Unprotected LiPo Battery Sources
If our present list of CVP AIRWIRE batteries does not meet your needs, then you need to how to look and where to look for suitable Li-Ion batteries.
Unprotected LiPo Battery Sources and User Guidelines
The unprotected 11.1V LiPo battery is very common.
They come in a variety of capacities and sizes.
Also, they can often be found at local R/C hobby shops.
The best selection is from online retailers.
They are relatively inexpensive due to their high volume use in toys.
However, they do not have any internal protection.
The standard LiPo battery has large gauge wire attached to a relatively large connector.
It will also have a second connector for charging.
The connectors can be removed or changed but you will void the warranty.
It is best to get matching connectors for your application.
As a result, it is common to see the battery mounted in a boxcar or disguised as flatcar load.
The boxcar shell is trimmed so that it can be easily removed.
This allows access to the battery for recharging.
Charging Unprotected LiPo Batteries
LiPo batteries will have two sets of connectors - one for power output and one for the cell-balancing charger.
A cell balancing charger is about the same cost as a standard Li-Ion charger.
The difference is that the liPo charger will have several sockets to fit the various connectors found on LiPo batteries.
Use only a charger designed for a Lithium Polymer/Li-Ion battery.
Be sure to select the Lithium Polymer (LiPo) mode on the charger.
Always set the battery to the proper battery pack voltage before charging.
Always set the charger to the amperage charge rate as listed on battery label or datasheet.
Do not attempt to charge the battery at a rate greater than the capacity of the battery unless the battery datasheet says otherwise.
Never overcharge a battery beyond its rated capacity.
Never charge batteries higher than their maximum voltage (4.2V/cell for LiPo).
Monitor the charging of a pack.
Beware of hot packs - there maybe some kind of fault with the pack or the charger.
Disconnect everything and investigate.
Be sure to disconnect the battery from the charger when charging is complete.
Are Unprotected Lithium Batteries Safe To Use?
The simple answer is yes.
If you have some common sense, and know how to follow instructions, you will not have any problems.
LiPo batteries have received a lot of bad press simply because the battery was used incorrectly.
The user did not follow the instructions.
The battery problems are caused by the lack of any type of protection circuit inside the battery.
There is no limit to the load current or the charging current.
Batteries can be depleted down to zero volts.
Users can also use an incorrect charger.
But, if the instructions and precautions are followed, and the correct battery charger is used, you can expect a long and safe lifetime for your LiPo battery.
The LiPo List
This list was compiled from a few hours spent searching various online suppliers of LiPo batteries.
Their websites are listed at the bottom of the list.
The green highlighted items were purchased and evaluated.
All were found to be satisfactory for powering small scale locomotives.
Since space is important, some representative HO locomotives and cars were measured.
The measurement conversion from millimeters to inches is included for reference.
You should measure your own equipment to determine how much space is available.
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