I have been around the block a few times when it comes to charging batteries–been doing it a long time. So, when I see my fellow enthusiasts who treat their NiCd & NiMH batteries with such care, but take very little interest in proper charging of LiPo batteries, I am disappointed. I mean, these same guys were religious on the old batteries, and I think while LiPo’s are easier to use, some of us have gotten lazy. Charging your LiPo battery without a proper balancer and charger is a bad idea. Further more, not using the right LiPo battery application can result in some costly repairs, maybe even a complete write off of you’re RC rig. We know better don’t we? Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of us are being good and doing things right, and this isn’t a rant or rave about what I think you should do.
It’s what you need to do.
When charging a LiPo battery, use a balancer. For obvious reasons such as even charging among cells, and longer battery life, both run time and existence in your battery collection. LiPo’s are becoming inexpensive, but there is no reason to throw money away.
The right charger for the job is key too. You don’t want to ever over charge a LiPo battery, and for cost effectiveness you don’t want to severely undercharge a LiPo battery either.
Once you have the right battery for the job, for example the best rule of thumb is to stick with a hard case LiPo for cars and trucks. The shrink wrapped packs are great for planes, because they are lighter. But, this isn’t where you want shave weight off your rig here. Find another method and keep that LiPo in a safe place and case.
Ok, so you have the right charger, battery setup and balancer. You’re ready to go right?
Yup, but before you start charging that LiPo pack, get a good rated LiPo safe charge sack or bag. Some tracks have ok’d tin cans and other means, but…. If you have ever seen one of these LiPo’s go up in flames, trust me…. You will want something fire retardant. The investment is worth it, and come on…. We all did it by the rules with the NiCd’s and NiMH. Let’s keep things, and most importantly ourselves safe. Do it right.
If I have missed any other key points, feel free to chime in. I know this is an important topic, and lot’s can be talked about it. I want to see us use more of our common sense rather than ego.
How do YOU charge your batteries?