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ASK Cubby, Version- Here Come The Questions (Again)

“LiHV High Voltage Lipo Question

I will keep my questions short and to the point. What is the deal with the new “LiHV” Lipo batteries? Are they any good and why do I need them? Are they more dangerous than normal Lipo batteries?

Cory E.

P.S. Keep rocking the stache”

Cubby- Yo hey Cory, thanks for the email, and you aren’t the only person curious about the new age of higher voltage LiPo packs.

What is the dealio with them? To keep it brief, they are the new era of Lithium based soft packet cells. They charge in the same way as the older packs, but they charge to a higher voltage and maintain that higher voltage across the duration of their discharge. In fact, due to their cost and energy density, you will see all “LiPo” style batteries going that direction in coming years. From cell phones to rc cars, you’ll start seeing the cell voltages change as the technology does. Btw, you’ll also need to buy a new charger that can charge the new packs to their full voltage. This is not a great thing if you are low on cash, but you can always charge them on an old charger, they just won’t run as long or provide their full voltage.

Are they “any good”? I don’t know, I have relatively little time in with them. Several manufacturers are putting them out right now, among them companies are Revolectrix, HobbyKing, LRP, and Hyperion. And… I’ve only gotten a chance to torture test about a half dozen packs, not enough for me to say personally if they are “good” or not. However, from what I’ve seen thus far I would say so far so good.

Why do you need them? In the surface world, or at least in the bashing world, you don’t. They are slightly higher in voltage, which translates to slightly more power, but then I know of very few surface hobbyists (that bash) that can actually use 100% of the power their brushless system is capable of. For a basher it is quite simple to add another tooth to your pinion to gain some speed, or if you need a huge jump in power to simply add another cell. Now, the racing side of things is a completely different story. The added voltage of a LiHV/Outlaw/High Voltage LiPo can make a HUGE difference in stock classes like 17.5/21.5/etc. No, they aren’t “legal” for racing, but I’ve seen first hand a person peel off one label and re-apply another at the track.

Are they more dangerous? Once again I have to say I don’t know as I have not durability tested any of the new higher voltage packs. Initial internet rumors were that they liked to run hotter and were more prone to thermal runaway, but I haven’t personally seen any evidence to support that.

To boil it down, expect the higher voltage LiPo packs to become the norm not the exception. In true ROAR fashion, expect them to become legal for racing somewhere around the year 2021. If you are a basher, pick some up if you want to check them out, otherwise just carry on as usual.

“Charger Followup

Hello Cubby,

I emailed you back in May about the Hyperion 720i charger and if it was still one of the best. Link After some debate and much research I decided on the Revolectrix PowerLab 6, and a Dell Server PSU (24V). I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks and it’s great, simple to use, fast charger/balance, ability to charge 6 same cell batteries at once. With this charger I can use fewer batteries since it charges so well and fast, so that saves some cash.

I didn’t get the Hyperion since I was afraid the internal PSU would give out and also heard it takes a while to balance. The PowerLab 6 can charge and balance faster than about everything minus a few iChargers, and it has great PC Software. Thanks for you help and suggesting the iCharger, which is how I got to the PowerLab.

-Travis M.”

Cubby- Hey ya Travis, always good to hear how things turn out. I haven’t personally used the FMA PL 6 Charger but it does have quite the reputation. And like the first letter above mentions, is capable of charging the new age LiHV style packs.

We’ve still got several Hyperion chargers going around the BSRC offices, most of which have spent considerable time out in the field (read- dusty, hot, cold conditions). We’ve never had one die on us and they are generally a joy to use. A few months ago we got a chance to talk to some of the Hyperion people, and while they’ve been really quiet for a couple of years, they are supposed to have a bunch of new uber products headed to the market.

Have fun, go fast, take it home in a bucket (like Craig The Uber Ramp Guy likes to say).

Once again you’ve reached the end of an ASK Cubby. Have a question? Want an answer? Like to complain as much as I do? Send me an email, thecubreportrc at Gmail dot com is my address. Don’t be shy, let’er fly.

YOUR Cub Reporter

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Posted by in Ask Cubby, cubby on Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 5:53 pm