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Reviving LiPo's

Old 12-09-2013, 02:20 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by edray999 View Post
Nicads and NiMh cells wouldn't have "memory" either if each cell had a balance lead.
Balance leads have nothing to do with it ... an individual NiCD cell could develop it ...

Nigel
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:23 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Yeah
Before retiring at work, we had a circuit breaker control that used a 24 Volt Nicad battery for power. That battery was trickle charged for months on end, only called upon to deliver up to 20 Amps very briefly maybe once or twice a year. That is the worst application you can think of for Nicad batteries.,

We were selling some 600 controls a month with these batteries, for decades. And I only ran across a battery with a memory problem once.
C'mon Denny

The memory effect wasn't from constant full charge - it was from frequent and repeated part discharge and then recharge. The cell would eventually only deliver that part discharge ...

Nigel
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:14 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
C'mon Denny

The memory effect wasn't from constant full charge - it was from frequent and repeated part discharge and then recharge. The cell would eventually only deliver that part discharge ...

Nigel
Hi Nigel
Yeah, I'm well aware of that. But our Nicad suppliers repeatedly warned us against using their Nicad batteries with only trickle charging to maintain battery ampere hours.

We had to design a custom battery charging scheme that varied the actual battery charging rate, depending on ambient temperature, since our controls had to operate from minus 40F to plus 140F, year round.

The charger also had to have a voltage monitor to handle the charging routine when the battery got to minus 40F. And, yes, those batteries were tested 100% at our factory at minus 40F before they were allowed to be sold. Our reject rate often hit 30% or more.


We also had applications where those batteries were partially discharged, and recharged on a regular basis. Never had a problem with memory effect.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:30 PM
  #54  
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Default I've lost my memory

Memory is such an appealing term that it's just fun to type. Memory Memory Memory...
I don't suppose anyone would tolerate the concept that MEMORY may refer to a condition of batteries which have degraded cells due to improper balance.
Actually I believe the term refers, as has been pointed out, to NiCad chemistry in which a cell loses capacity due to not being properly cycled. I'm probably wrong though.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:00 PM
  #55  
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Default One more time

While one cannot county the number of times the memory thing has been addressed it seems that it has to be readdressed from time to time.

Memory in Nickel Cadmium Batteries: Fact or Fiction


by Jon Eager, Technical Marketing Engineer, Gates Energy
Products


Memory is a term that is used to explain a decrease in
capacity that is associated with extended overcharge of a
nickel cadmium battery along with infrequent, shallow
discharges. The term implies that the battery somehow
remembers the depth of discharge and will only provide
that much energy on subsequent cycles. There are several
explanations for reduced runtime, however, which eliminate
the need to use the term "memory" as a scapegoat.

The normal failure mode for a nickel cadmium battery at
the end of its useful service life is a sudden reduction
in capacity. If this occurs in a relatively new battery,
it can be due to several factors. The design of the device
using the battery may have a cutoff voltage which
terminates operation of the device at a point which is too
early in the discharge of the battery. Figure 1 indicates
three possible cutoff voltages and their affect upon the
runtime of the device. The selection of an appropriate
cutoff voltage for the application is critical. Too high
of a cutoff voltage can terminate the discharge too
early. Too low of a cutoff voltage can allow some cells
to be driven into reverse, which may cause some cells to
vent. The vent wil reseal and allow normal operation of
the product, but repeated venting can cause the cell to
lose electrolyte and capacity. If the cutoff voltage is
properly selected, another possible explanation for
reduced runtime is an electrochemical phenomenon termed
"voltage depression".

"Voltage depression" occurs in some designs of nickel
cadmium batteries when the battery is subjected to long
periods of overcharge coupled with infrequent shallow
discharges. The effect is more pronounced at elevated
temperatures. A change takes place in the active
materials of the negative plate, during extended
overcharge at elevated temperatures, which reduces the
voltage during discharge. If this reduced voltage is less
than the cutoff voltage of the device, or too low of a
voltage to provide satisfactory operation, the runtime
will be shorter than required.


Page 1


There are two hypotheses which have been proposed to
explain "voltage depression" in electrochemical terms. The
first theory states that APM (anti polar material) nickel
in the negative sinter electrode, either from nickel
attack or from the cadmium nitrate solutions, alloys with
the cadmium hydroxide to form a material which discharges
at a lower potential. The passivation and dehydration
processes were added to the Gates Energy Products
impregnation process to eliminate this problem. This
hypothesis is also consistent with what happens in the
pressed negative electrode. Nickel hydroxide added to the
pressed negative electrode can lead to "voltage
depression" at higher concentrations. This additive acts
like the APM nickel in the sinter negative electrode
alloying with the cadmium hydroxide and discharging at a
lower potential. It is not seen, however, with the
concentrations that are currently used in the Gates Energy
Products cell designs.

The second hypothesis is based on crystal growth of the
cadmium hydroxide. During extended overcharge, the cadmium
hydroxide forms larger crystals over time. These larger
crystals reduce the effective surface area of the active
material and thus increase the current density and
effective internal resistance, which in turn leads to a
lower cell voltage. Discharging the cell returns this less
active form to its normal condition and the cell will
perform normally on the next discharge. This hypothesis
explains how the term "memory" might have been chosen for
this phenomenon.

When a cell in this condition is partially discharged,
only the discharged materials will be returned to the
normal crystal structure during the subsequent charging
operation. The next discharge will start with a normal
voltage profile because the normal active material will
discharge first at the higher discharge voltage. The
larger crystal size active material will discharge later
in the discharge at a lower voltage (illustrated in figure
2). The cell appears to remember the depth of the previous
discharge, but in fact the user has only converted a
portion of the active materials back to their normal form.
This theory is consistent when applied to the pressed
negative electrode, as well. Crystal growth in the pressed
electrode does not occur in the same fashion as in the
sinter negative electrode, and as a result "voltage
depression" is not seen in the pressed negative cell
designs.


Page 2


Some users of nickel cadmium products advocate a
conditioning process to correct "memory". These processes
usually entail frequent deep discharges to correct the
problem. Unfortunately, frequent deep discharges increase
the risk of cell reversal and can shorten the life of the
battery. Cell reversal can result in venting, loss of
electrolyte and an associated loss of capacity, if the
venting occurs frequently.

The best approach is to understand that "memory" is a myth
- it does not exist in properly designed nickel cadmium
batteries - and that the "conditioning" processes are
unnecessary and can be detrimental to the battery.
Avoiding the real problems of improper cutoff voltage
design or "voltage depression" requires selecting a well
designed rechargeable product using a properly designed
nickel cadmium battery. The Gates Energy Products nickel
cadmium cell is designed to prevent "voltage depression"
and coupled with the proper design of the rechargeable
device will provide optimum performance for the end user.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:27 PM
  #56  
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Very nice Red ... but it does not dispel the 'myth' in fact unwittingly strengthens it ...

How ? Read it and it says repeatedly that "The Gates Energy Products nickel cadmium cell is designed to prevent .... "

Which means they are a) selling their own product on as THE answer .. b) they must have identified the problem to 'modify' their cells accordingly.

Too many other sources of expert opinion support the lessening output of NiCD's whether you call it Memory or Fred Smiths Battery theory - does it really matter ? The fact is something occurs to lessen output .. the average user doesn't care why - he cares about the EFFECT it has on his use.

Nigel
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:43 PM
  #57  
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I shot down solentlife's light bulb battery discharge idea (sorry man) because it's not automatic. The Accucell 6 was my great find because it is, but it is slow. It can source 6 amps (it has an external plug pair for that) but it discharges into itself - which means it will get hot - which is kind of dumb. So its discharge current is really limited.

Are there any chargers which have a 2nd set of plugs for plugging in a load, such as a bank of light bulbs, and move the heat dissipation away from the charge/discharge controller?

Okay, I found the thing posted by Kyleservicetech - thanks- Cellpro Powerlab 8

But they're spendy.

Last edited by edray999; 12-10-2013 at 05:59 PM. Reason: I found it
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:00 PM
  #58  
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West Mountain Radio has a unit but it is kind of pricey and involved. I'm surprised that no company has come up with a cheap workable discharger that will help everyone out. Maybe they figure if they don't come out with something people will just keep doing what they're doing and buy new lipos and replace their burned up chargers.
Are you listening hobby manufacturers!
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:05 PM
  #59  
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There are a number of chargers that can either use an external resistor for additional load or use 'regenerative discharge' (into a battery).

The Powerlabs do it, so do iChargers

But you get what you pay for, so these are more expensive than the likes of the Accucel. Of course these more expensive chargers also have MUCH higher internal discharge rates so you usually dont need an external load. For instance my icharger 4010b will discharge at up to 200W internally, that compares to 5W for an Accucel 6
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:58 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by edray999 View Post
I shot down solentlife's light bulb battery discharge idea (sorry man) because it's not automatic. The Accucell 6 was my great find because it is, but it is slow. It can source 6 amps (it has an external plug pair for that) but it discharges into itself - which means it will get hot - which is kind of dumb. So its discharge current is really limited..........
Ha Ha Ha .... you didn't read my reply then ?

The 6 will discharge at approx. 0.3A ... I know - because it acts exactly same as the B6 .. so a 2200 to approx. 1/2 charge will take 1.1/0.3 = 3.7hrs

My "shot-down" lightbulbs will do the job in 1.1/5 = 13 mins

Where you get 6A from ?? that's CHARGE max ... DISCHARGE is 1A or 5W max ...

Sorry pal ... but I'll be closing the door on my model den much quicker than you for discharging LiPo's ...

And remember as the voltage of your lipos' increased as in 4S etc. - the discharge rate is reduced SERIOUSLY ... I shall still be smiling at over 5A....



Nigel
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:38 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Ha Ha Ha .... you didn't read my reply then ?

The 6 will discharge at approx. 0.3A ... I know - because it acts exactly same as the B6 .. so a 2200 to approx. 1/2 charge will take 1.1/0.3 = 3.7hrs

My "shot-down" lightbulbs will do the job in 1.1/5 = 13 mins

Where you get 6A from ?? that's CHARGE max ... DISCHARGE is 1A or 5W max ...

Sorry pal ... but I'll be closing the door on my model den much quicker than you for discharging LiPo's ...

And remember as the voltage of your lipos' increased as in 4S etc. - the discharge rate is reduced SERIOUSLY ... I shall still be smiling at over 5A....



Nigel
I agree Nigel but why should we the consumer have to build something. Can't the mfg's come up with a reasonable and quick discharger that would be commercially available to the average hobbyist for a reasonable amount?
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:44 PM
  #62  
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My 6A reference was for charge only... And by Slow discharge I meant 5W so from P=IE and for 11.3V that gives about 1/3 amp. You're a genius!
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:45 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by bluzjamer View Post
I agree Nigel but why should we the consumer have to build something. Can't the mfg's come up with a reasonable and quick discharger that would be commercially available to the average hobbyist for a reasonable amount?
There are commercial items to do the job - but I would rather spend such money on a model or radio. None of them are cheap ...

Some of use enjoy the build of tools to satisfy a need. I enjoy building a model from nothing ... buying a RTF or todays ARF is not a fun thing for me - it's just a quickie route to flying. I don't get same kick from cash answers as I do making something.

I had most of the gear ... only had to buy the lamps ... took me all of about 1 - 2hrs max. Another couple of hours to tabulate all findings of LiPo sizes I have ... so in less than one days model activity - I had a working set-up for less than $10 ...

Nigel
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:02 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by bluzjamer View Post
West Mountain Radio has a unit but it is kind of pricey and involved. I'm surprised that no company has come up with a cheap workable discharger that will help everyone out. Maybe they figure if they don't come out with something people will just keep doing what they're doing and buy new lipos and replace their burned up chargers.
Are you listening hobby manufacturers!
Yup
I've got one of the Western Mountain battery units. But, this is much more than a simple battery discharger. It is a full blown battery analyzer, with the price tag to match.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:04 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by edray999 View Post

Okay, I found the thing posted by Kyleservicetech - thanks- Cellpro Powerlab 8

But they're spendy.
Yup, the Cellpro Powerlab 8's are expensive, I've got two of them. But these '8 chargers will handle much of what the Western Mountain Radio system will do, and if you buy the '8 charger, not only do you get a good battery discharge unit, but a top of the line battery charger at the same time.

Note that Cellpro also has a number of less costly chargers. And, check out some of the other brands of quality chargers, methinks they also have the ability to discharge your battery to some specific voltage.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:10 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Red Scholefield View Post
While one cannot county the number of times the memory thing has been addressed it seems that it has to be readdressed from time to time.

Memory in Nickel Cadmium Batteries: Fact or Fiction
Hi Red
Good information. I've also ran into the "Voltage Depression" battery issue in other information sites over the years. Even ran across it once or twice in batteries I'd tested at work.

Question: Do the Nih cells have the same potential "voltage depression" issues? Or is it a non-issue on the Nih cells?
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:13 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Very nice Red ... but it does not dispel the 'myth' in fact unwittingly strengthens it ...

How ? Read it and it says repeatedly that "The Gates Energy Products nickel cadmium cell is designed to prevent .... "

Which means they are a) selling their own product on as THE answer .. b) they must have identified the problem to 'modify' their cells accordingly.

Too many other sources of expert opinion support the lessening output of NiCD's whether you call it Memory or Fred Smiths Battery theory - does it really matter ? The fact is something occurs to lessen output .. the average user doesn't care why - he cares about the EFFECT it has on his use.

Nigel
From what I've read, and from first hand experience once or twice on Nicad batteries we used at work, the issue is more of a "Voltage Depression" type of problem. The batteries I found at work still had the same ampere hour total, but at a few tenths of a volt less per cell. Any equipment that monitors the battery voltage might shut off before the battery is fully discharged, AT that lower voltage. That would look like reduced milliampere hour capacity.

This was a very rare problem, and we used many many thousands of these batteries at work when I was still working in the Service Department. In fact, our factory policy called for our customers replacing the 24 Volt Nicad batteries in their controls every three years. Not doing so for a high voltage circuit breaker could cause far more damage than the battery was worth, if the breaker failed to trip under a primary high voltage fault.

We pretty much found out that when these Nicad batteries showed really reduced ampere hour capacity, it was pretty much shot, and cycling the battery didn't make any difference. I've found the same thing on a number of club members Nih batteries that I've cycled on my Western Mountain Analyzer.

Last edited by kyleservicetech; 12-11-2013 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:30 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by bluzjamer View Post
Maybe they figure if they don't come out with something people will just keep doing what they're doing and buy new lipos and replace their burned up chargers.
Are you listening hobby manufacturers!
Yeah
I built a battery discharger that monitored the voltage of the battery some 15 years ago. This unit can be set to any voltage cut off point desired from a volt or so to 40 Volts DC. The function of each pushbutton is described in the LCD display. The individual key functions change, depending on where you are during setup. Discharge current can be adjusted from zero to a maximum of two Amps, as an electronic load. The unit displays total milliampere hours at the cut off time, where it shuts off the load.

This thing is microcontroller controlled, and is anything but simple inside. It would cost more nowdays to build than that Western Mountain unit. That Western Mountain unit is far far more advanced than this unit.
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Last edited by kyleservicetech; 12-11-2013 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:52 AM
  #69  
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I certainly do not discount the reduced voltage theory - I have various NiCD's and NiMH that display such reduced voltage after charging.

But having spent years with a friend (he went to school with me) who became a senior Lab Tech for Mallory .. who make the batterys that last longer !! He described in 'laymans terms' the build up of crystalline structures in cells ... with NiCD prone to it. Commercial economics dictated that construction was such that it could not be eliminated regardless of factory claims - it can only be reduced. Witness the long text earlier - the guy does not say it's eliminated .. he'd be guilty of fraud if he did.
The net result is that you only receive a part of the charged capability of the cell before its output drops lower than the demand requires. The crystals can be broken up BUT as he said - the damage is already done and recovery is only a temporary matter.

I'm no battery expert and I can only believe him. I found that many NiCD's over time did as he explained - whether for the reason he gave or not - they gave out reduced output ..

I also found as he said - that recovered cells shortly after ended up in the bin !

Sadly I know he left Mallory and I also do not live in UK - so have no idea where he is now ... otherwise I would ask him for an update !!

Nigel
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:56 PM
  #70  
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Default LiPO Charge Voltages

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
That's over 1000mAh dragged out of the lipo ... to approx. 30% level.

We do not know what start level was ... so that is why I say to now charge back up to it cuts off on charger ..

Yes - charge at 2 .. 2.2A ... be kind to the Lipo ... and at that rate - you should get best charge and make sure you use BALANCE charge to get all up equal ...

Resting voltage vs charge state of a good LiPo :

100.00% 4.2
90 4.13
80 4.06
70 3.99
60 3.92
50 3.85
40 3.78
30 3.71
20 3.64
10 3.57
0.00% 3.5

When charging - WATCH the bottom left of screen ... what we need to look for is mAh put back in total ...

Once it's charged up ... use your Model to discharge the pack ... NOT the discharge function of your charger - it's not demanding enough ...
You should have a wattmeter connected so you can keep an eye on the voltage so you do not go below 3.4V under load ... Do not use LVC of ESC.

Record amps / volts at about 30 secs into the run - that is a good point to note ... then watch for time to that 3.4v point.

Let pack rest after and check what resting voltage you have .. compare to above table ...

Charge again and see how many mAh you put back in again ... hopefully you should get some good results .. post all here if unsure.

Good luck ..

Nigel

ps - I'm sure some will not agree with my methods - but it works for me .. !!
Nigel,

Thanks for the charge level vs. voltages of LiPO batteries. You may be the only person who has published this data. You are a thorough individual.

This is really useful for keeping batteries at different "ready" states. "At the ready" as the English say (despicable saying since ready is not a noun, it is an adverb or an adjective ).

Eric
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:41 PM
  #71  
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Tks for compliment - but it's actually on quite a few online sites and others have posted similar ...

My main point is the overall matter of your LiPo's and levels to use and rest at ...

If I've helped you - that's fab ... I'm happy.

Cheers
Nigel
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:08 PM
  #72  
edray999
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Default LiPo Cell Discharge Voltages

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
If you have time ... put it back on the Accucel charger and DISCHARGE it down to 3.7V. See how long it takes. See if one cell drops faster than another ....

Then charge it back up again ... see what mA it puts back. you should see about 1700 - 1800mA put back in.....

Then ... with Wattmeter check with battery connected to its usual model ... run it up and see if it holds up under load ..
I would actually run it at high throttle till pack is well down ... about 3.7 - 3.8V ... or if it's a higher amp draw model - then to about 3.4V ... Stop motor and let it recover to about 3.7V. You should check the time to get there and if a lot shorter than you had before when using the pack in flight - it's goosed ! Save it for bench testing gear or low power models.

There really is no test that will give you the answer you need other than load testing ...

I have a number of 3S 2200 ... 2400 LiPos that are permanently puffed .. 2 are near cylinders ! but in my ASK21 powered glider they are fine ... in my SE5 - they are fine ...
They've been puffed for near 2 years !! And still in use ... Of course I ma careful on charging .. handling ...

Nigel
Hey Nigel old chap!

The Turnigy Accucell 6 manual which I found online states that cut-off voltages for LiPo is 3.0 V min. so I set my discharge parameter to that cut-off point. What are the actual numbers to be used? The cut-off voltage strongly impacts the mAH value recorded for the total charge as measured by the charger. Seems like I remember 3.5 V for the zero (or nul) charge state from your previous table.

Thanks,
Eric

I re-examined the T6 lipo discharge protocol. The discharge voltage is fixed at 3.0V for lipo. Not adjustable. I think the answer to my own question is "don't deep-discharge lipos".

Last edited by edray999; 12-19-2013 at 09:25 PM. Reason: More Info
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