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If you are into RC cars at all then you likely have at least one battery powered RC car. One huge downside to this type of RC vehicle is the fact that you have to charge the batteries quite often and these batteries will often take far longer to charge than how long you actually used the RC car for.
One common question that many people have when they get a battery powered RC car is how to speed up this process. Is there any way to make your RC batteries charge faster so you can get back to racing sooner?
The best way to speed up the charging time of your RC car batteries is to buy a better charger or better batteries. Some batteries and chargers will only do a trickle charge which can take multiple hours to recharge.
LiPo batteries charge considerably faster than the other alternatives so if you currently have a different type of battery then changing to LiPo RC batteries will likely significantly speed up your charging times.
RC batteries are a bit different from mainstream batteries and may need to be charged a bit differently than the rest as well. Before we go into more detail about how to charge RC batteries faster, let us first learn a little about RC batteries in general.
If you already have LiPo batteries and are wanting to speed up how fast they charge then you will want to check out the video below.
RC battery basics
Why do you need to read an article on how to charge an RC battery efficiently? Well batteries are often underestimated sources of power and can be hazardous if not charged properly. It is important that you know about the dos and don’ts of charging your RC batteries in order to avoid any kind of mishaps.
Identify your battery
The first step to efficiently charging your batteries is to identify the type of battery that you have. There are various kinds of RC batteries. Some of them are:
These batteries are usually high performance batteries and are considered to be the best for expensive and high grade RC cars. Some experts are of the opinion that these batteries are better than other batteries like NiMH batteries in fields of performance and longevity.
However, these batteries also need greater care during usage and charging and LiPo batteries also show concerns in the fields of storage and maintenance. LiPo batteries come in various shapes and sizes and they have layers that are vacuum sealed and come with different kinds of plugs.
These batteries come in a plethora of shapes and sizes as well and are usually perfect for RC budget cars. These batteries come in stick pack layouts usually and most of the batteries are attached with a white Tamiya plastic female connector, an XT60 plug or a mini-Tamiya.
Identify the type of charger that you need
Now that you have identified the type of battery your RC car supports, you need to find a charger that is specially designed to charge the battery that you have or want to use. Wrong chargers can not only be hazardous to your RC car batteries and the RC car itself, but may also cause dangerous mishaps like short fuses or even a fire.
Mentioned below are the different kinds of battery chargers which you may consider:
Considering the fact that most RC chargers are on the more expensive side of the price spectrum, these trickle chargers are the best for you if you have a tight budget. Just because these are affordable doesn’t mean they are sub-standard either. Most trickle chargers exceed the performance capability of other advanced chargers and trickle chargers are available for both LiPo and NiMH batteries. These chargers are easily available on the market and cost as little as 20$.
Even if these battery chargers are very efficient and usually compatible with most batteries, if you find yourself having batteries that are not compatible with this type of charger, you may have to purchase an adaptor. However, it is always better to buy a charger that is compatible with your battery type instead of buying a trickle charger and an adaptor as both would cost you the same.
These are the older versions of chargers and their “connect and forget” style provides a simple yet safe mode of charging. It should be remembered that these chargers are not fast chargers AT ALL and may take substantial time to charge your batteries.
Advanced universal chargers
These chargers include smart chargers and if you have an RC car that requires dual batteries and you want fast charging then these chargers are perfect for you. As the name suggests these chargers are advanced and specifically designed to provide fast charging for all varieties of batteries.
Many varieties of fast/smart chargers also have fans attached to provide cooling facilities while charging your batteries. This prevents any damage due to overheating and ensures proper functioning of the charger which in turn results in fast and efficient charging. Thanks to technology, these chargers keep evolving all of the time and they are coming up with more and more interesting features every day.
The best thing about universal chargers is that they can usually charge just about anything. More recent versions of advanced chargers are equipped with USB charging outputs and temperature sensors.
Some of these advanced chargers even have app integration with which you can easily monitor how your RC batteries are being charged right on your phone. Some of these apps also allow you to create presets that enable you to charge your RC car batteries in the way you prefer.
Features like timing, heating and other statistics can be viewed with the help of these apps as well.
The above are a couple of the options you may consider while purchasing chargers. If you are a novice, it is always better to purchase trickle chargers as these are simple and have few specifications that won’t confuse you but THEY ARE SLOW! However, if you know your way around RC chargers and are a professional who participates in professional RC car races then you may want to invest in a better charger. It is always best for you to purchase an advanced charger if you are a professional since races may require your RC cars to run for long hours at stretch which in turn would require your RC cars to be optimally charged and for you to be able to charge your batteries as fast as possible.
The above mentioned kinds of chargers are suitable for RC car batteries that are compatible with them. However, some brands of batteries like Traxxas may require you to purchase Traxxas chargers only as all other chargers would prove ineffective.
These are a few tips and tricks in order to make sure that your RC car batteries are always optimally charged. How fast your battery charges also depends on other factors like maintenance, frequency of use and charging points. You should carefully consider all the above points before investing in an RC car charger.
Make sure you purchase a charger that is fully compatible with your batteries as purchasing an ineffective charger would result in sub-optimal charging which in turn could badly affect the longevity and the proper functioning of your RC car.
At the end of the day, a charger is a long term investment and hence should be purchased after carrying out proper research.
If you want to get your RC battery charging as fast as possible then you will 100% want to be using a LiPo battery and one of the advanced smart chargers to charge it quickly.