Don’t let your battery get below the minimum voltage
This is more of a flying issue than a charging problem, but it needed to be addressed, so here it is.
When flying, try not to let the battery drain until the speed control starts shutting off, because in most cases unless you changed it, the battery is near its minimum voltage. Then you have extra time on the pack and more draining until you land the aircraft. You can set the minimum speed control cut-off above the pack’s minimum voltage so as to have some extra time to set up for landing. I like to time my first flight until the speed control cut-off and then set my timer on the transmitter to a minute before that. On all flights after that, I land right after my transmitter timer goes off.
Do charge any LiPo, LiFe or Li-Ion at 1C
All packs of this chemistry can be charged at 1C and should be charged at that rate. A 1C charge does take a bit of time but this charging rate is the easiest on your packs and will not cause undue heat, which is your battery’s enemy. This charge rate will give your battery its longest life and let the balancing port do its job. For example, a 3400mAh battery charging at 1C would have the charger set at 3.4 amps charging rate.
Don’t ever charge without a balancing plug connected
There is no reason to charge without balancing a pack. This keeps all the cells even, allowing them to work together with less stress on each. A balanced pack will always outlast a pack that has never been balanced. Keep this in mind—almost every new charger has balancing ports for keeping the packs balanced.
Do keep battery packs in a cool place for storage
Batteries hate heat and having them in the hot car or trailer all the time will shorten their life.
The same can be said for leaving them in a place where they can freeze. Store the packs in a controlled environment that has a cool dry place. I like to keep them in a small refrigerator set to the lowest setting so they stay cool without freezing.
Follow these tips and you’ll increase the life expectancy of your battery packs and your investment. By charging correctly, your packs will always stay fresh and perform like new. This is something we all want out of our equipment, because this allows us to fly longer and more often—what’s not to like there? Enjoy!