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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Unlimited Power

There are different kinds of unlimited power, but only the lack of one kind will stop you from flying stone cold.  Even with 6 cells, 50% more than Spektrum's 4 cell NiMH pack, battery life of the Hitec Aurora 9 can be limiting.  For one thing, NiMH cell life is extremely limited in cold weather, but in warm weather I can still knock my Tx battery meter down  to 50%-60% after 2-3 hours of hard flying with the touchscreen light on.

Enter the 6 cell 7.2V 4200 mAh NiMH C cell pack:
NiMH and NiCd C packs can be very affordable, this one about $20
Snip the Tamiya connector off and solder a servo connector on (no touching the high amp bare wires together!) and you're done.  I wrapped mine with heavy duty black shrink tubing for looks, and I notched the plastic battery door at the bottom a bit to let the NiMH pack wires escape the battery housing without stressing the plastic casing or the wires.  No changes are necessary to the NiMH recharger, as the cell count is still 6.   I have no idea how long it lasts, because after a full day of flying its still reading 90%.
Held in place with 2" wide Industrial Strength Velcro.  
The Tx is better balanced, too.
After 2 hours of flying, this power meter won't budge.
Another way to go is to buy a backup battery or two, but then you have to swap to charge two, and the life span together might still be less than a day.  Way better than one, no doubt.  No soldering required on the Tenergy version for Hitec users, as they put a Hitec compatible plug on by default.
This one comes with a Hitec connector and costs about $10.
For 4 cell radios like Spektrum, be sure to buy versions with only 4 cells.
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