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  1. #1
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    Latrax Alias Batteries won't hold a charge

    Hi, I bought my Latrax Alias in August (5 months ago) and I bought 3 extra batteries. All of a sudden my quadcopter has a flight time of less than 1 minute on all 4 batteries. I was getting about 15 minutes before but now I can only get maybe a minute. Sometimes if I do 100% throttle from a take off the battery voltage warning starts beeping immediately so a flight time of basically zero. The batteries are on the charger until the red light on the charger turns off and then I plug them into the quad copter and have almost no flight time.

    Is there anything I'm doing wrong? I don't understand why they would all of a sudden stop holding a charge.

    Is it normal for these LiPo batteries to stop working after 5 months of average use?

    Thanks
    Ricky

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    if it is all the batteries doing this, I would be inclined to say that the batteries themselves are not the issue. no, it would not be normal for all of them to go bad after only 5 months. I don't fly one of these anymore, but when I did, I flew them non stop and in two years time... never had a single battery go bad .

    do you have a cell checker or a smart charger? in order to point you in the right direction, it would be necessary to know what the voltage reads at the time of the occurrence. it could be a defective charger, and it could be a board issue?

    I experienced what you are describing on several boards and even Traxxas could not determine what caused it? i had my issues dealt with by Megasmicros, and there are a few threads in here that discuss this issue as well as how different people dealt with it, but first, you need to measure the voltage right as it happens to eliminate the batteries and the charger as being the cause .
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  3. #3
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    I'd pick up a new battery and give it a try. I have had similar results even being careful not to over or under charge and I store them for any length of time at 3.85V. After 100 or so cycles the run time starts to decrease until they're hardly worth running. I checked with my "smart" charger, they still appear to take a charge but the voltage drops quickly when loaded. I plan to try some of the other brand batteries when the weather changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rheckbert3 View Post
    Hi, I bought my Latrax Alias in August (5 months ago) and I bought 3 extra batteries. All of a sudden my quadcopter has a flight time of less than 1 minute on all 4 batteries. I was getting about 15 minutes before but now I can only get maybe a minute. Sometimes if I do 100% throttle from a take off the battery voltage warning starts beeping immediately so a flight time of basically zero. The batteries are on the charger until the red light on the charger turns off and then I plug them into the quad copter and have almost no flight time.

    Is there anything I'm doing wrong? I don't understand why they would all of a sudden stop holding a charge.

    Is it normal for these LiPo batteries to stop working after 5 months of average use?

    Thanks
    Ricky
    If you are using the Alias outside and the batteries are cold, I believe you can count on that being the answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by ksb51rl
    I tried with a friend yesterday and the cold on the batteries caused almost instant shutdowns on both aircraft. Pocket warming did not help at all.
    We had 10 batteries between us and had left them in a cold (not freezing) SUV while having lunch. While testing the craft indoors today there was no problem. As a matter of fact, I got a longer indoors flight time after putting the batteries at storage level than I did outdoors fully charged.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoonerrw View Post
    if it is all the batteries doing this, I would be inclined to say that the batteries themselves are not the issue. no, it would not be normal for all of them to go bad after only 5 months. I don't fly one of these anymore, but when I did, I flew them non stop and in two years time... never had a single battery go bad .

    do you have a cell checker or a smart charger? in order to point you in the right direction, it would be necessary to know what the voltage reads at the time of the occurrence. it could be a defective charger, and it could be a board issue?

    I experienced what you are describing on several boards and even Traxxas could not determine what caused it? i had my issues dealt with by Megasmicros, and there are a few threads in here that discuss this issue as well as how different people dealt with it, but first, you need to measure the voltage right as it happens to eliminate the batteries and the charger as being the cause .
    If by cell checker you mean volt meter then yes I have one of those and I can check the voltage when the drone says the battery is dead. What is the low voltage cutout level supposed to be?

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that the charger will be on normal and then the charging light will gout but if I switch the charger to fast the battery will charge a little longer. Is there any harm in charging on fast?

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    I would suggest doing a Accelerometer Reset and a transmitter reset too to rule out that part. Was having other issues and did a Accelerometer Reset after changing batteries and fixed my problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rheckbert3 View Post
    If by cell checker you mean volt meter then yes I have one of those and I can check the voltage when the drone says the battery is dead. What is the low voltage cutout level supposed to be?

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that the charger will be on normal and then the charging light will gout but if I switch the charger to fast the battery will charge a little longer. Is there any harm in charging on fast?
    as long as your voltmeter will give you the reading, that's all that matters . you just want to verify what the voltage is.

    no one but Traxxas knows what the LVC cutoff is set to? it's set point was asked very early on, but no one ever said?

    a good point was made above about temperature... what temps are you flying in? cold temps will definitely have an impact on your batteries and flight times.

    the stock chargers are designed to operate in normal or fast charge with the stock batteries, so no... using fast charge wont harm the batteries.

    almost forgot... have you tried just hovering indoors where it is warm with your batteries to see if the same thing happens? might be worth a try just for comparison and help you learn whether or not it really is a temperature issue?
    Last edited by spoonerrw; 01-05-2016 at 01:24 AM.
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    Hi all, I have exactly the same problem with my Alias ! I've bought 2 additional batteries last october, at the beginning, the flight time was approximatively 10 minutes. But for now, after more or less 1 minute, all the 3 batteries are empty.
    Resetting transmitter to default setting or reset accelerometer have no effect...
    When the transmitter says "Cut off", I can measure " 3,90-3,93V ! After charging, the voltage is 4,16V !
    I don't think this is due to external temperature, because for now the temperature is about 14C, and the batteries are charged indoor with a temperature of 19C.
    I precise that the main electronic board of my Alias is a new one (the original one have died after a bath...) All the 4 motors are also new !

    Any ideas?

  9. #9
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Does it behave the same when flown indoors?
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

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    yes, same in indoor...I don't understand...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy31 View Post
    Hi all, I have exactly the same problem with my Alias ! I've bought 2 additional batteries last october, at the beginning, the flight time was approximatively 10 minutes. But for now, after more or less 1 minute, all the 3 batteries are empty.
    Resetting transmitter to default setting or reset accelerometer have no effect...
    When the transmitter says "Cut off", I can measure " 3,90-3,93V ! After charging, the voltage is 4,16V !
    I don't think this is due to external temperature, because for now the temperature is about 14C, and the batteries are charged indoor with a temperature of 19C.
    I precise that the main electronic board of my Alias is a new one (the original one have died after a bath...) All the 4 motors are also new !

    Any ideas?
    yes, this is very much the same as the issue I experienced with multiple boards. I must have spent weeks in back and forth email conversations with Traxxas trying different things they suggested to get to the bottom of this, and nothing solved the problem. two out of three boards I had were affected. the third was new and ok. they sent me two new boards at no charge, which was very kind of them to do and greatly appreciated, but both of those boards had the same problem. they told me that they could not figure out what the issue was, and I spent countless hours trying different ideas to pin it down to any kind of commonality... there simply was none that I felt I could say could be the reason?

    if you are seeing those kinds of voltages left in your batteries and only getting a minute or so before the LVC alarm goes off, then you are most likely experiencing the same thing I did? depending on how well you have maintained your batteries and how much flight time each had when the problem started, I would doubt very seriously that this is battery related, but, my advice would be to buy one new battery and cycle it up, then back to storage charge a few times... then charge it and try it indoor. I know this sounds redundant, but the only way to eliminate the batteries is to try it with a fresh new battery. if the issue still exists... it would be time to either contact Traxxas, do the resistor mod, or do like I did and have someone do it for you.

    one thing I will mention is something that Megas Micros told me...
    He told me that if any of the wires in the power lead were broken, if the JST plug was worn in a way that the pins could not make a solid connection, if the JST plug showed signs of light burning, or even the solder points for the power leads on the board itself were weak... any of these things could easily cause this kind of an issue. it is something that might be worth checking on yours just in case . mine didn't have any of these issues when he modified my boards, but that is not to say that maybe yours does not?

    I am sorry I couldn't be of more help, but at least it gives you a few other things to check and maybe you will find the issue in one of them .
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

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    Thank you very much spoonerrw !
    yesterday evening, I've done another try : I've charged again one of my most recent LiPo, and test it in my Alias inside my living room : and this new test was a success : after 3 minutes of flight, the cut-off alarm does not ring!
    I've ordered 2 new batteries, I will keep you aware of the test results once I receive it.
    Thanks !

  13. #13
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    Hello, think i know the anser on this.
    When temperatures are lower then +-13-14 Celsius i had the same problem, with all my batterys (flighttimes of less than 1-2 minutes!)
    Measured the batts and they were still +-75% charged, so i tried something else : flying with the same batts indoor where the temperature was +-16 Celsius and had a flighttime of +-5-6 minutes with all my batts who were only 75% charged (my alias has the resistor mod).
    It are not the batts but the circuitboard thats the problem (tested 2 alias) , how do i know : heated up the batts and tested and cooled down the batts (-10 Celsius) and fly inside (temp +16 Celsius) : no problems : +-8min flyghttime!
    But if i went outside +- lower then 13-14 Celsius , flighttimes of less then 1-2 minutes even with hot batts !
    Then tested the circuitboard inside (+16 Celsius) LVC kicks in at +-3.35 volts BUT when i cooled the circuitboad the LVC kicked in at +-3.75volt!
    Dont know a solution.
    Greetings Marc

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    Maybe try to insulate the board with some kind of light foam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy31 View Post
    Thank you very much spoonerrw !
    yesterday evening, I've done another try : I've charged again one of my most recent LiPo, and test it in my Alias inside my living room : and this new test was a success : after 3 minutes of flight, the cut-off alarm does not ring!
    I've ordered 2 new batteries, I will keep you aware of the test results once I receive it.
    Thanks !
    that is great news Speedy and you are welcome !

    Quote Originally Posted by bonhomme View Post
    Hello, think i know the anser on this.
    When temperatures are lower then +-13-14 Celsius i had the same problem, with all my batterys (flighttimes of less than 1-2 minutes!)
    Measured the batts and they were still +-75% charged, so i tried something else : flying with the same batts indoor where the temperature was +-16 Celsius and had a flighttime of +-5-6 minutes with all my batts who were only 75% charged (my alias has the resistor mod).
    It are not the batts but the circuitboard thats the problem (tested 2 alias) , how do i know : heated up the batts and tested and cooled down the batts (-10 Celsius) and fly inside (temp +16 Celsius) : no problems : +-8min flyghttime!
    But if i went outside +- lower then 13-14 Celsius , flighttimes of less then 1-2 minutes even with hot batts !
    Then tested the circuitboard inside (+16 Celsius) LVC kicks in at +-3.35 volts BUT when i cooled the circuitboad the LVC kicked in at +-3.75volt!
    Dont know a solution.
    Greetings Marc
    good to see you still around Marc . the issues I had was never about temperatures. mine started doing this in the middle of summer, but I have read many instances here where temperature was definitely a factor. my former yellow Alias had a insulated board and I flew it in the off season, but it wasn't until I did had your resistor mod done, that got rid of my issue with this for good.
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    I agree the solution describes by Bonhomme, I'm going to test a light insulation to check it.
    What is the resistor mod?

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy31 View Post
    I agree the solution describes by Bonhomme, I'm going to test a light insulation to check it.
    What is the resistor mod?
    here is the thread ...
    https://traxxas.com/forums/showthrea...ur-flighttime-!!!
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

  18. #18
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    I did the resistor mod because i always had short flighttimes , but it was in the summer i think (temps of more then 20 Celsius.
    After the resistor mod i always had flighttimes of +- 7-8 min with lots of flips and rolls.
    But for some reasen , a few weeks ago both my alias (6 batts tested, so its not the batts that is the problem), only less then 2 minutes of flighttime (first i think it was the resistor of the mod that had come loose), so i tested the other alias, and the same problem. Only in low temperatures!
    It are not the batts (heated and cooled them) and fly inside with normal temperatures and NO problems.
    But when i cooled (cold spray) the circuitboard , LESS than 2min flighttimes!
    The LVC kicked in much sooner than normal (even with the resistormod), both my alias!
    Greetings Marc

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonhomme View Post
    I did the resistor mod because i always had short flighttimes , but it was in the summer i think (temps of more then 20 Celsius.
    After the resistor mod i always had flighttimes of +- 7-8 min with lots of flips and rolls.
    But for some reasen , a few weeks ago both my alias (6 batts tested, so its not the batts that is the problem), only less then 2 minutes of flighttime (first i think it was the resistor of the mod that had come loose), so i tested the other alias, and the same problem. Only in low temperatures!
    It are not the batts (heated and cooled them) and fly inside with normal temperatures and NO problems.
    But when i cooled (cold spray) the circuitboard , LESS than 2min flighttimes!
    The LVC kicked in much sooner than normal (even with the resistormod), both my alias!
    Greetings Marc
    That is strange Marc, especially after all this time your mod has worked with such success. I never had the issue pop up again, but Megas did the mod differently too. He actually traced out the board circuit, located the actual resistor controlling the lvc, and replaced it with one of a lower value that caused the alarm trigger point to be so low that the alarm threshold would never be reached before the battery went dead itself. He also didn't use the resistors I sent him... He used an identical resistor to the one on the board and did the mod directly to the board. Maybe that is why I never had the issue again? After that, it didn't matter what the temps were with mine. I flew in 90 degrees, and flew in temps at or near zero and always got 6-7 minutes easily with hardcore flying.
    The only insulating I did to the yellow one was to close up the vent holes of the canopy with a small piece of wall outlet insulator foam, colored yellow to match the paint. That was well after having the mod done though .
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

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    Here is the results of my evening session... in my Kitchen 20C... :-)

    Tries :
    LiPo 1 : 4,18V (older one)
    LiPo 2 : 4,16V
    Lipo 3 : 4,20V

    Flight Time 1 : 1'20 (3.89V)
    Flight Time 2 : 6'30 (3.73V)
    Flight Time 3 : 6'20 (3.76V)

    In think the first battery is not very good, but with 3.89V, the cut-off was too high!
    I'm going to test the resistor mod, the solder of the resistance at the 220-10L side seems to be easy, but at the other side, at the right side of R2 or R3 resistor, it's a great challenge !
    I have a dead main board (after a bath....), I'm going to use it to test my capability to realize the soldering!
    Thanks a lot, I will keep you aware of my experimentation!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoonerrw View Post
    That is strange Marc, especially after all this time your mod has worked with such success. I never had the issue pop up again, but Megas did the mod differently too. He actually traced out the board circuit, located the actual resistor controlling the lvc, and replaced it with one of a lower value that caused the alarm trigger point to be so low that the alarm threshold would never be reached before the battery went dead itself. He also didn't use the resistors I sent him... He used an identical resistor to the one on the board and did the mod directly to the board. Maybe that is why I never had the issue again? After that, it didn't matter what the temps were with mine. I flew in 90 degrees, and flew in temps at or near zero and always got 6-7 minutes easily with hardcore flying.
    The only insulating I did to the yellow one was to close up the vent holes of the canopy with a small piece of wall outlet insulator foam, colored yellow to match the paint. That was well after having the mod done though .
    Yes indeed, but your alias is modded so the LVC does not kick in, mine still kicks in but at a lower voltage than original.(At temperatures above +-12 Celsius i discoverd )

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonhomme View Post
    Yes indeed, but your alias is modded so the LVC does not kick in, mine still kicks in but at a lower voltage than original.(At temperatures above +-12 Celsius i discoverd )
    correct, mine had no LVC . if colder temps were affecting my boards after the mod... I saw no sign of it .
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

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    Now i am 100% sure it are NOT the batts : Cooled my batts in the fridge (4-5 Celsius) for several hours and then fly my quad indoors (+15celsius) and had flighttimes of +-7-8 minutes of normal flying (some loops).
    So it IS the circuitboard that is the problem!
    Greetings Marc

  24. #24
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    Changed the 100Kohm resistor for a 80Kohm resistor and now i can fly for7-8min outside +-5celcius. Nice i thought.
    Problem when i fly indoors +20celsius , after +-10minutes the LVC beeps once and then the quad falls out of the sky!!!
    So no more 5 warning beeps!
    Greetings Marc

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonhomme View Post
    Changed the 100Kohm resistor for a 80Kohm resistor and now i can fly for7-8min outside +-5celcius. Nice i thought.
    Problem when i fly indoors +20celsius , after +-10minutes the LVC beeps once and then the quad falls out of the sky!!!
    So no more 5 warning beeps!
    Greetings Marc
    yes, the lower you set it, the less warning you get. mine gave no beeps as it was set well below the limit of the battery itself, so I tested different flight times and compared the use of mah versus voltage, then used a pocket timer. mine had the best use of mah/volts at around 6 minutes using right about 80% mah ending at around 3.7+ volts.
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

  26. #26
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    yes, the lower you set it, the less warning you get : thats thrue, but why does it work outside ok (7-8min and beeps), and not inside anymore? (ony 1 beep , sometimes 2 beeps)

    Are there people with alias who can fly always +-7-8minutes at low (lower than 10celsius) AND high (higher than 25celsius) temperatures??? (and not modded the circuitboard)?

    Thanks Marc

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonhomme View Post
    yes, the lower you set it, the less warning you get : thats thrue, but why does it work outside ok (7-8min and beeps), and not inside anymore? (ony 1 beep , sometimes 2 beeps)

    Are there people with alias who can fly always +-7-8minutes at low (lower than 10celsius) AND high (higher than 25celsius) temperatures??? (and not modded the circuitboard)?

    Thanks Marc
    We know that temperature will have an impact on batteries and circuity in one degree or another, and most of the posts I see would indicate that no one really gets good flight times in cold temps. In warmer temps, flight times should be consistently on the higher end, but, you are having a drop out somewhere in the middle if I understand you right, and I can't offer an explanation for that?

    I can tell you... that my own personal experience with flight times... I had exactly the same flight times no matter what the conditions were temperature wise, and this is why I chose to have my boards modded by someone who could find the exact resistor for the LVC, do a direct replacement with an identical resistor of a value he determined, and disable it completely. Once he did that... I never had the issue come up again on three different Aliai that I had him modify the boards to.

    Megasmicros did not want to use the resistors I sent him, which were like yours. I don't remember what his reason was, only that they were not right for what I wanted to achieve for some reason?
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

  28. #28
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    I have a somewhat similar issue. I'm using the battery and charger that came with my Alias. I charge the battery after it's dead. BUT, the red light does not turn off on the charger even after several hours. it just stays red. When I try to fly the alias, i get about a minute before the battery dies again. This is a new Alias that I've only charged the battery about 6-8 times. I use the normal charge rate. Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuxD67 View Post
    I have a somewhat similar issue. I'm using the battery and charger that came with my Alias. I charge the battery after it's dead. BUT, the red light does not turn off on the charger even after several hours. it just stays red. When I try to fly the alias, i get about a minute before the battery dies again. This is a new Alias that I've only charged the battery about 6-8 times. I use the normal charge rate. Any ideas?
    in your case... it sounds like the charger has gone bad. if your Alias is new, I would call Traxxas and see if they will replace it .

    do you have another charger, or maybe a smart charger you can try?
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

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    Nope, no other charger that will fit this battery. I'm gonna give them a call. I'll update when i get some news.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy31 View Post
    Here is the results of my evening session... in my Kitchen 20C... :-)

    Tries :
    LiPo 1 : 4,18V (older one)
    LiPo 2 : 4,16V
    Lipo 3 : 4,20V

    Flight Time 1 : 1'20 (3.89V)
    Flight Time 2 : 6'30 (3.73V)
    Flight Time 3 : 6'20 (3.76V)

    In think the first battery is not very good, but with 3.89V, the cut-off was too high!
    I'm going to test the resistor mod, the solder of the resistance at the 220-10L side seems to be easy, but at the other side, at the right side of R2 or R3 resistor, it's a great challenge !
    I have a dead main board (after a bath....), I'm going to use it to test my capability to realize the soldering!
    Thanks a lot, I will keep you aware of my experimentation!
    Quote Originally Posted by bonhomme View Post
    Yes indeed, but your alias is modded so the LVC does not kick in, mine still kicks in but at a lower voltage than original.(At temperatures above +-12 Celsius i discoverd )
    I was able to do some more experimentation, this time in rather cold weather @14F/-10C.
    The simple test went like this:
    I exposed the Alias and a battery to the cold temperatures. Another battery I kept at room temperature, 70F/21C.
    The first flight was with the warm battery and everything went as normal, except for a shorter flight time.
    I switched to the cold battery and almost immediately the LVD warning sounded.
    This is telling me that the "problem" here is not a board issue but typical cold LiPo behavior.

    Also, my oldest battery (not used in the experiment) will charge fine but the flight time and voltage after LVD shutdown mirrors speedy31's. Its voltage after resting crept up to 3.92. This simply means that the battery is worn out, again not a board issue. My best battery, flown immediately preceding this flight ended at a resting voltage of 3.60 volts, pretty much where I would prefer it to end.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

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    Ok sorry for taking so long to get back to my thread. So I tested the voltage before and after the flight for my 4 batteries. All 4 batteries started with a voltage of 4.1v and 3 ended with 4.0v and 1 ended with 4.1v. The flight time was about 10 seconds before the LVC warning and on 1 or 2 batteries I didn't get an alarm at all, the alias just shut off.

    1. 4.1v 4.0v
    2. 4.1v 4.1v
    3. 4.1v 4.0v
    4. 4.1v 4.0v

    (I should find my multimeter that shows more decimal places)

    I'm starting to suspect this is a board issue. When I put the batteries back on the chargers after the 10 second flight the charger light dose not light up as if it think the battery is fully charged. This was done inside at 63 degrees F. Im going to try doing an accelerometer reset and a transmitter reset and see if that has any affect and then contact Traxxas.

    Ricky

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    I'm afraid that sounds like a problem with your Alias not your batteries.

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