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Thread: Another Light Weight Battery Option

  1. #1
    Crash's Avatar
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    Another Light Weight Battery Option

    Ran across these on a sled forum. http://earthxmotorsports.com/our-batteries/

    The Earth X model ETX36D gives 680 pulse crank amps and 405 cold crank amps like the Odyssey PC680 but weighs almost 13lbs less (16 lbs versus 3.2 lbs)

    It has internal charging circuitry so it does not need a special charger like the Shoria. It works on normal charging equipment.

    Just an FYI for the guys trying to save some weight without too much hassle.

    Take care,

    Crash

  2. #2
    Roger Peterson's Avatar
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    Looks great. If I didn't have my 7 year old ones that still work, would try it. Will give it a try when these quit.

  3. #3
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Thanks Crash. When they ( Li-Po, Li-iron, etc) first came out there were concerns about failure modes, charging issues like you mention, fire concerns etc, but technology is moving so fast these days, issues are rapidly being resolved and these batteries are becoming a viable option. Saving 10 plus pounds is HUGE. I'm all over that.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  4. #4
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    '....Long Service Life — Up to 4000 charge / discharge cycles (~3-8 years), over 4 times the life of a lead-acid battery..."

    4k of cycles, best I have read anywhere. Soild.
    2018 R44
    IA/A&P, ATP, SES, CFII, MEI, Rotor PPL (2500 TT)
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  5. #5
    Scouter's Avatar
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    As always, the bleeding edge of technology is $$$$, looks like $339 on their website

    jim

  6. #6
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
    As always, the bleeding edge of technology is $$$$, looks like $339 on their website

    jim
    Ya, the reason is they're made in the U.S.A. (Colorado). Once they're made in China, we can buy them with our EBT cards at Walmart for a lot less.

    Crash

  7. #7
    spinner2's Avatar
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    Another Light Weight Battery Option

    I have a very similar battery in my EX from aerolithium.com in Florida. 500 cca and I the weight is the same at just over 3 pounds. So far it is performing fine. Colder weather coming should ring it out soon.


    Sent from my iPhone from the middle of nowhere using Tapatalk
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  8. #8
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Crash,

    Thanks for the link. I sent it to Chris also. He is getting closer to having a flyable xcub. Hopefully you survived the weird weather and are done with building houses and hangars and are back to working on planes.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
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    If you choke at that price, check out the price of a new Gill G 25.

    this looks like it could be a fantastic deal if they really do perform.

    MTV

  10. #10
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    The definition of cycles is always a mystery too. 100%, 75%, 50%, 25% cycles? 4000 at what voltage drop?
    2018 R44
    IA/A&P, ATP, SES, CFII, MEI, Rotor PPL (2500 TT)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXI48e1heuo

  11. #11
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    What's the latest on these? I have heard of the Ballistic and also the EarthX. Which model and capacity for best bang for the buck? How are they doing in the field? Thanks

  12. #12
    WanaBNACub's Avatar
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    Forgive the dumb question, I am new to airplane ownership, but can I put one of these in my 7GCBC without too much hassle, or is it limited to experimentals?

  13. #13
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs66 View Post
    What's the latest on these? I have heard of the Ballistic and also the EarthX. Which model and capacity for best bang for the buck? How are they doing in the field? Thanks
    Looks like the Ballistic needs a special balancing charger ( http://www.ballisticparts.com/produc...er/charger.php ) like the Shoria battery. This would require an occasional "topping up" on the special charger to balance the cells.

    The Earth X has "built in" circuitry that constantly balances the cells and does not require any special charging equipment. Well worth the extra cost in my opinion.

    http://earthxmotorsports.com/our-batteries/

    Also the Earth X EXT36D comes with a couple of add on "cheeks" that make it the same physical width as an Odyssey PC680 (although about 1 1/2" shorter height) so it drops right into a standard under seat mount. The EXT36D has the same output specs as a PC680 where as the Ballistic falls about 25% short of the Pulse amp and Cold Cranking amp output of both the PC680 and EXT36D.

    http://earthxmotorsports.com/product...i-2300/etx36d/

    A while back someone posted the FAA section number regarding installation of "TSO and Non TSO batteries". I think you could install the EXT36D legally under this section without too much hassle.

    Take care,

    Greg
    Last edited by Crash; 02-28-2013 at 11:38 AM.

  14. #14

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    Can anyone comment on the cold-weather performance of these batteries?

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    gpepperd's Avatar
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    I just got off the phone with Reg @ Earth-X batteries. He informed me that April 1st they will have a new generation battery available that will have over discharge protection built into it. This is huge IMHO as that is what killed my Shorai battery.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin

  16. #16
    dougsappllc's Avatar
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    From Ballistic's FAQ sheet:
    Do I need a special charger or can I use a standard automotive based charger?
    No, you do not need a special charger. Any automotive or motorcycle based charger is acceptable to recharge your Ballistic Performance Components Battery as long as it has an automatic shut-off at 14.4V to prevent over charging. If you are using an automatic charge, be sure that it is not used in automatic desulfication mode designed for lead-acid batteries, this can damage the cells.

    I ordered up a pair of the 8 cell batteries for my project, total weight was 3.6 pounds for both batteries.

  17. #17
    gpepperd's Avatar
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    Bear in mind that the Balistic batteries do not have over discharge protection built in. If you bump or leave the master switch on the battery will be toast after it discharges to 6v.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin

  18. #18
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, great info. Doug, for the Ballistic, what about your alternator that keeps pumping 14V to the battery even though it is fully charged? Will that be a problem? The EarthX sounds like they have all the bases covered. Worth waiting for the new battery on April 1. Hope the price doesn't go nuts.

  19. #19
    dougsappllc's Avatar
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    My elect guru says no problem, I have to admit I am personally ohmically challenged, when I find out more I'll post it.

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  21. #21
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    This talk of loosing weight with a battery really appeals to me. Especially shedding, in my case, 11 pounds so easily/relatively cheaply.

    Like everyone, I'm interested in performance, but not at the expense of safety, as is fire. In the research here, I'm satisfied that Lithium Iron batteries are very safe compared to all the problems with Lithium Ion.... The drawbacks on these Lithium Iron batteries sound like their touchiness to overcharge, undercharge, recharging in general and cell balance. From the sounds of it, earthworks have settled all that's bad with an internal circuit board that protects the batteries from these harmful effects.

    So, I made some calls a couple days ago to the tech guys Skytec, my starter manufacturer and to Battery Mfgr Earthworks two days ago to gather some more info.

    Skytec - I wanted to get a feel for how much battery is needed to run their starter. It's the hardest load item and wanted to know min batt. requirements. I said I had a cub with their starter, underseat battery, 0-320, 8.5 pistons, and composite prop. They told me the starter uses most amperage at the switch engagement. And, moving the prop the first 1/4 inch is the hardest. Energizing the permanent magnet to move takes a lot and energy draw drops significantly as the prop is moving faster and faster. And, that sounds just like many piston airplanes that spin better and faster through the start cycle. They said, dead start, at most expect around 300amps. And, it momentarily pulls most everything a battery has to offer. The online literature lists ~185-285A @ 11V, 160 RPM Test. But, I wanted to talk to them to understand it better and they were very helpful. Of note: They have a new 6 pound starter coming out this summer. Same energy draw, but lighter components. Interesting.

    Then, I called Earthworks and talked about the battery and the new gen battery was ready by April 1st as reported. They said all batteries ready, just waiting on the new circuit boards and expecting them to ship by April 15th. And they clarified some technical questions. They say they've been shipping batteries to AK and other for some supercub guys. They do have a marketing arrangement where an aviation company in TX will rebrand their battery for use in experiementals. But, we can buy straight from them. There is really good info on the website, install manual, faq's etc. It's kind of loosely arranged, but I did feel like I learned enough to satisfy my questions. I think it was mentioned prices are not changing with the new generation.

    This battery sits on either face, so you don't have to worry about polarity or which side you need to be positive. If you need positive on the right as I do, turn the battery over, so positive is on the correct side. Some other batteries make you specify as terminals are near the long face.

    I was slightly confused at which battery to use, so I did some further research. In my case, a 2.4# battery, the 12 volt ETX24D looks good to me. I've been using an Odyssey PC625 for 2 yrs and its been good, but, I'm happy to drop the weight. This battery has my amperage requirements allowing for some wiring loss. My PC625 back compared to a Yuasa, then forward compared to Earthworks arrives at the ETX24D at $250. The PC680 guys have said the ETX32 is for them at 3.3# and $340.

    That saves 11 pounds from 13.5 to 2.4.

    Lastly, they asked me to email them to get on the call list for the battery to deliver. So, I'll call back and order when they notify me. They said there should be no delay to ship and not a big backlog.

    I hope to report back with results.


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  22. #22
    SpainCub's Avatar
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    Cool info, I´m still waiting for the graphine capacitors based batteries, same juice, 10K + cycles at under a pound and no risk of fires at all. :P price could be an issues at first.
    At that wight, you could have two in your plane and no suet about wight issues.

  23. #23
    Crash's Avatar
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    If you're flying in the winter (cold), I'd go with the ETX36D. Same cranking amps as a PC680 but 12lbs lighter. Fits in the same mount as the PC680 just shorter.

    The ETX24D has 420 pulse amps and 270 cold cranking amps. Where as the ETX36D has 680 pulse amps and 405 cold cranking amps.

    Just an FYI.


    Greg

  24. #24
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Crash, I think you may be right. More is usually better with Batteries.

    I just got back from Sun N Fun and I attended a seminar on "Lithium starting batteries for aircraft" - their title. Forum given by the owner of "Aero Lithium."

    Anyway, interesting forum, kind of. They could use some work on presentation and delivering info. But, I've been studying the tech, I wanted real world with aircraft. So, that was what interested me.

    When I asked, Andy said for an o-360 sized engine, they recommend 400 cranking amps min. His website lists Carbon Cubs use the 500 cranking amps battery at 5#'s.

    For cold weather, we're all used to lower performance from batteries. Lead acid looses 50% of strength at 0F. Andy thought his batteries lose less than 15-20%

    Interesting, I read this before, but he said the battery warms itself during every start. Say you crank three times. Everytime gets a little faster. So, in winter, throw your landing light on for 10 sec. and the batter will put out more strength.

    It's my strong impression that EarthX has better tech than Aero Lithium. Do your own research.

    Good luck. I'm still thinking ETX24D, but the ETX36D is probably be a better battery for starting Lycomings. I don't have to decide until the new battery is ready this or next week.

    Dang it, I forgot to mention: Andy uses one of those ampmeters that has a large hook on it and continuously finds draws of cranking amps of mid 200's on Lycoming 0-320's and 0-360's
    Last edited by Iflylower; 04-14-2013 at 10:15 PM. Reason: I forgot
    "There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice." Charlie Brown

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    Iflylower's Avatar
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    This was an interesting note from their website on the Boeing Lithium problems.....

    Taken from Aero Lithium's website:

    NOTICE on the Boeing lithium battery situation;

    Many people have asked me what's going on with that.

    Well, 5-6 years ago when the engineers were looking at lithium batteries, all they had to consider were the lithium COBALT chemistry types / variants. LiFepo4 was not mature at that time. Yes, LiCo is lightweight and has a very high energy density, BUT, it is VERY volatile and hard to manage no matter how many safeguards are in place. LiCobalt is very sensitive to charging deviations, under and over current discharge levels and can self destruct for any reason and no reason.

    2nd - the BMS isnt filtering out the AC ripple effect and shutting off any out of balance cells. That's why RC modelers charge these away from the plane and in fireproof bags.

    3rd, the lifespan of this chemistry is only a few hundred cycles anyway till 80% capacity is reached. not good.



    The media is not helping either by labeling this and all other lithium batteries - lithium Ion.. all lithium batteries have and function by ionic action / movement of lithium ions. ( vs PbA which is a chemical reaction between acid and lead plates.) So, using the word ION after lithium is meaningless...." waiter , I'll have a glass of wet water please"....

    Boeing is not accepting any outside help or suggestions / consultation they told me.

    If Boeing keeps trying to fix the current LiCo battery and not switch to LiFepo4 chemistry; The Boeing 787 dreamliner will remain grounded forever.

    I guess they dont know what they dont know.

    update; Improvements made to box " now with less fire"
    "There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice." Charlie Brown

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  26. #26
    180Marty's Avatar
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    NOTICE on the Boeing lithium battery situation;
    If there's any truth in that info, really makes you wonder.

  27. #27
    spinner2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iflylower View Post

    When I asked, Andy said for an o-360 sized engine, they recommend 400 cranking amps min. His website lists Carbon Cubs use the 500 cranking amps battery at 5#'s.

    For cold weather, we're all used to lower performance from batteries. Lead acid looses 50% of strength at 0F. Andy thought his batteries lose less than 15-20%
    I have one of Andy's 500 amp batteries. It is way under 5 pounds too. Without looking it up I remember it being 1.9 pounds. I'm on my fifth battery in my Carbon Cub EX. I've had two lead acid types normally used in motorcycles and this is my third lithium iron. Andy's is the best so far. But I would consider 500 CCA to be the minimum needed. I have 9:1 compression and I checked my cylinders a couple of weeks ago and all were 79/80. So it takes some amps to turn it over.

    Hot starts are easier than cold starts with this battery, which isn't always the case with some engines and battery combinations.

    Andy's case isn't quite as pretty as some but it works.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  28. #28
    SpainCub's Avatar
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    Now you can go even lighter...



    I have one of these on my Pinzgauer, and the cool thing is I can get a full charge even if I use it up entirely in about half hour with a solar panel... (well, enough charge to get me to start the car then get about a full charge there after in roughly a minute or so... I'll post a picture ASAP.... graphe will 14v at 32 amps in less than an 4 lbs!!!
    Last edited by SpainCub; 10-20-2013 at 07:16 AM.

  29. #29

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    Really neat but still more weight loss behind the CG. Perhaps these could be mounted up by the prop somehow?

    One thing in that video, the weekend discharge in the car was more from "keep alive" computer circuits in the car than from the internal discharge in the caps I would bet. I should add I don't actually know if that's true or not but all of my modern cars have drains on them at all times. You wouldn't want to disconnect the battery over the weekend or the car "forgets" how it is used and the automatic transmission takes a while to function most efficiently among other things. A simple aircraft should not have these problems.

    Another observation. In most simple charging solutions the battery is part of the voltage regulation and also absorbs voltage spikes that can damage sensitive electronics. I am not sure how good a job "no battery" can do.? Once a capacitor is full, it's full and won't absorb anything else. It actually would be very susceptible to breakdown from voltage spikes itself and if you have ever seen a cap explode (I have) it's not pretty even at the mf level. I can only imagine what a multi farad cap can do.

    Not raining on the capacitor parade at all, just some random thoughts. This would be a great technology to get twenty five pounds of extra fuel in a LSA style aircraft. Perhaps someone can test to destruction both the caps and the maybe a cheap radio. Perhaps run an old alternator with one open diode in it at high rpm and see what happens. That used to raise hell with electronics in police cars I worked on.

    A side note on his voltmeter observations. The voltmeter does not tell you if you have enough "umph" to start your engine observing with no load like he was. It is a pressure gauge, not a power gauge. Think of a small hole at the bottom of a big dam with a tee fitting with a pressure gauge and a tap hooked to it. The gauge will read a high pressure until you open the tap and then go really low while the water squirts from the tap but that water is only fit to water your garden, not run a turbine. The gauge told you nothing about the power available behind the dam. The gauge would register the same whether there was a lake (big hurky battery) behind the dam or just a hose full of water (penlight cells) going to the top of the dam. Don't be fooled by a voltmeter. The real test he should have made was a voltage comparison (with the ignition disconnected) between the regular battery and the cap bank while cranking the engine over time. That is the correct use of the voltmeter to "load test" the starting system.

    The above said, I will be ordering those to test on some motorcycles I have and wouldn't hesitate to use them if fire safe in my build which will not have any electronics attached to the system. Very cool!

  30. #30
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    The voltmeter does not tell you if you have enough "umph" to start your engine observing with no load like he was.
    Voltage definitely is a measure of the energy stored in a capacitor - i.e. the available umph.

    Unlike a battery, the voltage across a capacitor is directly proportional to the charge it contains. V=Q/C where V is voltage, Q is the charge in coulombs, and C is the capacitance in farads.

    The stored energy is directly proportional to the square of the voltage. The energy stored in the capacitor is given by Energy = (1/2)(C)(V^2).

    On the other hand, as a capacitor discharges under load its voltage decreases linearly with the remaining charge, while a battery will retain close to its voltage at least partway through the discharge. So I'm not sure, but the available cranking energy from a capacitor might be less than from a battery with equal initial stored energies?
    Gordon

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    Technically you are correct and I left out the rising internal resistance of the battery at say ten volts verses the (almost) zero resistance inside the cap. I suppose the cap bank has more power at a lower voltage but it won't last long. I was surprised his car started at ten volts given the increased current requirements of the motor at that voltage. The real measure would be to compare energy densities (weight vs available cranking power power over time). It should be looked up.

    I stand by my stress test of the battery verses cap systems for measuring available power. Is that wrong also?

    "On the other hand, as a capacitor discharges under load its voltage decreases linearly with the remaining charge, while a battery will retain close to its voltage at least partway through the discharge. So I'm not sure, but the available cranking energy from a capacitor might be less than from a battery with equal initial stored energies?"

    Reread your last line. Does not the current requirement of the motor go up with decreasing voltage leading to much faster discharge of the remaining power? Current draw would not remain linear. Right?

    I'm a tech not an engineer (damn math) so admittedly maybe I've missed something.
    Last edited by qsmx440; 10-20-2013 at 02:31 PM.

  32. #32
    SpainCub's Avatar
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    Guys, the issue with capacitors at present time is the area needed to store the energy, it´s not on par with a chemical batteries. How ever this is changing, as materials like graphene make the storage area viable to compete with lithium ion batteries.

    Caps have very little resistance, this is why they can charge in "seconds" vs minutes or hours of batteries, is just that you drain them also just as fast... but that is changing. Ad to that their life cycle, and you see that batteries can be charged in the single thousands range, while capacitors can cycle even close to a million times... and there is not chemical reaction.

    Have a "look see" and play with them, you will be amazed at how fast they can be charged with a solar cell...
    According to a Rice paper... (don't find the link now) a "D" sized battery in the future could start a car up to ten time... or run your laptop for about two weeks.... crazy cool stuff, and they work up to -50ºC as per their tests....

  33. #33

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    Spaincub the last training I had on caps was 50 years ago and at that time even a one farad capacitor was dismissed as something that would fill a small room so it wasn't explored as such. These are very exciting to say the least. Any idea of energy density per size and weight? How it compares to flooded cell battery. Are these new caps with the graphene immune to punch through breakdown from spikes and such? These come from Digikey?

  34. #34
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    I will have a experimental cub and I was looking at the EarthX battery.

    Cub equipment:
    no starter, no lights, B&C 8amp alternator
    few electrical instrument, GPS, IpadMini or similar,
    1.2amp electrical trim, small remote intercom
    12v power outlet

    I was looking for a small and light battery to fit my setup

    Do you think this battery is ok for me??



    EarthX ETX6A Battery

    Specification


    Voltage: 12 V
    EqAh (lead-acid equivalent): 6
    Pulse Crank Amps (PCA): 140A
    Cold Crank Amps (CCA): 80A
    Maximum Charge Voltage: 15 V
    Max Charge Amps: 5A
    Weight: .9 lb (.4Kg)
    Dimensions: 4.5in (L) x 2.6in (W) x 3.7in (H)113mm(L)x66mm(W)x95mm(H)
    Environmental (water resistance): IP 66 (water wash down)
    Terminal Polarity: Universal

  35. #35

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    Absolutely

  36. #36

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    While batteries are a recent post, Has anyone tried one of these in automotive or aircraft and could they be used as the main battery in an exp cub? Due to size and weight they might be useful for a dead battery with light speed or e-mags ignition, tell me what you think.

  37. #37

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    I just bought a ETX36D Lithium-Iron battery. At less than four pounds, I figure I will mount in on the engine side of the firewall where it will stay reasonably warm in winter with the Reiff heaters going and an engine cover in place.

    Now I have to consider the implications for W & B of losing the weight of the PC680 which is currently behind the baggage compartment.

    Options that come to mind:

    1) Carry more tools (within reason) and store the toolbox in the aft end of the baggage compartment rather than under the rear seat.

    2) Move the 406 ELT (is now beside the PC680) as far back in the tail as possible (could there be problems with that idea?)

    3) Just use a little ballast right back at the tailwheel. Wouldn't take much and would be the simplest solution.

    Any other thoughts on returning some or all of the balance to the 'plane? I've already installed a lightweight starter and alternator (then added an oil filter adapter, Reiff pre-heat, and another heat muff, so gained back a few of pounds), so I don't think I can lose any significant weight up front.

  38. #38
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    You don't need to worry about keeping that battery warm, they loose very little starting power cold soaked. I have one in my Arctic Cat snow-go, cold soaked at -40F and it cranks right up. Read the product info from EarthX, they even recommend turning on load like headlights when in extreme cold prior to starting. I'm certified so no experience with airplane but the batteries cold soaked performance is amazing IMHO. A cold soaked -40F 600cc snowgo engine is a lot harder to pull over than a Tanis preheated Lycoming.
    =========
    PA-12 fan

  39. #39

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    Okay, that's good to know. Maybe I should put it in the cockpit, under the seat .... or ???

  40. #40
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    Do you think I would be safe installing a little EarthX battery inside the plane on the firewall without any battery box??

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