Kraton LiPo newbie with Kraton v5

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ShadyD

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Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
Hiya folks, longtime reader, first time poster.

Thanks to an unexpected bonus, I'm looking at buying a Kraton to give me more bashing oomph. The one part I'm having trouble with is deciding on a LiPo system to use.

I currently run NiMH on all my Traxxas stuff - highly customized TRX, Stampede 4x4, and 2 Slash 4x4s. I had considered one of the new Sledge trucks, but the Traxxas iD system, while nice for the NiMH, doesn't give me the warm fuzziness on the LiPo side.

My primary concern is safety. I've done a ton of reading and research onn lipo usage, so I feel good about being able to use them appropriately. That said, I've got a wife, 2 kids, and a dog, and given that RC is basically something I do for fun on the weekends, my risk tolerance is extremely low.

I'm investing in a Bat Safe, but I'm having a hard time choosing batteries and chargers. I'm likely overthrowing things, but here is what I've considered:
- Right off they steer you towards the Spektrum smart system. It appeals to me in the sense that it has a lot of automation in case you make a mistake (auto-discharge being one of the most appealing) as well as a ton of data collection about the batteries themselves. However, they are much more expensive. Additionally, I'd likely have to create charging leads myself to work with the Bat Safe, and it's been a looooong time since I've done any soldering - plus the time to do that extra work is hard to find with 2 kids and a 60 hour work week.
- I'm lost among all the other brands and chargers. SMC look good, but I have no practical experience to base that on. Chargers are a complete charlie foxtrot, lots of options but online documentation of features is lacking on most of them.

Anyone have any advice that might help steer me in the right direction?
 
So if you go down the spektrum road just understand you will be paying a premium for the Smart stuff. They are good batteries overall. If you are looking for lower costs there are many options out there just try for 80c as a minimum on the lipo. Zeeee have worked well for me but there are other good options as well. For chargers look for 100w per channel. You will need an ec5 connection for the charger. Some come with and some you will need to buy the leads or solder some yourself. I always charge at no greater than 1c meaning a 5000mah battery would charge at 5amps.
 
Personally, I'm averse to getting locked into ecosystems. While the Spektrum SMART stuff provides the one or other safety feature where I can understand the appeal if you know yourself well enough that you just don't have the requisite attention span to stick to a few common sense precautions. As you said, they're expensive and the question is, are they worth it? That's really a question everyone needs to work out the answer for themselves, but speaking for myself, I don't feel I gain anything by using them as I don't find maintaining lipos difficult or that it's any kind of nuisance. I prefer to have my choice of lipos as I use different lipos for different applications. One other thing that's nice about the SMART batteries is that they don't have balance leads but, again, not worth the premium price tag to me.

The bat-safe is a great idea for some peace of mind should, God forbid, your stash of lipos go rogue as a runaway chemical fire is no joke.

As for gear, SMC are a great choice. They make quality products. I'd also highly recommend looking at China Hobby Line (CNHL). They're budget priced but, some of their battery lines have amazing performance. Not just for the money, but amazing performance, full stop. The 70C G+ line has been their best and they've recently begun making smaller 2S and 3S parallel packs that have been proving themselves very capable.

When it comes to chargers, I'm a big fan of ISDT gear. The P20 and P30 are great chargers, they are, however, DC only so they require a separate PSU. For some this is a turn-off. It doesn't bother me and I've been really happy with their equipment. They do also make chargers that will take both AC and DC, the K2 Air will do 200W on AC and up to 2x500W on DC depending on the power supply feeding it. The Hota D6 Pro is really popular with a lot of folks on here and it is also AC/DC capable. Yes, these chargers cost a bit more than your standard charger that you'll find included in bundles from LHSs, but I do think they're worth it as they provide higher balance charge currents which translates into not unsubstantial time savings during the charging process.

I hope this helps. If not and you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask :)
 
Your biggest risk for lipos is during charging. Lithium batteries are designed with higher discharge rates in mind than charge rates. So naturally, during routine charging they can be more volatile than say plinking around in your RC.

With that said, the bat-safe is a very responsible approach to lipo safety. If you are charging your lipos in there, you should have good piece of mind. You may want to consider some ammo cans or lipo bags at a minimum for just regular storage, just for additional piece of mind when your batts are sitting idle (their most neutral state).

You'll love the power difference lipo offers over nimh. It will blow you away! I don't think you can pick a "wrong" lipo for you, unless its a cheapo one. Those tends to be poor quality and prone to more volatility and risk. I'd say find a budget level you want to spend and grab a few lipos, charger, and get ripping! If you are considering sticking around the hobby longer, get a good charger (two channels, 100w min or channel). You'll thank yourself later. I'm using the hota d6+ and like it.
 
Oh wow, those are interesting. I'd never even heard of them before. That might be a happy medium here. Honestly, the data tracking was the most appealing feature of smart batteries. But then, I work in an industry where data is lifeblood, so I'm a nerd about that kind of thing.
 
So my current plan is to use 4s batteries to start - spare the drive train some load while I get used to driving this. Based on that, and the reading I've done here on the forum, it looks like these would fit in the Kraton battery tray, correct?

https://www.amazon.com/Zeee-Battery-6200mAh-Connector-Truggy/dp/B0869M73ZW?ref_=ast_sto_dp

I figured I'd run this like I do my TRX - run one battery until it's out, and it I'm still out and about, swap in the second.
 
So my current plan is to use 4s batteries to start - spare the drive train some load while I get used to driving this. Based on that, and the reading I've done here on the forum, it looks like these would fit in the Kraton battery tray, correct?

https://www.amazon.com/Zeee-Battery-6200mAh-Connector-Truggy/dp/B0869M73ZW?ref_=ast_sto_dp

I figured I'd run this like I do my TRX - run one battery until it's out, and it I'm still out and about, swap in the second.
Looks like they should fit. I think typhon & kraton share battery tray dimensions (I know Typhons, still learning Kraton6s)
48mm W x 79mm H x 158mm L
 
So my current plan is to use 4s batteries to start - spare the drive train some load while I get used to driving this. Based on that, and the reading I've done here on the forum, it looks like these would fit in the Kraton battery tray, correct?

https://www.amazon.com/Zeee-Battery-6200mAh-Connector-Truggy/dp/B0869M73ZW?ref_=ast_sto_dp

I figured I'd run this like I do my TRX - run one battery until it's out, and it I'm still out and about, swap in the second.
Have you considered getting two 3s? Those along with the throttle limits on the transmitter of 50/75/100% would give you lots of speed options to start and grow. I started out with one 3s on 50% (don’t tell anyone 🤫) and now regularly do two 3s at 75%, and sometimes 100% when I’m feeling crazy and there’s plenty of area to blast. Just a thought, good luck and welcome!
 
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