Originally Posted by Danny/SMC
I have no racing experience with lipos versus sub-c cells so for thos who have tried it they need to tell us the difference.
I ran 3 hours of practice laps on rubber tires at a large outdoor track in mid-August this year with another racer. This was after having run an Enduro that day, so my batteries already had maybe 3 partial charge cycles apiece on them. I was using a Novak 10.5 with the standard sintered rotor and so was the other guy. I was using two IB4200 packs (1.5-1.7 IR, 1.241-1.243 V) purchased from Team Express at Paved Nats June 8th. I rested, discharged, equalized and recharged my IB's prior to running the practice session. The other guy was using Orion/Peak 3200 packs bought this season. We both had decent cars with smooth running drivetrains, and athough his was Tamiya and mine Corally, we were geared virtually the same (roughly 4.83 FDR).
We kept regrouping just before the back stretch every time we got apart. So we zipped down the backstretch over and over and over again, almost together. One following the other, back and forth. We had a great chance to see how our speeds compared.
With a fresh pack, I outpulled him by several feet (2-3 feet). Consistently enough we were sure I was faster.
After about a minute, the difference was pretty small. Maybe a foot in 100. It then evaporated and we were too close to tell. Sometimes I thought I was a little faster.
But as the run went on, I could tell I was losing ground. In a 5 minute race, I think it was almost too close to tell... I had the better hole shot, but he could pull me at the end.
This particular course is very open and flowing, 15' wide lanes, 120 x 70 or so.
When we have run at another track that is tighter and longer, there was more advantage to the LIPO. The NIMH2 seemed to fall off a little more. Of course they had another 2 months of runs on them. But the discharge curve of the LIPO clearly seemed flatter.
During the actual enduro, one of my teammates had an Orion 4800 LIPO. He went seemingly forever running his 13.5, way way longer than I could have, over 10 minutes, and with every bit as much punch as I think I had, until close to when he dumped, he finally fell off. Whereas my packs fell off much more markedly in comparison, slowing more and more through the run while pushing my 10.5 BL.
I never realized how much NiMH2 fell off in a race until I saw LIPO running. They fall off too, but the ones I have seen, do so much more gradually.
I realize it's not me running both types, but the subjective difference on the track was, although subtle, easy enough to pick up by watching the cars. Based on our club trophy races, I think in a race you could guess 2 out of 3 times (by watching) which drivers had LIPO and which drivers had NIMH2.
It would be interesting to compare the new 3600 to new 4600 cells. I imagine they are both pretty close when integrated over a 5 minute run, albeit with different discharge curves. Just a guess... actual test and track data would be nice....