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Old 12-01-2007, 12:04 PM   #46
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When EPs came into the market there cell didn't have the performance needed to compete. In the past 6 months they have stepped it up so now you can race them and be competitive. Racers will typically buy what they feel will give them the best ontrack performance. Competition amongst cell manufacturer has its good side and bad side. The good side is that pricing will stay low. When GP was the only cell used in racing we got 3 price increases in 18 months. The total increase was .90 cents per cell which was a huge increase percentage wise. The bad thing about competition is that each company is trying to make the fastest cell as they know racers will want to use the fastest cell. The downside to this is that reliabilty can or will suffer. I think manufacturers understand that reliability needs to be better and think things are going in a positive direction.


As I know some of the pro Lipo guys will read this I believe that once Lipos become legal for high end racing then the issues we have seen with sub-c cells will repeat itself and instead of having an issue with 50-70 dollar sub-c pack it will be 120-150 dollar lipo pack. My reasoning behind this is that there is way more lipo manufacturers than sub-c manufacturers and once they understand that RC car racing is all about perforamance they will try to make lipos that run faster on the track to have an edge over they other manufacturer and this will be at the expense of reliability and possibly saftey.


Bottom line is racing is about going as fast as possible within the rules. There has been classes in the past to try and make everyone the same speed but those classes never seem to workout.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:36 PM   #47
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As I know some of the pro Lipo guys will read this I believe that once Lipos become legal for high end racing then the issues we have seen with sub-c cells will repeat itself and instead of having an issue with 50-70 dollar sub-c pack it will be 120-150 dollar lipo pack. My reasoning behind this is that there is way more lipo manufacturers than sub-c manufacturers and once they understand that RC car racing is all about perforamance they will try to make lipos that run faster on the track to have an edge over they other manufacturer and this will be at the expense of reliability and possibly saftey.
I worry about this too. I think in order for LiPo to be appropriate for competitive R/C racing (not bashing) we're going to need spec cell rules, or a limited number of allowable cells. One nice thing that's been observed with LiPo is that cells from the same manufacturer, especially quality sources have had very similar performance from one cell to the next. This could potentially eliminate the need for matching.

If I were a race organizer looking to allow LiPo at a big race, I would pick one cell from one company. Right now, due to safety, I'd pick the Orion 3200 pack. The cells are safe, and while they have lower voltage than other LiPo, if everybody is running them, voltage is completely arbitrary. I would make sure that tech checks the voltage of the cells before a race, and if anybody was caught overcharging them, they would be ejected from the entire event.

Anyway, sorry to talk LiPo in this thread, it wasn't my intention at all, but I felt like I should respond to your comment. I agree with your statements, and share your concerns, but I believe they can be easily controlled with rules. I realize those rules aren't friendly to battery companies/matchers, but in my mind, it seems like a great way to even the playing field, allow people to enjoy the convenience of LiPo, and reduce some of the headaches associated with racing. As for expense, a single pack could probably be used for an entire event, and those 3200 packs are easily found for under $100, which is surely cheaper than most existing battery budgets for big races.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:48 PM   #48
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You can't limit it one companies Lipo as then it becomes spec racing and you need to limit it to one motor, one car and so on. One of the cool things about RC racing is that there are many options and things you can try and buy.

If racers wanted more reliable sub-c cells we should of made it that only one company like Sanyo made only nicads for our the RC car market. The problem is that as soon as something new comes out some tracks will allow it and then it becomes popular and then the sanctioning bodies allow it.


I'm not sure that only having one option for anything is good.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:54 PM   #49
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You can't limit it one companies Lipo as then it becomes spec racing and you need to limit it to one motor, one car and so on. One of the cool things about RC racing is that there are many options and things you can try and buy.

If racers wanted more reliable sub-c cells we should of made it that only one company like Sanyo made only nicads for our the RC car market. The problem is that as soon as something new comes out some tracks will allow it and then it becomes popular and then the sanctioning bodies allow it.


I'm not sure that only having one option for anything is good.
Spec racing is good for racers, but bad for companies. I mean, does anybody really want to go away from spec rubber tires? Doubt it.

I see your point, and being overly spec could be a bad thing. But, if something gets too out of control, going spec might be the only choice to preserve racing. It seems like a majority of racers prefer certain things to be spec, so it might be a tough battle fighting against that.

It'll be interesting to see how things go. I hope a happy medium can be reached for racers and racing businesses.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:29 PM   #50
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Default GP cells increased 90 cents per cell

90 cents * 6 cells = $5.40

If everything else is the same, you can simply raise the price of the packs by $5.40. If you are selling a team pack for $60, that is $10/cell. Giving this example as evidence to allow as many battery companies as possible into the game results in the current issues with nimh cells, and doesn't result in the cost of packs going down.

IB cells were never as reliable or durable as gp cells (gp3300 vs IB3800,4200,etc) and with brushless motors gaining more and more market share (brushless is much more efficient), maybe the battery industry should go back to a lower capacity, more durable cell.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #51
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90 cents * 6 cells = $5.40

If everything else is the same, you can simply raise the price of the packs by $5.40. If you are selling a team pack for $60, that is $10/cell. Giving this example as evidence to allow as many battery companies as possible into the game results in the current issues with nimh cells, and doesn't result in the cost of packs going down.

IB cells were never as reliable or durable as gp cells (gp3300 vs IB3800,4200,etc) and with brushless motors gaining more and more market share (brushless is much more efficient), maybe the battery industry should go back to a lower capacity, more durable cell.
This is a good point. maybe a GP3700 again.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:58 AM   #52
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90 cents * 6 cells = $5.40

If everything else is the same, you can simply raise the price of the packs by $5.40. If you are selling a team pack for $60, that is $10/cell. Giving this example as evidence to allow as many battery companies as possible into the game results in the current issues with nimh cells, and doesn't result in the cost of packs going down.

IB cells were never as reliable or durable as gp cells (gp3300 vs IB3800,4200,etc) and with brushless motors gaining more and more market share (brushless is much more efficient), maybe the battery industry should go back to a lower capacity, more durable cell.
People who have never run a Company, with responsibilities to employees and customers, always say things like this. Please accept that it is nothing like a simple as this.

Somewhere above, Danny talked about stopping his business because he didn't want to sell unreliable cells to his customers. Then, he has employees wages, price increases, etc. to deal with. If there was one supplier, there would be much more than 90c per cell - remember Ma Bell before she was broken up - and there could be the chance to restrict supply - remember Sanyo-only times when Trinity/Associated had distribution agreements - as well as restrict the best cells to others. If it were only as simple as raising the sale price by $5.40...

I agree with Danny on the LiPo issues, and hope that some form of safety-related rules will be put in by the powers that be. I still don't know what the LiPo voltage is under load, so it looks highly likely that NiMh (1.23v x 6 under load = 7.38v against 7.4v nominal at beginning of charge, falling to 6v) will be very competitive, and probably have an edge on performance.

For those who like the convenience of LiPo, there will be great days driving to be had. For those who want a great day's racing, I suspect that NiMh will be around for some time to come!

Any numbers on those Ener-G 4600s yet Danny??
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:02 AM   #53
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Yes so the increase per pack was 5.40 in 18 months 4 years ago and with the rising costs of the raw materials going up 200% in the last 2 years I'm sure the price would have gone up more than .90 cents per cell in the last 4 years. Bottom line having only one company supplying the RC racing industry isn't really good as they can dictate the price they want.


Another thing I have noticed since IB has become the cell of choice is that there is an abundance of great cells on the market which means the average racer paying his way to a major race has access to packs that are as good in voltage as the top guys. When we did GP and before that Sanyos there was a bigger fluctuation in average voltage and IR than what we see now with IB. This meant that when there was a batch of cells that had better voltage and lower IR these were often kept for team drivers. Now with IB cells we will only save packs a few weeks prior to a major race as we know that every lot will always have plenty of good voltage cells as every cell within a lot are very close.
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:10 AM   #54
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Not sure on numbers yet as our first lot of cells is only due in this week. From what we have seen from the test cells we hope our high end race packs will be 440+ with 1.23+ voltage. We will figure out what we put in our race packs and Economy packs once we have matched the first lot.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:28 AM   #55
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Default cell price went up by $.90, pack by $5.40

That's why I said, If All Else Is Equal. If there is an investment in the cells, then add the interest costs to the $5.40 . The dollars to process the cells stay the same whether you are matching $3 cells or $4 cells, right?

Everyone says that competition reduces the price of batteries. How come batteries are still at the $60 price for a team pack (the same as the last 10 years,) when everyone was saying that the raw IB cells were cheaper? Answer -> higher profit for matchers, because using more expensive cells would eat at the profits, and raising the price of packs would decrease sales (probably not the high end packs, but the mainstream packs.)

Sub-C cells were used in power tools and other devices, which is where the market came from. The r/c percentage of sub-c cells compared to power tools was minimal. If the price went up by 90 cents, I am sure it reflects the increasing cost of raw materials (nickel for example,) and not a whim by GP to alienate the power tool industry.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:03 PM   #56
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I admire the certainty of your argument, Bill - just don't share the sentiments.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:22 PM   #57
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That's why I said, If All Else Is Equal. If there is an investment in the cells, then add the interest costs to the $5.40 . The dollars to process the cells stay the same whether you are matching $3 cells or $4 cells, right?

Everyone says that competition reduces the price of batteries. How come batteries are still at the $60 price for a team pack (the same as the last 10 years,) when everyone was saying that the raw IB cells were cheaper? Answer -> higher profit for matchers, because using more expensive cells would eat at the profits, and raising the price of packs would decrease sales (probably not the high end packs, but the mainstream packs.)

Sub-C cells were used in power tools and other devices, which is where the market came from. The r/c percentage of sub-c cells compared to power tools was minimal. If the price went up by 90 cents, I am sure it reflects the increasing cost of raw materials (nickel for example,) and not a whim by GP to alienate the power tool industry.
Oh, if it were that easy. Did you hear him say that the price of raw materials (in this case nickel) have risen 200%? To have an increase in raw material costs that drastic, while still maintaining the same price equates to much more than a simple price reduction. All of you who cry about matchers making all the money-PLEASE STOP. The battery business is certainly no picnic. The market is constantly changing. Profits are low for the amount of time it takes to process a cell. Competition is fierce. And the first thing racers blame if they dump or go slow is the battery. Forget overgearing or poor setup, it was those packs that ran "flat" that cost me a spot in the main.(That and the four wrecks where you helicoptored through the infield).
Anyway...no love for the matchers.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:03 PM   #58
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Oh, if it were that easy. Did you hear him say that the price of raw materials (in this case nickel) have risen 200%? To have an increase in raw material costs that drastic, while still maintaining the same price equates to much more than a simple price reduction. All of you who cry about matchers making all the money-PLEASE STOP. The battery business is certainly no picnic. The market is constantly changing. Profits are low for the amount of time it takes to process a cell. Competition is fierce. And the first thing racers blame if they dump or go slow is the battery. Forget overgearing or poor setup, it was those packs that ran "flat" that cost me a spot in the main.(That and the four wrecks where you helicoptored through the infield).
Anyway...no love for the matchers.
In the same token if it was so bad and you made so little money you would quit doing it.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:07 PM   #59
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gotta ge me some of these cells, almost identical to my paint scheme
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #60
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In the same token if it was so bad and you made so little money you would quit doing it.
I see Express in your signature....How about you call Tag and ask him how much money he is making on matching batteries....I can tell you the same thing....NOT MUCH! There have been 4 smaller matchers shut down in the past month alone. People have this vision that RC companies make hundreds of thousand's of dollars....Simply no where near true....

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