Everything you need to know about charging RC Batteries - NiMH and LiPo

Everything you need to know about charging RC Batteries - NiMH and LiPo

Now that you’re set up with batteries, let’s talk chargers. First and foremost, make certain that you get a NiMH charger if you have NiMH batteries, and a LiPo charger if you have LiPo batteries. Crazy important to get that right. If you use both types of batteries, there are chargers that can be set for either battery type. If you go that route, be sure to set the charger for the correct battery type before you hit the “start” button. As for charger features to look for, the most important (after determining “Is it the right type for my battery?”) is amperage. The higher the charger’s amp output, the faster it can charge your pack. If your car or truck came with a “wall wart” charger, you’ll notice its label shows its output in milliamps—for example, 300mA. If you had a 300mAh battery, that charger would juice it up in an hour. But chances are you have a 3000mAh (or higher) pack, and that means you’re looking at 10 hours of charging before you get to play again (3000 ÷ 300 = 10). If you have a 4-amp charger, that 3000mAh battery will be charged in about 45 minutes.

Whether you’re shopping for an inexpensive charger to keep your packs juiced up on the cheap, or you’re going for a fully-adjustable pro model (like this Hyperion EOS0840i), you’ll find plenty of options at the hobby store.


How Many Amps?
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “If more amps is better, why not get a 10-amp charger and blast that battery full in just three minutes?” That makes sense math-wise, but batteries don’t like to be charged that fast, and if you tried to go to that extreme, you’d just smoke the battery. Charging at lower amperages will extend your batteries’ life—that means more recharges before the pack no longer performs well enough to be worth keeping. As a rule, LiPo packs should be charged at the same rate as their capacity. For example, a 4000mAh LiPo battery should be charged at a maximum of 4 amps. A 5500mAh LiPo battery should be charged at a maximum of 5.5 amps. And so on—just take the battery capacity and divide by 1000. In the lingo of battery charging, this is known as charging at a rate of “1C,” or “capacity multiplied by one.” LiPos can also be charged at higher rates to reduce charging time, but you’ll reduce the life of your packs. For example, a 5000mAh battery charged at “2C” (capacity times two, in this case 5000 x 2 = 10 amps) would charge twice as quickly as the same battery charged at 5 amps, However, if you charged the pack at 2C all the time, you might only get 150 runs out of it instead of 300. Lower amp rates = more runs before the pack is worn out.

NiMH packs are more tolerant of higher-amp charging, but selecting a rate of 1-1.5C is good practice for maximum pack life. Occasionally charging at a higher rate when you need to save time won’t hurt anything, but do most of your charging at a lower rate whenever you can.


(source: https://www.rccaraction.com/everything-need-know-rc-batteries/)

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