Power Source Options

by: Bobby Barr

For those that are new to the hobby, and even those of us that aren’t, deciding how best to power your chargers can be a bit overwhelming. With all of the options out there we here at the RCTS decided to put together a list to help steer you the right direction for your situation. So lets start with a brief overview of each with the pros and cons associated with power supplies, generators, deep cycle batteries and lipo batteries.

Power Supply Advantages:

  • Clean power
  • Can build very inexpensive
  • Can purchase ready to use

Power Supply Disadvantages:

  • Need a 120V source to power them.
  • More to buy, build, and carry.
  • Best if you have a decent way to transport

Generator Advantages:

  • Self contained
  • Portable

Generator Disadvantages:

  • Can be expensive
  • Can be noisy
  • Possibly heavy depending on your size requirements
  • Need to carry gas if you use longer than the tank will supply
  • On most generators and chargers you will need a power supply to convert from AC to DC.
  • Require maintenance

Deep Cycle Battery Advantages:

  • Can hook some chargers directly to deep cycle batteries
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to a generator
  • Can leave in your vehicle and be charged by vehicle’s alternator

Deep Cycle Battery Disadvantages:

  • Very heavy if you do not leave in your vehicle
  • Limited charging by the size of your deep cycle battery
  • Need to be replaced possibly every other year
  • Would have to run in series to power 24 volt input chargers

Lipo Battery Advantages:

  • Portable
  • Relatively inexpensive

Lipo Battery Disadvantages:

  • Have to be very careful about letting the voltage drop too far
  • Need to be certain your batteries are charged


Now that you know more about each option, click on our more detailed tech page on the ones you have narrowed it down to.