Joined Jan 2002
It's a way to describe battery charge and discharge rates. The 'C' is the nominal battery size - eg. a 650 mah bat has a 'C' value of 650 mah. DOH.
The number 10, 5, 1, 2, ... is a scaler. If the scaler is written as a divisor "/10", then C/10 means current flows at 1 tenth of C. Example: C= 650mah then C/10 is 65mah. Or C10 is 650mah times 10 or 6500mah (6.5 amps).
Hope this helps.
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
They are used to rate the ability of a battery to serve up its energy and also to rate how fast you can charge it.
A 900 mah battery rated at 10C discharge can put out 9 amps or 10 X .9 amps
(900 mah is .9 amps)
That same battery may have a 1C, 1.5C or 2C charge rating so you would charge it at .9 amps, 1.45 amps or 1.8 amps depending on the rating. Charge it at 10 C and you can kiss it goodby and or start a fire, or worse.
Be aware that the batteries used for receivers and transmitters are typically rated at 1/5 to 1/10 C for charging. Motor batteries will be rated higher for charge. So don't charge your transmitter or receiver batteries like motor batteries. The cells are different.
For motor batteries:
Typicaly NICD batteries can be charged at 2-4 C. Some higher.
Typically NIMH batteries can be charged at 1-2 C. Some higher
Typically Lithium batteries are charged at .5-1 C. Some higher.
Best to know what you have and what it can take. Charge or discharge at too high a rate and you can weaken the cell, seriously damage it, start a fire or, in the case of the lithiums, cause an explosion.
Outstanting information thread on Batteries - buy, build, use, maintain
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