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Ask Cubby’ Category

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

Cubby

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

Cubby- Hey what’s up Shaun?

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

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

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


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

hoping you could offer some assistance….:)

Good afternoon Brain,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

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

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

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

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

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


From the BSRC Facebook page…

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

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

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

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


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

Cubby- Long time no hear from Simon.

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

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

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

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

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


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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

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

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

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

Cubby- Hey ya Chris, thanks for the email.

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

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

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

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

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


And here’s one out of Brians email box…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Eric

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

YOUR Cub Reporter