Short and simple answers

This is a place where I hope to compile a bunch of short and simple answers on various topics.
Lipo use questions ...
  • Can I use a higher C-rated lipo in my heli?
  • Do lipos need to be cycled or discharged fully to stay healthy?
  • Can I leave my lipos always charged?
  • My lipo swells some when I fly it. Is this normal?

Can I use a higher C-rated lipo in my heli?

Absolutely. The c-rating for a lipo is just the maximum that lipo can output. Think of it like a reserve, it is there if you need it but you don't have to use it. The downsides to higher c-rated lipos are the added cost, size and weight, so those things must be taken into account.


Do lipos need to be cycled or discharged fully to stay healthy?

No. Lipos do not suffer from the memory problems of Nixx batteries.


Can I leave my lipos always charged?

Depends. The general consensus is that lipos should not be left fully charged for more than a few days. So if you are not planning to fly in say less than 3 days, it is probably best to leave them discharged.


My lipo swells some when I fly it. Is this normal?

When a lipo gets warm it can swell some. Getting a lipo very warm can cause the initial swelling or make it worse. This swelling is different from "puffing" as the lipo usually goes back to normal after it cools and/or is charged. Over time the swelling may not go away and eventually can be permanent. But as long as it is just minor swelling, it should be  fine and safe to use.
RC wiring questions ...
  • What are my options for choosing a battery/esc connector?
  • What size of wire should I use in my heli?

What are my options for choosing a battery/esc connector?

Below are the basic options by size that should be considered. Otherwise it is your decision.

Small heli/plane
(generally 100-250 helis and planes up to 1lb.)

  • JST (models from 2A to 5A available)
  • Deans Micro Plug (rated for 10A)
Medium heli/plane
(generally 450-500 helis and planes up to 6lbs.)

  • EC3 (rated at 60A)
  • Deans Ultra Plugs (rated for 30A-?)
  • 3.5mm bullets (rated for 30A-?)
  • XT60 (rated for 65A)
  • Power Poles (45A model)
Large heli/plane
(generally 550-700 helis and planes over 6lb+)

  • EC5 (rated for 120A)
  • 4mm bullets (rated for 80A-?)
  • Power Poles (45A model)
  • CC 4mm-6.5mm bullets (75A-200A)


What size of wire should I use in my heli?

On average I recommend you use __awg for battery to esc connections on ___ sized heli.

18awg to 16awg, 250
14awg, 450
12awg, 500
12awg to 10awg, LV 600 (6s-8s)
12awg, HV 600 (10s-12s)
12awg to 8awg, HV 700 (12s+)
Charging questions ...
  • Can I charge my packs faster than 1C?
  • Why does my charger only charge my packs to 4.18-4.19V per cell?
  • When I charge my 6s packs at 3A, why does it draw 6A off my 12V power supply?

Can I charge my packs faster than 1C?

It is perfectly safe to charge any high performance lipo (15C+ discharge rated lipos) faster than 1C as long as it is in good condition. How much faster is up to you but 2C is a good rate for most pilots.


Why does my charger only charge my packs to 4.18-4.19V per cell?

The simple answer is that this is normal and that no charger charges a lipo to exactly 4.2V.

The complete answer is more complicated and involves both the process which chargers use to charge lipos and how lipos respond to loads. In a nutshell ... a lipo charger can never charge a lipo to 4.2V without raising the charge voltage above 4.2V and none of the chargers are allowed to raise their charge voltage above 4.2V. How close the charger gets the voltage to 4.2V is decided by both the charger design and the charger's user settings.


When I charge my 6s packs at 3A, why does it draw 6A off my 12V power supply?

At their heart chargers are just DC-DC converters. They take a DC source and convert it into a DC output that is proper for charging batteries. There is a constant between the input and output even though the voltage and currents change and that is the wattage. So for example here are the numbers for a charging a 6s 3000mAh pack at 1C off a 12V source.

Charger output
Watts = Volts * Amps
Watts = 6s (25.2V) * 1C (3A) = 75.6W

Charger input
Amps = Watts / Volts
Amps = 75.6W / 12V = 6.3A
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