ASK Cubby – 42 Is Always The Answer
OK Cubby, I am having a problem charging the battery that came with my truck. It is a 3000 NIMH and my charger doesn’t want to charge it. It tries, but after a couple minutes it says the charge is over, even though the pack is nowhere near full. Do I throw away the pack or do I need another charger?
Cubby- Well hello there Reggie, thanks for writing in. Your BSRC sticker pack awaits you, all you have to do is email me your snail mail.
Ya know, it sounds like you are suffering from a classic case of “false peaking”. Some of you new school LiPo guys would have never experienced this before, but you old schoolers know what’s up.
So… when charging a NiMH pack, your charger is looking for something. When your charger sees the pack hit a peak voltage, then the voltage starts going back down, it assumes the pack is fully charged. However, this voltage drop can occur early in the charge cycle on a NiMH. Especially if it is being used for the first time, or has not been used in a long time. There are a couple of settings on higher-end chargers that you can use to help eliminate false peaking on NiMH or NiCD packs. You can look for a NiMH lock-out, a feature that will lock-out the charger’s search for that voltage drop for a certain amount of time. You can also increase the voltage drop that the charger is looking for (by increasing the peak sensitivity in mV). When neither of those two work, you can try charging at a very low rate. On your 3000 pack, try charging at 1 amp, or half an amp. Chances are, once you use the pack a few times, it will want to false peak less, but that depends a lot of how new the pack is, etc.
Is nitro completely dead? I am getting back into the hobby after taking a few years off, but now everyone seems to only run electric. What happened to nitro?
Cubby- Yo Ezra, how ya be? Thanks for writing in.
Let me guess. The last time you were in the hobby were the glory years of the Traxxas T-Maxx (around the year 2000)? Just a guess, but back during that era hobby shops had a hard time keeping enough nitro fuel in stock. And it wasn’t just for the T-Maxx guys, it was for 1/10th nitro stadium trucks and 1/8th buggies.
Then came brushless. Then LiPo. In the span of just a couple years our hobby was forever changed. All those frustrated nitro owners, people who were tired of endlessly chasing an engine tune and flame outs, they saw BL/LiPo as an easier way of getting in trigger time. Yes, BL/LiPo has its downsides too, but today’s day and age where easy is always better, they converted.
The wisest man I know in the hobby is always telling me how things come around full circle. Our hobby attempted to do that with small gasoline powered engines a couple years ago, but they just weren’t quite ready for prime time. I do expect that fuel powered engines will come back into vogue at some point, but until they produce engines that require little to no upkeep/tuning (and keep running no matter how poorly you treat them), that time won’t be any time soon.
Do you have a question? Just wanna talk shop? Is it all about you but the world has yet to learn that fact? Shoot me an email- thecubreportrc at gmail dot com.
YOUR Cub Reporter