If you have a Traxxas RC car and are purchasing some Traxxas batteries you have probably wondered whether those batteries come charged or if you need to charge them as soon as you receive them. If that is what you are wondering then this article is for you!
Normally Traxxas batteries will come charged when you first purchase them however if you purchase a LiPo battery it will normally arrive about 50% charged since LiPo batteries should not be stored with a full charge.
Sending LiPo batteries half charged is the proper way to store them and since Traxxas doesn’t know exactly when a battery will be sold and shipped they want it to not get damaged by storing it improperly. Sometimes you can get Traxxas batteries and they will be entirely dead. When this happens it almost always means the battery is actually defective and likely won’t recharge either.
Traxxas isn’t the only battery manufacturer that ships batteries with a charge. NiMh batteries are designed to be stored at a 100% charge so those batteries are normally shipped that way from all companies while LiPos are almost always charged to 50% by all companies.
Batteries are a major part of an RC car and Traxxas does their best to always ensure that users can get the most out of their batteries by storing and shipping them with the proper charge. Unfortunately, battery quality is not enough to get maximum performance all of the time as there are things that the RC car owner must do to keep the batteries operating at peak performance.
Many people are confused and have questions about Traxxas batteries. In this article we will explain to you what you should and should not do with your batteries as well as other related information.
We already know that Traxxas has two main different types of batteries one is LiPO and another is NiMH. Since Traxxas is a single brand that makes RC cars then why do they use two different batteries for their RC models?
The primary things you should consider when choosing a battery are the number of cells in the pack and how much energy is stored in the battery. Voltage determines how much speed and power your RC model will have, while capacity determines how long it will run before needing recharged.
Capacity is measured by mAh which means milliamp hours. This number refers to the amount of current in milliamps the battery can supply for one hour.
Back to Traxxas battery types. As I said Traxxas has different categories of batteries and each type has different advantages. These advantages will help you to decide when choosing a battery or batteries for your model.
Let’s start with the NiMH battery. These battery packs are composed of cylindrical 1.2-volt cells almost similar to the AA, C and D batteries. NiMH batteries can be discharged completely without any damage and these batteries can also be shipped without a charge (although Traxxas ships them with a charge).
Traxxas NiMH batteries offer different cells and voltages. Those are 6 cells 7.2 volts,7 cells 8.4 volts or 8 cells 9.6 volts.
The other type of Traxxas battery is LiPo. LiPo batteries are stronger than NiMH batteries because LiPo has fewer cells but a larger amount of voltage.
LiPo battery packs are composed of flat 3.7-volt cells. The cells are stacked and enclosed in a tough, semi-rigid wrap. LiPo batteries are offered in different cells like 2 cells,3 cells, and 4 cells. The voltage capacity is 7.4 volts,11.1 volts, and 14.8 volts respectively.
As you can see LiPo batteries have more voltage and capacity than a NiMH battery. That means by using LiPo batteries you can go faster and run longer but LiPo batteries are more expensive so there is a trade off.
Maintaining Your Batteries
It is hard but true if you don’t maintain your batteries properly then there is a chance they will not last very long so maintaining them is very important.
Check your batteries after every use to make sure that they have not been damaged. You should also wipe your batteries down and check for signs of damage and any missing insulation. Storing your battery properly is also very important. Every time you store your battery it should be in a cool and dry place. If you are using LiPo batteries in your RC car you should stop using your car when the Low-Voltage Detection is activated, your batteries will be nearing their low-voltage threshold and should be charged so as not to damage them.
If you plan to reuse your batteries immediately or within one or two days then recharging them soon after using them is fine. However, if you plan to store the batteries for one month or more then you should use Traxxas store mode.
Millions of devices contain LiPo batteries such as laptops, tablets,smartphones and many more. LiPo batteries are safe and provide better voltages but they can be dangerous if misused or mishandled. You should never try to damage the LiPO battery intentionally and overcharging, over-discharging, or improperly charging a LiPo battery will also damage or destroy it.
Always use a LiPo specific charger when you charge or store your LiPo batteries. The Traxxas iD charger is always safer for LiPO batteries and using a specific charger can provide optimal performance and longer battery life.
Charging your Batteries
Now that we know about the Traxxas iD charger let’s dive into that a little more.
iD chargers are a safer, faster and most convenient way to charge Traxxas batteries. Their patented technology allows an iD-equipped charger to identify automatically the battery’s type, voltage, and capacity. Traxxas iD chargers can charge two batteries at the same time as well which is a nice perk.
You should always use balanced charging mode when you charge your LiPo batteries and balanced charging mode is the default mode of the iD charger.
There are two different modes available. One is fast mode and another is storage mode. Fast charging mode is used to charge your batteries as quickly as possible (surprising, right?) and storage mode is used to make sure your batteries have a 50% charge for storage.
Storage mode is useful if you aren’t going to be using your batteries for a week or more. Another specialty of storage mode is if your batteries have more than a 50% charge then storage mode will discharge it to 50%.
Things you should or shouldn’t do when charging
- If you are using LiPo batteries then you SHOULD turn on low voltage detection.
- Always charge your batteries in a fire-retardant or fireproof container.
- Unplug the battery from the electronic speed control after you finish running your car.
- Use a specific charger like the Traxxas iD charger (found here). Third-party chargers can be harmful especially for LiPo batteries.
- Never charge your LiPo battery using a NiMH charger (unless the charger is designed for both NiMH and LiPo). Many people think since both are similar batteries that it will be ok but the way that each battery is charged is different so a different charger or one that is designed for both types of batteries is required.
- Avoid using melted or swollen batteries. Never try to charge them and once you notice your batteries swelling you should dispose of them and purchase new ones.
How do I know when my Traxxas battery is charged?
When you plug your low voltage batteries in then the charger will show you a solid red light. The solid red light means your batteries have low voltage and they need to be charged. When the battery is fully charged you will see a solid green color. That means your battery is ready to use and after that, you can disconnect the batteries.
If you are using a different charger besides the Traxxas one then the colors of the light might be different or that charger brand may use flashes. You can find out exactly how to tell by reading the owner’s manual.
People also often ask for how long does a Traxxas battery take to charge? Well, it depends on your batteries and your charger. If you are using a Traxxas specified charger like the Traxxas iD charger then a standard 3000mAh NiMH battery will take approximately 45 minutes.
Do Traxxas cars come with batteries?
Unfortunately, it depends on your model and specifications. Most of the Traxxas models come with batteries. But some models like X-Maxx, the XO-1, and others, do not come with batteries or chargers and must be purchased separately.
These models never come with batteries because they provide extreme speed. So depending on your requirements you have to order your preferred batteries. These models have huge battery slots so you can use multiple batteries if you choose as well.
Traxxas makes finding compatible batteries easy. Just look up your model at Traxxas.com, and then click Batteries on the menu to view all of the NiMH and LiPo packs that can be used in your model. You can also find a variety of Traxxas batteries on Amazon here.
Are Traxxas batteries good?
Without any doubt, Traxxas batteries are good and they provide the best performance. One issue with Traxxas batteries is that because of their design they cannot be charged on another charger without an adapter. Another thing is Traxxas batteries should always be charged on their iD charger because charging their batteries on third party chargers could damage their batteries and sometimes it can even be dangerous in the case of LiPo batteries.