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Thread: ID technology?

  1. #1
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    ID technology?

    Hey folks,

    Been interested in the Traxxas ID battery stuff for a while. I already have a charger that will last my entire lifetime, but out of interest in the ID tech I may pick up one of the new Live chargers and some traxxas lipos.

    Something I can't seem to figure out about the ID tech is how the charger recognizes things like the cell capacity?

    Obviously the traxxas charger can recognize whether you've plugged in a Nimh or a lipo, because one has balance wires and the other does not. But for the capacity, is there like an RF ID tag inside the plug? Otherwise how can the charger differentiate between a 1400mah 3s and a 5000mah 3s?

    For those familiar, take the Revolectrix "Bump" tags for example. It's an RF ID sticker you put on any of your batteries, and when you go to charge it with their proprietary chargers, all you do is plug it in, touch the tag to the charger's sensor, and it knows the settings you've put in for that pack and off she goes. Cool tech, but I like the Traxxas implementation of 'smart batteries' a little better.

    And if it did have say an RF ID tag in the plug, then shouldn't the charger be able to keep track of things like how many times you've charged the battery, how old it is, if it ever had any over charging/discharging events?

    I don't need the simplicity of charging lipos, I love messing with all the little settings in my Icharger to get my lipos charged exactly how I want, but I like the innovative tech, and no where seems to describe how the charger knows the battery capacity and such. Seems like there's a lot more features you can cram into a system like that.

    Anyone know how the tech works with this stuff? I haven't looked, but does that mean you cannot purchase new TRX ID battery plugs to replace yourself? Or do you have to buy a battery plug for a "5000mah 20C 3s" for that exact battery? Or are you hosed if you damage the plug on the battery somehow?

    Also, I'd be doing some heavy duty testing of the traxxas lipos on my battery testing rig to see how the actual performance stacks up against others as well, given their premium price.

    Any info about how the tech works would be rad. Cool stuff! I think Traxxas ID is the cheapest smart battery tech for hobbyists out there to date, given high end chargers are 2-4x more expensive than the ez peak stuff.

    -Mike

  2. #2
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    There are extra pins/connections in the ID plug itself. That is how it knows what it is. Circled in red shows what I'm talking about.

    4sID

  3. #3
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    I know that, but if you had let's say 2 traxxas 4s lipos, but one was 5000mah and the other was 6700mah, how does the charger know the difference?

    Those are just balance wires, they don't give any information, they're just used for voltage and micro currents to balance your battery's cells.

    -Mike

  4. #4
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    Probably the same way a peak detecting nihm can tell the difference between a 7 cell at peak voltage and a 6 or 8 cell. I'm no lipo expert but lipos have a peak too, correct?
    I'm not afraid of my fellow man.

  5. #5
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    I know that, but if you had let's say 2 traxxas 4s lipos, but one was 5000mah and the other was 6700mah, how does the charger know the difference?...
    It doesn't.

    On the Live charger with the Live app. you can choose. There is nothing special in the battery ID plug, amp rate is a default value. The Traxxas chargers are not very powerful, so even charging the 1/16 LiPo's your at maybe 2c charge rate and with the higher capacity batteries your only getting at max a 1c charge rate. With the low charge wattage it really doesn't need to know the capacity.

    If you want to use the 200watt Maxx charge on the Dual live charger you need to take an extra step and is designed for high capacity batteries to be able to charge them up to 2C charge rate.

  6. #6
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Interesting. I was under the impression that if you plug in a "3s 25C 5000mah" traxxas lipo, on the app it would show up exactly as that. I understand you can adjust the amperage of course, but I thought the charger would automatically suggest a range of amps from minimum up to 2C for that battery capacity. Is that incorrect?

    If I plug in any lipo, does it just ask what amperage I'd like to charge at and I could in theory just set it to way too high an amperage for say a 2200mah mini e revo lipo? I thought the idea was that if I wanted to charge say my mini e revo 2s 2200mah lipo, it would suggest an amp range from 0 to say around 4.4A.

    Is that an incorrect assumption?
    Thanks for clearing this up. i could not find this info anywhere. The manuals for the chargers just say "it will automatically choose an ideal charge amperage for this battery" which is superbly open-ended and up to interpretation.

    -Mike

  7. #7
    RC Qualifier justin13703's Avatar
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    With the ez peak live, yes it knows exactly why you have plugged in. I’m not exactly sure how it tells the difference between a 5000mah 3 cell or a 5800mah 3 cell for example, but it can. I can tell you, there is no rfid stuff involved. They’re not that fancy. And when you plug in a Lipo to charge, it doesn’t ask you to do anything. It knows what to do. You can go in and adjust some of the charging parameters manually before starting the charge, but it only lets you adjust them so much depending on what battery it determined you have plugged in. I know my 5800mah 2 cell defaults to around 11.1 amp charge rate, while my 5000mah 3 cell defaults to around 10 amp.

    The beauty of the traxxas chargers and batteries is the simplicity. They’re great for people like me, who don’t want to overthink it. Plug them in, hit start, and let them do their thing.
    Last edited by justin13703; 04-23-2020 at 10:14 PM.

  8. #8
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Thanks justin.

    Sorry nebulous I'm wrong. I only have 4s ID batteries, the rest are Legacy Traxxas LiPo batteries and I haven't used the Traxxas charger in quite a while. I just remember doing something when I tried the app.

    That's got me confused on how it can tell the capacity. justin are the connectors on the end different? Wires on a different pin?

  9. #9
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    ...I haven't looked, but does that mean you cannot purchase new TRX ID battery plugs to replace yourself? Or do you have to buy a battery plug for a "5000mah 20C 3s" for that exact battery? Or are you hosed if you damage the plug on the battery somehow?...
    You/we cannot get/buy the 2nd generation connectors for the battery end. If something happens probably need to use the lifetime Lipo warranty.

  10. #10
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    You/we cannot get/buy the 2nd generation connectors for the battery end. If something happens probably need to use the lifetime Lipo warranty.
    Wow that's kinda a bummer. I mean I don't usually damage lipo plugs, but certainly when you plug/unplug them hundreds of times, they do wear out. One of the greatest pleasures I have in RC is fresh plugs, especially on flying stuff. But, traxxas plugs are relatively durable too.

    I am very interested in finding out how the charger determines battery capacity. There has to be some kind of data exchange, and it has to happen through the plug. Maybe the plug has a certain shape key that's very subtle, and the shape tells the charger the battery size? Like the size of a tiny notch or something the charger can read? There has to be something. There has to be something. It can't be nothing.

    That battery or plug has to have something on it that contains that data. Anyone break a traxxas ID lipo and have a plug to sacrifice? lol.

    -Mike

  11. #11
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Okay so my new mini summit came in, and it has an ID equipped nimh battery.

    There's an RF ID tag guys. It's clearly molded into the plug on one side. The body of the plug had a slot/hole, and they put the tag in there and then fill that pocket with some resin or curing liquid.

    I was getting really curious lol, well now I know.

    -Mike

  12. #12
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Your right! I really need to get my eyes checked.LOL It was right in front the whole time,Duh. Sorry nebulous.

    This right here circled in blue?

    4sIDchip

  13. #13
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Yessir! I couldnt figure out how to upload a pic lol.
    Cool to know! lol.

    -Mike

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier justin13703's Avatar
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    If that’s the case, I’m surprised and was completely wrong. Lol

  15. #15
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    That is probably the biggest reason of not being able to purchase the battery end connector.

  16. #16
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    That is probably the biggest reason of not being able to purchase the battery end connector.
    yeah, orrrr....... make more money on your proprietary connectors than ever before? And make money off people installing them incorrectly and needing new ones? Hahaha.

    Just surprised they don't at least sell them for a premium.

    -Mike

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