Dummy battery - How to choose the battery size for your airsoft replica?
The question often asked on internet forums is what battery to choose for your replica? It doesn't concern the voltage itself, but batterie's dimensions. Currently, it rarely happens that manufacturers add LiPo or LiIon batteries to the set with a replica. Thus, we have to buy it ourselves. Therefore, it is important to choose the right size and shape of the ASG battery.
Building a cardboard airsoft battery step by step
There is a multitude of batteries on the market. Unfortunately, abundance is also a nuisance. Often, at first glance, similar 7.4V batteries from different manufacturers will be of different sizes. In addition, pay attention to the shape of the battery because there it may not go. The task is not made easier by the replica manufacturers themselves, leaving very little space for the package. It also happens that the battery compartment is located in a way that makes measuring it impossible. When I bought my first lipo battery many years ago for the G36 JG replica, I faced that problem. I solved it by making a dummy battery. It helped me to check if it would fit in the replica before buying it. Today, I will show you how to do it.
Materials needed to make the model
The main building material will be cardboard. The best one is multi-layer because it is quite thick. Of course, we will need something to cut, scissors are enough, but I recommend an upholstery knife. When deciding on a knife, do not forget about a cutting mat or at least a cutting board. I draw the battery with a standard ruler and a pen. I recommend electric tape to stick the dummy. It is quite thick and will make the package look more like a real airsoft battery.
Picture 1. Preparing materials
Let's start building our LiPo battery
The replica to which I will try to fit the battery is a Specna Arms SA-H12, and the battery I want to use is a LiPo 11.1V 1300mAh 20 / 40C. Its dimensions are 130x20x20mm.
I draw a rectangle with dimensions of 130x80mm on the cardboard and divide its width every 20mm, thanks to which I will get four pieces.
Picture 2. We draw our battery
I will cut the shape with a utility knife using drawn guidelines, you can use scissors, but they may crush the cardboard.
Picture 3. Be careful while cutting the cardboard
I have the elements cut out. Now it is time to do a test fit.
Picture 4. Our LiPo battery still in pieces
As you can see, three pieces were enough to get a thickness of about 20mm. If the pack is too thin, you can wrap it a little thicker with tape to increase its thickness.
Picture 5. The thickness of the dummy should correspond to the thickness of the LiPo battery
I wrap the prepared dummy battery with electrical tape along its length and around it diagonally to achieve a visible pattern.
Picture 6. Our dummy looks more and more like a battery
If we have measured everything correctly, we should get a pack slightly larger than the size declared by the manufacturer of the battery, which dummy we are preparing. This is an intended action. If a little bigger pack fits, we can be sure that the 11,1V 1300mAh 20/40C LiPo battery will too.
Picture 7. Accurate measurement of our cardboard LiPo battery
Picture 8. Accurate measurement is the key to success
Picture 9. Accurate length measurement of our LiPo battery
Trying battery to a compartment in an airsoft replica
We have the dummy LiPo battery ready. I check if it fits into the stock guide, and I can see that it won't fit. The dummy airsoft battery is a bit too wide.
Picture 10. First fitting of the dummy battery
That’s ok. That is why we made the pack, to check if it will fit or not. I found a slightly narrower but longer Specna Arms LiPo 11.1V 1200mAh 20C / 40C battery. Its dimensions are 185x15x15mm. Using the same method, I make a second dummy battery, and this one fits.
Picture 11. Moment of work and we already have two LiPo batteries. The second dummy fits
Remember, however, that this method only shows us if the pack fits. You need to leave some space for the wiring. After extending the stock to the maximum, you can see that there is still a lot of space left. I think there would be no problem with the wiring, which can always be shortened a bit if necessary.
Picture 12. When using a cardboard Li-Po battery, remember about the wiring
Selection of a battery for a replica with the use of a cardboard counterpart - summary
In about half an hour, I managed to make two dummy batteries. They allow me to quickly check which LiPo battery would fit. Now the only thing left to do is order the correct battery. You can write down dimensions on the dummy batteries and hide them for future use. They can be useful when choosing a battery for your next replica. I have already used this method several times, and for each purchased pack, it fitted perfectly. Just remember to leave some space for the wiring.
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