I love walking out the door in the morning to find a brown box bearing goodness in it. This time around it’s the Ryder 11.1v 1800mAh 10C lipoly battery courtesy of Airsplat. Now I know, I’ve preached over and over, “Get the highest C rating you can afford that will fit in the space you need”. I’m sure at some point I’ve said that a 10C battery is not worth it, and that you should avoid them at all cost. Hum…. but what do we have here? A 10C 1800mAh Lipoly battery…. well… let us see if I end up eating my own foot.
Honestly… it was a let down. All I knew was that AirSplat was sending me an 11.1v lipoly to review. I had just damaged one of my lipoly batteries and was awaiting a replacement so I could test out the Kanzen Bearings that Airsplat was also kind enough to let me review. When I looked at the battery my first though was oh geez, it’s a 10C battery. The next thought that went through my mind was one of apprehensive excitement over the small size of the battery. I was also curious as to the “Ryder” brand name. Turns out AirSplat had intended on branding the batteries they outsourced with the AirSplat logos, but wanted to avoid delays in getting the batteries to the shelves so they stuck with the manufacturer’s label.
Materials and Construction
Given the stats on this battery I wasn’t expecting much in the way of construction. What did I find? Well for one it uses a standard Align style plug. That means most balancers on the market will work with it no problem. The wiring is 16 gauge wire that appears to be very nice quality and high strand count (given it’s flexibility). Not quite as nice as what I use in my mosfets, but pretty close. The one short coming I see in the construction of the battery pack is the use of a mini Tamiya connector. These are notorious for arcing which is bad for current flow and basically increases resistance. The best thing about this battery is that it fits in about the same space as a mini 8.4v NiMH battery. That’s a pretty tight space to fit 1800 mAh of charge and 11.1v. In fact, that’s about the only way to fit more than 8.4v into a Dboys SCAR without buying the Classic Army upgrade stock.
The charger seems to be constructed like any other inexpensive “smart charger”. It has a large Tamiya connector, 3A glass fuse, and a selector for choosing the voltage of the pack you are charging.
The charger is very basic on features. It comes with adapters to convert the large Tamiya connector to a small Tamiya connector, in addition to alligator clips. The selector switch on it allows you to choose what voltage battery pack you are charging. It’ll handle anything from 3.7v up to 14.8v. The charger doesn’t have any settings for capacity, just voltage. I’m not sure I’m really keen on that when you couple it with the 3A fuse. Given the 3A fuse, I am guessing that the max constant output of the charger is around 2A. That means charging larger batteries could take quite some time. We’ll just have to see during the “Performance” section how that works out. The other concern is that it might over charge being that it doesn’t know the full capacity of the battery. As you can tell I’m a bit paranoid about charging given the fact that I’ve blown up batteries in the past and had other battery issues caused by faulty chargers. I now use a Triton 2 with an Equinox balancer.
One more concern is that this charger does NOT have a balancer. This is a real issue above all the nit-picking I did in the above paragraph. If one cell has a lower voltage than the others, it’s possible for the pack as a whole to operate while a cell is below it’s lower threshold of about 2.8-3v effectively destroying that cell. A balancer ensures that at full charge, all the cells are equal in voltage. The batteries should discharge at similar rates, thus reaching their lower threshold at the same time. This is not only needed for increasing battery life, but for safety as well.
First let us just say that I don’t have any fancy battery testing equipment or gizmos, so this is just going to be a real world test.
To charge the battery it was necessary to plug in the large to small Tamiya adapter, and set the voltage to 11.1v. Setting the charger left me feeling a bit apprehensive about where all this was going. The selector on the charger is wide enough to touch more than one number on the voltage label. With the charger in the 14.8v setting, it looks like it could be on the 11.1v setting. It is somewhat ambiguous. I don’t like that. I moved the selector all the way to the right and figured that was 3.7v. Moving it two detents to the left I was reasonably certain that the charger was set to 11.1v. I plugged the unit in and then plugged the battery into the charger. The light turned red and it was charging away. I figured it should charge within 1-2 hours (assuming it was charging at a rate of 1-1.5A. Three hours later I figured it would be done and went to check on it. [For the record it was on a concrete slab outside, in a lipo charging bag, and checked on from time to time. Never leave your lipos unattended while charging.] The red light was still on. I took a peek at the instruction sheet. According to that, there is an output charge of 500mA. That’s not very high. In fact, according to my calculations, that means it’ll take over 5 hours to charge. That’s a bit excessive in my book. Alas, many an hour went by and it was time to try it out.
All testing was done with my Dboys SCAR-L. Stats are as follows:
— Stock Gears
— Kanzen 7mm Ceramic Bearings
— Element Piston
— G&G Piston Head
— Stock Cylinder
— Guarder v2 Spring Guide With Bearings
— Stock Cylinder Head
— Stock Air Nozzle
— Stock Barrel
— Firefly Hop up Bucking and Nub
— 18 gauge high strand count wire
— Infected Airsoft Mosfet
— G&P M120 Motor
A baseline was established by using my ThunderPower 30C 2250mAh 7.4v lipoly battery. The ROF was clocking in at 19.8 RPS with the battery fully charged to 8.4v (peak charge of a 2 cell lipo; nominal charge is 7.4v). Now it’s onto the 11.1v battery. After fully charging it, I did see a discrepancy of a few hundredths of a volt between cells. Not bad since a balancer wasn’t used. I still prefer using a balancer though. With the pack freshly charged and sitting at 12.4v (nominal would be 11.1v), I fired off a short burst just to hear what it would sound like. Darth Vader said it best — “Impressive… Most impressive.” Eagerly chronographing the SCAR lead to a measurement far greater than I expected. The ROF clocked in at 31 RPS! Consider this. The gun is running a stock gear ratio and a 400 fps spring (hop was set so the fps shows low in the picture), and still clocked in over 30 RPS! That is impressive. I can only imagine what would happen if there were high speed gears in this setup.
I moved the battery over to my M14 DMR (510 fps) and checked out the trigger response. The gun feels as if it has ESP and just knows when I want to pull the trigger. The response is lightning fast.
So let us go back to the 10C rating. With a 10C rating on an 1800mAh battery, you only have the ability to put out 18A of current continuously. Here’s the catch. When you have a 400 fps gun running the way it’s supposed to (properly shimmed, using 7mm or greater bearings, not over lubricated, motor height set properly), then you really shouldn’t be drawing over 18A or so. Sure, when you’re firing in semi you might pull more due to the greater amount of current needed to start the cycling of the gearbox and motor, but with this battery you’re not really hurting at all. The only drawback is the capacity of the battery. I would keep an eye on it throughout the day using a lipo voltage checker of some type. Remember, it does have about a 3v floor (as with most lipoly batteries). You need to keep the battery above that or you will damage a cell.
First let’s look at the charger. Am I being hyper critical? Maybe. When it comes to chargers I’ve had some bad experiences. I’ve had one blow up a battery, and another charger (a more expensive one), fail to charge batteries properly once it became uncalibrated. Those two chargers cost $105 together. My current charger cost about $140. I should have just bought a nice one to begin with. Then again, I’m charging NiCad, NiMH, and Lipoly batteries (depending on application). That makes the cost of a nice charger easier to swallow. For someone who is just getting into lipoly batteries, this charger might just handle the job fine. Know that you need to be careful with the voltage selector switch and should look into a balancer to add on to the battery.
The battery performed better than I expected. I played a few hours with it in my semi-auto only 510 FPS DMR. The battery performed well with quick trigger response and still had plenty of juice after several hours of play. I would expect to get a full day out of it under moderate to heavy use on a strong running gearbox.
Sure, the 10C rating is low, but if your AEG doesn’t need more than 18A of current to run, then this battery should work just fine for you.
Construction 8/10 This would have been 10/10 if it had come stock with Deans connectors instead of Tamiya connectors. The use of Align style balance taps is a big plus.
Performance 10/10 For my setup, this battery is a perfect fit (size & power). It did everything I asked of it, and even more. Time will tell how durable and reliable it is, but for now I find it to be an excellent choice!
Construction 6/10 I dinged this one pretty heavily since the selector switch could cause a casual user to select the wrong voltage. Other than that, the construction is just fine. For a careful user, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Features 7/10 The ability to charge up to a 14.8v (4 cell) lipoly pack is great. Most users are going to have a 7.4 or a 11.1v battery, and this can handle both. The only feature drawback is the lack of Deans connectors.
Performance6/10 Again, the selector switch could have been made better. The only other problem is the low 500mA charge rate. Most lipoly batteries can handle up to a 1C charge rate. That for a battery this size that would be 1.8A (1800mA). A higher charge rate would get your battery up and running faster.
Price at time of publication: $49.95