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Discharging NiCd packs-old school Empty Discharging NiCd packs-old school

Post  roddie Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:48 pm

I built this pack-discharger for Tamiya-style connectors close to 30 years ago.

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Basically a 12VDC load; intended to discharge the pack.. but not drain it completely. I designed my discharger with a 12VDC automotive tungsten lamp socket (#33 lamp) which induces a significant load to a connected pack.. and also a 12VDC audible alarm/beeper to monitor the "state of discharge."

Here it is; discharging a 9.6VDC AAX8 pack this afternoon after running my 1:8 scale RC Snowmobile.

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I connect a pack; the lamp lights.. and the beeper beeps. The lamp is drawing much more current than the beeper. When the lamp dims.. the beeper pulses change.. which alerts me to disconnect the pack.

Here's a useful tip. Save the RED and GREEN plastic "clips" found on some bread-bags.. and clip them on your packs' wiring-harness to easily identify the state of charge of your packs.

Discharging NiCd packs-old school State_10
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Post  davidll1984 Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:18 pm

Cool setup its important To drain nicd batry before charge wil help
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Post  dckrsn Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:58 pm

@roddie wrote:
Here's a useful tip. Save the RED and GREEN plastic "clips" found on some bread-bags.. and clip them on your packs' wiring-harness to easily identify the state of charge of your packs.
Also, Roddie, they're good for guitar picks, if your in a jam.(see what I did there). Cool
But you knew that.
Bob
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Post  944_Jim Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:09 pm

Wait a minute, Roddie. You drop a bomb on us by showing old school technology with respect to old school batteries...
And then only hint at a 1/8 scale sled?

Come on, Brother...show us the goods!Shocked

I'm particularly interested in the mini-track drive system. Huh...
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Post  roddie Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:27 pm

@944_Jim wrote:Wait a minute, Roddie. You drop a bomb on us by showing old school technology with respect to old school batteries...
And then only hint at a 1/8 scale sled?

Come on, Brother...show us the goods!Shocked

I'm particularly interested in the mini-track drive system. Huh...

Hi Jim, The sled I bought several years ago on CLEARANCE at Walmart. They were originally $50.00 and were reduced several times. When they got down to $13.00.. I snagged one.

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I haven't taken it apart to examine the internals.. but in the event it stops working.. I might. There are some very cool RC snowmobile vids on YouTube.

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Post  OhBee Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:41 am

Bummer...it's a Polaris! Always wanted an RC snowmobile. But found that most are useless unless its hardpack. Otherwise its necessary to do costly upgrades. Probably get more use out of it than airplanes in this glaciated tundra environment!
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Post  roddie Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:49 pm

@OhBee wrote:Bummer...it's a Polaris!  Always wanted an RC snowmobile. But found that most are useless unless its hardpack. Otherwise its necessary to do costly upgrades. Probably get more use out of it than airplanes in this glaciated tundra environment!

I was watching youtube vids trying to find a nitro-powered sled..and there "are some"... but most are bigger than 1/8 scale. More like 1/5th.. and having a long-track design. The long-track design is a high-performance/racing-style track. The custom-built "brush-less" sleds are amazing.. but I'm an IC engine purest.
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Post  Cribbs74 Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:18 pm

I bet David could make that thing Nitro powered...
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Post  NEW222 Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:24 pm

Thanks for bringing this up. It brings back memories as I had two of those years ago. The same as yours and I beleive a red and black one.
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Post  OhBee Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:18 pm

Do you even HAVE to discharge a nicad pack ? Totally different chemistry than a lipo. What about NiMh packs? Seems nothing bothers them regardless the charge you leave them at. I fly those in an old brushed RC Mustang I have.
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Post  roddie Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:25 pm

@OhBee wrote:Do you even HAVE to discharge a nicad pack ?  Totally different chemistry than a lipo. What about NiMh packs?  Seems nothing bothers them regardless the charge you leave them at.  I fly those in an old  brushed RC Mustang I have.

Yea.. AFAIK.. if you don't "cycle" a NiCd pack, it will develop what's called "cell-memory".. which dramatically reduces capacity. The NiMh cells apparently don't suffer from this phenomenon.. and can be re-charged from any state-of-charge.. IIRC..

I bought a pair of LiPo packs (7.4V 800mAh 20C) and the correct (balancing) charger for them.. but have not used them yet.

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I bought them for a "Dynam" brushless Flight-Package.. that I had read about a few years ago.. for powering a sm. RC foamie/park-flyer. (some day...)

Discharging NiCd packs-old school Dsc02210
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Post  NEW222 Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:10 pm

Well, that's neat roddie. I like the package. All there. Servos, ESC, motor, all ready to install into a plane. Great idea.
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Post  roddie Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:37 pm

@NEW222 wrote:Well, that's neat roddie. I like the package. All there. Servos, ESC, motor, all ready to install into a plane. Great idea.

Yes Chancey.. I was interested in learning more about Radio Control aircraft at the time.. and was designing/building an appropriate-size Hi-wing trainer. I put a LOT of hours into that project.. which has been on hold.

Back around the time that I bought those electronics.. Tower Hobbies had a special on Great Planes "Electri-fly" ES50 nano-servos. I bought eight of them.

Discharging NiCd packs-old school Es50_e10

It was an IRP.. (Impulsive Roddie Purchase) but not without a good degree of dreaming.. Here's what it is with me; I know that I'll be able to use these things someday. It's a promise that I make to myself. Same with the building-materials. Balsa, hardwood, plywood.. metal-goods. These materials will remain stable indefinitely if stored properly.

I hope to retire; a musician/model-builder. That's a pretty broad-spectrum.. Smile
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