How to Make Your Own Quadcopter Battery




Instead of using LiPo batteries for my quadcopter i decided to try using Samsung 18650's. The battery performs well and has never got too hot. The battery will provide a constant current of 22Amps and a burst current of 35Amps. Here are step by step instructions how to make your own!

Step 1: Get the Goods

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  1. The Batteries: Samsung 25R's 18650's Link: Authentic Samsung INR18650-25R 3.6V 2500mAh Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries (2-Pack)
  2. Balance Connector Link: 3S1P LiPo 11.1V Balance Cables
  3. Silicone Wire Link: Soft Silicone Flexible Wire Cable (200cm / 2 Colors)
  4. XT60 Male Connector Link: XT60 Male Battery Connector Cable for R/C
  5. Heat Shrink Link: 6.0mm XLPO Heat Shrink Tubing for Electronics DIY (5m)
  6. Solder and a soldering iron.

* You need three batteries. The above link is for two. You can use this link for the extra one (saves you buying 4).

Link: Authentic Samsung INR18650-25R 3.6V 2500mAh Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries

Step 2: Measure Wire Lengths

Negative (black) - 6.5cm

Positive (red) - 16.5cm

The positive is much longer than negative as it has to come from the other side as seen in the pic above. The above values are a guide, you can make them longer if you need to.

Step 3: Carefully Strip the Ends

Take about 0.5cm of silicone insulation off the ends and flatten the wires to allow for easier soldering. Be careful not to cut into the wire as the thin strands are easily cut.

Step 4: Cut the Joiners

Cut two pieces of wire both 2.5cm in length. These are to connect the batteries together. These connect batteries one to two and two to three.

Step 5: Hot Glue the Batteries Together

Make sure the batteries are lined up and close to each other and then apply some hot glue to both sides of the battery.

Step 6: Prepare Batteries for Soldering

Using a piece of sand paper sand each of the terminals. One can also use a knife to make it extra rough. This step is to ensure a secure soldering. It is vital that any dirt and oil is removed from the terminals before soldering, i recommend using an very pure alcohol.

Step 7: Solder

I find that having the iron on high works best. Be careful not to heat up the battery too much as it can damage the battery. Watch the video to see how i did it. Solder the balance cable as seen in the diagram. You can also spot weld the batteries together but most people don't have access to one and I find that soldering works just fine.

Link for the battery tester: 1S-8S LiPo Battery Voltage Tester with Low Voltage Buzzer Alarm

Step 8: Solder the XT60 Connector

Solder on the XT60 and heat shrink around the solder. Be careful with the wires as if they short it can damage equipment and the batteries.

Step 9: Insulate

It is important to prevent short circuiting. Ideally you should use some shrink wrap but i did not have any so insulation tape will have to do.

Step 10: Comparison and Weight

The battery weighs in at 144g (5.07oz).

See the image above which includes specs about a 2200mah (300mah less) battery. It weighs 57g more and has less capacity.

Step 11: You're Done!

Connect it up and enjoy!

I have great performance (about 15mins) from my 250 sized quad which is using DYS 2300KV motors and 5030 props.

Watch the video to see the performance (this was certainly not to its limits).



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    12 Discussions

    john henry

    6 months ago

    whats the point of the balance leads? 18650 chargers are cheaper than lipo chargers and balance them quite well. it would be far better to use a battery holder and be able to quickly swap out cells and get it flying again. if one cell dies you just toss it instead of desoldering and resoldering the pack.

    3 replies
    gavinkeeleyjohn henry

    Reply 6 months ago

    Hi John,
    The reason why one solders/spot welds batteries together instead of using a battery holder is because of the contact resistance at the connections. This may not be apparent at 2A (i.e a flashlight) but at 30A (i.e a quad copter) it will be. The balance leads let's you access the individual cells from the outside. Not to mention the few additional grams a battery holder will add to your copter...
    Hope this helps.

    john henrygavinkeeley

    Reply 6 months ago

    i know what balance leads do.... i have LiPos and a balance charger and fly.... im saying it would be better to not bother with them and charge them like any other non soldered 18650 if you can get past any issue. I also built my quads and know the current rating of the motors. :P

    There isn't "contact resistance in terms of Ohms" its more of a bottleneck brought by battery holders that use coiled wire springs. They have bare minimum contact surface. The battery holders with flat metal springs would have better contact surface and allow more current to pass without heating up. Those are the ones im looking into using.

    Also people add a gopro (73gram not including special holder) as a secondary recording camera. It isn't essential for flight and is considered dead weight. a 2-5gram battery holder wont bother a race quadcopter a bit. it will lower flight time by a second at best. I actually have a tag on my quads that show the weight in grams without the battery and one on the battery.

    The only thing that affects my flight time significantly is a dying battery cell. which i would like to be able to quickly take out, toss it, and slap in a good one. charging a pack with a weak cell will make a good cell in the pack explode. i know from personal experiments. If one cell drains far more/faster that the others clip it off save the good cells. it can get expensive buying new packs when only one cell is bad. like throwing out a pack of hotdog buns because one got smashed on the way home.

    gavinkeeleyjohn henry

    Reply 5 months ago

    Any contact that is not 'permanent' (i.e soldering or welding) is going to have a significantly higher contact resistance. You propose using the flat contact 18650 holders these too have a small contact area compared to a soldered joint. I would even go as far as saying that a coiled contact may have more contact area.


    Answer 6 months ago

    Hi DimebagG,
    What John said except the soldering part.
    See my reply to John for more info.

    john henryDimebagG

    Answer 6 months ago

    op clearly intended to charge it with a regular hobby lipo balance charger. realty they're smart multti chargers that balance charge most battery packs by using the balance leads to determine what voltage the individual cells are at. but 18650 chargers work well enough. no point in soldering them all together.


    2 years ago

    Can I make a 6s battery with this Sunsung 25R ?

    1 reply
    john henrypatrasgr

    Reply 6 months ago

    you can make a 100s battery with them if you wanted too. there is no limits exept for what voltage the device can handle if you dont use regulators or buck stepdown converters.


    2 years ago

    will it charge fully with a standard 3cell lipo charger?


    2 years ago

    Good job! :-) this will come in super handy for a custom mod. ;-)