ASK Cubby – No Questions, Simple Connector Talk
This week ASK Cubby is going to be different. Over on our Facebook Group, Dan posted a link to an article titled “A Critical Look: Traxxas’ Connector Crisis”, and it sounds I am supposed to respond to it. So it here goes…
First off, the article is really long. And by long, I mean longer than a paragraph. That is too long for me, because yes, I am just that lazy in my old age. However, I did give it the old college try and read perhaps half of it (blatant lie, I read maybe 10%, cold Dom should never be left waiting).
The article talks about Traxxas changing the distribution of their connectors. I have no idea, I haven’t asked about it, or even Googled it. The person who wrote the article states that this will hurt our hobby because this tends to force people to buy Traxxas battery packs.
Hummmm… What I do know is the new Traxxas iD connectors are quite esoteric. They have a chip inside that Traxxas chargers can read (their original connectors did not have a chip). The chip tells the charger all the info it needs to Safely charge a lithium based pack. If I owned an rc company, and I was going to sell lithium based packs and chargers to anyone and everyone with a couple hundy in their pocket, I would go that route too.
Listen, I hang around a lot of bashers now days. I have literally seen people mash the keys on their charger and walk away. If I were going to sell packs and chargers, I would not want all the money that I worked so hard to earn going to some settlement because some knuckle dragging idiot high on weed charged one of my packs as a NiMH. So iD connectors, I get why they exist, and I get why Traxxas would want to push them. If you are only using iD connectors with an iD charger, it is pretty much impossible to have a problem with charging. Even if you are a first day noob or you are Mr Joe Blow high on Snoop Dog’s finest chronic.
I have really no idea here, as I’ve said, I have not talked to anyone at Traxxas about their connectors, but my guess is they are trying to get away from their old connectors entirely. The old connectors don’t have the chip, therefore they can’t tell your charger the capacity of the pack being charged, and therefore there could always be some user error associated with them. But… I would doubt Traxxas would want to sell blank iD connectors that would need to be programmed. I know I wouldn’t. I would not want Mr Weed King Joe Blow programming a raw iD connector. A single error in programming pack data could easily lead to thermal runaway while charging. The full proof way is to only have that style of connector come on the pack pre-programmed.
Ya, so a lot of you might be wanting me to burn Traxxas to the ground over this one, but in this case, they are just doing something innovative, something we’ve never seen in this industry, and I am not personally against it. And yes, Absolutely Traxxas is an advertiser of ours, but that has no bearing whatsoever on what we EVER say about them. Goodness knows I’ve flipped out on them enough in the past, and will again in the future should they put out something of poor quality, but I simply don’t feel that way on their connectors.
What I do have a big problem with is the amount of different connectors on the market. Remember wayyy back in the day when 80% of people used Tamiya and the rest used Power Poles or Deans? Those were the easy days! Now days, you have Horizon shipping cars with two different connectors, Hobbico with another, 2 different sizes of Castle, Deans, TRX, straight bullets, dozens of different Asian based connectors, etc, etc, etc. The list is insane. There is a lot of money in the connector market, so I can see why everyone wants in on it. However, at the same time, when the ONLY charge leads we use now days are alligator clips and virtually nobody can just borrow a friend’s pack because it always has a different connector, it should tell the industry there are just too many choices on the market.
Lastly… there are just so many other big problems with the hobby at the moment, that while important, connectors aren’t even in the top 10. Heck, I wish connectors were one of the biggest problems in our hobby. With companies going out of business left and right, maybe we should all be stoked that Traxxas is doing something to ensure their doors are still open 20 years from now, even if it is inconvenient for some users.
There ya have it, another ASK Cubby is in the books. Yup, you can always email me- thecubreportrc at gmail dot com. I will read your email at some point, or at least part of it, or at the very, very least, I will glance at the title before having an intern delete it (so make the title worth opening).
YOUR Cub Reporter