Powering the Pew – Lipo batteries

So to some lipos are the only thing they’ll use to power their airsoft stuff, where as others still stick to NimH and NiCD batteries. Some because they don’t know there’s a better option, others because they’ve heard some horror stories of lipos going pop and setting things on fire.

A lot of the horror stories come from old lipo technology that was much more volatile and were prone to venting or melting things. Lipos have been used in model aircraft for a long time, and unsurprisingly, if you crash one, the battery might not come off too well either which also helped to add to the horror stories.

Realistically, the modern breed of lipo batteries shouldn’t catch fire as long as you buy a reputable brand (buy from http://wwww.hobbyking.co.uk or http://www.component-shop.co.uk/ stock decent brands like Vapex and Turnigy). Couple this with a good quality charger like the Imax B6 or the JP Energ Pro (the charger I use) you’ll be able to keep your lipos good and healthy.

If you are going to make the switch to lipos, it is also worth charging over your battery connectors from tamiyas (large or mini) to Genuine Deans Ultra connectors. These connectors can handle the power that lipos put out, where as tamiyas can either melt due to the heat, or become deformed over time, meaning you get a dodgy connection and lose power. Just switching to deans can net you 1RPS, coupled with changing to lipos, you’ll get a few more too.

You’ll also want to make sure that the wiring in your gun is at least half decent. Low quality wiring might struggle under load which will reduce the effectiveness of swapping to lipos and if its really bad, might melt which isn’t great.

Unlike NiCDs which you need to keep discharged to prevent the memory effect, you should not let your lipos fall below 3 volts per cell. Under normal conditions, your AEG’s rate of fire will begin to slow down well before you get to that point, so once you notice the RoF dropping on your AEG, stop using it and go swap the lipo out for a fresh one.

When it comes to charging your lipo, my preference is to use a charge rate of 1 amp for all my batteries. It will take longer than pumping up the juice, but if you do it the night before a game then what’s the hurry. You can easily go up to 2 amps without causing much issue either.

A decent C rating to aim for on your lipos is 20-25c, which will be plenty enough for general purposes. If you’re going to the realms for DMRs then a higher C rating might be appropriate, but if you’re going into that territory, I’ll assume you have somewhat of an idea of what you need.

I’ve not covered absolutely everything here, but hopefully its enough to get you started with lipos.

~ Adam Smith (SMIFFY)
~ Adam Smith (SMIFFY)

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