Traxxas Battery and Charger Guide

Aug 10, 2022 | R/C

A guide to make your next Traxxas battery or charger purchase easier. We’ve compiled answers to the most common questions received about battery types, ratings, charging and more. Feel free to contact us if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for.

What is the difference between NiMH and LiPO?

NiMH are built with round cells with Nickel Metal Hydride chemistry. The cells are similar to “AA” and “C” size alkaline batteries that are typically installed in remotes, flashlights, etc. The cells use welded tabs to connect them and they’re contained in a plastic pack. Unlike LiPO, NiMH can be completely disharged (and should be completly discharged) without harming them. They also don’t need to be charged before storage. Traxxas NiMH packs are offered in 6 (7.2v) 7 (8.4v) or 8 (9.6v) cell counts.

traxxas batteries

LiPO batteries are made from flat 3.7v cells in a rigid wrap. LiPO packs have a significantly higher energy density than the same size NiMH batteries. LiPO batteries also have a much higher discharge rate allowing more voltage discharge for longer. A model with a LiPO battery will be faster and run longer than a comparably sized NiMH battery in almost every situation.

What is the difference between 2S 3S and 4S batteries?

The number followed by the S is how many single cells (or parrallel sets of cells) in series there are in the pack. It determines the voltage of the battery pack but not the capacity. Each lithium cell is 3.7 volts. So a 2S battery is 7.4 volts, 3S batteries are 11.1 volts and 4S batteries are 14.8 volts. When you see 6S/8S car/truck/boat models, they’re using two 3S or 4S battery packs.

What do cells in series mean?

Cells in series raise the voltage by each individual cells voltage but does not increase capacity. For example, 4 individual 3.7v cells wired in series will total 14.8 volts but it’s mah rating stays the same. The positive of one cell is connected to the negative of the next and so forth. They’re wired from the positive of the first cell, to the negative of the last cell.

cells in series

What do cells in parralel mean?

Cells can be wired in parralel which keeps the same voltage but increases capacity. The positive side of all the cells are wired together and the negative side of all the cells are wired together. If you have 4 individual 3.7v cells, you would wire to the positive side of each cell and to the negative side of each cell. This raises the MAH capacity by 4x but the total voltage stays at 3.7v.

cells in parralel

What is a batteries mah rating?

MAH is the energy storage capacity of a battery pack (or individual cell). A battery with a capacity rating of 1500mah can provide 1500mah (1.5 Amps) at it’s rated voltage for one hour. Higher mah ratings for the same type of battery cell gives longer run times but not additional power. EXAMPLE – Lets say we have 1 lithium cell that’s 3.7 volts and has 1000mah of capacity. It can deliver 1amp of power at 3.7v continuously for an hour. 2000mah means it can deliver 2 amps of power at 3.7 volts for one hour or 1 amp of power at 3.7 volts for 2 hours.

Voltage and capacities of certain battery packs are acheieved by wiring groups of cells together in parralel, then wiring the parralel groups of cells in series to raise the voltage.
For example, we’re working with individual 3.7v lithium cells with each cell having a 1000mah rating. We want a 7.4v pack with 3000mah of capacity. We need to wire 3 individual cells into a parralel set. This set of 3 cells now has 3000mah of capacity but is still 3.7 volts. We’ll now need to make a second parralel set of 3 individual cells. We’ll take both parralel sets of cells and wire them together in series to raise the voltage. This will give us a total pack of 6 cells with 3000mah of capacity at 7.4 volts.

What is a batteries C rating?

A battery’s C rating is the RATE of charge or discharge current the battery is capable of, not it’s capacity. 1C equals 60 minutes, 0.5C is equal to 120 minutes and 2C is equal to 30 minutes.

A battery rating of 1C means that a fully charged 1000mah battery can charge or discharge at a rate of 1000mah (1amp) for 1 hour. The same 1000mah battery at 2C means it can charge or discharge at a rate of 2000mah (2amps) for 30 minutes and 0.5C means the same 1000mah battery can charge or discharge at a rate of 500mah (0.5 amps) for 2 hours. Currently all of Traxxas’s LiPO batteries have a 25c capacity.

Energy capacity in milliamp hours (MAH), C Rate (CR) and current of discharge or charge (Milliamps) – Milliamps = CR*MAH | CR = Milliamps/MAH | Milliamps divided by 1000 equals

1C Rate Example

  • 2000mah Battery
  • 2000mah / 1000 = 2 Amps
  • 1C x 2.0A = 2 Amps Available
  • 1 / 1C = 1 Hour
  • 60(min) / 1C = 60 Minutes

25C Rate Example

  • 2000mah Battery
  • 2000mah / 1000 = 2 Amps
  • 25C x 2.0A = 50 Amps Available
  • 60(min) / 25C = 2.4 Minutes

50C Rate Example

  • 2000mah Battery
  • 2000mah / 1000 = 2 Amps
  • 50C x 2.0A = 100 Amps Available
  • 60(min) / 50C = 1.2 Minutes

Actual Traxxas Battery Example
Traxxas 2869X is a 2S battery with a 7600mah capacity at a 25C rating. The battery has the CAPACITY to deliver 7600mah (7.6amps) of current at 7.4 volts for one hour. But it can deliver that capacity (in bursts) at a RATE of 190 amps for 2.4 minutes.

  • 7600mah Battery
  • 7600mah / 1000 = 7.6 Amps
  • 25C x 7.6A = 190 Amps Available
  • 60(min) / 25C = 2.4 Minutes

What are the extra wires in the Traxxas battery connector for?

Traxxas LiPO batteries use a proprieatary high current connector designed exclusive for Traxxas own ID charging systm. In one connector are the high current positive and negative wires along with the smaller ID wires which the charger uses to recognize the battery it’s connected to. The charger is able to determine capacity, voltage and required charging rate using this system. Just press start on the charger and the ID system does the rest. Non Traxxas and older non-ID batteries can also be charged with an ID charger in manual mode by manually setting the battery type and charge rate.

Traxxas LiPO Safety

Almost every portable device you use in your day to day life, including your phone, laptops, tablets and even full size EV’s are powered by lithium batteries. Following a few common sense rules, lithium batteries are stable and safe. Mishandling, shorting or puncturing them can lead to rapid discharging and fire. You will also need to use a LiPO specific charger for them. Traxxas ID chargers remove the guesswork, keeping you safe. Traxxas chargers will determine the correct voltage and charge rate for the battery connected to it, balance the cells as it charges and keeping you from improperly or over charging it. Even with the advanced technology in the Traxxas chargers, faults or hidden damage can increase the risk of fire. It’s always recommended to charge LiPO batteries in a fire-retardent container away from other flammable materials.

Maintaining your Traxxas LiPO Batteries

You’ll want to look over your batteries each time you use them to ensure they haven’t been damaged. Clean them, inspect the casing and wires for damage or missing insulation. Store batteries in a cool place out of sunlight. You do not want to store them fully charged or fully discharged. If you aren’t using the batteries right away, you’ll want to put a storage charge on them. Traxxas chargers have a storage feature built in, connect batteries and choose store. You should run a storage charging cycle once per month if you’re not using batteries regularly.

Choosing a Charger

Chargers come in single or dual style. They’re also available in completer kits with matching batteries. All current chargers are now equipped with iD technology. The charger is capable of identifying the battery it’s connected to, determine it’s voltage, capacity and charge rates automatically. They also come in various amperages, you’ll need one with enough power to charge your batteries. Some will only charge 2S/3S, some are capable of charging every battery Traxxas offers.

LiVE Chargers

The 2971 and 2973 chargers come with Traxxas’s LiVE technology. These chargers have built in Bluetooth to connect to the EZ-Peak Live app on your iOS or Android device. This gives you detailed information, remote monitoring and control of the chargers operating functions. This connection will also allow you to perform firmware updates and receive charging alerts.

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