As I mentioned before, I picked up a Traxxas X-maxx that was lightly used. Part of the package was their “Completer Kit”, in this case two monstrous 6700 mAh batteries, and since the dual ID link charger struggles to put out enough power to charge two of these monsters, the prior owner bought two of the beefier spec single chargers.
I got an unexpected spot bonus of $250 from work, and thought it would be a good idea to add a couple of batteries to my retinue. This posed two challenging questions:
- Will I keep the Traxxas connectors. This is a big decision, as if I changed the connectors, I couldn’t use the two behemoth batteries that it came with (the connector also doubles as the Lipo balance leads)
- Do I buy Traxxas branded batteries.
I will begin with the #2 above. The 4s Lipo, 6700 mAh batteries sold by Traxxas direct are an eye-popping $139.95 each. Comparable batteries by other makers/vendors are about $80. So, the extra $60 is the name and warranty that Traxxas offers, and the proprietary Lipo balancing connection to the charger.
Sure, I value the Traxxas brand. For a total of about $5. But they do have a pretty awesome warranty. If the battery fails within a year, a no questions asked replacement policy. After a year, you get a 50% replacement price. So in theory, if you are a heavy user, and you have bad luck (early failure of a battery) you probably break even in a couple of years with this policy.
But screw that. I jumped over to SMC Racing and bought 2 SMC 9400mAh (about 50% more capacity) batteries for $98 each. Of course, my spot bonus was limited to an Amazon gift card, so I didn’t buy more batteries with it.
As to the answer of #1 above, I will keep it with the Traxxas connectors. If I didn’t have two Traxxas chargers, the calculus would have been different, and I would have gone with EC5 or XT90 connectors, and called it a day.
The $250 went towards some upgrades, a stouter body for bashing (to keep the stock body a garage queen) and some other goodies.
This weekend I replace the steering servo. I have the heavy duty recommended replacement in hand.