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Battery Connectors and Balance Plugs Explained

Battery Connectors and Balance Plugs Explained

Beginner’s Guide to RC – Explaining Battery Connectors and Balance Plugs

NiMh and NiCd batteries were pretty easy to charge and use; hook the clips up to the positive and negative terminals and hit charge. There were no balancing ports (except during discharge) and we didn’t worry too much about overcharging; the chargers did a great job of keeping track of the pack’s condition.

LiPos, on the other hand, require a bit more during the charging process. Not only do you have to make sure your charging plug is correct but, ideally, you want to make sure that you have the right balance plug as well (you are balancing your LiPos, aren’t you?). Since there isn’t really a standardized plug, you could have one of several different types of plugs attached to your pack. This can be confusing, but thankfully CompetitionX is here to give you the lowdown on the most common connectors and balance plugs on the market.

There may also be a chance that you have several different balance ports on several different batteries. This can be problem when charging unless you purchase several different balance boards that match the balance plugs you have. There is an excellent solution, however. You can pick up one of Hitec RCD’s Universal Balancing Adapter. This balance adapter (or balance board) works with all the major brand of LiPo batteries and can charge from 2S-6S packs. It also has ports (in the 2S-6S range) for JST-EH, Thunder Power, JST-XH and Hyperion (or Polyquest) plugs! I have 3 of these and absolutely LOVE them!

Below is a list of the most common connectors and balance plugs on the market right now. Hope this helps.

Balance Plugs

Balance Plug Designation - JST-XH Plug
Balance Plug Designation - JST-EH Plug
Balance Plug Designation - Polyquest Plug
Polyquest Plug
Balance Plug Designation - Thunder Power Plugs
Thunder Power Plugs

Battery Connectors

Battery Connector Designation - Traxxas Connector
Traxxas Connector
Battery Connector Designation - JST Plug (AKA Mini JST)
JST Plug (AKA Mini JST)
Battery Connector Designation - Deans Connector
Deans Connector
Battery Connector Designation - Tamiya Connector
Tamiya Connector
Battery Connector Designation - EC3 Connector
EC3 Connector
Battery Connector Designation - HexTronik XT-60 Connector
HexTronik XT-60 Connector


About Tony Phalen

Tony Phalen - As an avid RC enthusiast, Tony has been building, bashing and racing RC Cars for over 25 years. He has raced everything from 1:18th scale trucks to 1:5 scale motorcycles and everything in-between. He's also worked on both sides of the industry fence; working at and with many major manufacturers (as well as being a sponsored driver) to working for a high-profile industry magazine. During this time he has learned many tricks, tips and techniques and has transferred that knowledge to CompetitionX - the most informative RC website on the internet! More articles by Tony Phalen

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  1. Hi. Could you please inform me what a Universal Balance Adapter actually plugs into via its connecting lead to carry out the charging process?

    Thank you.

  2. LiPo batteries come with a balance plug built into them; it basically monitors the charging process, making sure both cells (in a 2S) charge as evenly as possible. Unfortunately, battery companies haven’t standardized this plug. The Universal Balance Adapter fixes this problem by incorporating different types of plugs into one board, allowing you balance batteries with JST-EH, JST-XH or Hyperion plugs.

    This balance board has a lead on it that plugs into the balance port in your charger. If your charger doesn’t have a balance port, it probably can’t charge LiPo batteries. The balance port is extremely important and, honestly, I wouldn’t try charging a LiPo battery without one. That’s one of the biggest reasons why LiPo batteries fail.

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