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Frozen LiPos

844 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TailTwister
I really like flying after work (11pm) in the parking lot. With the winter weather already here, will freezing damage my LiPos? If they sit in the truck all night, they will be at atmospheric temperature well before I'm done working. Can I fly them at that temp?

My tx is there too, so perhaps I need to know about NiMh as well.

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I know they put out like nearly no power when cold. We discussed all this not long ago, maybe I can find a link. Guys who fly in cold climates have to put their packs under the heater to even use them.
ive also heard they dont work well cold...but if you can keep them around room temp then go outside that the heat from discharge will keep them warm enough, but that doesnt really help if theyre in your truck :roll:

im building an electric plane i plan on flying this winter, and im thinking about making a little fabric jacket for it or something..haha, we'll see

can you just bring the battery inside with you during work?
I guess in reality I could just leave them both (LiPo and tx batteries) in my jacket pocket.

It's probably best.

Once in flight, is it going to crap out, or would you think it would be OK for the duration of a flight? We are talking like 8 or 10 minutes in a Shocky size plane.
Or better yet...
Put you Lipoly in your pants pocket to keep it warm next to skin, then drop your keys in the pocket with it. That should keep the pack quite warm!! :shock: :D

Joking aside, if you keep the pack in a pocket where it's fairly warm you will be fine. Once it's in the plane and being used the amp draw should keep it warm. If that doesn't do it, or it's really that cold you can wrap it in that foam paper stuff and that will insulate it.
TailTwister said:
I guess in reality I could just leave them both (LiPo and tx batteries) in my jacket pocket.

It's probably best.

Once in flight, is it going to crap out, or would you think it would be OK for the duration of a flight? We are talking like 8 or 10 minutes in a Shocky size plane.
I'm flying my Shocky for 10 minutes just about every morning at about 7 am. I leave my Lipo's in the house until I get ready to leave, and then bring them into work with me instead of leaving them in the truck. So far I've had no problems. Except my hands got cold enough this morning for my fingers to start going numb. Not good.
Well, I figured I'd do a little test. I put the Shocky and the tx in the truck and went to work. The lowest the temp got so far tonight was 29 degrees. That's nowhere near as cold as it's going to get.

After my shift, I went outside to check on them. The tx would not work, so I'm saying that at least the NiMh is a no go in winter. Without a tx, there is no real test for the LiPos. On a no load meter, they show 12.2 volts, which is about all I get from my charger.

So, I'm gonna dump all of the iron filings out of my jacket pocket and carry batteries into work when I want to fly.
I have proof that lipos do not like the cold. The winter has already set in here as well. I fly a lot in the winter but you do have to take some precautions. I take my plane indoors then just step outside to fly. The times are a little shorter but I have done that all the way down to -20F. (Once your fingers freeze it's no more fun :D )

If taking your plane or batteries is not an option you can also use those charcoal hand warmers. On your lunch break put your batteries on a hand warmer and put a small blanket on top of that.
Well, maybe 29 degrees wasn't the problem. Later last night I decided to thaw stuff out, and went to get the NiMh out of the tx, and found a melted on back plate on my tx. I don't know what caused it, but the shrink wrap on the pack was shattered, the tx case itself was melted (welded) shut. Some point between flying the Yak on Friday afternoon and trying to take the pack out late on Friday night the cells had a problem. The 8 cell pack was reading 5.6 volts on the meter, and near room temp.

I replaced the pack, and the tx seems to work, but the old cells are obviously destroyed. Maybe NiMh doesn't like the quick charger? I figured I'd top it off, and ran a charge cycle at a low setting, like 0.2 amps. That is all the way down on this charger. This is a 1200 mah NiMh pack. I guess a few years on the quick charger took it's toll. I have no clue how long it has been since I looked at the pack to have possible realized any sooner that there was a problem.

I guess I'm lucky the thing works at all.

Maybe a 6102 is in my future before the Kat 70. :cry:
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Get both....oh an get a used 8103.
Selling an 8103 Hooks? A replacement case for my tx is about $40. New NiMh (1650 mah) is $36. I can get a 6102 tx from Chief for $169. I need channel 20, BTW.

I talked to Brian at R/C Toys (Tanic) and he said what Chuck said. LiPos will not be damaged from freezing. They will simply not perform anywhere near as expected.

Brian recommended keeping the pack indoors, perhaps in the pocket NOT holding your keys.
No I love my 8103 though....bought it used (6mo old digi trims) for 200 inluded two Jr recievers ( one 8 one 7 channel I believe) , and a aluminum carry case. Case is worth 50 bucks the recievers about 150 so I figure I got the radio free. :D
Sounds like a free tx to me too.

I'll fix my 652, for $80 freakin' bucks, and then try to swing the Kat when they get here. A new tx can come in Spring.

That 6102 is a nice rig.
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