RC car technology has changed a lot over the years and one of the biggest changes have been batteries. I started with Sanyo SCRC NiCd pack, left the hobby before NiMH came out and came back when LiPo was full swing. Along with brushless power systems, LiPo batteries have revolutionised all RC vehicles - more burst power, higher energy density and multiple cell options. LiPo batteries need a lot of care, more than than a set of nichrome wires that hook your battery pack directly to a car battery anyway. The technology you need to properly charge and care for Lipo (and LiIon batteries) is a balance charger which allows the charger to charge each individual cell at a time rather than all together in series. This is important to not only extend the life and performance of your battery but to minimise the risk of the Lipo pack causing damage to your surroundings.
The right tool for the job
Like everything else to do with RC Cars, LiPo balance chargers are available in any number of models with different features, different interfaces and different quality levels. However unlike, motors, wheels, servos, escs and any other RC car parts they don't wear out and typically the charger you use will be with you for a long time so it is definitely worth having one that does the job properly. With that said you don't need to spend a lot to get a good charger that you can trust with your safety and life of batteries. This is in contrast to charger that come with RTR RC Car kits which at best are inaccurate and at worst are downright dangerous.
The chargers I recommend are ISDT, these have been the gold standard for quadcopters (where we typically parallel charge multiple 6s packs) for the past 3 years. They have the best quality and user interface in the game hands down. So much so that I have seen that spectrum are using ISDT chargers under their own brand. Below are 3 models the I believe represent the most cost effective options in each bracket. All use XT60 discharge connectors by default. My recommendation is to switch to XT60 for all your batteries but if not it is easy to get adaptors like this premade $2 xt60 to deans t-plug converter
Know your battery
As well as giving you more charging options, any of the above chargers will immediately give you the current voltage of each cell in the pack. This information is absolutely critical and you can tell a lot from it:
That's it for this article, my goal was to show that it doesn't cost a lot to get a good charger and they shouldn't be hard to use (looking at you SKYRC Imax B6)
Thanks for reading, if you found this article useful please feel free to like or share, the facebook links below directly link/like this article. Links are affiliated and help me buy the bits I need to produce this type of content. If you are looking for quads or parts check out my coupons and discounts page which I keep updated with only the parts and quads I like at a proper discount
7/8/2020 12:21:51 am
Burnt me with this one.
28/3/2021 09:04:00 pm
How did you burn it? What voltage is in your house?
30/3/2021 09:08:13 am
You make no sense - from their website:
10/4/2021 01:51:49 am
I wanted to use a motor with 88a output but don`t know the C Rating of the 2s wltoys 2200mah batteries (as an alterntaive I have the 3300 2s Zop Power). How can this be checked to avoid a fire?
10/4/2021 01:55:32 am
Btw. I have a IMAX B6 charger if that can be used somehow?
12/4/2021 01:00:18 pm
Yes you can use that charger and ultimately it will do the same job. Just has an outdated GUI and less safety features
12/4/2021 12:56:26 pm
4/5/2021 06:46:20 am
4/5/2021 10:32:53 am
Unfortunately those batteries are waaaay to big - they will not fit at all and even if they did would make the car to heavy.
16/5/2021 05:44:11 am
Upon receiving I see what you mean. The 2s batteries are actually perfect for my 1/10 Ruckus 2wd. I don't *think* it can handle 3s stock, though.
25/10/2021 06:27:45 pm
I bought a HBX 16889 brushless, based on your review and it's awesome. I have had no problems with the USB charger it came with (to date) but I'm feeling some kinda internet peer pressure to upgrade my charger. I was looking at the SKYRC B6 (or clone) but happened on this page.
27/10/2021 12:30:56 pm
Lol don't stress about peer pressure, many use the USB charger without issue. A better charger just gives you more options, safer and help you keep your battery in good condition. Don't get the SKYRC, they are really outdated. Be aware that these batteries are TINY compared to what the chargers are capable of. As for which charger I strongly recommend the 608AC removed here - it is a much more versatile and tidy unit than the two you mentioned which both require external power supplies.
30/5/2022 05:16:18 pm
Just picked up a 144002 for my son (same size and drivetrain as 144001). I just have 2 battery questions... Can this car take a NiMH battery? If so, any recommendations on size or brand. (Strictly for safety since he's young before upgrading to lipos down the road). Second question is the Zeee lipo battery on Amazon is a 2S 2200mAh with I believe a C rating of 50C or 60C. Is this lipo ok to use? The ones on Banggood are 25C I believe, not entirely sure what the ecs is rated to handle and I don't want to be setting my kids car on fire. Thanks.
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