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hey fellas,
First off my name is Vern. My brothers an i have been racing the pavement with our rc cars since i was old enough to hold a controller. Well it has come time to let my son run the ropes. For the past six weeks i have been looking for a truck thats close to my traxas slash and losi strike for a starter for my 4 year old. i was on youtube and found a couple of duratrax evader dt videos by or for big squid rc. Soooo i looked in to the truck, and for a few more days i pondered. I found more videos and one some one drove it full speed in to a curb! wow! Any way just want to thank everyone at big squid for the forums and and honest opinions and product stress test”curb test”i didnt feel like u were tring to sell a prouduct. the reviews were real and solid. Unlike my local hobby shop where i can never get a strait answer on what a product is worth and how durable it is. i ended up getting the duratrax dt for my son. Well now he sleeps with it right next to him he is so proud that him and i can race. thanks for helping me make the right choice. as far as my sons
driving, nothings broke but mybe my pride,crushed in a drag race. i didnt change my remote battries never got off the starting line. I hope to see Big Squid around for years to come! my next rc will follow one of your reviews and product videos!

“may the pavement lead to dirt, and dirt to epic jumps ” safe driving! A new fan of big squid rc.
vernon r.

i told my friends about you.

Cubby- Thanks for the kind words Vernon.

BigSquidRC is a site aimed right at the vast majority of people in our hobby-backyard bashers. And while bashing, drivers hit things like curbs Really hard. Our readers slam curbs on a daily basis, we pound curbs with our personal vehicles, so while testing it’s only fitting we tag a few curbs wide open. Some manufactures hide their heads in the sand thinking their trucks will never take such a pounding, and if they do, they consider it customer “abuse”. Fortunately for you core bashers there are other companies that know what really goes on in the real world and build their products to take some pretty gnarly hits. Glad to hear your son is loving his Duratrax DT, it is a seriously tough (and fun!) truck.

ps- You must have told a lot of friends because our numbers are through the roof lately!

Hey guys,

After getting back in the hobby, I’ve noticed that lipo/brushless systems are all the rage now and have touched every facet of rc. So I’m wondering. where are the 1/8th scale brushless truggies? I’ve seen several companies with their versions of brushless buggies but no truggies. Associated had their RC8Te but was discontinued after a short while. I thought the brushless truggy scene
would’ve exploded when the Mamba Monster systems (and other large brushless systems) were released. Any insight? Did I miss something?

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

IMO truggies can be considered superior to buggies in many areas. Truggies handle bomb’ed out tracks better than buggies do and truggies make better bash/jump machines because they have greater ground clearance. The bigger truggy tires handle bumps better, and there is more room inside for higher cell counts and/or larger motors.

And no Joe, you didn’t miss anything, but consumers have voted with their wallets, and that vote says they prefer E-buggy over E-truggy. And why is that? I think it boils down to two reasons- keep reading..


Hi ya guys,
What is an acceptable motor temp on a Mini-T?
I have an EZRun 25A speed controller with a 7800kv motor on a 2S lipo. Its geared stock spur mated to a 15 tooth RRP pinion. The highest motor temp I have seen so far has been 168 degrees. Is this hot enough to damage the magnet?
Thanks for any and all advice!!!!!

Ronnie W.

Cubby- Hey ya Ronnie, “cool” question ya got there.

Most magnets used in our rc motors are said to be damaged when they hit around 200 degrees. When our magnets get too hot, they lose their strength, causing efficiency and power to suffer, while the kv actual increases.

So you shot the can of your motor and saw 168 degrees, is your motor ok? I think a lot of internet pundits would tell you “yes!”, but I’m going to tell you “no!”. You see the can of your motor is much cooler than your rotor (magnet), so while your can is shooting 168, the core temp of your motor is going to be closer to 220. IMO, ideally, you don’t want to see can temps of over 140 if you want optimum performance and longevity out of your motor.

One last thing that isn’t discussed enough… You only need to overheat your motor once to de-mag it. Once is all it takes to forever be chasing the power, runtime and efficiency it once had. After running it too hot, even just once, no matter what you try, whether it be gearing, different timing, etc, you’ll never get it to run like it did from the factory.

I still cannot break anything on my Traxxas Slash (other than a transmitter) and I’m thinking that some more power should do that. I feel the need to blow-up my Titan 12T motor before I upgrade to brushless, so I’m looking at investing in this new-fangled “LIPO” technology. I’ve scoured your LiPo shootouts and kept up with all the new product updates. Shootout #1 labeled the Thunder Power 5000 40C as the “best battery” to put into a slash. Does your opinion still hold true? I know you cannot directly compare the results of the two shoot-outs, but there seemed to be many strong contenders in #2. Is there anything newer (and hopefully cheaper) than the TP 5000 40C that can give me some axle bending, A-arm busting, gear stripping, bumper busting power?

Tommy K.

Cubby- I can’t resist posting another of Tommy’s letters.

Good hearing from you again Tommy. Btw, I really like the stock Titan motor on the Slash, it’s quick enough to have fun, but not so fast as to get you into too much trouble. Spray the motor out once in a while with motor cleaner, put a couple drops of oil on the bushings and the Titans typically last much longer than what most of the “message board guys” say they will.

The battery companies have new product every few months, so much of the info in our Lipo shootouts is already outdated. Btw, I hear our next Lipo shootout might be right down your ally- we are planning on shooting out sub $50 2S packs. But… that shootout is still a ways off, so here’s what I recommend for now.

1. Be sure and buy a hard case. You might not think you will taco a soft pack, but you inevitably will. A lot of your landings and crashes are harder than you think, a hard case Lipo will go a long ways towards helping your battery live as long as possible.

2. Buy a Lipo that fits ROAR dimensions. If the pack you buy fits ROAR dimensions, it will easily fit in your Slash and fit pretty much any other rc you might buy in the near future. You’d be amazed if you knew how many people bought batteries that would not fit in their car.

3. All these people sending money straight to China are slowly slitting their own throats, so try to buy an American branded pack from your local hobby shop. When people buy straight from China, not only does an American battery company lose money, so does the American distributor, and your local American hobby shop. Wouldn’t any good American pay a bit more to keep Americans fed than ship their dollars straight overseas ?? Enough of the “I saved 30 bucks!!!” b@llsh!t, lets keep as much money as we can at home. Just say’n…

Lastly, I am Cubby, so I’m not gonna leave ya hang’n on a “real” answer. We haven’t done the sub $50 shootout yet, but I am going to recommend Venom as the best low-buck Lipo on the market right now (till I’m proven wrong in the shootout). Venom’s old Ni-mh packs had a terrible reputation (that was well earned… LOL), but the cells in their new Lipos are sourced from a good place, and from first hand experience around the BigSquid compound, they’ve been solid performers. They are not uber high-end race packs, but they have proven to be great packs for their price. Lastly, pretty much every local hobby shop in the country either has these packs in stock, or can get them quite quickly for you.

One last thing that is not discussed enough… keep your Lipos away from heat when you are not using them. Storing them in an air conditioned room (safely of course) is much better than your garage that is a 100+ degrees in the summer. When using or charging them, try to keep them out of direct sunlight. Don’t leave them in your full size rig that hits 130+ on a hot summer day. Be smart and safe with them of course, but try to keep them cool when not in use.

That’s it for this week, shoot us your emails. Got a question? Send us an email. Want to tear us a new one? Get at the back of the line, but shoot us a mail. Just wanna make our front page? Get in line for that one too, but send us an email! Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


While digging around my closet I came across an old Losi Mini-T. The battery in it was a ni-mh, and I couldn’t get it to take a charge. I have a small 11.1 volt 3S li-po I can use, will it work in my Mini-T?
Gary K.

Cubby- What’s up Gary, and thanx for the email.

Can you use a 3S Lipo in a Mini-T? Yes and no. If your Mini-T still has the stock electronics in it, No you can’t. If you try it you’ll blow the stock speedo as it was never intended to operate on that high of voltage (nor was it designed with a Lipo battery low voltage cut-off).

And Yes you can run a 3S pack in your Mini-T IF you install an after-market speedo and motor (this is assuming your 3S Lipo is up to the task). I’d recommend the Castle Sidewinder Micro with a 5400 kv motor. The wheelies you’ll be pop’n with this set-up will leave you smiling for hours. FYI, keep tire glue handy, you are gonna need it.

I have an E-max and have always wondered why it has two motors? Do you have any upcoming E-max articles in the works? I emailed you a question before and it never got posted. Walter

Cubby- So why does your E-Maxx have two motors? Because it looks twice as cool that way! Because it was designed in America where more is always better!

Ok… to get serious here- back when the E-Maxx was first released brushless systems and Lithium based batteries were rarely used in rc’s. So… to move all that mass with brushed and Ni-mh, Traxxas decided to tackle the problem by wiring two 6 cell (or 7 cell) Ni-mh packs in series and to run two motors. The batteries were wired in series to raise voltage in an attempt to keep current draw to a minimum, and the dual motors were used in an attempt for more torque and to keep heat down. As you’ve seen with your truck, it typically works pretty dern well, but it’s nowhere in the same league as a single BL/Li-po system.

Do we have any E-Maxx related articles in the works? Yes! We are converting an old E-Maxx into something new and bash-worthy, it should be finished up in a few weeks.

Lastly, I didn’t post one of your previous questions? Really? We get 30 questions a week here, and I typically answer 2. You do the math… but at least now you can sleep at night knowing you made the BSRC front page.

And with that, I must bring this weeks ASK Cubby column to a close. Send us your questions, rants and what not to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby The season opener of F1 is just around the corner, the cars roll off for the first practice session in 10 days, 17 hours, 12 minutes and 8 seconds, but who’s counting? LOL

Chad Reed pulled the holeshot Saturday night at the AMA Supercross in Indy, then later on the first lap Ryan Villopoto blew by him in a rhythm section like he was dragging a boat anchor. RV2 laid down 20 solid laps and took yet another win, putting him a full race ahead of the entire field in the overall points. Leading by a full race is great for RV2, but has got to have Bubba (and Reed, and Dungey) in full on panic mode.

The Monster/Pro-Circuit/Kawi/Traxxas Lites team had a rough time in Indy. Last weeks winner Blake Bagget got squirrelly while leading and dorked it over the finish line jump, while his teammate Deanooo Wilson has been suffering from a bad case of “WTF?” the last couple weeks. The Monster/PC team rarely struggles for long, they’ll be putting Traxxas back on the top spot on the podium before you know it.

I hear our “Tuesday Review” is going to be some type of Horizon truck. Which truck is it, and how well did it handle Brian and Bills relentless bashing? Tune in Tuesday to find out.

What happens when you hand the controller of the new Venom Gambler Brushless short course truck to Adam “the lead fingered” Intern? Well… just stay tuned, we’ll have the complete test up in a few weeks.

Can you believe it? Brian “Chuck Norris” Kinwald is back with Thunder Tiger/Associated after all these years, and I gotta say he looks damn good in AE blue. Brian is a living legend, here’s to seeing BK at a bunch of events this year under the AE banner. And… he doesn’t even have to win, it’s great PR for AE just to have him under their tent again. Brian won enough for 10 pro careers back in the 90′s, and while it would be nice to see him back on top again, AE are gonna get every pennies worth from the PR and R & D he’ll be delivering to them.

How many times have I mentioned that a sanctioning body really only has two major responsibilities- 1. make rules and 2. to provide officials? Over the past 2 years I’ve probably mentioned that a dozen times. Well, it seems the head cheese at ROAR thinks that getting on internet forums and looking like a vitriolic idiot is also a priority (hey, that’s my job!). I mean seriously, didn’t ROAR get the memo about how internet forums work? I guess they didn’t, so ROAR, here’s two free lessons (next time I’m charging, so pay achtung!)-

Lesson one- nobody EVER wins an argument on an internet forum. You can be Steven Hawking, LosiDude420, or freak’n Thomas “Neo” Anderson, and you will never win a forum argument. If you are a sanctioning body, your time is better spent making rules and providing officials than doing something you can never win.

Lession two- while there can never be a winner, it is very quite possible that there can be a loser. How can that be? Well… if you take a person with a real name (the better known they are, the worse it is for them.. LOL), and put them against the anonymous hordes, the person with the real name will Always be the loser. They will always end up coming across as an @sshole during a forum argument. Hell, even the “real person” taking the time to respond to the anonymous hordes comes across as a loss, no matter how right or wrong they may actually be on the subject matter. To boil it down, it’s better to stay off the forums entirely than come across negatively.

On to better news……

What’s in the water over at Horizon/Losi? Must be something good, as their new Losi 1/10th XXX SCB short course/scale buggy is exactly what the market is looking for right now. The Losi XXX SCB isn’t the first entry into that genre, as the Kyosho Ultima DB (desert buggy) has been out for quite some time, but it takes a name like Losi to cement in consumers minds that it’s a class worth having.

Anywhos- what exactly is the XXX SCB? Scroll down a bit to see photos of it on our main page, but essentially it’s a 10th scale 2wd electric buggy (off a XXX platform) that looks very scale. I suck at predictions, I was the guy that said the Slash would never sell, and that the HPI Mini-Trophy truck was the next big thing, but I really like the SCB (perhaps the kiss of death for it? LOL). I hate Horizon/Losi with a passion, but I REALLY want an XXX SCB. Around the office people are split, half REALLY like it, the other half think it’s just a bit off the mark, leaving the door open to competitors who put out an even more scale appearing buggy. Does it have what it takes to do for the buggy class what the Traxxas Slash did for truck? Looks like we’ll find out this summer, can’t wait to drive/race/bash one!

Dear Associated, here’s your official memo about the 10th scale desert/short course buggy class- you need one, and fast. Associated- you are late to the party again. (Where’s the Associated that we all remember and love who were ahead of the curve, not two years behind it?)

I’ve run out of satire for this week. Thanks for reading, get out, support your hobby, and hit up your LHS, tracks and local bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter


Cubby- In a previous edition of ASK Cub Reporter I posted a letter from a Tommy K. that was about his Slash having poor range after he got it wet. At the end of my post I asked Tommy to shoot us a letter back to let us know what the problem ended up being, so here is the scoop (and a good testimonial about Traxxas customer service).

“So, I found out Traxxas has a drop-off window at their corporate office to accept walk-in service requests. I took my separation anxiety stricken slash in on my lunch break on a nice Friday afternoon. A friendly service tech came and hand me fill out some paper work and give him my Slash for repair. Since we weren’t sure what exactly the problem was, I just gave him everything. He took my phone number and said they would call when the work was done and that it would take 3 to 5 business days. About a week later, I received an email from Traxxas stating that they tested my Slash with their transmitter and had no problem, but since I didn’t send in my transmitter they were unable to diagnose it but guessed the problem was with the transmitter. They also said they would ship the Slash back to me soon. I emailed back that this was wrong and told them that I had given them my transmitter and requested they not ship anything. It was a Saturday morning and I was worried my request would go un-noticed and come Monday morning I would have a package en-route and an even larger problem.

So far, this isn’t the happiest service experience. Stay with me though. I called their service department on Monday and told the friendly guy on the phone what happened. He was able to pull up my service ticket number and see all the correspondence. He put me on hold for about five minutes and went to talk to the technician that worked on my Slash. When he got back, he said that the transmitter wasn’t with the Slash when it got to the tech and he didn’t know what had happened to it. The service rep then promised to look into it some more and call me back the next day. I waited for a call all day Tuesday and then around 6:00 pm he called me back. The first thing he did was apologize for taking so long to get back to me but that it took a while to resolve my problem. I don’t think they ever found my transmitter, but he said since the tech department felt that was the problem, they were giving me a new one and I could come pick everything up at my convenience.

Yes, there was a goof-up and they made a mistake. Through the whole process though, I was treated kindly and they never got angry or made me feel like it was my fault. They honored their warranty and supported their product 100%, no questions asked. Traxxas not only makes good product. They treat customers the right way.
Tommy K”

Cubby- To boil it down, it was the transmitter that had gone bad, and Traxxas did a good job of making things right. Thanks for letting us know how it turned out Tommy, and props to Traxxas for taking care of their customers like they should.

Can you send me some stickers?

But I also have another question. I have 2 Ice chargers and I only use Lipo batteries but they don’t balance charge. Is there some way to balance with them or do I need to buy new chargers?
Skip W.

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

Can you have some stickers? Sure no problem, you can click on the BSRC Shop link at the top of the page, or you can shoot me your mailing addy and I’ll send some to ya.

Can you balance charge with a Duratrax ICE charger?


First off, one I stole from Brian’s mail bag……

Hey Brian,

First, after a 10+ year hiatus from the hobby I’ve finally returned and your website provides me a wealth of knowledge since a LOT has changed since then so I tip my hat off to the Big Squid Crew.

Speaking of changes, I have never seen such aggressive marketing in the RC world than what Traxxas is doing nowadays. All those sponsorships and mainstream racing events are making the public take notice. Here’s an example:

I have a co-worker who is a die-hard motocross fan and he just attended the motocross race up here in Oakland. We were talking this past week and I brought up the subject of how I’m back in the hobby. I even showed him pictures of my Revo 3.3, which he has no idea what it is but he was very impressed. He was asking me a bunch of questions like “how fast does it go?”, “is it easy to work on?” etc, etc. Then he says, “have you heard of Trakis?” (mispronounced) I said, “oh, you mean Traxxas?” He said yeah and continued to tell me about the demo Traxxas did at the race. He was telling me of how they had these rc monster trucks with really small bodies (I’m guessing E-Revo’s or mini E-Revo’s) do backflips off the jumps. So we went to the Traxxas website on my computer where I was telling him about the different vehicles and about the Revo I hopped up. He got really excited and was amazed about the speed and performance of the vehicles. He said he wants to buy one now but he doesn’t know if his wife will let him. LOL So I guess that’s sort of a victory for Traxxas marketing, either way, it’s working…..


Cubby- Cool email, and thanks for writing in Joe. And yes, our hobby is very fortunate right now, lets hope that Traxxas and the other companies pump’n the big bucks into marketing to the masses see a large enough return to continue doing so.

For those of you that have never been to an AMA/FIM/Monster Energy/Traxxas Supercross, support your hobby and give one a shot. Nine races remain on the 2011 schedule- Daytona, Indy, Jacksonville FL, Toronto, Dallas, St Louis, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Vegas. Traxxas sends a crew to every event to support a booth in the pits and to put on a small driving display. So if you hit a Supercross, drop by the Traxxas booth, they’ll be stoked to see some friendly rc faces.

Thanks so much for your help, I would be eternally grateful if you would help me with one other matter. I’m thinking of getting into Nitro trucks but don’t have a huge budget to blow, found this site called selling Exceed Nitro trucks at a great price. As they are an American company and I live in Europe I thought you might have a scope on them, are they bona fide and if so what are the trucks like???

Any Intel on the matter would be greatly appreciated

Cubby- Buongiorno Jud, and thanks for the email. Are you as anxious to see the 2011 F150 race at Melbourne as I am? Surely Alonzo can land the WDC this year….

So how is the quality of the trucks from Honestly, nobody at the BigSquid offices has driven one of their Exceed trucks, and they haven’t sent us one for testing… but… I have seen them in “action”. Well, I don’t know if I can honestly say I truly saw them in action, as they didn’t tend to run for very long. Based on what little I’ve seen of them in the field, I’d put them right around Redcat territory. To boil it down, at this point, until we get the opportunity to test one and prove me otherwise, I’d have to recommend that you pass on the Exceed trucks.

I’ll also recommend that you if you are gonna go nitro, don’t buy used. Too many used nitro trucks labeled as “barely broken in”, or “only 1 gallon on the engine” are anything but that. As a noob nitro buyer it’s hard to tell if a used engine has been abused- such as run without an air filter, run too lean, etc. Abused or worn out nitro engines will only make you curse, and then curse some more, then curse until you smash the entire truck with a sledgehammer. So buy new, buy from an established brand, and carefully follow the break-in procedure.

Hey, that’s it for this week folks. Shoot us an email, you know ya want to! Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com is the addy, so let’er rip. Whatever is kick’n inside those minds of yours is good for us. Supercross, Formula 1, nerd questions, hell, even rc questions, I don’t care, just send’em in!

YOUR Cub Reporter


hi i have been looking around for a new transmitter/receiver for my slash. i bought it when it first came out so it doesn’t have the 2.4ghz. i was wondering if the transmitter or the receiver makes the range?
Tyler S.

Cubby- Yo Tyler, what’s up? Btw, great question, one that generated much discussion around the office.

So what “makes” the effective range of a radio system? The general answer is- it’s a combo between Both the transmitter and receiver. You can have the best transmitter in the world operating at the maximum legal power, but if you pair it with a crap receiver you’ll get bad range. Take the best receiver in the world and pair it with a poor transmitter and same thing applies. It takes two to tango, and both a good transmitter and receiver for good range. Oh and lets not forget optimal antenna placement!

From the testing we’ve done at BigSquid, we feel the current “King of the Hill” for range in 2.4 ghz systems come from Futaba. Even the affordably priced Futaba 3PL 2.4 ghz system ($115 street) tested out to over 1000 feet, and that’s the one I recommend for those on a budget. As an option, the Traxxas TQ 2.4 ghz (around $85 street) tested out to over 800 feet. While 800 feet might not sound like that long of a distance, when driving an rc car, it’s a veryyyy long way. In fact it’s quite difficult to even see your car at that range. Check our the range of all the units we tested HERE.

Hey There Brian

Bought a Losi micro Sct for my son a month ago, returned it three times, on the third occasion I tried soldering the anteena (which kept on falling off), finally I had to replace the board and we’ve just had the model back a week and now it only drives in spurts and about three foot in range before it cuts out and then won’t go again unless the car is turned off and then on again; then it runs for approximately 20-30 seconds. Its an absolute disgrace that a so called reputable company can get away with selling rubbish like this. I would be extremely grateful if you could recommend a budget way of going 2ghz or a home-grown solution.
Judd R.

Cubby- Hey ya Judd, I dig your question so I stole it from Brian. I hope you like seeing it on our front page.

We like the Horizon/Losi micro trucks here at BigSquid. They are small enough we can race’em inside the office, and typically they are quite durable. With that said, life is not all fun and games with the Losi Micro’s. We have 3 of them that we bash, and one of them came out of the box with a major range issue, so we feel your pain.

So what can be done? Currently there is not a truly “cheap” way of converting a micro over to 2.4. “Sigh”, but something that I’m certain the Horizon guys are working on. Horizon takes their micro line-up very seriously and are always looking to improve them, so IMO, a Losi micro 2.4 ghz radio system can’t be that far away.

Back to your immediate problem Judd, we have done an article on how to convert a Micro SCT to 2.4 already, but it wasn’t cheap. We used a Castle Micro Sidewinder speed controller ($60 street) because- it is affordable, has a moderate footprint for the scale, runs brushless and brushed, and is super thin leaving more room for the receiver. The receiver we used for our conversion was one of the smallest available, a Spektrum Micro SR3500 ($100 street). When converting over you’ll have install a new 3 wire servo, and we used the one from Losi ($15). We dumped $175 clams into our conversion, and to us it was worth every penny. The Castle speedo is worlds better than the stocker, and the Spektrum SR3500 has worked flawlessly. Click HERE to look at how we did ours.

The conversion can be done much cheaper, essentially you’ll still need the Losi 3 wire servo, plus a small speedo and receiver of your choice. Luckily for you the Micro SCT gives a bit more room to install electronics than some of the other micro sized trucks on the market. Best of luck and shoot us pics when you get yours done.

That’s it for this week, I dig getting your emails so shoot them to me- Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


I am going to buy a new short course truck, what is better Associated SC10 or Traxxas Slash? Thanx
Robert G.

Cubby- Which one is better? The Traxxas Slash, and here’s why…
Let’s say you are a basher- the Slash is better. The Slash is less prone to breakage, waterproof, has more ground clearance, and replacement parts are cheaper.

Let’s say you are a racer- the Slash is better on medium and low bite tracks, and given a Thundertech Outlaw chassis, can be just as fast on high bite. The stock set-up on the Slash generally works quite well. The SC10 comes with a crap set-up, it’s harder to tune, and needs more tuning to suit different tracks.

So Bobby G, it’s an easy decision, buy the Slash and let the good times roll.

Greetings and salutations good people at Bigsquid

While reading an on-line forum I came across a thread about using a helicopter gyro on a steering servo. I have a Lazer ZX-5, what gyro should I buy and how does it hook up?

Cubby- Well……. if you are an rc drifter, using a gyro on your steering servo makes it easier to pull trick drifting moves, on a 4wd off road buggy like your Kyosho, a gyro can make your buggy easier to drive on slick surfaces.

Just how does a gyro make your off road buggy easier to drive? Let’s say you are going into a corner and the rear of your buggy slides out to the side- a gyro will automatically generate countersteer to help keep you from spinning out. In fact, any time the rear of the buggy kicks to the side, the gyro will send a countersteer to your steering servo, generally making your buggy easier to drive.

What gyro should you buy? I am a fan of the GWS PG03. It’s easy to set-up, fairly crash/shock resistant, and typically costs under $40.

How does the gyro hook up? It’s really very simple. Unhook the servo lead from your receiver and plug it into the gyro. Next, plug the lead that comes out of the gyro into the servo slot on your receiver. Done!

How do you set-up the gyro? This is quite simple and should take you under 10 minutes. First, read the instructions for whatever gyro you buy, but to boil it down, the important part is the direction that you mount the gyro. You’ll need to mount the gyro in the proper direction to generate countersteer. You’ll then need to adjust the gain. A typical gyro will have a “gain” setting on it- when set to “low” the gyro’s effects on steering are minimal, when set to “high” it will generate a lot of countersteer. To adjust the gain- simply do some driving on different settings and see which setting you like best.

Some people love the feel of a gyro on their servo, others hate it with a passion, so give it a try and have some fun.

Hey, you made it to the end of yet another ASK Cubby column, congrats! But seriously, we dig getting your emails, so shoot’em to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


I’m glad you guys decide to do shoot out with products. It’s been commented in many forums with great appreciation.
For the next Transmitters Shootout I would like to suggest the FS-GT3B. Seems to be a big bargain as it performs very well and cost very low. I have one and love it.
Congrats and good luck
from Brazil

Cubby- Yo hey, what’s up Daniel?

For those readers that may not know, the FS-GT3B that Daniel is referring to is a low buck transmitter from FlySky sold on HobbyPartz. It’s 2.4 gig and totally crazy look’n. Spock could only wish to have had a phaser that looked so way super dope.

And yes, we’ve got another transmitter shootout coming your way this spring. I’d personally like to see just the high end product grouped together going at it, but we are getting a lot of emails saying they’d rather see a low buck shootout. I have to admit, it would be cool to see how the FlySky stacks up against other transmitters under a hundred smackers.

Thanks for reading Daniel, and hope your F1 boyz Rubens and Felipe both have great 2011 seasons

its me simon again.
i am looking into bajas or similar do u know were i could get one for under 600? and i was wondering is there a difference in the redcat rampage and the hpi
baja b?
thanks simon

Cubby- Hello Simon, we always dig getting your emails here at the office. You are core basher for sure.

Where do you buy a HPI Baja 5B for under 600 bucks? Well… even with your Tower Super Saver card you aren’t gonna find a new one that cheap. So…. where are you gonna find a used Baja 5B for under 600? Even used Baja 5B’s hold their value pretty well, so 600 isn’t gonna be easy, but I’d first search on your local Craigslist, then start hitting the bigger “for sale” forums on the net (like the ones on RcTech, RCU, etc).

What’s the difference between the RedCat Rampage XB and the HPI Baja 5B? One breaks into a pile of rubble and the other does not? LOL… But seriously, RedCat seems to have cool people working for them, but from what I’ve seen first hand in the field, their product sucks. Save up the xtra bucks for the HPI version, I can personally attest to it being ridiculously tough. (Video evidence of that HERE!)


You know what that means… you have questions, we have answers?

Hey Guys !! Loyal reader you guys do an awsome job keeping us all INFORMED!! Have a few things on my mind.With the 2 new hats on the field IE the new 4×4 short corse trucks from Losi and AE when you putting a 4×4 short course shootout together?It would only be fair to include them all,Traxxas,Ofna,Durango,Losi,Jammin,and AE. It would be KILLER!!!!!! I have a Hyper 10SC right now and I have to say I have been in the hobby for over 20 years and it seems to be the smoothest and easyest thing to drive yet!I have my eye on the new Losi. I hate AE products just for the fact that everyone always runs em and there is just too many on the market LOL. I always like something different and ALWAYS purchase something different. When I started the pinnacle of rc was 2wd buggy and the track was overrun by rc10s and losi.So what did I start with you ask?I went out and got me a TRX 1.It LOOKED a heck of aloyt cooler,and actually I was
just as competitive.Boy have times changed!! If you would have told me back then that electric offroad vehicles would be aproaching 100 mph I would have pooped out an RC10 LOL.But its great to have guys like you to keep us old farts up on the
new technology.Now if you guys could tell me how to work the remote for my tv that would be great LOL! 1 more thing you guys should make some target stickers so we can all start putting them on AE vehicles on the track.LATER PEACE OUT!! PS THE BEARS STILL SUCK!!! HA HA just had to get that in :)
Kevin P

Cubby- Hey ya Kevin, thanks for writing in. And ya, I’m super stoked on doing a 4×4 short course shootout. All the contenders should be in our 40w shock oil covered hands (hopefully) some time early this spring.

I dig your “target” sticker idea. The BSRC logo on a red target background is a brilliant. You and your buddies can apply them to your trucks and have places to aim while you are playing demo derby, and we can mail some to the mags. After all, we aren’t aiming for where they are at, they are aiming for where we are.


Hey guys,
I have to tell you, I have been a long time supporter of your website but you have me close to the end on that. I always read through your editorials and lately I feel you guys are forgetting this is supposed to be about fun. Does ROAR need to change? Yes. Do other companies need to pay attention to how Traxxas is marketing? Yes. The point is, don’t race if you don’t want to, don’t buy anything other than Traxxas if you don’t want to, just like I may take your website off my favorites list. Bring back the good times here. Go bash your vehicles and stop bashing the industry. If I want controversy I’ll watch Glen Back. By the way, I don’t do that either.

Cubby- Hey what’s up Chris, thanks for the email.
I’m totally with ya on your Traxxas/ROAR point. Problem is, I gotta write 52 Cub Reports a year, and well, there are a lot of slow weeks for news. Therefore the mighty TRX and ROAR get overplayed. So achtung industry types- give me something better to write about.

As far as “Bring back the good times here”, I can personally assure you ALL the time is a good time around the BSRC offices. Brian can usually be found re-reading one of his many mint condition John Norman “Gor” books, Jeff The Web Dude can be found watching the movie “Hackers” for the 8th googolplex time, Bill The Wacky Wrench Minion is always happily fixing all the cars we taco, and of course I spend all day surfing Dutch porn websites and slug’n down 38 degree Dom. Good times I tell ya. :)

Hi Brian,
I was searching thru the website looking for any kind of review on the XTM rail. Has Big Squid done one yet, if not do they plan on doing one any time soon? If not, is there anything that you know about the XTM rail? I’m really interested in buying one but I’ve only seen a few reviews and the result is that I haven’t been able to determine if it is a go or a pass on this vehicle. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.
Daniel P.

Cubby- I like stealing from Brian’s email box, especially when it’s a great question.

XTM/Global doesn’t even talk to us, which is a shame really, as their XTM Rail buggy looks like one of the most uber bash machines ever made. Why won’t they talk to us? Wouldn’t ya think XTM would want their uber bash-mobile plastered all over the worlds #1 basher site? Well, it might very well be my fault, as I tend to ruffle a lot of feathers (who would have thunk?). But…. if our readers keep hit’n XTM up, telling them that BSRC is the place be, maybe they’ll start play’n some ball with us.

With that said, I have had some experience with older XTM vehicles (typically very poor durability), and yes, I’ve had a “little” experience with the XTM Rail. I was in an LHS a couple months ago where they had a Rail sitting out on the counter. “Someone” I was with “accidentally” pushed it off the counter and it landed right on its roof/rollcage on a cement floor. The result was a furious LHS worker, and a severely bent rollcage on the XTM. Based on that experience, if it can’t take a fall off a LHS counter, I highly doubt it’s up for what our typical reader is going to put one through. So… IMO, it’s a pass.

That’s it for this week, start mash’n your keys and shoot us your questions, suggestions, epic meltdowns, expired coupons, and used English 100 books to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter


Welcome to yet another trip visiting the tremendous depths of our email boxes….

I found your site just goofing around online and have really enjoyed it! I bought a Traxxas Slash 2.4 Ghz and upgraded it with RPM parts based on your reviews and info. It has withstood the abuse I put it through as well as being piloted on concrete by several children too young to read.The thing seemed indestructible until last weekend. It jumped a curb into some wet grass near the end of my 4 year old neighbor’s bashing session. I towel dried what I could access without taking anything apart and set it out to dry the rest of the way. Now I am having considerable range issues. The receiver loses connection about 5 feet away. I replaced the batteries in the transmitter three times and I’ve since taken the receiver box completely apart and inspected all the wires and connections. There are no signs that water ever got into the receiver box and the wires all look fine to me. There is no exposed wire and no crimping. The truck seems to operate normally other than the lack of range. Did some damp grass bring down the toughest piece of self-propelled plastic I have ever seen? I can’t think of anything else that happened to the truck outside the normal abuse. Can you use your interweb wisdom to solve my Slash sadness?

I’ve contacted Traxxas and they responded promptly and I think I will end up sending it to them for service. The guy at the hobby shop/track I shop at was less than helpful. He told me to change the crystals and walked away. I went into the shop with the intent to buy whatever they told me I needed. I guess he didn’t want to sell me said crystals.
Thanks, Tommy K.

Cubby- Yo thanks for the letter Tommy.
Ya know……….. I’m a big (HUGE) advocate of local hobby shops, but typically- when they are good, they are really good, and when they are bad, they are simply horrible.

First off, you should have offered the hobby shop employee two BILLION dollars to switch out the “crystals” in your 2.4 ghz Traxxas radio. :)

A good hobby shop could have resolved your problem within ten minutes of you being inside their freshly detailed establishment. First they would have had a charged stick pack sitting around and popped it in your truck. It’s amazing how even the best of us think we have a fully charged pack installed when we’ve actually put in a dead one. But, I’m betting you probably had that base already covered, so that would not have fixed your problem. The next thing the LHS guy would have done would have been to grab a Traxxas 2.4 transmitter and link it up to your truck. Yes, a good hobby shop would have done this for you, or any customer for that matter. This is super quick and easy to do, and will effectively narrow down the problem to either the transmitter or the truck. I’m also gonna guess linking up a new transmitter would not have helped, so the LHS guy would then have popped in a new Traxxas receiver and linked it to your stock transmitter. I’m guessing that would have completely fixed your range issue. You then would have cut the check for a new receiver and walked out with a smile on your face (and the hobby shop would have made some money!).

Ok, so your LHS sucks… is anything else you can try to resolve your range issue? Well first I’d try to find another local hobbyist that is running Traxxis 2.4 ghz gear and ask if he could help you figure out your range issue. If you don’t know anyone locally that could help you, then I’d try these two things…

1. Reset/re-link the receiver to your transmitter. The instructions on how to do this are on a paper that is located in the battery tray of your transmitter.
2. You’ve already had your receiver apart, so take it apart again. Try spraying it down with electric motor cleaner, let it dry, then give it a try.

If you have to send your truck into service at Traxxas they are known for being fair and for excellent customer service, so you should be dialed.

Lastly, be sure and let us know what ended up being the problem…. peace and love, peace and love…..

Hey i saw last week that my neighbor darren talked about his cars and a new car he wanted. I noticed that he has a bunch of cars though i only have to redcat racing nitros. Both dont run. They werent basher approved to my standards which i guarantee that my standards are much higher than most companies probably even yours. The only thing is if parts are discontinued and/or broken im out for a while as i am only in high school and a lot of money goes towards my large rc planes. Darren told me yall were searching for bashers. Well i tell you what yalls basher approval sticker is great i have seen yall throw the evader off from 20 feet high, down stairs, and everything, but getting air with Darrens SC-10 and almost hitting the fence 30 feet away and his trailer is epic and i must say that is just the least of what i do. If yall want a serious serious basher person that also can write some great review (which i do for rc planes) yall need to stop right here.
-Matt P

Cubby- I find it amazing that you have two Redcats, and neither of them actually run. I mean, isn’t Redcat known for their prolific reliability? All joking aside, I’ve seen quite a few Redcats put down on the track, but I’ve yet to see one in 100% fully functional operation afterward.

The BSRC crew spoke at length with the Redcat guys at the iHobby expo, they are quite affable and seem to be good guys, and perhaps more importantly, they know reliability is an issue for them right now. They say they are working on it, hummmmmm, we’ve heard that before….

And to believe there was a point in time when we hardly got any emails around this joint…. You guys aren’t mess’n around now days, thanks for keep’n our mailboxes full.

I was just wondering if the HPI Mini Trophy would be able to take Li-Po batteries straight out of the box without any mods? If so, is there a low voltage cut off in the ESC?
Thanks, Ben

Cubby- The mightly HPI Mini Trophy truck, the best looking truck on the market, the truck that could’a/would’a/should’a been a huge seller….

Ok, our BSRC crew only used Lipo’s in our test HPI MTT. Most seemed to fit with zero issues, albeit any pack is a bit hard to put into the stock battery tray. No, the included HPI SC-15 speedo does NOT include any sort of low voltage cut-off protection for Lithium based batteries. And no, we didn’t run an LVC nor did we have any issues with our Lipo’s. To keep from running our Lipo’s too low we simply quit driving as soon as we felt the battery going “soft” (it feels like you are losing power, it’s no longer as punchy as it was). If you are unsure that you’ll be able to stop driving before your battery is too low, then by all means install an LVC.

Dear whoever,
When will the review for the horizon hydrogen fuel cell car be up? it looks interesting, and I would like to know more about it
Your Fan

Whoever (aka- Cubby)- Ya know…………… it’s never a good idea to put an item of value in a factory drivers hands, they Always blow it up!
Now I’m not going to mention any names here (he drives for Castle and his last name rhymes with “door”), but “someone” testing our Horizon fuel cell test unit took it well outside of spec on it’s third run, blowing it to kingdom come. Hence we had to return it, and further hence we’ve yet to post our review on it. The Horizon guys were at CES last weekend, and last I heard we’ll have a new test unit in a couple weeks.

To boil it down for ya on what we’ve learned thus far about the Horizon fuel cell-

1. Don’t let a factory driver install one of his uber wayyyy too fast motors on it.
2. It turned heads Everywhere we went.
3. If you are into “going green”, this is for you.
4. If you are into being on the very cutting edge of technology, here it is.
5. The unit will extend your runtimes, but we didn’t notice any increase in acceleration (in the short time we ran it).
6. The H2 filled HydroStiks get very cold during use.
7. The fuel cell system is safer than the Lithium battery you’ll be using in conjunction with it.
8. It sounds really cool when the solenoids purge the system of air.

So hold on tight, and we’ll do our best to get that review busted out as soon as we can. Until then, enjoy the ONLY pic of the Horizon unit mounted up in an HPI Blitz ESE.

Horizon Fuel Cell RC

Just curious if you guys have played around at all with the Losi Mini SCT. I know that you have reviewed the mico and discussed the xxx-sct, but I haven’t seen anything about the mini. My son and I have Slashs, SC-10s, and Evaders, but he wants to get something smaller for fun. Trying to see how durable the Mini is, we like to jump and have fun.
Thanks in advance for any info.
Thanks, Darren

Cubby- Yo, hey what’s up Darren, thanks for reading and for the email.

At the iHobby expo one of our crew ran a Losi Mini SCT’s during some of our demos. The driver was Wesley “Micro Man” Dennis, he’s one of the uber micro/mini racers on the circuit. I gave him a quick call tonight and he says that after driving/racing/bashing his Losi MSCT for several months now it has been very durable and a total blast to drive. And btw, no, Wes does not drive for Losi, so that’s a pretty honest testimonial.

On a personal note, I’ve gotten in limited trigger time on the Mini SCT- it seems to drive well, even outdoors on a rough parking lot. The MSCT is quite a bit larger than a normal 18th scale Mini-T or RC18, perhaps a bit too large to be run in spaces you’d normally have loads of room running most other 18th scalers. The added size is great for rougher or larger areas, but then you’ve already got a full compliment of 10th scalers for that. Personally I’d recommend the Associated SC18- it’s smaller so you can drive in smaller areas, 4wd, and also extremely durable. But, the Losi Mini SCT sure was fun to drive, let us know what you think of it if you get a couple of’em.

That’s it for this week, please feel free to crush my mailbox at Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!
YOUR Cub Reporter