Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    5

    rustler 4x4 battery

    morning all! My son and I purchased our first rc car. We are looking to extend the battery life. what battery would be best for longer life?

    also should I order any specific parts know to break easily or upgrade? i crashed it a few good times already

  2. #2
    RC Racer
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by RustlerP View Post
    morning all! My son and I purchased our first rc car. We are looking to extend the battery life. what battery would be best for longer life?
    Heya RustlerP, welcome to the hobby, and to the Traxxas community forums!

    First: what batteries are you using at the moment? NiMH (Nickel–metal hydride)? or LiPo (Lithium Polymer)? In General, the LiPo batteries are more energy dense. Knowing what you are using now will help us make suggestions for longer run-time.

    Second: do you have the Rustler 4x4, or the Rustler 4x4 VXL? The former has a brushed motor & speed-controller, where the latter has a brushless motor and speed-controller. The VXL can take a wider selection of LiPo batteries (2S or 3S) , where the non-VXL is limited to 2S. Both versions can run on NiMH batteries.

    Since you are new to the hobby, I'd suggest that you take some time and read-up on the safe care-n-feeding of LiPo batteries. I use Traxxas LiPo batteries and Traxxas chargers for 'tougher-to-screw-up' ID Charging system, but I treat the batteries with respect/suspicion.

    Here is a link to a discussion of batteries by a guy that has been in the RC business for a while:
    https://rogershobbycenter.com/lipoguide
    There are lots of other opinions out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by RustlerP View Post
    also should I order any specific parts know to break easily or upgrade? i crashed it a few good times already
    My personal approach tends toward: "fix what breaks - if it breaks twice, consider upgrading that part". That said, I've upgraded rear bumpers (went with T-Bone Racing), and after bending a few shock shafts on the stock traxxas 'ultra' shocks, went with the traxxas GTR shocks that have a thicker shaft.

    Good Luck, and have fun! --BillJ
    Last edited by Single_Trac; 06-29-2020 at 03:20 PM. Reason: added a lipo link

  3. #3
    RC Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    20
    When you say battery life, do you mean run time, or battery longevity? If it's run time, just look for the highest mAh you can find. If you're talking about longevity, just follow the basic care-and-feeding rules you'll find on most lipo articles.

    My own personal rules:
    1. Always balance charge
    2. Never charge above 4.2V or discharge below 3.71V per cell.
    3. Never leave a lipo fully charged or fully discharged for more than a few days at a time.
    4. Always store lipos at 3.8V per cell when not in use. (I typically run my lipos only down to that level, that way I never have to worry about it)
    5. Give your lipos a 10-15 min rest between charge/discharge cycles. (easier to acomplish when you have more than 2 batteries)
    6. Always charge in a fire safe container and never leave a charging battery unattended.
    7. Never, ever use a puffy lipo or one with cells that diverge by more than .05V between any 2 cells.

    Pick up a couple balance plug voltage checkers to keep handy. I always have 1 on me and another in my field tool box.
    Something like this will do fine:
    3 pack of Voltage Checkers/alarms

    Lipo voltage chart

  4. #4
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Single_Trac View Post
    Heya RustlerP, welcome to the hobby, and to the Traxxas community forums!

    First: what batteries are you using at the moment? NiMH (Nickel–metal hydride)? or LiPo (Lithium Polymer)? In General, the LiPo batteries are more energy dense. Knowing what you are using now will help us make suggestions for longer run-time.

    Second: do you have the Rustler 4x4, or the Rustler 4x4 VXL? The former has a brushed motor & speed-controller, where the latter has a brushless motor and speed-controller. The VXL can take a wider selection of LiPo batteries (2S or 3S) , where the non-VXL is limited to 2S. Both versions can run on NiMH batteries.

    Since you are new to the hobby, I'd suggest that you take some time and read-up on the safe care-n-feeding of LiPo batteries. I use Traxxas LiPo batteries and Traxxas chargers for 'tougher-to-screw-up' ID Charging system, but I treat the batteries with respect/suspicion.

    Here is a link to a discussion of batteries by a guy that has been in the RC business for a while:
    https://rogershobbycenter.com/lipoguide
    There are lots of other opinions out there.



    My personal approach tends toward: "fix what breaks - if it breaks twice, consider upgrading that part". That said, I've upgraded rear bumpers (went with T-Bone Racing), and after bending a few shock shafts on the stock traxxas 'ultra' shocks, went with the traxxas GTR shocks that have a thicker shaft.

    Good Luck, and have fun! --BillJ
    Single_Trac - Thanks for the welcome and detailed response. Going to read the post you linked!

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    5
    I currently have the Rustler 4x4 tital 12t 550 so not brushless (just found out). Battery is stock NIMH MAH 3000

  6. #6
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by cgrant26 View Post
    When you say battery life, do you mean run time, or battery longevity? If it's run time, just look for the highest mAh you can find. If you're talking about longevity, just follow the basic care-and-feeding rules you'll find on most lipo articles.

    My own personal rules:
    1. Always balance charge
    2. Never charge above 4.2V or discharge below 3.71V per cell.
    3. Never leave a lipo fully charged or fully discharged for more than a few days at a time.
    4. Always store lipos at 3.8V per cell when not in use. (I typically run my lipos only down to that level, that way I never have to worry about it)
    5. Give your lipos a 10-15 min rest between charge/discharge cycles. (easier to acomplish when you have more than 2 batteries)
    6. Always charge in a fire safe container and never leave a charging battery unattended.
    7. Never, ever use a puffy lipo or one with cells that diverge by more than .05V between any 2 cells.

    Pick up a couple balance plug voltage checkers to keep handy. I always have 1 on me and another in my field tool box.
    Something like this will do fine:
    3 pack of Voltage Checkers/alarms

    Lipo voltage chart
    Thanks!!! I bought the voltage checker in case I go lipo might as well have them on hand. The hobby shop advised as a newbie lipos are harder to charge. But if it improves my run time I will read up on them.

  7. #7
    RC Racer
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by RustlerP View Post
    I currently have the Rustler 4x4 tital 12t 550 so not brushless (just found out). Battery is stock NIMH MAH 3000
    If you are looking to improve runtime, I'd suggest one of the below options:
    1) Getting a second 3000mah battery. That way you can start the driving session with two fully charged batteries, and when the first one is drained, swap it out for the second one that is fresh. **
    2) Getting a larger capacity (rated in MAH) battery. Traxxas makes 5000MAH NiMH battery in both the long and short form-factor (to fit the Gen2 or Gen1 Rustler 4x4 chassis). The larger MAH battery will give you some more runtime, but with the trade-off of additional weight (although since the Traxxas website does not seem to list the weight of the batteries, I can't quantify it). The additional weight will both make the vehicle handle differently, and cause the run-time improvement to be non-linear.
    3) Switch to 2S LiPo batteries. They tend to have larger MAH capacities, lower weight, and better performance all around. Just went out to the garage with a scale: #2926x - 3000MAH 8.4v NiMh- is 413 grams; #2843X - 5800MAH 2S LiPo - is 306 grams. My boy started with the NiMH for a while, but went to LiPo within 6 months or so.

    ** So, RustlerP if you are interested in sticking with NiMH chemistry for a bit, I have a couple #2926x that are just taking up room here in my garage, getting no love. I'm happy to pass them along to ya for just the cost of shipping. These fit in the First Generation Rustler 4x4 Chassis... I'm not sure about the second gen. Send me a Private Message if you are interested.

    Good Luck, and Have Fun! --BillJ
    Last edited by Single_Trac; 06-30-2020 at 08:10 AM.

  8. #8
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    5
    That is very generous of you, How was the switch from charging the lipo and maintaining. How old is your boy ? If lipo is the way to go I may do that.. My son is only 6 but doing a darn better job then me with driving the rustler.

    I am just wondering if I should try lipo or just stock up on NIMH hmmmm

  9. #9
    RC Racer
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by RustlerP View Post
    That is very generous of you, How was the switch from charging the lipo and maintaining. How old is your boy ? If lipo is the way to go I may do that.. My son is only 6 but doing a darn better job then me with driving the rustler.
    Changing from NiMH to LiPo as far as charging the battery goes was almost a non-thing, as I use the Traxxas ID batteries and EZPeak chargers. Plug the battery into the charger, it auto-detects the chemistry/voltage, and I press the 'start' button. It's easy. No muss, no fuss. The only real difference for me has been with the storing of the batteries after usage. With the NiMH, I just stored the batteries 'discharged' on a shelf. With the LiPo, I have the additional steps of putting the battery into the LiPo-safe-bag, charging the battery to a 'storage-charge', and then placing into an Ammo-Can before placing onto the shelf. It's extra steps, but really low-effort, and easy (IMHO).

    My Boy was 9 when we got the Rustler 4x4. He also got the brushed version, followed pretty quickly by me getting a VXL version for myself (so I would not break his car... he got to break his own car :-) ) My intent in getting him an RC car was to teach him to troubleshoot and fix things himself. After seeing how much punchier/faster my car was than his, he wanted to move to the LiPo batteries, and not long after, we did the upgrades to make his brushed car into a brushless-one. At 6YO, it might make sense to spend some quality time at the lower speeds before stepping up. My boy is a 'better' driver than I am, but is purposefully 'harder' on the car than I am. YMMV.

    As far as LiPo vs NiMH, the trickiest part for me was remembering to get the boy to switch his ESC from NiMH mode to LiPo mode (LiPo mode has a low-voltage cut-off enabled that you NEED if you are going to be running the lithium batteries). Switching the ESC is as simple as pressing the EZ-Set button in the correct pattern, but when using both LiPo and NiMH it was just a hassle to have to double-check it for him every time we used the cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by RustlerP View Post
    I am just wondering if I should try lipo or just stock up on NIMH hmmmm
    You'll make the right choice for you and your family. Given that you've got a line on a few more NiMH batteries on the cheap, I'd stick with NiMH until your boy is a bit older and ready to handle the extra punch that he'll be getting with the LiPos. If you were looking at having to spend full-retail for additional NiMH batteries, I'm not sure that route would sound as good to me.

    I remember when I got the brushed Rustler 4x4... I thought that I was spending a lot of money for a 'Toy'. After using, learning and growing more into the hobby, I've come to feel the value... or maybe my wallet is just numb now having the 2 Rustler 4x4VXLs as well as an eRevo 2.0 :-)

    --BillJ

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •