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Ask Cubby’ Category


HobbyKing?… Denied!
Just wanted to let you guys know that I went straight to your store and bought a set of stickers after reading the article about not letting HK advertise on your site. I’ve been racing (not a basher here!) RC cars for 12 years and I have never bought stickers for any of my RC vehicles. Keep up the integrity.


Cubby- Thanks for the mad props Tyler. Oh and, those BSRC stickers work great for fixing cracked spots in bodies too. :)

How are you doing, I have a VMX450 dirt bike and it came with the lipo 2s 3200mah 20c battery. So can I upgrade the battery to something higher for more speed like, a lipo 2s 4000mah 40c battery or higher with out burning the motor out? Thanks!

Lamont B.
Alexandria VA

Cubby- Hello there Lamont and thanks for the way-super-dope question.

Can you upgrade the battery in a Venom VMX450 without burning out the motor? The simple answer is- Yes.

Going to a higher capacity (read- mah) battery will give you longer run-times with a bit more power and speed (typically) while causing no issues with your stock electronics. Going simply to a higher “C” rated pack will typically give you more power and speed (but that isn’t always the case) and, like a higher capacity pack, will not hurt your stock electronics.

However, one thing you don’t want to do is go to a higher cell count, like a 3 or 4S Lipo. The stock speedo and motor are not set-up to handle the extra voltage. So keep away from the higher cell counts unless you enjoy the sweet smell of burnt electronics. :)


I’m new to the world of RC sports. I’ve got no one to talk to here locally and have been slowly researching and building a custom Axial Scorpion. I put a DIG in it and am currently working on adding working headlights to it.

With my mods to the build, I will need channels for Throttle, Steering, DIG (3 positions), and Headlights (On/Off). From my understanding, I need a 5 channel Rx and a 4 channel Tx because the Rx needs power plugged into one of the channels.

I want to have Channel 3 be for the DIG, which requires 3 positions: 4wd, free spin rear wheels, locked rear wheels. I need this to be adjustable for the set points on the servo to engage the DIG at the appropriate position at all 3 points. I want to have Channel 4 be for the Headlights, which requires a simple On/Off feature. I already have a E-Switch module to plug into the Rx that I run the LEDs to and it can be set for when the On/Off triggers from the signal.

My question is: What is out there that can do exactly this for me? There are so many choices out there and I don’t know how to read the features and interpret which one offers what I need. I did find the Radiopost TS401 2.4 GHz Tx with Rx system and it looks impressive, but don’t know if it will fit my needs. Can you please show me what will? Also, I’m reading that 2.4GHz systems are the way to go and would like the best of the best.

I appreciate any and all help that you can give me.

Mark B.

Cubby- Whoa, whoa, whoa, quite the question there Mr Hawking, what do you think we are around here, rocket scientists? LOL

But to be serious… I’m not a crawler guy. AT ALL. LOL. I suggest you hit up the crawling guru’s over at your questions about dig, lighting, this channel, that channel, etc would be kids play to them.

About 2.4 GHz… is it the “best”? Well… its biggest advantage is being able to run a lot of people at one time without having to worry about someone else being on your channel (Oh how I miss the good ole’ days of switch’n out crystals! NOT!). The second biggest advantage is less glitching. Crawlers seem to be all about brushed motors (which wreak havoc on AM transmitters), and because all the uber transmitters now days only come in 2.4, then yes, you’ll most certainly be ending up with 2.4.

Anywhos… if I had to throw out a wild, uneducated guess, I’d say buy either a Futaba 4PL or a Futaba 4PKS. Both are quite uber, and if neither of them can do what you are looking to do perhaps you are trying to accomplish something that is only possible in a type 2 (or higher) Kardashev civilization. Just say’n…

Hey guys!

I’m a newbie to the electric RC world and stumbled across your site. It’s fantastic by the way. I’ve really learned a lot and find the reviews extremely useful. Keep it up!

The reason I am emailing is because I’ve owned a couple of nitro TMaxxes in the past, but want to try getting into racing electric short course trucks at my local track (Joliet). Not really that local because I live over an hour away (downtown Chicago), but close enough. I’ve watched a few races already and I was immediately hooked. In reading through the reviews I have noticed that you guys have listed Leisure Hour Raceway as a test track quite a few times.

I was hoping to take you guys up on your offer to try out some of your stuff the next time you are at the track. Any chance you could give me a few dates on when anyone from BigSquidRC will be out there?

So far from my research I have decided to purchase a Team Associated SC10 Kit and build my race car. But as far as the transmitter, ESC/Motor and servos I have gotten lost in the myriad of options available. Hopefully, your set-ups along with some hands-on experience with them will help navigate me to the best options.

Hopefully you guys will be out there soon. Even if you have some dates into 2012 that works too!

Thanks again,

Cubby- Thanks for the props Kris, we are giving the site 110%, glad you dig it.

When will we be at Leisure Hours? Brian should be pretty easily found there on Thursdays, otherwise we all are kinda hit or miss. Where we run depends on what we are testing and who we can get together. We might be in Brian’s cul-de-sac one day, a track in the greater St Louis metro the next, and a parking lot in Champaign the next, so it’s hard to tell where we are running from one day to another (even for us! LOL).

One thing that we are trying to make a priority for 2012 is having more “semi-official” get together/bashes. Hopefully one a month, giving plenty of notice to our readers so they can join in on the fun (not to mention for you guys to try out all the test gear). Just keep your eyes tuned on our front page, we’ll do our best to keep everyone informed.

As far as your new SC10 goes- props to you for building a kit. Yes, it might take 3 or 4 solid nights of hard work, but the feeling you get when its finally done and you get to drive it for the first time is amazing. About electronics for your new SC10- we’ve been testing a lot of short course brushless systems lately, that should help ya out there, and we’ve got another Lipo shootout coming in January (I hear there will be a Traxxas pack in it!), so hopefully we’ll be able to guide you to a good quality Lipo as well.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of scalawags, submit your questions, answers, and various ramblings to Cubby at!

Your Cub Reporter


Please help – looking for a recommendation – most durable fast RC truck – for my 20 year old son to race his 80 year old Grandpa – durability – off road, sand, rocks etc. is much more important than name brand or paint job. Looking to spend less than $150 on each, will buy one for each of them. Both live near the ocean. Want more than we can purchase at a “big box” store. Thanks, Merry Christmas!


Cubby- Well hey now Anita. Aren’t you the coolest woman ever by hit’n up the number one rc news/review site on the net to find the perfect Christmas present for your son and your dad. Kudos to you and Santa had better be hook’n you up.

So the criteria are…

1. Gotta cost less than 150 clams each.
2. Gotta be a truck.
3. Willing to sacrifice some looks for durability.

Here ya go Anita, here’s my top 3 picks based on what you are looking for…

3. Speed Passion RS2 Stadium Truck- Street price $100-$120. Direct link HERE. Our BigSquidRC review the truck can be found HERE

Up sides- Fastest truck at the price point, quite durable, drives well, and has a Star Trek inspired transmitter.
Downsides- Local hobby shops are unlikely to keep parts in stock for this truck. Does not come with batteries or a charger.

2. ECX Ruckus Monster Truck- Street price $130. Direct link HERE. Our BigSquidRC review can be found HERE.

Up sides- Larger tires will work better in sand, very durable, and lots of fun to drive. Comes with everything in the box you need to actually drive the truck.
Downsides- Not the best parts support at local hobby shops, stock motor doesn’t last long.

1. And my number 1 pick is… Duratrax Evader EXT2 Stadium Truck- Street price $120. Direct link HERE. And our BigSquidRC review can be found HERE.

Up sides- Decent parts support at local hobby shops, drives well, has good power and quite durable.
Downsides- Does not come with batteries or a battery charger.

So take a look at the links and our reviews, then pull the trigger. All three of those trucks are hobby grade and a huge leap in performance over what is sold in Wally World, and most importantly, all three will put a huge smile on the face of those receiving them.

Merry Christmas to you as well!

Hello Squid Folk,

Hope all is well under the sea. I have a question for Cubby. I need a brushless system for my Losi XXX-SCT. I don’t have a lot to spend, I’ve been considering the Duratrax Element 3800kv combo, it comes with the Deans plug pre-installed, or the Castle Sidewider SCT, also a 3800kv system, but no plug. But now I read the review of the Speed Passion Citrix Short Course system, 3600kv. The Speed Passion is the least expensive, but may involve the most soldering (a task I hate). Which of these would be my best option. I use my truck for bashing and for occasional novice class racing.

Also, I must agree on the awesomeness of the Axial EXO, if an RTR doesn’t come soon, that could be my first real kit build.

Eagle Mountain, Utah

Cubby- Yo what’s up Adam?

I’ve been driving our test XXX-SCT a ton, mainly indoors on carpet and on clay-doh type tracks, and I gotta say it freak’n hauls. Hope you are liking yours as much as I am liking ours (I think I was supposed to return it to our guy at Losi, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.. LOL). It’s not the best “bash” machine out there, but it’s dern near magical on a high grip surfaces.

First off about your soldering. When I was 8 years old my lil’ “boom box” quit working and I decided I was going to give a shot at fixing it. I took out the screws and suddenly had the guts of my radio in my hands. I noticed the wire going to the speaker had come off, sweet, so all I needed to do was solder it back on. No biggie I thought, I’d just ask my dad to solder it back on for me, he was a wiz at that type of stuff, so it shouldn’t have been a big deal. So I ask my dad “Can you solder this wire back on for me?”. Without saying a word my dad went out to the garage then come back with his old trusty soldering iron (the big gun type with a trigger.. LOL) and some solder. He promptly put them on the kitchen table and left. And he didn’t come back for 4 hours. LOL. So that day I taught myself to solder. I was smart enough to not learn on the item I actually wanted to fix, so I went to the garage and got a few pieces of wires, then spent the next hour trying to make two wires into just one. LOL. Soldering does take practice but it’s not rocket science, anyone can do. Seriously.

To digress- you may hate soldering, but it really is easy, it just takes practice. And if you intend on staying in the rc hobby it’s a skill that you must possess. Period. And… it’s a skill you will use in everyday life. So bite the bullet, get out your iron, get out some scrap pieces of wires, then practice till you can solder two pieces of wire into one piece (that won’t come apart when you yank HARD on them).

Btw, I can tell you dozens of stories of “high end” factory racers that have had wires come off during a race. Even I make a bad solder joint from time to time and come to a dead stop half way during a race. The worst that can happen because of a poor solder joint on a speedo/motor/battery is the wire coming off, it’s no biggie, seriously.

The Speed Passion Cirtix system will require some soldering. It will require you cut off the crap battery plug it comes with and put on a real one, so there is 2 solder joints. It comes with a 3 way connector for the motor wires, so there is 3 solder joints to the connector, and 3 more at the motor, so you are looking at 8 solder joints total. All of them are easy to get to and easy to do. There are dozens (hundreds?) of “how to solder” videos on YouTube should you need a bit more confidence. But I’m the type that would just lock you in a room with an iron, some solder and the Speed Passion system, and I wouldn’t let you out until it was all soldered up. :)

To really digress, the Speed Passion system is affordable and ultra smooth. The Castle and Duratrax systems aren’t as smooth, but can put out a lot more power. I think your buying decision boils down to this- if your current driving skills aren’t so good or if you plan on racing a lot, the Speed Passion system is a great one to learn on and/or race with. If you are looking to jump over your house or pull a mile long wheelie, you’ll want the Castle or Duratrax.

Why are you always recommending Traxxas connectors? Are you on commission or something?
Mark E.

Cubby- No, unfortunately I am not on commission from Traxxas (hint, hint, Peter). And I recommend them because they kick a$$. You are a moron if you don’t use them. Duh.

Keep reading! We have a bunch more questions and answers, our mail boxes were over flowing this week!!!


my thoughts on the xo-1
I agree with cubby…the XO-1 is not about selling large volume and making money….it’s to make a statement!

It’s like the Ferrari of R/C. Not all of us is going to be able to afford one, but somewhere in all of us, we all want one :)


Cubby- Just fyi for our readers, Sxxxx is a west coast industry guy who makes some pretty uber hop-up products. (his name has been changed btw)

While I find it hard to believe anyone would agree with me, ya, that’s pretty much how I see it. The coffers are exploding at Traxxas, when you hit that point you can do crazy projects like the Traxxas XO-1. It’s totally non-practical, it costs way too much, but even the people hate’n on it would not turn one away if it mysteriously showed up on their doorstep. It is indeed one hell of a statement piece.

Hey guys,

So I just read the Cub Report on the XO-1 and while you give props to Traxxas for releasing one bad azz car, would you actually buy one? I agree the price point is very steep but one big question (in my opinion), does the average basher have access to an area large and empty enough to take advantage of the 100mph performance? I mean, it’s one thing to spend that much money on an rc car but where else would you run it besides an actual full scale race track? maybe parking lots after hours?…I don’t know…it’s not like you can just grab your Slash or 1/8 scale buggy and head down to your local rc track or bash spot. I think it’s cool Traxxas has the b@lls to release a vehicle like the XO-1 but to me the XO-1 is more of a novelty item and unfortunately they have indeed alienated their core audience.
just thinking out loud,
p.s. it would have been cool if Traxxas released a scale-looking 1/8 buggy to compete with the new buggies from HPI and Axial….

Cubby- Hola Joe, and of course we dig hearing from people thinking out loud, that’s essentially all we do here at BigSquid. LOL

Would I actually buy one? No, I would not. I’ve run a lot of high speed the last half decade so I know first hand how hard it is. Every crash above 60 nearly totals out your rig, everything bad that can happen usually does, and perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned is- running high speed isn’t cheap, EVER. Also, I’m more an off road guy, I get more personal satisfaction from clearing a 40 foot triple with only an 8 foot run than I ever got from breaking 100 mph.

I am a marketing guy, so I enjoy researching peoples reactions to new products, so of course I’ve been hitting up all the guys around the office for their take on the new Traxxas Supercar. And yes, one my questions has been if they would actually cut the check and buy an XO-1. And no, nobody in our office is willing to pay a grand for the XO-1. Most of the guys here would pay $500, but a grand is just too high, even for our two in-house Traxxas fan boys. The one possible exception is Brian, he really digs large scale on-road cars, but even then he’s on the fence whether he’d actually cut that big of a check for a car that really needs 500 foot of clean pavement to be used properly.

The Nakamichi Dragon was the most uber, most esoteric, tape deck money could buy back in the 80′s. Nakamichi didn’t sell many Dragons, but… the mere existence of the Dragon sold thousands upon thousands of their lower end decks. Everyone wanted a Dragon, but the mass populous was more than happy with a lesser deck, just as long as it had “Nakamichi” on it. Traxxas may not sell many XO-1′s, but they will sell a LOT of their other product simply because it exists.

Btw… the XO-1 is a solid platform that can be used on a Lot of other types of cars/trucks/buggies. :) I think we all have the feeling we’ll be seeing a Lot more of this platform before it’s all said and done.

Oh and lastly, yes, I’m all about the new Axial EXO. I’d take one of those any day over a half dozen Traxxas XO-1′s. But that’s just me.

First off, Very Nice Website! I am new to the R/C world and ran across your site while searching for my son a R/C. He is 10-yrs old and looking to get into the R/C world. We are tired of disposable r/c’s from the retail stores and want to get him a good one. He will not be a racer but more of a basher. He loves off-roading and will just use the r/c to show off to friends and around the yard. I have narrowed my choices down to 2 – The Traxxas Stampede XL-5 or the Electrix Ruckus. Looking for some advice on if the Stampede is worth the extra $$. The “waterproof” claim of the Traxxas is making me lean that way. It appears I can get a Stampede for $185 or a Ruckus for $130. Just looking for some pro’s & con’s on each and some advice on which “starter” r/c to choose.
Thanks for the help!
Chris W.

Cubby- Hey ya Chris, thanks for the email.

IMO this is how they stack up….
ECX Ruckus
Upsides- Good driving truck, takes a good pounding, loads of funs. Downsides- stock motor needs a proper break-in process, nowhere near the parts support of the Traxxas, limited hop-up potential.

Traxxas Stampede XL-5

Upsides- Incredible parts support, wheelie pop’n machine. Downsides- same old shock caps that pop off and spur gears that die too easily, it’s hard to steer, dinosaurs still walked the Earth when the platform was conceived.

I’m going to throw one more into the mix… the ARRMA Granite. The Granite isn’t quite to the market, but it’s new tech, uses a twin spar chassis, waterproof, can handle big power, and it’s 2.4 GHz. I got some time in with one at the iHobby show and I was impressed, unfortunately it’s not due till late December.

Best of luck with your buying decision, feel free to shoot us another email letting us know what you bought and how it worked out for you and your son.

Hey Guys,
I’m looking to purchase either a Duratrax Evader Ext2 or Losi Desert Truck for my son. The Losi is $30 biggie, but which is better for a kids first RC truck?
We been playing with my old Super Blackfoot 2, Losi Buggy and RC10T, but they are officially retired.

Cubby- Thanks for the email Marc. Btw, you are a lucky man having an old Super Blackfoot 2, a real Associated RC10T and a true Losi buggy in your rc garage. Todays offerings may be significantly higher tech, but I’d argue all day long that your classics are way more fun.

So… if I had to pick between a Duratrax Evader Ext2 or a Horizon/Losi Desert Truck, I’m going with the Duratrax all day long. Why? Because the Losi Desert Truck isn’t a stadium truck, and it’s not a short course truck, and it’s not a desert truck, it’s a monstrosity, a truck put out to try and capture some scale truck sales right after the Slash got huge (but they wayyy missed the mark). The Evader Ext2 is a durable stadium truck that is every bit as fast out of the box, plus the $30 you save can be put towards an extra battery/tires/charger/etc.

That’s it for this week. Shoot your emails to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


Brian is going to shoot me for filling the front page this week, but we had some good questions I didn’t want people to miss! Hang on and enjoy the ride!

Love the site and info and follow regularly through Google Reader (may want to throw an ad or two on the rss feed).

However I do have a comment/irk about your review scoring and since you appear to like the criticism every week I figured I would pile on! It seems like every review I have ever seen you guys do ends up being in the 7.5 to 9 range – especially recently. Of course, I have only been following the site for about a year but even when i randomly click back through the old ones this mostly holds true (except for some 2004 review of some plane that i clicked on – it was a 6 – man it must have really sucked). Anyway – it seems there is really no point to have those other numbers in there (maybe in bigsquid land 6=0 and 9=10 or the final score has to be close the number of arms a squid has)? Of course the devil is in the details and you guys do do such an excellent job of describing what you like and don’t it doesn’t really matter what the score ends up being – but maybe you could at least throw a 2 or 3 in every once in a while (my daughters have a HPI 18b that would probably qualify – maybe even lower) just for kicks or find one of the best past reviewed products on the site and change it to a 10?

Keep up the great site


Cubby- Hey what’s up John? Thanx for the criticism, hell yes we can take it as much as we can dish it.

Our entire review system has been the topic of many heated debates around the office. I have never liked the scaled 1-10 system, in fact during my early reviews on BigSquid I wouldn’t even fill out the bottom portion with the numbers (Brian hated that!). To me, something either kicks ass, works “ok”, or just plain sucks. So personally, I’m not a big fan of the 1-10 system, but that’s what we use here.

And… personally I haven’t tested anything that was horrifically poor here at BSRC. Of course I’ve used items in the past that give me a great reference point of what a “0″ would be (understatement of the year.. LOL), but I just haven’t laid hands on anything that bad while testing for BSRC.

So… with that said, if something is fairly usable I’m not going to give it under a 6. After that, I personally go by a “grade scale” of sorts. If it’s at or near the best in class I’ll give it a 9 or higher, if I consider it above average (compared to its competition) I give it around an 8, if I consider it average I’ll give it a 7, if it’s below average it gets a 6. That’s just how I score test product.

Btw, I try to include at least two other peoples opinions into the scores. There are many items I’ve really liked that other employees hated (and vise versa) and I’d like my reviews to reflect a wider range of views than just my own.

Also… every reviewer at BigSquid is different and scores in a different manner. For instance, if a product I review does not break (and by break I mean it won’t work properly until a new part is installed) I’ll give it a “10″ for bash-a-bility. I essentially use the term “bash-a-bility” as a replacement for “durability”. Other reviewers use the term “bash-a-bility” in a broader sense. For instance- when Jeff reviewed the Thunder Tiger go-cart it didn’t break a single part yet he didn’t give it a “10″ score in bash-a-bility. Jeff also considers other factors into bash-a-bility like jumping, can it drive in grass, and it’s general bash worthiness, I do not, my “bash-a-bility” scores are based 100% if it broke or not.

So to boil it down, each review is a reflection of the individual reviewer here at BSRC. Evan may give a car an 8 while I might give it a 9, and vice versa. If our readers relate a common school grading scale to our numbers I think you’ll get a pretty good idea of how a product really stacks up. In school 90% or above is superior and an “A” (or a 9+ on our scale), in the 80′s it’s a “B” and above average (an 8 to 8.9 on our scale), in the 70′s it’s a “C” and average (a 7 to 7.9), in the 60′s a “D” and below average, and below 60% is an “F” and not a product you’d EVER want to buy.

Lastly… if you think we’ve been too nice I hear Jeff has a review on the way that should change your mind. He’s been having all sorts of ugly issues with a particular truck and his review will reflect that. LOL. Look for it in the next week or so.

Hey Cubby,

I just picked up an ECX Torment from HobbyTown Orland Park. I got it home and while waiting for my new Lipo charger to come in, (Should have bought
one at iHobby, I bought a couple new lipos but didn’t think to get a charger. Go Figure.) was looking around at what else I can buy for it. What other bodies do you think will fit on this? I know many manufacturers now have model specific shells, like Proline. They have the new Ford Raptor and version one says it fits certain trucks and another one fits other trucks. I know I can always cut anything to fit, but the less I cutting I do the better. I suck at mounting bodies so I’m trying to make it easier. I figure it would be best to ask you guys since you had a few to bash with and could compare with other trucks. If a slash body fits then great I can get one from the shop rather than ordering online.

Thanks for your help and hope to see you guys at another bash event. Hope you’ll do another Easter Bunny Bash at HT Orland.

See your around,

Erwin J.

P.S. Thanks again for the free iHobby tickets from your contest. If I hadn’t of won the tickets, I wouldn’t have seen the Torment and wouldn’t have wanted one.

Cubby- Thanks for your email and the props Erwin.

First off yes, I’m fairly certain BSRC has sold a lot of Torments for Horizon. Strangely, they don’t really talk to us anymore, go figure, LOL. But even if we aren’t on speaking terms we still drive our ECX products on a daily basis and are still having a blast with them.

About bodies and the Torment- the body mounts on the Torment are different than a Slash, but not by much. So… when looking for bodies anything that will fit a Slash is a good bet to fit the Torment. Oh and yes, the Torment’s body posts are enough different that you will not be able to use hole patterns labeled for anything else, you will have to custom drill.

And… I agree drilling custom post holes is a PITA. The method I’ve been using recently is the “double sided tape” method. Cut four tiny squares of double sided tape and apply to the top of your body posts, then position your body on top. This method easily allows you to make as many changes in position as you need before drilling. Remember, on short course trucks it is important to compress the suspension while making adjustments, the body may need to be moved to ensure none of the tires hit the wrong spots inside the body when fully compressed.

P.S.- Glad you enjoyed your iHobby tickets. :)

This one was short and to the point…

Horizon/TP claims charge time of 5min or less Do you know of a lipo charger that can hit at 60a+? and

Cubby- A 12C rate by definition would be 5 minutes. But… is it even possible? Is it even desirable or needed?

First, let’s do some math. Yay. LOL

Let’s say you have a 5000 mah pack with a maximum charge rate of 12C (as stated by Thunder Power), that would be a 60 amp maximum charge rate. Let’s say you are charging a 2S 5000 pack at 12C, you’d need a charger capable of a minimum of 504 watts (8.4 volts times 60 amps), and a power supply capable of somewhat more (depending on the electrical losses of the charger, wire, connectors, etc), so you’d be looking at a minimum 12 volt/45 amp power supply.

Power supplies of that size are fairly easy to find at relatively affordable prices. The MaxAmps 12 volt 47 amp power supply sells for about $80. However, finding a charger capable of doing 60+ amps at 2S is a different story. The uber top of the line Thunder Power charger is rated at 1000 watts (which theoretically should be more than up to the task), but states a maximum charge rate of 30 amps. The upper end Hyperion 730iNet3 is “only” stated at 30 amps as well.

To actually get down to answering your question, while I am not certain, I’d speculate there are chargers out there for industrial/academic/testing purposes that can charge a 2S Lipo pack at over 60 amps. If any of you readers out there know of one feel free to shoot us info on it. But as far as off the shelf, easy to buy rc chargers, nope, I don’t know of any. I will say there is a certain speedo company (who’s name rhymes with “tassel participation”) who was rumored to have been working on an uber huge charger, but like I said that was just a rumor.

So… is there even a need for a 12C charge rate? Some would say no, but I’d argue yes. If you only own one pack and want to run as much as possible all day long 12C would be awesome. If you simply hate long charge times 12C should make you smile. If you run a bunch of classes at the local track with very little time between rounds fast charge times would be very important to you.

That’s it for this week. We’ve been receiving crazy amounts of email lately so keep them coming! Even if your emails doesn’t make the front page we still read’em then pass’em around the office for everyone to get a kick out of them. Hit me up at Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter



The rear of my E-Revo sags too much when I take off from a dead stop, it sags so much my rear skidplate is getting eaten alive, any tips?


Cubby- Yes indeed those Revo’s sure like to sag when you pound the gas, both the nitro and electric versions. On one hand, that’s part of what makes a Revo so much fun to drive, all that luscious suspension travel. On the other hand, that’s what makes them sluggish around a track and makes them traction roll on high bite surfaces. So what can be done to firm up your Revo?

Step #1- Purchase stiffer Traxxas springs.

Step #2- Install Associated 70 weight shock oil.

Step #3- Crank up the pre-load.

These mods won’t totally eliminate the sag but they will help and are inexpensive.

There’s another question, but it’s a little long, so keep reading… READ MORE


Cubby what is the best body for my HPI Blitz?
Tommy C.

Cubby- The best body for your Blitz is whatever style you like best, so go with your own gut on this one. But… if you really can’t make up your mind- I personally like the Pro-Line Flo-Tek, especially in 2wd short course where the parachute effect is the hardest to correct with the throttle and brake. The Pro-Line Flo-Tek is the trickest looking IMO, and handles the best on windy days. It does take a bit longer to cut out all the extra body vents, but IMO that is time well spent.

I saw you helped test the new Arrma raider buggy cubby. I am going to buy a new buggy is the raider good or am i better off with a boost?

Cubby- Hummm…. what’s better, the ECX Boost or ARRMA Raider? Now that would make a great shootout. Thanks for the idea John. ;)

But really, not to dodge the question, if I had to pick one of the two buggies I would personally pick the Raider, and here’s why.

1. I like the looks of the Raider better, I like how original it is.
2. It has a beefier powertrain to handle brushless power.
3. It jumps better.

On the other hand… the Boost is no joke and is a daily driver around here (yes, I drive one nearly every day, no joke), it drives well and is tough as a tank.

So… if you were to go around the office and ask 6 of us which we’d pick you’d probably get half for the Boost, and half for the Raider. Every person has different wants and needs, which one is best is really up to you.

Dear Cubby,
You always say “support your local hobby shops” but I do not have one, the nearest hobby shop to me is over 2 hours away, so now what do I do?
Rayford D

Cubby- What’s up Rayford? I saw in your email that you are from Oregon, no doubt you don’t have too many local hobby shops.

Anyways… your answer is easy, you are gonna have to mail order. Yes, I know it’s a sin and all, but a 4 hour round trip is gonna cost ya some serious bucks in gas. So…. if you have to mail order I only recommend one place, Tower Hobbies. You can hit’em on the web HERE, or call’em toll free at 800-637-6050. They are good peeps over there and will hook ya up. They set the standard for mail order, good prices, outstanding inventory, and quick shipping, they are who I’d use if I lived 150 miles from an LHS.

Yup, that’s it for this week ya bunch of freaks. Email me all your crazy antics to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


What do you guys do with the models you review? do you sell them, keep them, givve them away? If you give them away then sign me up! I would always be interested in a new rc! Really love the site and keep on bashin’ !

Gray M.

Cubby- Hey thanks for the props Gray.

We don’t “sell” used test vehicles as much as we “trade” them. For example, you trade me a new bottle of Dom 98′, I trade you a beat down stadium truck. You trade me a Rotolog, I trade you a taco’ed out nitro monster truck. Sounds fair to me. :)

But seriously…. some former test machines we keep to review new product with (like batteries, motors, etc), all the others we Give Away To Our Readers. We aren’t like some members of the press that sell old test gear (sic), we choose to take the high road and give the stuff away. Sometimes we just hand test gear to people at the track, sometimes we have contests. Which reminds me, we have a LOT of contests coming down the pike, keep your eye on our front page to find out how to win! I hear our next contest involves giving away a new charger, expect full info in a few days.

Hey, I was just noticing your ihobby posts and wanted to tell you that I would buy that uber-cool bigsquid bowling shirt that you are wearing in the pic. Not the actual shirt, that’s gross. I would never wear another man’s shirt unless it was an emergency, but a shirt of the same design.

Kind Regards,
Tom N.

Cubby- Hola Tom, good hearing from you as always. You are probably talking about our 2010 shirts that we wore again on Sat-Sun this year at iHobby. We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about them over the last year, and thanks for your props. Unfortunately those aren’t for sale, but… we do have brand new uber t-shirts that have been selling faster than Red Bull at an ADD convention, just click on the “BSRC Shop” link above.

Can u tell me what manufacturers have SC motors and motor combos.

Matt N.

Cubby- All of them. You’re welcome.

But seriously…. all the major manufactures have “short course” specific systems available. What makes these systems more suitable for short course than just a normal 10th scale buggy or stadium truck system? The biggest difference is typically the motor. Short course trucks are heavier, have more rotating mass, and have big bodies that push around a lot more air, so larger motors are quite beneficial.

As far as what’s good… we have recently reviewed three 2wd SC specific systems, two from Novak and one from Viper. All were 8.5 systems, all were sensored, all put out smooth controllable power and ran quite well, so I can first hand recommend those to you. If you are looking for “crazy” power I’d recommend looking into the Castle 1410 or 1415 systems, or one of the Kershaw systems. The Castle systems are “relatively” tame on 2S, but yield crazy power on higher cell counts. We’ve also tested the Kershaws and they are another system that will destroy drive-line parts on higher cell counts (if you are willing to give up drive-abilty for shear power).

I was left baffled after reading your electrix torment review. You see i once owned an electrix ruckus and it was a piece of s*&t. I could twist the chassis with my hands flexing it several inches and on top of that i could not mount a small enough pinion to keep the motor from overheating. The electrix trucks are crap and i will never own another one. You have lost all credibility in my eyes for recommending them.

Jim A.

Cubby- Hey what’s up Jim? Thanks for the email…

Ok, a typical “racer type” would grab the chassis on an Electrix/ECX and declare it totally unusable. A basher type would pick up the same chassis and exclaim it was perfect!

In bashing a chassis with a fair amount of “give” is less likely to break… READ MORE


How’s it going? I’m in need to send my Schuamcher Fusion to shop to have it looked over. I would like to know if you could advise any to me?

Located in North FL

Cubby- Hey what’s up TC, and thanks for the email.

So you want to send your Schumacher car into a shop to get it looked over. I guess you didn’t get the memo, but this is a hobby where you actually work on your own cars. Seriously, we are playing with toy cars, if you really mess one up just throw it away and buy another one.

So…. bust out your owners manual and start tearing that beast down. Clean everything and look for anything broken or worn out. If you find items that need replacement I hear A-Main Hobbies is the best place in the states to get Schu parts right now. After receiving new parts, re-assemble and take’er for a test drive. If it’s still messed up you didn’t pay close enough achtung to your owners manual.

But… let’s say you aren’t very mechanically inclined, the kind of guy that can’t even change a roll of toilet paper. Here are your options.

1. Contact your local hobby shops and see if they repair used rc cars. So do, some don’t, but for those that do expect to pay around $20 an hour for labor.

2. Check Craigslist. In most larger metro areas there are guys advertising on CL that they fix broken cars. You’ll wanna be careful with these guys as most of them are working out of their house and they could very easily just keep your car and tell you to screw off.

3. Ship it to Wrench from BSRC. He’s the best there is at spin’n wrenches on an rc car, although his hourly rate is probably higher than what most new cars cost.

Okay, I’ll get straight to the chase…. on the charger shootout price page, there was a mistake. You said in the table that you used the Duratraxx Onyx
220 which you stated sold for $60. The 220 model only charges NiCd and NiMh, not LiPo. You used the 230, which sells for about $80 and charges LiPo batteries.

Also, I think it might be nice if you did a LiFe Battery shootout, just for fun. That and/or a 1/16 scale battery shootout, for the Traxxas 1/16 E Revo VXL (or other 1/16 traxxas models). The mini E Revo may be small, but in no way is it not for bashers. :)

Also, I stumbled upon some LiFe batteries while browsing the internet a week or so ago, and I’ve heard they’re much better than LiPo’s: They have more charges, they wont spontaneously combust if used improperly. :D But I haven’t found anything about the rate of charge for the batteries. Can you help me? I realize you are extremely busy, and I am in no way offended if you don’t respond to my newbie questions. :)


Cubby- Hey Ron, you are totally correct, we did shootout the Onyx 230 not the 220, thankfully I wasn’t the person that wrote that one up. :) BTW, it has been fixed since you wrote in.

Not that I don’t make a lot of mistakes, I certainly do, it’s the fact Brian keeps hiring people based on their chest size instead of their prowess of the English language to check over what we write around here. You have to suffer through our mistakes while we get to stare at large mounds of eye candy every day. The more I think about it, the more I think that’s an even trade-off. :)

About a battery shootout- yes, we desperately need to do one, but… there is a good reason why we haven’t done one recently- lack of hours in the day. However… you will be seeing a full review of the new 2S Dynamite 5200 mah 50C Speedpack in the next couple of weeks. I know that’s no shootout, but we’ll be posting all the discharge curves off the West Mountain all the way up to 60 amps.

About the charge rate on your mystery lithium iron phosphate pack- you need to consult the manufacture. As a “rule of thumb” most lithium based packs we use in the rc industry were designed from the ground up for a 1C charge, but…. there are lots of other industries out there, industries with much different demands than ours, industries where the max charge rate may be well under 1C. That isn’t really typical of LiFePO4 cells (typical is between 1-5C for the cells we use in rc), but could be the case, and better safe than sorry when charging any type of battery.

There is one more stolen out of Brian’s email box, keep reading… READ MORE


Hey guys,

Thanks for the review on the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3. I picked one up about a month ago and love it. I did upgrade the servo to a spektrum s6030 and modded the chassis to hold the battery with velcro and eliminated the goofy over tray. It is a pretty tough truck and handles great. It is loads better than the emaxx 3906 i used to have. Thanks again

Jason M.

Cubby- Since Thunder Tiger has gone to exclusive distribution through GP they’ve seemed to have really gain some traction (well that and thousands upon thousands of people reading their reviews here on BigSquid). In the past Thunder Tiger was nearly impossible to find, and goodness help ya trying to find replacement or hop-up parts. Now days you can actually find some of their products in an “average” LHS, you can actually get your hands on replacement parts, and the cars/trucks they are putting out have worked very well for us.

You mention you popped in a Spektrum S6030 servo, that’s a good upgrade as the stock servo doesn’t have the torque needed to really slam around those huge front tires. And I’ll agree with ya the stock battery trays are a bit goofy, but ours worked fine. The only other mod I would really consider to be a “must do” for the Thunder Tiger would be to put 8k fluid in the center diff. Bone stock out of the box the front tires become pizza cutters way too easy, the 8k evens out the power putting more to the rears under hard acceleration.

If anyone missed our Thunder Tiger MT4 G3 review, you can catch it at that link.

Hi, I have a stampede vxl with rpm everything, and a blitz with the cc sct combo (v2 with 3800 4 pole), was contemplating selling both to get the savage flux, main terrain is skate parks, be good to get your thoughts?!

Alan K.

Cubby- Assuming your Pede is the 2wd version, going to the 4wd Savage Flux opens up a lot trick options while driving a skate park. The gyro effect is much greater on a 4wd, especially one with tires as big as the Savage, making it much easier to pull back and front flips. The 4wd of the Savage will also allow you to tilt from side to side in the air (by steering to the left or right in flight), making it easier to flat land transfers. Lastly, the 8 shocks and ultra long travel suspension on the Savage will make all those cement landings at a skate park much softer. To boil it down, you are going to have a blast with the Savage Flux, it’s another level of performance over what you have right now.

Keep reading.. there’s another…. READ MORE


Dear Cub Reporter,

How the hell can you only give the Novak Havoc a power rating of only 7 out of 10? I have one of those in my Slash and it’s way more power than I will ever use I would have given it a solid 9.5.

Darren K.

Cubby- We’ve gone round and round at the office about that very subject. It boils down to this- it’s a 7 out of 10 compared to what? To me if I was comparing the Novak to only other 8.5 turn systems it would have been a 9. But… I ended up comparing it against all the other power systems available for 2wd short course trucks. For example, the Kershaw system on 2S that I tested months ago was quite a bit more powerful than any of the 8.5 systems I’ve tested lately. Then, pop 3S on that Kershaw system and it was in yet another level of power above that (at the 9.5 or 10 level). I went with that ranking system to inform readers that on the grand scale of power systems for a 2wd SC that the Novak 8.5 turn system weighed in about a 7, there are systems much slower, and much faster. If you are used to driving a 17.5 the 8.5 is going to feel gnarly fast, if you are used to a Castle on 4S it’s going to feel slow.

Also, my 7/10 rating definitely wasn’t a knock to Novak, their 8.5 performed well for it’s wind, and if you are truly looking for a “10″ in the power department I’m pretty sure they have the motors to accommodate you.

Btw… I’d put a stock brushed Slash system at a 4 and a stock brushed Venom Gambler system at about a 2.

This next letter is huge.. so we will avoid the cool font.. and you’ll have to click through to read the whole thing.. but it was a good letter and worth posting…..

“So after reading the transmitter shootout, I now know why my Dx3s craps the bed when it comes to the range…because they all do. Mine is way worse than most though, as it only gets about 50 feet from me when it randomly loses signal, goes into failsafe mode and applies full brakes. (very annoying and also causes some crazy and unnecessary wipeouts if doing high speed wheelies). A google search revealed that I am not the first person to experience this, but convincing customer service at horizon that it is not being caused by any fault of mine is a whole different battle that is a losing one so far. Contacting spektrum directly is just a waste of time, emails and phone calls go unanswered. Good thing it’s got a year warranty, cuz it’s gonna take all of it to get this problem remedied.

Anyways, I figured I’d throw in a suggestion for a possible entry in the next transmitter shootout.


Traxxas 12800mah lipos
Hi there
just wondering if you have reviewed these yet and if you have, what would be a suggested ac dual charger to keep these bad boys fresh.
Thank you
Aleic G.

Cubby- Nope, sorry Aleic, we’ve yet to test any of the new Traxxas packs, but I’m guessing some time in the very near future we’ll be getting some for review. If not, there are plenty of other good packs on the market to chose from. :)

So… what would be a good dual “ac” charger for a monstrous 12000 mah+ pack? That answer is easy, None! Why is that? Because the power supplies that come built into “ac” chargers are far too tiny to charge large capacity packs at anything even close to a 1C (60 minute) rate. Perhaps you don’t mind 3 or 4 hour charge times, but I do, so I am only going to recommend a charger/power supply combo that can at least do 15 amps. So… for huge capacity packs like the Traxxas 12800′s, I’m recommending a Hyperion 720i Super Duo3 charger (charges at up to 20 amps on both outputs, about $280), and a MaxAmps 12V 47 amp power supply (about $80). With this set-up you can charge a pair of 12800s easily at 1C.

Hey Guys,
I hope you had a great summer.

Anyway, I’ve been noticing on your website that HPI has some new releases coming soon. I’m definitely keeping my eyes out for the Trophy Truggy and hope it makes it to the US but I’ve also noticed that it plus the two Bullet trucks and the Trophy Buggy have phillips hardware. What’s up with that?! I mean it’s almost 2012 already, so why would you put phillips hardware on cool new vehicle releases?……..I’m just say’n….

Joe C.

Cubby- What’s up Joe? Yes, we had an outstanding summer, too good to be true really. Thanks to you guys BigSquid keeps blowing up, and we get to play with rc cars for living, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

So to get to your email…. there is all kinds of sad in the answer to your question.

So why is there Phillips hardware on the “new” HPI releases? Ok, I don’t work for HPI, so my pure guess is- they sourced some really old units, units designed years ago when Phillip head screws were “acceptable”.

It’s sad that HPI is releasing “new” vehicles with Phillips head screws, not only because Phillips suck, but because it shows they don’t care enough to put out new quality products. Ok, I can see people at HPI reading that and wagging fingers and uttering obscenities at me, but….

Let’s take a look at another of their “new” releases, the HPI Mini Recon. HPI is marketing it as new, but holy cow, the platform for that sucker has been around over half a decade. Why in the world would a quality company like HPI ever do such a thing? HPI has some pretty incredible designers on staff that could have put out something revolutionary, instead they went the easier (and cheaper) route. Kinda hard to overthrow Traxxas as the sales leader by putting out a half a$$ product don’t ya think? Just say’n…

That’s it for this week, submit your angry responses, quirky questions, and whatever else that will fit in on a 5 gig hard drive to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


I’ve been going out of my mind trying to find a 10Volt.850ma valve regulated lead acid battery for my RC dragster. Can you help me?

Thanks and have a nice day,

Cubby- Hey what’s up Rocky, and thanks for reading BigSquid.

So… you’ve been looking all over for a 5 cell (10 volt) 850 mah VRLA for your dragster. Well… it’s certainly easy enough to find a gel cell, and it’s no problem finding an 850 mah battery, and while hard, it’s not impossible to find a 10 volt lead acid, but… I’m calling it impossible to find all those things in just one battery. If anyone out there can prove me wrong, please feel free to shoot me a link and we’ll gladly pass it on to Rocky.

Wish I could help ya on this one Rocky, but it sounds like you might have to use a more commonly available battery in your rc hotrod.

I was surfing your site looking at all the reviews and shootouts and didn’t see any info on ESC’s. I’ve found lots of other great and helpful info. There is also not much about electric motors either.

I like how your recent shootouts have been with a wide variety of names. Top of the line, middle of the road, and bargain stuff. It’s a real eye opener, especially the 4×4 RTR SCT article. I was thinking of an esc shootout with maybe Castle Creations sidewinder or MMP, LRP, vxl-3, Hobbywing, Tekin, and the like…. The problem would be trying to keep them all similar. Preferably ESC’s used in SCT’s like my slash…

Thanks for the great site,


Cubby- What’s up Cory, and thank you for the way-super-dope letter.

Ya know…. we recently attempted to do a short course motor/speedo shootout. We reached out to all the big manufactures and several were nice enough to hook us up with systems. But… when we requested systems we basically said “send us your best short course system under $200″. So… we ended up with a wide range of systems. Some came with high kv motors, others with low. Some systems could only take 2S, while others could take 6S. We already had our test “categories” made up, but unfortunately several of those made it very hard to make it a fair fight for all the companies involved due to the wide variety of systems we received. We spent a lot of time thinking about how to make things fair, but in the end we decided the best thing to do was to test each system independently.

So… we have several systems in hand and have been testing them the last few weeks. Look for my review of the Novak Havoc Pro SC 8.5 system later this week, look for my review of one of the new Viper systems next week, and look for more brushless system reviews in the very near future. Regrettably we won’t be able to compare these systems against each other in a shootout format, but at least you’ll be able to read reviews of several of the newest short course brushless systems done by us.

I live where many months of the year there is snow or rain. So NONE of my Castle Creations Monster Mamba will work.since they are not waterproof. And I really don’t want to plastic dip them to waterproof them.

Can you search or are you aware of any manufacturer offering a waterproof 6s capable ESC that is on par with the Mamba Monster? Thanks..

Or why doesn’t someone come up with a vented yet splash proof ESC box. I hate not being able to drive my stuff in the wet!

-Kirk H.
Scottsbluff, Nebraska

Cubby- Well hello there Kirk. I’m not a water sports kind of guy so I called our resident water expert Craig “The crazy ramp builder and hydroplane guy” to get more info for my reply. Based on my convo with him (and a little industry inside info I know) lets play a little game of “bad news, bad news, good news”.

The first bad news is that nobody currently makes a good 6S waterproof speedo intended for rc cars.

The second piece of bad news is that if you want a good waterproof speedo you are going to have to reduce your cell count (and probably the size of your vehicle) so that you can use a waterproof Venom or Traxxas Velineon. You have to ask yourself, would you rather drive a smaller truck on 2S with a waterproof speedo or not drive at all?

Finally… lets get to the good news. There is a 6S waterproof speedo headed for the market. It’s not here quite yet, but just be patient as it might very well be on dealer shelves before the weather in your area turns sour. :)

That’s it for this week ya bunch of wacky rc’ers. Send me your letters, pictures, Breaking Bad swag, and tax returns to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


I whole heartedly applaud Traxxas for all they are doing to make RC a mainstream thing, but all of their focus seems to be on marketing and little on actual product development. I mean how many variations of the 1/16th E-Revo/Slash can there be? All have zero differentiation other than the bodies and some other ancillary things. I was hoping for a 1/5 scale RTR short course truck or something else ground breaking and new. Lets hope things change and they release something cool at the next hobby expo.

Keep up the good work! I really enjoy reading your website!

Cubby- What’s up Jon, great email, an welcome to the front page.

Personally… I really don’t have a problem with Traxxas running old platforms into the ground, financially it’s the best call and it actually works out best for the “typical” basher. For example, the Pede platform is a solid base with no glaring issues, there are parts Everywhere for that sucker, and because they produce so many of them parts are quite affordable, a perfect blend for the bashing crowd.

Traxxas popped the big bucks a few years ago for the new 16th scale platform and you just know from their history it will still be in service until well into the 2020′s. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, I see no problem with that.

Now obviously Traxxas is sitting on top of the world totally dominating their (our) industry. So… when sitting in that position why not update the older platforms like the Pede? Would that help sell trucks? To the core rc’er yes, to the typical Traxxas buyer, probably not. So… it makes perfect financial sense to keep running the old molds until the heat death of the universe is upon us. Can’t blame Traxxas for doing what’s in their best interest and for making a good living off of good products.

But…. what really drives me batty is that Traxxas has no problem cutting huge checks for the TORC series but they can’t fix their shock caps that pop off every time the wind blows the wrong direction? I mean seriously, just how much could that possibly cost? I have no idea, but it’s gotta be less than what they spend feeding their employees during a typical TORC series race weekend. Those caps have been an issue since the Thompson Twins were on the top of the charts, come on Traxxas, cut the check and fix’em. I’ve lost literally gallons of shock oil onto our precious Mother Earth due to those shock caps popping off, multiply that by thousands of users and we are slowly turning the Earths surface to one covered with stock Traxxas shock oil! But to be serious, the biggest issue on pretty much every Traxxas truck has to be those caps, just fix’em already.

Hi just wanted to know about Savox brushless systems. Are they any good? Just about every one knows about their servos but not so much about there brushless systems. Can the BIGSQUIDRC test them or do a report to see what the pros and cones are on there brushless systems?

Thanks for any help you can give,
Riley B.

Cubby- How’s it hang’n Riley? Thanks for the email….

Ya know… the forum types can’t seem to give enough props to Savox servo’s, unfortunately every one I’ve ever used had issues pop up. And no, I don’t think I’ve ever used a full production unit, but still, their servos have left a bad taste in my mouth.

About Savox brushless systems… who’s to say you haven’t already driven one? Savox is known more for being an OEM than an actual product line so I’d be incredibly surprised if you haven’t already driven one of their units while not even knowing it.

My personal experience with Savox labeled non-sensored motors has not been good, but once again I don’t think I’ve ever used full production units. I will say one of our guys was running some crazy kv Savox 2 pole in his Slash at iHobby a couple years ago and I don’t think I’ve ever seen tires turn into that big of pizza cutters before, it was just nutz.

Anyways, just for you Riley we’ll hit up the powers that be and see if we can get hooked up with a Savox BL system for review. Till then… we had been planning on doing a short course brushless shootout, but due to the manufactures sending us an incredible different variety of systems we have deemed a shootout impossible to be “fair” to everyone, so instead we’ll be reviewing each of the systems individually. Look for reviews of multiple brushless sc systems to start popping up any Tuesday now.

Can you believe it, you’ve suffered through yet another “ASK Cubby” column. Send me your questions, sub-questions, and micro-questions to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter