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  1. #1
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    Did this Traxxas Lipo burn my ESC up?

    First of all, I'm an admitted noob. I do not have any knowledge or RC cars. So if this is pilot error I completely accept that. Just need to know where if I went wrong, and if so, what I did so it does not happen again. If it's something else, then same story, need to know why and how to prevent it. Thank you. This car was purchase for a custom project but I can assure you that project is not what was the problem that much I know.

    I have a Ford Mustang 302, came with the stock battery and has run fine a couple of times after charing the battery. But for this project I needed to be able to run the car, NOT continuously, over several hours without charging. IE, I could run it for 20 minutes, let it rest for 45-60 minutes, run it again for 20 minutes, etc rinse, repeat over say 3 hours. Where the car would be running most likely would not have any place to charge a battery.

    So I went to the hobby store and bought a 12800 2 cell 25c 7.4v lipo. I also bought a quick charger and balance charged this 2 cell battery at 6amps which took about 1 hour to charge.

    The next day I was at an event and connected the lipo to the ESC. The car "seemed" to run fine for about 1 minute, then going forward it "jerked" and after that, pressing forward on the controller didn't make the car do anything. The car ran in reverse ok and then I noticed the smell. Took the top off and smelled burnt electronics, unplugged the lipo and the left heat sync was so hot I could not touch it without getting burned.

    let it sit for an hour, sync was cold, plugged in the stock nimh battery real quick and unplugged, esc was hot. So i know the ESC burnt up. Hours later tried the stock battery again just to test and again after 1 second of plug in and unplug the heat sync is very hot.

    Ok, so ESC is gone. I get it.

    But I need to know the reason why. So, anyone with a possibility? The only two I can think of are:

    1. This Lipo 12800mpH 25c 7.4v battery is not compatible with the Ford Mustang Boss, either because of maH, volts, cells, or whatever in which case I plugged a huge honking battery into an ESC that couldn't handle it and I fried the ESC.

    2. I plugged the lipo battery in backwards. Possible. I know this will fry the ESC in seconds.

    3. What YOU think caused it.


    If it's #1 then I guess I'll try and return the battery. If thats the case, WHAT battery do I get that will last 2-3 hours on a charge?

    If it's #2, and you are SURE that the battery is COMPATIBLE, then I buy a new ESC, plug it in, plug in the battery and hope I didn't waste money on a new ESC.

    Or, what do you think may have been the problem?

    I don't believe the batteries are damaged, but is there a way to check that as well?

    Thank you and I appreciate your valued input.
    Last edited by jamesbond2012; 04-15-2012 at 11:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    I didnt think that lipo would fit into a 1/16 model? I think the largest capacity Mah for these is a 2500 from spc. I dont know it thats what fried your esc or not, what gearing are you running?
    STRC Slash 4x4
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  3. #3
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    gearing looks to be at blame or it just got to hot
    slash revo vxl x4 rally x2 ped 2wd slash vxl rus

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Geez, where did you put a 12,800mAh pack in or on that small car? Maybe the added weight of that pack loaded the motor/ESC enough to cause a failure.

  5. #5
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    Its a custom project, so the car's chassis is actually in a light weight plastic frame that has spacing for the larger battery.

    There is some additional weight already on the car, but with the stock battery it's has ran fine. It wasn't until I tried it with thenew battery that the ESC burnt out.

    It could be the additional weight of the battery, or as Skitlerz the 12800 could be incompatible.

    The gearing is stock. And again I've had no heat issues or anything with the stock battery. I have a 3" CPU fan connected to a 9 volt in the frame that blows air across the ESC and the motor as well. And, unlike how you typically drive these cars, this one gets run very slowly and not for a long period of time.

    Which leads me to believe that I either plugged the battery in backwards (reverse polarity) which is a complete possibility and I burned up the ESC. Or the battery is either not compatible with the car. I don't think it's weight, because if it were would running the thing only for a minute cause the ESC to burn up that quickly? I guess maybe, but the fact that it got so hot SO quick sounds to me more like maybe that 12800 was just too much amps for the ESC? What do you think?

    To be safe, I think what I'll do is get another stock 1200 mah and stick it on the other side, and just deal with 40 minutes instead of a couple hours. Gonna drive down to the hobby store today and see if I can get another ESC. Or go 2500 x2 if thats the max.

    Any way to test the battery to make sure it's not damaged also?

    Thank you everyone!

  6. #6
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    the MAH of the pack won't do anything in a minute as for plugging the pack in backwards i don't think it would of worked then blew up. just test the lipo on a lipo checker
    slash revo vxl x4 rally x2 ped 2wd slash vxl rus

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    The first thing that drew my attention is the size of the LiPo... 12,800mah simply will not fit in the 16th platform

    The second thing is the term you used for the charger is usually reserved for NiMh and NiCd batteries... not LiPo.


    1) The size of the battery will have no effect on the electronics of the ESC. Or at least it should not.

    2) If you were using Traxxas connectors, it is impossible to plug them in backwards

    3) If this is the brushed model, the 2.5ESC is not known for it's LiPo compatibility. I used to think it could handle it because it is rated for more voltage than a 2S LiPo could provide... but they still fry when hooked up to one.


    I see now that you have a custom chassis...
    SWEET!!

    I am leaning toward reverse polarity if your connectors allow it...
    The Mah of the battery will not cause electrical problems... period. It could cause overheating due to weight, but not the issues you are describing.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    A battery pack will only release Amps as required by the system while taking into account the pack voltage and overall impedance of the connected system at any given moment. Just because the new pack is larger in capacity does not mean it will force more Amps through the ESC, it will however have more Amps available as the connected system allows.

    If the battery pack polarity was reversed, the ESC would have smoked within seconds of turning it on. It would not run for a minute and quit.

    Unless there is something missing, something that you do not know about yet, I will bet money the ESC overheated due to the extra load placed upon the system. This is possible knowing the vehicle ran for a minute or so before quitting, it took that long for the additional load to create a heat related failure.

    Is the pack puffed or swollen in any way? If it looks OK, hook the battery pack up to the charger and monitor the individual cells. If they are fairly close in voltage, the pack is most likely not damaged.

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Another strange piece of information was that at 6 amps the 12000+mah pack only took one hour to charge. Unless it was partially charged in the beginning (which I suppose is possible since it would have come charged to storage voltage).

    Overall, there is nothing about your actual car setup that suggests an actual problem OTHER than the "customized chassis". Im going to assume your using this for a camera rig? It sure sounds video related to me. In which case I assume the car is carrying some addition weight besides the chassis and battery. If you load up one of these cars and run it, even slowly, for an extended period of time they will get hot. If they get hot once, they will get hot more quickly with each following run.

    What you need to do is get a new ESC, gear the car down considerably and see if that helps. I would also suspect if the ESC got hot enough to burn out the motor is likely damaged. Your fan sounds like a great idea, but maybe the extra load of whatever your carrying is even too much for the fans cooling to overcome.

    Post a pic of the setup and maybe we can help further.
    Pede, Summit,
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  10. #10
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    ISo just a little update on this.

    Didn't want to send in the ESC, I knew it was my fault and I wasn't gonna try to get a replacement for $25. So went and bought a new one ($60) and put it in. Car works fine.

    So turns out that the 12800 MAP LiPO did in fact screw up the ESC. According the paperwork that came with the new ESC, LiPO's aren't compatible with the 2.5 ESC unless (if I recall correctly) a low voltage detector is installed.

    Now I have a 12800 MAH LiPo that is no use to me heh. I've put it up on Ebay incase anyone is interested in it. As far as the car itself (Or those wondering how I could have gotten this battery into my car) it is installed into a custom project. Namely, a Mouse Droid shell. (Those little RC guys from Star Wars) The shell itself is an 80% scale of the original. (The 1:1 shells are flipping huge) and the Traxxas Ford Mustang car fits inside the shell perfectly. The "droid" was built to use at Star Wars based cons and shows. Problem is, the standard NiMH batteries last all of 15 minutes. I needed something that would last 2-3 hours and thus that is why I bought the LiPo in the first place.

    Put some velcro on it and stuck it inside the shell. So as far as where it'd fit, space wasn't an issue. Although, that LiPo is a bit heavy so it's very possible that even if I used it, I might put too much on the motor. Installed inside the shell is also a regular PC fan that while is 12v, is connected to a 9volt that blows air across the ESC and motor to keep it cool.

    So I put the new ESC in, and the car works great again. Just me not reading the manual was the culprit. User error heh.

    If anyone is interested in the battery let me know. I've got it up on ebay for $99 bucks, paid $150 for it. Brand new, if you need a spare or such. Just trying to sell it since I obviously can't use it.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 06-07-2012 at 07:26 AM.

  11. #11
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    The 2.5 ESC has no LVC - it is not compatible because it will run the battery down , ruining the battery not the ESC . I think the problrm may still be there- or it was just a bad unit .

  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Traxxas does not care what happend to the ESC... if they did there would be stipulations on the program.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  13. #13
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    Traxxas does not care what happend to the ESC... if they did there would be stipulations on the program.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but what I read you to be saying is that the Traxxas Lifetime Electronics Warranty does not put limitations on their replacement policy, so it does not matter if the damage was the OP's fault. If this is what you meant, you are absolutely correct.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    That is exactly what I meant.
    Sorry if what I typed was confusing.... sometime things get lost in translation from my head to my fingers. lol
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  15. #15
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    Well then I'll pay em 25 and get a new ESC for a backup.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 06-08-2012 at 08:20 AM.

  16. #16
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    I love that they removed my link to the ebay auction for the battery lol.

  17. #17
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Just be thankful you did not get points for it... it is against the rules.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  18. #18
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    I could really care less about points or my access on these forums.. Esp from a company that (as I read more) sells motors that burn out after 20 packs.

  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Run Neo, run!!!!

  20. #20
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Ebay auctions are allowed, but all selling must be posted in the Market Place. The other problem with your ad was that it had no price (buy-it-now in ebay lingo) so it would not be allowed anyway.

    There are 7 members above trying to help you with your problem, and this is the attitude you show? Hmmmm...
    You are not experienced enough to make the kind of judgements about the company, its forums, or its products that you seem to be making.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

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