Big Squid RC – News, Reviews, Videos, and More!

For Bashers, By Bashers!
Recent Reviews
Desktop Calendar
Big Squid RC Calendar
Like us on Facebook
Big Squid RC Channel
Big Squid RC YouTube Channel

Ask Cubby’ Category

Cubby

Hey Cubby,
So what does the BSRC crew have planned for this summer? New vehicles to buy? Exotic vacations anywhere? New tracks or bash spots to visit?

As for me, I’ve decided to try something different and out of my comfort zone…..aircraft (gasp!)….specifically helicopters. There seems to be more
aircraft rc clubs (airfields included) than car/truck clubs in my area. So that just gave me the perfect excuse to go try helicopters and mingle in with the
clubs.
Well, I hope I don’t crash too much…hope you guys are having a good summer so far.

Joe

Cubby- Hey what’s up Joe?

I’m not a big helicopter fan but a lot of people are, maybe with enough ribbing we can get Brian (aka- Brain) to start up an uber rc heli site? Oh, and I hear he has a heli review on the way in the next couple weeks.

What is the BSRC crew up to? I am spending the week in Nebraska at the Hobbytown USA national convention and leave Friday for the AMA Motocross National in Millville Minnesota. Brian (aka- Brain) has been working his butt off and I hear he may be doing a bash-fest put on by Slot-N-Wing in Champaign Illinois this weekend. Adam “The Intern” has been busy mopping the floors and polishing our marble floors to a high sheen. Jeff left to go make some major cash, freak’n slacker. Tim “The Pro Racer Guy” is doing the J-Concepts race in Fort Dodge Iowa this weekend racing our STRC fortified Losi Ten SCTE and our test Losi SCB. And lastly, I hear Evan is about to start a series of hop-up articles on our test Axial Wraith. In general, BSRC has blown up the last year and quite frankly we are all way busier than we prefer to be.


Cubby
I have been given two used Orion lipo batteries. The lipos are a couple years old and I am not sure if they are good anymore is there some way to find out?
Roger W.

Modesto CA

Cubby- Thanks for the email Roger, what’s up in Modesto (one of my fav spots in California)?

How can you tell if a used Lipo battery is any good?
The first thing to check is- if the pack has vented internally (puffed). This means actually feeling the battery with your hand, it should not feel “squishy”. If it feels squishy or expanded consider it garbage.

The second thing to check is voltage, preferably of each cell independently. Each individual cell should read between 3 volts and 4.2 volts, so… between 6 volts and 8.4 volts on a 2S pack. You can measure cell voltage with a good charger or with a multimeter/VOM. You don’t want to see a vast difference in voltage between each cell either. For example if one cell is 3.5 volts and the other is 4 volts I’d be wary of using the pack.

Third thing to check is capacity. Capacity is measured during discharge at a 1C rate. If your used Orions were originally rated at 4000 mah, but now only tests out at 2000 mah on a 4 amp discharge, the pack is likely bad or worn out (and certainly won’t give you much runtime). You would like to see at least 3000 mah out of a used 4000 pack. If you have a good charger with a discharger built in you should be able to perform a capacity check with it, otherwise you’ll want to invest in a West Mountain CBA discharger (about $150, and worth every penny if you plan on staying in the hobby for more than a few months).

Fourth thing to check is voltage under load. If you put a reasonable load on the pack (lets say 15 amps) and the pack voltage drops below 3.5 volts per cell, most likely the pack is no longer any good. The best way to check this is with the West Mountain CBA I mentioned above.

If your used packs breeze past those four tests they should be good to go. If they don’t pass the four tests above do not hesitate to pitch the packs and buy new, better safe than sorry.


That’s it for this week ya maniacs, shoot me an email at Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!
YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Dear Cub Reporter
Why do I never see any Tamiya product on Bigsquid? Like your site but would like to see more Tamiya on it.
Shaun H.
Asheville, North Carolina

Cubby- Hey what’s up Shaun?

So… why don’t we have more Tamiya on our site? Easy- they have zero working relationship with us. We rarely get press releases from them, nor do they send us anything to test, therefore Tamiya has virtually no presence on our site. Arguably, Tamiyas product is targeted right at our core readers, making it all the more baffling to me why they chose not to have some sort of relationship with us.

Worldwide Tamiya is still a tour de force, and in certain regions of America they are still huge. Currently their product line focuses more on the past than the present or future, which is fine as it’s quite obvious Tamiya is still a huge company, but it makes me wonder how much money they are leaving on the table by not putting out more new product. I also wonder how much market share they are losing by not being more of a presence on internet sites like BSRC.

So when might you see more Tamiya on BSRC? We’ve tried our best to work with them to no avail. Looks like it’s in our readers hands now, if you want to see more Tamiya here, shoot’em an email and let them know what’s up.


And here’s one stolen from Brian’s email box… (and why does everyone spell Brian’s name “Brain” not “Brian”? Does everyone think he is that smart? Admittedly he’s no dummy, but still. LOL)

hoping you could offer some assistance….:)

Good afternoon Brain,

I really enjoyed reading your review about the “Caster Fusion EX 1” might be an older review as they have updated the kit since then. But I’ve happened to come across the 1st version and I ran into the same problems as stated in your review.

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place which is why I’m writing, hoping you could shed a little light. I too am having trouble mounting a decent motor. I purchased a Mamba Monster/ESC combo and the motor can was too long as it hit the steering assembly as stated in your article, but in your review, you were able to make one fit …… am I missing something? Is there another mamba monster motor that is shorter? I returned the mamba combo for a store credit but now finding a good motor/esc combo is something of a mission? Is there another Shorter Motor that will fit that you could recommend with an ESC? One which has enough power to handle this buggy?

2nd I installed the Futuba S3305 High end servo and now noticed I have to set my Futaba 3PM (3) channel Trans to reverse to make work properly? If I flip it, the turnbuckle will not fit as there is not enough room to move freely or make smaller to work properly.

Was this a problem with this buggy when it first came out? I haven’t got that far yet but does my 3PM (3) channel have separate normal and reverse settings for steering & throttle??? This way I can have the steering set to reverse and throttle to normal? I’m trying my best to work the problems out but could use some advise. It seems to be a solid kit but why these challenges?

Thank You for taking the time to read my thoughts, anything you could offer would really be appreciated
Kind Regards
Gary C.
Boston MA

Cubby- Hello there Gary, thanks for taking the time to write in.

About motor size in the Caster Fusion- the first Castle system you bought must have included the 1515 1Y 2200 kv motor which is an extremely tight fit. The system you want is the Castle Monster system that comes with the 1512 1Y 2650 kv motor. The motor included in the 2650 system is significantly shorter, still has crazy power, and is an excellent fit. I’m trying to remember off the top of my head, but I think we ran either a 13 or 15 tooth pinion on the 2650 in our Fusion (while using a pair of 2S Lithium batteries wired in series), go with the smallest one you can get to mesh up.

About your Futaba 3PM transmitter- yes, it has the ability to have the steering reversed and the throttle normal, or vice versa (as does every transmitter). Transmitters must have this capability to accommodate the vast differences of servo’s, speedo’s, motors, and the directions they are mounted. It is not unusual to have to reverse the steering and/or throttle settings on the transmitter to make your car work properly.

Why all these challenges? Haha, that’s part of the fun of it, part of learning about your new hobby. Nothing in our hobby is nearly the rocket science some of the forums might make you believe. If you don’t know how to fix something on your car, read the manual and give it your best shot. If that doesn’t work, give it your second best shot. If you mess something up, parts are cheap, but the lessons you learn are very valuable.

A quick note about our test Caster Fusion- we are still driving it at bashes and demo’s. I attempted to come up with words that would adequately describe the beatings our Fusion has been through, and after considerable pondering, no words would suffice, the fact that it still lives is amazing. You can look forward to lots of good times with yours.


That’s it for this week, send us your questions, answers, recollections, fantasy’s, and total nonsense to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

OK,I’ve been checking your site for over a year now with relative ease until the last few months. My question is WHAT THE F*&K IS WRONG WITH YOUR F&*^*ING WEBSITE?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I’m not exaggerating when I say that 70% of the time it doesn’t load up. Then on other occasions, it’s slower than most of Tamiyas products that don’t cost a fortune?!?!!? Seriously, I’ve tried your site on several other computers as well so don’t go an say it’s user error or my pc is piece of Losi. Do I need to download some specific program to make the F^&*ING site easier to view?!?!?! Please tell me and I’ll do it.

P.S. I love your site when I can actually view the F$*&ING thing.
Respectfully and annoyed,
Louis K

Cubby- Maybe I’m entirely too narcissistic, but I’m jealous BSRC got a hate-mail that wasn’t strictly about me. “Sigh”.
But I agree with ya, BSRC is loading slow. I access the site from both a laptop and cell phone, and for my Gen-X taste it simply takes too long. I will say that Brian and Jeff are both constantly tweaking the site to shorten load times as we are well aware that fast load times equals happy readers.

We’ve also talked for hours upon hours about how much stuff we want on the front page, which also includes advertising. None of us can stand sites that have dozens of banners flashing all over the place, so our “best case scenario” would be having one large advertiser, instead of 100 smaller ones.

Thanks for the email, I hope the page loads fast enough that you see this reply. LOL


From the BSRC Facebook page…

should i give up on my broke mini t and upgrade to mini revo or stick with the mini t
Austin N.

Cubby- The 16th scale E-Revo is a far more advanced piece of machinery than the Losi Mini-T, more importantly, it’s a much more capable truck in the rough. A dirt track that is undriveable to a Mini-T can be navigated quite easily with a 16th scale E-Revo. The larger tires and 4wd do wonders for what the 16th Revo can handle. To boil it down- you can drive the Revo in more places than the Mini-T.

That being said, is it more fun? Money nor technology equals fun, so you might very well have more fun with your Mini-T. The Losi certainly has put millions of smiles on drivers faces- parts are cheap, the truck is easy to work on, and after-market support is second to none. If part of having more fun is being able to drive your truck in rougher terrain, then yes, your money will be well spent on the Traxxas.

Lastly Austin, if you do pick up a new 16th Revo send us an email and let us know how you like it.


hello im planing on getting the new losi xxxscb and was woundering if its fast out of the box and are they durable too
Simon R.

Cubby- Long time no hear from Simon.

Is the XXX-SCB fast? It’s surprising quick for the electronics it comes with. It has enough yank to make some pretty impressive jumps and enough top end speed to keep things interesting. But… the motor runs far too hot, so all that speed doesn’t last long. When you can smell your SCB drive by, you know the motor isn’t going to live much longer.

Is the Losi XXX-SCB durable? We broke nothing during our initial testing period. Since then we’ve driven it like we stole it and broken a few parts. We’ve blown two shock cartridges, broke one shock end, broke one rod end, and popped the steering rack out of its lower mount. The screws in the rear pivot block are loose after every run as well. The XXX-SCB isn’t the most durable thing you can buy, but it isn’t fragile either.

Also… we’ve learned a few more points about the SCB since our review-

1. While the literature may say it has captured hinge pins, and even Horizon product support says it has captured hinge pins, it does not.
2. The specs say it comes with a complete bearing kit, but there aren’t any in the steering rack.
3. The stock shock cartridges need to be replaced immediately with the standard Losi XXX units.
4. The stock Tie-rods are slightly too short lending to broken rod ends.
5. The stock rear pivot plate needs to be replaced immediately by an STRC unit- part #STLA4145RS, around $16.
6. The stock steering geometry is not optimal for large diameter SC tires. The stock geometry results in “knifey” steering and limited mechanical grip.
7. The suspension on the SCB doesn’t seem to have quite enough up travel, and seems too hard near full compression. This puts unneeded stress on the shocks, a-arms, hubs, rims, etc, but even worse, it makes any landing, other than a perfect one, bouncy and hard to control.

It’s still a cool buggy, one that’s a blast to drive and a head turner, but Losi left the door open in a few spots. I really like mine, but I am looking forward to fixing its few problem areas.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of maniacs, send us your comments, banter, rare Deadlegs and yes, even questions to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

“Will a “tuning kit” turn a Losi SCB from a basher to a racer? I think not… a tricker piece of machinery yes, but faster? Faster is much more about the driver than the equipment in rc racing.” (quoted from this weeks Cub Report)

Whys it need a tuning kit anyways, for all intents and purposes it is a Losi XXX-T which has been one of the best stadium trucks over the years.

You sorta mistyped, “Faster is much more about the driver than the equipment in rc racing.”; strike out the letters ‘rc’ and its utterly correct. Doesn’t matter if its rc, 1:1 racing or solo events, virtual online racing, etc., it always comes down to the driver, better drives simply can get more out of their equipment than others.
Also doesn’t TT own Associated?
Chris

Cubby- Hey ya Chris, thanks for the email.

I totally agree with ya on the SCB not “needing” the tuning kit, it’s a dern good buggy right out of the box. But… those TLR tuning kits are selling like hotcakes. The TLR kits are a nice ad-on sale for Horizon, and a nifty hop-up package for those guys in the hobby that like to tune and tweak.

And ya, better drivers always get more out of their equipment, but I worded it exactly as I intended it to be, rc racing, not just racing in general. And why did I word it as such?

Lets talk about drag racing- give John Force (perhaps the best drag racer ever) a Kia Rio, and give me (without doubt one of the worst drag racers to ever put foot against pedal) a Nissan GT-R. I have not performed this test in person (I can only wish!), so I can’t say for sure, but because of the gianormous difference in equipment, I had better not lose that race. Conversely on the rc side of the equation, give Mike Ogle, or Tim Smith, or Jim “Rainman” Shauer a bone stock brushed Traxxas Slash and they are going to pwn me in the scale quarter, with me driving any one of their full scoot drag cars.

So while a better driver can always get more out of their equipment, I feel that is especially true in rc racing. But hey, I’m an rc guy.

About Thunder Tiger/Associated… yes, Thunder Tiger bought AE in 2005, and no, the AE guys don’t seem to like that being known to the general public. I’m really start’n to feel the love for Thunder Tiger lately- TT is putting out better product now than they ever have, and they have good distribution via Great Planes. TT is on the road to success here in the States, will they keep on it?


And here’s one out of Brians email box…

Hi,
I was reading you recent Around the Office article regarding testing driving RC cars at your LHS.
I think you pose a interesting questions and I think maybe it is something the manufacturers could address better as well as stores. I think of my local Golf Club. When I go for a game they have a vast number of demo drivers etc that I can take for an entire round or two to see if I like it. This is essentially the same concept you are posing.

I know my local golf club also has demo days where manufacturers bring all their goodies that you can demo and have experts on hand to help you get the best out of their products. Maybe at the very least local hobby stores should have demo days where they invite various stocked manufacturesr to bring along some cars to demo. obviously it would want to be advertised very heavily but I guess they could be viewed as more localized, somewhat scaled down trade shows.
Just a thought I had that I wanted to share with you.
Keep up the good work. Cheers,
Brett S.

Cubby- Hey Brett, your letter was so good I had to steal it from Brian.

Brian is lucky, he’s got an LHS within minutes of the BSRC compound that offers rc test drives (I’m jealous!). I know from traveling around the country that the vast majority of hobby shops do not, and I know why…

Many LHS’s are struggling to make a buck. When they get in a new car/truck they know the moment the seal is cracked it’s not worth as much as it is sealed. The new car/truck has almost no margin to begin with, with a cracked seal they will instantly lose money on the unit. They also know that should they allow test drives of rc cars, that many of those test drives will result in broken parts, costing the LHS not only money for parts, but perhaps more expensive, the labor spent doing the repairs. For many LHS’s the amount of extra sales they project by doing test drives simple does not justify the expense.

But… of course I’d love to see more hobby shops offer test drives, it’s just all kinds of good for the hobby. When most of us got into the hobby we bought what we thought we liked with no opportunity to see what the car drove like. If someone is in the market for a new buggy this summer, it would be incredible if they could test drive an Electrix Boost against a Losi 22 against a Losi SCB against a Losi 8ight to see which one was truly the best fit for them. Unfortunately the manufactures don’t have the bank to spot every hobby shop a demo of every new model, so that leaves it up to the LHS to crack that box and take their chances, most are unwilling to do so and I can’t blame them.

For all you readers out there, if you have a local hobby shop that offers test drives shoot me an email so I can post it on our main page. I’d love to help spread the word on hobby shops where you can try before you buy, and I’m sure we have a lot of readers that would love to do some test driving.


Yes, I’m done babbling for this week. Send us your letters, the more interesting the better of course. Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Hey Cubby I’m a big fan, my week hasn’t offically started until I’ve read the Cub Report every Monday. I was recently told RPM dual stage pistions are the best modification for my shocks that I can make. I drive an SC10. What are they, and what will they do for me?
Trevor J.
Peoria IL

Cubby- What’s up Trevor? With you being from Peoria you are well within driving distance of the Ole’ School BigSquid bash this weekend. If you show up you can ask all sorts of questions and have a great time bashing with our crew.

But, lets say you can’t make it this Saturday.

RPM dual stage pistons are great stuff. They will fit Horizon/Losi, Traxxas and Thunder Tiger/Associated tenth scale shocks. They come with full instructions, be sure and read them carefully.

So what are they and what do they do? Like their name implies they are shock pistons, but different than what comes stock in rc shocks. Standard rc shock pistons provide the same amount of compression and rebound damping while RPM pistons provide “X” amount of damping one direction, and “X divided by 2″ amount of damping the other direction. You can install them to give a “normal” amount of compression damping and a lesser amount of rebound damping, or you can install them to do the exact opposite.

Most off-road guys install them for “normal” compression damping and lesser rebound. This gives their car/truck a fairly firm suspension when hitting bumps and landing from jumps, but allows for quicker rebound characteristics to help keep their tires glued to terra firma. I’ve known oval guys to run them the other way, for light compression damping and heavier rebound.

I’ve used the RPM pistons lots of times. They are a great tuning tool and can definitely be the bomb-diggity at certain tracks. Give’em a go and take your time experimenting with them, most people that try them like the way their car drives afterwards.


Been looking at getting a new short course truck, I’m not a noob as I’ve owned a few trucks before, some nitro some electric. Ya think I should go with a two wheel drive or a four by four and I will be using it mainly for bashing with a little bit of racing thrown in.

Eric

Cubby- Hummm…. good question. But I’m gonna give you my standard answer- buy whatever YOU like best, don’t listen to me or the guys off some forums, you know what you think looks good and has the features you want, so go with that one.

But… I’m paid to attempt to give real answers here so here’s a quickie analysis.

2wd- Typically less expensive. Harder to drive. Oftentimes 2wd RTR’s come with slower brushed motors. Easier to work on.

4wd- Typically more expensive. Easier to drive. Oftentimes comes with high power brushless systems. Harder to work on, and more stuff that can break.

So which one is more fun? IMO it can easily be both. The amount of fun you have is not directly related to how much money you spent or how fast it goes. The amount of fun I normally have is directly related to who I’m driving with, although I must say it’s typically only fun when we are driving similar vehicles. If I’m driving a Blitz and all my buddies are driving 8th scale buggies it’s not likely I’m going to have much fun. So buying something similar to what your crew has is a big plus.

You also said you plan on bashing more than racing. Back in the day 4wds were not very tough, but things are much different now. Sure, there are plenty of very tough 2wd SC’s on the market today (read- HPI Blitz and Traxxas Slash), but there are also tough 4wds (read- Traxxas Slash 4×4 and Losi Ten SCTE).

I like to give actual product recommendations here, so if I “had” to recommend one short course truck for you to buy- right now it would be the Losi Ten SCTE. Not only is it extremely durable for bashing, but it’s also fast on the track. The Losi is also easy to work on and drives really well, if you buy one you’ll dig it.

Whatever you end up with remember to have Fun and to shoot us some pics!


That’s it for this week, submit your questions, answers, requests, summons for jury duty, and heck anything else to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

cubby,
when i first seen the losi scb i knew i had to have one so i ordered one from horizon. but they keep missing release dates and it seems it is never going to come out. do you have any inside news on when they are coming?
thanx,
dean

Cubby- Well Dean, you are not the only person waiting on the uber new Losi SCB, you can count me on that list as well. Losi’s Rich Trujillo has posted over on rcshortcourse.com that the SCB’s are shipping to dealers this week, and Rich isn’t know for pulling anybodies leg, so that should be pretty solid info. I know they’ve pushed back the release date several times, but things come up, and I for one can’t wait to get mine.

But, if you don’t feel like waiting any more, or don’t think the SCB is gonna hit for a while, might I suggest you simply buy a Kyosho Ultima DB buggy. I haven’t personally driven one, so I can’t vouch for how good it is, but it’s quite similar to the Losi SCB. Now normally, I’d post a link to a certain hobby shop on the right coast who’s name starts with “A” and ends with “Main” (and has them in stock right now), but… the previously mentioned hobby shop seems to think print media is the only way to go, so I’m going to recommend you buy directly from Kyosho America. You can buy the Kyosho Ultima DB HERE, or try your local hobby shop.


Cubby
What do you think the best upgrades are for the Traxxas Slash? Cheap upgrades only.
John

Cubby- Hey what’s up John? So what are the best cheap upgrades for the Traxxas Slash?

Well, the Slash is a dern good truck to start with. It drives well on low bite surfaces straight out of the box, and can take a good beating. The TRX team spent a lot of time getting that truck right, and it’s obvious they did a great job.

But… the first low buck mod I’m going to recommend is to install Traxxas aluminum shock caps. The stock plastic caps are the weakest link on the truck, the uber Traxxas aluminum caps are rock solid and will set ya back less than $15. You can get these from your LHS and the part number is TRA 3767A (for blue) and 3767X (for red).

Next on my list would be the ST Racing Concepts hinge pin set. The stock Traxxas hinge pins like to back out on their own, and they bend far too easily. The STRC hinge pins are tough as nails and never back out. They are worth way more than the $17 they charge for them. The part number you need for these is #ST3640BK.

The stock tires look scale and wear forever, but some new Pro-Line shoes will yield a lot more traction, making the truck easier to drive and faster. For general bashing look for Pro-Line Trenchers, for pavement use Street Fighters, or if you run on a prepped track Calibers are generally a great choice. You’ll be looking at under $40 for a set of four.

There are tons more mods available for the Slash, but honestly the truck doesn’t need a whole lot to be fun, at least not at stock power levels.


That’s it for this week, submit your letters, questions, answers, hate-mail, and pretty much anything ya feel like to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

I just purchased a Slash 4×4 ,sand tires and a 3lipo 11.1 to take to the beach and have some fun. I was driving it around and started to show off and gave it full throttle. It was doing a wheelie for about 100 yds then I let off the throttle. Started to drive the car back and it wasn’t working so well. I walked over to get it and I twisted the differential output yokes (6828) on the rear of my Slash. I was wondering if the steel drive shafts and out put yokes would work with the stock parts or do I need to upgrade some other parts.
Thank You
Jason H.

Cubby- Whoa, with a Slash 4wd on 3S and paddles you are planning on a lil’ more than just normal fun, you are planning on plain wicked azz gnarly roost action. But, as you already found out, with that uber adrenaline rush comes an awfully big load on your drive-train.

A lot of people have already experienced your pain with the Slash drive-train when used in heavy duty applications, so luckily for you the good guys over at Moore’s Ideal Products have a cure. You need MIP part number #10130. This replaces your stock plastic drive-shafts and output yokes with uber metal pieces and they are what it takes to live at the higher power (and traction) levels you are running. The MIP’s are the best on the market, and while they aren’t cheap (around $60), it’s money well spent. They’ll bolt right on very easily, then you can enjoy plenty of sand wheelie time until your power system starts to overheat. Then email me on how to keep your temps down. And yes, you’re welcome!


dear friends
I´m waiting arrive my evader dt and I have some a simple doubts about the rc:
- the original esc (sprint 2) accept 7,4v lipo pack? accept 11,1v lipo pack?
- the original differential and gears support a brushless motor? have all
metal gears to substitute?
thanks and sorry because my bad english!!
Lawrence M.
San Paulo, Brazil

Cubby- As DJ Lance Rock would say, “Hello friends!”. I am SOOOO Jealous of you. Why? Because you have arguably the best road course on the planet in your backyard- Interlagos!!!! If only every rc racer could get a few laps in at Interlagos, maybe, just maybe, they’d understand what a True road course is supposed to be like. It still amazes me how so many rc on road racers in America think a road course should be perfectly flat, perfectly smooth, with perfect traction all around the course. Clueless I tell ya, freak’n clueless…

Now to get to your questions…

I don’t think you should have a lot of doubts about the Evader DT. Why? Because you are going to have a blast with it. You won’t be able to help yourself, it’s just a fun truck to bash with right out of the box.

Does the stock Duratrax Sprint 2 speedo come with built in Lipo cut-off? No it does not, so if you chose to use the stock speedo with Lipo packs you’ll want to install an LVC to keep from discharging the battery too far. (although we ran 2S Lipos in our test truck without one, but that’s just the way we roll)

Will the stock speedo work on a 3S Lipo? I can’t say first hand because we didn’t actually try it, but- that speedo is really intended for use on 6 cell Ni-mh on stock brushed motors, I very highly doubt its going to like seeing all the voltage of a 3S Lithium based pack. I do not like giving out information that I have not tested personally first hand, but from years of experience I would not chance it hooking up a 3S Lipo to the stock speedo.

The stock tranny consists of a metal top gear, plastic idler and plastic diff gear. The spur is also plastic, just fyi. The idler is an easy fix with the Duratrax part #DTXC8081- Evader series aluminum idler (about $16 US). Most serious bashers are installing Associated B2 diffs as the diff gear. The Associated diff if capable of handling a lot more power than the stock unit.

To boil it down, if you are running stock power, the stock tranny works fine, but if you are wanting to go brushless/Lipo with the Evader DT you will be looking at buying a new speedo, brushless motor, aluminum idler, and AE B2 diff. We have run mild 2S brushless set-ups on our test Evader DT without problems on our stock tranny, and that’s what I recommend you do as well. If you are truly looking to go huge power (3S +) I’d recommend you buy another platform.


That’s it for this week, submit your questions, answers, underhanded jabs and rimshots to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Hello I noticed this system won your approval and was wondering if you are aware of the massive rip-off of people around the world this system and There Spartan Boat have caused. Every person who bought the boat needed 300.00 dollars worth of new electronics to run it. Some the first day some made it a month or more, Sorry but seeing that company get rewarded makes the world a sick joke.
Traxxas Vileneon Brushless System
PS: F*%& TRAXXAS
Eric

Cubby- Holy smokes, a hate-mail that isn’t a 500 word rant about me. Thanks!

Where to start, hummm…
I don’t like rc boats. I don’t own one, I don’t even want one, heck I’m baffled why anyone would want one. I have a meltdown every time Brian or Jeff posts boat news on the front page. To me, if I can’t huck it off the roof of my house or make the quad at RJD with it, it simply isn’t worth having. But different strokes for different folks I guess…

Wrench on the other hand, he loves boats, they are perhaps the only major flaw he possesses. I remember him being all torqued off that some uber brushless Traxxas boat he had on pre-order was going to show up like 6 months late so he canceled it. I also remember being ticked off when he kept blabbering about how late that H2O machine was going to be and it was keeping him from fixing our broken trucks.

Anyways… I might be wrong, but I take it the brushless system in your Traxxas boat blew up? Sounds like the BSRC bash crew will be hang’n with the TRX guys this weekend at Red Bud so I’m making a note to ask them if every single brushless system they put in a boat has died or not.

Now, to fix your problem. The answer is quite simple. Instead of spending 300 bucks for a replacement system, sell the boat and use that money on a new truck. The Traxxas Velineon systems work well in products intended for terra-firma. Plus, with a truck you can hit doubles, explode berms and all sorts of other nice dry activities.


I know you guys are not fans of nitro, but i still must ask this question because you have far more experience than me. i have a bandit, that is all aluminum with a mamba max pro set up. i just burnt out the mamba motor, and i can’t decide. should i get a jato 3.3 (yes its nitro, but it is also traxxas) or should i get a new motor. Its a jato or a Novak ballistic motor. i am leaning towards the motor because i can’t drive a full scale car yet, so $400 is hard to get. if i get the motor, what turn would be the best acceleration, but still get around 70 mph? sorry for all the questions.
thanks in advance,
<~Joe~>

Cubby- I know, I know, we might come across as nitro haters, but the truth is we want to like nitro. We love the smell, love the sound, and love the realism, but… unfortunately nobody makes a nitro engine that runs reliably enough for us. We refuse to spend more time starting and trying to keep a nitro engine tuned than actually driving it on the track. Hence the reason we drive 99% electric around here and why we’ll keep driving the flashlights till somebody puts out an ultra easy to use nitro engine.

To get to your question…

So Novak Ballistic or a Jato, hummm…

The Jato is a crazy fast truck, and if you have never owned a nitro it’s a good unit to get your feet wet with. The platform as a whole is solid and certainly a good one for blasting up and down the street. Who knows, the nitro fumes might make you actually enjoy the endless hours of engine tuning. So by all means, if you are feeling a bit randy go for the Jato.

You mention you burnt up your last electric motor, what makes you think you won’t burn up a new one? While the Bandit is a great bashing machine, it’s not light, nor does it have an ultra efficient drive-train. Combine these two factors and you’ve got one tough load on any motor you are going to install (not to mention you are wanting to go 70 with it).

So… to finally get to a recommendation. I’m gonna recommend that if you stay electric to stay away from 540 motors if at all possible. I have no doubt a good 540 would do the job in a normal Bandit, but I’m going to take you as an extreme user. I’d recommend one of the Novak Ballistic 550 motors, but they are considerably longer than a 540 (by 20 mm), and they only come with a 5mm shaft (larger than what your current pinions will accommodate). So… I’m going to recommend a Neu/Castle 1410 1Y 3800kv. The 1410 has a slightly longer rotor than a typical 540 but will fit easily in your Bandit. It also has a relatively low kv, is 4 pole, comes with a normal 1/8″ shaft, and is known for putting out good power on tough loads. All these virtues will help you from blowing it up while pushing your Bandit to respectable speeds. Oh, and it won’t break your bank.

One last thing- buy a temp gauge when you buy your new motor. Use it. When first driving your new motor measure its temp every couple minutes to see what’s up. Do not drive for 15 minutes then temp your motor because it might be wayyy too hot by then. Anything 140F or lower is great, and you never want to see your temp gauge hit 160. Throw on smaller pinions if need be. The first run with your new motor isn’t about blowing the tires off the rims, it’s about making sure you are geared correctly.


You have once again suffered through another ASK Cubby, congrats!. Send me your questions, comments, and movie reviews to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Hey just wondering did you do most of your testing on LiPo batts or the original NiMH batts with the Basher Review absolutely thrill’d to hear it took a couple full speed runs into a brick wall and stayed together. And just wondering when are you goin to do a LiPo test for this truck to see if the 20t has what it takes to run them?? Or just burn like some other stock motors??
Fellow smasher….
Lucky Vandy

Cubby- The vast majority of testing on the Electrix Ruckus was done using 2S Lithium packs. Well after the test period ended we did have a problem with the stock brushed motor arching and running hot. I plan on water dipping the motor to re-seat the brushes and get even more life out of it. If you just bought a brand new truck, it would be optimal to water dip it first, but if you don’t, no big worries, it ran fine for a long time without it. Overall, the stock motor gives “good” yank for a decent period of time on 2S. The stock motor is easy to drive, yet has enough yank to have plenty of fun and even make some pretty respectable double jumps. If you are sitting on the fence about the Ruckus, get one, it’s a ton of fun to bash with (and it’s a tank!).


Hey Brian,
What’s going on? Just got my stickers in the mail the other day, and I wanted to send a big thanks by sending a picture of a few of my cars rocking the new art work.

Absolutely love the site. If it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t have bought the Futaba 3PL which I am absolutely in love with. Also, you guys taught me everything I need to know about LiPo power and chargers. So needless to say, your site has done me some good, and I really do appreciate it.
Cheers from Canada,
Vince M.
Associated GT2 and Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo (brushless + 2S LiPo!)

vince traxxas picsCubby- I stole this one out of Brian’s email box.
What’s up Vince? Thanks for the love, we are working our asses off around here to try and change the face of rc media.
The two reasons I posted your letter are-
1. To prove not every letter we get here is hate mail.
2. Because you gave me a great idea for a series of rc articles.

Because of your email Vince we’ll be doing a series of articles called “Everything you need to know about…”. We’ll do them on Lipos, brushless systems, tires, heck everything. After talking to Brian about the idea we’ll keep’em as noob friendly as possible, just the basics, the kind of info it takes to get noobs up to speed fast.

Thanks for reading, and your trucks look much more uber with the BSRC stickers on them!


Cubby- Now for a couple responses I received after I asked readers to write in and give us their opinion on whether the TTR MT4-G3 should be included in a shootout with the Traxxas Brushless E-Revo, E-Maxx and the Savage Flux. Click through to read the rest READ MORE

Cubby

I got $500 from my Uncle as a graduation present and I am thinking about spending it on a RedCat Avalanche XP. What have you heard about that truck?
Kevin C.
Fort Worth, Texas

Cubby- I think you are crazy if you spend five large of grad money on a Redcat, or any brand of car for that matter. First off- it’s a graduation present, something you are gonna wanna keep forever (read- you are never gonna sell it). Secondly- a car (unless it is a shelf queen) will get beat up and look (and drive) like death in less than a couple years.

So… with those two things in mind, I’m gonna recommend you pop that $500 on something that is not only an awesome present, but something that won’t be getting all torn up. I’d pop that money on an uber transmitter. Which transmitter? The Futaba 4PKS. Why the 4PKS? Because it’s the best. Period. It’s got the best range, the most options, and feels ridiculously good in-hand. Better still, it’ll still be uber 5 years from now, and everybody at your local bash spot will give you crap because it’s so cool. So buy it and send me a thank you card when you realize I am right on this one.

You’re welcome.


Cubby I hope you answer this letter becuase I need help. I have a Slash 4×4 2.4 and the steering keeps reversing itself. I swear I turn of fthe truck and the next time I turn it on the steering is reversed. I have two questions. IS this normal and how do I fix it?

Jeremy F.

Cubby- What’s up Jeremy? Thanks for the email.

I didn’t run this question past our buddy Peter V over at Traxxas, which I should have done because I’m certain he would have a proper explanation about why your servo is getting reversed. Instead, I’m gonna answer it from the first hand experience we’d had with this issue around the office.

Is it normal for your servo to mysterious reverse itself after you run? No, it’s not normal. But… we’ve had two Traxxas TQ 2.4 Ghz Link trucks here at the office suffer from this problem, but we’ve got 4 more that never had an issue. Btw, this issue has nothing to do with the servo, it has to do with the TRX 2.4 Ghz Link transmitter. There is another version of the TRX 2.4, one with a manual switch to reverse the steering, but I’ve never noticed any issues with those. Sounds like your Slash 4×4 came with a Link version.

How do you fix this problem? You’ll need to look at the programming menu for the TRX 2.4 Link transmitter and reverse the steering direction. If you don’t dig the fact that you might occasionally have to do this, contact Traxxas customer service and tell them about your issue. Traxxas has some of the best customer service in the industry, I’m quite certain they’ll make sure you are a happy camper.


Hello Cubby,

My latest car is a B4 and I’ve found it doesn’t have enough ground clearance. I want to know how performance will be affected if I put on larger tires.

Mike

Cubby- Yo MTV raps what’s up Mike?

Oh boy are you in luck. Slapping on bigger tires is going to be easy on your B4, simply put Associated T4 front and rears on it.

So how will this affect performance? You are in luck again! Associated makes larger spur gears intended for the T4 that will fit right on your B4 to compensate for the larger diameter tires. You see- when you pop on the bigger tires it not only gives you more ground clearance, but it works your entire power system much harder. The larger diameter tires drastically change your gear ratio, plus they are heavier than the smaller buggy tires. So you’ll want to install a larger spur gear and a smaller pinion to ensure you don’t overheat your motor/speedo/battery. Once geared properly you can enjoy the added ground clearance to get over obstacles and the larger tire diameter that will roll over bumps better.


That’s it for this week folks, submit your questions, rants, raves, waterboarding stories, etc to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Dear Cubby,
Who makes the body lowering kit for the Traxxas Stampede 4×4 and where can I buy one?
Your truly,
Billy D.

Cubby- Funny you should ask that question the same week that Brian posted his Pede 4×4 review. I trust you are loving your truck except for its overly lifted body. If it came murdered out in flat black paint you’d think the truck came straight outta the 909.

Who makes the lowering kit? Jason Ruona and his crew over at JConcepts do. The part number is #2083- the new mounts are black anodized aluminum, and they instantly make a Pede look much more realistic.

Where can you buy these at? You should be able to get them from any LHS that buys from Great Planes, or if that isn’t an option Tower Hobbies has’em in stock for $18.

Cheers, and go fast/turn right.


Hey Cubby,
I am in the market for a new 2wd short course truck. I am looking for one that is good for bashing but also has a lot extra parts that I can get for it. What is your opinion?
Aaron D

Cubby- Wow… for such a short lil’ question, there could be a very long answer. So let me attempt to be brief.

To boil it down, your criteria are-
1. 2wd SC truck
2. Good for bashing
3. Lots of after-market parts

So what’s the “best” 2wd SC truck? IMO it’s the HPI Blitz. It doesn’t turn as sharp as a Venom Gambler or SC10, but its overall handling is perhaps the best of the bunch. But, all the trucks have their merits, wish we had more time to shoot’em out.

What’s the best “basher” in the class? The Blitz is super tough, IMO even more so than the Slash, but… the Slash has greater ground clearance than anything else in its class. If you are gonna bash, the extra ground clearance of the Slash is going to come in mighty handy for grass, curbs, etc. So I gotta give the overall “bash” title to the Slash.

Which 2wd SC has the best after-market support? That’s easy- the Traxxas Slash. You can get upgrades for nearly (or perhaps all of them!) every part on the Slash. None of the others in the class come close. And, if you are looking for just stock replacement parts, the Slash again wins hands down, as far more LHS’s stock Traxxas parts than AE, Venom, Losi or Kyosho.

So taking your criteria into consideration- the truck I recommend to you is- the Traxxas Slash. Buy one, trick it out, and enjoy!


Hey Cubby,
I remember reading several months ago that you had hoped the industry would have gone more scale in 2010. Well, so far 2011 is off to a good start with the release of the Axial Wraith and the Losi SCB. Sure, a few more brands released their short course trucks but it’s nice to see something new and different AND scale. Personally, I would like to see more touring and drift cars from all the major brands. I’m hoping the drift cars will bring back on-road rc back to the masses since (I may be wrong here) you really don’t need a high-tech, super expensive, uber engineered chassis to get sideways and have some fun in the parking lot plus their relatively cheap and have the cool scale look. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store for 2011….
keep up the good work,
Joe C

Cubby- I know there will be some that would argue with me, but on-road is D-E-A-D. There are many contributing factors to what killed it- but if I had to boil it down, it died simply because it was too hardcore. Everything goes is cycles, it will come back, but what is it going to take?

I certainly don’t have the answer to that one, if I did I’d be making a lot of money off of it. Realism isn’t nearly as big of a problem on road as it is off road. The current on road cars drive well and most are quite durable. Maybe the answer to getting on road to blow up again will be scale realism under the body- chassis designs that mimic full scale rides. But who knows? All I do know is that on road and even nitro will be huge again, it’s just a matter of time.

Lastly, you mention the Losi SCB… Horizon thinks I’m the anti-Christ so I’m gonna have to buy mine, but I’ll eagerly do so. I know some of the other staffers here don’t dig it as much as I do, but I can’t wait to get my hands on one. I haven’t “wanted” a new rc car so much since back in the day of the Associated B2. Let’s hope the XXX based SCB works as good as it looks. Oh and, I’ve already got plans to velcro the head of my Losi SCB driver on, so when I get hacked hard my drivers head goes rolling across the track. :)


That’s it for this week ya bunch of rc freaks. Shoot me your questions, doubts, lies, hate-mail, comments, and Ken Onion knives to- Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby
Cubby- To start things off this week, here’s a letter from one of our industry friends concerning this weeks Cub Report. While we get a lot of mail from industry types, we typically don’t post’em, but here’s one for ya. Make sure to hit the MORE button, to read the whole post.


Hey Brian,
Hope all is well!
I do not know ‘Cubby’ from your news staff, but I read his ‘THE Cub Report, 04.24.2011- Version- Aeropostale vs RC’ that is on the homepage today: Direct Link Here.

While I totally understand his thought about sales at Aeropostale, I wish to help put a little perspective on this, because at the end of the day, it just felt a little like ‘Consumers VS R/C retailers.’

Again, I totally understand his tone and thought about his post, so I am not looking to poke at him, just want to lend a little insight and help see things a little differently as I too am passionate about our R/C industry! I am sure you have a great relationship with your retailers as well.

It’s kinda’ not a fair comparison as Aeropostale has 900+ retail locations. The largest chain within our R/C segment is 165+ with HobbyTown.
source: Aeropostale http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aéropostale_(clothing). Also look closer at who started Aeropastale yes, Macy¹s back in 1987! Aeropostale info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aéropostale_(clothing) .

Something else to think about of which is not spoken, is how much of the product from Aeropostale is actually manufacture by them or parent / partner companies.

So lets look at different perspective:
Think about these Retailing-manufactures: No Fear & Oakley with their Boutique stores…
They are the Manufacture, the distributor and the retailer.

Now if Traxxas, HPI or even HobbyKing was to start retail locations, then yes, their could possible be room for that margin you are looking for.

But, end of the day, if it’s on sale like that… Was it worth it in the first place? T-shirts are way cheaper in materials and workmanship than an R/C vehicle.

So, their big sale is the result of the fast changing fashion. They have 4-5 seasons per year, meaning new lines [not just one truck, but whole lines of clothes]. These lines come with quantity minimums while attempting at predicting what you kid will be wearing the next four months. Good luck with that, hu?!

Now for another perspective!
The Hobby industry has been on sale for the last 20+ years!!! Go back and look at how much you paid for that AE RC10 back in 1988! [That is when I bought my first R/C]

1984:
6000 Basic kit, less all electrical, less bearings $188.00
6010 Full kit, less battery, less bearings $225.00
6012 Full kit, less battery, body, wing, bearings $215.00
6016 Full kit, ball bearings, less battery $290.00
6020 Full kit, with battery pack, less bearings $265.00
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associated_RC10

How much is that relatively same vehicle today?
2011 April, 25th:
LXWVF8 Associated SC10 2WD Race Truck Kit 181.98 27-years later and $6.02 cheaper!!!
LXZTJ4 Associated SC10 Factory Team Kit 259.98
LXAXLK Associated SC10 4X4 Short Course Team Kit 269.97
LXGZW7 Associated 1/10 RC10B4 Factory Team Buggy Kit 199.98
LXSLD1 Associated 1/10 B44 Factory Team Buggy Kit 253.98
LXAMWX Associated B44.1 Factory Team Kit 369.99
source: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0091P?&P=SM&C=CAA&V=ASC

Another way to think about this… Look at when this Crawling segment of R/C began… To get in was a minimum of $400 plus 100-hours of labor to get one built! That was just a short 4-5 years ago!

Now Axial has RTR solutions starting at $279.99 and are VERY capable crawlers!
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0091P?&P=SM&C=CAK&V=AXI

Hope this gives a different perspective!”

Cubby- After talking with Brian The Editor Type he helped me see I wasn’t very clear in THE Cub Report (nor am I ever I guess… LOL). The point I was really trying to get across had nothing to do with raw prices of rc cars, or the ability of a clothing retailer to blow out inventory, what it did have to do with was this- the word “sale” brings in more consumers. Doesn’t matter if the place has 600+ stores and grosses over 2 billion a year, or if it’s a single mom and pop rc shop that grosses 200k, the word “sale” generates excitement from the buying public.

There is no bigger proponent of local hobby shops than myself. Each and every Cub Report ends with a plea for my readers to visit theirs. So why would I write a column about why LHS’s should put on a sale? Because at this point I feel they have to if they want to keep their doors open.
READ MORE

Cubby

Hey guys,
Question for you on converting a losi micro over to 2.4ghz…Are you running the stock motor? will the Mamba work with the stock motor and a losi lipo? I’m going to be using my tactic 2.4 receiver, should do the job.. I also have a Novak Spy esc I was going to try to use…
Thanks!
Tim K.

Cubby- What’s up Tim?

Are we running the stock motor? Yes, we are running the stock brushed motor that came on our Losi Micro SCT.

Will a Mamba 25 work with the stock motor and Lipo? Yes to both. The Mamba is capable of running brushed and brushless motors, and it has adjustable low voltage cut-off for Lithium batteries. The stock Losi brushed motor really wakes up with the Mamba on 2S Lipo, mucho grande better power that’s about perfect for a drive area of 15′ x 15′. If you are looking at running in a larger area you may want to consider a brushless motor as it will give you more power and top speed. Btw…. the hot rumor of late is that Castle is seriously looking into the micro scene. How awesome would it be to see a little Mamba 10 and one of their 4 pole motors built specifically for the micro crowd? Losi Micro SCT + Mamba 10 + Neu/Castle motor + 4S = Utter Insanity! Let’s hope they start making product for the micro scene!

Lastly- your Novak Spy and Tactic should fine together on the stock brushed motor, but the Spy doesn’t come with a built in LVC. You’ll have to run one of Novaks #5470 (for 2S) Smart-Stop Modules to prevent over discharging a Lipo on the Spy.


Cub Reporter
What kind of runtime can I expect out of a nitro pede? What kind of gas should I run in it?
Mel G.

Cubby- Hummmm…… you do realize I hate nitro right? But you just had to ask so…

I’ll give you the only first hand info I know about Nitro Stampdes, info directly from what I’ve seen at the track. Most Traxxas Nitro Stampedes seem to take about 30 minutes to start and they end up running for roughly the amount of time it takes for you to get up on the drivers stand before they flame out. Nothing against Traxxas here, as that seems to be about the average for every nitro you see at bash day at the track.

As for what type of gas you should run…. I’d just fill the tank with sand (and cylinder, and fuel lines), but that’s just me.

Ever consider the Electric Stampede? Or better yet one of Traxxas new electric Monster Jam trucks? Just say’n….

But to get serious for a moment…. nitro is due for a big comeback. I give it 2 years before they (the nitro side of the industry) come up with something really cool and the tide turns to everyone running nitro again.


Cubby,

I really need your help. I race an Associated SC10 and I’m tired of my shocks constantly leaking. I build them very carefully and use green slime yet they still leak. Suggestions?

Bill M.

Cubby- I hear where you are coming from Bill, I’ve built a lot of AE shocks in my time as well.

So you’ve built yours carefully, and used Associated “green slime” on the seals yet they still leak. How about going a different route? I’ve been running the Pro-Line SC PowerStroke shocks on my Blitz for several months, they work great, look insanely good, and more importantly- they have yet to leak! If you’ve got a bit of extra cash around order a set of PL SC shocks (PL #6063-00 front, and #6063-01 for the rears, about $100 for the entire set) and the Universal Mounting Kit (PL #6063-05 about $9). The PL shocks are so trick, and I swear they are worth every penny not having to worry about them leaking.


That’s it for this week, shoot us your questions, comments, rants or whatever you feel like to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter