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  1. #1
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    finally going lipo, and a few simple questions.

    Hi everyone, this is my 2nd post on this site, my first post was in the Nimh section about how my 8 cell is trashed. So, I've decided to make the jump to lipo.

    I have a Rustler VXL and I'm planning on buying a Traxxas 11.1v 3300mah lipo...now I just need to decide on a charger.

    I've read many posts on here stating that you get what you pay for with a charger, and you shouldn't skimp..and you should spend at least $100 on a good lipo charger or you're asking for problems.

    BUT..I'm strongly thinking about buying a Traxxas 2-3 Cell LiPo Battery Balance Charger. My understanding is that this is the one that comes with a new Rusty, since the Rusty's come with lipo power now. I'm thinking that if this is the one that a new Rusty comes with, it must be fine to use with a Traxxas lipo battery. Am I wrong? Because this charger only costs about $20, so according to some on this forum, it must be junk.

    Second question: the description for this charger says "The charger’s fixed 800mAh output makes it an ideal, inexpensive solution for charging Traxxas’ 1400mAh and 2200mAh LiPo batteries." Ok....so my understanding is that it would still be fine with the 3300 mah battery, but it would just take longer to charge. The description also says "Plug several into a power strip and these chargers are very convenient for charging higher-capacity LiPo packs when fast charging is not required". Why is the power strip needed? Are they talking about a regular power strip that you would have your computer/tv/whatever plugged into, or something different? "Plug several" into a power strip...several what?

    Last question, regarding storage. I can't figure out if this charger is going to do anything for me as far as storage. It didn't say in the description and I can't find the info anywhere else. For storage, can I just keep the battery plugged into this charger and it will keep the battery as it should be?

    Thanks for any input, and I appreciate your advice.

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    It will work with your choice of battery.

    But keep in mind it lacking in quite a few features... one of them being storage, so if you break down with a full pack you are going to need to discharge it manually (automotive light bulbs work) and watch cell voltage with a cell checker/alarm so that it does not get over discharged. If it is under acceptable storage voltage it will bring it up to proper voltage, but again you are going to have to monitor voltage as it charges and manually terminate the charge so it does not fully charge the pack.

    Also, keep in mind that it will take roughly 180 minutes from LVC to fully charge the pack. For most people this 3 hour charge time is unacceptable.


    What they mean by "plug several" is for you to buy multiples of this charger so you can charge more than 1 battery at a time.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  3. #3
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    I have 2 Traxxas ez-peak plus for my lipos about a year old not one problem easy to program and use.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    But keep in mind it lacking in quite a few features... one of them being storage, so if you break down with a full pack you are going to need to discharge it manually (automotive light bulbs work) and watch cell voltage with a cell checker/alarm so that it does not get over discharged. If it is under acceptable storage voltage it will bring it up to proper voltage, but again you are going to have to monitor voltage as it charges and manually terminate the charge so it does not fully charge the pack.
    Wow, I know even less than I thought, because I'm still trying to figure out everything you said in the paragraph I quoted above.

    As far as the charge time taking several hours, I'm not worried about that...I'm just trying to figure out the basics I need to get me started with lipo power. I thought I just needed the battery, charger, and a charging bag...Is there anything else that the lipo Rustler's come with out of the box? With this charger, will bad things happen if I leave it plugged in? If so, how much time do I have before bad things happen if I forgot to unplug it? Sorry, I'm trying to learn.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro mod steve View Post
    I have 2 Traxxas ez-peak plus for my lipos about a year old not one problem easy to program and use.
    Thanks, my only question about this is that you mention programming it. As far as I could tell, there's no programming involved. Just plug it in. Am I wrong?

  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    The EZ peak plus is different from the charger you originally were talking (typing lol) about. The original charger is plug and play... no programming required. There are LED's on it that will tell you when the pack is finished charging. It is suggested that you use the fully charged battery within 24 hours. Leaving it fully charged damages the pack, shortening its life span. This is why a storage feature is important. However, once the battery is charged, the charger will stop charging it... so leaving it plugged in does no harm.

    Have you done any reading on LiPo safety?
    Have you seen my "LiPo 101" post?
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    The EZ peak plus is different from the charger you originally were talking (typing lol) about. The original charger is plug and play... no programming required. There are LED's on it that will tell you when the pack is finished charging. It is suggested that you use the fully charged battery within 24 hours. Leaving it fully charged damages the pack, shortening its life span. This is why a storage feature is important. However, once the battery is charged, the charger will stop charging it... so leaving it plugged in does no harm.

    Have you done any reading on LiPo safety?
    Have you seen my "LiPo 101" post?
    Ok, yes I am talking about getting the original "simple" lipo charger, the one that comes with a new Rustler out of the box. So as far as storage, you say just leaving it plugged in is fine? Great, I can do that. If it's good enough to work with a new factory car, I guess it's good enough for me. I mean they are supposed to be RTR, right? But I guess that the reality is that someone buying a new Rustler is more or less "expected" to buy a better charger as soon as they are able, right? It kind of sounds that way. Because I have been reading about how Traxxas recommends lipo's SHOULD be stored at 50%...and with the simple factory lipo charger there is no way to do that. So, what is a person who buys a new lipo powered Rustler expected to do? (purchase a better charger I guess....?)

    I have been reading everything I can about safety, and I have read your lipo 101 post. I know it's annoying when new people come onto forums and ask questions about things that they could figure out by a simple search or just reading the stickies, so I'm trying to avoid the dumb questions you've heard a thousand times and just ask what I haven't been able to figure out on my own thus far.

    Again, thanks for the help.
    Last edited by staledog; 05-04-2013 at 09:52 PM.

  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Just leaving it plugged in for storage is not fine... the cell voltage needs to be ~3.85 volts for long term (3+ days*) storage and somewhere between 3.6-3.9 volts for short term (less than 3 days*) storage.

    *Times given are my personal targets. Some feel these times are more restrictive than needed, but I want my packs to last and be treated as well as I reasonably can.

    I personally feel that the included RTR charger is good enough to tide one over until they have enough money or have done the research for a good charger.

    The only dumb question is the one not asked... the only reason I asked if you have read it is if not, I was going to repost it here on your thread.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    Just leaving it plugged in for storage is not fine... the cell voltage needs to be ~3.85 volts for long term (3+ days*) storage and somewhere between 3.6-3.9 volts for short term (less than 3 days*) storage.

    *Times given are my personal targets. Some feel these times are more restrictive than needed, but I want my packs to last and be treated as well as I reasonably can.

    I personally feel that the included RTR charger is good enough to tide one over until they have enough money or have done the research for a good charger.

    Thanks, that is exactly what I was wanting to know. So basically I should not bother buying the simple RTR charger, and just spend the money to get the EZ peak plus charger. Perfect. I'll do it.

    Thanks for spending the time to school me!

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Not a problem... I would rather see a fellow RC'r spend their money once and be happy than twice!
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  11. #11
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    Basically you tell it what to do at what voltage and hit start.

  12. #12
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    Staledog - just a question - why are you making the jump up to 3S Lipo and not 2S? The Rustler is a very fast car on 2S Lipo - you sure you want to take the jump right to 3S? May be alot more than you want or can handle (sorry, I dont know your level of experience)...

    To me, I think you would be better off spending the money on a 2S battery with more Mah - so you can get longer run times (5000 Lipo works great). Remember, you need to get a battery that has the hump so it will fit in the Rustler.

    Just my .02 cents...
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAYOR VXL View Post
    Staledog - just a question - why are you making the jump up to 3S Lipo and not 2S? The Rustler is a very fast car on 2S Lipo - you sure you want to take the jump right to 3S? May be alot more than you want or can handle (sorry, I dont know your level of experience)...

    To me, I think you would be better off spending the money on a 2S battery with more Mah - so you can get longer run times (5000 Lipo works great). Remember, you need to get a battery that has the hump so it will fit in the Rustler.

    Just my .02 cents...
    Thanks for asking, and the reason I want to go to a 3S is because all of the 2S lipos I have seen have been 7.4V.

    The most recent battery we have been using is a 9.6V 8 cell nimh, and before that is was an 8.4V. So we want to go with an 11.1V battery.

    We want to go faster, and since we are used to running an 8.4 and a 9.6, I think a 7.4V would just seem slow.

    Am I wrong about this? Is it possible that a 7.4V lipo is faster/more powerful than a 8.4 or 9.6 nimh?

    As far as I knew, the Voltage is the measure of power and the mah is the capacity/run time. If my thought process is wrong, please let me know!

    p.s... you mentioned getting a battery with a hump so it will fit in the Rustler; all the lipos I have seen are flat, and only the nimh batteries have the hump. Am I missing something here?
    Last edited by staledog; 05-06-2013 at 01:54 PM.

  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    2S nominal voltage is 7.4... fully charged they are 8.4.
    LiPo has WAY more punch that NiMh... and the voltage drops way less during the run:

    Fully charged 8 cell: ~12 volts
    Dead 8 cell: ~7.2 volts
    --Roughly a 5 volt drop

    Fully charged 2S: 8.4 volts
    Dead 2S: 7 volts
    --Roughly a 1.5 volt drop

    Fully charged 3S: 12.6 volts
    Dead 3S: 10.5 volts
    --Roughly a 2 volt drop


    It seems you have not thought of the amperage side of battery capability...
    The LiPo's are going to be able to deliver way more amps than the NiMh you are replacing. Amperage is a big factor in how much power an RC has.
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 05-06-2013 at 01:59 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  15. #15
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    I believe your partially right about voltage. It does measure power but cant compare lipo vs nimh voltage. I used my 8.4v stock nimh with my stampede and bought a 2s 7.4v 5000 mah lipo and the difference is night and day. Lipo is WAY more power even though less volts.

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Voltage does = top speed, but amperage is what gets you there. You will be accelerating faster with the LiPo than you were with the NiMh... and that is just taking the amperage difference into account, not the weight difference. This faster acceleration equates to more stress on your running gear... axles, hex's, differentials, transmission gears...

    Also, you probably were experiencing some pretty wicked voltage dip due to pulling more amperage out of the NiMh than they were capable of. I would not be surprised at all if your actual running voltages will be higher with LiPo than they were with NiMh... resulting in blistering acceleration and possibly a higher top end.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  17. #17
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    Staledog - now Im really glad I asked the question I did... As you can see from the answers since my post, there are alot of techical reasons why a 7.4V Lipo is MUCH faster than an 8.4V Nimh.

    Im going to put it in the most simplest terms:

    NIMH - Good for getting used the car - 20 min runtime (on average) - average speed in a Rustler 30+ MPH

    2S Lipo - Much faster off the line and top speed - ball park 30 to 40 min runtime - ballpark speed 40+ MPH

    3S Lipo - Ludacris speed and power (usually causes damage to gears and tires) same runtime as 2S Lipo - ballpark speed 50+ MPH - up to 70 MPH if you change gearing.

    Of course different Mah and C rating will provide longer run times - Im just giving ballpark averages...

    So when all is said and done - I think you should be looking at getting a 2S battery and NOT a 3S battery...but that is certainly up to you...

    Good luck!
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  18. #18
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    Holy cow, am I glad that I didn't go ahead and order a 3S lipo in the last 48 hours (I almost did). After reading all these responses, there is no doubt that I will just go ahead and order a 2S. If it's going to be more powerful then the 9.6 nimh we have been running, then that's all I'm worried about. I don't need as much power as the 11.1 has (yet)

    So comparing nimh to lipo is apples and oranges, as far as volts go. Got it.

    One last question....when comparing lipos to lipos, more mah would only result in a longer run time, right?


    I mean, if you have 2 lipo 7.4V batteries, one is a 2000 mah and the other is a 5800 mah, your car will still have the same acceleration/top speed with either battery, right? Let's leave the slight difference in battery weight out of this equation. I'm just talking about battery power.


    Now I just have to figure out what the "C" rating is all about. It sounds like roughly the same thing as the mah rating, but I need to read up on that.

  19. #19
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    Mah is how big your gas tank is so to speak. 5800 will have more runtime than a 2200 mah.

    Now C rating is subjective at best as there really is no industry standard in measuring C rating.

    I like the SPC 50C packs as they have more punch than say a 20c pack.

    If you are running brushed I'd say ignore C rating but brushless I'd get the highest C rating you can afford. I run 2 traxxas 25c packs with my brushless revo and 2 50c SPC packs and I can tell a difference in punch between the packs.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  20. #20
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    Great Lipos - best prices - I suggest a 5000 (+/-) a few mah...

    http://spcracing.com/index.php?categoryID=13
    Mayor VXL
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAYOR VXL View Post
    Great Lipos - best prices - I suggest a 5000 (+/-) a few mah...

    http://spcracing.com/index.php?categoryID=13
    Thanks, I just ordered one! 5000 mah

  22. #22
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    Ok, I just ordered the traxxas ez peak plus 6 amp charger (from rcsuperstore.com, it looked like they had it cheaper than anywhere else)...

    Also, I'm going to need a fire retardant charging bag, and....anything else?

    Any advice on the best/cheapest place to order a fire bag or whatever else I'll need?

    Thanks again everyone.

  23. #23
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    EZ Peak is good for that battery - I use that charger as well. Another online Hobby shop that offers great prices is www.rcplanet.com.

    Make sure you ALWAYS charge the battery on the "Lipo Balance" setting... That is a mode that ensures all cells are charged evenly.

    I dont use a charging bag - so I cant offer help on that...
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  24. #24
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    I know this thread is a couple weeks old now, but I just wanted to say that we've been running the car with the new lipo for a few days now, and it's pretty awesome. The EZ peak charger is simple and so far we have had no problems. I doubt if I'll ever go back to running a nimh!

    Thanks for all the advice.

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