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Traxxas offers a wide range of battery sizes with different voltages, capacities, and discharge ratings. These batteries and all their features fall into two main categories: LiPo (Lithium Polymer) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride). Each battery type comes with unique advantages that you might want to consider when you’re picking a battery.
Before learning anymore about the battery specifics it is important to know if Traxxas batteries are any good.
Generally, Traxxas offers really good batteries and the brand itself is well known and well regarded in the RC community. Traxxas offers very high quality RC cars and their batteries are also made quite well. One important thing to know about Traxxas batteries though is that you cannot charge them with other chargers as they are only compatible with Traxxas ones.
Traxxas cars and batteries are a great choice for any RC enthusiast but before you go out and buy a Traxxas RC battery it is important to know some things about RC batteries in general so that way you can make sure that you buy the proper one for your RC car.
We will go into more detail about RC batteries in general as well as Traxxas RC batteries in the rest of this article. If you are looking for some additional information about RC batteries you will certainly want to watch the video below.
For starters, let us look at the three major metrics of batteries, which are voltage, capacity, and discharge rating.
The voltage of your battery pack is basically what will determine the speed of your vehicle. The higher your voltage, the faster your car can and will go.
A LiPo cell battery comes with a nominal (or even median) voltage of 3.7V. Batteries that have a 7.4V or something higher than that simply point to two cells in the Series, meaning that the voltages have been added together. You’ve probably heard about “2S” battery packs. What this simply means is that there are 2 cells in the Series. So while a two-cell (also known as 2S) pack is 7.4V, a three-cell (also known as 3S) pack is 11.1V, and a four-cell (also known as 4S) pack would be 14.8V.
Just because your battery space can fit a higher voltage battery doesn’t mean that it will work well with your RC car however. It is very important to read your owner’s manual for the car when upgrading or replacing batteries to make sure that you don’t get one that could harm your motor.
Capacity is measured in milliAmp hours (mAh) or Amp (Ah). You can easily convert the capacity of your battery from mAh to Ah. 1Ah = 1,000mAh. Capacity simply refers to how much power your battery is actually capable of carrying.
If your battery has a higher capacity, your vehicle will run for longer between charges. However, capacity batteries have a disadvantage to them; the charge time increases proportionally to the runtime. What this means is that if you get an extra runtime of about 20%, which could be between 3 and 4 minutes, your battery, too, will take 20% longer to charge. For a 5000mAh battery, this is around 16 minutes.
Discharge Rating also called C-Rating
Voltage and Capacity have an immediate impact on some aspects of the vehicle, and their rating is easy to understand. The Discharge Rating (or C-Rating where ‘C’ stands for capacity) is a little harder for most people to “get”, and as a result, it is one of the most misunderstood facets of LiPo batteries.
The Discharge Rating simply refers to a measure of how fast the battery can be safely discharged without causing any harm to the battery. The complicated thing about it is that it is not a stand-alone number and requires you to know the battery’s capacity to decipher the safe amp draw. Everything is a lot easier as soon as you know the capacity.
Here’s how to find out the maximum safe continuous amp draw when you’re using LiPo batteries.
25C = 25 x Capacity (in Amps)
To calculate the C-Rating of the battery in our example: 25 x 5 = 125Ah
That resulting number means that the example battery can only take a maximum sustained load of 125Ah. In a best case scenario, going higher than that will lead to the degradation of the battery at a faster pace than normal. Worst case scenario, it could go up in flames.
Traxxas’ LiPo batteries come with two Discharge Ratings: the Continuous Rating we’ve been discussing, and a Burst Rating. The Burst rating operates just the same way but, it only applies to 10-second bursts rather than continuously. The Burst Rating, for example, comes into play when accelerating a car, but not when at flat steady-speed. The Continuous Rating, rather than the Burst Rating, is used to compare batteries.
How Do LiPo Batteries Differ from NiMH Batteries
There are basically four main differences between LiPo batteries and NiMH batteries. This differences are:
NiMH batteries can run a thousand or more cycles before they are no longer capable of storing energy. This makes them a great option if you’re on a budget and cannot handle the cost of replacing batteries frequently. On the other hand, LiPos have an average lifespan of between 100 and 200 cycles, which means that you’re likely going to be replacing your LiPos much more often. The advantage of LiPos, however, is that they are much more efficient and offer stronger power, which in turn means better acceleration and higher top speeds for your Traxxas RC car.
Of course many people would rather have these better stats and a faster car but, it’s worth knowing that a LiPo battery won’t last for as long as a NiMH battery will.
Much of the stored energy of NiMH batteries is wasted as heat while your vehicle is running. LiPos, on the other hand, are more like LED bulbs that barely ever get hot. As a matter of fact, they barely ever get even warm. Here, LiPo batteries definitely win, seeing as their makeup ensures that they can run about 33% longer than a NiMH battery that has the same capacity. Plus, LiPos are largely available in capacities of a much higher amount than the NiMH capacities. In addition, LiPos are lighter than the NiMH batteries, and that also goes to ensure that LiPos are more efficient than NiMH batteries are.
NiMHs don’t publish their Discharge Ratings on the package, so you can’t really know how much energy they can exactly put out. But, the NiMH batteries certainly offer less punch than the LiPo batteries do. In addition, a NiMH battery’s discharge curve can be quite slow, and you’re likely going to notice, midway through a race, that your car is no longer as fast as it was when it started. With LiPos, this is never the case. LiPos maintain a steady voltage throughout the race and will be the same to the very end when they are depleted. This means that LiPos offers faster and more consistent runs than their NiMH counterpart.
Care and handling
NiMH batteries are generally very hard to break except for a few exceptions. Even if you run them into the ground several times, they will still often work just fine. This makes them a good option for kids and beginners.
LiPo batteries, on the other hand, are very sensitive and need special care that goes beyond just charging them the right way. LiPos also have a higher risk of bursting into flame than NiMH batteries do. However, fires are a very rare occurrence with the modern speed controls and chargers, and especially with the Traxxas’ iD technology that comes standard on the Traxxas RC cars.
Traxxas batteries are an excellent choice for anyone who is looking to upgrade or replace their worn out batteries. Traxxas is an excellent company that has been around since 1986 and as can be seen by their thousands of reviews on Amazon alone then make high quality vehicles, parts, and batteries.
You could certainly do a lot worse than buying a Traxxas battery but you likely won’t find a better quality battery than Traxxas.
You can check out some of the reviews for the Traxxas batteries on Amazon by clicking here.