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View Full Version : Need the best batteries, charger, discharger, and power supply


mdowney
2010.11.21, 04:06 PM
I need to order a bunch of battery/charger setups for a big Mini-Z event that my company is doing. I have the ability to order the best equipment so I'd love to get your recommendations.

Please suggest the best items to pick up. I'm just getting into Mini-Z myself so I need to know about every little cable and adapter that I'll need.

Thanks in advance!

mleemor60
2010.11.21, 04:36 PM
In my opinion from a standpoint of simplicity of use and value for the dollar you will not be able to beat the LaCrosse B-9009 system. They have the ability to charge, discharge, cycle and refresh. They come with a set of useable entry level batteries as well as a set of double "A"s. For entry level I really don't think you can beat them. Especially for what you have outlined. For a separate discharger I would select the Atomic discharge unit as it has the highest discharge capabilities of any of the stand alone units and at perhaps the lowest price point. Both products come with very acceptable storage containers as well.

For batteries I think I would choose either the Orion 900's or the newer Peak900's. Neither of these is the latest newest hottest batteries of the month but again for what you have outlined will be way more than adequate and provide power and runtime at or above the capabilities of all but the top 20% of racers World wide and are available from most suppliers of Z parts across the country beginning of course with Tiny RC.com. The chargers are available from Amazon as the manufacturer does not sell directly to the public.

Both of the products mentioned come with everything necessary to do what you want to do at very close to a professional level. As they say "there is nothing else to buy"

There are bigger better bits available but for bang for the buck I don't think anyone would disagree with these choices for your application.

blt456
2010.11.21, 04:48 PM
http://www.all-battery.com/aaa1000mahtenergyhighcapacitynimhrechargeablebatte ry.aspx
http://www.all-battery.com/t-6988ic-controlled10channelsni-mhandni-cdsmartbatterycharger.aspx

Since you won't need "racing" batteries for this event you can use these. My track owner uses these in rentals and they last a long time with the stock motors. I wouldn't recommend anything with more power such as Orion, R1WURKS or Peak batteries because chances are more parts will be broken...

As for yourself, I use r1 wurks 750mah batteries for over a year, and they are still better than my brand new Peak and TRP 900 batteries. They make 750mah and 990 mah batteries (990 are also very good). The r1 batteries have a lot of power and punch, which is good for stock. I use the maha c9000 charger, it's perfect for mini-z racing because it can charge up to 2 amps (I think most people don't really charge higher than that) and tells you the voltage, mah and how long each battery has been charging for. :)

For your own car, parts I would get as a starter are a kyosho mr03, ko propo radio, module, tires, bearings, bodies (nsx, 350z, ferrari f430..), batteries and chargers. These will get you started and then you can later buy things like ball differentials, motor mounts, faster motors, front suspension parts etc...

EMU
2010.11.21, 04:54 PM
I have had great results with the chargers that Mike suggests. I like them a lot, and they are very reasonably priced. I had a mishap with mine, and plugged the wrong power adapters in them (12v instead of 3.7v), otherwise I would still be using them today. I recommend charging at 700mA with them, they offer a very aggressive charge for their charge rate, and start to overheat when charged at 1000mA.

I have used many chargers and batteries. I feel that there is a different purpose for many of the different chargers, but the best overall would be the Lacrosse BC-9009, or the Maha Powerex MH-C9000, with my preference going to the Lacrosse. They charge each cell individually, which makes it much easier to manage your cells since you do not have to discharge the cells in order to charge them as a pack.

As far as dischargers, I like the Novak Smart Tray. Its designed for larger battery packs, but works well for AAA with a little bend of the tabs. It will discharge at 3A, which is good to train the batteries to release their power quickly. This needs a power source to operate. For a discharger that does not need a power source, I like the ATM.

In this hobby, many people think that just because something is more expensive, that it must be better. Most of the time it is wrong.

As far as batteries, it really depends what you are looking to use them for. Team Scream 900 and Orion 900 are a great overall battery for any motor/class. ATM 800 and TRP 900 have good top end power, but have less low end punch. R1Wurks 990 have good low end power, but less top end speed. All of these cells are consistant from pack to pack. You may get an occasional dead cell in some packs, so always buy a couple extra sets of cells.

The ATM 800 cells I have been using recently, out of 15 packs, I have yet to get a dead cell out of the package. I did abuse one pack to see how much damage they can take and charge them at 7.5A, and they still work :eek: In normal operation, I try to stay below 1A charge rates.

bermbuster
2010.11.21, 05:33 PM
I need to order a bunch of battery/charger setups for a big Mini-Z event that my company is doing. I have the ability to order the best equipment so I'd love to get your recommendations.

Please suggest the best items to pick up. I'm just getting into Mini-Z myself so I need to know about every little cable and adapter that I'll need.

Thanks in advance!

I posted on RC Tech about your event and you need to be top shelf....
I would get for each racer DC power supply (5 amp pyramid) DC charger (Duratrax Ice)PN charging tray PN discharging tray PN motor break in stand.

You can get custom graphics (skins) for the above items to indidualize teams.....
Your looking at about $300-$350 per set up....

The reason i say Ice charger it will charge/ discharge has a motor break in mode and it can power a tire truer.....(another $250)

imxlr8ed
2010.11.22, 07:14 AM
What event?... just curious.

mdowney
2010.11.22, 07:04 PM
Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I explained the event in a thread on RC Tech (http://www.rctech.net/forum/micro-mini-scales/452207-setting-up-track-conference-what-scale-kit-should-i-run.html) before it occured to me that this would probably be a better forum to get advice.

I'll go ahead and expand since you guys are probably a bit more interested in the idea:

I work at Microsoft and we are holding a web developer conference next April called Microsoft MIX (http://live.visitmix.com). We usually get several thousand attendees. I'm one of the conference Chairs and I thought it would be fun to set up a track for attendees to race RC cars (one of my passions). Being Microsoft we can't do anything without geeking it out as much as possible so I have someone on my team writing a .NET application that will collect sensor data in each car (and via sensors throughout the track) and broadcast it live via a web service. We will then have a contest to have attendees create mashups with the data (mostly data visualizers). Aside from standard racing we are also going to rig up a few cars with Netduino (commercial .NET version of Arduino) boards that will allow attendees to drive them with their Windows Phone 7 devices (with on-screen video similar to the Parot AR Drone). For those cars we may need to use something a bit larger since space is tight in the Mini-Z.

We have other geeky plans as well. :)

I contacted Kyosho America and they were more than excited to sponsor the event and help us out. We're going to publicly document the whole project and allow them to use it for PR. We're also going to invite the various RC mags and gadget blogs to come check it out. Our hope is that we can create a blueprint for other businesses to use and perhaps spark a nationwide (WW?) Mini-Z craze. I could see other companies wanting to do something just like this - and the investment is quite low.

We're open to getting other vendors involved as well, if it makes sense. Kyosho would be the main partner though.

The reason I'm asking for recommendations on the best equipment to buy is because everything we pick up will come back to our campus and will be used for an employee racing club. Since I have the funds to pick up the equipment now I want to buy things that we will want to use for racing later. Also, we intend to publish a lot of info about our racing club in case others want to try to get something similar started at their companies or local communities.

We're currently planning to build a custom track similar to the Route 241 track at Kyosho America's HQ. I'm also ordering a bunch of RCP track as a back up - and I expect it will be more storage-friendly back on campus. I'm not sure what we'll end up using in Vegas but the current plan is for the custom track.

I think that covers it. :)

herman
2010.11.22, 08:43 PM
mdowney... welcome to the forums....
and wow.... pretty cool plan... sounds like a pretty cool event... :D

as for me... i'm not that competitive so i just use anything that's available...
i've tried some chargers that you basically buy from any store that carries chargers,
haven't gotten around to getting a high end charger... i've settled on the maha mh-c 9000
and am quite happy with it...

herman
2010.11.23, 12:01 AM
hey emu what's the difference between the lacrosse bc-900 and bc-9009?
are there any added features on the 9009?

rensuchan
2010.11.23, 12:21 AM
http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/power.php

There's no difference but the color, I saw this on another thread the other day too but I can't remember where and I'm too lazy to search again =P

mini-z
2010.11.23, 06:59 AM
As for yourself, I use r1 wurks 750mah batteries for over a year, and they are still better than my brand new Peak and TRP 900 batteries. They make 750mah and 990 mah batteries (990 are also very good). The r1 batteries have a lot of power and punch, which is good for stock. I use the maha c9000 charger, it's perfect for mini-z racing because it can charge up to 2 amps (I think most people don't really charge higher than that) and tells you the voltage, mah and how long each battery has been charging for. :)

For your own car, parts I would get as a starter are a kyosho mr03, ko propo radio, module, tires, bearings, bodies (nsx, 350z, ferrari f430..), batteries and chargers. These will get you started and then you can later buy things like ball differentials, motor mounts, faster motors, front suspension parts etc...

blt, FYI R1Wurks 990s are actually 900mAh despite the name. Agreed RE C9000 - absolutely the way to go - we should be restocking these shortly btw. :)

mini-z
2010.11.23, 07:28 AM
Hi Mike - I just finished reading your thread on rctech, and I could not possibly be more excited about this idea/event! :D First, welcome to the forums! Second, let me introduce myself: I am the owner of Mini-ZRacer.com and the Tiny RC network of communities, as well as shop.tinyrc.com (http://shop.tinyrc.com/home.php), which supports them all and allows us to do what we do. But this event also seems to tie in many other facets of my life, i.e. .NET web development, Windows Phone (I've owned and developed for CE devices since 1.0 - in fact, I'm still rocking an AutoPC! :D), and, so excited that you mentioned Netduino - I'm working on various microcontroller projects for the Mini-Z right now, some related to what you mentioned even, and after hearing about the new Netduino Mini on Hanselminutes the other day, I've been gagging to try cramming a Mini-Z full of Micro Framework...! :D In fact, add your avatar and I think you've covered all of my passions! :D

The other main point I wanted to hit on is that we've already got a "blueprint" as you described it that we're happy to share with you. We race every other week at our Dojo (http://mini-zdojo.com), but have done a number of larger events, e.g. Maker Faire Detroit (http://shop.tinyrc.com/pages.php?pageid=3). Moreover, we specialize in setting up companies, clubs, etc. with everything that they need to race and support Mini-Zs. We've done projects all over the world, including the UK, Venezuela, the Netherlands - and of course the US, where we've worked with e.g. Paramount on Team America and Disney on a special Enchanted premiere tie-in. With Mini-ZRacer.com's 10th anniversary coming up in a few weeks, we've been doing this longer than most of the other players, including our pals Kyosho of America (who we have a great relationship with, so, let me know if you run into any issues with your sponsorship etc.)! :p

I will email you my cell #, as I am really excited to talk to you about this if possible. I've got a lot more that I'd like to share, but figured we could save ourselves some typing and get you up to speed ASAP. Thanks! :)

herman
2010.11.23, 09:21 PM
well there you go... you got the mr mini-z on board... what more can you ask for in terms of support? :D

mdowney
2010.12.09, 07:00 PM
Ok guys - we held our first Mini-Z event last night. We set up the HFAY large track layout for December but forgot to bring the lap timing system so we ended up practicing and having fun all night.

A few questions now that I've had a chance to run a bunch of laps:

1. We picked up a few of the Maha chargers and I'm not exactly sure how to use them properly. I ran all of our batts through a break-in cycle over the last week for starters. But I'm not sure how to properly charge and discharge. For discharging what rate do I set it at, using Peak 900s? Does it vary based on how much I think I've used them?

2. How should I be charging my batts? I think it just asks me what the capacity is so choosing 900MAh is the right choice? Can I charge them faster? How?

3. The diffs on our US Spec MR03s were really loose out of the box and seemed to loosen pretty quickly after tightening. Is this just normal break-in? How tight do you guys like to keep you diffs?

4. I set the steering curve on my Eurus to -15 and it felt a lot less twitchy. Is that common practice? Any other Tx adjustments worth trying?

5. I found that with same exact chassis, tires, etc the car with the orange McLaren body had a lot less planted rear end than the car with the green DB9 body. Tire wear was probably a factor since this was more noticeable later in the night but do different bodies really make that big of a difference in handling?

6. As an offroad guy I'm used to braking a lot. Do the fast Mini-Z guys use much brake?

Thanks! I'm totally hooked on Mini-Z now. Even talked the wife into letting me set up a big mini 96 track. ;)

arch2b
2010.12.09, 08:14 PM
i have a track in my basement as well:p

http://mini-zracer.com/mini-zgallery/data/511/medium/IMG_1906.JPG

yes, autoscale selection makes a big difference. weight balance at this scale plays a big role in how the car behaves. it may take some experimenting to find a body that suits your driving style;) not that an excuse to pick up more autoscales is a bad thing.

unearthed name
2010.12.09, 09:38 PM
Ok guys - we held our first Mini-Z event last night. We set up the HFAY large track layout for December but forgot to bring the lap timing system so we ended up practicing and having fun all night.

A few questions now that I've had a chance to run a bunch of laps:

1. We picked up a few of the Maha chargers and I'm not exactly sure how to use them properly. I ran all of our batts through a break-in cycle over the last week for starters. But I'm not sure how to properly charge and discharge. For discharging what rate do I set it at, using Peak 900s? Does it vary based on how much I think I've used them?

2. How should I be charging my batts? I think it just asks me what the capacity is so choosing 900MAh is the right choice? Can I charge them faster? How?

3. The diffs on our US Spec MR03s were really loose out of the box and seemed to loosen pretty quickly after tightening. Is this just normal break-in? How tight do you guys like to keep you diffs?

4. I set the steering curve on my Eurus to -15 and it felt a lot less twitchy. Is that common practice? Any other Tx adjustments worth trying?

5. I found that with same exact chassis, tires, etc the car with the orange McLaren body had a lot less planted rear end than the car with the green DB9 body. Tire wear was probably a factor since this was more noticeable later in the night but do different bodies really make that big of a difference in handling?

6. As an offroad guy I'm used to braking a lot. Do the fast Mini-Z guys use much brake?

Thanks! I'm totally hooked on Mini-Z now. Even talked the wife into letting me set up a big mini 96 track. ;)

downey mate, i have an article regarding how to charge your battery. i can share it to you, but since it's in indonesian language i'll try to give the gist.

1. big bang (punch priority)

if you like your car to have huge power and acceleration, you can set your charger to be like this:

mah: higher than recommended. example: if your battery capacity is 1000 mah, you can set your charger to be in the 1 amp - 1.2 amp and set the delta peak of the charger to 10 mv/cell or 40 mv/pack with the maximum at 12 mv/cell or 48 mv/pack

2. screamer (run time priority)

this is if you like your car to have more run time. set your charger to the recommended amperage of the battery. example: 1000 mah capacity battery = 0.8 amp - 1 amp charging set. also set the delta peak to 11 mv/cell

3. extreme speed

this charger setting is for the speed maniac out there. however your battery life will be shortened, and might damage your battery after a short while. use at your own risk

amperage: 1.2-1.5 amp (using 1000mah battery)
delta peak: 11 mv/cell
please make sure the battery will finish charging just before the race starts

cowboysir
2010.12.09, 11:10 PM
The Maha doesnt really have a mv setting so a charge and discharge rate is pretty much Mike needs...

For charging it really all depends on how long you want your cells to last over the long term. I've seen and heard of guys using a 3C charge rate for quality 900mah cells (2.7amp) but you risk venting the cells and their lifespan would be measured in weeks/months instead of years.

I typically pick a 1.5C rate so for 900mAh cells I charge at 1.3amps...good results and decent lifespan.

As for dischargers i'd suggest you pick up a seperate discharge tray from one of the companies that can get you 2.5 to 3 amp discharge...the Maha will not go above 1amp and in the scheme of things it doesnt really match the cells typical discharge froma mini-z usage.

glad to hear you're hooked.;)

mdowney
2010.12.10, 12:04 AM
Thanks everyone. So is there a way to set the Maha to charge at 1.3?

For discharge trays would the PN be the best choice or is there something better?

blt456
2010.12.10, 12:23 AM
Yes, on the Maha C9000 the factory rate is 1 amp when you put a battery in. One button push is 100mah, so the up button 3 times.

mdowney
2010.12.10, 01:03 AM
Ok - so when it says 1000MAh by default I just need to set it to 1300MAh? That's pretty simple.

What should I set it at for discharge? The default is 500MAh.

Thanks!

EMU
2010.12.10, 01:58 AM
Ok - so when it says 1000MAh by default I just need to set it to 1300MAh? That's pretty simple.

What should I set it at for discharge? The default is 500MAh.

Thanks!

I discharge at 1A. 500mA discharge would be deeper, and will usually have slightly higher numbers, but 1A better simulates how the draw would be during a race. I dont recommend discharging and recharging each time you charge, but I like to do it once each week to see if I have any low cells.

Using the MH-C9000 and charging the cells individually reduces the need to discharge to balance the cells before charging as a pack. But checking the batteries capacity is important to know what the battery is capable of putting out, and grouping similar batteries with capacity together mean that they will generally peak together, and dump together, so you wont have a pack that slows down midway through a run.

I do use a Hobby charger to peak the cells after they finish on Powerex. On race day I charger up my cells at the track, and put them in storage bin (plastic bullet box), then when my race is nearing, I charge them as a pack before I hit the track to get them warmed up. They should already be close to balance since they all finished charging on the Powerex already, and are just going to get topped off with a higher peak. The peak on the Powerex is a little lower than hobby chargers, so you can usually get an extra 50-100mah into the pack right before the race and increase the punch a little. Batteries are fastest right off the charger, the voltage is the highest that it will be, and that translates to speed. Also warm cells have resistance, and give a little more punch.

unearthed name
2010.12.10, 04:23 AM
my club either use atomic or muchmore. atomic is preferred since they discharge faster

rajiex
2010.12.10, 06:10 AM
I discharge at 1A. 500mA discharge would be deeper, and will usually have slightly higher numbers, but 1A better simulates how the draw would be during a race. I dont recommend discharging and recharging each time you charge, but I like to do it once each week to see if I have any low cells.

Using the MH-C9000 and charging the cells individually reduces the need to discharge to balance the cells before charging as a pack. But checking the batteries capacity is important to know what the battery is capable of putting out, and grouping similar batteries with capacity together mean that they will generally peak together, and dump together, so you wont have a pack that slows down midway through a run.



EMU, do you charge before discharging again. How do you measure IR on a MAHA for the punch. Group by capacity then voltage.

EMU
2010.12.10, 11:52 AM
When you first put the batteries in, you will see a voltage reading. It will be higher than the actual voltage of the cell. This is when the Maha tests the IR. If it is over 2v, the cell will not be charged, and the screen will read High or Null (I forget which). The lower the first voltage reading, the lower the IR of the cell. You may want to only put one cell in the charger when checking IR. This is not a very accurate measurement, but will get you a ballpark number.

When discharging to see what the capacity is, you want the cells fully charged, otherwise the numbers wont be very accurate and consistent.

Just wanted to let you know, that you can spend a LOT of time matching cells and see very little performance gain. The most important thing is to find the weak cells and get them out of there.

rajiex
2010.12.10, 12:18 PM
Just wanted to let you know, that you can spend a LOT of time matching cells and see very little performance gain. The most important thing is to find the weak cells and get them out of there.

IDK, how do you find out the weak cell?

EMU
2010.12.10, 12:33 PM
In general, higher capacity will give you more speed longer. So I look for capacity. If I had a battery matching machine. it would be more accurate, and there would be more data to go off of... but its just out of the budget right now. In general the capacity will give you the general health of the cell. If the cell started off at 750-850 (most 900 cells will be in this range on the Maha charger), and now are reading a 500 capacity, they would be removed from circulation.

Right now I only use Team Scream Racing and Atomic cells, so it makes it a little easier to sort than using 5 different types of cells. Dont mix different manufacturers cells.

Tjay
2010.12.22, 04:42 PM
Here's what I've been using recently (2 weeks now):

R1 750
Peak 900

750 @1A= punchy but the punch only lasts about 1-2 mins then it's tamed the entire race.

Peak 900 @ 1A= punch same as 750 but it lasts longer. I say at least 3 mins of non-stop racing (just dont stop or crash).

Peak 900 @ 2A= holy $4!T punch! Without leakage... It lasts 3 mins but much faster than charged at 1A.

Other good set that I just tested about 2 hours ago ;), is the atomic 800 charged @ 1A. This battery (I tried two sets btw) lasted a good 10 mins strong! Let's just say, if the fast lap was 9.0 with fresh pack, I was hitting 9.0 whenever it wants to within the 10 mins time frame. That's crazy!

Which one is best? Right now, I'm leaning towards Atomic 800's and then Peak 900's.

Felix2010
2010.12.26, 05:21 PM
Orion900's and PEAK900's are the best batteries right now. They have the best Punch, Runtime,Internal Resistance - Just not the highest voltage (There are only one proprietary batteries (not released publicly) that just blew the rest away in cell voltage contest). Overall, I would buy 4-5 packs, match them in every category a week or two out of a race, then go and run pnly Orion900's/PEAK900's for competition. They will NOT let you down.

I've heard GOOD things about ATOMIC 800's too...Have not tried any yet....

SOryy R1wurks(750's have been ousted from #1):)