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Different battery types for RC cars

So you are looking to buy batteries but you have no idea what saddle, stick, shorty, square or block means? At first, it can be a little intimidating but once you get the hang of it you will notice it’s not that weird at all.

We are lucky to have as large sanctioning bodies IFMAR, ROAR and EFRA who also make up the rules for racing. This means hard case batteries have standardized max sizes – all race brands will have the same size battery compartments for their cars. Traxxas does not follow the standards in all of its cars so with themyou need to be extra careful. TLR, TeamC, Team associated, Tekno, Yokomo, just to name a few, use standardized sizes, too.

Stick Pack

This size is derived from the old NiMh times when 6 cells where used. It’s roughly 139 mm long and 25 mm high and the width is 46 mm.

It most cars, such as 2wd buggys and short course trucks. Touring cars also utilize this size.

Saddle Pack

This size comes from the old 6 cell configuration where they used 3 cells on each side of the car. One saddle is half the length of a stick pack, meaning you can put 2 saddles in a row to form a stick pack.

4wd buggy and short course trucks are the most used cars for this type. Also the new mid motor 2wd buggies prefer this configuration.

Saddles can also be put side to side to form a square also known as block battery. This is the configuration we see in many mid motor 2wd cars.

Shorty Pack

Shorty packs are stick packs but they are shorter, usually a little under 100 mm long. They have slightly less punch and capacity as their volume is smaller but they are 100 g lighter and make for plenty tuning options for off-road cars. A very popular battery lately. A Shorty battery is also as long as 2 saddles are wide. This means that shorties can be used instead of saddles/square/block batteries to give the car even more tuning options.

Square/Block Pack

It’s a relatively new form factor. Reedy calls them Square while Team Orion calls them block. The idea is that if you always run saddles next to each other you can have a better performing battery if you run a block battery as saddles have quite poor performance compared to the other form factors due to the battery being in 2 different cases.

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