Hobby Charger Charging Rate General Guidelines

Hey All,

I got myself a Thunder AC680 hobby charger, which apparently is a Turnigy Accucel 6 with a built in power supply, and I was hoping somebody could help me set some general guidelines for charging lithium-ion batteries with it.

I finally got my head around the whole .5C, 1C, 2C, etc (C = 1xCapacity in mA) thing after having it beat into my head by a friend. He gave me some general guidelines for all lithium-ion cells:

  • For most lithium ion batteries, he said that you can charge them at .5C to .8C safely, depending on how fast you want them charged and if you care about cell life.
  • For 16340’s and 14500’s, to stick with 500mA.
  • For IMR/INR cells, .8C to 1C is usually OK.

Would you guys agree with this?

Your guidelines are mostly correct, although it wouldn’t hurt to use lower charge rates.

I normally charge my 18650’s 500mAh, since I’m rarely in a hurry.

Often the manufacturer say that with 0.5C the maximal charging cycles are possible and that charging them faster will degrade the cell earlier, which results in less max charging cycles.

500mA for a 16340 and 14500 is a bit to heavy, I have done this too when I was lazy and used my i4 but normally I use my hobby charger and charge with 200-300mA.

Thanks for the advice. I usually use my i4 for charging batteries because I find the hobby charger to generally be a pain in the ass. I will start using it for my 16340’s though. I never thought about it, but you are right in that it will charge a 16340 at 1 amp if it is the only battery in there.