If you’re into remote control car racing, then you must understand that speed and performance are your greatest allies. You’re obviously going to have to tweak your car if you want to have better performances at races, and you’re going to have to get handy at it.
One of your first concerns is definitely going to be your speed, and you’re going to look for solutions for speed improvement all over the place. One of these possible improvements is your the battery, and that’s why many RC enthusiasts ponder: will a lipo battery make my RC car faster?
A Lipo battery will make an RC car faster. Lipo batteries are more powerful than NiMH and NiCD batteries. If you upgrade to a Lipo battery you may have to upgrade the motor and alter the set up of your RC car so it can handle the extra power. Most RC cars come without a battery so you’re going to have to purchase one if you want to start running your car.
So, if you want better performances, you’re definitely going to need to buy a better battery. However, is this the only way to improve your car’s performance? No, it isn’t. This is exactly what we’ll be researching today, and providing you to answers about questions you might have about RC car racing.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look and answering questions like: can I make my RC car faster, can I use a lipo battery to make my RC car faster, and how to use a lipo battery in an RC car.
Let’s get started!
Can I Make My RC Car Faster?
There are many ways you can make your RC car faster. There are a few things you should do, the first one being changing the motor. You’re going to learn very quickly that most RC cars come with a brushed motor installed, and you’re going to have to change that if you want your RC car to be quicker.
You’re going to have to buy a brushless motor. A brushless motor has no brushes causing friction when the motor is turning, and because of less friction – the engine’s more efficient and generates more power, resulting in more speed.
The second step of upgrading your RC car should be upgrading your batteries, which means making the switch to lipo batteries.
The regular NI-MH NI-CADS may not have enough power for the upgraded motor and it’s likely that you won’t notice any improvements before you upgrade to lipo batteries.
You need to keep in mind that lipo batteries have a higher voltage than the batteries that were installed in your car until now, so you’re going to have to make sure that your car can take it.
They’re also much lighter than other batteries, which comes in handy when you’re trying to keep your car’s body as light as possible.
This takes us to our next point – keeping the car light. You should always try to keep your car’s body as light as possible, as it will make it easier for the engine to power it.
You can change a lot of parts for aluminium, carbon, or graphite parts. However, make sure that you don’t go overboard with the weight loss, as you might lose traction which will only cause a counter effect.
You also need to get the right tires for your RC car if you want to maximize grip and get the maximum power out of your motor. If you’re taking your car to the tarmac or some other smooth terrain, you should use slick tires. Use full spikes for slippery surfaces.
Lastly, to increase your top speed, you can go with a larger pinion gear and a smaller spur gear – changing your gears can influence both acceleration and top speed. If you do this, your acceleration will decrease, but you’ll witness an increase in top speed. This is probably the cheapest change out of all of the things we’ve mentioned.
Can I Use a Lipo Battery to Make My RC Car Faster?
Yes, using a lipo battery is going to make your RC car faster, but you need to install it after installing a brushless motor. Lithium polymer batteries are very light, which is a huge advantage in comparison to other batteries.
NiMH and NiCd batteries are much heavier than lipo batteries and it shows. Lipo’s hold a better charge than other batteries, with their life being 20-30% longer for the same capacity as a NiMH battery.
The only drawback to these batteries is the fact that if they’re punctured or overcharged they can catch fire, so they’re not recommended for beginners.
How to Use a Lipo Battery in an RC Car?
Here are a few things you need to know before you purchase and install your lipo battery.
You want to get the battery of the right capacity. You can actually see the capacity as the big number on the label of the battery. The larger the number, the longer will your car be able to drive.
This means that the battery can hold more charge, and it means that it will take longer for it to charge. The best way to define this is ‘bigger number = bigger runtime’.
You also have to keep the voltage in mind. Your car can handle a certain amount of voltage. Exceeding that amount will fry your car’s electronics (at worst) or turn your car off (at best, if you have “over voltage protection”).
To gauge how many volts your lipo battery can deliver, take a look at the cell number. A single lipo cell delivers 3.7 volts, so you just have to multiply that number with the number of cells to see if your car can handle that.
Now that you’ve bought your battery, you’re going to need to buy a proper charger for it. Make sure that you buy a lipo charger, as you don’t want to buy a charger for the NiMH battery. Look at the amperage output, that’s the most important thing – the higher the output, the quicker will your charging time be.
See a huge range of RC battery chargers on Amazon by clicking here
When charging your lipo batteries, never leave them unattended; even though it’s highly unlikely, the battery might light on fire and you don’t want to be away when that happens. Also, never use a NiMH charger with a lipo battery – it will likely catch fire.
You also need to use an appropriate connector and adapter if you want to charge your battery.
You should always keep battery balancing in mind. It can happen, although rarely, that a battery is in imbalance, meaning that not all cells are charged equally.
For example, two cells which make 7.4 volts should be charged 3.7 volts per cell. However, it can happen that one cell is charged to 3 volts, while the other is charged to 4.4 volts.
This will cause the cell to over-discharge which can ruin your battery. Luckily, you can avoid this by balancing the charge; in most cases, all you have to do is make certain the pack’s balance plug is plugged into the charger.
There are different chargers, so you may have a built-in balance plug port or an external balance board. You’ll find a small white connector that’s connected to every lipo battery – this is wired so the charger can read each cell’s voltage individually and charge accordingly. Connect this to the balance plug and it’ll charge properly.
Here are a few additional tips on your battery:
Always store your lipo battery at only 50% of charge – avoid storing it when fully charged for anything longer than ten days. Any longer, and the pack’s capacity and voltage will begin to permanently degrade.
Even though lipo batteries don’t self-discharge, they’re going to do that if you keep them stored while charged for a long time. Half charge your battery and store it then. If you don’t have a gauge on your charger, then charge your battery fully and use it until your car notifies you of a low battery.
Keep your packs clean – you need to keep all your gear clean if you want it to work properly. Repair all damaged shrink wrap, bum connectors, frayed wires, worn insulation, and all other issues that may arise. If you leave them open like that, they’re only going to cause more problems down the road.