THE SAFE USE OF BATTERIES
I had planned to do a piece providing some helpful hints with respect to running hardware and the proper handling of a fiberglass hull. But recent events have prodded me to delay this subject for the following: These events, both electrical in nature, need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
The first concerns the use of speed controls with a “BEC” feature. BEC stands for battery eliminator circuit. This is an extra circuit built into the speed control that “steps down” the voltage of your motor battery to a level that the receiver can use.
The reduced voltage is then supplied to the receiver through the red and black wires of the speed control connector that plugs into the receiver. This allows you to eliminate the receiver battery thereby saving space and weight. This is most useful for the smaller models that are becoming popular. The point to keep in mind is that if you are using this feature, you cannot use a receiver battery also. Use of a battery and BEC at the same time can cause damage to the battery, receiver, speed control or all three (3). Remember, it is one or the other.
The second topic is a reminder to be extremely careful when re-charging Lithium based batteries. At a recent trade show, a new Lithium Battery was being charged by a charger specifically designed for this type of battery. Without warning, part way through the charge, the battery exploded and shot out a rather large flame. This flame set fire to a number of nearby objects which required a considerable effort to extinguish. Even when everything is done right, and directions followed, there can still be the possibility of a fire/explosion, so please be careful.
Therefore, I do not recommend the use of these Lithium Batteries until they have been developed further by the industry and there are more guarantees of safety.