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Newbie Lipo charger question

Newbie Lipo charger question

Old 01-06-2013, 05:14 PM
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Default Newbie Lipo charger question

Hi all,

I am new to the R/C scene. I wanted to go ahead and give thanks for any help!

I just bought a Traxxas Stampede XL-5 2wd brushed yesterday. Nice little ride!

I purchased this SPC LiPo battery: SPC Li-Po Power, Lithium Polymer (LiPo), Hard Case Battery Pack; 6500mAh , 50C, 2S, 7.4V

Now I need a charger. I have no idea what charger to use, as I am a rookie to LiPo. I know Traxxas said to stay with a 2S battery so I did.

I am trying to stay in the $50 range. I only need to charge 1 battery for now.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:00 PM
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OK, there are lots of great threads on most forums (and several good web pages too) on LiPo care and charging. I suggest reading through some of those (or at least skimming one). LiPo can be very dangerous, but by following some basics is also very safe.

Some quick basics in case you don't go read:
1) 1C charge rates are always ok, generally considered the safest charge speed, and may increase the usable lifespan of your battery as compared to charging faster (many will argue the lifespan point, but it varies by battery and other care as well)
2) balance charging is a must, at least every few charges, but is recommended for every charge
3) don't leave a battery fully charged for any extended period of time, only charge it if you are going to use it (also don't leave it dead)
4) never try to over charge, or charge with the wrong kind of charging method selected

Now that we have that out of the way, here's some more detail to help you pick a good charger for you.

A 1C charge rate for your 6500mah 2s pack will be 6.5 amps, which should balance charge the pack in 35-45 minutes with ease. A quick calculation into watts is 8.4v * 6.5a = 54.5 watts. So, to do a 1c charge you'd need that much power. Most inexpensive balance chargers do 50 watts per channel. This is perfectly fine and just means that your pack will take a tiny bit longer to charge. You can, however, find some 80 watt inexpensive chargers for only a few bucks more, which may be worth it.

I haven't used these, but I've seen several people like them, and they're in your price range:
50w http://www.hobbypartz.com/thac6smbachw.html
80w http://www.hobbypartz.com/73p-ac680-accharger.html

Those will give you everything you need in the box (with the possible exception of a traxxas style charger lead if that is the battery connector you're using, which you can get from almost anywhere).

There are many other chargers on the market, some will be budget and some will not, but always make sure it will balance charge, and have at least that 50w charge, or you'll be unhappy in the long run.

Another option, which is more expensive now, but probably better in the long run (I wish I'd done it), is to get a DC charger and a DC power supply. This lets you just add another DC charger (cheaper and available with more charging power) down the road to add to your existing one, instead of having to start over. However, unless you plan to put a whole stable or RC cars together with lots of different batteries, and run them all all the time, you'll probably be just as happy or happier by buying another AC (wall outlet) based charger like those linked above if you need to charge more.
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