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We Need to Talk About These ARRMA Batteries

We Need to Talk About These ARRMA Batteries

Wow, Arrma, way to think way outside the battery box! The new Voltage-series Fazon and Granite trucks look like nice low-cost RTRs overall, but what really stands out is the battery system. Instead of plugging in a pack, how about just firing “raw cells” right into the chassis?

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At first glance, I thought these were AA cells, and Arrma’s new vehicles were therefore mini-sized. WRONG. The Granite and Fazon Voltage trucks are 1/10 scale–so those are some big cells.

 

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Each cell is a 1500mAh Li-Ion. As the top shot shows, each cell is at least as long as the motor. These are “18650”-sized cells, which measure 18 x 65mm (pretty easy to guess where the “18650” designation comes from). Each is 3.7v–so this is a 22.2v “6S” truck? Nope–it’s a 7.4V vehicle. Says Arrma,

Maximize your run-time. The ARRMA Voltage models get you shredding with two lithium-ion batteries included. Add an extra two or four ARRMA lithium-ion 18650 cells to double or triple your run-time.

Since the extra cells add run time (capacity) and not voltage, that means the battery box is wired to hold the packs in parallel. That should mean 4500mAh of capacity when you use all six cells, assuming they are arranged as “2S3P” (three pairs of batteries, each pair in series, the three pairs wired in parallel). According to the manual, you can expect maximum run times of nine minutes (two cells), 18 minutes (four cells) and 27 minutes (six cells).

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Here’s the really cool part: the cells plug into a module that can also hold a hard-case LiPo or NiMH stick pack. Says Arrma: Choose Li-Ion, NiMh or LiPo batteries to power your model. The ARRMA Voltage has multi battery chemistry compatibility that allows you to run 2,4 or 6 ARRMA Li-Ion batteries, or hobby standard 6-cell NiMh or 2S LiPo battery packs.

 

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OK, so how do I charge the cells? Arrma includes an AC charger for the supplied pair of cells, but the manual doesn’t list charge time. You can also use any Li-Ion charger (or charge mode) to do the job, but you’ll need to devise a way to hold the cells. Theoretically, you could plug your charger’s Deans-style plug right into the chassis in place of the speed control and charge the batteries right in the car, but as every manual ever has said, you should never charge batteries while they’re installed in a car.

So, what do you think of Arrma’s new battery concept?

Updated: October 17, 2017 — 3:37 PM
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15 Comments

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  1. I use these batterries for underwater scuba diving torches.
    I recently bought 6000mAh 3.7v cells, so do your burn time calcs running 6 of those bad boys!

    1. If you bought 6000mah cells you got ripped off. The largest an 18650 can go is 3400. There are a lot of crooks out there that lie about the capacity.

  2. Think it is great ARRMA is doing this!!! I am getting one to test to see how it runs – I am excited!!!

  3. Li-Ion have 20A max current so this is (with 6 cells which are 2s3p) 4500mAh 7.4V 13.33c. c rating isn’t great but is enough for brushed system

  4. Just read the article battery and chargers readily avaible at any vape or ecigerett shop as 18650s are the most used size for vaper gear hope this helps for any looking for extra batteries and chargers

  5. So glad to see Arrma getting away, from the trap door type setups. Nothing turns me off of an RC more, than a door in the bottom. makes me think toy grade, not hobby grade

    1. with the right motor esc combo, you can simply flip a cell in each pair and instant 6s setup

  6. I don’t like the new battery concept from Arrma. There are industry standards and plenty of options for power already.
    Why? I believe they are doing this strictly as a marketing gimmick. Why would I want to charge six batteries for one run. When I can just charge a 5000 Mah 2 cell Lipo. And get the same run time. It’s just like receivers that had 10 or 8 AA batteries a decade ago. Now most controllers only use 4 AA batteries. Less is more. Seems like a Toys r Us r/c car

  7. Couple thinges I don’t like about this, 18650s are heavy. You will lose the lower weight benifit of lipos. Plus there are 2 types of 18650, ones with high discharge rates that would work for RC and low discharge ones that won’t. I can see new people who don’t know the difference buying cheap low discharge cells and being disappointed because the car is suddenly slower or the cells overheat and get damaged.

  8. I use these for compact 2nd system lighting set up on my 1/5 gas & 1/10 Nitro. It’s a light easy to hide system which will run 72+ leds (6 lamps with 12 leds each) for over an hour! You can hide the batteries in an Axial fuel tank or something similar….

  9. Was using 2 cell 18650 packs in our HPI Micro RS4’s 15 years ago. Their lighter weight, better voltage and higher capacity made for much better performance!

  10. At least now if a cell goes bad, you aren’t out a ton of money for whole battery pack.

  11. I think is great. Not only can you upgrade the electronics, you can upgrade the power source. It’ll bring out the MAD Scientist in all of us. LOL!

  12. Interesting, certainly. As Scott said, if you could get 5000mah cells, the run times would be impressive. But what about weight? Are these cells safer than Lipo packs? Hmmmm……

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