Before telling how to charge, we first need to understand the basic parameters of lithium polymer batteries. You can also skip this content and go directly to the following battery charging tutorial and precautions.
- S: The battery is composed of several independent batteries connected in series. 3S means that the battery is composed of 3 batteries connected in series. Different drones need to use batteries with different S numbers. For example, hollow cups use 2S and racing machines. The traversing machine generally uses a 6S battery.
- mAh: Indicates the capacity of the battery. Generally, a 5-inch quadcopter uses a 1300-2000 mAh battery.
- C: Indicates the discharge rate of the battery. If you need more power, you must choose a battery with a large C number. Generally, experienced pilots will choose a battery above 100C. However, novices do not need to pursue a high C number, because the higher the C number of the battery means that your aircraft is more agile, and the novice is required to operate faster.
- The battery has two wires, the red wire is the positive electrode, the black wire is the negative electrode, and the head of the wire is a different plug. According to the current size, the common plugs are XT30, XT60, EC3, Deans, and so on. About the plug, you can check this article 《Know About the Details of 16 RC Battery Connector Types》， which has a detailed explanation.
The other set of lines is the equalization line of the battery, which is used to equalize the voltage of the battery cells.
How to charge
Here I use a charger with a built-in power supply, and then I need to prepare 2 XT60 adapter cables and 2 balance boards. Then we can charge 2 lithium polymer batteries at the same time. First, connect the two batteries to the charger with the adapter cable, and then plug the balance head into the balance board of matching size.
At this time, the battery on the left corresponds to channel 1, and the battery on the right corresponds to channel 2. The current channel will be displayed in the upper left corner of the charger, press the CH button on the charger to switch between channel 1 and channel 2, and then slide the scroll wheel to that channel Battery for setting.
In the setting interface, we can see the battery type, current, and other options, we have to choose according to the battery situation. For example, we choose charging, or discharging, storage, etc. according to the needs. Next, choose the battery type, we choose “lipo(lithium polymer batteries) “. Since we have chosen to charge the Lipo battery, it automatically chooses to charge to the full voltage of 4.20V (here refers to the voltage of the battery cell). If you have a high-voltage lipo battery, you need to select the “LiHV” option, the full battery voltage is 4.35V.
The charger will display the battery number S according to the balance board, and we don’t need to set it.
Next, we choose the charging current. The charging current determines how long the battery needs to be charged. The high current charge is fast, but if the current is set too much, it is more dangerous. The charging current for lithium polymer batteries is generally set at 3-5A.
After completing the above settings, click “Start Task” at the bottom to start charging. During the charging process, the current and the voltage of each cell can be seen.
When you charge each time, there is no need to repeat the settings each time. If the next battery has the same parameters, just use the last memorized parameters. But when you want to charge a different kind of battery, you have to reset it again.
In order to ensure safety, each time you start charging, you must confirm whether the parameters and the battery match. After the charge is completed, the charger will display that the charge is complete and emit a “DiDi” prompt. Press the confirm button to end the charging, and the entire charging process is completed.
Occasionally there are more “special” batteries. For example, the battery used for flying small drones is a high-voltage lithium battery different from Lipo. When charging, select the corresponding battery type (LiHV) and the full voltage of 4.35V.
Generally, the charging current of a mobile phone is about 1-2A. Compared with the charging current through the machine, the charging current is relatively large. Therefore, for safety reasons, do not leave the charger while charging.
In addition, it is recommended that you choose the safest charging rate according to the battery manual, generally 1C. Although many lithium batteries support fast charging, many facts have proved that low-current charging will have a good impact on battery life and performance.
Do not leave a fully charged or low-power battery for a long time, otherwise, it will be easily damaged (such as a bulge). If you want to store the battery for a long time, use the “storage” option of the charger to charge and discharge the battery to a voltage suitable for long-term storage. The storage voltage of the battery is generally 3.85V.
Be careful not to over-discharge the battery and pay attention to the power from time to time. Generally, the single-chip battery should be stopped if it is lower than 3.7V. Check Lipo Voltage Chart for more details.