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Nov 05, 2018, 08:53 AM
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Been gone for a long while...Q on new battery choices for old models


Getting back into ground RC after a 30 year absence. Looking to re-live some of the fun from my youth, with some of them models from the time. I've purchased a re-re Monster Beetle and Blackfoot, and found about 10 vintage Big Brutes that I've managed to snag (Brute was in intro to hobby-level RC as a kid). I've also picked up a few Nikko Turbo-Aero cars, which were my intro to RC. Next on the list is a vintage Clod Buster, or at least a re-re with red bars, white rims and a vintage body.

I've stayed more active in planes, having just purchased a Taranis 9D SE to replace my aging Futaba 9CAPS. I've got a nice Revolectrix Cellpro Powerlab 8 charger, with multi-chemistry capabilities. My planes are nearly all electric, and all the electrics use Lipo.

That being said, I'm not sure where to go for batteries on the cars. I understand lipos are common for the cars now as well, for the same reasons they're popular in the planes. Energy density, etc. I also understand that in the cars, I'd want a hard-shelled model of lipo. However, it seems that lipos are hard on mechanics of the older models (gears, etc), and require more modern ESC's, and possibly motors.

I'm planning on keeping these older models "vintage-spec", meaning similar performance to when they were new. I remember (in my youth) going through steering knuckles on the Brutes like they were candy, so I'll likely run the vintage models with caution. As such, ultimate performance isn't in the equation. I'll likely run the brushed motors they already have installed, use vintage ESC's some of them came with, etc.

That being said, are the NiMH packs the best option for me? If not, suggestions?
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Nov 05, 2018, 11:15 AM
Have you seen my LVC?
Yeah, I'd say stick with Nimh. You can still get some pretty high mah packs with Nimh - although the 5000mah packs are kind of pricy for what they are.

You may take one of the older cars that has upgrades (like one of the Frog-family cars) and "properly" upgrade it to handle the brushless power, but that would be a bigger project.
Nov 05, 2018, 12:49 PM
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Igottabeme's Avatar
Your "vintage" parts and motors will last longer if you stick with 6 cell nimh. Lipos will be more efficient but the sustained voltage increase will make the motors run hotter. Since speed is not a priority stick with Nimh your drive line and motors will thank you for it. Plus the battery holders are made for the shape of 6 cell nimhs. That "vintage" look will be kept with 7.2v Nimh also and the Tamiya connectors if you decide to keep Tamiya plugs.
Nov 16, 2018, 01:52 PM
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For the fun cars, I'd stick to a NiMh, maybe a 3000mAh, since that would already give a massive run time increase over the stock 1300-1500 NiCad packs of years ago, and not be as heavy as a 5000mAh.

For competition grade stuff, like Optima series, Tamiya Egress, etc, 2S LiPo can give a little more punch, but make sure slipper clutch, if present, is well adjusted, to protect the gears against the bigger acceleration power.
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