How to Choose the Best RC Battery?
Choosing the best RC battery requires exploring different options and considering various factors before arriving at a final verdict. The battery being the power source controls the speed, motor and other components. A battery with less juice needs to be charged again and again so it’s important that you select one that lasts longer on a single charge.
Whether it’s LiPo or Ni-MH battery, you fully want to enjoy your RC controlled devices with faster flying speed, better control and longer flight time. However, most people are confused while choosing the best RC battery for their devices. But you don’t need to worry as we will cover all the factors to consider when you are searching for the right kind of RC battery.
Analyzing Various Factors
If it’s your first time selecting a suitable RC battery for a car or a drone at an online website, then you might have some confusion as to what the measurements and numbers denote which are printed on the battery’s label. So, let’s clear that out.
1. Voltage of the RC Battery
The electric motor’s RPM that is revolutions per minute is closely related to the battery’s voltage. The voltage is the main factor in regulating the speed of the motor. This means that an RC car would be faster if its motor rotates rapidly because of high voltage. The kV rating on the brushless motors represents RPM per volt.
The standard voltage of a LiPo cell is 3.7 V. So, for example if we consider the 11.1 V LiPo battery for racing drones we can see that it contains 3 cells in series which add up to give the combined voltage. It is also termed as a three-cell (3S) pack. In short, the number before the ‘S’ indicates how many cells are placed in series.
2. Battery Capacity
There is a certain power a battery pack can hold and that is its capacity which is shown in milliamp hours (mAh). In a non-technical way, we can say how much load can be put on the RC battery for an hour to discharge it completely.
For instance, a 3000 mAh rechargeable battery for an RC car would take an hour to fully discharge if a load of 3000 milli amp is placed on it. However, if you place a load of 1000 milliamp, then it would take 3 hours to run out of juice. Normally RC helicopters are power-intensive, so you might have to look for more battery capacity.
3. Discharge Rating
The discharge rating is also known as the ‘C’ rating and the ‘C’ stands for capacity. The manufacturer specifies the maximum but safe, continuous discharge rate through the ‘C’ rating. So, if 10C is printed on the label as in the case of a Ni-MH battery for an RC car, it means that it can be continuously discharged at 10 times the capacity of the pack.
As an example, we will consider a 10C cell with 2200 mAh:
2.2 A x 10 = 22 A continuous discharge
Other than the continuous discharge rates, you can also find a ‘burst’ discharge rate on some batteries which is normally two times the value of the continuous discharge rate. This shows that the battery can allow twice the current but only for a very limited time usually just a few seconds.
The LiPo battery is more volatile than Ni-MH, Ni-Cd or alkaline batteries and experts state that it should not be fully charged for a better lifetime.
4. Battery Connectors
You can find a wide variety of battery connectors in the market which are used for different purposes.
4.1 Tamiya Connector
Tamiya connector, which you can find in some of our products, has a lever that unlocks it before you can pull it apart. Sometimes these connectors are translucent. The 8.4 V 4200 mAh Ni-MH battery for an RC racing car has a Tamiya connector.
To correctly install these connectors, you have to take care of the polarization. This means that the positive end must be connected to the positive terminal and the same should be considered for the negative end.
4.2 Dean-T Connector
For high current applications you can use these chunky, short connectors which are pretty common in such batteries. These can only be attached one way round and the sprung flat tabs and short plastic plug bodies pressurize the metal prongs. You can see this type of connector in the 11.1 V 5000 mAh LiPo RC battery for hobby drone FPV.
4.3 Traxxas Connector
These connectors have textured plugs that help in their removal and are keyed so that they are not connected incorrectly. The shape of these high-current connectors is somewhat of a rectangle. If you take a look at the 2/3 A 7.2 V 1600 mAh 6S Ni-MH battery for cars, you can see that it has a Traxxas connector.
4.4 XT60 Connector
These connectors are also keyed in such a way so that users can connect them in the right way. Mostly, drone pilots use these types of high current connectors as they are pretty straightforward to use. You can find an XT60 connector with the 5000 mAh 7.4 V LiPo battery for RC cars.
To Sum It Up
Choosing a RC battery depends on what you are operating. If it is a power-intensive device such as a RC helicopter, then you might have to go for a battery with more capacity (in mAh). If you want it to run or fly faster, then you have to choose a RC battery with greater voltage. You also have to consider the type of the connector so that it is suitable for your RC drone, helicopter or car, otherwise you won’t be able to connect it.