Refurbish or Recondition your battery or sticks


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03-16-2016, 02:35 PM

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S Keith


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Refurbish or Recondition your battery or sticks

First… Before you consider stick-work, you REALLY need to search the “deep discharge” threads on this forum. Deep discharging and grid charging your pack will give you results equivalent or superior to anything you can do with individual sticks in the vast majority of cases in FAR less time.

Second… Hybrid Battery Repair proved you can go out of business reconditioning sticks. I mean no disrespect. This is unfortunately the reality. It’s not reliable.

Third… if you cycle your sticks and put them back in the pack, then you’ll be lucky to get 3 months out of them. You’ll find yourself doing it again way sooner than you like.

Fourth… if you’re really stubborn, and you insist on it, in the name of all that is holy, please… please… please… do not buy shitty hobby chargers like the Imax B6 or others with 5-10W discharge limitations. Read through the “Alternatives to the Superbrain 989” thread.

Buy any of the Turnigy Reaktor line that is 300W or higher (the 250W lacks the regenerative capability) from Hobbyking along with a deep cycle 12V battery for power/regenerative discharge capacity with a 2-6A 12V charger to keep it topped off.

Again, I’m going to direct you to the pack level “deep discharge” threads as I do not condone one voluntarily setting their head on fire and then putting it out with a hammer (stick work analogy).

Steve

EDIT: While the thread to which I refer has lots of good info, my definition of “DEEP” discharging is anything that discharges the pack to less than 1.0V per cell under LOW current (200-300mA). Unless you’re already familiar with the state of your pack, I don’t recommend just driving your pack down to near 0V. Yes, that can work, but I’ve had it cause substantial fallout from high self-discharge that got WORSE after deep discharging (or wasn’t present before). When I say deep discharging, I’m referring to the progressively deeper discharges following charges. In fact, I prefer it on a timed basis rather than a target voltage basis as described in the links in my sig. The most sensible and effective results are had by a process similar to the Hybrid Automotive documented here:

This is being posted to try and dissuade folks from making stupid mistakes thinking the years old accounts of reconditioning are a good idea.First… Before you consider stick-work, you REALLY need to search the “deep discharge” threads on this forum. Deep discharging and grid charging your pack will give you results equivalent or superior to anything you can do with individual sticks in the vast majority of cases in FAR less time.Second… Hybrid Battery Repair proved you can go out of business reconditioning sticks. I mean no disrespect. This is unfortunately the reality. It’s not reliable.Third… if you cycle your sticks and put them back in the pack, then you’ll be lucky to get 3 months out of them. You’ll find yourself doing it again way sooner than you like.Fourth… if you’re really stubborn, and you insist on it, in the name of all that is holy, please… please… please… do not buy shitty hobby chargers like the Imax B6 or others with 5-10W discharge limitations. Read through the “Alternatives to the Superbrain 989” thread.Buy any of the Turnigy Reaktor line that is 300W or higher (the 250W lacks the regenerative capability) from Hobbyking along with a deep cycle 12V battery for power/regenerative discharge capacity with a 2-6A 12V charger to keep it topped off.Again, I’m going to direct you to the pack level “deep discharge” threads as I do not condone one voluntarily setting their head on fire and then putting it out with a hammer (stick work analogy).SteveEDIT: While the thread to which I refer has lots of good info, my definition of “DEEP” discharging is anything that discharges the pack to less than 1.0V per cell under LOW current (200-300mA). Unless you’re already familiar with the state of your pack, I don’t recommend just driving your pack down to near 0V. Yes, that can work, but I’ve had it cause substantial fallout from high self-discharge that got WORSE after deep discharging (or wasn’t present before). When I say deep discharging, I’m referring to the progressively deeper discharges following charges. In fact, I prefer it on a timed basis rather than a target voltage basis as described in the links in my sig. The most sensible and effective results are had by a process similar to the Hybrid Automotive documented here:
https://hybridautomotive.com/pages/recon
. HA also refers to the discharges as “deep” discharges.

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03-17-2016, 12:55 PM

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galevin


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Steve,

Great post. Ever since I read a post from JIME (and I believe he’s an EE) about his frustrations regarding stick reconditioning, I have avoided wasting my time. Nice to know that grid charging and deep discharging can get you equivalent or superior results.

And with all that said, any Superbrain 989’s for sale? Gave one to a forum member and haven’t slept well since.

Thanks

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03-17-2016, 01:16 PM

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S Keith


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Originally Posted by

Steve,

Great post. Ever since I read a post from JIME (and I believe he’s an EE) about his frustrations regarding stick reconditioning, I have avoided wasting my time. Nice to know that grid charging and deep discharging can get you equivalent or superior results.

And with all that said, any Superbrain 989’s for sale? Gave one to a forum member and haven’t slept well since.

Thanks

Gerald

Jime uses a comprehensive sorting method to identify failing/weak sticks on a cell level with simple pass/fail criteria. Jime omits any efforts to restore capacity by eliminating voltage depression.

The elimination of voltage depression is really the only thing that can be effectively and somewhat permanently corrected in “reconditioning”. I say somewhat permanent because it’s a characteristic of the NiMH chemistry, and there is not permanent fix. IR can be slightly improved and self-discharge is an automatic death sentence unless you’re willing to compensate with occasional grid charges.

Voltage depression is caused by overcharging relative to discharge depth. Operating the sticks in the 20-80% range results in “overcharging” relative to the depth of discharge, i.e., they are never fully discharged. In this case the phase at the terminals transitions to a different state. This altered state has similar capacity, but delivers that capacity at a lower voltage, 0.78V. “burning through” the capacity at this lower voltage “cleans” the terminals. Upon recharging, the proper phase is restored at the terminals and the cell can now deliver its full capacity at the normal potential, 1.2V.

Jime does nothing to address the above. I suspect that if he took good sticks, gently discharged them to 3V @ 0.2A or less (or preferably on a cell by cell basis like with Eli’s stick discharger) and re-tested them, I suspect he would see a notable increase in capacity on the order of >20%.

What I have recommended in another recent thread is an effort to achieve a reasonably permanent fix by testing 37 sticks and matching them on the basis of key operating criteria. If he was only working with his original 20 sticks, there’s no way this would be better than temporary. This is essentially a stick-sorting process customized for the OP’s situation rather than a straight traditional pack/stick reconditioning. The only reconditioning being done is the single deep discharge to eliminate/reduce voltage depression to give the sticks near their highest possible capacity.

Lastly, no. I hoard chargers. I currently have nearly 30 total chargers across all varieties. The 989s occasionally get the dust blown off of them for some hands-free cycle testing for experimental purposes.

Steve

Grid charging/discharging is still a temporary fix as is stick level reconditioning. It’s basically an equally effective, yet much faster, reconditioning method.Jime uses a comprehensive sorting method to identify failing/weak sticks on a cell level with simple pass/fail criteria. Jime omits any efforts to restore capacity by eliminating voltage depression.The elimination of voltage depression is really the only thing that can be effectively and somewhat permanently corrected in “reconditioning”. I say somewhat permanent because it’s a characteristic of the NiMH chemistry, and there is not permanent fix. IR can be slightly improved and self-discharge is an automatic death sentence unless you’re willing to compensate with occasional grid charges.Voltage depression is caused by overcharging relative to discharge depth. Operating the sticks in the 20-80% range results in “overcharging” relative to the depth of discharge, i.e., they are never fully discharged. In this case the phase at the terminals transitions to a different state. This altered state has similar capacity, but delivers that capacity at a lower voltage, 0.78V. “burning through” the capacity at this lower voltage “cleans” the terminals. Upon recharging, the proper phase is restored at the terminals and the cell can now deliver its full capacity at the normal potential, 1.2V.Jime does nothing to address the above. I suspect that if he took good sticks, gently discharged them to 3V @ 0.2A or less (or preferably on a cell by cell basis like with Eli’s stick discharger) and re-tested them, I suspect he would see a notable increase in capacity on the order of >20%.What I have recommended in another recent thread is an effort to achieve a reasonably permanent fix by testing 37 sticks and matching them on the basis of key operating criteria. If he was only working with his original 20 sticks, there’s no way this would be better than temporary. This is essentially a stick-sorting process customized for the OP’s situation rather than a straight traditional pack/stick reconditioning. The only reconditioning being done is the single deep discharge to eliminate/reduce voltage depression to give the sticks near their highest possible capacity.Lastly, no. I hoard chargers. I currently have nearly 30 total chargers across all varieties. The 989s occasionally get the dust blown off of them for some hands-free cycle testing for experimental purposes.Steve

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03-17-2016, 01:35 PM

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Agreed, good post.

I’m not an EE, or electrical anything. For my purposes, grid charging and deep discharging is simple enough for the average owner to accomplish, safely.

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03-17-2016, 01:57 PM

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Willie Williford

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Could someone recommend a good “resting voltage” for a discharge cycle on the IMA pack?

(For us Old Fashioned Folks)

Willie

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03-17-2016, 02:16 PM

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Originally Posted by

Could someone recommend a good “resting voltage” for a discharge cycle on the IMA pack?

(For us Old Fashioned Folks)

Willie

The typical recommendations of 0.8V/cell or 0.5V/cell while using low wattage bulbs and drawing on the order of 200mA of current are good targets. There is nothing significant to be gained by discharging until a low resting voltage is achieved. At that point you are DEEP into the diminishing returns zone.

If you want to talk about a pack that has self-discharged to low voltage, I had great experience with an HCH2 pack that settled to 59V (0.45V/cell) after 2.5 years. That is only a single data point.

The recent “holiday sticks” from Eli showed similar levels. Most were between 0.5 and 0.7V/cell average. Only 1-2 cells per stick on average were over 1.0V. A few have self-discharge issue, but overall, their time spent self-discharging will probably result in months of trouble free operation. They will need periodic grid charging to compensate for an uneven amount of self-discharge but should otherwise perform very well.

Steve

If by resting voltage, you mean discharge until a pack will hold a given reduced voltage, then this is not applicable. NiMH chemistry, once unloaded, has a very strong tendency to return to > 1V/cell even when depleted to extremely low SoC.The typical recommendations of 0.8V/cell or 0.5V/cell while using low wattage bulbs and drawing on the order of 200mA of current are good targets. There is nothing significant to be gained by discharging until a low resting voltage is achieved. At that point you are DEEP into the diminishing returns zone.If you want to talk about a pack that has self-discharged to low voltage, I had great experience with an HCH2 pack that settled to 59V (0.45V/cell) after 2.5 years. That is only a single data point.The recent “holiday sticks” from Eli showed similar levels. Most were between 0.5 and 0.7V/cell average. Only 1-2 cells per stick on average were over 1.0V. A few have self-discharge issue, but overall, their time spent self-discharging will probably result in months of trouble free operation. They will need periodic grid charging to compensate for an uneven amount of self-discharge but should otherwise perform very well.Steve

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03-17-2016, 03:05 PM

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Willie Williford

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Thanks Steve.

In “Non EE language discharge to 60-96 V (read) at 200ma” (IMA PACK)?

Willie

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03-17-2016, 03:14 PM

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Discharge to 60-96V at 200mA max. While pack is above 132V, any reasonable current may be used (e.g., ~1.4A with 200W bulbs in series).

Voltage rising after load is removed is normal, and one should not attempt to get the pack to hold the 60-96V after load is removed.

Correct…. but I feel compelled to tweak a bit…Discharge to 60-96V at 200mA max. While pack is above 132V, any reasonable current may be used (e.g., ~1.4A with 200W bulbs in series).Voltage rising after load is removed is normal, and one should not attempt to get the pack to hold the 60-96V after load is removed.

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03-18-2016, 01:48 AM

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eq1

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Voltage depression is caused by overcharging relative to discharge depth. Operating the sticks in the 20-80% range results in “overcharging” relative to the depth of discharge, i.e., they are never fully discharged….

Oh, also, what are you saying with this stuff and similar?:


“burning through” the capacity at this lower voltage “cleans” the terminals. Upon recharging, the proper phase is restored at the terminals….

What do you mean by ‘at the terminals’ and ‘clean the terminals’?

Where/how did you come up with this idea?? As far as I understand things, this isn’t likely to be the way it works…Oh, also, what are you saying with this stuff and similar?:What do you mean by ‘at the terminals’ and ‘clean the terminals’?

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03-18-2016, 09:54 AM

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