What if I have a failed battery?
LiPo batteries are amazing! But like all good things, they come to an end. There are a couple of simple steps that you can follow to ensure your battery can rest in peace!
First, look to see if there are obvious visible causes for failure. This can be crash damage, over-discharge, and/or extreme swelling. If your pack is visibly damaged, we recommend discontinuing use right away.
Next, try to smell for warning signs. A sweet, pungent smell from a crash-damaged battery indicates that the electrolyte solution is exposed. If detected, we recommend discontinuing use right away.
Also, discharging a LiPo battery below the minimum suggested voltage, which is about 3.0 volts per cell, can cause damage to a LiPo battery. This is called over-discharge.
Lastly, LiPo’s are designed to be used. The longer they sit on the shelf without use, the faster they will fail over time. Keep your battery cycled by fully charging and discharging every month and then keeping them at a storage charge when not in use. Still not sure where your battery stands? Get in touch with our battery tech team at MaxAmps!
Once you have identified a bad battery, you must dispose of it. The best thing you can do is recycle! Go to our “How to dispose of a LiPo battery?” FAQ for more info on disposing of LiPo batteries.
How do I dispose of a LiPo battery?
To recycle, simply tape up any exposed leads on the battery and bring it to your local battery recycling center or lithium drop-off location. You can also see if your charger has a “destroy” feature that will completely discharge your battery. If your charger does not have this feature, you can use a resistor to fully discharge the battery. Make sure you’re in a fire-safe, outdoor location.
Only after the battery has been discharged to 0 volts, can you strip off enough insulation to join the positive and negative wires together, and throw it away! If you ever have any questions, click here and our battery tech team will be happy to help.
Are lithium batteries dangerous?
Lithium batteries can definitely be dangerous if not handled properly. As long as you follow the proper safety precautions for charging and use that we provide with your order, like never leave a battery charging unattended, LiPo batteries can be used safely and last you a very long time.
What types of batteries does MaxAmps offer?
At MaxAmps we offer lithium batteries. There are two main styles of lithium batteries, pouch cells and round cells. The pouch cells are square or rectangular cells and the round cells are cylindrical style cells. Lithium cells can be built into endless parallel and/or series configurations. What are Parallel and Series builds? Check out our “What does series mean?” and “What does parallel mean?” FAQ’s for more info.
What are the pros of lithium batteries?
Lithium batteries are some of the most energy dense and highest performing battery chemistries out there to date. That is why they are used in EV cars, robotics, heavy lift drones, military use, drag racing, and much more. They can also be built into endless configurations so they can adapt to lots of different battery trays and applications.
What are the cons of lithium batteries?
Lithium batteries can be dangerous if not taken care of properly because of their high performance and high conductivity. If you can get over the learning curve of proper LiPo care, the performance you get from lithium batteries is pretty much unmatched.
Should I use an adapter to hook to my vehicle?
If you would like to use an adapter between your battery and vehicle you can. In our testing with adapters though, it creates a lot of resistance between the battery and the vehicle which is going to cause lower performance. So if you are looking to get the most out of your batteries we recommend not using adapters.
My ESC connector doesn’t match my battery connector. What should I do?
You have 3 options. You can get an adapter, which does cause extra resistance between the battery and vehicle but, is a viable solution if desired. You can solder a new mating male connector onto your ESC which we offer on our site if you have access to a soldering iron. Or you can send the battery to us and we can switch out the connector on your battery. If you have questions about male connectors or switching out the connector on your battery, contact our battery tech team here.
What is a battery tap?
The battery tap is usually a white or black balancing plug that comes off your battery that you plug into your charger when you have a battery with multiple cells in series (if you don’t know what series is, go to our “what does series mean?” FAQ). If you have multiple cells in series you need to keep those cells in balance to maximize performance and cycle life, meaning they need to all have the same voltage when the charging process is finished. If a battery gets out of balance, one cell in the pack can get charged too much while another cell can get discharged too much. That balancing tap is there to make sure all of your cells stay within close voltage range when charging and discharging your battery.
What is a battery lead?
A battery lead is the main black wire and red wire coming out of your battery, typically with a connector on the end of them. Since we assemble all of our batteries in the USA we can build your battery leads to whatever length you need for your application. For example, a battery going in a small RC car may not need very long leads to get from the battery to the ESC but, if a battery is going in a large heavy lift drone those leads may need to be a little longer to get from where the battery sits on the drone to the ESC.
What does AWG or gauge mean when referring to wire?
American Wire Gauge or AWG for short is a measurement for diameter of wire. The smaller the number, the larger the diameter of wire is. For example, the thickest wire we offer is 4awg and the smallest diameter is 22awg. The higher the amps your motor needs to pull from the battery, the thicker the wire gauge needs to be to transfer that power efficiently from the battery to the motor.
What does LiPo stand for?
LiPo stands for Lithium Polymer battery, which is a battery combining lithium-ion technology with a semi-solid polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte.
What does mAh(milliamp hour) mean?
Milliamp hour(mAh) or “milliamps” is a capacity rating that is used to calculate how long a battery will run for if completely depleted. The higher the milliamps, the longer your battery will run before needing to be recharged. It’s also used to calculate how many amps a battery can potentially produce at different discharge rates.
What does Wh(watt hour) mean?
Watt hours is the voltage of the battery multiplied by the amp hour of the battery. For example, a 5200mAh(5.2Ah) 7.4v pack is 38.48Wh. (5.2Ah x 7.4v = 38.48Wh)
What does V(voltage) mean?
Voltage(V) is the rating for how powerful a battery is. LiPo cells typically range from 3.0v fully discharged to 4.2v fully charged. Nominal voltage is the voltage a battery is rated at, which is between fully discharged and fully charged. The nominal voltage for our LiPo cells is 3.7v per cell.
What does S(series) mean?
Series(S) is a way to assemble lithium batteries to increase voltage. If you take 2 cells that have a nominal voltage of 3.7v and build them together in series, the voltage would increase to 7.4v on the battery. 3 cells would be 11.1v etc. If you sort our site by 4s packs, they would all have a voltage of 14.8v with different mAh options. If you have any other questions about series builds, contact our battery tech team here.
What does P(parallel) mean?
Parallel(P) is a way to assemble lithium batteries to increase capacity(mAh). If you take two cells that are both 1000mAh and build them together in parallel, the milliamps would increase to 2000mAh. If you paralleled three 1000mAh cells, it would become a 3000mAh battery. If you see 2P, 3P etc. on any of our battery listings, that just means the pack is built with multiple cells in parallel to achieve that given capacity. If you have any other questions about parallel builds, contact our battery tech team here.
What is the best performing battery?
Of course, there are many different answers to this question based on what your performance goals are. Typically though, you are looking to achieve one of two things, more power or more flight/run time or possibly a combination of both. If you are looking for more power, we can help you with that. If you are looking for longer flight/run times, we can help you with that too. If you have questions about the best performing battery for your application, please contact our battery tech team by clicking here.
What battery will last the longest in my application?
If you are looking for the longest lasting battery, you should be comparing the capacity or mAh of one battery to another in the voltage range you require. The highest capacity battery that will fit your required dimensions will typically provide the longest runtime.
What battery will give me the most punch?
What many refer to as punch is really voltage under load. The higher voltage the battery can hold under load, the more “punch” it will provide. Our higher “C” rated batteries and batteries that use multiple cells in parallel will usually provide the highest voltage under load. This will equate to more top speed and acceleration.
Is the “C” rate too high for my application?
The “C” rating on a battery can never be too high as the current load(motor) of your application will determine the amount of power required from the battery pack, not the battery pack rating itself. The battery does not automatically deliver the power it’s rated for when connected. The rating is simply a way to express what the battery is potentially capable of delivering if needed.
Can MaxAmps build a bigger battery than what is listed on the site?
Since we assemble our batteries here in the USA, we have no restrictions on the size of battery pack we can provide. Just contact our battery tech team with your requirement by clicking here and we can provide you with a custom quote.
What is a BMS(Battery Management System)?
A Battery Management System or BMS, for short, is usually a circuit board wired internally in the battery. These boards offer lots of different uses such as a fuel gauge, temperature monitoring, over-discharge/over-charge protection, and more. Whether you need a BMS or not and what kind of BMS you need will depend on the application because it can add weight to the battery as well. If you are looking for a BMS for your battery contact our battery tech team here and they can explain our options
What is a Smart Battery?
A smart battery is typically referred to as a battery with an internal BMS or some sort of fuel gauge. We can build smart batteries that include a fuel gauge, temperature monitoring, over-discharge/over-charge protection, etc.; if desired. Contact our battery tech team here for more information.
Do you offer built in BMS(Battery Management Systems)?
We currently offer a Smart Battery Upgrade on many of our batteries. This provides you with SOC(State of Charge)/SOH(State of Health) of your battery. We do not offer BMS units with in-flight data logging, cell balancing, or telemetry. Many flight controllers offer these features. Adding advanced BMS features to the battery can become a failure point. Flight controllers with these features are more efficient than an internal BMS and allow you to keep the battery weight as light as possible. Our lithium battery chargers provide all the necessary charging and balancing features without the need for a built-in BMS. For custom battery solutions, contact our battery tech team by clicking here.
Do you offer HV(high-voltage) LiPo batteries??
We do not currently offer HV LiPo batteries. We have found that charging any currently available LiPo cells above 4.2v to 4.35V-4.4V/cell puts the battery in an unsafe state. The risk of fire is much higher in this state. It's not safe and results in significantly less cycle life. This also includes batteries that are labeled by overseas companies as "LiHV". Unfortunately, some overseas battery brands have pushed this feature as "safe" so that they can claim a higher Wh/Kg(energy density) on their batteries, while also failing to disclose the decrease in cycle life and risks if you HV charge. Beware: Overseas tend to Overstate.
Do you offer hard cases?
We currently offer limited hard case options for the offroad RC market that requires the hard cases for sanctioned races. We do not offer hard case options on our standard battery packs as the hard case generally results in undesired extra weight, dimensional volume, and higher operating temperatures under load. This is due to the lack of air flow and heat dispersion and can lower the performance of the battery. For custom battery solutions, contact our battery tech team by clicking here.