All You Need To Know About Gel Blaster Battery

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I used to hear some friends asking:Can you leave battery in gel blaster? Why is my gel blaster battery not charging?How to store my battery?

By reading this article thoroughly, you will also gain an understanding of batteries in your daily use like Battery Care,Maintainess,Use,Safety,and Disposal.Given that gel blasters often use lithium batteries, this article will focus mainly on lithium batteries. Of course, other types of batteries will also be introduced briefly, so you can learn a bit more. I will guide you through the following points:

1.Gel Blaster Battery classification
2.Gel Blaster Battery parameters (emphasis on S, P, C, V, MAh)
3.Safe charging and discharging voltages (minimum and maximum) 
4.The correct choice of Gel Blaster charger
5.How to store Gel Blaster batteries
6.Gel Blaster Safety precautions
7.Disposal methods for discarded batteries

1.Battery classification

Non-lithium batteries

Let's start with non-lithium batteries. Apart from lithium batteries, there are commonly used alkaline batteries (please see the chart below).

Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-Mh) and Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries are often found in children's toys, usually used in series. The differences between Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd batteries are as follows:

  • Ni-Cd batteries can withstand overcharging but can produce a memory effect during charging and contain cadmium, which requires recycling.
  • Ni-Mh batteries are the latest type of rechargeable battery, do not contain mercury or cadmium, have high energy density, long life, and no memory effect.
  • Both Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd batteries have a nominal voltage of 1.2V.
  • Ni-Mh batteries do not have a charging memory effect, whereas Ni-Cd batteries do.
  • Ni-Mh batteries have a higher capacity than Ni-Cd batteries.
  • The image below is a Ni-Mh battery pack.


That’s all for non-lithium batteries, now let’s move to the power sources we frequently use, the lithium battery series.The ones we often use in our gel blasters are Li-Po and Li-Ion.

Lithium batteries

1.Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (Li-Fe)

Among the lithium battery family, it has the most stable charge and discharge, and low self-discharge, used in car batteries, some electric vehicles, radio-controlled models, electric bicycle batteries, etc. They are not commonly seen in our daily use of toys.

The image below is a Futaba remote control using a Li-Fe battery.

2、Lithium-Ion Battery (Li-Ion)

Lithium-Ion Battery, abbreviated as Li-Ion, is widely used in various portable electronic devices, power tools, electric vehicles, etc., due to its high energy density, long cycle life, and low self-discharge rate. (Many generators come with cylindrical battery packs, which are serial Li-Ion batteries) The image below shows a Li-Ion cylindrical battery, model 18650.


Advantages of Li-Ion batteries include:

  • High energy density: Li-Ion batteries have a higher energy density compared to other rechargeable batteries, offering longer usage time and higher work efficiency.
  • Long cycle life: Li-Ion batteries have a long cycle life, withstanding numerous charge and discharge cycles without significant capacity loss.
  • Low self-discharge rate: Li-Ion batteries have a low self-discharge rate, keeping the charge well even when not in use for a long time.
  • Fast charging: Li-Ion batteries can be charged faster than other rechargeable batteries, allowing for quick charging in a short time.

(As a side note, let's talk about avoiding pitfalls: the cylindrical lithium-ion 18650 battery has a maximum capacity of 3600mAh due to size constraints. Panasonic produces an 18650 battery model NCR18650B with a capacity of 3400mAh, which is already a high standard in the industry, and it's challenging to reach the maximum peak. So if someone tells you their serial 18650 has a capacity of over 10,000mAh, you'll know how to calculate it. Don't pay an intelligence tax.)

3、Lithium Polymer Battery (Li-Po) - Emphasis

Lithium Polymer Battery, abbreviated as LiPo, compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion), has a higher energy density, thinner design, and better safety performance.

Li-Po batteries use polymer electrolytes, which have lower internal resistance and higher ionic conductivity than liquid electrolyte Li-Pon batteries, allowing for higher discharge rates and faster charging speeds. In addition, lithium polymer batteries can be made in various shapes and sizes due to their flexible design, making them widely used in portable electronic devices, wearable technology, radio-controlled models, remote-controlled vehicles, etc.

The image below shows a GN3 Li-Po battery for model aircraft.


Advantages of Li-Po batteries include:

  • High energy density: Compared to larger-volume traditional lithium-ion batteries, Li-Po batteries offer higher energy density, allowing devices to operate for longer periods.
  • High discharge rate: Li-Po batteries have low internal resistance and can support higher discharge rates, suitable for applications requiring high power output.
  • Slim design: Li-Po batteries can be made very thin due to polymer electrolytes, suitable for devices with limited volume and weight.
  • Safety: Li-Po batteries have better safety performance than Li-Po batteries, less prone to overheating, combustion, or explosion.
  • Low self-discharge rate: Li-Po batteries have a low self-discharge rate, preserving the charge well even when not used for long periods.

4、High-Voltage Lithium Battery (HV-Lion) (not introduced, just mentioned)

5、Lithium Manganese Battery (ML) (not introduced, but button batteries are 3V)


2.Battery parameters (emphasis on S, P, C, V, MAh)

S: Serial number, indicating the battery's voltage. For example, 3S means three batteries in series. A single nominal voltage of 3.7v, 3.7*3=11.1v, and the maximum voltage of 12.6v is what we commonly refer to as 3S.

P: Parallel number, indicating the battery's capacity and discharge capability. For example, 4P means four batteries in parallel. The purpose of parallel connection is to increase the maximum discharge current, so when it's 3.7*3=11.1v, that's 1p, add another 3s in parallel, it's called 3s2p, the voltage remains 11.1v, but the discharge current is doubled, and the capacity is doubled. However, because this kind of battery only has a 3s balance port, each balance port balances two cells. If one of the cells has a high resistance, it's tough to balance, and it's easy for individual cells to be discarded, even damaging other cells. This kind of battery is generally not used in toys. (For model aircraft needing long endurance, this kind of multi-p battery is used more, so many people who play drones or airplanes have a lot of swollen batteries, which are also these multi-p batteries) 

C: The battery's discharge rate. This needs to be explained in detail as many people don't understand what this really means. For example, 1C means the battery discharges at a rate of 1 times its rated capacity.

For instance, if a battery has a capacity of 2000mAh, then a 1C discharge current is 2000mA (2A). Similarly, if another battery has a capacity of 3000mAh, then a 1C discharge current is 3000mA (3A).

For example, a 1000mAh battery with 30C is 1000mAh/1000=1A x 30C=30A. The actual maximum discharge is 30A, and if there is a large enough load, continuous 30A discharge will deplete the battery in about 2 minutes.

Of course, charging is also rated in C. Suppose you have a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 2000mAh, and it requires charging at a 1C rate. This means the charging current should be equal to 1 times the battery capacity, i.e., 2000mA (or 2A).

If we charge at a 2C rate, the charging current will be twice the battery capacity, i.e., 4000mA (or 4A). In this case, the time required to fully charge the battery will be reduced to 30 minutes.

This is basically impossible to achieve on our devices. Even the 8awg silicone wire used in model aircraft cannot withstand it. Even if the wire can withstand it, the solder joints cannot. All the so-called large currents are only instantaneous, lasting only a fraction of a second. Do you think a fire control system can withstand continuous destruction of 30A x 12.6=378W? The battery won't be depleted before it starts smoking. However, for model cars and planes, this instantaneous discharge speed is a significant impact on competition results.

The formula for calculation is:

? MAH/1000=1C discharge x C rated number=A actual maximum discharge current

? MAH/1000=1C charge x C rated number=A actual maximum charge current

V: The voltage of the battery. Not much to explain here. V voltage x A current = W watts, which should be known to anyone who has been to school. 

MAh: Milliamp-hour, representing the battery's capacity, i.e., the amount of electric charge the battery can store. The larger the battery capacity and the higher the voltage, the better, which everyone should understand, just like a bottle of water, the more water it contains, the higher the water level.

3.Safe charging and discharging voltages (minimum and maximum) 

The nominal voltage and charge termination voltage of common lithium batteries are (for single cells):

Li-Fe 3.2-3.65v

Li-Po 3.7-4.2v

Li-Ion 3.7-4.2v

High-voltage lithium batteries 3.8-4.35v or 3.85-4.4v (just to be aware, usually not used)

Let's discuss the difference between nominal voltage, lowest voltage, and highest voltage in detail. Nominal voltage does not represent the lowest voltage. The lowest voltage refers to the state when the battery is discharged to the lowest level, i.e., when the capacity is consumed to the smallest state. Taking Li-Po as an example, with a nominal voltage of 3.7v, the actual lowest can reach 2.8v. Below 2.8v, irreversible damage to the battery interior occurs, common symptoms are swelling, reduced capacity, increased battery resistance, and breathing effects. (Tested by myself, don't try it recklessly, it costs money)

Then some friends may ask, why are gel blasters set to 3.7v instead of 2.8v? There are two reasons: the first is that the battery comes with a protection board and has current limit protection, with a set minimum voltage, and the current is relatively small. Generally, lithium batteries with protection boards range between 1-3A. For example, mobile phone batteries, cylindrical Li-Po built-in batteries, or other Li-Po built-in batteries with protection boards.

In fact, when our mobile phones show 0% battery, they are already close to 2.8v, having maximized the battery discharge.

Why do we normally set the battery to 3.2-3.7v? Because the Li-Po or Li-Ion I bought has no protection board and no discharge current limit. When you use maximum power, a large amount of current is released, and the voltage drops rapidly. For example, if it's set to 2.8v, at full throttle, the battery's breathing effect will cause a sudden voltage drop of 0.2-0.4v (the decline may be around 0.2v for better quality cells), exceeding the safe value. This will damage the battery. But if you always set it to 3.7v, after using the battery for some time, you need to do a large cycle charge for maintenance. Taking Li-Po as an example, you need to discharge at least to 3.0v or 3.2v for a large cycle, but too frequent large cycle charging can also damage the battery. Large cycle charging of lithium batteries is to maintain performance and extend their service life.

Here are a few reasons:

Battery capacity correction: After long-term use, lithium batteries may show inaccurate capacity. By performing a large cycle charge, you can correct the battery capacity information, allowing it to display the remaining charge more accurately.

Battery balance: Lithium battery packs consist of multiple individual cells, and each cell's capacity may differ. Large cycle charging can promote charging and discharging of each cell to keep the charge of the cells within the battery pack balanced, improving the performance and lifespan of the entire battery pack.

Reviving battery activity: Lithium batteries may show decreased capacity and increased internal resistance after long-term use or long-term storage, leading to a decline in battery performance. By performing a large cycle charge, you can activate the chemicals in the battery, clear some adverse reaction products inside the battery, and thereby restore the battery's performance and capacity.

4.The correct choice of charger

Let's start with commonly seen chargers in the market: B3, B4, B6, A6, A9, D100, D200, and some high-end ones like 308duo, 408duo, 4010, etc.

B3 comes with a power supply, while B6 comes in two versions, with or without a power supply. A6 and A9 chargers need an additional power supply, and other high-end models are configured with power supply or combination power supplies from the same brand.

Now, which one should you use? Usually, the B3 that comes with a gel blaster, I suggest throwing it away. It's very easy to damage the battery. I don't want to talk much about it. The evaluation is that it has poor balancing function, limited features, and slow charging. It's effortless to charge the battery very unbalanced.

If your budget is limited, go for B6, but be sure to recognize the brand. The original manufacturer of B6 is Ichanger, which also makes high-end chargers like 4010. Later, Skyrc also began to produce them. The quality is okay, and they are quite durable. Although B6 is only slightly better than B3, having a screen is almost meaningless, but this is a must-have for beginners. After use, it must be sold second-hand. If you charge with a substandard B6, after a few cycles, it's basically unbalanced. The resale value is preserved, and you can sell it for as much as you paid for it. It has more features, supports Ni-Mh, Ni-Cd, and three types of lithium batteries.

But occasionally it overcharges, causing fires, which are not uncommon. Someone once told me that batteries can reach 4.3v, I guess it's charged with B6, and it's really inaccurate. Besides high-voltage lithium, ordinary 4.3 is really dangerous. But B6 is recommended for activating discarded lithium batteries and charging several other types of non-lithium batteries. I remind you again, if you want to buy, make sure it's genuine.

Recognize: Ichanger and Skyrc brands.

If you are kind to your batteries, they will be kind to your wallet, and you'll be safer. If you really cherish your batteries and want them to last longer, I recommend getting Un A6 or similar products from Un A9. Or Skyrc's D100, D200, or equivalent products, it's cost-effective to get one on the second-hand market.

A6 and A9 are chargers that do not come with a main charging line and can only charge lithium batteries of 2s or above. They directly detect single cells through the balance port and are very accurate among balance chargers. They also support large currents (I used it many years ago, I forgot the maximum, I think it's up to 10A or 15A), but during multi-cell charging, the balance charging wire may overheat if charged at a large current, so it's not recommended to charge a single battery over 5A.

This is just for your information. If you play gel blasters, the end of the line for chargers should be the A series. There's no need for something so good. Of course, if you have a sufficient budget, that's even better. The two chargers mentioned above have all the functions of the above charger and are stable.

Just a reminder, if you are using B3 or B6, never charge unattended. It should be charged under supervision to avoid regretting when it's too late due to a fire. 

5.How to store batteries 

Actually, this question is not just about whether to expose to direct sunlight. If you're not using the battery for a long time, please keep it at 3.85v.
Can't B3 do this?And discharge at least once a month, in a cycle. Can't B3 do this either?

Here I continue to disdain the B3 charger.Discharge to about 3.2 as mentioned before, then fully charge and set it to the storage voltage of 3.85v.Following the above method, the battery will last you longer.

It's also best to store in a flame-proof bag or a metal box to avoid the risk of damaged lithium cells causing a fire and affecting other items.


6.Safety precautions 

First, lithium batteries cannot be punctured!!!! Puncture can lead to an explosion! You can search online to see what an explosion looks like if you've never seen it. If you have a swollen battery, don't think about puncturing the aluminum plastic film on the battery surface to vent it yourself. Even if you do, it won't help. If you don't puncture it well, you'll be in trouble. (I punctured one myself, and the tweezers touched the inside lithium ions, and the sharp end was burned off instantly. However, the battery didn't improve much, it would be better to keep it swollen.)

Secondly, try to avoid short-circuiting the positive and negative terminals. A brief short-circuit is not a big problem, and it won't damage the battery internals as some articles have mentioned. It's equivalent to an instant maximum discharge, nothing more than a big spark, and that's it. If there is contact with a conductor, such as tweezers or a screwdriver, the tool may instantly melt a part or lose a part due to high temperature and high current. It's not recommended to try, it's quite scary.

7.Disposal methods for discarded batteries 

Finally, regarding the disposal of old batteries, remember to cut the red wire first, and make it shorter than the black wire, close to the root, then cut the black wire, slightly longer than the root. If you can dismantle one of the multi-cell batteries, you can directly reduce the electrodes of the battery cell. All these methods are to avoid short-circuiting when in contact with other conductors, which could cause a fire and secondary disasters.

Lithium batteries are heavy metal pollutants and are considered hazardous waste, requiring recycling. Or after treatment, they should be labeled and placed next to the trash bin or designated battery recycling bin. For the safety of others and yourself, please dispose of them properly. 

That's all about batteries. If you have any additions, please leave a comment. We hope we can all play more happily together.We will regularly update posts about gel blasters,you can bookmark our website.


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