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Batteries and Chargers

New school stuff -- brushless, lipo, spektrum, etc...

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billpete
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What was your first real rc car?: Tamiya Hotshot

Batteries and Chargers

Post by billpete » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:13 pm

Hey Guys,

I did some searching and couldn't find anything specifically related to my questions, so I thought I would ask here. I tried my local hobby shop, and they were less than helpful.

I understand the changes with the hobby and batteries. I ran cars when it was NiCd and you have fast chargers and trickle charger.

Now, you have NiMh and LiPo batteries and I am learning a bunch about those. Since I am mostly running my restorations and have no intentions of racing, my best bet would be NiMh batteries right?

Second question--what charger is recommended for NiMh batteries? I can find all sorts of crazy chargers out there now--that do all sorts of batteries, charging styles, balancing, everything. Quite honestly, I would like a simple AC/DC charger for NiMh batteries. That seems harder to find than I thought it would be.

I have looed through Tower Hobbies and Amazon. Tower has lots of chargers, but no reviews. Amazon has lots of charger, lots of reviews, but I get more and more confused with what I really need.

Thanks for the help!

BP

Tamlok
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by Tamlok » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:18 pm

What kind of run time are you looking for? If you just want to tear around for a few minutes, NiMH will be fine. They will fit no problem, the newer LiPO batteries can be bigger and wont fit in the older cars (example: RC10, hardcase LiPO will not fit into the rear bulkhead without cutting out the bottom). Just remember the mAh rating on the battery is the capacity, the higher the number the longer your run time will be.

For the charger, I would invest in one that does all the batteries (NiMH, LiPO, etc) that way if you want to get LiPOs later you already have the charger. The newer chargers also automatically fully charge the battery, without overcharging. No more cranking on the 15 minute timer knob over and over to top off.
I use this one (now discountinued):
http://hitecrcd.com/products/chargers/d ... er/product
Here is the newer version:
http://hitecrcd.com/products/chargers/a ... er/product

When i got back into the hobby a few years ago, I bought new NiMH batteries because that is what I knew. Since, I have switched over to LiPO, but I do race on occasion and have newer cars that I bash with and like the extended run times.

billpete
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by billpete » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:56 pm

That helps a lot, thank you!

That charger needs battery-specific connectors that are purchased separately, right?

Tamlok
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by Tamlok » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:56 am

I just glanced at the web page and manual and I am pretty sure it does NOT come with battery connectors. It looks like it comes with a pigtail that you would solder your own connector to.

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RC10th
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by RC10th » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:54 am

Just beware too that some of the newer NiMh batteries are slightly larger than the older ones and might not fit either.

You didn't state what cars you wanted to use these in but I'm assuming an RC10 since your here. If you want to conserve your original chassis it would be best to buy a re-re bulkhead and possibly a cheap chassis to relocate the battery cup.

Since most lipo's are square they don't fit Tamiya cars that take NiMh batteries very well. You can get round ones althougg they are often longer.
I was old school - when old school wasn't cool !

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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by tamiya » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:44 am

billpete wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:13 pm
I understand the changes with the hobby and batteries. I ran cars when it was NiCd and you have fast chargers and trickle charger. Now, you have NiMh and LiPo batteries and I am learning a bunch about those. Since I am mostly running my restorations and have no intentions of racing, my best bet would be NiMh batteries right?
I have cars from nicad & chargeleads era, plus newer. I have square lipos, I have modern NiMh stickpacks... both are too square or too long to fit properly into cars designed in nicad days.

I don't actively race anymore, too hard to get whole weekends off - freetime comes in odd drips & drab and I definitely can't wait for an hour for battery to charge before I get to play.

Haven't found any subC "low self discharge" cells so all the NiMH packs aren't much good for running after sitting on shelf for a few wks after last charging. Lipo at least keeps their charge decently.

Best compromise are these cute little lipo meant for Mini Slash:-
Image

They're small, they fit into the space of a 4/5/6cell footprint (or you could gut out an old humppack as a case) with lotsa padding with bubblewrap or foam just to stop them rattling about.

I keep them at 3/4 charge for Longterm storage, but there's still at least 1500mAh usable capacity anytime I want to give an oldie a run. If I don't run out of freetime/concentration/peace before battery hits cutout, just swap in another... still much better than 1200mAh Sanyo SCs! :twisted:

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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by tamiya » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:49 am

just noticed TRX has done some fancy "iD" plug above.

Best avoid those if you're rewiring to your own plug, stick with traditional industry-standard lipo balance tap version:-

Image

billpete
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by billpete » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:15 pm

RC10th wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:54 am
Just beware too that some of the newer NiMh batteries are slightly larger than the older ones and might not fit either.

You didn't state what cars you wanted to use these in but I'm assuming an RC10 since your here. If you want to conserve your original chassis it would be best to buy a re-re bulkhead and possibly a cheap chassis to relocate the battery cup.

Since most lipo's are square they don't fit Tamiya cars that take NiMh batteries very well. You can get round ones althougg they are often longer.
Good point.

I am working on restoring my old Tamiya Hotshot and Fast Attack Vehicle.

And I am working on a Kyosho Optima Mid too.

So 80s vintage at its best. The local hobby shop was less than helpful--which is tough because I would like to support them if possible.

Thanks again guys!

BP

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yellowdatsun
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by yellowdatsun » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:18 pm

I too used to race back when we had Nicd batteries, and then left the hobby for some time, only to pick it up again a few years back. When I did, I went straight to Lipo's. You can also get "shorty" lipo batteries that fit a lot of applications easier. I skipped over the whole Nimh era. Lipo's have a higher power density, and the power doesn't drop off like Nimh's do.

This is the charger me and my friends went with. It's a decent charger for a reasonable price. I have moved on to bigger and better (faster) things, but still have this one and use it on occasion.
https://www.amazon.com/Venom-Battery-RC ... B00DR7D5X2

Otherwise, in order to not get too confused, maybe stop by a different hobby shop and see what they have. Less selection makes your choice easier. We found the above chargers at our local shop.

FWIW I don't race, but I do "practice" days at the track.

billpete
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by billpete » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:22 pm

yellowdatsun wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:18 pm
I too used to race back when we had Nicd batteries, and then left the hobby for some time, only to pick it up again a few years back. When I did, I went straight to Lipo's. You can also get "shorty" lipo batteries that fit a lot of applications easier. I skipped over the whole Nimh era. Lipo's have a higher power density, and the power doesn't drop off like Nimh's do.

This is the charger me and my friends went with. It's a decent charger for a reasonable price. I have moved on to bigger and better (faster) things, but still have this one and use it on occasion.
https://www.amazon.com/Venom-Battery-RC ... B00DR7D5X2

Otherwise, in order to not get too confused, maybe stop by a different hobby shop and see what they have. Less selection makes your choice easier. We found the above chargers at our local shop.

FWIW I don't race, but I do "practice" days at the track.
I did that yesterday. Ended up getting an entry level used charger that will do all the different batteries. Got 1 car out of three running yesterday too. Felt great! Like I was 14 again!

Thanks again guys!

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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by lmw94002 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:02 pm

just last fall I started gearing up to try racing again after a 15+yr break. yeah, i thought LiPo's were like NiCds and bought multiple packs for multiple cars. So I got way too many batteries. I researched the type and equipment, but not practical racing info... lol.

On a cool note, ALL my NiCd race packs came back to life and cycled OK.

I haven't started racing yet, but I already miss the old school battery / motor maintenance aspect of racing. No working on the comms, trying different springs/brushes/drops on the motors. No cycling the batteries. If you had a buddy w/ a Dyno to get some curves to compare to old ones. I get how the new stuff is great for just going out and having fun and is great for the Bashers. Maybe I'm just being too nostalgic, but I liked how there was alot to the equation to having a good car and how I worked with my fellow racers to make little teams. There was a motor guy, there was a setup guy, and I was more of the battery guy...
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RC10CE 6-gear, RC10 Team, 10L, 10LSS, Worlds, B2, B4 TC, FT TC3, Nitro SC8, SC18, RC18LM, FT SC10.2, Worlds-ReRe, B6, B6D

Project ToDo: RC10DS (3 abused DS's to start from)

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tamiya
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by tamiya » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:16 pm

Wasn't a huge fan of NiMH era when matched packs cost a bomb and could only be cycled once a week :twisted:

Nearly made me stick to dirty smelly nitro racing - just fill the tank & keep driving.

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Bottom Feeder
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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by Bottom Feeder » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:05 pm

Duratrax has a line of well-rated battery chargers. I bought an Onyx 210 a while ago for basic NiCd/NiMh charging needs and it's been fine, but admittedly I haven't used it much.

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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by RCveteran » Wed May 03, 2017 3:09 pm

I've been using my Duratrax 235 for years now and charged all types. I don't know much about it but it works.

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Re: Batteries and Chargers

Post by EMC » Sun May 07, 2017 2:36 am

I just bought a venom 2s 4000mah lipo pack that fits the old Tamiya molded chassis battery compartments and it fits the RC10T rear tray perfectly.

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