When charging Lithium batteries, its important to keep track of the charge rate. A rule of thumb is, you should max charge at 1C of current. For a 500mAh battery, thats 500mA. For a 2200mAh battery it's 2200mA. Pretty easy!
This rating is just the MAX rating, you can always charge at a lower rate - it just takes longer.

You can estimate how long it takes to charge a battery by taking the capacity, dividing by the rate, and multiplying by 125%.

For example: a 2200mAh battery charging at 500mA? It'll take 2200/500 * 125% = 5.5 Hours. Less if its not fully drained!

Changing the Rate

The chip in the MicroLipo can charge at up to 500mA rate. To make it safe for all our batteries, we set the default rate to 100mA. It's very easy to update the charge rate, however. On each board, look for the solder jumper that looks like this:

Melt some solder onto the jumper to close it and set the new charge rate

Rate Switch

On the MicroLipo v2, there is a switch in the center of the board that replaces the jumper for changing between 100mA and 500mA charging modes. 100mA is labeled with 1 above the switch and L below the switch (for low mode). 500mA is labeled with 5 above the switch and H below the switch (for high mode).

Constant-Current / Constant-Voltage

There's a few stages for charging batteries: pre-conditioning, constant-current and then constant-voltage.

Pre-conditioning is when the battery is very low, and requires low current. Constant-voltage is for 'topping up' the battery when its almost completely full. Constant-current is where the bulk of the charging occurs. If your battery is not ready for constant-current or if it is coming out of the CC stage, it will draw less than the max charge rate current!

This guide was first published on May 30, 2014. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Charge Rate) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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