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Step 29: Appendix A: Charging the Battery

Connect Battery to Charger

Battery technology is great, as it allows us to bring a portable power source anywhere we go, including high into the sky. The unfortunate downside to battery technology is that batteries go flat after being used for a while; you already know this. Never fear though, this appendix to the SK340 Dead Cat quadcopter build tutorial Instructable will show you how to safely charge your batteries using the Accucel-6 charger.

The first step is to connect your battery to the charger. So, take a look at your battery and you will notice that there are two sets of wires coming out one end: the thick red/black set that we use to connect the battery to the quadcopter, and a set of four thinner colored wires with a thin plug at the end. We will plug both sets of wires into the Accucel-6 charger.

First, included with the charger were several wire adapters with red and black plugs on one end, and a variety of connectors on the other end. Locate the adapter with an XT60 plug on the end, this is the plug that matches the red/black plug on the battery. Next, on the right side of the Accucel-6, you will notice a red port and a black port. Connect the red and black plugs on the battery adapter into the matching colored ports on the Accucel-6. Now plug the XT60 plugs on the battery and on the battery adapter together.

Now let’s plug in the set of colored wires from the battery.Take a look at the right side of the Accucel-6 again and you will notice a bank of white female connectors with pins in them. Notice that each connector has a different number of pins. Now shift your attention to the group of four colored wires from the battery, notice that the connector at the end has four male pins. You can probably guess what we’ll do next. Connect the white battery plug to the slot on the Accucel-6 that has four pins.


Program Charger

With the battery connected to the Accucel-6 charger, we now need to set up the charger to use the correct settings for charging our battery. Before we begin this process, I want to make a very important safety note: it is absolutely imperative that you use the correct settings for charging your battery. Failure to charge the battery with the correct settings could result in damage to the battery, the charger, or even catastrophic failure of the battery which could result in a fire/explosion. Also, during charging, always put your battery in a LiPo bag, which is a fire-proof bag designed to contain any battery failure. You should also never leave a battery unattended while it is charging.

I certainly do not wish to scare you with this information, but lithium polymer batteries are capable of high discharge rates and are made with some pretty volatile ingredients, like lithium, and it is important to be safe. In reality, if you handle, charge, and discharge the batteries with some care, you will be just fine. LiPo batteries almost never fail the way you see in some videos on YouTube.
So with the safety information out of the way, lets get started setting up the Accucel-6 to charge our battery. First, we will need to gather some information about the battery, which should be printed on the battery’s label, otherwise you can obtain information from the manufacturer’s documentation. The information we will need is:  the number of cells in the battery, the voltage of the battery, and the maximum charge current of the battery. For the Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack used in the SK450 Dead Cat quadcopter tutorial, the information we will need is as follows:

Number of cells: 3
Voltage: 11.1V
Maximum charge current: 2.2 Amps

The first two pieces of information here, the number of cells and the voltage of the battery are easy to find, they are written right on the battery label. The third bit of information, the maximum charge rate, requires a little bit of math to figure out though, which I will take a moment to explain.

First of all, calculating the maximum charging current requires two other pieces of information: the battery’s capacity, and the maximum charging rate of the battery. The battery’s capacity is written right on the battery label. The battery’s capacity is expressed in units of milliamp hours (mAh), which basically describes how much power a battery can supply for how long. The capacity of the battery used in the SK450 Dead Cat quadcopter tutorial is 2200mAh. As for the maximum charge rate for the battery, the maximum safe charge rate for our LiPo battery is 1C. Here, the C stands for coulombs, which is basically a unit of electrical charge. This is probably a slower rate  that you could technically pump into the battery, but we want to make absolutely certain that the battery does not start on fire, so we will go with the safe rate of 1C.

From the battery’s capacity, and the maximum charge rate of 1C, we can calculate the maximum charging current of our battery. First of all though, charging current is expressed in units of Amps. To find the maximum charging current for our battery, we will multiply the battery’s capacity in amp-hours by the maximum charging rate in coulombs. First, move the decimal point in the 2200mAh capacity listed on the battery label three spots to the left to convert from milliamp hours to amp hours. We end up with 2.2Ah. So, multiplying this figure by the maximum charging capacity of 1C, we end up with a maximum charging current of 2.2A.

So now that we did all that work and all that math, I am going to tell you that, unless you are in a big hurry, you should probably not charge the battery at the full 2.2A charging current. It will prolong the life of the battery if you charge at a lower rate. So in this tutorial we will use a charging current of 1A.

Now let’s finally get to programming the Accucel-6. First of all, plug in your 12V power adapter to the plug on the left side of the Accucel-6. As soon as you connect the power, the Accucel-6 will emit a loud beep. You should get used to these extremely loud beeps as the charger will be deeping a lot in the next few minutes. After the Turnigy splash screen goes away, you will be presented with a screen with “PROGRAM SELECT” in the first line and a battery type in the second line. If the battery type listed in the second line is anything but “LiPo BATT,” press the leftmost “Type” button to change the battery type. Once you have “LiPo BATT” in the second line, press the right-most “Enter” button.

On the next screen, the first line lists what action the Accucel-6 is taking. The device is capable of charging the battery, balancing the battery, fast-charging the battery, storing the battery, and discharging the battery. These functions are all useful and some are covered in other tutorials on this site, but for now, use the middle two arrow buttons to select “LiPo CHARGE” since we are interested in charging the battery right now.

The second line lists settings for the charging process, from left to right the settings are:

charging current
battery voltage
(battery cell count)

To change these settings, press the Enter button. The charging current setting should now be flashing. Use the arrow buttons to set the charging current to 1.0A. Now press the Enter button again to select the battery voltage/cell count setting. Use the arrow buttons again until “11.1V(3S)” is selected.

With the correct settings applied, we are finally ready to charge the battery.


Charge the Battery

To start the charging process, hold the Enter button for three seconds. The Accucel-6 will beep a few times and then it will check the battery. After a couple seconds, a you will be presented with a new screen. The first line lists the settings you entered on the right, and the settings detected by the Accucel-6 on the left. If these settings do not match, press the leftmost “Back” button to return to the previous screen and double-check your settings. Otherwise, if the settings on the top line to match, press the Enter button to start charging.

The Accucel-6 will display the status of the charging progress. It lists the battery type and cell count, the current charging current, the current battery voltage, the charging time, and the battery capacity. Now you just need to wait for the battery to finish charging. Remember never to leave the battery unattended while charging. If you have to leave before the charging process is complete, stop the process by pressing the left-most “Stop” button. Lithium polymer batteries do not have a “memory effect” so you can always finish charging the battery at a later time.

When the battery is done charging, the Accucel-6 will start beeping. First press the Stop button, and then disconnect the battery from the charger. Now you are ready to fly some more.
can i use 5000mah 2s turnigy battery
<p>Do you have to revert the 3 pin connections for the q brain back to how they were in order to use the BESC programming card? I don't want to do this each time because I want to change the song selection for the q brain. Any easier way to do this?</p>
Here is the connectionHereh
Here is the connectionHereh
Pls I am using a flight board KK2.1 and. Hk 16A V2 6 channels receiver. I used 2 servo cables to link them, (which am not sure is correct), but when I try to arm my motors, I get a set of steady beeps. What could be the reason for that?
<p>Great instructable. Followed a lot of this when I made my Dead Cat Defibrillator. Only thing that doesn't seem to be right are the mixer settings. For motor 3 (right rear) and 4 (left rear) they seem to be the wrong way round. I based mine on the YouTube video from HobbyKing which has 3 as 100, 71, -71, 100 and 4 as 100, -71, -71, -100. Hope this helps anyone else that get some strange flight characteristics with the settings given here.</p>
<p>Thanks for the recipe, flies really well now. But there are multiple errors in the mixer editor settings you have listed.</p><p>Importantly, the signs for the rudder numbers for motor 3 and 4 are mixed up! Motor 1 and 3 should have positive numbers for rudder, motor 2 and 4 should have negative numbers. Same applies for aileron.</p><p>I have marked in <strong>Bold </strong>the places when my number have the <u>opposite sign</u> of your numbers. My numbers are also slightly different just because i measured the angles differently from my kk unit. <br>39 comes from being sin(23 degrees) which is the angle i measured to the front arms (see picture).<br>92 = sin(90-39) =&gt; 0.92 =&gt; 92<br>73 = sin(47)<br>68 = sin(90-47)</p><p>Motor 1:<br>Throttle: 100<br>Aileron: -39 <br>Elevator: 92<br>Rudder: 70</p><p>Motor 2:<br>Throttle: 100<br>Aileron: 39 <br>Elevator: 92<br>Rudder: -70</p><p>Motor 3:<br>Throttle: 81<br><strong>Aileron: 73</strong><br>Elevator: -68<br><strong>Rudder: 100</strong></p><p>Motor 4:<br>Throttle: 81<br><strong>Aileron: -73</strong><br>Elevator: -68<br><strong>Rudder: -100</strong></p>
<p>What is the length of your flight???</p>
How durable is this model compared to other copters? Do you recommend flying this if it's my first copter, or would you suggest a more crash friendly one?
<p>Ok, I'm a little confused. Your pic of the tape on the controler is clearly mode 1 but your link to the tx/rx combo is mode 2. Which one are you running?</p>
<p>This is the very best build report I have read! </p>
<p>Thanks for taking time to put together such a comprehensive build guide. Much appreciated.</p><p>I can buy all these parts in the UK. But, I have a DX6 AR7000 and an AR6000. Will these work OK with the setup given?</p>
<p>I want to build this but I just can't find a vendor who ships those parts to Germany. Can anybody help me?</p>
<p>i found when i inputed these settings my motor 1 and 2 went much <br>more forward than sideways, i found the Aileron and Elevator settings <br>for motors 1 and 2 were slightly switched around (could be a new version <br> of the software or maybe just an oversight when typing up this amazing <br>build? lol)<br><br>I found these work best for motors 1 and 2 on my KK2.1 <br></p><p><strong>Motor 1 Mixer Editor Settings</strong> </p><ul><li> Throttle: 95 <li> Aileron: -94 <li> Elevator: 34 <li> Rudder: 78 <li> Offset: 0 <li> Type: ESC <li> Rate: High</ul><p><strong>Motor 2 Mixer Editor Settings</strong> </p><blockquote> <br> <br><ul><li> Throttle: 95 <br><li> Aileron: 94 <li> Elevator: 34 <li> Rudder: -78 <li> Offset: 0 <li> Type: ESC <li> Rate: High</ul></blockquote><p>Correct me if im wrong but that gave me the correct orientation of the motors</p>
<p>i found this section to be a bit confusing at first until i relized i didnt have enough 3pin connectors...in the parts list it only says 1 CM male to male connector so thats what i bought...maybe should be revised to say 3 or 4 lol</p>
<p>1-10CM male to male**</p>
<p>I am currently in the middle of this build. But it seems my controls are all backwards. For example left is right and throttle up is throttle down ect. Anybody else having this problem??</p>
<p>Just reverse the affected channels on your transmitter</p>
<p>Very nice! I was looking for something like his. A question: Is there place to install a gimbal underneath?</p><p>Thanks</p>
Great instructable! Thank you so much, I followed all your instructions and my dead cat flew first time perfect!!! Cheers.
<p>Sounds dumb but i can't get it right!<br>I Have a Graupner MX-12, with the throttle on the right side.</p><p>In Your Instructable, it's on the left side, so how do I have to swap the connectors, so the KK Board also recognizes the right stick as a throttle?</p>
<p>Why is finding downloads for the latest KK2.1 board firmware such an elusive thing? Google always takes me to that gigantic thread on RC Groups where finding any links is like finding a needle in a haystack. Where the heck does one find KK2.1 firmware updates?</p>
very hard
<p>Hi, useful article but have one comment regarding prop balancing - don't you have the prop balancer assembled wrong? The conical elements should normally have the tips of the cones facing each other, they are designed so that they self centre on the hole in the propeller. Also there is a second step to balancing which you haven't mentioned here - to balance the hub (often referred to as vertical balancing). Doesn't make as much different as the horizontal balance but worth doing. Enjoy your flying, R</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Congratulations for this great Instructable. It was very useful and complete. I built my Dead Cat last week.</p><p>I was able to buy all parts from HobbyKing (USA and Europe Warehouse). I bound it to my Spektrum DX6i with a Spektrum AR610 receiver.</p><p>I found two missing things when building it:</p><p>- in step 6, &quot;Mount motors&quot;, I did not get the needed screws because they do not come with the motors. I had to look for suitable screw all over my house (and I finally used some screws from a PC). For the record, motor's package says &quot;Bolt thread: M3*4mm&quot;</p><p>- in step 9, &quot;Mount Flight Controller&quot;, I did no get the white plastic parts you are using to mount the KK board. But I bought a KK 2.1.5 since the KK 2.0 is not sold anymore. I had to used some nuts instead (3 nuts for each foot).</p><p>When I tried to fly it for the first time it completely flipped over (from right to left). I broke a prop :( I finally discovered that I had to first load a motor layout in the KK 2.1.5 menu. I chose &quot;X Quadcopter&quot; and then applied settings for the motors (step 18, mixer editors) (I used slightly different settings I found in a Youtube video).</p><p>I also add some LEDs to it, and some FPV gear, but I did not yet tried to fly it in FPV only.</p><p>FPV parts are:</p><p>- Camera: <a href="http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/-RunCam-600TVL-Plastic-Housing-FPV-Camera-%252d-DE.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/-RunCam...</a></p><p>- Video Tx/Rx: <a href="http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/BOSCAM-Mini-8CH-5.8G-400mW-Wireless-FPV-Transmitter-Receiver-Kit-%252d-DE.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/BOSCAM-...</a></p><p>- Goggle: <a href="http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__53706__Quanum_DIY_%3Cspan%20style=" rel="nofollow">http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__53706__Quan...</a></p><p>- Antennas: <a href="http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__49827__ImmersionRC_5_8GHz_Circular_Polarized_SpiroNet_Antenna_V2_RP_SMA_.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__49827__...</a></p><p>My Quadcopter now flies quite well! I'm looking forward to fly it more but it's kind of freezing for the moment... :)</p><p>I attached a picture of it.</p><p>Thank you,</p><p>Alex</p>
<p>Hi there, I have a deadcat 450, I also just bought a Qbrain but cannot seem to get this darn thing working, please could you be more specific about the Cabling!</p>
Hi. What settings do you have in your radiocontroler??
<p>I's using an OrangeRx DSM2 reciever without numbers. How would I wire it correctly?</p>
<p>Hello I bought Qbrain and Naza.</p><p>can you post a picture to see x </p><p>how did the connection between fate and Qbrai 4x25A naza m-lite? , Thank you</p>
<p>My motors did not come with the motor mounting screws as depicted in this picture. I purchased the &quot;Turnigy Multistar 2213-980Kv 14Pole Multi-Rotor Outrunner&quot; as listed in the parts list but there are no phillips screws with them. The motors on hobby king also dont show these screws. looking at the local hobby stores and hardware stores trying to find some that will wrk but I have not had any luck.</p>
<p>Realy great instructable, but I think that yu need to charge battery at LiPo balance mode, and not at normal charge mode. In LiPo balance mode, charger will balance each of the cell separately, so is more safe, and better for battery</p><p>:)</p>
<p>Hi great instructable, how can I connect the Q-brain to the KK2.1 voltage sensor to make use of the low voltage alarm? I cant seem to figure that out. Any help is appriciated. </p>
<p>So I am in the process of scratch-building my first quadcopter, and I am trying to use a Turnigy programming card to program my Q-Brain 4-in-1 ESC. I plug the Q-Brain in to the programming hub, and that into the programming card, and then plug in the battery to an XT60 connector I soldered onto the ESC, but the programming card doesn't light up or respond. What am I doing wrong, and what could a possible solution be?</p>
<p>Never mind, I finished the build completely! Great instructable, although I noticed that some of the mixer settings were flipped, possibly because of the recent firmware update.</p>
<p>Great instructable and now I definitely want a quadcopter for my own! One question, instead of buying a SK450 Dead Cat frame for the quadcopter could I lasercut my own such as this: (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:113497/#files)? My idea was that it would be easier to repair broken arms and what not if I could create my own frame. I plan on using the exact same parts as the list provided but change the frame. Would this theoretically work?</p>
<p>Thank you for this great instructable ! Ordered all the parts from HK ! Looking forward for the delivery ! </p>
I voted. :)
I made my first flights and crashes today (I never flew before). Yes, I swapped motors 3 &amp; 4. I need to recalibrate the motors again; since the do not start at the same time. Thanks for the instructions.
<p>Nice Work DUDE... Voted </p>
<p>A stunning instructable! Very well presented in depth. Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>Assuming they are compatible; can anyone tell me how to connect the Q-Brain to a DJI Naza Lite (http://www.dji.com/product/naza-m-lite). Thanks!</p>
<p>Nice work! I just finish my deadcat last week;) Just a question, are you sure that the mixer editor settings are correct? I think that you switch the third and fourth motors! Let me know!</p>
<p>please please upload video step by step please :( . so that it is more easy to understand and fix it </p>
<p>This was a great instructable, infact im building it myself, the one thing that annoyed me though, as this was my first time building a quadcopter, i didnt have the parts that werent included in the parts list, which made me pay for more shipping because i needed more parts, These parts were the threadlock, the XT60 connectors and the prop balancer, For others that are/were in the same situation as me, you should add those to the parts list, will make thier life much simplier, as im stuck waiting for threadlock and a balancer now...</p>
<p>Boy what an interesting project ! Now where does that neighbour stay that skin dip on Saturday? </p>
<p>I'm going to build this but was wondering what kind of camera did you use??</p>
<p>I use a Contour ROAM Model 1600.</p>
<p>thank you for the info and quick response! :)</p>
<p>Awwww, thought this was going to be a taxidermy quadcopter made from a dead cat. Good of you to show the crashes, most people pretend they have none.. got a nice vid myself, lots of bits of desimated copter flying past the camera.</p>
<p>Nice Build and well written instructable. I plan on building a defib. deadcat soon. I found youtube videos from HobbyKing setting up the KK2.1 for the sk450 DeadCat frame. There are several other videos they do on the KK boards as well. It is ALL about the firmware on the board (I would NOT recommend you fly stock firmware) and the set-up, calibration and tuning of the board. Nice thing about the KK board is the screen and user interface. There are tons of them out there and just as many videos and guides for set-up and tuning.</p><p>Cheers! :) and Many Happy Flights</p>

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