Tuesday, October 18, 2016

RX & TX Battery Maintenance on the Cheap!

Here's a tip on something I've been doing for 30+ years with great results. Most of us are guilty of charging our airplanes & transmitters for a day of flying, but never making out to the flying site. Our airplanes will sit around a few weeks until one day we have an unscheduled opportunity to go fly, only to find out that our gear isn't ready and waiting...This is especially common on systems where the batteries may be a little older and the batteries don't hold a charge quite like they used to, due to the internal leakage that comes with age of Nicd and NiMH batteries.

There are a number of trickle chargers and such out there to combat this problem, but I found a simple cure that keeps my gear topped off and ready to go very inexpensively. I use the standard chargers that came with my radio systems, in conjunction with a cheapie Christmas tree lighting timer. These timers are often found at Walmart for $3 or so, and can easily handle the very low current requirement of multiple chargers. Connect the chargers to the timer, set the timer to come on for maybe 30 minutes once or twice daily, and forget about it. It's that simple, and I've never had an issue as a result of doing this. Here I have several transmitters and chargers in maintenance mode...

Here's a closer look at the chargers in my workshop, ganged up on a timer. 


All of the airplanes in my ceiling mounted aircraft hangars are wired fr maintenance when hanging in storage. Notice the charger in the upper LH edge of this pic...

Another timer in the garage feeding some of the aircraft in another ceiling hangar. If I want to put a solid overnight charge on, all I have to do is flip the switch on the timer to the "manual on" mode. 

A Hangar 9 Twist and a Spoiler ARF hanging in storage while in maintenance mode. 

Another timer for a different batch of aircraft. It doesn't matter what the time on the timer is set to, nor what time I have it come on for 30 minutes... Very simple!

Dave AMA119484