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  1. #1
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    School me in lipos

    I am new to the RC crowd. Just bought a new revo. I also got two traxxas 3s 5000mah batteries. After reading the instructions, I feel like I'm handling two delicate bombs. The instructions say to charge and store them in fire proof containers (separate from each other) and to charge them away from any flammable materials.

    Is it that serious or are they just covering their butts for every possible law suit? Does anyone charge or store them in fire proof containers? Do i need to treat them like grenades without the pin ?

  2. #2
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    Do some research and they will be pretty safe.

    Charge in a lipo bag
    Don't store a charged lipo for more than a day or two.
    Try to run what you charged that day.
    Don't run your lipo lower than 3.7v per cell.
    Don't charge to past 4.2v/cell
    Store your lipos at 3.8v/cell always!
    Have a lipo checker always handy
    Get a real charger that just doesn't show pretty lights...it's very important to know of one cell is bad....I just had a manufacturer replace $200 worth of lipos no charge because I got a bad batch with bad cells.....you'll never know if you have a bad cell if you don't have a lipo checker.
    I have 10 metal tool boxes full of lipos of all sizes.....not enough room to store them all separately.
    Take care of them and they will provide years of faithful service.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Joe View Post
    Do some research and they will be pretty safe.

    Charge in a lipo bag
    Don't store a charged lipo for more than a day or two.
    Try to run what you charged that day.
    Don't run your lipo lower than 3.7v per cell.
    Don't charge to past 4.2v/cell
    Store your lipos at 3.8v/cell always!
    Have a lipo checker always handy
    Get a real charger that just doesn't show pretty lights...it's very important to know of one cell is bad....I just had a manufacturer replace $200 worth of lipos no charge because I got a bad batch with bad cells.....you'll never know if you have a bad cell if you don't have a lipo checker.
    I have 10 metal tool boxes full of lipos of all sizes.....not enough room to store them all separately.
    Take care of them and they will provide years of faithful service.
    So you're saying you SHOULD charge and store them in fire proof containers? Do they spontaneously combust? Has anyone actually had them catch fire?

  4. #4
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    That's all stuff to for legal purposes. Lipo batteries are pretty safe their in your phone and laptops and so on.

    I work with batteries a lot and we've had some "explode" but so does lead acid in your car. I've puffed a few Lipo in my RCs and it wasn't anything crazy. Just be aware it can happen and if they do catch fire it's a hot fire that is hard to put out. So being in a safe bag is a good idea. They would need to be overcharged a fair bit or damaged but we try to plan for that 1:1000000 chance

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    A little math...

    The battery says it is 11.1 volts. 3.7v x 3 cells is 11.1v. So 3.7 is the lowest each cell should be discharged? And the ESC w/ low voltage will stop when it reaches that level, correct?

    My traxxas charger charged my lipos to 11.55v on storage mode. 11.55 / 3 cells = 3.85v. That is 50% and is what it should be stored at? How long can you store them at that charge?

    In theory it should not charge my batteries past 12.6v for a 3 cell? 4.2v x 3 cells.

    Thanks for the help! I just ordered some lipo storage/charge bags on Amazon.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx_Adam View Post
    That's all stuff to for legal purposes. Lipo batteries are pretty safe their in your phone and laptops and so on.

    I work with batteries a lot and we've had some "explode" but so does lead acid in your car. I've puffed a few Lipo in my RCs and it wasn't anything crazy. Just be aware it can happen and if they do catch fire it's a hot fire that is hard to put out. So being in a safe bag is a good idea. They would need to be overcharged a fair bit or damaged but we try to plan for that 1:1000000 chance

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk

    Thanks for that input. You guys are putting my mind at ease. I'll follow the rules, store and charge in lipo bags and charge appropriately.

  7. #7
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    Don't forget about storage time. SMC recs that you should not store for more than 6 weeks without cycling them. aka charge,discharge to storage.

  8. #8
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    I guarantee lipos sit on a shelf for more than 6 weeks before they even get to you...

    But it is interesting how wildly different recommendations are with each brand of lipo. I have one brand of lipos that state if you run the battery lower than 3.7v/cell it is ruined and unfit for charging. (A bit overly conservative IMO)

    Kevin...all your assumptions are OK. 3.85 is a fine storage charge as well. Charge in a lipo bag and do not charge them unatended. When the weather breaks, charge them outside in the shade and make things easier on your nerves. I've done that before.

    Just NEVER charge a lipo with a bad cell that is more than .5 lower than the other cells. That will result on the other cells overcharging. If you all need I can copy correspondence with a lipo supplier with hard and fast rules.
    Last edited by GT Joe; 03-12-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Joe View Post
    I guarantee lipos sit on a shelf for more than 6 weeks before they even get to you...

    But it is interesting how wildly different recommendations are with each brand of lipo. I have one brand of lipos that state if you run the battery lower than 3.7v/cell it is ruined and unfit for charging. (A bit overly conservative IMO)

    Kevin...all your assumptions are OK. 3.85 is a fine storage charge as well. Charge in a lipo bag and do not charge them unatended. When the weather breaks, charge them outside in the shade and make things easier on your nerves. I've done that before.

    Just NEVER charge a lipo with a bad cell that is more than .5 lower than the other cells. That will result on the other cells overcharging. If you all need I can copy correspondence with a lipo supplier with hard and fast rules.
    100% Lipo sits for longer!!! I found some old Lipo that I forgot about in a box that are at least 2 years old, put them on the charger and they were 4.10 volts, re charged and they seem to work as normal.

    Thing is with Lipo.. There's a lot of brands but only a handful of manufacturers. I'm not as familiar with flat packs as I am with 18650 cells but there's maybe 10 manufacturers of 18650 and Samsung, LG are among the top. I've been using the Samsung cells as they are the most robust. LG has some high capacity cells but don't have the discharge rating. Sanyo I believe has on cells but they get weak quicker than others.


    Sent from my SM-N950W using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Interesting your fully stored lipo held up as well as it did.

    and yet the next guy will post how he stored a fully charged lipo for 3 days and it puffed up.

    Lipos are weird creatures....I anxiously await the next generation of batteries. The new composition is supposed to be much more powerful, much more stable and much safer....but that is still years away.
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  11. #11
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    I'll be that guy, but it didn't happen in 3 days it took 6 months. Life gets in the way and you forget things. Anyway, seems most manufactures have different rules on caring for their batteries. Oh well, lesson learned.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest View Post
    I'll be that guy, but it didn't happen in 3 days it took 6 months. Life gets in the way and you forget things. Anyway, seems most manufactures have different rules on caring for their batteries. Oh well, lesson learned.
    Lol...you are so right about different manufacturers! One brand of lipos I just got said if they go below 3.7v/cell they are unfit for charging and should be tossed! That's a bit extreme, and taken with a grain of salt. And this is a premium brand of batteries too!
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  13. #13
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    A lot of people don't realize the low voltage cutoff in the ESC is the cumulative voltage over all the cells. While discharging, some packs can have a cell that'll like to discharge faster than the others. It's better to have a seperate alarm that connects to your balance plug. It'll monitor each cell individually. I personally set it for 3.7 volts. The default cutoff on the Mamba ESC was 3.4!

    I have these alarms and I can hear them go off from 100 yards away.:

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    Bimmer: That's the one! You can set your LV alarm anywhere between 2.8 and 3.8. OF course if you run hard the battery will sag a bit and set the alarm a bit early, but hardly a bad thing!

    Today I just rigged up a dual 12v bub setup to drain some bad lipos...fully drains a lipo to be safe for disposal in about 20 minutes.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmerjo View Post
    A lot of people don't realize the low voltage cutoff in the ESC is the cumulative voltage over all the cells. While discharging, some packs can have a cell that'll like to discharge faster than the others. It's better to have a seperate alarm that connects to your balance plug. It'll monitor each cell individually. I personally set it for 3.7 volts. The default cutoff on the Mamba ESC was 3.4!

    I have these alarms and I can hear them go off from 100 yards away.:
    Is it possible to use these with traxxas batteries w/ the id plug?

  16. #16
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    I don't have any Traxxas lipos so I am assuming they don't have any type of balance lead??? They just have an ID plug?

    If that's the case, that's just idiotic and irresponsible. It is extremely important to be able to "see" inside the batteries to see if a cell is going bad....just to check on the lipo's health. Trying to charge a lipo with a bad cell can be dangerous.

    I get Traxxas wanting to simplify things for ease of use, but lipos are not meant to be simplified. You NEED to know what each cell is doing and to be able to check them often.

    I also am disappointed to see they put out a cheap plastic box with pretty lights and sell it for $50 and call it a lipo charger.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Joe View Post
    I don't have any Traxxas lipos so I am assuming they don't have any type of balance lead??? They just have an ID plug?

    If that's the case, that's just idiotic and irresponsible. It is extremely important to be able to "see" inside the batteries to see if a cell is going bad....just to check on the lipo's health. Trying to charge a lipo with a bad cell can be dangerous.

    I get Traxxas wanting to simplify things for ease of use, but lipos are not meant to be simplified. You NEED to know what each cell is doing and to be able to check them often.

    I also am disappointed to see they put out a cheap plastic box with pretty lights and sell it for $50 and call it a lipo charger.
    Simmer down, Little Joe.
    The point of the iD plug was to integrate the main power and the balance connectors so that when you plugged them in to a charger, you had no choice but to connect a balance tap. It was safety that was in mind.
    The charger with the pretty lights works fine. Itís not my cup of tea, but nobody has a gun to the customersí heads, forcing them to buy it.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksb51rl View Post
    Simmer down, Little Joe.
    The point of the iD plug was to integrate the main power and the balance connectors so that when you plugged them in to a charger, you had no choice but to connect a balance tap. It was safety that was in mind.
    The charger with the pretty lights works fine. It’s not my cup of tea, but nobody has a gun to the customers’ heads, forcing them to buy it.
    LOL....Hard to not be cranky when recovering from a herniated disc in my back. It's been two weeks of the H-word, dude....

    I have had to dispose of some expensive batteries this week due to each one having a bad cell. They came from a bad batch. Fortunately the website I bought from acknowledged this and sent me $200 worth of replacement lipos.

    IF I didn't have a detailed charger, and a way to check the lipos thru the balance lead, I would have never known about the bad cell. And the lipo dealer said most of lipo fires were due to a bad cell and the charger overcharging the good cells while the one bad cell lags along. I dodged a bullet by being able to monitor each cell.

    Your argument is a bit flawed as when I set my charger to lipo balance it will not start the charge process until the balance lead is connected. IF someone doesn't know to balance charge a lipo, they should not be using lipos.

    Now in all fairness, I think the new Traxxas Live ID Charger lets you monitor the charge process with much greater detail through the app on a phone. I don't know the gritty details of it, but they seem to have come up with a new charger to give more info to the user. Still seems a long way around simply putting a voltage readout screen on the charger itself.

    So...does Traxxas or anyone make a device that lets you check your voltage through the ID lead? Or is Traxxas just happy with running the truck down to LVC and replacing puffed lipos?

    I don't want my views to come across as trolling...it's not. Lipo care is very serious, and I don't think the Traxxas system gives the user the vital info they need.
    Last edited by GT Joe; 03-13-2018 at 08:55 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Joe View Post
    ...

    IF I didn't have a detailed charger, and a way to check the lipos thru the balance lead, I would have never known about the bad cell. And the lipo dealer said most of lipo fires were due to a bad cell and the charger overcharging the good cells while the one bad cell lags along. I dodged a bullet by being able to monitor each cell.

    Your argument is a bit flawed as when I set my charger to lipo balance it will not start the charge process until the balance lead is connected. IF someone doesn't know to balance charge a lipo, they should not be using lipos.

    Now in all fairness, I think the new Traxxas Live ID Charger lets you monitor the charge process with much greater detail through the app on a phone. I don't know the gritty details of it, but they seem to have come up with a new charger to give more info to the user. Still seems a long way around simply putting a voltage readout screen on the charger itself.

    So...does Traxxas or anyone make a device that lets you check your voltage through the ID lead? Or is Traxxas just happy with running the truck down to LVC and replacing puffed lipos?

    I don't want my views to come across as trolling...it's not. Lipo care is very serious, and I don't think the Traxxas system gives the user the vital info they need.
    A couple notes first:
    1. I made no argument at all. I simply related the goal of the iD system. Also, Iím not the one who posted three paragraphs above and is continuing to post about a non-existent problem of being unable to check individual cell voltages.
    2. One can be so reckless with the truth as to be considered a liar or a troll. You have now popped off multiple times, in this thread and elsewhere without attempt to verify the validity or veracity of your statements. This needs to stop.

    One of the most common and copied charging programs, that found in the iMAX B6 (the charger is $12 wholesale, if anybody cares) has many variants that allow charging without balancing.
    Unfortunately this mode is not called LiPo Balance but LiPo Charge. Since the charger will let it happen, many through the years have assumed it is fine to charge that way. It doesnít matter whether they should know or whether they should be using LiPos. The fact is that they donít and they are. No spurious argument relying upon a perfect world scenario can change that.
    You assume that because a list of cell voltages is not displayed, the charger is dangerous, or at least it seems that way since you are the one yelling (literally) ďlipo fires.Ē Please tell me what said Traxxas charger does when it senses a large differential in cell voltages? Does it throw an error code and stop charging or ignore it? You donít know, correct? Neither do I but Iím not yelling ďfireĒ either.

    The device you inquire about so darn snarkily is part number 2938X.
    Alt-248 on the number pad = į

  20. #20
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    I just purchased the traxxas balance adapter and a lipo checker/balancer.

    The adapter allows you to plug into the lipo checker.

    Now the question is, what exactly am i looking for in terms of individual cell voltage? How much variation is acceptable? How do you know if a cell is bad? Also, when would you use the balancer on the lipo checker if the cell voltage differs...before or after charging?
    Last edited by Kevin; 03-13-2018 at 11:41 PM.

  21. #21
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    Ksb: It is unfortunate you interpret honest questions and advice as ranting and yelling and trolling. I was honestly asking if there is a device that checks Traxxas battery voltage....it was a question not a snarky statement. So please stop twisting my words to make what I say sound argumentative. Giving advice is not "popping off"

    And how is typing the words "lipo fire" "literally yelling"? It is a serious yet rare danger, but possible when charging a bad lipo.

    This thread was started by Kevin who wants to be "schooled on lipos". I am giving him honest information.

    Kevin: I am glad there is a device that allows you to check Traxxas lipos. That is great. Cell variation should not be more than .05v of each other. That indicates a problem. You'll know a cell is bad, when you give the lipo a full charge and one cell is much lower than the others. Use the lipo checker often...before charging, after charging, before it goes in the truck, after your run, and to check for storage charge.

    And on that note, I am done with this board with the "Marshal" taking everything I say and twisting it around. Who is the real troll??? Accusing me of "yelling" and "arguing" when all I did was give solid advice and not drink all the Traxxas kool-aid.

    I'm out of here.....go pick on someone else.
    Last edited by GT Joe; 03-14-2018 at 08:10 AM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Joe View Post
    Ksb: It is unfortunate you interpret honest questions and advice as ranting and yelling and trolling. I was honestly asking if there is a device that checks Traxxas battery voltage....it was a question not a snarky statement. So please stop twisting my words to make what I say sound argumentative. Giving advice is not "popping off"

    And how is typing the words "lipo fire" "literally yelling"? It is a serious yet rare danger, but possible when charging a bad lipo.

    This thread was started by Kevin who wants to be "schooled on lipos". I am giving him honest information.

    Kevin: I am glad there is a device that allows you to check Traxxas lipos. That is great. Cell variation should not be more than .5v of each other. That indicates a problem. You'll know a cell is bad, when you give the lipo a full charge and one cell is much lower than the others. Use the lipo checker often...before charging, after charging, before it goes in the truck, after your run, and to check for storage charge.

    And on that note, I am done with this board with the "Marshal" taking everything I say and twisting it around. Who is the real troll??? Accusing me of "yelling" and "arguing" when all I did was give solid advice and not drink all the Traxxas kool-aid.

    I'm out of here.....go pick on someone else.
    My only addition is the .5 variance is way too high. Pretty sure itís .05 vdc

  23. #23
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    You are right....it was a typo...I corrected it.

    Thank you for catching that.

    Now I'm done.....
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  24. #24
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    I appreciate everyone's input. No need to argue.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Joe View Post
    I guarantee lipos sit on a shelf for more than 6 weeks before they even get to you...
    And after having worked in the RC battery OEM business for over 14 years, I absolutely GUARANTEE your statement is incorrect!!!!

    And for the record, the inexpensive voltage checkers noted in this thread are known to be horribly inaccurate. I would never use one to determine whether or not a pack is bad or has a bad cell. We used to purchase and sell those voltage checkers by the hundreds and we tested each and every one of them before shipping. It was very unusual to find one that was truly accurate.
    Last edited by Jakey; 03-14-2018 at 06:08 PM.

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