Remote Control Battery Guide
Remote control cars are fun for both kids and adults. But the complex battery system can seem daunting. Here's your remote control car battery guide.
Believe it or not, people have been making serious money for years in the professional circuit of RC car, boat, and drone racing. Even if you're just a hobbyist, you get the most out of your experience when you take care of your remote control car battery.
No matter what kind of car you have or what kind of battery it uses, your vehicle has a longer life and better performance if you care for your battery.
Here are five things to keep in mind when you're trying to get the most out of your remote controlled vehicle and its battery.
1. Charge Your Ni-MH Battery Right the First Time
When you first get your remote controlled car, you need to start your battery off on the right foot. From the first time you charge your battery, you set the tone for how the battery's life will be.
When you get a Ni-MH battery, start by charging it up for 6-8 hours with the charger that it comes with. Look for a green indicator light that it comes with to let you know that it's fully charged. If your battery doesn't have a light on it, then look at the manual to let you know when it's full.
Unplug the charger as soon as it's fully charged if it has a light. If there isn't one, then just follow the 6-8 hour rule unless your manual says something different. There are fast chargers that lower the time it takes to charge but you should start with the charger that your battery came with.
2. Keep Charging Your Battery the Right Way
After you've charged it up for the first time, you need to keep charging your battery the right way to keep it alive for longer. The next time you charge it, you only need to go for 4-6 hours. Since the running time will depend on the battery's mAh, consider how much your battery is supposed to be charged.
A battery with a high mAh power rating lasts longer than the average RC car or boat. If you want to get a better running performance from your RC vehicle, then you should be sure that you give your battery the attention it needs.
The batteries that come with RC models today often have about 12-15 minute running times depending on type of track you're on. If you want better performance, upgrade your battery to a more powerful one. Find one with a high mAh rating if you want to get more life out of them.
3. Li-Po Batteries Have Different Needs
If you have a lithium polymer battery in your RC vehicle, you'll have to follow a slightly different set of rules. They typically come with balance chargers that include indicator lights. Those lights let you know whether or not a battery is fully charged so you don't have to guess.
Check on your battery every hour or so to ensure that it's fully charged. Don't leave your battery charging overnight. Leaving a battery unattended causes problems and leads to degradation.
These batteries usually run around 15-20 minutes. This also depends on the type of terrain that you're driving over and what kind of track that you're on when you're using it.
4. When to Charge Your Battery
Before you go out for your first run with your vehicle, you need to give your battery a full charge. This ensures that you figure out what kind of power to expect from your vehicle and that you're able to drain it completely from top to bottom.
When your vehicle starts to become slow and less responsive, that means your battery is running low.
If you're using a Ni-MH battery, you need to fully drain your battery. When your vehicle is moving slowly, take it from the track before you start to fully discharge the battery. The best way to do that is to lift your vehicle up and run the motor until it's totally drained.
If you're using a Li-Po battery, you need to treat your vehicle differently. When your vehicle is low in power, don't discharge it fully. Just let your vehicle cool off and then plug it in to recharge the battery.
To get the most out of your Li-Po battery, charge it inside of the Li-Po safe bag.
5. Getting the Most Life out of Your Battery
When you have an electric-powered RC vehicle, avoid wet places. Running your vehicle on wet surfaces and through puddles might be fun, but it's bound to damage your battery. Wet roads, muddy area, and grass put undue stress on your components.
Since water damage usually isn't covered by product warranties, avoid water damage. Water that gets into the components of your car is bound to do some serious damage.
Follow the care instructions that your vehicle battery comes with. Store it properly when it's not in use to ensure that your battery lasts longer. Keep your batteries in a cool and dry environment when they're not in use.
Believe it or not, the sun can damage your batteries. Keep them out of direct sunlight, away from heating vents, or any potential heat sources to keep them from damage. When you're storing them, keep your batteries in their Li-Po safe bag to ensure they're properly protected at all times.
Your Remote Control Car Battery Is Its Lifeline
Aside from the components essential for its movement, your remote control car battery is one of the most important components of your car. If you're not taking care of your battery, you risk having your car fail when you're out having the most fun. Worse, you could even end up starting a small fire.