Good balancing LIPO charger?

I am starting to fly electric again and since Nicads are scarce and expensive, I am going to bite the bullet and change over to LIPO's. I
have heard that they don't catch fire much these days (grin).
Can anybody recommend a good balancing charger for up to 5 cells and 5 Amps or so?
Thanks, BobH
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The iCharger series is great. I have the 106B and love it. (Up to 6 cells and 10amps.) It does just about anything you could ask. I've used mine a lot for over a year now with no troubles. There are other iCharger models with higher cell-count and amp capacity (206B, 306B, 3010B).
http://www.progressiverc.com/index.php/icharger-106b.html
Good flying, desmobob
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There are a large number of charger options. Some are very good and some not so good.
A lot depends on what size packs you will be using. If you are talking small electrics using 2-4 cell packs of 4000 mah or less, then I would strongly recommend the Cellpro 4S or 4S Multi. I have the original Cellpro 4S and I love it. http://www.usastore.revolectrix.com/Products_2/Cellpro-Chargers_2
If you are going to be using larger packs, then the Cellpro Power Lab 8 or 10S would be my recommendation.
Note that not all balancing Lipo batteries use the same balancing plug. These charger have adapters available that will cover the connectors you will find in the market. I have two adapters for my 4S and I can charge anything.
Ed
wrote:

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.. I am going to bite the bullet and change over to LIPO's. I

I think you are right Bob, they don't catch fire much, just once :-)

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On 05/16/2011 10:27 AM, Ed Anderson wrote:

Thanks for the input everybody.
I took a 10 year old Zagi that had a speed 400 can motor in it and replaced it with an EFlite Park 400 brushless DC motor, using the same prop. The original Zagi used 600 mA 9.6V nicad packs. The new setup uses 3S 2100 mA Lipo batteries. The Lipo packs weigh almost the same amount as the nicads. The difference in performance is stunning. It used to take a good toss to hand launch, now it would fly out of your hand if you let it (seems like a bad idea with a pusher prop). It flys for 20+ minutes instead of 8 with the nicads. I am flying it at 2500 feet asl instead of 1200 feet and it still rocks. The only issue right now is motor cooling. I cut the top cover off the motor area to increase the air flow. If this does not do it, I will make an aluminum bracket to hold the motor out in the airflow better.
I used to fly a lot, but work and other things got in the way. 10 years went by with no stick time. Now, after another intercity move, I am trying to get enough stick time to be able to join a local club as a qualified pilot instead of a trainee. This will work fine.
The old Zagis are extremely tough and pretty easy to fly. The one I have is thoroughly ugly, but still flys fine.
Regards, BobH aka WanderingMetalHead
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BobH
I don't know what prop you are using, but if the motor is getting very hot, you may have too much prop on it.
If you are going to start swapping motors around there is an essential tool you need, a wattmeter. Without it you have no idea if your power system is running properly or if you are about to ruin the motor, ESC or the battery pack. This thread discusses wattmeters. I hope you find it helpful.
WATTMETERS - WHO NEEDS THEM

Ed
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Hi Ed, I looked at the article and it makes sense. Before I put the motor in the plane, ran it up on a large bench power supply. It looked like the input current was about 10 amps at 11.5V. The original motor was pulling about 8 amps at 9.6V. The prop is a 5x5. I could probably drop the pitch and keep OK performance, the plane climbs out at about 2/3 throttle just fine.
Thanks, BobH
On 05/30/2011 07:32 AM, Ed Anderson wrote:

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Hi Bob,
I also have an old Zagi (has a carbon arrow spar to remedy the dreaded "Zagi flap" it developed after lots of flight hours) that is just waiting around to be converted to brushless and flown again. What amp rating is your ESC?
Good flying, desmobob
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On 06/03/2011 12:46 AM, Robert Scott wrote:

Hi Bob, I used the 20 Amp speed control that EFlight sells.
I used fiber tape on the underside of the wing when I built it. The guy at the hobby shop recommended it. So far, flexing seems minimal.
Did you spend time in Albuquerque in the late 70s/ early 80's?
Bob
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On 06/03/2011 12:46 AM, Robert Scott wrote:

A couple of comments on the brushless zagi conversion resulting from my morning flying session: The stock Zagi prop is probably not adequate for the extra power from the brushless motor. I shed a blade when I throttled up for a maneuver. It broke right at the root to hub transition.
Cutting away the cover over the motor gets more air on the motor for cooling, but is is still a little marginal.
The stock plastic cradle and wire tie mount is not adequate for the brushless motor. It was barely adequate for the speed 400. In view of the cooling issues and the mounting issues, real changes are going to be done here. The new Zagi outrunner models have an aluminum plate for a motor mount. I am going to fab up a variant of that for the inrunner.
In view of the prop situation, I will try a lower pitch prop from a recognized vendor.
The new motor and battery really makes the old Zagi a better plane! It is much more positive in the air and fun to fly.
BobH
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I'm not sure if you were using a stock Zagi prop but I use a carbon fiber one from Trick. mk
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On 06/07/2011 12:25 AM, MJKolodziej wrote:

The one that came apart was the stock Trick prop. I put an APC 5x3 on it and the current went UP. The current is too high for the motor. I ordered a copy of Motocalc and will play around rather than buying parts until I like it.
BobH
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It seems that converting the old, stock Zagi to brushless might not be worth the trouble. Mine's old and tired and a new version designed for brushless might be a better idea, I guess.
BTW, I've never been to Albequerque....
Good flying, desmobob
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On 06/12/2011 03:22 PM, Robert Scott wrote:

The new motor mount was made of 0.030 aluminum. I cut away the plastic tray about 4" forward of the trailing edge of the wing. The cooling problems are solved, and the motor is securely mounted. The new mount weighs under an ounce.
I am trying to learn more about electric flying and get stick time after a long break. I thought about buying one of the new Zagi's, but until I had flown the present Zagi with a new motor on it, I did not want to spend the money on another Zagi. Having flown the Zagi with a much better motor, I would be willing to spend the money, 'cept I have a flyable plane now.
I knew a guy in Albuquerque that used the nickname "Desmobob", rode a Ducatti Desmo.
Good Luck, BobH
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I admire your sense of fiscal responsibility and wish I could develop some.... ;-)
I ride a Ducati 900SS SP "Desmodue" I bought new 16 years ago. I love her so much I never felt the need to "upgrade" to a newer model.
Good flying, desmobob
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