RC Toys Battery Charging Guide

Are you an avid RC toy enthusiast looking to keep your collection in pristine condition? Keen on learning how to maintain each item’s peak performance? Then you definitely shouldn’t overlook the battery life of every toy you’ve got. After all, it won’t do you much good if your toy can’t get out of the starting block.

While there may be many reasons to buy RC toys, they all have one thing in common – the need to stay powered up. The inherent longevity of the batteries’ performance depends on your ability to know when, how and what type of battery to charge.

What Types of RC Batteries Are There?

First things first, you need to determine what type of battery your toys have in order to plug them into the compatible RC battery chargers and get them fuelled for the adventures. The chemistry of the batteries can vary, with the most common being NiMH and LiPo batteries.

NiMH Batteries

source: ec21.com

The NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries are a step up from the old NiCd (nickel-cadmium) models, offering the same type of chemistry but with higher capacities. Their robust design allows them to be cycled or partially discharged and recharged with no degradation in performance.

They’re generally used for heavier and slower models, such as tanks and trucks, with an option of 6 to 8 cells in series. Naturally, the greater the number of cells in a series, the higher the voltage your toy will have.

As such, the RC chargers used to charge these batteries are usually labelled as 6-cell, 7-cell, or 8-cell models. Their charge rate generally ranges from 0.5 to 10 amperes and their voltage can go up to 8.4 volts.

LiPo Batteries

source: rcgearlab.com

The newer and more popular LiPo (lithium polymer) batteries are a convenient way to keep your vehicles moving. They are lighter and provide higher capacities than the NiMH models, though they may require extra care.

These batteries are generally used for models that need to move faster and further, such as planes, helicopters, and cars. And, like the NiMH type, there are options that range from 1 to 6 cells in series. With more potent bursts of energy, LiPo batteries have the ability to provide higher top speeds for your toys.

When it comes to the relevant RC battery chargers, LiPo batteries can be charged at rates of up to 5 amperes and their voltage can reach up to 22.2 volts. Their cell count will determine the charging capacity.

Which Charge Rate is Recommended?

These days, most models come with regular, fast and balanced charging options. The regular charge rate normally takes the longest amount of time, with lower amperage levels that are set for a longer duration.

The fast charge rate is the opposite, with higher amperage levels that are set for a shorter duration. This is a convenient option when you’re in a hurry to get your toys running or you’re looking to save some time.

The balanced charge rate is a bit different, as it helps ensure that all battery cells are equally charged. This is done to maintain a more consistent level of power and help extend the lifespan of your battery pack. As such, it’s often the preferable option when it comes to LiPo and NiMH battery charging.

Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Batteries

For most people, charging their batteries is something that’s done without a second thought. After all, you just need to stick one end of the charger into your toy, plug it in and let it do its thing. Sounds simple enough, right?

In truth, it’s not exactly that straightforward. Sometimes, a few extra steps and precautions can go a long way in ensuring that your batteries stay in top shape.

Charge Them the Right Way

source: shopify.com

Your charging habits can make a big difference in the reliability and longevity of your batteries. Never leave them charging overnight and always unplug the charger from your toy after you’re done.

The first charge should be a bit longer than normal, as this will help break in the battery and ensure that it can hold a charge for longer periods of time. The initial cycle should be around 6-8 hours, with regular charges taking around 4-5 hours.

Avoid Water Damage

It’s no secret that water and electricity don’t mix. Once the droplets reach your battery, they can cause all kinds of problems with its wiring. From the outside, it may look unharmed, but the internal damage can be considerable. Anything from corrosion to malfunctioning can become a reality if you’re not careful.

For this reason, it’s important to avoid exposing your batteries and chargers to moisture. Make sure that the area you use for charging is completely dry and never leave them out in the rain or near a pool.

Keep Away from Heating Vents

Being exposed to high temperatures can reduce your battery’s lifespan and even cause it to swell. This is especially true for LiPo batteries since the heat combined with their already elevated power levels can cause them to overcharge.

To avoid this, make sure that your charging station is away from any heating vents or direct sunlight. If it’s too warm, consider moving your batteries to a cooler area or using fans to help with air circulation.