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Posts Tagged ‘Venom Group


Hey Cubby~

So I figured I would come to the experts to get a real answer to my question. I purchased a Venom 8.4v 5000mAh 7-Cell for my Traxxas Slash last summer. I have probably run about 20 cycles thru it and suddenly the battery won’t take a charge anymore. I hook it up to my charger and it tells me it is full but when I put it into my slash it rolls a few feet then dies. I always follow the proper charging instructions and take good care of my batteries. I also use a nice charger for Lipo, NiMH batteries that I can control the power inputs. I am currently using the original Traxxas battery that came with the truck on the same truck and charger and it’s no problem. So the question is: Can I do anything to fix the battery like discharging it and recharging again or am I stuck with a dead battery?

Cubby- Congrats Sean, I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” thus entitling you to an uber new BSRC t-shirt. Shoot Brian your snail mail and shirt size for the hook-up.

So… you’ve got a Ni-MH that won’t charge anymore. If your other pack works fine and this one is having issues, yes, it sounds like one (or more) cells have gone bad in the pack, but lets try something first.

Is there any shot of reviving the bad pack? Probably not, but give this a try first. You say you’ve got a “nice charger”, lets hope it’s nice enough to have a discharge function. Attempt to discharge your bad pack at 5 amps, down to .8 volts per cell. Once the discharge is over and the pack has cooled, attempt to re-charge it, this time at a very slow rate, such as 1 amp. If the pack still refuses to charge, you can either attempt to isolate and discard the bad cell (or cells), or just call it a day and get a new pack.

Best of luck, enjoy your new uber shirt, and you should really think about upgrading to some Lipos.

Two simple questions

HPI do a couple of electric powered 1/5th scale models, the Baja 5B flux and the Super 5SC flux. How do they rate as bashers and which one is best?
Also, when are you reviewing the Thunder Tiger eMTA?

Cubby- Hey Gary, thanks for taking the time to shoot me an email, hit Brian up for your sticker pack.

Normally I dislike emails with the words “simple questions” in the title. Typically those mean hours of pondering and cursing. But… for perhaps the first time ever, yours are indeed simple to answer.

Are the HPI Baja 5B and 5SC Flux good bash machines? Pretty simple answer here, I have no idea, we’ve never reviewed them. The only 5th scale HPI we’ve reviewed was the original gas 5B, and it rocked. We still beat on our review 5B on pretty much a weekly basis. However, we don’t have either of the Flux 5th scalers in house, I’ll shoot out a request, but no promises if we’ll get them reviewed.

Next, when are we reviewing the Thunder Tiger eMTA? Well… we posted the unboxing pics back in March and have been reviewing it ever since. I haven’t been a part of that review, so Brian and Bill must really be going the extra mile on that one. I’ll crack the whip on them this weekend at our big Bash & Swap Meet in Orland Park to see if they can get that review wrapped up.

That’s it for this week, submit your questions and random rants to Cubby at If your letter hits the big-time you get a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as “Letter of the Month” you win a free t-shirt. Yay. If your email doesn’t get answered don’t write back flip’n out, my letter screener immediately deletes those, you are essentially wasting keystrokes, and really that’s my job.

YOUR Cub Reporter


Cubby – First off I would like to add some info/data to the answer I gave Dave B in last weeks ASK Cubby. Dave’s email basically said that “C” ratings on Lipo batteries seem to be a bit shady, and well, you need to read LAST WEEKS COLUMN to see how I replied.

A bit over a year we reviewed a Zeus 3S 850 mah Lipo pack. Our West Mountain CBA is fully capable of testing a pack of that size to its stated “C” rating, so of course we did just that. The pack was rated at 25C, which is 21.25 amps, and after testing the pack lived under that load. At 25C the pack exhibited a big horseshoe in the discharge curve, meaning it was being pushed to its limit, but otherwise it didn’t get too hot and lived to fight another day.
If anyone out there is looking for proof that not everyone lies about their “C” ratings, the Zeus pack we tested would make a good example. IMO a 25C continuous rating on that pack was in the ballpark, I would have considered it a rock solid 25C pack if there was no horseshoe in the discharge curve. When we dialed up the discharge rate to 30C (25.5 amps) the pack couldn’t take the load and dropped below 3 volts per cell immediately. HERE is the link for the review (with full graphs) that I am talking about.

But… a small capacity pack with a low “C” rating isn’t exactly what Dave was complaining about, so this week I broke out the West Mountain again. Yes, we’ve connected big loads to packs before, but we’ve never connected a big continuous load in a more controlled setting with the CBA. I took half of a 5000 mah 55C saddle pack and decided to go big with it, our West Mountain tops out at 120 amps continuous on a 1S/4.2 volt battery. So… what happened to our 1S 5000 55C Lipo under 120 amps continuous? It wasn’t good, LOL. The voltage immediately dipped below the 3 volt cut-off. By immediately I mean in less than 5 seconds. The curve looked like a cliff, the voltage went straight down to below the 3 volt cut-off. Also of note… I wired up the pack like it would be used in the real world, with 12 gauge wire and a Traxxas connector. The Traxxas connector got mildly warm, but the wire got straight up HOT (and I have a blister on one of my fingers to prove it). We knew the wiring was going to be the weak link in advance and our testing simply proved it. I then backed off the discharge to 100 amps with pretty much the same end result. Finally I dropped the load down to 80 amps where the pack behaved in a more “normal” manner, except the wire was still getting hot. The voltage dipped hard under 80 amps, but not below the cut-off value, and the battery itself stayed at a relatively low temp throughout the entire discharge. I am going to re-do the test later this week, this time with heavier wire and post the graphs in next weeks ASK Cubby. Is 120 amps continuous too much for the cells in a 5000 mah 55C Lipo or are they more than up to the task given heavy enough wiring? More info next week on this one.

Hello Bigsquid,
I have a brand new Slash, what is the first mod I should do? I was thinking a brushless system but don’t know what is a good brand.

Cubby- Yo what’s up Emilio, thanks for the email and mad props for the super easy question. I have a very clear cut first mod on the Traxxas Slash- new hinge pins. The stockers are made out of butter and like to work their way loose. Uber hinge pins are a relatively affordable mod that makes the truck more durable, easier to work on, and can improve the way it drives. They don’t add to the bling factor, but good hinge pins won’t bend and won’t back out, making them worth their weight in gold. I’ve used two different brands- Pro-Line and ST racing Concepts. The Pro-Line Set runs about $22 and are super easy to install. The STRC set sells for $18 and I’ve also had good luck with them. Both sets can also take a pretty intense beating. You can barely tap a pipe and bend the stockers while after slamming a cement curb the aftermarket pins remain straight as an arrow. Pick a set and install’em, you’ll be thanking me later.

The next hop-up/mod I would recommend wouldn’t be a brushless system either, it would be a good Lipo battery. Not only will a good Lipo give you more power and run-time, but having an extra battery around comes in really handy. Check out one a 2S Venom 5000 mah pack, they have good performance, don’t break the bank, and are readily available from most hobby shops.

That’s it for this weeks “ASK Cubby”, send your emails to Cubby at All letters that hit the big-time get a free sticker pack while the one I proclaim as “letter of the month” gets a free BSRC t-shirt.
YOUR Cub Reporter

Venom Pro Charger 2
Venom Group is introducing a new battery charger and a power supply for the summer bash season.

The new Venom Pro Charger 2 comes with an internal power supply and is capable of charging at up to 6 amps. Some of its other features include- can charge up to 6S Lipo, on-board balance block, fan cooled, five memory profiles, and comes with 9 of the most popular charge leads. The part number is #677, the street price is $69, and it is expect to hit hobby shop shelves in mid-May.

Venom PS 600 Power SupplyAlso new from Venom is their PS 600 Power Supply. This is a dual output unit that is constructed out of stamped steel. For power, the PS 600 is good for up to 40 amps (600 watts max) and it has an adjustable output of zero to twenty volts. A backlit LED screen makes it easy to read while a fan helps it to keep its cool. The part number is #0673, the street price is $199, and it has an expected release date of late May.

For more information on all of the fine products from Venom Group hit up THIS LINK.

Brian is doing his happy dance around the office today and that means only one thing, it’s Friday! How about a TGIF Mystery Link?


Hi my name is Bruin and I own a Helion Dominus 10r. I still have my stock 1800 mah battery in it and I read your latest lipo shootout. You had the Gens Ace 5800 2s lipo ranked first and I was interested in buying one. I have looked all over the internet and I can’t find any sites that sell them and if they do they are out of stock. Do you know where I could find one or any hobby shops that have them in stock?

I live in Rexburg, Idaho and they just got rid of the nearest Hobbytown USA to me in Idaho Falls so I pretty much have to order everything online now. If you could please reply I would greatly appreciate it. I would also accept any advice like a diffferent/better lipo I should get or any upgrades etc… Thanks

Cubby- Yo hey Bruin, sounds like you are having the same problem a lot of people are, not being able to find the Gens Ace pack they want in stock.

I’ve often said the biggest problem Gens Ace has is keeping their packs in stock. They put out a decent battery at a reasonable price point, but they’ve got a lot to learn about inventory management. So what should be your plan of action? Buy from someone else that has their act together and keeps their product in proper supply.

So what’s an affordable Lipo that is easier to actually lay your hands on? Venom. Venom has come a long ways with the quality of their batteries in recent years, and while they may not have won one of our shootouts, they are solid packs that will make your Helion M U C H faster than the included Ni-MH battery. Oh and even more importantly, it’s typically pretty easy to lay hands on one that suits your needs. Venom is carried by both of the “big two”, Hobbico and Horizon, so whether you are buying from an LHS (sucks to hear you lost yours) or buying on-line, the chances of finding what you need is much greater.

Squid Live #16
I don’t watch the show. it’s a bad timing kind of thing… but I did watch the re-run of #16 (couldn’t sleep and had nothing better to do). Thought I’d send a few comments, just to let you know, it didn’t lull me back to sleep, and that the nonsense is at least somewhat entertaining.

First off that Red Cat S-tryk-r, interesting idea for a rc vehicle, glad they finally got it to market, but couldn’t they have had somebody with some art or industrial design capability at least give them some clues about how something like this should look. Come on now, I mean – one word: UGLY! make that two words: STUPID UGLY! They can do good looking, you didn’t mention the Pagani Huayra, but it is a RedCat so I understand. Now belt drive is cool, it smooths out the shock to the drive train, yea it’s going to be a nightmare to work on but that’s just something that you would have to live with for a Canam style bike. Your only other option for a three wheeler would be a Mardave sidecar racer (spec racer – lame) or some Vaterra you guys are done bashing with (change that, the Vaterra would probably only have one wheel left).

As to bashing with a Corally… problem is after getting things good and wet the sand kicked up by the paddles tends to pack up on the belt and pulleys and before you know it the belt is all stretched out, corners rounded off and the belt starts slipping.


Cubby- Hey now TS, interesting email ya sent in.

Ya, our G+ shows can be interesting at times. At the very least they give us a bit of a chance to hang out face to face. While I may go on and on about meeting up in the uber BSRC offices, the staff is actually all over the place so we don’t really get to see each other that much. We meet up here and there for reviews and shootouts, we also meet up for trade shows and bash events, otherwise the work done here is via UPS and the net. Any time I get to give Brian or Adam crap I consider to be a good time.

I’m not a fan of RedCat. Every time I’ve been exposed to a RedCat vehicle first hand it was with a pile of soon to be rubble, and they haven’t been what I’d call “cordial” to us by any means, so what is there for me to like? That doesn’t mean that times have changed and their new gear is actually worth owning, and that doesn’t mean that they’ve decided to overlook the negatively I’ve written about them and want to hold out their hand to start over, who knows. What I do know is we don’t get any of their product for review, so even if it is quality gear we have no way of knowing it. And… I do know we’ve extended our hand by covering their booths at trade shows and by posting some of their press releases.

With that said, I like their S-TRYK-R. In fact several of the BSRC Bash Crew do. Why? It’s a matter of this- we’ve owned hundreds of cars over the years and are attracted to something completely new and different because we are bored of the “norm”. The S-TRYK-R might be a POS, but we’d actually put up with that if it was so different to own that it was a “new” experience for us.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of hooligans, shoot me your questions, doubts, best regards, and lightly veiled death threats to Cubby at If your question hits the front page Brian will shoot ya out a really cool sticker pack, if yours is named as “letter of the month” we’ll ship ya out one of our new BSRC

YOUR Cub Reporter

How to be a sponsored driver team Venom
Recently Venom team driver Chris Blais wrote an article on how to become a sponsored racer. He gives a bunch of tips on how you too can become a big name sponsored driver like he has for Venom. Be sure and click the “read more” button to read the article in its entirety, and hit THIS Link for more race news right here on BigSquidRC.

You have to look at it from a business perspective. Companies don’t want to give out discounts or free product if they don’t think they will get a return in some way. I use Facebook and also send out monthly Press Releases, along with a Press Release after each big event. My PR contains a race report from the event, YouTube videos of each main event with sponsor logos at the beginning and sponsor logos with links to their website. Each of our team sponsors use this content to advertise their product on their websites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc. The Blais Racing Services team reports are a lot more than what most people can do but it makes it much easier to get sponsored and keep your current sponsors happy.


THE Venom Medion Dual 10 amp Battery Charger Review

Venom Medion Dual 10 amp charger review

The battery charger wars have been raging hard lately and one of the hottest new chargers on the market is the Venom Medion Dual 10 amp. The Medion comes not only with all the “standard” features that a high end charger would include, but it “one-ups” the pack by having built in speakers. Are the speakers just a gimmick? Does the Venom provide a quality charge to your battery? And most importantly, is it worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out shall we…


Cubby at quadcopter shootoutHappy Monday everyone and welcome to another week in the wonderful world of hobby grade rc. Whether you work at a manufacture or an LHS, or you are simply a hardcore enthusiast, I hope you have a great week.

Brian’s favorite Supercross rider (lol), James “Bubba” Stewart, took the win last night (Saturday) in Hotlanta. Using his proven recipe of “holeshot then 20 perfect laps” Stew lead from gate drop to checkered flag. I’ve never been a big Bubba fan but even I was stoked to see him win last night. The wins came so easy early in his career, now they come so hard. I’d have to guess that the wins now days mean a whole lot more to him than they used to. Anyways, the SX circus rolls through St Louis Missouri this Saturday and the BigSquidRC crew will be there in force.

And on to rc…

Our first ever Quadcopter Shootout is going live this Tuesday. We pitting Traxxas against Heli-Max against Ares to find out which little quad was the best of the bunch. We’ve been flying (and crashing, and demo-derbying) the shootout quads for weeks finding out how they compared to each other, even if you aren’t in the market for one I hope you find the shootout interesting. Oh and yes, I’m 90% sure the winner will surprise you.

Also in BigSquidRC news- we are hiring account reps. Some of the qualifications required are- you have to be kick a$$, you have to be able to sell snow to an Eskimo, you gotta be service oriented, and lastly, you gotta be hardcore about rc. If you are all (or some) of those things don’t hesitate to shoot Brian an email (brian at BigSquidRC dot com). We are beyond slammed and seriously need the help.

It looks like ROAR decided their reputation hadn’t been slammed enough this year, so they put out information saying they’ll be using the new MyLaps RC4 system this year at most of the nats. To translate this to you guys that don’t follow racing- the new scoring system doesn’t work with all transponders, meaning some people will have to buy new transponders for the ROAR nats. This really doesn’t affect that many people, however, it certainly shows that ROAR is busy screwing around with the dumb stuff (and ticking off more ROAR members) instead of fixing its core problems.

Sorta on that note…

The SCT class is “our” great ambassador to noobs, outsiders and main-streamers, can’t we keep from ruining it?

JConcepts has been putting out some cool gear as of late for the bashing crowd, but, last week they announced their new “wheel dishes” for their scale short course rims. To translate this to the non-racer crowd- these are disc’s that pop into the wheel to make the scale looking JConcepts SCT wheel look more like the “dish”‘ wheels that “racer types” run at the track. I’m not gonna bag on JConcepts here, they are making the wheel dishes because the “racer crowd” wants to buy them. However, who I am going to bag on is ROAR. While they are screw’n around with wire diameters and transponders there is something more important on their plate- making rules to maintain the scale integrity of the short course truck class. Every day it seems a little more “liberty” is being taken on short course trucks, give it a few more years and they’ll look like UFO’s (just like every other class).

It is in ROAR’s (and the entire hobby’s) best interest to maintain the scale look of short course trucks (and SCB’s). ROAR has let the tires slide as they no longer look like anything authentic, the roof-lines on SCT bodies keep getting lower, and now dish wheels are trying to work their way into the class. For whatever unknown reason, racers still listen to ROAR, so they (ROAR) should be putting out rules to make sure SCT’s continue to look like their full scale counterparts. There is a place for “anything goes” tires, wheels, and bodies, but it is NOT the SCT class.


What’s going on at BigSquidRC this week? As mentioned earlier the Quadcopter shootout is going up on Tues, our review on the Venom Medion Dual Charger (the one with the speakers built in) will be going up on Thursday, and Brian should be posting a pretty cool car review this week as well. Oh and, as usual we’ll be doing our Google Plus LIVE show at 9PM CST on Wednesday night. Last week was our best show to date, I think we are finally getting that thing worked out.

That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Atomik V2MR Buggy Video
The new buggy from Atomik, their V2MR 10th scale 2wd buggy, has been teased for over a year now. To get you extra stoked on picking one up, Atomik has just released a new video featuring the V2MR. The video below showcases some of the excellent features of the buggy, and it has some nice action shots to boot. Check out the video to get your daily rc fix started, and hit up the Atomik Website for more information on the V2MR and all their other products.

Looking for more Atomik news? We have it, check right HERE.

metal mulisha rally car

We wanted to make sure and let everyone know the Atomik RC Brian Deegan Metal Mulisha 1/18th Scale Rally Car is on sale now! You can click HERE to visit the sale page!
It’s hard to beat $99 and FREE shipping on a vehicle we couldn’t destroy. And believe me, we tried.

We recently reviewed the Rally Car, and you can read the full review here.

Venom Stronghold 25 amp dc battery charger
Are we looking at the future of battery charging? The latest battery charger from Venom, the new Stronghold 25 Amp DC Charger, is not only quite powerful to get your Lipo’s charged quickly but also comes with the Stronghold battery containment system for added safety. Some of the key features include-

* IR-Mode, an internal resistance test to help evaluate your battery
* Backlit LCD screen makes the readout easy to see
* Up to 500 watts of charging power
* Up to 25 amp charge rate
* LED lights in the Stronghold Battery Containment Box make it easy to keep an eye on your battery
* Baffle in the box eliminates external charge or balance wires
* Accepts up to 26 volts DC of input
* Part #VNR0667

Street price is $199 and you can get more information on Venom’s Official Website.

Looking for more Venom/Atomik news? HERE is the link you want.

Venom Stronghold Solo Lipo Charge Box
Looking for a safe place to put your batteries while you charge them? If so Venom has announced their new Stronghold Solo Charge Box. The box is made out of stamped aluminum and features a self extinguishing polycarbonate window in the top so you can keep an eye on things inside. Some of the other features and specs include-

* Aluminum carry handle
* Designed for LiPO packs up to 60-watt hours
* Balance block has extra long leads
* Hinged lid with polycarbonate window for battery observation
* Rubber feet on bottom
* Positive snap latch makes it a great carrying case your Lipos
* Does not wear out like charge sacks can
* Part #VNR0672

Street price for the new Venom battery box is $60 but we have not received information on when they will be shipping. For more information on all of Venom’s fine products hit up their Official Website.

Looking for more Venom news? Click HERE for more Venom/Atomik news on BigSquidRC.


What say you? What is the best 2 wheel short course available right now?
Keep up the good work
George F.

Cubby- Hey what’s up George, thanks for the email and shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with a BigSquidRC sticker pack.

The word “best” is a very powerful word. Not that I’m going to skirt around the question, but the word “best” used in conjunction with short course trucks can have many different answers. For example, what is the best turning 2wd SCT? IMO it’s the Venom Gambler in mid-motor configuration. With proper tires and tuning nothing rails corners like the Venom can. What is the best overall handling 2wd SCT? For pure bashing I’d say the Slash, but for track use my vote would go to the Durango. For pure toughness, which is the best? IMO that would go to the ARRMA Fury. Which is the best value? My vote would go squarely to the Torment.

However… none of those “bests” mean a darn thing to you George, or any of our other readers out there. The only “best” you give a dern about is which of those trucks meets your criteria making it the best one for you and your specific needs. Your email you give me absolutely zero specifics to see how you would be using a new SCT, so I would highly recommend you read a bunch of our reviews and make your buying decision based on those.

But… as I attempt to never “dodge” a question, I will blindly say go for the ECX Torment if you are looking to save some bucks, or take home a new Durango DESC210 if you are looking for something for both bashing and track use. But those are just my personal picks, if you would ask one of the other guys sitting around the office I’m quite certain their picks would be different.

Hi Cubby,
I caught the bigsquidrc live show last night and I had to shoot your an email and say that was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Keep it real guys and thanks for taking rc talk to the next level.

Cubby- Hey Henry, thanks for the props on the show. It wasn’t ment to be uber polished, nor some super high buck production, what it was ment to be was just some good ole’ laid back rc bench racing, and I hope it came across that way. Well actually, I hope it was at least worth your time and kept you interested for at least 10 minutes.

First off, expect us to be doing more “BigSquidRC Live” shows each Wednesday evening, for at least a few more weeks to sort out if they are truly worth doing or not. So if you haven’t already made plans, make them now for next Wednesday evening 12/5. It might be at 10 pm CST, but we are also considering 9 pm CST to make it easier on our East Coast viewers.

We had talked for a long time about doing a podcast, but I rarely listen to them. In fact most of our guys don’t listen to podcasts as they take up a lot of time and most come across as boring. We had also talked about doing something video related, but that also sort of fell short of what we were looking to do.

Then… the Google Plus Hangout technology came along, and with most of us being “tech” types we latched onto it. We’ve had a blast over the past few weeks using the technology and we were hoping you guys would enjoy watching us goof around while doing some rc talk. The G+ tech also allows for soooo many possibilities in the future, the current set-up is cool, but I think it will really come to fruition when our readers can join in live on cam as well. Full live video chat between us and our readers is ultimately the goal I think.

We’ll be trying out a bunch of stuff in the coming weeks, everyone please shoot us an email telling us what you think is working, what is worth watching, and what’s not. I think as long as we are all having fun it will be entertaining. Yes certainly its needs some polish, and none of the BSRC staffers are models nor incredible speakers. But… what we are is average Joes just like most of our readers, and I think that relationship can make the “BigSquidRC Live” concept really take off.

That’s it for this week folks, shoot me your questions, rants, rants, or anything else in that deviant mind of yours to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com! If your question makes the bigtime on the front page you’ll get a free sticker pack, if I proclaim your email as “email of the month” we’ll totally hook you up with a free BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Venom RC Lipo Battery
Are you a new user of Lipo batteries, or maybe you have been using them for years and are looking learn more on how they actually work? The crew over at Venom Group have started a series of articles full of good information on Lipo batteries called Battery Boot Camp. Hit up THIS link to head over to the official Venom blog and start learning more than you ever wanted to know about Lipo batteries.

TGIF, interested in a BigSquidRC Mystery Link? If you are feeling extra bold try THIS ONE.