Buying guide - What to look for before buying a Lipo charger


Planning to buy a Lipo charger? Read our Buying Guide on Lipo charger to know what exactly to look for when buying a Lipo charger. Know how to get the best quality of the charger at the cheapest price below

Technological advancements have seen the manufacture of Lipo chargers with more advanced features. This has led to increased number of brands in the market which has made shopping of these chargers a daunting task. As humans, sometimes we are so prone to making wrong decisions that end up costing us like choosing the wrong chargers.

In case you are looking forward to buying a quality Lipo charger, here is a quick rundown of what you should be on the lookout. Just take a look.

1. Charging Modes


Modern chargers have the discharge, balanced charge, storage charge and fast charge modes. The discharge mode brings down the Lipo battery voltage as low as the charger can accommodate.

The balanced charge is the secure and mostly used mode. Plugged into the charger are the balanced lead and the main lead which monitors the voltage of each cell during and after charging.

The storage charge mode is ideal if you are planning to store your Lipo battery for long. What the storage charge mode does is simply putting your battery on 3.8V which is safe for storage purposes. On the other hand, the fast charge mode determines the total voltage and the impact of charging one or multiple batteries.

While all these modes have their role to play, a modern charger should at least have the discharge, storage, and balanced charge modes.

2. Safety features


High temperatures are not safe for chargers. Exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your charger as well as your battery. A quality charger should have temperature safety feature which can detect when temperatures go to the extreme.

Every Lipo battery has a charge capacity that it should hold. typically, when Lipo batteries get overcharged, they are not recognized by the charger.

A quality charger should also have a safety feature to detect when the battery is full by either alerting you or automatically go off to avoid over-charging battery. Before investing on any Lipo charger, have a look at the safety features the charger has to minimize any costly damages.

3. Charging speed


Lipo chargers charge at different rates. The charging rate is dictated by the maximum charging current your charger can provide and the maximum current your battery can take.

Though Lipo batteries are advocated to be charged at 1C, more and more advanced features are being integrated into these chargers with some charging at 2C or even higher. Your charger maximum current should correspond well to the current your battery can receive.

4. Power output of your charger


Not all chargers will be compatible with every Lipo battery. A charger that does not correspond well to your battery power requirements, may not work with your battery. To calculate the power output of your charger, you multiply the voltage by the current.

For better efficiency when choosing your charger, you should select one with higher wattage.

5. Types of batteries supported


Modern Lipo chargers can support different batteries while others do not. Lipo and HVLi support are ideal for mini Quads while NIMH support helps save any overcharged Lipo battery that is not recognized by the charger.

While some chargers only charge Lipo batteries, others support other battery types including the PB and NiCad. The more the type of batteries your charger can support the better.

6. Number of batteries the charger can charge at the same time


Parallel charging is a critical feature to look at when shopping for your Lipo chargers. Charging one battery at a time can consume much of your time. Parallel charging feature is faster and an easy way to get your batteries fully charged without much hassle. Note that this feature will only work for batteries with the same S-rating and chemistry.

7. User friendliness


Using a complicated battery can be a hassle especially learning how to operate it. A lipo charger should be easy to use and have a detailed manual.

8. Compatibility with other devices


Modern Lipo chargers can be connected with computers to show the voltage levels of each cell, charging current and time remaining for the battery to be fully charged. In case you would like to receive this real-time data on your PC, then you should select a charger that will work best with your computer.

9. Cost


Lipo chargers differ in regards to cost. This may depend on the quality, features, and accessories included in the package. A charger sold without a power cord or adapters will cost you more. If quality is what you are looking for in a Lipo charger, then be ready to pay more.

10. Warranty


Most people buy products with warranties without knowing exactly what it covers. Before buying any Lipo charger, get to know the terms and conditions of the warranty and for how long you are covered. Note also that manufacturers warranty may not be valid for certain states.

Conclusion
Flying on quadcopters and other RC crafts is fun to many but a flat battery can ruin the experience. Modern Lipo chargers have advanced features which help you charge you battery faster or support different batteries at the same time.
As much as this is true, a poor-quality charger will always be a pain on the neck and may be a health hazard. Know exactly what you are looking for in a Lipo charger and compare how its features suit your needs. While everyone has different preferences, the Lipo charger you choose by the end of the day should be easy to use, fast, durable, reliable, convenient and meet your personal needs.


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