Large Scale Central

Recommendations for Lithium ion batteries for USAT 4 axle

I’m growing frustrated with my old NaCad and NiMd batteries and want to upgrade. I’m not sure what I want or even where to start. I have a smart charger that can be used for all the chemistry types, including balance charging.

This is where I get really confused as I can find some cheap 14 v 3200mah batteries online that are replacement parts of vacuums, etc. And then places like RLD and Tenergy have really expensive batteries. Then hobbyking has middle of the road prices. But I can’t make sense of what style to buy, what to look for etc.

I need help as I’m a noob in this department. I want around 3-5 hours of run time (switching run not continuous) and I think what I was running before was a total of 14 v and 2200-3000 mah and it seemed to work just fine.

Don’t waste your money on cheap cells or packs. Been there, done that and had to replace them too soon. I run MTO LiIon packs. My oldest is probably 5 years old and still doing fine. The Tenergy packs they replaced started having issues after a year or two.

You can buy MTO from Don Sweet @ RCS of New England or direct on the web. One advantage over other quality packs is their superior short circuit protection.

In fairness to the cheap packs, when I first got LiIon batteries I would run them until they shut off from under voltage. I’ve since learned that this is a bad idea that is hard on the pack. Recharging them before they shut down is much better for the battery. I was also using a dumb charger that relied on the pack’s protection circuit to shut down the charge. The smart chargers will monitor the voltage and shut down when it reaches optimum.

Most LiIon packs do not have a balancing cable. LiPoly packs usually do, but do not have protection circuitry built-in.

For diesel engines you’ll probably want an 18.5V pack that come on 3.0Ah or 6.0Ah. I run 14.8 3.5Ah batteries in my steamers and switchers. I get well over 4 hours switching and moving between towns.

Good to know Jon. That’s advice I was looking for.

I second the recommendation of MTO 18.5v and 14.8v Li-ion packs.