Mini Quad Battery Challenge!

March 2016 update…

With new batteries more capable, it was time to update this challenge…  Graphene twist:

With the miniquad getting more and more popular and technology getting better and better what is left to make you faster than your racing friends!  The battery!  Yes, the battery makes a big difference!  If you want to be the fastest out there, you want a good mix of performance and good power to weight ratio.  What I mean by that, you want a high C rating but not too heavy battery. A good choice would be a 1400 mah with 40c compare to a 2200 mah 40c, of course the 2200 could deliver more power but the extra weight counteracts the gain by making your quad more sluggish in the turn for example.

When it comes to selecting a battery, consider these points:

  • Weight
  • C rating
  • Capacity (Mah)
  • Voltage (number of cell) typically 3 0r 4s, you can go higher, but I don’t think that it is necessary

C rating explain:

So what does the C rating on a lipo mean? For starters, the C in C Rating stands for capacity. To break it down to its simplest terms, the C rating is the maximum safe continuous discharge rate of a pack. If you see 10C on your battery, it means it can be discharged at 10 times that pack’s capacity. Capacity refers to the milliamp-hour rating of the battery, which will be listed as a number followed by mAh (2000mAh, for example).

Here’s the easy way to find your battery’s discharge rate just multiply the number from the C rating by the pack’s capacity. Keep in mind that 1000 milliamps equals one amp. Here’s an example, using an 11.1V 2000mAh 10C

11.1 volt 2000mAh -10C
2000 milliamps = 2 amps
2 Amps x 10 = 20 amps continuous discharge

This means that you can safely draw up to 20 amps continuously from that 11.1V 2000mAh 10C without doing damage to your battery. All packs have all the discharge information printed right on the label.  I hope this helps clarify the most misunderstood aspect of electric flight.

With that I believe we have all the basics to define which batteries are good or not!

Let’s meet the challengers:

  1. Rhino 1250 mah 20c  3s  116gr $6.55
  2. Zippy Compact 1300 mah 40c 3s 116gr $9.45
  3. Nano Tech 1400 mah 40-80c 3s 119gr $12.91
  4. Zippy Compact 1300 mah 40c 4s 145 gr $15.87
  5. Multistar 1400 mah 40-80c 4s 155gr $19.55
  6. Zippy Compact 1600 mah 35c 188gr $14.45
  7. Zippy 1800 mah 40c 197gr $15.70

Explain the graphics:

Graph 1 got:

  • High amps(the highest amps pull during the flight)
  • Total mah(used mah during the flight)
  • High watts(max watts develop during the flight)
  • Low Pak V(the lowest voltage number during the flight)

Graph 2 got:

  • Yellow graph (pack wattage)
  • Purple graph (Pack voltage)
  • Red graph ( Pack amperage)
  • At the bottom you got the Min, Max and average for the flight

Now the Graphics:

  1. Rhino 1250 mah 20c  3s  116gr $6.55
Time was 3:30 with 11% capacity left

Time was 3:30 with 11% capacity left

The low voltage was beeping on the ZUUL, it was time to land

The low voltage was beeping on the ZUUL, it was time to land

2.  Zippy Compact 1300 mah 40c 3s 116gr $9.45

zippy 1300 3s 40c : Graph1

Time was 4min with 3% capacity left

zippy 1300 3s 40c : Graph2

4 minutes with 3% left, it’s too low, you don’t want to let your battery go that low

3.  Nano Tech 1400 mah 40-80c 3s 119gr $12.91

Nano tech 1400 40c-80c 3s : Graph1

Time was 4:23 with 13% capacity left

This is the top 3s battery with a good power to weigh ratio

This is the top 3s battery with a good power to weigh ratio

4.  Zippy Compact 1300 mah 40c 4s 145 gr $15.87

Zippy Compact 40c 1300 4s : Graph1

Time was 4:23 with 10% capacity left

For the price, it's not a bad battery at all

For the price, I prefer other battery for sure

5.  Multistar 1400 mah 40-80c 4s 155gr $19.55

Time was 4:30 with 23% capacity left

Time was 4:30 with 23% capacity left

At 155gr, the power to weight ratio is amazing

At 155gr, the power to weight ratio is amazing

6.Zippy Compact 1600 mah 35c 188gr $14.45

Zippy Compact 35c 1600 4s : Graph1

Time was 4:30 with 25% capacity left

If you can carry the extra weight, amazing battery

If you can carry the extra weight, amazing battery

7.Zippy 1800 mah 40c 197gr $15.70

Zippy 40c 1800 4s : Graph1

Time was 4:30 with 19% capacity left

The heaviest battery, but foe the price, amazing value

The heaviest battery, but foe the price, amazing value

In conclusion, the winners are…

Most of the batteries performed well, some more than other, but in a nutshell none under performed to fly the ZUUL(if you are curious about my ZUUL setup) in good way!  If you have a smaller frame that is tight for space, aim towards the smaller batteries, but if you have the place, go for it!  All he bigger batteries perform well.  Between 3s and 4s, definitely the 4s can produce more power and will outperform the 3s pack especially if you are conscious about weight and use the multistar for example at 155gr.   As I used those battery through cycles, I will keep updating this review, so come back and see for yourself if the batteries stand the cycles…

The winners are:

3s: Nanotech 1400 40-80c

4s: Multistar 1400 40c-80c