New Toys at the Field 🙂

With the advancement of technology in our hobby new items are coming up all of the time.  I thought it would be interesting to see who’s using them at our field and how they like them.
One of the newest toys to show up at the field is the big Carbon Z T28.  We have been having a lot of fun with them so far.  They are very stable (has a gyro) and will land at a walk.  With all of the components being equally matched from plane to plane they make a great plane to fly formation with.  We’ve had as many as 5 in the air flying together!  If you’re interested in one.  Ask any of the guys to check it out.

I’ve been using a new charger.  With more planes going electric and higher voltage and mah batteries required to run them I needed a charger with a higher charge rate.  After looking and considering price/value and revues I decided on the Hobbyking Reaktor Charger.  It will do 2 packs at a time or 4 packs if you charge 2 in parallel.  It will charge at 20amps as well.  So far it is working great.  You just need to be sure and use a power supply which is able to supply enough amps to power it…  Here’s some info from the HobbyKing site.

With 2.4 it is advised to switch away from the 4.8v receiver packs so most have gone to either life for lipo technology.  Advantage of life is you don’t need a regulator, is stable and wont blow up, has a high C output, charges fast and it wont burn out regular servos.  Advantage of lipo is quick charging and high output and with the right servos it is very fast.  That being said I’ve chosen the life or A123 and have been running them for a long time now.  The charging technology is different and can be a little intimidating for someone only familiar with nicad or nimh batteries.  I’ve been using a VERY simple and reasonably cheap solution that i really like and even noticed some of the jets guys using the same setup at Miss Jets.  FMA which I think partnered with revolectrix makes a simple, safe, fast but versatile charger.  I have an earlier version called the cellpro but they’ve updated it now to be the cellpro multi4.  I use 2, 1 set for lipos and 1 set for life batteries.  You simply plug in the battery, walk away and wait for it to beep telling you it’s charged.  It automatically goes into balancing the pack and the end of the charge.  VERY nice and easy!  But it’s much more versatile if you want to take a little time.  Even configurable with your pc PLUS it’s very small!  If you want to check it out, get in touch with me and I’ll show you how easy it is.  Here’s some info from the site

Major Features

Selectable charge rates range 5mA to 4A

Auto charge mode (AUTO 1C, 2C, 3C charge rates available utilizing advanced fuel gauging technology

Backlit Liquid Crystal Display

High Impact ABS Plastic protective enclosure

Multi-Chemistry, supports LiPoly, LiIon, LiFePO4, A123, LiMn, NiCd, NiMH, Pb)

Supports 2-way P.C. Interface (FUIM3) which allows the charger to operate with the free Charge Control Software (CCS)

Initiate charge at the charger or via remote control from the CCS. Graph all major operations when using CCS.

Enhanced Internet Upgradable (IU) Charge Control Software (free download)

IU Firmware support (free for the life of the product)

Open Architecture presets allow for customization of any User Preset including show/hide presets on unit, preset name editing, up to 70 parameters control how presets are displayed and charging parameters associated with particular batteries and/or charging strategies. Unit includes 25 user preset banks pre-loaded for most major battery type/chemistries, plus 50 library presets.

Basic preset parameters (select charger preset and choose current) may be edited at the charger, -or-

Advanced editing of presets may be accomplished using the Charge Control Software

Other Features

Supports native Cellpro brand batteries automatically

Adapters available for all popular R/C battery brands

Intuitive 1 button user interface

Edit, save, and recall presets one at a time to your PC using the CCS

Backup all 25 user programmable presets in the charger to your PC

Share custom presets with your friends

Edit, save, and recall custom fuel tables to improve the accuracy of AUTO charge modes. Custom fuel tables may be generated from 1C manual charge graphs of Li batteries, included with software upgrades over time, and/or shared with friends over the internet.

Alter the individual charger displays to meet your needs. Change the order of any screen or hide screens from displaying. Set each preset to present the information you want the way you want it using the CCS.

Support for non-balanced charge of A123 packs (up to full output voltage of the charger)

Automatic Low voltage restore for recovering damaged or over discharged packs

Programmable options allow speaker ON/OFF or volume, LCD contrast, customized welcome screen, and much more

Cold weather mode reduces end-charge voltage; parameters adjustable by customer including ON/OFF, end-charge voltage offset reduction, and temperature

Support for non-balanced charge of 2s LiPo for small park flyer batteries.

In addition to the unique features listed above, the Cellpro Multi4 charger has all the features found in the FMA Cellpro 4S charger:

Unprecedented Accuracy

Fuel Gauge Readout

Unparalleled Safety

Self Diagnostics

Storage Charge Mode

Safety Charge Mode

Support for long battery extensions

Check out our Gas Engine Tuning page.