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Ask Cubby’ Category

Cubby

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.
Michigan

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.
READ MORE

Cubby

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

Cubby

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,
Rocky

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,

Cory

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

Cubby

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!
Cheers
JON A.

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

Cubby

Hello Brian,

First, I have a suggestion:

I just read the 4WD Short Course Shootout and 3 trucks is not so much for a shootout. You already mentioned the Losi SCTE and Associated SC10 4×4 are not in stores now. Maybe you could get all trucks out again when they are in stores and do a 4WD Short Course Shootout Reloaded or so with all five trucks.

Floris H.

Cubby- Yes, here’s another email stolen from Brian’s email.

And yes Floris, 3 trucks isn’t very many for a shootout, but it’s better than just a pair which would have only been a “comparison”.

I think the greater question is- “Why has it taken so long for Losi and AE to get 4×4 RTR SC’s on the market?” I mean, it’s only the hottest product category on the planet right now, and the Ofna and Traxxas trucks have been on dealer shelves forever. Just think how many trucks Ofna and Traxxas have already sold in a product category that neither Losi or AE has even had an entry? What happened to the good ole’ days when Losi and AE led the pack, not sat around the back trying to play catch-up? Just say’n that time sure have changed, there are new leaders in the industry…


Cubby,
Was the big news that Tamiya was supposed to release today really just their updating their web-site? Please tell me it isn’t so.
Kalis

Cubby- For those that might not have heard, Tamiya made a “Big Announcement” (LOL) yesterday. They had been teasing about it for a couple weeks, and I’ve found, at least in the rc world, the bigger the tease the more the news is bound to suck. And yes, Tamiya’s big announcement today was that they have rehashed their web-site. So yea, their “big announcement” was ridiculously lame. Where’s an uber new car/buggy/truck??? Seriously, the marketing department over at Tamiya is easily one of the worst in our industry (IMO), and yesterdays “big announcement” was further proof of that. Which is a shame really, as there are so many great marketing people out there looking for jobs right now.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of fanatics, send me your questions, answers, and attempts to ameliorate my above responses to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Cubby- We have a winner in last nights “Win Cubbys ???” contest, it’s Kage from Durham, NH, and he just won my Speed Passion RS2 brushless stadium truck! Congrats Kage, I hope you really enjoy my truck, I already miss it, that thing RIPS hard! Also thanks to everyone for participating last night- BSRC is THE place to win!!!


hello! i am both excited and embarrassed to admit that i am now getting back into RC’s…about 20 years later! i used to drive a sweet old ‘frog’ and then got a RC10 back in the day…lost interest and now went out and got myself a new toy to play with, HPI savage flux 2350 -kid up the street selling for newfangled “nitro” truck? WHAT IS THAT…I’ll take it too!It was WAY fun, but now i want to upgrade and bash the heck out of it! I have since put in the “extension kit” and added larger wheels -big joes? – don’t know which, i just got the largest that would fit…i like the ride and handling now, lowered it too…but now with the added weight, length and bla bla…i lost a LOT of power/top speed and flips/wheelies and I want that power back. So, aside from the batteries (was running 5000mah 30C 2S (x2) what can i put in there to make it super-awesome-number-1-again? Which motor will give me most bang for buck and wheelies again/w ESC of course and what about gears? with the new power and larger heavier equip i’m sure i’ll need new ones of those too…any help will be awesome! I will make sure to add pics and a little video once i finish this “hop-up” as it is called…I’m too green at this hobby now, TOO GREEN!!!thank
you

Adam S

Cubby- Hey Adam, thanks for shoot’n us an email.

So you’ve got a Savage Flux 2350 with huge tires and a stretched chassis and it doesn’t seem as gnarly as it once did. Indeed, larger diameter tires are a lot harder to turn over, as well as gearing you through the roof. Add the extra weight of a stretched chassis and I can see where your old speed went.

How to fix your dilemma- a Castle Monster system on 6S.

So which Castle Monster? You’ll be wanting the Mamba Monster 2200kv system. The included speedo works fine on 6S, the 2200 kv motor has more grunt than your stocker, it also works fine on 6S, and the system as a whole has a ridiculous amount of backflipping/tire-shredding power.

And while you are ordering your new power system, be sure and pick up a new pinion gear. Between your big tires and going up to 6S, you’ll want to install the smallest pinion that you can. Keep in mind that even with the smallest pinion you can mesh up, your truck will still be uncontrollably fast. It will make you smile so hard your toes will hurt. :)

Enjoy, have a nice day, and I am looking forward to seeing a video of you landing a quadruple backflip off the roof of your house.


Hi Brian,

Great RC website!
I looked but couldnt find anything on nitro comparisons. Have you guys ever done one? I’m always wondering what’s the best nitro out there. More power to you guys!
Thanks,
Derrick C.
Sent from my iPad

Cubby- Hey Derrick, Brian (aka- Brain) shot me your email to post here on the front page for the entire world to read, so here it is. :)

Ya know… there was a day when most of the BSRC Bash Crew drove nitro, and not just us, but the majority of rc’ers did. Then came brushless and Lithium, and well, you already know what that did to the nitro market.

If you were to look around the ridiculously plush BSRC offices we have several nitros sitting around, the problem is, none of us want to drive them. We’d much rather push “start” on a couple battery chargers and have our trucks go balls out for 15 minutes than screw around for 45 minutes with a nitro engine to get it running correctly.

So the simple fact is- we’ve done zero nitro comparisons. And that’s not due to lack of trying, heck I hate nitro but realize there are still a lot of people out there that drive them and would appreciate some nitro love’n. I simply can’t get anyone around the office to even begin to do anything nitro related.

So… does that mean that nitro is that bad, or that brushless/Lipo is that good? Ask ten different people and you’ll get lots of different responses, but I feel it’s a combo of both. When nitro is good, it’s very, very good, when it’s bad it makes you want to beat the offending truck to death with a sledge hammer and drive to the manufactures corporate offices and start smashing heads into the wall. When brushless/Lipo is good, it’s fantastic, when it’s bad, at least it’s 100% dead and the issue can easy be tracked down to a couple of different things.

So… when will you start seeing more nitro on BSRC? I am all for it actually, but I’m not sure when we will start doing more of it here. Wrench cranks out the occasional nitro but for the rest of us, at least not until nitro ups its game with more consistent, reliable, and longer lasting products. I’ll talk to Wrench, and see if we can get him doing some more nitro articles.


That’s it for yet another week of ASK Cubby. I know you have questions and comments, just go ahead and send’em in, heck, they might even make the BSRC front page! Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Cubby- To start things off today I must say congratulations to Chris D. for winning my Electrix Boost buggy last night. BigSquid held the contest over on Facebook where whoever was the 100th poster won my Boost and the 100th reply was from Chris. So congrats Chris, I hope you enjoy my Boost! If you didn’t win last night no need to fret, we’ve got a LOT more contests coming your way!

Now on to the questions…


Dear Mr Cubby I am from Dallas and want to get into the rc hobby. For years I have been wanting to build a car from the ground up as a kit but after looking at current models most seem to be already built. Is there a kit on the market that you can recommend to me?

Jeremy

Cubby- Hummm…. you didn’t mention many parameters on what you are looking for, you seem to be leaving your entire buying decision to what I recommend. So… what would I recommend to a swing’n guy like you from Dallas?

Everything in Texas is big right? Of course it is, so I’m going to recommend to you the HPI 5B SS Kit. While not cheap, the 5B SS is a worthy performer, anvil tough (just watch our YouTube video of us bouncing one off a street sign), and is a lot of fun to build. Because it’s a 5th scaler all the parts (and fasteners) are nice and big and easy to see, and of course the HPI instructions are right on the mark. Once finished you’ll have a Texas size rc car to play with.

Btw, make sure you have Plenty of bench space cleared off before you start the build. Before you are done your entire work space will be filled with plenty of HPI off-road goodness! :)


There is no way you are going to answer this question but what the heck I’ll give this a shot. I bought a Speed Passion SP2 truck because of your review and I was wondern how do I know when I have the slipper adjusted right? I drive on the street but some in the yard. I read your stuff every week thanks cubby!!!!

Dixon W.

Cubby- Well hello there Dixon.

I wish you would have mentioned how you have been getting along with your new SP2, I mean it never hurts to have consumers back up our testing. During our testing period ours was tough and quite fast, I hope you are having a great time with yours.

So just how do you know when you have a slipper adjusted correctly?

Lets do the worst case scenarios first.

What happens if the slipper is too loose? If the slipper is too loose it will get too hot and not transfer maximum power to the wheels.

What happens if the slipper is too tight? When it’s way too tight every bit of shock/force is transmitted through the entire drivetrain. This can result in broken driveline parts like the spur, idler, cvd’s, etc. This condition can also make your car/buggy/truck harder to drive, especially coming out of corners, jump landings, and from a dead stop.

So how do you know when you have it properly adjusted? At the very least the slipper needs to slip when landing from jumps. From a dead stop you typically don’t want it to slip for more than a foot. If it slips for more than a foot you won’t be able to pop wheelies (the SP2 comes with a wheelie bar) and the slipper will get too hot. Start with the slipper too tight and back it off slowly till you have it adjusted to slip when you want it to (and it doesn’t get too hot). This takes practice, but it’s best to error on too tight if you must.

Don’t forget you’ll need to re-adjust the slipper for different levels of traction. For instance, if you set your trucks slipper on a pavement then go to a slick dirt track more than likely your slipper will be too tight. If you set your slipper on loose dirt more than likely it will slip far too much on pavement. Yes it takes some time, and yes it takes come practice, but I can assure you it isn’t rocket science, you will be a pro at it in a few short runs.


That’s a wrap for this week. Send me your questions, comments, jokes, and ornery ramblings to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

yo cabby its bin a munf now & stil no new employes @ da bsrc offises? wut givs, brah? i chops it up wit brain @ all his shindigs, plus im local. i was da 1 who lent fletch my stampede so he cood compete agenst me in monster soccr, wich i now regret sinse we lost bolf games. tell brain 2 giv me a job or ill jump my mt4 g3 off a ramp in2 his hed!!!

frum urs truly, xerxes

Cubby- So… after reading your email, I’m guessing one question is “should I jump my Thunder Tiger MT4 into Brians head or not?”. The answer to that one is easy- of course you should. Heck I would if he’d stand still long enough for me to zero my sites in on him. You know that Brian- his veins are filled with Red Bull and pixie sticks making him nearly impossible to hit with an rc as he bounces off the walls.

And why hasn’t Brain hired anyone yet? I haven’t asked him why, but I’d guess because he’s been too busy. The pile of “Please oh please hire me!” emails is ridiculously huge and time is short around here. Maybe once we get caught up a bit he’ll dig in and find a few suitable employees. And yes I know we’d get caught up faster with more employees, but tell that to Brian.

Btw, after looking through that stack there are a lot of mag guys in there. Are the mags paying those guys in broken rc parts now days? Are the people they are working for just that big of a-holes? Or do they just know their current jobs are doomed? Wow…


Cubby,
I think I saw you at RCX, were you standing next to the lady in the Bigsquid booth?
Jagger

Cubby- Hey Jagger, I think I saw you at RCX as well. Were you the guy wearing the black Monster t-shirt with the black DC flatbill, black socks and Ken Block DC’s standing by the chic that looked like she professionally dances for a living? Yup, I thought that was you.

Yes I was at RCX, and yes I spent at least a full minute talking to our booth babe Mindy. I spent the other 30 minutes I was there in awe of the low attendance and how RCCA pulled the plug on their show 2 hours early. But to answer your question- I’m gonna guess that the person you saw was probably Evan, Tim, or Brian, as they were in the booth about 8 hours longer than I was. Next time don’t be shy and come on over to the booth and say hello.


It’s been a long time since you’ve done a shootout, when is the next one? One last question, where did the Saturday around the web column go?
Koby

Cubby- Yo what’s up Koby? Last question first- Jeff was the person responsible for the most excellent “Around the Web” column but he took a break to go make crazy money. Hopefully that crazy money dries up fast and we can get his column back every Saturday. :)

And yes, we’ve been slack’n like crazy on our shootouts. But… we start another one next weekend. I won’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet, but hopefully you guys will dig it, and hopefully it’ll send shockwaves through the industry. And no, it’s not another battery shootout. We know our readers love the shootouts but they take ten times longer to do than a normal review so it’s hard for us to get them penned into the schedule.


Send me your questions, videos, wacky song lyrics, and “The Gathering” ticket stubs to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

Cubby

Hello,
I got a quick question. Can the Evader DT take LiPo batteries stock? If so, would I need to install a LVC? Thank you
-Jordan

Cubby- What’s up Jordan? Is it just me or do we get this question a lot? Well… if it’s getting asked this much I better man up and answer it.

Can the Evader DT (same goes for the entire Evader line) take LiPo batteries? Yes, they fit just fine and your truck will be extra fast while running one.

But… no, the stock speedo does not have built in low voltage cut-off (LVC) protection. When running LiPo batteries I highly recommend running an LVC to keep from ruining your batteries. Ideally you never want your LiPos to go below 3 volts per cell, an LVC can help you prevent this.

One tip not mentioned often enough is- a lot of LiPo batteries are ruined each year because drivers only turn off their speedo (via the on/off switch) but forget to unplug their battery pack. You see the speedo will still pull a slight amount of current even if the switch is turned off, so for storage purposes (more than just a few hours) you must also unplug the battery to prevent it from being over discharged.

Keep on bashing Jordan, and remember it isn’t bashing unless it gets broke.


Cubby,
I had a blast at Bash-a-palooza, but it made me realize that I need a monster truck. Between the Savage Flux HP and the Thunder Tiger MT4 which would you recommend and why?
Fletch

Cubby- Hey now Fletch, thanks for taking the time to write in an email.

Universally I’ve heard nothing but good things being said about Bash-A-Palooza 2011. Brian and Wrench worked their butts off to put on a good event, glad you guys appreciated it. Next year I promise to make it on time, seriously, I promise.

First off, do you really need a monster truck? If you’re truly a basher then heck yes ya do! The larger tires help in getting over crazy obstacles and generally make for a wilder ride. Oh and, it’s also great fun watching them become pizza cutters on high cell counts. :)

So… HPI Savage Flux or Thunder Tiger MT4? Boy thats smells like a dern good shootout to me but I’m not going to dodge the question. If I had to go out and buy one tomorrow it would be the Thunder Tiger MT4.

So why do I pick the Thunder Tiger over the HPI? Because the Thunder Tiger has proven tougher during our testing. We’ve bashed the MT4 like we stole it, even on 6S, with virtually no problems or broken parts. We’ve done things (horrible, nasty, unspeakable things) to that truck on purpose to destroy it and it didn’t break. Seriously, it’s an amazing truck who’s biggest downside is the lack of parts support at local hobby shops. But… because the truck rarely breaks the parts support issue becomes rather moot.

On the other hand… no doubt the HPI is a burly truck. No doubt the HPI has a better reputation, it has been out a long time and has more than proven its worth. IMO the HPI has more power out of the box, and there are a whole lot more hobby shops that stock parts for the Savage than for the Thunder Tiger. But… we’ve broken more than a handful of parts on the Savage Flux, and I’d much rather be huck’ing it off the roof than wrenching on it.

Lastly, just so you know, while I picked the Thunder Tiger there are others in our office that would pick the Savage. Both are great trucks, no matter which one you pick (out of those two) you are going to have a fantastic time.

Little tip for when you do buy one- 6S might not be “that” much more voltage than 4S, but it feels twice as fast! Have fun!


That’s it for this weeks edition of ASK The Goofy BigSquid Pundit Guy, submit your questions (in broken Engrish, those are always the most fun to read) to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Cubby- Before we get to this weeks questions I’d like to post a reminder to please join us this Saturday at the Odium in Chicago for Bash-A-Palooza! Bring your trucks and have a blast with us and other bashers just like you. It’s also a chance for bashers to show industry peeps you are a force to be reckoned with. It’s free to enter, and we are giving away a LOT of prizes!


Yo, Big Squid….
Where can I get one of those Squiddy’s for my Wraith? That lil guy is super cool………..LMk..OK?
Scott K

Cubby- I take it you are referring to the uber BSCR tension reliever pictured in the drivers seat of our Wraith review? The scoop on those is- they were part of the media packets we handed out to manufactures during Ihobby last year. Can you have one? Well… I just happen to know somebody that has a half dozen of them sitting in their desk right now, and… I’m fairly sure I can mail you one, I mean, that mystery person can mail you one in exchange for Only one bottle of vintage 96′ Dom. Sounds like a fair exchange to me, LMK.

But to be serious (and ugggghh I hate being serious)… drop by our booth at Ihobby 11′ and we can totally hook ya up.


Hey… I think you guys have one boost buggy and I bought the other one. I can’t find any information in any forums about these things and you guys are the only people I know that have one. I was wondering if you guys had any other buggy bodies (especially the bulldog ones) that you could test fit on the boost and let me know if they fit. I would go to the hobby store to try to find one, but it is 50 miles away… and probably doesn’t have any buggy bodies at all in stock.

Hope you can help… if not I understand… love your website keep up the good work.

Nathanael W.

Cubby- What’s up Nathanael? Hope you are dig’n your Boost as much as we like ours. Our Electrix Boost and our Ruckus are daily drivers around here as both are always up for a good thrashing. Also, they are perfect for a quick bout of demo derby during our ridiculously short one hour lunch periods here at the BSRC offices.

So… while I really appreciate your props, friends don’t let friends drive “cab forward” bodies. There may be cab forward bodies that will bolt right on to the Boost, but even if I knew which ones they were I could not in clear conscience give you that information allowing you to deface your Boost in such a manner.

My recommendation? The stock Boost body is not “cab forward”, but is pretty slick. A new clear Boost body runs about $29, buy one and put your own way-super-dope paint scheme on it. Don’t be a part of a foolish trend, start your own, do something unique with your new clear body, your imagination is your only limit. Btw, the part number you need is Electrix #ECX3801, hit up your closest Horizon dealer or Horizon Hobby online.

A year from now when “cab forward” bodies are looked at like the mullets of the rc world you’ll be thanking me… seriously. :)


That’s it for this week, submit your questions and whatnots, etc to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com, and see ya at Bash-A-Palooza!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

hello i just got the losi xxx scb and and im not happy with the motor system it gets really hot and i have to get a new motor its a great car and runs great and gets alot of attractoin but it is not fast or quick do you have any ideas on how to gain peformance instead of a really hot and now dead motor lol

Simon R.

Cubby- Hola, what’s up Simon? Those Horizon/Losi SCBs are pretty dern cool aren’t they? Amazing the crowd they attract wherever you go isn’t it?

First off let me say I hope you are using a good 2S Lipo in your SCB. If you aren’t using a Lipo you’ll be losing a lot of performance- their lighter weight and higher voltage under load than old school round cells, makes them worth every penny.

So lets assume you are already running a good Lipo. The stock motor puts out good power but they run too hot and burn up too quickly. The brushed motor out of a RTR Blitz is slightly faster and lasts much longer, so if you are running a spec class, or simply want to save some cash by staying brushed on the stock speedo this is a good (and affordable) option.

If you stay brushed be sure and water dip the motor before installing it. Use 2 to 4 volts DC for around 40 minutes or till the water is noticeably discolored, then re-oil the bushings and you are dialed. The same can be said about the brushed motor that comes stock in the Traxxas Slash except they aren’t quite as quick as the HPI, but they will also last many times longer than the stock Losi unit.

But to really “fix” the problem…

This requires ditching the stock motor and speedo and installing brushless gear. Regardless of price the best motor I’ve tried in the SCB is the Castle 1410 3800 kv. This motor has more power than you will every use, has a very drivable powerband, and it runs at very reasonable temps with moderate gearing. Unfortunately this motor isn’t cheap to buy by itself but when bought in conjunction with Castles Sidewinder SCT speedo the entire system is under 150 clams. Some people consider this buying a great motor and getting a speedo for free.

But…

The system I’m currently running in my SCB is a Mamba Max Pro on a Castle 1406 4600 motor. The Max Pro is a far superior speedo to the Sidewinder (albeit not cheap) and I like the extra Kv of the 4600 on 2S. I also prefer the powerband of the 4600, but it doesn’t run as cool as the 1410 3800. Btw, this system runs about 80 smackers more than the Sidewinder set-up. To me the “perfect” combo is the Max Pro on the 1410 motor, but Castle does not currently offer them as a combo meal deal.

Furthermore…

Some people prefer the perfect launch provided by a sensored system. In that case I’d recommend a Novak set-up. I haven’t run one of their systems in my SCB so shoot’em an email and see what their set-up of choice (and gearing) is for the SCB.


I was casually posting in the forums today, and what came out of my mouth (well, actually, fingers) totally and utterly reminded me of the BSRC mentality.

(chatting it up, talking about a good, cheap brushed motor to power my Slash 2WD for my yearly camping trip while my new brushless motor get’s RMA’d)

“…I was thinking today if there was any way to mash on an Emaxx dual-motor mount onto the stock gearbox… if only I had more time D: I may never need brushless again! haha and then… COMPOUND DUAL-MOTOR MOUNTS! like… dual motor mounts mounted on dual motor mounts!”

haha, that would just be silly.
“what are you running?”
‘triple Titan 775 Slash 2×4 geared 55/50 on parallel 4S packs.’
“…………WAT?”… ”

I couldn’t not email you this. not really anything constructive, but I’ve always wanted an excuse to email you!

Keep doing what you guys are doing!
~Kyle G.

Cubby- Looks like we need to make you an honorary member of the BSRC Bash Crew, sounds like you’d fit right in.
The whole triple 775 Slash 2×4 geared to the moon on 4S does sound like a LOT of fun, actually it sounds like something Adam The Intern would be perfectly suited to bring to fruition. Hummmm… wonder what we have Adam doing tomorrow? Maybe between building 12 wheeled E-maxx’s and perfect 1000th scaled replicas of downtown Chi-Town he can bust this project out.

Speaking of the BSRC mentality… I hear we have a new event planned for BashAPalooza at RCX. Our new event involves using your rc truck to knock (read- Smash) down old transmitters like bowling pins. Heck even I want to enter that one…

Have fun on your annual camping trip and send us some pics of your Slash in action!


We know you are filled to the brim with questions so let them pour out. Email me- Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

What is the deadline for winning your gambler and can I enter more than once?

Robbie D.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Cubby- What’s up Robbie D?

For those that have not heard, I am giving away my BSRC test Venom Gambler short course truck. It’s in fine shape and ready to tackle your backyard or track. To enter all you have to do is shoot me an email with 10 reasons you want to win my truck (heck, I’ll even take just 3 reasons for those slackers out there). I’ll pick the email I like best and my Gambler will be on its way to the winner ASAP.

My email address is Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com and the cut-off for entries is this Saturday night at midnight central time (July 23rd,2011). And ya sure, you can enter as many times as you like. I’ll post the winner in this Mondays Cub Report. So far I’ve received less than 30 entries so your chances are pretty dern good at this point, so get to emailing!


I’m assuming Brian’s LHS that offers test drives is Hobbytown Orland Park. If not, make sure it is on your list.
I wanted to add that Al’s Hobby Shop usually has multiple vehicles available for test drives. I know they have dNaNo cars they can try out and have a track at the facility (so you get to actually TRY racing with lap times). There is almost always other cars available for test drives.

If you do end up having a “test drive locator”, I’d love to see mention of the ChiMini R/C club as well (www.chiminirc.com) as we’ll let anyone try their hand on trying out a Mini-z. Granted I’m not a LHS but it offers up a chance to try out racing on an affordable scale.

Greg Z.

Cubby- There ya have it people, if you live in the Chi-Town metro you are dialed with free test drives. You’ve got the HobbyTown USA location in Orland Park, Al’s Hobby in Elmhurst, and the ChiMini R/C club in Berkeley. Geez I need to get up there and partake of those test drives myself!

So what about the rest of America? Not one other hobby shop in the country does free test drives? If you know of a place that allows free test drives of hobby grade vehicles shoot me an email, I’d love to help spread the word. If you are a hobby shop owner I KNOW you have a couple cars just laying around that you could use to give noobs a test drive, so bust’em out!


Hi Cubby I hope you can help me out. I drive a Traxxas brushless revo on a pair of 3S zippy lipo batteries. The problem is every time I plug the batteries in they spark. What am I doing wrong? I don’t want to ruin anything. Please help I don’t have much extra money laying around.
Darren

Cubby- Hey ya Darren, thanks for the email.

Most likely everything is all good, it’s just the high voltage of the two packs wired in series for 6S creating the spark, but double check your wiring just in case. On the first pack the positive wire goes to the positive on the speedo, on the second pack its negative goes to the negative of the speedo, the remaining two wires, the negative from the first pack goes to the positive of the second pack and not to the speedo at all. That’s the wiring for crazy speed.

If you are looking for slow speed and maximum runtime you’ll want to wire in parallel. The positive wires from both the first and second pack go to the positive of the speedo, while both negative wires from the batteries go to the negative of the speedo. This wiring won’t yield much top speed or wheelie popping power, but you’ll have oodles of runtime.


That’s it for this week, get your “Win Cubbys Gambler” emails sent in, and submit your questions, comments, and really whatever is on your mind to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

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