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LiFe-PO4 9.9V Battery Review

Submitted by Operator7 on Mon, 08/05/2013 - 17:38

Essential to any Airsoft AEG are the batteries that power our electric guns. Without them we can’t play But there are so many kinds of batteries out there such as Lipos and NiHMs, with different voltages and discharge rates, and now another kind of battery arises to join this confusion?

In short yes, it’s another choice that we as Airsofters can make when buying a battery, which I consider great since I love choices.

Plus, if LiFe batteries offer some improvements over existing batteries, then it’s surely something we should look into!

Thanks to Dimitri from Emperion I have been able to get my hands on one and show you the results.

SO WHAT IS LiFe AND WHAT ADVANTSGES DO THEY HAVE?

LiFe, in batteries, stands for Lithium Iron Phosphate, or Lithium Ferrite.

These are made of cheaper components which hopefully will bring to the market cheaper batteries.

At the moment of this review, the LiFe battery is still slightly more expensive than Lipos: around 10€ more than 7.4v batteries and around 5€ more than 11.1v. Hopefully in the future this will change.

Also, just like Lipos, these batteries are very compact and lightweight making them great to use on the buffer tube as opposed say to NiMH batteries.

Well, at least almost as compact, since using this battery on my AEG will make me loose the first position on my stock, since it won’t fully retract. No problem here since I generally never use the stock fully collapsed, but it’s something to have in mind still.

Many people avoid getting Lipos since there have been a lot stories around these which gave them  sort of a bad image. And some of these stories are real since if you don’t know how to use a Lipo you can trash it easily.

Fortunately for us, LiFe batteries don’t have the same very well-known issues that happens withcharging. Unlike Lipos using the wrong charger or overcharging it won’t lead to the battery to possibly blow up.

Lipos  also have other disadvantages such as total discharges will most likely kill your battery for good,  and if you want to avoid this then you’ll have to spend some more money on a battery indicator to prevent the cells from fully discharging.

They also tend to overheat if used in a constant way, say pressing the fire button on full auto for a long period of time.

Now, say that you run an 11.1v Lipo, and your AEG doesn’t have quality internals, you’ll risk breaking your gearbox internals. And even with quality internals,  it will wear those faster than  with any other battery. And if you go to a 7.4v Lipo you’ll probably find, like I do, that the fire rate is way too low. On the bright side, a 7.4v Lipo won’t wear out your internals as much as an 11.1.

Fortunately, there is something in-between these two and it fits on most buffer tubes. The LiFe has 9.9v and so it as much better rate of fire than a 7.4 and not as devilish as the 11.2v Lipo.

Last but not the least, you have to take in account the total life span of the battery. And again LiFe batteries do offer more recharging cycles than Lipo’s.

Oh! And by the way, these are also much less susceptible to fire than Lipos. If you already own a Lipo charger, it will work on these Life batteries!

AUTONOMY

I’ve used this battery in several Airsoft games and didn’t care much about charging it like I do with my Lipos. Overall the 1000mhA Life battery will give me just about the same game hours than the 1200mhA 11.1v. Of course it has a lower discharge rate of 20C when compared to the 25C on the Lipo, but what’s important to me is that it has enough autonomy to last me for a one day game, which it easily does.

RATE OF FIRE

This is another great feature of this battery, since it offers a great ROF at only 20C and it doesn’t wear the gun’s internals as much as 11.1v batteries:

So you’ll get all the fun of having a gun with a very fast rate of fire, and go easy on the internals at the same time.

CONCLUSION

The LiFe battery is a very balanced and smart choice that offers some of the benefits of Lipos ---  being that it is compact, lightweight and offers a great ROF for your AEG. Plus, it improves on some of the worst features that Lipos have such as security, life cycle and charging issues.

To me it seems that Life batteries could represent the future in terms of Airsoft batteries. At  least in the short term since there could be some new technologies being developed and available just around the corner. But for now, I’ll prefer these over the current offerings.

You can find this particular battery made by Action Batteries at Emperion for 30€, but they do carry several shapes, sizes and capacities, so go ahead and check them out.

Pros

  • More secure than Lipo’s
  • Longer lyfe cycle
  • Less charging/discharging woes
  • Offers great ROF
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Slightly larger than an 11.1v Lipo

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