Replies

                • There is an entire spectrum of reported experiences with both gear failure rates and subsequent customer service, including but certainly not limited to Lipo batteries. My drops in the bucket regarding LiPos go back about seven or eight years, and encompass roughly 100  batteries from alleged high-end (MaxAmp, Thunder Power etc.) on "down" to HK's various offerings and then to plain old Brand X.

                  I do not fly extreme 3D or ultra-high load aircraft. I do run some high-draw very fast R/C cars.

                  I never intentionally discharge a LiPo beyond 80% of its capacity, as measured by what the charger puts back in. I never charge at more than 1C, regardless of what the battery manufacturer allows. I never charge without balancing. I never charge until a battery has cooled to ambient temperature. I fly new batteries gently.

                  As a result of these practices (I believe) my LiPos last a long time. Long enough that I haven't really noticed any difference in lifespan between the cheap ones and the expensive ones.

                  I have never had a LiPo fail during use. Or catch on fire without being physically smashed.

                  I have, very rarely, had a balance lead break on a cheaper battery. I have encountered main plugs on cheap batteries that looked sketchy enough to replace, which I do often anyway for form factor consistency.

                  The overall result, for me, is that I now do not buy any "high end" batteries. I'm totally comfortable flying $2K worth of aircraft and camera on Turnigy's, etc.

                  (All of this is not to say that high-priced batteries aren't superior for extreme applications in regard to drawdown tolerance and overall efficiency. But most of us simply don't need that, at triple or more the price. )

                  I do fly a brand-new battery very conservatively, especially if it's in my main quad or a big trad heli. I like to hover over nice soft grass for a few minutes and then land and check the new battery for high temp, puffing, etc.

                  As for out of the box failures, I've only ever had one, on a 3S 3300 Turnigy from Hobby King Hong Kong. It had one dead cell. I plugged one of the little voltmeter cubes into the balance lead, photographed the three cell voltages and sent that along with a nice letter to HK.They replaced the battery with no hassle and without me having to send the dud back to them.

                  There's a mid-priced battery carried by my LHS, "Venom" that I've used that comes with a serious replacement warranty. Also comes with nifty plug adapters. I've been running a few of those but haven't had any failures myself to test the warranty. The LHS reports though that they replace with no hassle (you need to register each battery with them).

                  I would view reports of a high percentage of duds supplied by any established vendor with extreme suspicion. Established vendors cannot tolerate that sort of thing for long, and if it's true at all (remember, you're on the Internet here...) it's probably an anomaly.

                  My advice is to check cell voltages when batteries arrive. Then balance-charge and again check cell voltages. If there is a problem it should show up and you can make your case without the battery having been used.

                  If you are new to the R/C world, learn about batteries (and ESCs). It's surprising how many folks, even some who have been flying for years, haven't bothered to do that. At our local AMA field it is almost always these guys who have "mysterious" electrical problems.

                  One last word in this wall of text. Join the AMA. Aside from the insurance and other benefits, I've noticed that the line "AMA #XXXXXX" under a signature in a letter regarding a problem product seems to generate some respect from vendors who have no way of knowing if you're more or less legitimate.

                  Have fun and fly safely.

                  • 33db, some good points there. Do be cautious when trying to resurrect a over-discharged LiPo, I suggest doing that outdoors on a non-flammable surface as things can get interesting in a hurry. 

                    Numbering or especially writing the date on your batteries is excellent advice, even if you don't get all formal with a log. It will give you a good sense of what's lasting well and what's not.

                    I haven't had any issues keeping my LiPos fully charged. Most makers recommend a 50% charge for long-term storage. Some folks interpret "long term" as weeks, other months, some maybe days. With all the other care I take (detailed in previous post) one might think I would be obsessive about that, but I'm not - for the simple reason that I haven't noticed any degradation, no matter how long the battery is charged and idle.

                    There are several advantages to charging everything fully after getting home from the field. One is that you won't get charged and empty batteries mixed up. Another is if you fly a bunch of different aircraft using different batteries, like I do, there's not always time to charge them all before heading out. Another is that you have an easier time relating any unusual consumption of a particular battery to a particular aircraft, so you can investigate a potential problem and not get a surprise next time out. Anyway it works for me, but everyone should do what's comfortable for them.    

                  • Good to hear, I'm new to this hobby so I have purchased a variety of brands, from Hyperion to E-flites, the only one I ever had an issue with was the Pulse 6600mAh "flat pack" which had a dead cell out of the box, kind of ridiculous considering it was $130 out the door.

                    By the way Pulse never returned my call or email about their warranty.

                    That was when I decided to try the cheaper brands, and I can not see any difference at this time between a $60 Turnigy and that expensive flatpack.

                    I charge at 1C as well, even though the Hyperions state you can charge up to 5C I'm just not in a hurry.

                    I have had 2 batteries go past their low point, one spent the night in a very tall tree with the Blade 350 QX2 beeping and flashing it's LED's.(it was still flashing in the morning but the beep had gone away)

                    The other was most likely my fault due to improper voltage warning settings on a NAZA m v2, it landed it's self, the battery read as a 2s (it was a 3s) but both of those batteries were recovered by charging as a PB at a very low charge setting then charged as lipos and balanced, they both continue to work fine.

                    My suggest is to number your batteries with a felt tipped pen, always check the battery right when you get it, keep an eye on it until it's had a few flights, and don't leave them fully charged for more than a few days, less is better, I charge the night before I go out and use my chargers storage/discharge function when I'm not flying.

  • The Turnigy 3s 5000mah fits very nice in the back and the Iris operates as it should very nicely.

    • Turnigy has a new battery series called Multistar made specifically for multicoptors. They are 10C and thus lighter than most other batteries of the same capacity. I've been using them for a couple of months (in a custom frame), no issues. The 10C is just fine for normal operations, but probably not suited for sustained aerobatics.  

    • That's good to know, currently the Iris+ appears to be shipping with a 3s 5100mAh, it would be nice to have a 3rd party battery to use as well.

  • 3dr specifically states not to use 4s, the increased voltage can damage some components.

    Whether this applies only to the Iris+ or both version is unclear to me.

    • Well, since he asked nine months ago he's probably sent four or five of them up in green smoke ... :=)

      • Or it isn't the Iris+ and can tolerate the difference.

        Iris+ Manual

        • @33db

          The concerns are solely about the gimbal electronics according to  the IRIS+ manual and a 12V sbec takes care of that concern.

          HOWEVER those attempting 4S are advised to use xcoptercalc.ch and note the amp draw with the IRIS+ propellers and 4S prior to attempting.

          Its over the limit of the 4-1 ESC with the IRIS+ propellers.. a smaller  diameter or less in pitch propeller will need to be used to attempt to bring the amp/power equation  in line for 4S if you are the type to experiment and of course you will have to worry about hover level power etc.

                 but its not an absolute no.. its just one should be familiar with a DVM and things like amp draws before proceeding down this path and again NO 4S voltages on the gimbal electronics ,

          12V only(regulated even better)..

                 hzl

          ps 3DR engineer/technician dialogue invited on this subject especially if above not so.. ie other components besides gimbal cant handle 4S?

          pss mine supposed to be here after Oct 7 so will run some tests and post on same either here or christian's blog cloudsurfer.net

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