best to wrap either the packs or the pad in a towel to contain some of the moisture, as jammed in a nice tight cooler, the moisture will condense on the inside.
Last thing you want is hot wet packs.

Also if you wrap the pad in a towel, when you are done flying, you will have a nice warm towel to warm up your hands and face till the heater in the car warms up.

Nothing like frigid hands and face hitting a warm towel.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:20 AM
  #14  
huntjulien
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Originally Posted by Glacier Girl View Post
Something I've run into with using the heating pads you toss in the microwave. How they work is by the bean/rice/corn having a high moisture content.

When you heat them up they give off a moist heat. You are best to wrap either the packs or the pad in a towel to contain some of the moisture, as jammed in a nice tight cooler, the moisture will condense on the inside.
Last thing you want is hot wet packs.

Also if you wrap the pad in a towel, when you are done flying, you will have a nice warm towel to warm up your hands and face till the heater in the car warms up.

Nothing like frigid hands and face hitting a warm towel.
if i put the warmer in a ziploc freezer bag would it allow the heat to exect while keeping the moisture in to bag?
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:06 AM
  #15  
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i was up in your area huntjulien travelling with the john berry christmas tour in december 08. it certainly does get cold up there, especially for this GA boy. coldest while i was there was about -20 or -25, & i just really can't imagine going out to fly in that. of course i was told it really gets cold in jan. & feb.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:35 PM
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huntjulien
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haha yes it does get very cold up here and to be honest you kind of get used to it. if i let the weather up in saskatchewan run my life i would be super fat from staying inside all day long. i just throw a few extra layers on and thats usually good enough. yeah jan and feb get extremely cold at points and i must say the weather you got wasnt half bad....
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