When it comes to airsoft AEGs, battery technology has improved faster than any other element of the airsoft gun. Lithium Polymer batteries, or Lipo batteries, are the newest type of battery technology to see widespread use in airsoft applications. Li-po batteries’ increased power and small size make them ideal for upgraded airsoft guns or AEGs with space limitations. However, until recently, the type of care that lipo batteries require made them impractical for most airsoft players. With the introduction of quality chargers, and, more importantly, voltage warning systems, players can now easily use lithium polymer batteries without any worry of overcharging or over-discharge.
Lipo alarms are the newest element in lithium polymer battery safety. Common airsoft li-po battery sizes are two cell (7.4v), and three cell (11.1v) batteries. One downside of lipo battery chemistry is that, if any cell drops below ~2.9v, they may not recharge properly, essentially killing the usefulness of the pack. The newly available Lipo Alarms are a simple way to avoid damaging the cells. These alarms are very small, only about 1x2 cm. This means that they will easily fit in almost any airsoft gun, including Crane Stock M4s and other guns with limited battery space.
The lipo alarms we sell are very inexpensive and are simple to use. This makes them an ideal choice to protect your lipo batteries. The alarm is plugged into the align port (the white plug on airsoft li-po batteries) while the battery is in use. When any cell drops to 3.0v, the alarm will sound. Batteries have voltage fluctuation during use, with the voltage dropping slightly during current draw and returning to level during rest. This has the effect of giving you an advance warning when your airsoft lipo battery is getting low. The alarm will first beep slightly at the end of a burst. As the battery voltage drops, it will start to beep on shorter bursts, and then semi-auto, before finally sounding constantly.
Since 7.4v and 11.1v are the two most common voltages for lipo batteries in airsoft applications, we have both a 7.4v Lipo Alarm and an 11.1v Lipo Alarm available. When space is a concern, the lipo alarm is the best bet to protect a lithium polymer airsoft battery. Although there are programmable MOSFET units that will shut off a low voltage lipo, these often take up quite a bit of space. In many M4 setups, there is just enough room for an 11.1v 1300Mah Lipo Battery, but the 11.1v lipo alarm takes up almost no additional space.
The arrival of the new lipo alarms coincides nicely with our expanded inventory of lithium polymer batteries. We have a full line of airsoft lipo packs, from a 7.4v 1000 Mah pack to an 11.1v 2200Mah battery. The 7.4v batteries are ideal for those wanting a lower rate of fire, or for guns that may not hold up well under increased voltage. The 7.4v batteries tend to perform better than 8.4v NiMH batteries, and are considerably smaller. For those looking for increased performance, we have 11.1v batteries in 1000Mah, 1300Mah, 1800Mah, and the large 2200Mah capacity. These are perfect for use in KWA and other high end rifles, as well as upgraded airsoft guns.
The most expensive, but arguably the most important, element of a lipo setup is the charger. Lipo batteries must be charged with a balance charger, which evens the voltage per cell and prevents over- or under-charging any given cell. Basic Lipo balance chargers run $40 and up, but more advanced and much more powerful chargers are available from $65-$95. We recommend the Intelligent 650 Programmable Charger for those that want more control over the battery, and are willing to be responsible to obtain the correct charge settings. For players wanting an universal charger that can charge multiple battery types at various speeds, the Kong Power Universal Charger features lipo charge and balance modes, and will also charge standard NiMH and NiCD batteries, in addition to Li-FE and Li-Ion batteries. Even though they are more expensive, these chargers can be a lifesaver. When it comes down to it, without a well maintained battery, even the best gun won’t last for long.[/size]
- Adam Bower