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LiPo for Dummies


Floperator
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I have had a search around but info seems to be spread out all over the place - I'm considering swapping everything out for LiPo batteries for better performance and longer battery life, but I just have a ton of questions:

 

*First of all; brands to buy and brands to avoid, for both batteries and charger?

*I see that some come with Deans connectors and some with Mini Tamiya - are the Tamiya ones ok to use or do I have to rewire all of my AEGs? Or use Deans to Tamiya adaptors?

*Is the risk of fire and/or catastrophic failure exaggerated under normal/sensible use? Do I really have to keep them in an asbestos bin at the bottom of the garden?

*Most of the impetus behind this is that I'd like to be able to get a full day out of one set of batteries (at the moment I'm only getting a bit more than half a day out of stock NiMhs), is this realistic?

*So far all internals for my AEGs are stock, so I was going to go with 7.4v, perhaps upgrading to 11.1v if I upgrade gun internals later on - is this sensible?

*Any reason not to get the biggest/highest mAh I can fit into the gun?

 

*Anything else I should know getting into this?

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With the caveat that this is just my own sub-cult beliefs, and our RC chums know much more:

 

I buy whatever brand of lipo battery is the cheapest, as I'm now fairly convinced that anything sold for airsoft tends to be junk cells anyway, and I'm actually an advocate of buying twice rather than buying "quality".

 

Charger, I'd only go SkyRC and the groupthink suggests the S65 (I have the much older B6 which works, but the S65 is the modern equivalent).

 

I've rewired to Deans because it's clearly a better connectors than mini-Tamiya.  However, if I were doing it all over again, I'd probably go straight to XT60, on the understanding that then I'd have to keep re-wiring to that since RC form factor batteries with XT60 tend not to fit in airsoft toys.  Deans is easy enough to solder onto, just be super-strict about only cutting then re-soldering one battery wire at a time.

 

I am not dead yet, and I treat my lipos with disdain bordering on contempt.

 

I can usually just about get a full day out of a single 1200-1400mAh cell, but I'm not trigger happy.  However, I generally switch at lunch, and when I've forgotten, I've occasionally run out at the end of the day.

 

I'd stick with 7.4v as I get brutal overspin and double-shots on all my M100 / ~1.1J AEGs with 11.1V.  I only run 11.1V in one gun with an anti-brake / pre-cock mosfet, and in my M140-ish 1.8J DMR.

 

I'd always go with the biggest, highest capacity and C rated cell that I can fit.  Never make the battery the limiting factor.

 

The exception to the quality, durability and capacity cheapskate arguments above might be lithium-ion batteries, e.g. Titan Power, rather than lithium-polymer.  I haven't dabbled in them, they cost more than I'd prefer to spend, but they claim higher capacity, and we've seen owners say they've got multiple days out of them after forgetting to recharge.

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*First of all; brands to buy and brands to avoid, for both batteries and charger?

Turnigy are good for both, Nuprol are shit for both (well...pretty much everything in fact)

 

*I see that some come with Deans connectors and some with Mini Tamiya - are the Tamiya ones ok to use or do I have to rewire all of my AEGs? Or use Deans to Tamiya adaptors?

Mini Tamiya are perfectly serviceable, Deans are in theory better but it does depend on the quality of the ones you buy and someone will be along in a minute to tell us all that XT60 are in fact God Tier and everyone should have them.

 

*Is the risk of fire and/or catastrophic failure exaggerated under normal/sensible use? Do I really have to keep them in an asbestos bin at the bottom of the garden?

Be sensible, use a decent charger and keep them in a LiPo bag. Catastrophic failure is almost always a result of neglect or abuse. Puffing batteries is something to watch out for but if you follow the earlier points then you should be fine. If you notice any getting physically damaged or puffing up then just get rid and replace them, they're really not expensive.

 

*Most of the impetus behind this is that I'd like to be able to get a full day out of one set of batteries (at the moment I'm only getting a bit more than half a day out of stock NiMhs), is this realistic?

Entirely depends on how much battery space you have and your playing style. That said, the stock NiMhs that come with guns are almost entirely dogshit.

 

*So far all internals for my AEGs are stock, so I was going to go with 7.4v, perhaps upgrading to 11.1v if I upgrade gun internals later on - is this sensible?

Most modern AEGs are fine with 11.1v but lifespan may suffer a bit if you're particularly ham fisted. Older guns would be better on 7.4 until you can beef them up

 

*Any reason not to get the biggest/highest mAh I can fit into the gun?

Not really.

 

*Anything else I should know getting into this?

Always check the sizes of where you plan to put your battery in your gun BEFORE buying the battery. Just because the website says it'll fit in an M4 stock tube, doesn't mean it'll always fit YOUR M4 stock tube.

 

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Posted (edited)

As above really...

 

* Good makes for batteries: KongPower, Turnigy

  Charger: SkyRC

  (Stay away from NUPROL)

 

* Deans (T-connectors) are much better than mini-tamiya in every way.  XT are good too but more expensive and bigger so I still prefer Deans.

 

* I don't have bags for batteries but I do charge on a baking tray.

 

* Yep, 7.4v is best for standard AEG.  11.1v can work but puts a LOT of strain on the gearbox so expect shorter life and more catastrophic failures.

   Yes, get highest C and mAh you can fit in the space.

   Roughly explained: C Rating is how much power can be delivered in an instant.  mAh is total power storage capacity.

  

   1300mAh can last a day with moderate use, so two of them would be a good choice for a game day.

 

 

 

Edited by EDcase
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Posted (edited)

I'd also suggest looking at the Titan range of Lipo batteries. 

 

No idea what they do but they seem to have doubled the capacity for the same physical size battery. For example the battery I run in an m4 stock tube was a nuprol (was pretty good to be fair) at 1450 mah (7.4 lipo), couldn't have squeezed any more mah in that space with that tech. However for the titan range of batteries (7.4 again) I can fit a 3000mah battery in the same space (more comfortably as well). 

 

I was switching batteries at lunch time to be safe, no need now. Also no concerns if I am a bit trigger happy of "is my battery charged enough" etc.

 

They are more money, a lot of airsoft stuff is crap and the cheaper option is often the same as the more expensive option, but there does seem to be something pretty cool here that isn't getting a lot of attention. 

 

I believe they can take more abuse than a standard lipo. 

Edited by Emergencychimps
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1 hour ago, Lozart said:

someone will be along in a minute to tell us all that XT60 are in fact God Tier and everyone should have them

 

Do as I say, not as I did, but if (e.g.) CYMA went to XT60 overnight, would anyone find a reason to grumble or switch to anything else?

 

Mini-Tamiya is actually OK. I mean internally it's two banana connectors, same as (but smaller than) XT60.  It's just the plastic round it that's too shoogly for my tastes.

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26 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

 

Do as I say, not as I did, but if (e.g.) CYMA went to XT60 overnight, would anyone find a reason to grumble or switch to anything else?

 

Mini-Tamiya is actually OK. I mean internally it's two banana connectors, same as (but smaller than) XT60.  It's just the plastic round it that's too shoogly for my tastes.

 

XT60s are overkill for Airsoft guns really - XT30 would be more sensible for all but the most Amp-hungry builds. Smaller than Deans too.

2 hours ago, Floperator said:

*First of all; brands to buy and brands to avoid, for both batteries and charger?

 

Add ISDT to the list of 'good' charger brands.

 

They make superb chargers and they don't cost mega money  - a DC-powered Q6 Nano is only ~£26 and has a colour OLED screen with more features than you would ever need. Blows any B6 (genuine and clones) out of the water.

 

 

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I've had mixed fortunes with my Titan batteries... had a 7.4v that wouldn't charge, then would, then died.   Titan replaced it.  The the replacement died.  They replaced it again.
That died too, they replaced it (with me paying the difference) with an 11.1 nunchuck that was my preferred option at that point.

That's been running like a champ.    Touch wood.

 

The battery deaths were either my fault (trying to use the battery in possibly faulty guns?) or because I left the battery in the gun with a Mosfet that drained the battery to the point of death after only a couple of days (which they say can't happen, but apparently can).

 

So the batteries are great when they work, the customer service is great, but you still need to take them out of guns when they're not in use - they're not infallible.

The alternative is to buy a few cheaper lipo's, keep them in a fire-proof box and treat them as 'consumables'

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1 hour ago, Emergencychimps said:

They are more money

About the same cost as two typical lipos though, and you only need one. 

 

8 minutes ago, RostokMcSpoons said:

I've had mixed fortunes with my Titan batteries

That's unfortunate to hear. Granted I've only bought one but it's been good so far. Keeps up on output with my overlander battery but with twice the capacity. Definitely don't keep them in your guns though, I take mine out and discharge them to storage charge if I'm not playing for more than a month. 

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I've decided to go for the "I don't give a stuff" approach to battery maintenance, as I can afford to replace the small cheap 11.1v lipo's I've mostly got now... at £10-£15 a shot they're priced where I don't mind buying more of 'em.  I just hope they don't ever go pop where they could hurt me or my stuff.

Killing a Titan that costs £35-£45 is a harder hit.  So I keep it for my most trusted gun (the DE).  It'll run all day very happily so it's definitely a good bit of kit.
 

 

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1 hour ago, Rogerborg said:

 

Do as I say, not as I did, but if (e.g.) CYMA went to XT60 overnight, would anyone find a reason to grumble or switch to anything else?

 

 

Of course they would. Are you new here or something?

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28 minutes ago, Lozart said:

Of course they would. Are you new here or something?

 

I've just been admonished with XT30, it's still too tender to talk about.

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My clone B6 has behaved impeccably for years.  I can get a whole day out of a 1000mAh LiPo no worries with the gun set to single shot burst.

 

Stick with 7.4s.  

 

I use 1500s for most games, the cheapest on Evilbay.  

 

I tend to charge everything in a lipo bag, in my line of sight. 

 

Standard NiMhs are shite in comparison. 

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Only reason not to get the biggest mAh battery is if you're using it to power a HPA gun. A 300mAh tiny battery will power an HPA system for a whole weekend of playing and then some (personal experience there). Could I fit some monster 3000mAh battery in my m21 stock? You bet I could, but it would be wholly pointless, be awkward getting in and out and just take longer to charge for game days or discharge to storage levels afterwards. No thanks!

 

I'm an advocate of "get a good charger" even though I barely touch batteries. Only for my MP7 AEP and my HPA systems, but I still love my Turnigy 6 charger (it's old now and discontinued, but it very much does the job). I'll charge my batteries before a game day or event and storage charge them afterwards out of routine, but I've heard from a lot of people that it's excessive (excessive in a good way though!).

 

And yeah, lipo bags are cheap but you'll be glad to have them in unlikely the event that your battery does go up in smoke. Some of my friends have had lipos go up in flames on them, but one was a faulty battery (I told my friend to raise hell with the shop who sold it to him) and one was puffy and the guy was like "yeah, that was my fault. Shouldn't have tried it..."

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I am in way over my head 😂

Looks like the tamiya to xt60 adaptor I bought has its wires crossed?

Either way it looks like I'll be using the NiMHs this weekend after all, there's no way I'm going to figure this out or sort the wiring issue before Sunday..20220516_201622.thumb.jpg.25ec649ac43d883f678369d77ffdbc71.jpg

Edited by Floperator
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Maybe swap wires round ?

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23 minutes ago, Floperator said:

Looks like the tamiya to xt60 adaptor I bought has its wires crossed?

 

Airsoft and RC disagree on Tamiya connector polarity, and as XT60 is mostly an RC thing I'd expect any converter to be RC wired.

 

 

5 minutes ago, Shamal said:

Maybe swap wires round ?

 

Yup.  Oh, we covered that here, all you need to swap Tamiya terminals is a very small flat-blade screwdriver or some other way to squish the connector tabs in.

 

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Oh it's not soldered? In that case I'll switch the wires around at work tomorrow. I have some heatshrink tube to tidy it up after.

Edit: found some heatshrink in my toolbox and just did it on my lap while watching TV. Super easy, I used a lock pick to bend the tabs down.

20220516_213628.thumb.jpg.f02db7da2a19a25eb6d2066598419ef0.jpg20220516_214445.thumb.jpg.a97962d303a3d7c2a2b65cdc6db4b4c4.jpg20220516_215304.thumb.jpg.0a64cebfbd1ef6b95068c55eafd7af6a.jpg

Edited by Floperator
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Be careful buying batteries as I got caught out and confused by RC batteries when I first used Lipos.  I did not know about swapping the connections round.

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Just now, Tactical Pith Helmet said:

Be careful buying batteries as I got caught out and confused by RC batteries when I first used Lipos.  I did not know about swapping the connections round.

Thanks for the tip, think I'm OK with the lipos I just bought as they are wired the same as my existing NiMH batteries (i.e wrongly, apparently).

Just a lot to take in atm and electrickery has never been my forte at all. Currently experimenting with just auto charging a nimh I don't care about too much.

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If they're sold as airsoft lipos you're fine.  I found a big lipo for my support weapon and didn't realise that it was wired 'wrong' for aegs.  

 

I got bloody confused with my new charger at first.  I found that the manual over complicated everything.  Youtube vids made much more sense and showed how simple everything actually was.  

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Yeah I think I need to get over on yt and watch a ton of videos, I just don't know what I'm doing at all. E.g there's a 5 pin socket in the charger for balance charging, but the balance leads on my lipos only have a 3 hole plug. Which of the three ways of inserting this plug is the way that doesn't burn my house down? 🤔 🤣

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The balance port will have mire connections as its made to take up to 4s lipos.

It's should be clearly labeled as to the pin numbers and the balance plug usually has a pair of protruding ridges to match the port. Match the black/negative to the negative mark in the port and you should be able to see all the cell voltages displayed in the battery meter section of the charger.

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