For anyone new to Lipo battery technology, here is some general advice for using them safely and getting the most out of them....
ANY ADVICE GIVEN HERE IS BASED PURELY ON MY OWN EXPERIENCE, USING KNOWN WORKING ITEMS. I AM NOT A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN OR ELECTRICAL ENGINEER. IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE QUALITY OR RELIABILITY OF THE CHARGERS OR BATTERIES YOU ARE USING, STEP AWAY NOW!
Despite what I have said above, be wary of any horror stories you have heard. I can pretty much guarantee you have been using Lipo batteries for quite a while. If you have bought a mobile phone in the last 5 or 6 years, you can be fairly certain it has a Lipo in it. Treat them with respect and they are safe and will last for years.
This might seem obvious but I have genuinely had a couple of customers do this...DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT try to charge your Lipo battery with anything but a Lipo charger, or by using the Tamiya connector. At best you are going to cook your battery and it wont work, at worst...well the horror stories may then apply! The Tamiya connector (larger connector in the picture at the foot of the page) is ONLY for connecting to your gun. You must only charge your Lipo battery via the smaller white connector in the picture.
Use a smart charger. Again it seems obvious, but if you use a smart charger, it should balance out the cells on your battery, and cut off when they are fully charged. A smart charger SHOULD, if it is working properly, stop pumping power into your battery when its at 100%. Now dont take this as a licence to keep it plugged in for days on end, but dont worry if you have left it on charge for an hour or two after its done.
As with ANY electrical item, your battery should only be used if it is undamaged and in good condition. If you spot any damage to the battery, wiring or connectors, do not try to use or charge it. Speak to someone experienced and make sure you are happy that its safe to keep using it. If in doubt, dispose of the battery in a safe manner and replace it (after checking if it can be replaced under any warranty that it may have).
If it was supplied in a nice plastic box, keep it and use it to store your battery. Its not going to stop it from being damaged under extreme conditions, but it will help protect it from the usual knocks and drops that we are all used to when we "carefully" pack our bags and then "gently" place them on the table at our local skirmish site....
At the end of the day it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are working or playing safely.
USING LIPO BATTERIES FROM REMOTE CONTROL VEHICLES
This is an interesting one, and one that caused me an issue a couple of years ago. In almost every way, a battery from an RC vehicle is the same as an airsoft one..with one fairly important exception....on MOST RC batteries, the polarity (positive and negative) are the opposite of airsoft batteries. If you do decide to buy a battery that isn't SPECIFICALLY designed for airsoft guns, be very careful of that fact.
Please also be aware that the battery you buy MAY be rated a lot higher than the gun you want to use it in can handle. You may be able to find a MASSIVE capacity battery that you can squeeze into your gun, but what is it voltage? Dont be surprised if that 11.1v (or bigger) battery is too much for your gun and kills it. You SHOULD be fine on semi auto, but on FULL auto, make sure your gun is rated to take it. Also be aware of the discharge (or C) rating of the battery. Again, bearing in mind that I am not an electrician, this is the MAXIMUM safe continuous discharge rate
Again, if in doubt, ask someone experienced.
AEP LIPO BATTERIES
A lot of people in the past noticed that the battery that comes with your AEP (electric pistol) isn't as good as say a Lipo in a rifle. Yes thats pretty obvious, its a small battery with a much lower capacity and voltage. Also it isnt a Lipo its a NimH....
Our technical wizard at Airsoft World (I think from now on I will call him Gundalf the Whyte) worked with one of the battery manufacturers to develop an AEP Lipo. You read correctly, a Lipo battery that can squeeze into quite a few AEPs. See the link below:
I will skip past all the praise and technical detail on why this is a much better battery and just get to the really really important bit. IF YOU TRY TO CHARGE AN AEP LIPO USING THE STANDARD CHARGER THAT CAME WITH YOUR GUN, YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY DAMAGE THE BATTERY. YOU MAY FIND IT OVERHEATS AND SMOKES. YOU MAY DAMAGE YOUR GUN IF YOU TRY AND USE IT AFTER THIS. YOU WILL INVALIDATE THE WARRANTY ON THE BATTERY AND YOUR GUN. My apologies for "shouting" but I have to get the point across. We do put a couple of warnings on the product page as you will see, but unfortunately we have had customers who didn't spot them (its in red at the top and bottom of the description), and also didn't read the instructions that come with the battery.
I'm going to add to this as I go along, but if you use common sense, Lipo batteries are great. Get the right one and look after it, and it should give you years of service. Obviously a few out of the thousands and thousands that are manufactured are going to have issues, but in general they are inexpensive and reliable.
AS STATED AT THE TOP, PLEASE REMEMBER I HAVE NO QUALIFICATIONS IN THIS FIELD, I AM JUST SOMEONE WHO HAS USED THIS TYPE OF BATTERY FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND AM DRAWING ON MY OWN EXPERIENCE. IT REALLY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE YOUR OWN SAFETY AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, AND TO USE COMMON SENSE AT ALL TIMES.