Charging Lipos FPV Racing Drones – Complete Guide

Posted on March 20 2016

So you just got into FPV Racing, you have bought all these batteries, and a charger, but don’t really know what you’re doing? You have come to the right place.

GOLDEN RULE 1 – ALWAYS be nearby when charging, DO NOT leave house or leave unattended. It is recommended that you also charge inside a LIPO bag or have a portable fire extinguisher
If you do not listen to rule number 1. Your house may catch fire. This happened only last week to a guy in Australia. Battery was only 6 months old.
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GOLDEN RULE 2 – Always BALANCE Charge. Do not use charge or fast charge. ONLY BALANCE CHARGE
GOLDEN RULE 3 – If battery becomes punctured/cut or “puffs” Discard it, do not charge!

Here is an example battery

1300mah 4s 65c – It also has the following specs from Manufacturer

Capacity(mAh) 1300
Config (s) 4
Discharge (c) 65
Weight (g) 176
Max Charge Rate (C) 10
Length-A(mm) 75
Height-B(mm) 35
Width-C(mm) 36

1300mah = How much juice this battery holds – Generally the more juice, the bigger and heavier the battery.
4s = How many cells. Each cell full charged is 4.2V – The more volts, the more power/juicer your quad will fly.
65C = How much current battery is capable of delivering. In this example it would be 65×1.3 = 84.5 Amps
Max Charge Rate (C) = The Max Charge Rate

On most batteries you will want to charge at 1C – This means you charge at 1300*0.001 = 1.3 Amps
If you are charging at 1C, it will take approximately 1 hour to complete the charge. 2C, it will take 30mins. Etc.

Now on good batteries (like above) it has a max charge rate of 10C, so theoretically you could charge at 1300*0.001*10 = 13 Amps!

Now if I was out in the field and I really needed a battery fast, I may do this, as its within specifications, HOWEVER the faster you charge, the less life you get out of your lipos.

If I was at home, I would usually charge at 2C/3C on this battery and on my cheaper ones, I would use 1C

FAQ

What voltage should I not go below to protect my batteries?

Voltage should not go below 3.5v when at rest. Usually I have my alarm go on at 3.5v, then land and battery comes to 3.7 at rest.

When should I put my battery into storage?

If you aren’t using your batteries for 2 weeks or more, you should put lipos into storage to ensure they last.

Each cell should be 3.8-3.85v each for storage. Most chargers will discharge or charge to storage voltage automatically for you.

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