An RC vehicle provides hours of endless entertainment, but unfortunately, most of them run on batteries. You have to find and purchase battery packs for both the RC and its handset or transmitter if you want to keep using your RC car. While buying an RC handset battery pack is not quite as simple as buying the nearest pack of AA batteries, it is a fairly simple process once you understand the steps involved.
Check the Old Battery Pack
Remove the old battery pack from the RC handset and write down its specifications. Some less expensive RC handsets do use standard AA batteries, and in this case, you can just go buy replacements. However, the majority of RC controllers use batteries with plugs, and these vary in size and style depending on the manufacturer. Check the battery pack and write down the brand, the power rating, how many batteries are in the pack, the type of battery (such as NiMH), and the voltage. You can use this information to buy a replacement battery pack. The safest way to go is to purchase the same brand and model again, which ensures that the battery pack fits and works in the handset.
Consider the Power Requirements of the RC Handset
If you do not plan to buy the same brand again, then double-check the power requirements of the battery. Most battery packs for RC handsets range from seven to 12 volts, and feature between 1500 and upward of 5000 mAh. The voltage should be the same or higher than that required by the vehicle. The higher the mAh, the longer the battery lasts, so look for higher numbers if you want to replace the battery pack less frequently.
Check the Shape and Size of the Battery Pack
RC handset batteries are typically rectangular with a square body and feature two plugs for connecting to the controller. However, this is not always standard, so pay attention to the shape of the original battery. As a rule, always buy a battery that is the same size and shape as the original, or the same shape and size as the battery case, if the original is not present.
Decide on RC Handset Battery Type
Finally, you should consider the type of battery you want to buy. You do have to choose between different base metals such as NiCad (nickel cadmium), NiMH (nickel metal hydride), and LiPo (Lithium polymer), each of which has its own pros and cons. LiPo batteries are usually preferred by owners who want to use their RC cars very frequently, such as multiple times per day, while NiMH batteries are environmentally friendly and very popular for rechargeables.