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Many people have Radio-controlled cars (also known as R/C cars) as their hobby. Traxxas is a popular name among RC hobbyists. Traxxas not only manufactures a wide range of RC vehicles but also has its own range of batteries for the vehicles as well. The typical alkaline batteries (such as AA, AAA, etc.) cannot be used for RC cars. High-power rechargeable batteries are required to have enough power to move these vehicles. These batteries are quite different from the normal batteries that we use for day-to-day activities. Thus, they require special care.
Since batteries are required for your RC car then knowing whether they are waterproof is an important piece of information. In this article we will discuss whether Traxxas batteries are waterproof as well as other important information about your RC car’s battery.
Are Traxxas RC batteries waterproof?
Traxxas LiPo batteries are water resistant but they are not waterproof. Due to the way LiPo cells are stacked, they are sealed tightly and should not let water in. People have used LiPo batteries on top of sprinklers and snowy surfaces and haven’t reported any damage to the cells. However, if water gets into the cells, they may corrode and lose functionality.
To prevent damage, it is better to cover the batteries in a plastic wrap so that they are not affected when they get wet and the batteries are not designed to be submerged in water for long periods of time either.
Also, make sure to not let the batteries come in contact with salt water. That will surely damage the batteries. As long as it is just a splash from a puddle or some snow, your batteries will be safe.
Although it is safe for the batteries to come in contact with water, it is certainly better to avoid it if possible. If your batteries get wet frequently, there is a chance of water leaking into the cells leading to corrosion.
The Traxxas NiMH batteries are water resistant as well. However, if you want to take precautions to keep them safe, you can seal them with liquid electrical tape. This will keep them from getting wet.
If you are planning on driving through water or want to submerge your vehicle entirely then you would certainly want to entirely waterproof your battery. In the video below it gives exact information on how to waterproof your RC car’s battery.
How to store Traxxas batteries?
LiPo batteries have to be stored carefully. They have a dedicated mode for storage and it is advised to store LiPo batteries in storage mode. Extremely hot or cold environments can harm the batteries so you should certainly store them at room temperature. Also, for safety purposes, it is recommended to store LiPo batteries in fireproof containers as they are susceptible to fire, if they are exposed to high temperatures. Always store your batteries inside and away from the sun.
Carelessness while storing LiPo batteries is one of the major reasons for people’s complaints. Thus, take care of your batteries and store them safely.
NiMH is not as vulnerable as LiPo. They do not have special storage requirements however, just like all batteries, they may be affected by extreme temperatures. It is recommended to store NiMH batteries inside a temperature-controlled environment. Also, if you do not want to face the false peaking problem (discussed below), do not leave the batteries unused for prolonged periods of time.
NiMH – The Problem of False Peaking
Users of NiMH batteries may have experienced this scenario. You leave your batteries unused during the winter. Finally, when you start charging them once it warms up, they get charged quicker than usual. But when you put them to use, the battery drains out very fast. This keeps repeating even after 2-3 cycles of charging. This is the false-peaking problem NiMH users face.
The issue here is, that when left unused for a long time, the battery fools the charger into thinking that it has a full charge even though it doesn’t. The problem can be fixed by simply leaving the battery on the charger for a longer period.
Traxxas batteries usually take about 45 minutes to charge completely. If yours take less than that, it means that the battery has falsely peaked. Also, touch and feel the battery when it shows full charge, if it is not warm, unplug it and charge it again until the batteries feel warm. Usually, with 4-5 cycles of charging, you can get rid of the false peaking issue.
The first step in understanding the batteries for your RC is to understand the capacity and voltage. The capacity specifies how long you will be able to use your RC before the battery drains out. It is expressed in milliAmp Hours (mAH). If the capacity value is larger, it means that your RC will last for a longer time per charge. The voltage describes the speed and power of the model. For each model, there are a set of batteries that are compatible with the model. You cannot fit just any battery in any model. So, make sure to check for batteries that are compatible with your model.
Classification of batteries
Batteries differ in their voltage and capacity. However, based on their chemistry, batteries are classified into 2 types – Lithium Polymer (LiPo) and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH). Both types have their own set of advantages.
1. LiPo batteries
LiPo is usually preferred over NiMH by some people due to the following features.
- Packs of LiPo batteries contain 3.7volt cells.
- Traxxas LiPo batteries come in 2-cell, 3-cell and 4-cell configurations.
- LiPo batteries have more voltage and capacity compared to NiMH batteries of equal volume.
- A LiPo powered RC will not only move faster but will also last longer for each charge.
LiPo batteries should be charged using chargers exclusively meant for LiPo. Using a NiMH charger can have damaging effects. Also, a minimum charge has to be maintained. Over-discharging is a risk that needs to be avoided in the case of LiPo batteries. Traxxas models detect Low voltage and alert the user when it gets too low.
- Balance Charging
Users of LiPo batteries must practice balance charging, where each cell is charged up to the same voltage. It decreases the possibility of over-discharging and enhances your battery’s life. This may take a longer time than normal charging, but its benefits make it worth the time. This way, you can ensure that you get the longest runtime per charge.
2. NiMH batteries
- NiMH batteries are very similar to the batteries we use in flashlights, TV remotes and other devices.
- They are cylindrical 1.2V cells as opposed to flat LiPo batteries.
- NiMH batteries are not harmed even when they are completely drained.
- These come in 6-cell, 7-cell and 8-cell configurations.
Traxxas batteries are not waterproof but they are water resistant. If you need to have entirely waterproof batteries there are a variety of methods that you can use to waterproof them. Traxxas makes some of the highest quality RC cars and their batteries are made well also.
It is important to properly store your RC car’s batteries to ensure that they last as long as possible. Proper storage will not only extend the life of the batteries but it will also be much safer.