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Basic Battery Advice

First of all, hi everybody!

I recently started my Nerf collection and got into it in a big way. A few of the blasters are in poor shape and could do with some love which I'm looking forward to getting on with, but some of the advice on here, Reddit and Nerfhaven about LiPo, Li-ion, and NiMH is all a little overwhelming. So... A question about batteries.

Among my collection, I have a Havok Fire and Stampede, which both need new batteries. I'd rather not be buying all those D Cell batteries if I can get something rechargeable and somewhat futureproof instead.

What type of battery should I be looking at for the above blasters if, at present, I'm currently using stock motors?

Thanks and sorry if this is a bit too simple a question!

Both of those will run off a 7.2v-8.4v Nimh pack, airsoft type sub c cell ones are best as they are small or any 1000mah + 7.4v 2s lipo. I would buy an Accucell S60 mains  charger and a cheap 2s Lipo from hobbyking, plus some wire and XT60 connectors.
If you leave the thermosistor alone and just add a pack connector to the main wiring loom by snipping off where it meets the battery tray then you can eliminate the D Cells.
DO NOT for ANY REASON use 14500 or AA size cells in adaptors. They are NOT SUITABLE for ether if these applications no matter what sone people may tell you. Anyone who says "use IMR" is likewise to be ignored. Don't waste time and money on larger IMR cells like 18650, NimH will be vastly superior if you have Lipophobia.
Both those blasters really benefit from rewiring.

Ok that's really great, thank you. Interesting that you specifically mention the 14500's in adaptors, as the guide I'd almost settled on following before coming here suggested exactly that.

At some point I was planning on completely sorting out the wiring and motors of both blasters anyway so it's good to know I'll see a benefit there. I can't remember the last time I did anything like this though, so will probably be scouring YouTube for videos!

Welcome to the forum!

As above packs are the way to go, 14500 cells (LiCo or IMR) don't have the current output required to power more than two low-power 130 motors let alone a relatively high power RS360 motor. In most cases I'd recommend LiPo but given the amount of space in the battery tray of both the Havok Fire (aka Vulcan) and Stampede NiMH would be a perfectly serviceable option if lithium chemistries worry you.

If you're looking to maintain close to the standard RoF, and don't intend to replace the springs (the gearboxes are prone to breaking at more than a modest increase in spring load), then you'll probably want to stick to 2S (7.4V) LiPo or 6-cell (7.2V) NiMH packs. 6 D cells gives a nominal 9V but under any reasonable sort of load those alkaline cells will sag a fair way below that. If you want a small bump in RoF and/or you'll be replacing the springs at some point, with stiffer aftermarket springs, then an 8-cell(9.6V), 9-cell (10.8V) or 10-cell (12V) NiMH pack, or 3S (11.1V) LiPo pack, are all reasonable options (you have a little more granular choice over pack voltage, and therefore RoF, with NiMH, and the chemistry overall is more stable, but the packs are significantly larger and heavier than the equivalent LiPo).

In most cases, unlike flywheelers, there's no need to replace the motors in a Stampede or Havok Fire but a rewire with a decent thick gauge wire and high-current switchgear (or relay) is still highly recommended - if nothing else it removes unnecessary points of resistance and potential points of failure. If you did want to replace the motor in each the RS380SH-4535 and Graupner Speed 400 (6V version - you can run it above 6V though) are both good options. They are both round-can 380 motors, as opposed to the round-can 360s used in Stampedes and Havok Fires, so are a little longer and the shell may need some trimming to fit them. The Stampede and Havok Fire use a  motor. The closest equivalent I have specs for is the RS360SH-3560 motor which has the same wind but stronger magnets (specs for that, along with the 4535, Speed 400 and the 130/180 size flywheel motor options, can be found here - the RS360PH-3560 will be slightly faster than that and produce slightly less torque but stall current should be pretty much the same).

Also if you buy your parts from Blastersmiths they have some great kits for the Stampede and simple video guides, all linked from the sales listing on their site.
You will quickly learn that many "mod guides" are at best low rent rubbish and at worst potentially dangerous wastes of money.
Read, look at the excellent technical advice offered by experienced members like SSGT, all backed with real performance testing and sound engineering, then keep asking questions about anything that isn't explained to your liking.
Any mod guide or spring sold without test results should be considered suspect.

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