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Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) Battery Care Tips

Information about charging, discharging and storing nickel cadmium (NiCad) rechargeable rc air plane batteries for long life and high performance.

Charging - NiCad's are one of the toughest rechargeable batteries you can buy. You can usually fast charge the battery pack without causing too much damage. For example, you can charge a 1400mAH battery pack at 3amps. For electric rc air planes, a typical battery pack capacity would be 700 to 800mAH. It would be relatively safe to fast charge these at 1.5amps.

Discharging - NiCad's have a "memory" characteristic which is undesirable. For example, if you charge a nickel cadmium battery to only 80% of its full capacity, it will remember this value, and the next time you charge it would only charge to 80% of it's rated capacity, thereby wasting the 20% capacity. It is recommended to discharge a nicad battery cell from the normal 1.2 volts to 0.9 volts.

Storing - NiCad's are best stored without any charge (i.e. full discharged). For optimal performance, try cycling the battery pack at least once a week to keep it in top shape. Cycling refers to charging then discharging the battery pack.

Tip: Use a peak detection charger designed for nickel cadmium batteries. Peak detection chargers automatically detect when a Nicad battery is fully charged and automatically stops charging. This prevents overcharging which will damage the batteries.

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