I want help on as to set the charger Triton of the Great Planes
to charge packages batteries for receiver (NIMI both 4 and 5 elements).
I try to charge but 450 milliampers on a package from 2500
then the finished charge signals me.
In discharge always 450 give me.
Can you succest me?
The best regards,
ps I have tried with another package batteries.... same history
Fast chargers like the Triton shut down when they sense a peak in the
pack voltage. The first cell to show a peak will cause the charge
current to shut down, so the remaining cells are only partially
charged. The best way to deal with it is to slow charge the pack at
the 0.1 C rate (250 ma for a 2500 mah pack) overnight to bring all the
cells to full charge and so balance the pack. If the charger can't be
set for slow charge (I don't have a Triton), set the battery capacity
selection to 250 mah and continue charging. You may have to restart
it a couple of times if false peaks are again detected, but you won't
harm the battery if charged indefinitely at this rate. When rated
capacity or more has been reached, cycle it a couple times at the
normal fast charge rate.
Definitely good advice from Abel. The Triton has .1A granularity, so I
would suggest .2A (assuming that the pack is a 2500 mAhr pack). The C/10
forming / balancing charge is typically about 16 hours, so at C/12, I would
advise about 19 hours. The Triton includes a safety timer which needs to be
set to handle 19 hours for this low charge rate. (Cutting the safety timer
back to a shorter time for subsequent charges is a very good idea.)
There are a few other points worth mentioning. NiMH has a slightly less
pronounced peak when compared to NiCd battery cells. The Triton battery
type setting should be verified to be NiMH. The peak is even harder to
detect when the charge current is set to less than C/4, so for a 2.5 AHr
NiMH pack, I would suggest setting the Triton to charge at .7A
(HardingEnergy handbook is a reference here).
In all cases, battery capacity needs to be set on the Triton so that it
won't end charge based upon that safety cutoff.
The final item that could be an issue if the above does not fix your problem
is the peak sensitivity setting, however, the default is a good starting
Setting the safety timeout is simple. mash the menu button and spin
the dial until the display reads "Safety Timer". Press the dial to
select the feature and dial in the time you want. If memory serves,
the max value you can plug in is 990 mins. (That's 16.5 hours)
I should have payed closer attention in Radio/Electricity class in school,
because now I need help.
I recently bought a Accu-Cycle Pro Series Elite charger from Tower Hobbies
and I'm having difficulty undestanding Volts/Amps/mAh and charging rates for
a variety of flight packs.
Can anyone suggest a chart or formula for 'safe charging', 'quick charging'
and 'cycling' battery packs?
I have back-up batteries for my transmitter and receiver, but I would like
to charge one set of batteries while flying with the others. This would be a
field 'quick charge'.
FOR SALE: see my motor home on my
NEW & better web-page at:
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I have the Accu-Cycle Elite also and I think once you get used to it you
will like it. There are a lot of variables for all the different battery
types out there. Can you tell us which batteries you are trying to charge.
We need to know if they are NICAD,NIMH or Lipo, what their capacity is and
what the cell count is. With that info we can probably get you started on
the right track. Generally you don't want to charge at more than 1C with C
being the battery's rated capacity. In other words if your battery is rated
at 1320mah you can safely charge it at 1.3amps on the Accu-Cycle which is
the same as 1320 ma. Of course if time permits any battery is better off
charging at a slower rate, in the above example say 600ma or .60 amps on the
Accu-cycle. Lipo's and NIMH types do not need to be cycled as they do not
take on a memory as the NICAD type will. You should cycle your NICAD's
occasionally if you do not regularly discharge them all the way. If you
don't they will slowly take on a memory and lose some of their capacity.
| Definitely good advice from Abel. The Triton has .1A granularity, so I
| would suggest .2A (assuming that the pack is a 2500 mAhr pack). The C/10
| forming / balancing charge is typically about 16 hours, so at C/12, I would
| advise about 19 hours. The Triton includes a safety timer which needs to be
| set to handle 19 hours for this low charge rate. (Cutting the safety timer
| back to a shorter time for subsequent charges is a very good idea.)
The Triton just isn't good for slow charging a battery pack. Sure,
you can turn the safety timer way up, set the peak detection
threshhold (mV/cell) to a very large value and/or set the delay before
peak detection to a large value, but these could *very* easily lead to
the cooking of batteries when you're fast charging a pack later and
forget to turn all these things back to normal. And if you don't do
these things, at slow rates it'll likely shut off before you want it
Sure, the firmware could be changed (by GP, not by the end user) to do
slow charges in a more reasonable way, but since that's not really
what it's designed for, I don't see this happening.
The Hobbico R/C Multi-Charger
for doing formative charges, and it's only $30. The only downside is
that it doesn't have any display at all -- a voltage reading would be
nice, if only to convince you that you haven't hooked up the battery
backwards :) (I guess I could tape a $3 Harbor Freight Tools
multimeter to it, but that's a bit nasty.) And being able to do four
packs independantly is a big plus.
What battery chemistries do you have? (NiMH, NiCd, LiPo...). Also, what
are the voltage ratings and capacity ratings of the packs that you want to
maintain? Based on this information, suggestions of what current would be
considered "fast charge" can be made.
Volts is the unit of measure of electrical potential difference and is
specified on the battery pack based upon then number of individual cells in
series connection (positive of one cell connected to the negative of the
next and so on). Amps is the unit of measurement of the flow of current
(power delivery to the load). Watts is the unit of measurement for power,
like horsepower, which is actually 746 watts, but I digress! Ah (amp hours)
or mAh (milli-amp hours) is the rating of a battery cell or battery pack of
its capacity, C. In a perfect world, a battery pack rated at 600 mAh and
4.8V would deliver 4.8V at 600 mA for 1 hour.
If a battery pack has not been used for a while, or is brand new, it
should be charged at a very low rate (i.e. C/10) for about 16 hours. In the
600 mA NiCd pack example above, this would be 0.06A or so. Once this is
done, a battery pack might need to be discharged and then recharged 3 times
(cycled 3 times) to come up to full capacity. On a charger like yours, it
would be helpful to note how many mAh were take out of the pack on the last
discharge cycle. Many agree that this number should be 80 or 85% minimum to
consider the pack in good health. During the flying season, you may find
that you want to quick charge a battery pack to get in the air quicker. The
maximum charge rate varies depending on what chemistry, capacity, and model
number of the cells, but fast charge is often .5C (~ 2 hour charge), 1C (~ 1
hour charge) or in some cases even faster. Some packs should not be charged
anywhere near this fast.
A good reference with tables and graphs is at:
I'll buy that - and did. Got a Multi-Charger at a swap meet for 15
bucks, and that's what I use to charge radio batteries and to slow
charge E-flight NiCd's and NiMh when all the ports on the Alpha 4 are
in use. NiMh packs seem to go out of balance much sooner than
NiCd's. I slow charge them every tenth cycle or so.
I have FOUR different battery groups from two different radios.
1) 'Sky Pilot' EP which has a 3-channel transmitter, requires (8)
rechargeable batteries. They are inserted in a plastic holder IN SERIES. I
bought (8) DURACELL-AA, 1.2V x 8 = 9.6V NiMH. Each battery is 2500mAh,
Std.Chg. 250mA for 16-hrs.
With the plane was a NiMH 1100mAh 8.4V (7 x 1.2V = 8.4V) These are 2/3A
size batteries. I bought a second receiver back-up pack of the same values.
2) Futaba Radio, used on a 'Big Stik' .40 w/O.S. Four-stroke Eng.
Trans. has a Sanyo pack, NiCd 9.6V 600mAh, chg at 60mA for 15-hrs., Quick
chg. at 180mA for 5-hrs.
The receiver pack is also Sanyo. NiCd 4.8V 600mAh, chg at 60mA for 15-hrs.,
Quick chg. at 180mA for 5-hrs.
All the above rates were printed on the pack or each individual battery.
I've read the Accu-Cycle manual very carefully and I believe I understand
how the charger works. HOWEVER, when I set the rates listed above, the
charger comes back with different results after charging or cycling. It
seems to me the charger is automatically reading the 'TRUE' values of these
batteries and NOT what the manufacturer advertises. Maybe I'm reading the
results wrong, or maybe I need more experience with the charger.
If you have any advise, it would be appreciated.
What flying minutes can I expect from these two radios?
Thanks for your time and help.
Earl Scherzinger AMA 40329
Hi again Earl,
It looks like setup #1 is an electric plane possibly. The transmitter should
be fine for a full day of flying. The other battery possibly powers your
motor and radio equipment through an ESC. If that is the case the life of a
charge on that battery would be dependent on your use of the throttle. If
flying around at half throttle, which is usually possible with those setups,
with an occasional burst of power you could probably expect 8 to 10 mins of
flight time. That battery would then have to be recharged at the field if
you wanted to fly it again. I would charge it at the field at around
With setup #2 you should be good for a full average day of flying on both
batteries. The transmitters usually have some kind of visual indication of
battery state so you don't have to worry about getting in trouble with them
getting too low on you. For the receiver battery in the gas plane you can
get an item called a Voltwatch which plugs into any channel of your receiver
and monitors the pack for you. Again you will have a visual indication of
your battery condition and will eliminate the guess work of knowing if you
have enough power to fly some more.
Once you get home after flying you can just plug in your batteries,enter the
information you have as far as voltage and capacity and the Accu-cycle will
automatically charge the batteries at a safe rate. The rate it uses is very
conservative and it will take quite awhile for a full charge if the
batteries have been drained low but if you have the time to spare it is much
easier on the batteries. If you are like me you will probably never
discharge them that low so on average it should not take all that long to
recharge even at the lower rates. If for some reason you need to charge
faster you can always tell the charger what current to use. You are right
about the charger showing different values. When you plug in the pack it
will show the voltage of the pack as it starts to charge. It will also show
you the current it is charging at and the mah put into the battery thus far
in the charge. If you are not sure of the condition of the batteries you
have (i.e. if you got them used I would recommend cycling them at the
automatic rates that the Accu-cycle chooses and that way you can see if they
put out their rated capacity and accept it back when recharged. If they are
at or near their rated capacity you can assume that they are still in good
condition. As far as any new batteries go you should cycle these at the
default rates also to condition them. This gives you a much better chance of
getting a long and useful life out of them as opposed to just slamming them
into use and possibly discharging them too low when new which can severely
damage them and shorten their life span.
With NiMh charge rates as low as 200 mAh, the Tritons do quite well on
As with any of the more sophisticated chargers/dischargers, the Triton
programmable. Naturally, the user needs to be familiar with the
various parameters and their options.
No reason at all not to use a Triton for the initial slow break-in
charge on those battery chemistries which need such a break-in.
I've even used my Tritons to break-in NiMh AAA cells. No problem
Then again, with the programmability comes the capacity to blow off
one's big toe . . .
| >The Triton just isn't good for slow charging a battery pack.
| With NiMh charge rates as low as 200 mAh, the Tritons do quite well on
| slow charges.
Actually, it can go down to 100 mAh, which is more than adequate for
most cells. The problem is that unless you turn off some things, it
will not charge your battery for 10+ hours -- it'll shut off long
before that, for a variety of reasons.
And if you do turn off these things, it's very easy to cook your
battery packs later when you do a fast charge and forget to turn them
I did mention all of this, right after I said that the Triton wasn't
good at it. And I stand by my statement.
| No reason at all not to use a Triton for the initial slow break-in
| charge on those battery chemistries which need such a break-in.
I disagree, and already stated my reasons. But as long as you don't
do any fast charges, you'll be fine.
| Then again, with the programmability comes the capacity to blow off
| one's big toe . . .
That's one way to look at it. But the options you need to change to
go from slow charging (ignoring peaks) to fast charging (using peaks)
and vice versa are buried in menus and are very easy to miss, and if
you miss them when going from slow to fast charging ... there goes
your big toe, or your battery pack anyways.
That much is certainly true.
I prefer to set up a NiMh 'profile' which has the parameters needed
for break-in charging of NiCd and NiMh, and use the default Auto
settings for everyday recharging.
The 'downside' for NiMh chemistry is the cell impedance, the
consequence of which is that small NiMh cells/packs don't fare all
that well on fast charge or discharge, and nearly always terminate
early. At least the AA and AAA cells I've run across do that.
I haven't found out how to get the Triton to ignore peaks, and I
wouldn't care to set it that way under any circumstances anyway.
I'm not disagreeing with anything you posted, but I do think the
Triton is one of the best smart chargers/dischargers to come along in
some considerable time. I could wish for a multi-channel version, but
since I have five of the things I can make do.