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

Summary:

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