Griping about Batteries, Lost a Prop

The old lead-acid batteries in my workshop aren’t cutting it. I think one cell is shot. The other three are probably good, but they aren’t large enough anyway. With these 4 6-volt sealed cells, I’ve only got 8 amp/hours at 12 volts. And I’m trying to charge a 1.1 and a 1.7 amp/hr pack… At their best, they’d be good for 2 chargings. And it’s just a big pain to keep monitoring my car battery charger –> 12v lead-acid batteries –> peak charger setup. It’s too easy to mess up.Since it’s just 15 minutes to the field, I want to charge my batteries at home. (a reasonable slow charge is 1 hour per battery or longer… times 2 batteries). If the field was 2 hours away, I wouldn’t have this issue, I could just charge in the car… but then I wouldn’t go, would I? I’ve been looking around and the best advice I can find on fast charging vs. slow charging (i.e. 3C charging (20 minutes) vs. C/10 charging (10 hours) is that “fast charging can put more of a strain on your batteries so they’ll wear out faster”. Well, if I’m in no rush, I’m happy to slow charge. But I feel uncomfortable leaving a charger pulling my car battery dry for 10 hours. One day that’ll leave my car battery dead and sulphated. I looked around for a good 12 volt power supply. I could rip one out of a computer… I hear that computer repair stores are a good cheap source. But I lucked out and found a 12 volt, 13 amp supply on eBay for $30, shipping included. That’s way better than the $30 -3- amp supply at Radio Shack. Well, it hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ll tell you how well it works when I get it.

I flew today. Well, not really. I had the Zagi up high at a distance and the prop fell off. I should have remembered that I had knocked the prop off the last time I flew on a rough landing… I had reved the engine -after- I was sliding along the ground and justifiably bumped the prop off. I had just stuck it on and flew again, but I should have fixed it with CA glue or something when I got home.

So, I coasted in, landed the Zagi and looked for the prop. No luck. I really really hate those little canals on the flying field (it’s on a sod farm)!! So I broke out the Firebird. No luck there either. Both control horn-holder-downer-thingies had broken, leaving me with no tail controls. I considered cranking it up and throwing it into the wind anyway. But refrained.

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