Keep Your RC Car Ready and on the Go With Optimal Batteries
Batteries make everything work, and when it comes to RC cars, the battery is one of the most important factors to consider. It is vital that you are informed of the types of batteries available, then which type is suitable for your car, and what the differences between the possible choices actually are. Here are the basics that you should know.
First of all, you should be aware that there are two essential types of hobby batteries used to power electric models: Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium Polymer (LiPo). The names refer to the main materials within the batteries that store and release energy and give power to the RC car. They both have their own characteristics and features. Let’s compare them so that you can make an informed decision.
NiMH vs LiPo Batteries
If you own a ready-to-run (RTR) model that comes with included battery, it is most likely a NiMH battery. These come in a rugged texture, are inexpensive and do not require some special care. On the other hand, LiPo batteries usually do not come with the car, they are most often sold as accessories. Moreover, LiPo batteries are a bit lighter than the NiMH variety of a similar capacity and voltage. Also, unlike the NiMH type, LiPos need specific care regimen if you want them to last longer and operate safely.
One other important feature is the capacity they provide. The hobby batteries have a number on the battery itself, and something you should keep in mind is that “the bigger the number, the longer the runtime”. This number (3300,4000,5000 etc.) shows how long your car will run per charge. So, if your battery is rated at 5000 milliamp hours (mAh) it roughly means that your car will run for longer than an hour.
Besides the capacity level, you also need to know a few things about the voltage. Here, again, more volts means better performance, but up to a point. Be advised that your RC car is designed to handle a certain amount of voltage and if you overdo it, it may induce the system to shut down and cause some damage. The voltage is determined by how many cells a battery has. A single NiMH cell delivers 1.2 volts, and these batteries most commonly come with six or seven cells. But, it is different with LiPos. The principle is basically the same, but a single LiPo delivers 3.7 volts, so they have fewer cells for a given voltage compared to the NiMH batteries. Be that as it may, the vital thing to do is to check your power-system specs and avoid any mistakes.