I've got a lot of experience testing LiPo batteries for mini quads. And I'm here to tell you that almost everybody who is currently testing mini quad LiPos (including me) could be doing it better.
With your help, I'm going to do it better. I'M GOING TO DO IT THE BEST. And I'm going to share the results with the ENTIRE WORLD so that you know which premium LiPos are worth their premium price and which are junk.
Here's what's wrong with the testing that almost everybody (including me) is doing right now. And here's how I'm going to do it better.
1. Most testing you see uses resistive loads like light bulbs or power resistors. Resistive loads penalize great batteries and favor bad ones.
Bad batteries have voltage sag, and with a resistive load, that means that current drops off. This is like giving an extra break to the guy on the job who's already taking a nap. THE BEST battery test method would use a computer-controlled load so that every test is perfectly repeatable. Good batteries get to excel. Bad batteries get the punishment they deserve.
2. Some tests are unable to discharge at the high current that modern racing quads demand. How can you test a 90C battery if you're only discharging at 40 amps? THE BEST battery test method would be able to test at 100 amps or more, just like our quads do.
3. Most tests are based on amps produced by the battery. And there is some value in that. But this doesn't reflect how pilots actually fly their quads. When you suck amps from a bad battery, voltage sag means that the battery produces less power even as the amps continue to flow. You have felt this as a pilot when you accidentally ran a battery too low and hit the throttle, only to dump into the ground because the motors didn't push as hard as you needed.
In reality, what do you do as a pilot when voltage sags? You raise the throttle even more! THE BEST battery test method would be able to control Watts in addition to Amps, to simulate this effect.
4. Most tests are based only on a constant discharge rate, or a very simple discharge program. THE BEST battery test method would replay actual flight data from real pilots so that batteries experience the exact same treatment that they would in flight.
5. Most tests run only one or a few cycles on the battery. That's great if you only fly brand new batteries. But what happens when the battery starts aging? THE BEST battery test method would be able to do extended lifecycle testing. So you know which batteries are going to hold up over time, and which will burn bright and burn out quickly.
With your support, I'm going to do THE BEST LiPo battery testing anybodyis doing today. And the tool that is going to let me do that is the West Mountain Radio Computerized Battery Analyzer (CBA).
The CBA is a computer-controlled battery tester. It can do all of the above things, all while logging the results and producing a bunch of sweet graphs and tables for us all to learn from.
Here's the catch. The version of this tool that I need in order to test mini quad batteries at up to 2000 watts or 120 amps is ... expensive.
When you add in processing fees and GoFundMe's cut, the total amount comes to just under $4,000.
Now let me be straight with you. Thanks to the moderate success of my YouTube channel and the amazing generosity of my Patrons, I could actually write a check for this amount. Barely. But it is so much money, I would really feel obligated to find a way to make some of it back. Like maybe putting the test results behind a paywall and making you pay to see them.
OH MY GOD CAN YOU IMAGINE?
That's not how I like to do things. I've always been about publishing this kind of information for free.
So here's the offer I'm making to you. Contribute to this GoFundMe. If my goal is reached, I'll buy this equipment, and I will start doing THE BEST DAMN BATTERY TESTING EVER. And I will publish the results for free, for as long as I own the device.
I will not accept (possibly cherry-picked) batteries from vendors to test. I will only use batteries that I purchased from the same places you would buy them.
I will not purchase the batteries using my own name and address. Rather, I'll get other people to buy them in secret and send them to me.
I will set up a web site where you can vote for which batteries you want to see me test next.
In addition to releasing the FULL TEST RESULTS for every battery, I will also write up a one-page summary report so that everybody can get the gist of the results.
As a bonus, if you contribute at least $20 to the GoFundMe, I will give you access to a private email list where you get early access to test results.
HOW SOON DO I NEED THE MONEY? The Internet tells me this kind of campaign is more successful if there is a sense of urgency. So here's what let's do: the quote from West Mountain is good for 30 days from today, November 14th. So what do you say we just make this a 30 day campaign?
You guys contribute $4,000 in the next 30 days, and I will start doing THE BEST DAMN BATTERY TESTING EVER.
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