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  1. #1
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    Question New to LiPo... and I Have a Few Questions

    Hello,

    I just recently purchased my first electric RC truck yesterday, and am really enjoying the switch from greasy and finicky nitro vehicles. The truck I purchased is a sweet E Revo VXL (1/6 scale), with almost 100% aluminum parts. Here is a pic:



    Anyways, I am trying to understand the ins and outs of LiPo batteries and am finding it very confusing and don't want to ruin my battery. I purchased a used but fully charged 2cell 7.4v 1850MAH 35C+ LiPo battery, and an Orion Advantage IQ404 charger. I ran the car for a bit, however, the low voltage light never came on yet. So I have a few questions about what I now need to do with the battery and would GREATLY appreciate any help I can get!

    1. Do I have to wait till the low voltage light comes on to charge the battery, or is it ok to charge it up when it may still have some juice in it?

    2. I know that my charger has a balancer built in, but how often should I be balancing it?

    3. My charger has different amp setting (I suppose amps, it says "A"), and I have no idea which I should set it at to charge this battery. The guy at the hobby shop mentioned to maybe set it at 1.5A, but he didn't seem super sure.

    4. Does anyone know if the charger mentioned has a discharge function? I didn't see it mentioned in the very brief manual. And if it does have a discharge function, what exactly would I use it for?

    Once again, I'd appreciate any input I can get. Thanks!

  2. #2
    RC Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeober View Post
    1. Do I have to wait till the low voltage light comes on to charge the battery, or is it ok to charge it up when it may still have some juice in it?

    2. I know that my charger has a balancer built in, but how often should I be balancing it?

    3. My charger has different amp setting (I suppose amps, it says "A"), and I have no idea which I should set it at to charge this battery. The guy at the hobby shop mentioned to maybe set it at 1.5A, but he didn't seem super sure.

    4. Does anyone know if the charger mentioned has a discharge function? I didn't see it mentioned in the very brief manual. And if it does have a discharge function, what exactly would I use it for?

    Once again, I'd appreciate any input I can get. Thanks!
    1) No you do not have to wait. You can charge a lipo from pretty well any state. You should not store it fully charged tho. You should not have gotten it fully charged. They are best stored at 60% capacity. Not familiar with your charger, but the hyperions have a store charge mode, which brings them up to 60%. Plus, those batteries are not that good. They are only good for a 60A discharge, and you are MUCH higher than that. Personally, I would not use those. Get yourself some 5000mah, 40C packs. They will run you $25 each.

    2) Every time. NEVER charge your packs without a balancer. It's dangerous.

    3) Again, you have a cheap battery, and I would not use it. Typically guys will charge their packs at 1C. So whatever the mah of the pack is. So if you had a 5000mah pack, you would set the charge rate to 5A. The more expensive packs like hyperion have a higher C rating, but the price is much higher. And unless you are racing, the hyperions are not required. For your pack, 1.8A charge rate. If your charger can't be dialed in like that, then go on the side of safety and do 1.5A.

    4) Not sure on your charger, but again, ones like hyperion do have a discharge feature. You would discharge if you were planning on running, charged your packs to 100%, and didn't end up running them. Like I said before, storing at 100% charge is dangerous, so you would use the discharge function to bring it down to 60A. Unless you have a high power charger, the discharge circuitry is pretty weak, and will take a while.

  3. #3
    RC Competitor
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    Ok, so I just want to check quick that I get what your saying.

    - You say that it is good to balance the batteries during every charge.. I assume I am to balance them before I charge them?

    - Also, you say that it is best to always store batteries at 60%... but what do you consider storing them (like time wise)? I mean, if I charged up a battery in the morning and planned to use it that evening, would it be fine to leave charged?

    - And lastly, just out of curiosity, what type of dangerous do you refer to when you say that it is "dangerous to store them at 100% charge"? Are they dangerous because they can explode, or because it can ruin how the battery work?

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 87 GN's Avatar
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    Lipo's don't explode they burn. It is hard on the batts to be stored fully charged. Store at 3.85 ish...

    - Also, you say that it is best to always store batteries at 60%... but what do you consider storing them (like time wise)? I mean, if I charged up a battery in the morning and planned to use it that evening, would it be fine to leave charged?

    Yes ~ anything longer than a day, store them..jmo

    You say that it is good to balance the batteries during every charge.. I assume I am to balance them before I charge them?

    Balance is when the battery is charging, it is the last bit of charge before the batt is fully charged that the cells are ballanced if your charge can ballance.

    Edit: You truck is a 1/16 ~ not a 1/6 even tho I would love to have a 1/5 hahahaa come on Traxxas........
    Last edited by 87 GN; 10-29-2011 at 07:18 AM.
    Would you go flip my truck back over??

  5. #5
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    lol, my bad, I didn't realize it's a 1/16. In that case, that battery is probably ok. I would still get higher mah and 40C tho. A 5000mah 40C probably wont fit in there.

    Anyhoo, like 87 GN said, they burn. And when they do, they REALLY burn. lol. Go on youtube and look up 'lipo fire' and you will understand.

    Personally, if I plan on running, longest I will store them is over night. So I will charge them the evening before I go run. Anything longer, I discharge back to 60% capacity.

    And again, as 87 GN said, the balance taps are to be hooked up during charging. Basically makes sure both cells are charged to the exact same voltage.

  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Regards discharging; you dont need to. The only time you should ever discharge a lipo is when you have charged it, but are unable to use it for more than a few days- that's when you use the storage function on the charger which will charge or discharge the cells in the pack to ~3.8v each. You may not have that luxury though as a discharge function, so it is best to only use the storage charge mode when recharging your packs if you don't know when you will use them next.

    Storing lipos fully charged or drained will ruin them eventually, or very quickly, respectively.
    Keeping the Mods busy is my specialty...

  7. #7
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    i would invest in a better charger. you'll have to charge at 1.5 with the charger as it only goes up in 500's, also doesn't have the option to store. It's a very basic balancer. The iq605 i have is probably the most basic you'll need and the specs are the same as cheaper ones ou there. But i've had a cheaper brand.
    Guide books aren't part of the packaging.

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