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I have recently joined a local RC club, and one of the members gifted me one of his older planes. How old? 72MHz, nitro-powered, and with Ni-Cd batteries! Old school but it works.

However, I'm modernizing it a bit: installing better servos, new linkages throughout, etc. and now I've stumbled upon the receiver battery.

Most guys seem to run LiFe these days, However, a few run LiPo and use a BEC. I've talked to them but they aren't the most knowledgeable and I'm left with doubts as to which one is a better option for me right now.

I already have an electric plane that uses LiPo batteries, so using the same ones on my Nitro plane would be a nice bonus. But the safety aspect of the LiFe chemistry seems pretty nice.

Any advice/suggestion is very welcome!

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    $\begingroup$ You're flying a plane with a tank of explosive gas on it, I personally wouldn't be worried about the additional danger of lithium batteries. If you crash hard enough to damage them, you have bigger problems on your hands $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2021 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ Whats this explosive gas you guys are talking about? Ive been flying and crashing nitro planes for 45 years and NEVER had one explode and burn... $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 2:58

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If you use a BEC you get a few advantages:

  • Input voltage doesn't matter (usually it has to be at least a few Volts above the output voltage), you can probably use the LiPo you already have.
  • The servos have constant power, which would otherwise drop off as the voltage get's lower.
  • If you use the original radio and receiver the range might also drop as the voltage gets lower depending on the exact technology used (Modern receivers usually have their own voltage conversion)

You need to make sure that the BEC can deliver enough current for all you servos and receiver and should also add some margin, to make sure you won't have any brown outs. Also consider which size battery you need:

  • It needs to be within voltage range for the BEC
  • It can probably be relatively small, depending on servo size
  • Make sure you have a warning beeper or voltage telemetry, so you don't get surprised by an empty battery

In terms of safety LiPos are more volatile than LiFe, but on an aircraft you'll only have a risk, if you crash and as Brydon said: You'll have bigger problems then.

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