Batteries

To bring your RC model to life, you need the right battery. Robitronic offers LiPo and NiMH batteries in different versions of different brands.

LiPo versus NiMh

Many electric model cars come with battery. However, if this is not the case, you will for the first time ask yourself whether it should be a LiPo (lithium polymer) or a NiMh  (nickel metal hydride) battery. Each of the two has its advantages and disadvantages.

The LiPo battery impresses with its light weight and high performance, it allows almost twice as long running time, the voltage curve is almost constant and there is only a small self-discharge when it is stored. The advantages of NiMhs are the cheaper price and that they are almost indestructible. This is not the case with the Lipo. Incorrect handling may cause it to start burning.

LiPo batteries

LiPo stands for Lithium Polymer and is the battery of the future, which is characterized by longer runtime and more power. The good values, based on the number of charge cycles is one of the positiv aspects. The service life is specified according to the manufacturer with 300 to 600 charging cycles. In addition, LiPo batteries do not have a memory effect, thereby maintaining their capacity throughout their life, with little loss of about 20%. However, this is shortened if they are not stored with a bearing voltage of 3.8V. To counteract this, they must be charged to storage voltage after each use.

Charging LiPo batteries

If you buy a LiPo battery, you need to charge it first. Make sure that the charger is compatible with your LiPo battery. This should be noted either on the charger itself, the packaging or the manual. If you have a suitable charger, you need to know which settings are correct for charging the battery. It is important to understand what the values on the battery are: A LiPo battery consists of at least one cell, which normally has 3.7 volts. The "S" value indicates the number of cells. For example, a battery with 2S has 7.4 volts. The current value, which is measured in ampere, indicates how much power the battery can supply.

The C value

The indication "C" is an important factor when it comes to loading and unloading. This indicates the value that can be removed from the battery for a short time by multiplying the ampere value by the "C" value. Simply put, a 6000mAh and 50C battery can provide up to 300A at the output.

Security

LiPo batteries require a number of safety precautions. Everyone has probably heard stories about exploding batteries. Although there are many possible causes, the two most common are overloading and mechanical damage. To minimize the risk of damage to your LiPo battery, always use a LiPo charger with the correct settings. A second important point is that you should use a LiPo-safe-bag for charging and always store the battery in the correct storage voltage.

Storage

The storage of LiPo batteries is an important point to extend their life. Keeping a LiPo battery depleted or fully charged for more than two weeks can seriously affect its performance and lifespan. Therefore, if you do not use the battery for more than a week and have a programmable charger, you should use it in storage charging mode in order to charge the battery to storage voltage. If you do not have such a device, charge the battery approximately half the time normally required to fully charge it. That's how you get close to the right voltage.

NiMh batteries

The NiMh (nickel-metal hydride) battery, is a good and affordable battery for RC models. It is less sensitive than LiPo batteries and therefore easy to handle for beginners. It is particularly suitable for RC vehicles that do not have to deliver high performance, such as Rockcrawler or RTR (Ready to Run) models.

Charging NiMH batteries

If the manufacturer does not declare a quick charge capability, a rechargeable NiMH battery should be charged at the maximum with the current capacity of the battery, ie with a 3000mAh battery with 3 amps. In general, one can say that less charging current is gentler and thus better for the battery. To form the battery, you charge it with 1/10C, thereby you get the batteries within a pack full at the same time. Even if they have been stored for a long time, they should first be formed before they are attached to the quick loader. Furthermore, it is important to let the batteries cool well before you load them.

Security

Although the handling of a NiMh battery is safer compared to a LiPo, it is still recommended to only use high quality chargers with automatic charge termination to avoid overheating.

Storage

NiMh batteries are safer compared to LiPos and therefore well suited for children. Although there has been a few cases of explosions, generally the storage is less complicated. After use, the NiMh battery should be charged to approx. 50% and ideally stored at approx. 20 ° C. It is important to pay attention that the cells do not fall below an open circuit voltage of about 1 volt, so you should recharge the battery about every two months, as it discharges itself relatively quickly.

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