Where to get new EX/ES 18-12

We just had 7 of our batteries tested and 6 came back BAD. We were wondering where to get the batteries other then direct from Exide back east. We checked around the LA area and no one has them in stock. Does anyone have any recommendations where to buy new ones in LA? If not does anyone have any batteries that we can borrow for the LA regional this weekend?

Travis, two comments. When you say bad, what do you mean, you had them load tested and they wont keep a charge? Also last time i checked, you could only purchase these batteries directly through the Manchester or Nashua store. I will link the order form for the batteries and i suggest you give them a call, maybe they can next day ship them to the venue in C/O your team.

FIRST Robotics Batteries Plus Order Form

We were having issues with voltage drop so we took the batteries to a local motorcycle shop and had them tested. They told us they were bad and needed to be replaced.


Travis, Kirk, et al,

We have been doing FIRST for 11 years now. Since we went to the SLA batteries in 1998 (or was it 97) we have only had three failures. Two of the three failures was physical and only one would not hold a charge. We have over 20 batteries now of which 8 are the new EX/ES (grey case).

We get about 20 minutes of practice from a battery and a minimum of 3 competition (2 minute) rounds (we limit to 2 rounds during actual competitions).

Be advised that the reason that IFI/FIRST incorporated a NiCAD backup battery is that teams were experiencing voltage drop issues (logic reset during competition) with brand new batteries a few years ago as the current draw from the kit motors increased. This phenomena will occur with any and all FIRST batteries and is inherent to the battery design.

I am extremely skeptical of your results from this motorcycle shop.

Could you give more information as to the nature of your voltage drop problem?



Mike and Travis,
There may be an issue with a new Exide battery. We call it infant mortality but this is something new this year. It is too early to tell if there is a problem or if some other paranormal activity is involved. Could you please record the date code and any other data you can on the batteries. This is an unusual problem where six batteries show up bad. You are sure the battery charger is ok. The batteries were not heating up during charge.

For all teams,
When ordering batteries from some vendors, they may give you their house equivalent, not an EX or ES battery. Although these batteries are fine for practice, they may not be allowed for competition. If they should arrive in a black case or have something other than ES18-12 or EX18-12 as a part number, they may violate rule…
5.3.5 Electrical System Rules
<R46> The only legal main source of electrical energy on the robot is one of the two 12v DC non-spillable lead acid batteries provided in the Kit of Parts, or a spare of the same part number. The 7.2v “backup” battery is considered an integral part of the Robot Controller, and may not be used for any other purpose. The only 12V battery that may be used on your robot during competition (Friday and Saturday) is the Exide model ES18-12. (Additional ES18-12 batteries may be purchased through your local Exide supplier.) You
may use other equivalent 12V batteries during Thursday practice rounds.