my current robot project has 4 servos for the drive wheels, a handful of other sensors, etc. If my information and calculation is correct, the power drain is around .5A.
I want it to be able to run for extended amounts of time so I went heavy (kinda) on the battery. I picked up two 7.2V 1400 mA batteries from Radio Shack. They are normally used in remote control cars.
Currently I am only using one of the batteries. It is connected to a Dimension Engineering 5V switching regulator because I was concerned about heat/battery waste.
I would like to use the second battery and now am wondering about what the best configuration would be. I have been told that since I am using a switching regulator, connecting the batteries in series would be optimal. This would also be helpful for recharging purposes. From what I learned in college (forever ago) I was planning on connecting them in parallel, but then again, back then all we covered were linear, not switching.
Also - aside from leaky batteries from overcharging, what are your feelings about "in chassis" battery charging. I was planning to incorporate I plug into the power board that I could use to connect the charger. I thought a toggle switch could be used to change modes from "run" to "charge".
Any suggestions or tips on how best to connect the batteries (series or parallel) to the switching regulator would be greatly appreciated.