Batteries & Chargers Nicads, Nickel Metal Hydride, Lithium, LiPoly, Chargers, Cyclers, etc...

Are nicads history?

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:54 AM
  #1
bignasdy
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Default Are nicads history?

I walk into my LHS yesterday to get a 1000 to 1500 ma nicad rec. pack,and the guy tells me all he carries are NMH....
All my chargers,and feild charger are for nicads....Im not switching years of investment.
Guess I'll have to build my own.
So, what gives?.....nicads thing of the past? Iam a dinosaur...LOL
any input appreciated
d
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:23 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I understand it that Nicds are worse for the environment tha nimh are. They can generally be abused a bit more (over charged, stored longer, higher rate of discharge) compared to Nimh.

More chemistries are available nowadays. Life are better than Nicd for most of the jobs asked of Nicd (receiver power with multiple digital servos).
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Around 5 years ago I bought the last two 6v NiCd packs from my LHS and they only had NiMh's since. I then replaced some of my failing NiCd packs with NiMh but no more MiMh for me as they don't hold up as well as NiCd packs. I moved over to Lipo packs and regulators and now am moving over to A123/LiFe packs as the price for these are less than what you would pay for a new NiMh or NiCd pack.
There are places that still sell NiCd packs but they too are getting pricey SR Battery Packs is one, Radical RC is another and there are more out there.
For me, I've had good luck with Lipos and regulators and also the LiFe packs ,plus with LiFe you don't need a regulator for most receivers&servos.
Now if you don't fly electrics then moving over to Lipo and A123/LiFe would be a jump as you have to get a special charger(low priced ones are under $ 100.00) then you have to get schooled on the proper methods of charging and maintaining them. It's not difficult but it is a bit more involved if you have only been using NiCd. Some folks I know were in the same boat and moved over to the new battery technology and are happy with it while others will keep using NiCds until the last cells have vented !
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:04 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I too have found that NiMh packs don't hold up all that well when compared to Nicads, and being fairly lightweight seems to be their major advantage. I shy away from using regulators and the like as I see them as just something else that could fail and stick to 4.8 volt Nicads for all my ignition needs and now use unregulated A123's for receiver and servo power .

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:53 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

OK, if you do want to stay with Nicds, then http://www.batteriesamerica.com/newpage8.htm
Is a good source. I'm no fan of Nimh for receiver power, since their ability to maintain voltage under load is poor, and the higher capacity you go with Nimh in AA size cells, the worse it gets.
I'm all A123 all the way now, wellll maybe a Nicd for my glow lighter
As far as using a Nicd charger to charge Nimh, as long as they're slow chargers, not peak detecting chargers you can use them for Nimh.
The reasonably priced FMA Cellpro Multi4 charger is a great choice for LiFe/A123 packs, plus is a state of the art charger for Nimh/Nicd's and Lipos.
Best of luck,
Pete
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:28 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

appreciate the input and links! Im definatly gonna try to stick to my old school ways......seems to work best for me.
I have a hobbico multi charger, rates from 50 to 250 mah. I use it for all my rec. packs, and sometimes for the tx. I typicly use 1000mah to 1800 mah rec packs. I do have a couple 600mah 4 cell stock futaba packs,and I use the stock chargers most of the time for those. They only last 1 hour of flight time though...booo hissss...lol
So, I could replace a rec pack, 1000 mah or larger, with something like a 1000 nimh pack , and use my hobbico multi charger? That may be a plan.
Been a couple years since Ive messed with my stuff, or been flyin. Got the ole trusty Tiger sixty out to get my stick fingers back. Rec battery testing underway. I replaced the fuel tank and lines, ran the supertiger 60 a tank of fuel and its ready to roll.
 After I get comfy again,  I'll pull out the pony, and hellcat.
thanks again!
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:59 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Quote:
I have a hobbico multi charger, rates from 50 to 250 mah. I use it for all my rec. packs, and sometimes for the tx.

If that's the 'dumb' charger (non-peak), I have the same one and love it. I use a kitchen timer to prevent overcharging. 

I only have a couple NiMh packs left, and will replace them soon with LiFe. Much less hassle. 
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:55 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

A123's are the way to go. Forget all the hassle and weak characteristics of NiMH-I wont use another one for a RX pack again!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I know nothing about the a123s.....have to do some studying up...
d
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:02 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

A123 packs scare me a bit because there are only 2 cells for a receiver pack. If you loose one cell, you are in big trouble. I do have one in a sport scale plane and it has been very good. Maybe i too am just old school. I can still get NiCds packs without any issue. Any one can PM me if you need some help getting them and the cost is reasonable.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:29 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: bignasdy

I walk into my LHS yesterday to get a 1000 to 1500 ma nicad rec. pack,and the guy tells me all he carries are NMH....
All my chargers,and feild charger are for nicads....Im not switching years of investment.
Guess I'll have to build my own.
So, what gives?.....nicads thing of the past? Iam a dinosaur...LOL
any input appreciated
d
Best place I've found to buy batteries (including NiCad).
http://hangtimes.com/
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:40 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I have been using A123 cell for about 5years. I have found:
1) They have to be balance charged.
2) They do not explode or catch fire if abused.
3) They will hold a charge forever. I made a receiver pack of two cells and left it forgotten in a drawer for three years. I just checked it last night and its still fully charged.
4) They have amazing capability. My motor home battery went dead. I made up a pack of 4 cells and was able to start the MH.
5) If a cell has a charge you are not going to lose it in flight.
6) You can charge them up in 10 minutes if you have a charger that can do it.
7) You dont have to baby them like a LIPO.

The only thing I use Ni-CD's for is ignition. The ignition units are not designed for more than 6V
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

In addition to the vendors mentioned above, Radical RC and Tower Hobbies carry NiCd packs. www.radicalrc.com A 4-cell rx pack is about $12.

The 600 and 700 mAh NiCd packs that use Sanyo cells are excellent in my opinion. Avoid the 1100 mAh packs - they don't last long. The Tower and Radical RC packs use Sanyo cells. I think Hangtimes and Batteries America do also. SR seems way overpriced to me.

The 50 to 70 mA wall wart dumb chargers work great for these packs. Just charge for 14 hours the night before you fly. Peak detect chargers work ok also, but if your charger misses the peak it will ruin the pack.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I just heard on the News that European Jetliner AirBus is changing out their Lithium Batteries on their A350 Jetliner for NiCds, as a result of the uncertaintity with Lithium Battereis on the New Boeing 787 Dreamliners; seems that NiCds are going to be with us for awhile, as a dependable battery technology.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:27 AM
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I wondered why they didn't use A123s ON THE 787 from the beginning. No-brainer IMO.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Okay...so Im testing myold 1800 ma, 5 cell nicad rec pack by JR. 6 volt. Hooked up to an expanded scale volt meter, it lasts exactly two hours till its almost totqly drained. That sount right?
I have flights logged with that pack at 3.5 hours total flight timein a day....kinda confusing.
Im so out of it...LOL
any input on time frame I should be lookin at?
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: eddieC

I wondered why they didn't use A123s ON THE 787 from the beginning. No-brainer IMO.
Yes here you go.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/72P-A123-20a...item3a7ccd87b0
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Quote:
Okay...so Im testing myold 1800 ma, 5 cell nicad rec pack by JR. 6 volt. Hooked up to an expanded scale volt meter, it lasts exactly two hours till its almost totqly drained. That sount right? 
I have flights logged with that pack at 3.5 hours total flight timein a day....kinda confusing.
Im so out of it...LOL
any input on time frame I should be lookin at? 

What kind of load does the ESV place on it?
Do you have a charger/cycler?
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

the esv pulls  a continuous load of 225 to 275 ma.
Im using a hobbico multi charger. 250 ma for 12 to 16 hours. Its a 1800 ma pack.
I have charged it at 100 for 24 hours before...
The battry is supposed to take a fast feild charge as well without damage. 
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I continue to buy nicad packs from Servo City. Never had a problem, but I do keep them on continuous trickle (Ace Digipulse Charger) charge. They work for me. I generally use 1000mah to 1400mah rx packs.
My Hitec tx uses a nimh pack which also is on trickle as mentioned above. No problem there either. Lots of opinions/options floating around these days, but I go with what has worked for me over the years, i.e.,
nicads.[8D]
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:10 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Quote:
Okay...so Im testing myold 1800 ma, 5 cell nicad rec pack by JR. 6 volt. Hooked up to an expanded scale volt meter, it lasts exactly two hours till its almost totqly drained. That sount right? 

That sounds wrong. 275 ma x 2 hours = 550 ma. That's less than 1/3 of your 1800 ma pack capacity. I wouldn't fly it!
You shoul be charging at no less than C10 (10% of capacity, 180 ma in this case) for 14-16 hours. Due to charging losses (pack internal resistance mainly), it takes longer than the 10 hours one would expect. If you can charge at 200-250 ma for 10-12 hours, try that. Your ESV may be out of whack. If you can borrow a Wattmeter, charge the pack with it inline. It gives a more accurate idea of energy in or out. 
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:26 PM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

my charger has 50, 100, and 250 ma selectable charge rates.
I have it on 250 right now. will be ready at 10am...then I'll try it again. I have two esvs...they both read close to the same thing on every pack if checked.
I appreciate the input...never been a math person ....the amp draw makes sense though!
thanks again
d
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: JCOKEEFE

I continue to buy nicad packs from Servo City. Never had a problem, but I do keep them on continuous trickle (Ace Digipulse Charger) charge. They work for me. I generally use 1000mah to 1400mah rx packs.
My Hitec tx uses a nimh pack which also is on trickle as mentioned above. No problem there either. Lots of opinions/options floating around these days, but I go with what has worked for me over the years, i.e.,
nicads.[8D]
I also keep my NiCad and NiMh batteries on trickle charge (C/50) so they are always ready to go. I have done this for years and my packs last at least 5-6 years this way. The chargers I use peak charge the packs and then auto switch to trickle charge or they slow charge (C/10) for 15 hours and then switch to trickle charge. When I get back from flying I plug in the flight and transmitter packs and fully charge them and then keep them on trickle charge. That way they are always ready to go.

Bruce
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:49 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

I ditched the 1800 pack...I disassembled it and the cells were leaking. Funny how they hold a charge for awhile when they are trash. Glad I didnt try it. Thanx for all the thoughts!
d
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:09 AM
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Default RE: Are nicads history?

Quote:
I also keep my NiCad and NiMh batteries on trickle charge (C/50) so they are always ready to go. I have done this for years and my packs last at least 5-6 years this way.

A continuous trickle charge is NOT good. The cells will vent and lose capacity. I lost a very nice scale bird (Swallow) to this practice. I now let my nicad packs set for a couple months during the winter and charge once about mid-winter. 

I believe you mean C5 or C10, as C50 is 50% charge per hour. 
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