For Bashers, By Bashers!

ASK Cub Reporter, 06.07.2012, Version- Your Questions, My Smack Talk

Cubby

Dear Cubby,
Do you have any idea why there are no lithium jelly batteries on the market? You probably don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, so I’ll explain:

Lithium jelly batteries are basically LiPo’s, only, the lithium has been turned into a non-flammable jelly. This type of battery could be the revolution to batteries, here’s why:

1. They are extremely safe. It doesn’t matter if you throw it off a skyscraper or mash a screw through it, these things will never go “WOOSH” like a normal LiPo would! After all, the lithium jelly is non-flammable, so there’s no way it’s going to blow up! Also, while being so safe, they aren’t any bit less powerful than normal LiPo’s! You can however still ruin the battery itself, but at least it won’t ruin it’s surroundings!

2. They are extremely cheap. The production price is only 20% of that of the current LiPo’s! I think that’s because the lithium jelly is much safer to work with, so the production process doesn’t have to be so delicate.

This is the reason behind me asking: “Why not?” So, why not? (LOL)
With kind regards,
Floris.

Cubby – Why are there no “lithium jelly” batteries on the market? Because they are too damn tasty that’s why. Every time I bring a dozen of them into the office I turn my head for a few seconds they all end up missing, then I notice “Wrench” Bill is sporting a newly plastered grin on his face. Go figure…

But seriously, oh “Floris” you have no idea, I am quite well versed in the world of esoteric battery technology, and not from just reading crap on the internet, but from a first hand perspective. In your email you’ve done a fair job of regurgitating what you’ve most likely read about “lithium jelly” technology from the net. Luckily for you I am here to give you some real life perspective on why we haven’t seen them on the rc market.

First off (besides the fact they are so new they haven’t had much time to be released).. the biggest upside of a “lithium jelly” cell is increased safety. But, there have been other “safer” lithium based cells sold in the rc world, yet they didn’t take off. For example, the A123 Lithium Iron Phosphate cells are arguably some of the safest lithium based cells ever produced, and while they did make some waves in the rc market, you won’t see them in a single car at your local bash spot now days. It’s that way for a few reasons, but to boil it down, even though they were a much safer cell consumers consistently bought other cells that had a higher energy density. Consumer voted with their dollars, and they voted for more volatile cells with higher energy densities.

Secondly… So lets just say that “lithium jelly” cells could actually be produced at only 20% of the price of a regular Lipo. If you take a quick glance at the trucks at your local bash spot I’d bet you won’t find anyone using the cheapest Lipo on the market. What you will find are a mix of different price ranges. Being the cheapest thing on the market certainly does not assure success on the sales floor (proper marketing does, but that’s a story for another day).

Lastly… For every upside there must be a downside. “Lithium jelly” batteries are said to be safer than a normal LiPo, and for that advantage it must inherit a disadvantage. In this case it’s a reduction in energy density. Would you rather have a safer 2S “lithium jelly” 3000 mah battery in your truck, or a 2S 6000 mah LiPo? The 2S 3000 lithium jelly might drive awesome in your ARRMA Raider, but with LiPo you’ll get the same great power but for a much longer runtime.

I could go on and on here, but in closing… there are new battery technologies coming down the pike all the time, most of them fizzle out and never come to fruition. However, the technology used in our current LiPo packs is pretty state of the art, you will not be seeing huge leaps in energy density any time soon. And that is not due to cost, or resources, or engineering, or manufacturing processes, it’s simply because of the law of physics. For there to be a giant leap in cell performance from what we have now is going to take a giant leap in technology and price.


Hi i have a question i suppose its more aimed at cubbie tho, in his review he stated the motor mount from the scte was a fit, i purchased one and on looking i cant figure how it would be possible as the bearing pocket is on the wrong side? Any details? My stock motor mount is still great just can’t figure out how he lined it up thanks!

Rob W.

Cubby– Rob, sorry to say but you have Associated Green Slime for brains. And not even new Green Slime, but old gooped out Green Slime. Quick word of advice- don’t lean to one side or it’s gonna drip out. Well I guess it’s that or you have the reading comprehension skills of a flashlight. Just say’n…

To make this crystal clear for poor Rob, I didn’t state the Losi motor mount would fit in the Axial EXO, I stated it was far superior to what comes stock. I totally stand by that statement. The stock EXO motor mount is needlessly complex and doesn’t hold the proper gear mesh during severe use, the motor mount from Losi is much simpler and works perfectly.

And it’s not that I don’t like the EXO, I personally love the thing and drive it on nearly a daily basis, it’s just that its motor mount is less than optimal. If the EXO motor mount had turned out to be the best thing on the market I would have said so, it’s not, so I didn’t.


I recently read your basher review of the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3 and it inspired me to purchase one. It seems to be exactly what I have been looking for. I had a quick question though. What batteries did you use in that truck? I just noticed that it does not actually come with any batteries and I have been looking around for some sort of information regarding what people are using. I have seen a few people say they are going 6s but seriously thats more than I will ever need. I want a good all around bashing truck and dont need blistering speed.

I am thinking of buying 2S 5000mAh + packs and then I can go 4S if I like but could run just 2S and have double the run time. Until I have a chance to actually try this I dont have any idea of what kind of performance to expect out of a 2S battery for this truck. Did you play with this option at all while you were testing?

Any information or advice you have to offer would be greatly appreciated and keep up the good work, I love the site!

Regards,

Brandon N.

Cubby- What’s up Brandon, thanks for the uber email.

We use a variety of batteries in the TT MT4, from Maxamps to Gens Ace to HobbyKing, we use all sorts. The vast majority of the time we run the MT4 on a 4S set-up. This gives tons of power, more than enough for wheelies, pizza cutters, and backflipping jumps. On 6S it’s just more of a good thing, crazy acceleration, more yank for going bigger on jumps etc. What we did not do was run the truck on 2S, our genetic make-up doesn’t allow us to drive something that slow.

As a very rough rule of thumb, 4S feels twice as fast as 2S, and 6S feels twice as fast as 4S. So in that case- 2S on the MT4 would feel about the speed of a bone stock brushed Traxxas Slash, which would not be horribly slow. When you get yours jam’n, hook up your 2S 5000 packs in parallel and let us know what you thought of the power output. I’d like to hear what kind of runtime you’d get on that set-up as well, my pure guess would be dern close to an hour.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of lunatics. Don’t forget- this Saturday is the way-uber-dope BigSquidRC Summer Kick Off Bash, be there or be forced to read about it on BigSquid the day after.

Submit your questions, rants, hate-mail etc to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com. If your email makes the front page you get some free BigSquid stickers, and if I select your email as the best of the month you’ll get a free T-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

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Posted by in Ask Cubby on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 10:58 am

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