Want to get the right battery for your RC drone but confused between 3s and 4s Lipo batteries? That is actually a pretty common scenario for beginners. It’s difficult to understand the amount of power that would be right for your drone.
So which battery is better, 3s vs 4s Lipo?
Both 3s and 4s batteries provide the same amount of power. But, they differ in RPM and safety. A 4s battery has a better RPM, giving you speed and thrust. But, a 3s battery is safer to use. A beginner can become overwhelmed if they use a 4s from the start.
These are just parts of all the differences. We’ve discussed these two batteries in detail below.
Interested in knowing more? Read along!
3s Vs 4s Lipo: Key Differences
Before we get into all the vivid detail, let’s know some key differences first. We’ve provided a comparison table for your better understanding.
|Feature||3s Lipo||4s Lipo|
This might not be enough for you to decide. Don’t worry, let’s get into the details right away.
3s Vs 4s Lipo Battery: Detailed Comparison
3s Lipo batteries come with 3 cells and 4s with 4 cells. 2s2p batteries also come with 4 cells. But they’re very different.
Another thing, there’s one of the best things about a Lipo battery that many people don’t know. That is, you can charge a Lipo battery without a charger.
You’ve already seen the key comparisons between 3s vs 4s Lipo batteries. Now, let’s look at all the differences in detail.
No matter what the voltage and current input are, the power output is always the same. In 4s Lipo batteries, the voltage is high and the current is low. But, in 3s Lipo batteries, the voltage is low and the current is high.
Power = voltage x current.
This basically means that they provide the same power output. And that’s why it stands even though they have differences in voltage and current input. Let’s look at an example for a change.
Let’s just say that you have a 300-watt motor. If you use a 3s lipo battery with it, the motor will consume about 27 amps current. But, if you use a 4s battery, the motor will consume around 20.3 amps current.
Now, let’s do the math. For the 3s battery, 27 amps x 11.1 V = 300 watts. And as for the 4s battery, 20.3 amps x 14.8 V = 300 watts.
So, it is evident that the power output will always be the same. You can say that the voltage and current in these batteries are inversely proportional to each other.
Here’s a list of some of the best 4s Lipo batteries-
RPM & Thrust Power
Revolutions Per minute a.k.a RPM is also called Rotations Per Minute sometimes. When the voltage is high, the RPM is also high. The formula for RPM is voltage x the KV value of a motor.
Let’s look at an example again. Imagine that you own a motor that has a KV value of 2300. Now, let’s use the 11.1 V 3s battery. The RPM becomes 11.1 x 2300 = 25,530.This basically means that the motor would rotate 25,530 every minute without a propeller.
Now, let’s use the 14.8 V 4s battery. With the same motor, the RPM becomes 14.8 x 2300 = 34,040. You can see how visibly the RPM increases with this battery.
The higher the RPM, the higher the thrust, flight speed, and control. Makes you wonder if you should use 2 blade or 3 blade prop for your quadcopter. It’s a common dilemma afterall. But, this also means that you have a more sensitive throttle lever now.
Safety & Compatibility
Yes, safety is an issue that shouldn’t go unnoticed. You already know that 4s batteries pack more power than 3s batteries. This means that when using 4s batteries, you can go faster, have a better thrust, and control.
But all of these come at a cost. The throttle lever is more sensitive now. A slight bump up or down in the throttle can make a big difference. This is mainly a problem for beginners.
If you’ve been using RC’s for a long time, it shouldn’t be a problem for you.
For beginners, most people would suggest you start with a 3s battery. Because it’s more compatible for beginners. They won’t be able to handle the power of 4s from the beginning.
But, one also gets bored of that small amount of power quite easily. It can happen in a week or in 6 months for people to get to that phase.
So, unlike everyone else, we’d suggest a beginner go straight for a 4s. We’d also teach you a trick to lower the throttle power so it feels like 3s.
Lowering The Throttle Power:
For this trick, you should use a flysky or frsky whichever suits you. Now, let’s get your throttle power down.
First, go to the menu. Then scroll down and go to the throttle curve. There you’ll see 5 levels from low to high. And they go 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% respectively.
Lower all of them by around 50% but of course, 0% will stay at 0%. And then the levels become 0%, 12%, 25%, 37%, and 50% from low to high respectively.
Now, the highest power output from your remote will be 50%. You can change that back up to the default setting whenever you want.
The winner of this battle goes to 4s Lipo battery. It’s true that in terms of total output power, 3s and 4s are the same. But, 4s has a much higher RPM.
You can achieve higher thrust and speed with 4s with much better control.
In terms of safety, 3s takes the prize. But this is applicable mostly for beginners. You can make a 4s battery safe to use. Apply the trick we taught and everything will be just fine.
You’ll even save yourself the cost of buying another battery later. That is if you buy a 4s.
It’ll be good for you if you know some facts about Lipo batteries. Since you might end up using one anyway you’ll find the information handy.
Question: At what amp should I charge my 3s battery?
Answer: The equation for charging a Lipo battery depends on the battery capacity. That is, 1000mAh = 1A and 3000mAh = 3A.
Question: Are 4s batteries heavier and if so, why?
Answer: Yes, 4s batteries are heavier. Because they have more cells and voltage regulators.
Question: What happens when you overcharge Lipo batteries?
Answer: The battery will become unstable, pressure will increase, and thermal runaway will occur.
Well, now you know everything about 3s vs 4s Lipo. 4s is the ideal choice. We’ve even explained a trick to lower the throttle power. Just so you don’t have to waste any money.
Let us know in the comments about your opinions.