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Ask Cubby’ Category

ask cubby bigsquidrc

“Do you think that lipo batteries will destroy rc? They are inherently dangerous, i see videos on youtube all the time of them catching fire. How much longer can hobby shops keep selling them?

Daniel P.”

Cubby- Hey ya Danny P, shoot Brian your snail mail so he can send you a sticker pack.

Are Lithium based batteries killing rc? Ummm…. let me think about it….. absolutely not. Are they dangerous? Absolutely not when used properly. Can they be dangerous? Yes. However, they have helped take our hobby to a whole new level of power, runtime, and dare I even say fun. IMO, when combined with brushless power systems, they are the main reason our hobby has remained solid after the whole nitro T-Maxx craze was over.


“Hi I check your site twice a day, nice job, but why is it that you never allow people from outside the United States to enter your contests? There has to be some reason, are you just too cheap to ship outside your own country?

Jules T.
Amiens France”

Cubby- Yo hey Jules, nice question ya have there.

Yes, we are way too cheap to ship free contest merchandise outside the United States. We spend the cash we could be using on shipping to visit our local Morton’s for lunch every day. I must say screwing all the foreigners sure tastes good to me, especially the bacon wrapped scallops.

So seriously, yes, there is a good reason why we don’t include other countries in our contests. What is one of the reasons? Wait for it….. because we’ve been screwed a bunch of times in the past. Numerous times we’ve shipped things half way across the globe only to be told the person never received the package. So then we would ship a second time, only to be told they didn’t receive it either. So whether it be terrible overseas shipping companies, or a bad string of luck with dishonest people, we did the logical thing and stopped the madness.

Also, many times, the products in our contests are shipped directly from an American manufacture and they stipulate no overseas winners.

Now you have the full scoop. But there is good news, I hear our next uber contest will include everyone, regardless of how far they may live from our Chi-Town base headquarters. Heck, even you Jules are personally invited to enter our next contest.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of lunatics. Shoot me your questions, rants, and perfectly chilled bottles of Dom to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. You know the drill, if your letter makes the front page you’ll win a BigSquidRC sticker pack, and if I proclaim yours as letter of the month you win a BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ask cubby“Dear Cubby,

For the last year I’ve been driving my 2 wheel Slash VXL. I like the truck but keep burning off teeth on the spur. What is the best way to keep from going through more spur gears?

Nice Cub Report a couple weeks ago about ROAR too, keep up the good work.

Fredrick R.”

Cubby- Yo hey Fred, thanks for the email, shoot Brian your snail mail for a free sticker pack.

So… what is the best way to keep from blowing spurs on a Slash VXL? It isn’t exactly cheap, but the best way is to install a Pro-Line performance transmission. The spur on a stock Slash has two issues. One is it seems to be made out of butter, and two, its design allows for the teeth to literally flex away from load. The spur on the PL tranny fixes both of these issues and is much, much harder to blow.

After you install the PL tranny not only will the spur be rock solid, but the rest of the tranny is pretty much bomb proof and has a lot less drag than the stocker. Well worth the cash and time for the install IMO.


“Pure Fun

I am undecided but getting ready to buy a new truck and wanted to know your take on which is more fun, the HPI Blitz Flux or the Traxxas Slash 2wd VXL?

Derek P.”

Cubby- Yo Derek good question, and one we get asked a lot around here. You would be amazed at the amount of “which is better” emails we get. Yours is slightly different, not which is better, but which is more “fun”, so here is your answer.

Both trucks can be a ton of fun. I see it on a weekly basis, big smiles being created thanks to both the Blitz Flux and the Slash VXL. However, IMO, I would take the HPI Blitz all day long. To me it is simply more fun. The Blitz is quite tough and has fewer bugs to work out (like the shock caps and spur on the Slash), it handles better, and has more power than you will ever need on 3S. “Fun” to me is a combo of durability, speed, and handling, and for what I use a Blitz for, it always trumps the Slash. Ya sure, Traxxas has the bigger marketing budget, but in actual use I simply get more smiles from the Blitz Flux. Oh ya, it is a bit cheaper than the Slash too boot, which is never a bad thing.


That’s it for this week’s ASK Cubby. Shoot me your questions, rants, opinions, or whatever you have on your mind to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter makes our front page you’ll get a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as letter of the month you’ll win a BigSquidRC t-shirt. If I don’t answer your question at all don’t flip out, its only because there are a few hundred in front of yours and you shouldn’t expect me to answer them all anyways.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby“I just wanted to shoot you an email to see if you guys could help with my problem. I live in Panama City Beach, Fl, I am very big into the rc hobby, however down here I feel like I am the only one who is. My wife and I want to see if there is some way to organize some sort of yearly event to build an interest in our hobby. There is only one hobby shop here and everything I need or want I have to order online. This shop could care less about anything. I would love it if you could get involved and maybe we could make big things happen here. I asked if there was somewhere to fly my plane and I was told I had to join a club just to bash my plane around. I take my cars out and I am treated like a little kid. I am 34 years old for petes sake. I really want to figure a way to get our hobby out and show people that it is not for children. We spend big money on these things. If you could help me in any way I would forever be in your debt. Thank you soo much
for your time. And keep up the great work. I love you guys.

Thank you,
Michael B.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Mikeee B, congrats, I proclaim yours as letter of the month, shoot Brian your snail mail and shirt size so he can give ya the hook up on a new BSRC t-shirt.

Before you attempt to put on a big formal bash, you need to get in touch with some of your local bashers to support it.

Ever notice how it’s easy to find track directories, but next to impossible to find out where people are bashing? Ya, me too. We are working on a solution for that here at BigSquidRC, until we get the kinks worked out I would recommend you try these things to find other bashers in your area.

1. Facebook Groups are quickly replacing tradition message boards on the internet. I know the search function on Facebook frelling sucks, but give their search a try with common key words to potentially find other bashers in your area. You might be surprised.

2. Do a post in the “sale/wanted toys & games” section of your local Craigslist about meeting up for an informal bash. It’s not uncommon for bashers to go through their local CL listings looking for deals, you might get lucky and have some of them contact you. If you can get some of them to meet up with ya, you can start planning a bigger and more organized event.

3. Put up fliers in your local grocery stores and gas stations. Something simple about an informal bash at a local park will do.

Once you’ve found some locals to bash with, I’d recommend planning a bigger bash, perhaps one to raise money for charity. When you’ve got a solid plan on what you are wanting to do and have some other bashers to help put it on, shoot us another email and we’ll see what we can do to help spread the word.


“How do I get my lipo ready for storage when my charger doesn’t have a storage mode and when is your next lipo shootout?

Gale C.”

Cubby- Hey now Gale C, thanks for the email.

Yes, we are wayyy overdue for another Lipo shootout. At this time we don’t have another one planned, mainly because we are insanely slammed/overbooked for reviews the way it is. However, we really need to crowbar another one in sometime soon.

How do you prep a Lipo for long term storage without the use of a storage mode function on a charger? This is super easy. For long term storage (in theory, I’ve never tested it first hand) you want to store Lipo batteries at roughly 3.8 resting volts per cell (7.6 volts for a 2S pack). Get out a voltage meter and see what voltage your pack has. If the voltage is too high simply pop the battery in your truck and do some driving to drain some energy out of it. If the voltage is too low, hook it up to your charger and put some juice in. Use your volt meter to make sure its in the ballpark. You don’t have to be exact, so don’t stress if you are a tenth too high or low.


That’s it for this week, shoot your questions to me at Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. Your questions, answers, and epic meltdowns are what I’m looking for. If your email hits the big-time you’ll win a free sticker pack and the first week of the month I pick a “Letter of the Month” where the author gets a free t-shirt (like I did this week with Mike’s email).

YOUR Cub Reporter

Welcome to ‘Ask Cubby’. Here we go…

“Tried to email yall and it wouldn’t go through so I am trying here. (This is from our FB page- Cubby) I just bought a 1/5th scale Red Cat Rampage. I have NO experience with this hobby, but wanted to buy something to play with my grandson. I have concerns with certain things that is not listed in the owners manual. Such as safety shut off switch, changing the battery and servos to a better setup. How to hook up the fail safe and set it? I found your article on the Rampage on your web site and bookmarked it.

Any help on this truck would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help

Robert A.”

Cubby- So you got to thinking a 5th scale gas truck would be a good way to get into the hobby with your grandson. I suppose you think a good way of getting into car audio is to buy Mark Fukuda’s old Blazer? I do have to give ya props for going big or not going at all though…

Yes, a fail safe/remote kill switch/throttle return spring should be at the top of your list for your big truck. A fail safe kicks in when radio signal is lost, helping to prevent an uncontrolled runaway. A remote kill switch works off your third channel and kills the ignition to the engine, and a good throttle return spring can help when all electrical power has been lost. Nothing is 100% certain to totally prevent a runaway, but if I had a Rampage I would have the remote kill and a stiff throttle return spring on it before it was ever fired up. 5th scales have both, a lot of speed and a lot of mass, making them especially dangerous should one ever get out of control.

And how do you set those things up? Plus upgrading the battery and servos? Wow, that is more than I can cover here in ASK Cubby, but we certainly need to get that information out there. I will kick some chairs around the office and see if I can get one of the Bash Crew to do a series of articles on safety and upgrades for 5th scalers.


“Sir, I have been trying to find a roll cage that would cover my T-Maxx from front to back including protecting the engine head. I saw one on a website that said it was at Big Squid RC and I have searched for it and no luck. Can you kelp me. I’m looking for something in blue that will protect the head and truck itself.

Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration, William C.”

Cubby- Yo hey Bill, thanks for the email.

The T-Maxx is a legendary bash machine for sure, props to ya for owning one. Some would even say that the T-Maxx saved the hobby when it hit the market.

About a rollcage for that beast… I would only go with an RC Solutions cage. Those guys are cool and have been supporting the hobby for a long time now. You’ll be looking at about $80-$90 for a good cage, but as you already know it will save you money in the long run. Give This Link a click and check out the RC Solutions cage for the T-Maxx 3.3 and the extended T-Maxx cage as well. Oh and, shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with a sticker pack.


That’s it for this week, shoot your questions to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. Shoot me pretty much anything your warped head can come up with, the worst I can do is forward it to the rest of the staff to laugh at. If your email hits the big-time you’ll win a free sticker pack, and the first week of the month I pick a “Letter of the Month” where the author gets a free t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

“I have hpi racing remote and the wire (antenner) in body was cut and taped back. I replaced it with a new remote, but i was yold i could send it to hpi and u guys will fix for a certain price. I was wondering how to fix

From my Android phone on T-Mobile.

billy h”

Cubby- Yo hey Billy, ummmmm, thanks for the email? After running your email (read- jumbled mess) through my Xerxes Universal Translator I have determined your question to be, “I tore the antenna off my receiver, how do I fix it?”.

Fixing a receiver antenna is fairly easy if you can solder. Simply tin the wire on both ends, solder them back together, then apply heat shrink tubing over the top. Done! The one main piece of advice I can give you is… try not to change the length of the antenna during your soldering exploits, especially on 27 & 75MHz gear.

But… maybe you ripped the antenna wire out from inside the case of the receiver. Depending on how froggy you are feeling, you may want to just crack the case open and resolder to the board.

Otherwise, if you can’t solder and don’t want to learn how, man up and buy a new receiver. I haven’t checked the price of getting a receiver fixed, but chances are you can find a cheap replacement and save the turnaround time of getting yours fixed.


“Another Servo

The guy at the hobby shop said I should replace the servo in my HPI Blitz but my truck drives just fine. What should I expect if I put an expensive servo in my Blitz?

Chris B.”

Cubby- Hey ya Chris, and thanks for taking the time to shoot me an email. Shoot Brian your snail mail at the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page for a free BSRC sticker pack.

Ya, I think too many people tell others that they “have to have” a high end servo. We have plenty of RTR trucks around the office that still have their stock servo inside, and just like your Blitz, they drive “just fine”.

But… there are times when a better servo really is a noticeable upgrade. Heck a good servo can entirely change the personality of certain vehicles. A servo that is too weak or slow (or worse yet, both) can really hamper steering.

So… lets say you bust out a Ben Franklin and get a good servo. If you decide to do so, look for a servo with a transit speed faster than .15, and torque greater than 125 oz/in. I am partial to Hitec servos, mainly because I’ve used them for years with very few issues.

Ok, lets say you have your uber servo installed, how will your Blitz drive differently? That depends on what the previous servo was, but lets say it was the stock RTR servo. You will notice that at very low and very high speeds that the front wheels will stay exactly where you point them, whereas the stocker simply doesn’t have the power to do so. You’ll also notice when having to make major course corrections that you can quip the front wheels from far left to far right more quickly. To boil it down- a better servo is more capable of putting the front wheels where you want them, when you want them there.

If you are getting along fine with the stock servo, that’s cool, keep on using it and don’t listen to the dude behind the counter trying to pry some cash out of your pocket. But… if you’ve got the extra cash, pop in a better servo, they typically sit pretty high on the “noticeable improvement for your cash” scale.


That’s it for this week, shoot me your questions, Cubby at BigSquidRC.com is the addy you want. Shoot me pretty much anything your warped head can come up with, the worst I can do is forward it to the rest of the staff to laugh at. If your email hits the big-time you’ll win a free sticker pack, and the first week of the month I pick a “Letter of the Month” where the author gets a free t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

(Since we have had a few emails asking us to change out the ‘Letter’ font, but haven’t found a good one, just going simple today)

Hi,
I read your July post on the Protek 2s lipo and I did two things: I bought that battery, and I bought a West Mountin Radio CBA IV.
Have you ever posted an article on how to use the CBA to test lipos? Or can you point me to a website that tells me what I need to know?

I ran my first test tonight on a 2s lipo — 7200 mAh/90c. I ran a discharge test. But I couldn’t go higher than 17 Amps, where you were able to do 30 and even 60 amps.

Just wondering if I need the extended software, or if the CBA needs an amplifier, or…. I dunno!
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Mike S.

Cubby- Hey ya Mike. Interesting question ya have there, but a bit worrisome to me. I find it a bit sobering that someone would actually buy a West Mountain CBA without knowing what its maximum discharge rate was.

A base CBA is good for up to 150 watts. 150 watts divided by 8.4 volts (2S pack) equals.. wait for it… wait… 17 amps. We use a 500 watt West Mountain amp for our higher current testing. 500 watts divided by 8.4 volts equals… I know you know it
already… 60 amps. Or 120 amps on one lipo cell, or 30 amps on a 4S pack.

Testing up to 17 amps on a 2S pack is still quite helpful. If you feel the need to conduct tests at higher current levels you will need to invest in one of the West Mountain amplifiers. The 500 watt unit is about a grand, it’s about $1800 for the 1000 watter, and just over 3 grand for the big daddy 2000.

Have fun and try not to burn your house down. If you feel “iffy” on your testing procedures, contact the West Mountain folks or shoot me another email and I’ll give you a call and walk you through the process.


I have a question!

I’m not going to beat around the bush, I want to be a driver. Its been my dream to get involved with racing and being on a team. I know you probably get emails like this all the time, but if you just so happen to come across this, I hope you hear me
out.

I’ve been driving since I was 15, and I will admit, I had a record (its expunged now because i all happened before I turned 18). I used to sneak out out at night, and find races to hop into. I know its not the smart thing to do, but I was young, who
doesn’t do stupid things when they’re young. Anyways, I was driving my step fathers Acura Vigor, and I was going up against mustangs, camaros, hondas, etc. And they aren’t slow cars by any means, these cars were performance tuned, made for racing.
Now keep in mind I was only 15 years old at the time, and at that age, I was getting anywhere between 1st and 4th place, and there were at least 8 racers at one time. I didn’t win because the car I was driving was fast or they were scared to go faster
than most cars go. I knew what I was doing, we were driving in traffic, highways, neighborhoods and even with people in V8′s I was still passing them, I honestly can’t explain my technique as far as racing other drivers, it just comes naturally to me. I could tell you I know what to look for, but if you were to ask me what I look for I’d tell you I don’t know simply because
it comes naturally to me. And I’m not trying to get into racing for fame or money, I want to get into it because I like it.

And I’m not asking for a handout or anything like that. I just want to know what I would need to do to become apart of a team, an more importantly, a driver. I hope you don’t skip over me message thinking I’m just another guy looking to get into a
fast car just for the hell of it.
This is my dream, my passion, and something I would like to make a career out of!
Sincerely,
Adrean S

Cubby- Ummmmm….. ya, hey there Adrean.

So…. you can’t figure out how to be a paid driver? Maybe I am just that warped (read- understatement of the century), but I can’t figure out how you don’t already know.

But… if you really can’t figure it out… Street racing isn’t cool, at all, ever. Real men race on tracks where you can truly hang it out, not on the street where you might kill some innocent soccer mom and her 3 kids.

So lets say you don’t have a lot of cash, there are cheap ways of racing non-rc vehicles. Karting is awesome and racing the lower classes won’t put too much of a dent into the old bank account. But lets say that even karting is too expensive. The SCCA can be your friend. You can race virtually stock cars in SCCA timed events, maybe even the one you drive daily with minimal mods.

Once you are actually behind the wheel and racing, if you are half as fast and want it half as much as your email states, you will get noticed and picked up by someone with some cash. I can assure you that there are plenty of “teams” out there looking
for the next Schumacher, if you are exceptionally fast, you will be noticed/picked-up. Teams have no issue throwing massive piles of cash at someone with mad skillz. However, you gotta pay your way at the start, and if you are just Joe Blow fast, expect to foot the bills your entire racing career. If racing truly is your passion/dream then you should have no issue picking up a second/third/fourth job to pay for it.

Yes, you’re welcome. Go fast (responsibly), have fun, and you owe me big a thank you speech from the top step of the podium at COTA a few years from now.


Yes, that’s all the mindless drivel I could come up with for this week. Submit your questions, rants, and blatant groveling to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the big-time you get a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as “letter of the
month” you’ll win a free t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Torment Xtreme LCG Kit

I have a new Torment and I’m interested in putting an Xtreme LCG kit on my truck. My only question is, what is the ground clearance after you put the Xtreme LCG kit on the Torment? How does this truck compare to a 2wd Slash with the STRC LCG kit on it as far as handling goes?

I want to buy another Torment for my 6 yr. son so we can go to our local track and race in the 2wd stock class. I was thinking that if the Slash with STRC kit on it is a much better setup than the Torment, I would give my Torment to my son, and buy a Slash for myself and put the STRC kit on it. I would of course put the Xtreme kit on the Torment for my son. Thanks.
Sincerely,
Bryan F.

Cubby- Guess what Bryan? I proclaim your email as “Letter of the Month”, shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with a free t-shirt.

We haven’t tested the Xtreme LCG set-up for the ECX Torment, so I can’t state first hand what it handles like or if it’s worth the cashola. What advice I will give you is this- if both you and your son plan on running at the track it will be cheaper/easier to keep spare parts if you both run the same machine. If you run a Slash and he runs an ECX, you’ll need parts for both, while if you both run the same thing you can pick up a beater off eBay or Craigslist and have a spare of everything on hand while you bash. And remember, it’s not a matter of if you’ll need parts, it is a matter of when and how many, so you will be needing plenty of spares.

A stock 2wd Slash drives well, dropping it with the STRC LCG kit makes it even better at a reasonable price. Should you decide to go that direction you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy your new BigSquidRC shirt and let me know what you ended up buying for a second vehicle.


I have an Ofna Hyper 10SC Nitro Truck that I want to convert to electric…
Can you help me with a kit or other ideas?
Mario A.

Cubby- Yo hey Mario, thanks for the email.

So… you want to convert your nitro Ofna 10SC to electric. I think I would probably skip that process, and here’s why. By the time you buy a conversion kit, buy all the electronics and spend the time doing the install, you probably could have spent a few more bucks and bought a brand new Losi SCTE RTR or Slash 4×4 RTR. So while it certainly is possible to convert your truck over, I would sell the nitro and pick up a new ride that comes out of the box kick’n electric power. Just my 2 cents, but then I’m ultra lazy and hate wrenching.


That’s it for this week ya freaks, shoot me your questions, rants, and epic meltdowns to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter makes the big time you’ll get a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as “Letter of the Month” (like I did Bryan’s this week) you’ll win a free BSRC t-shirt. Be cool, shoot me your letters.
YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Axial Exo
I’m getting the Axial Exo Terra and reading multiple solutions to its jumping nose dive but not sure what to believe. BSRC has reviewed Axial (aluminum shocks much better than stock) and STRC shocks (shocks better than Axial but not enough threading) and it seems the Exo is a BSRC bashing favorite. I was thinking of using Proline shocks but read that they are optimized for the Slash and since Exo is heavier need to upgrade to Proline’s strongest springs and 45/50 weight oil which is making me think twice about them. Do you have any recommendations on shocks and setup to fix its jumping problems? Would you recommend the Axial shocks over the Proline shocks?
Any assistance would be much appreciated. Thanks very much for your help and keep up good work.
Sincerely,
Jerry

Cubby- Yo what’s up Jerry, good hearing from you again.
Yes, we bash Axial EXOs all the time. They’ve been out for a while so we have learned quite a bit about them.

If you go with the aluminum upgrade Axial shocks or the STRCs there is one major downfall- running the stock Axial plastic shock ends. These love to break at the worst possible time. Now, we haven’t changed over to another shock end, but if you do go with the Axial or STRC switch to something different ASAP.

We’ve used the PL PowerStrokes on one of our EXOs with good success. Yes, you’ll need to use heavier springs (primary and secondary), but once those are installed they work well and take a hardcore beating.

The EXO likes to endo on certain types of jumps, not all, but some. We’ve had some success by moving the rear hubs more rearwards. Stock there are two washers behind the hub, move them in front, this helps move the rear wheels back, keeping the rear of the chassis from bottoming out so much on jump faces. The rear of the cage behind the chassis can also get bent down over time, make sure it is pushed up to its proper position to keep it from rubbing on jump faces as well. Do those two things, stiffen up the shock damping a bit, and your EXO will rarely endo.


Best brushed motor/ESC combo?
Dear Cubby,
What do you think the best brushed motor/ESC combo is best for racing? I have a Traxxas Rustler XL-5 competing in an open-wheel brushed class at my local dirt oval. No motor limit, but it has to be brushed. Likewise, it has to have a brushed ESC. I have been running my Dynamite 20T for quite some time now, and it just doesn’t have the right power. Let’s keep it under $100, for both the motor and ESC.
Thanks,
Riley C.

Cubby- Hey now Riley, thanks for the email.

A Dynamite 20 turn has soft, driveable power. If you local oval is super small or extra slick, it might actually work quite well after a good water dipping and lubing of the bushings. But… on a “normal” track, if you are running against a full field of mod they’ll yank you like crazy coming out of 2 and 4.

What’s the best brushed speedo/motor combo you can buy for under a hundred clams? You gotta be freak’n kidding me. Maybe you haven’t stayed up till 3 am turning comms as much as I have, but trust me, you want absolutely nothing to do with fast brushed motors. I consider all the hours I spent screwing around with brushed motors one of the biggest mistakes of my life, hundreds of hours wasted that I should have spent with family or friends.

Respectfully tell the idiots making the rules at your local oval that the brushed motor era is dead. Today, brushless systems are far superior in every way. They are just as easy to drive, they have more power, more runtime, they are cheaper, and you don’t have to constantly work on them. Be cool with them, but try to work out a deal where you can run brushless. If they have a single brain cell left in their heads they’ll “bend” the rules and this story has a happy ending. If not, I would seriously consider racing somewhere else. Would they rather bend their idiotic rule or lose a racer? Hopefully chose to keep a racer…


That’s it for this week, shoot an email to me at Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the big-time you get a free sticker pack, and next week I’ll be picking another “letter of the month” winner that will get a free t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

BigSquidRC,
I am just now getting back into RC with my son who is about to turn 4 and looking on the web found these incredible deals at www.mysteryrccompanyx.com .

The deals are so good wanted to make sure the site was for real, can you tell me anything about them? It looks like the RTR sets like the Arrma I am looking for might just be last years model and that is why the outragous low prices..fingers crossed. thanks for any info you might have!
Sincerely,
Jamie K

Cubby- Come on now Jamie, I know you remember what your Mom told you. “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”. I removed the URL that you listed in your email, simply because I had never heard of the place and I don’t want our readers ordering from a company that may or may not actually deliver.

Hey, I know a lot of people are on tight budgets and are looking to save some cash wherever they can, but I’m just say’n I wouldn’t trust my hard earned bucks to some place that comes across as being reallyyyy sketchy. If you are look’n for a dealio check out the new Horizon Outlet, they’ve had some good specials going on there.
Tower Hobbies always has all sorts of specials going on, and A-Main Hobbies is known for low pricing and fast service. Plus, they are reputable companies that will actually give you a product in return for your money.

But first, don’t forget to hit your LHS. Those prices on the box are not set in stone and if you are cool with the people behind the counter they might very well cut you a deal. This won’t always happen, but if you explain that you are thinking about buying car XYZ dirt cheap off of HappyFlowerRC.com they might work a little harder to make sure you leave their hobby shop with car in hand.

Go fast, spin tires, and don’t get ripped off.


Letter of the month winner

Hey Brian just found out I got letter of the month for my Cubby question. I tried
what he suggested and my battery is now working again in great order. Thanks for the
help! Thanks!
Sean M.

Cubby- Ya know Sean, I typically just make up random answers, I guess you got lucky and got a real one. Or if I gave you some answer that was really just me mashing my keyboard and it just happened to work out for you, that’s awesome too.

But seriously, thanks for shoot’n out an email to let me know how things worked out. Answering questions over the net with very little input data is pretty much a crapshoot.

Enjoy the shirt and go out and break a few parts would ya.


That’s it for this week ya freaks, shoot me your emails to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com, you never know I might hook ya up with something really cool, or at the very least you can win free stickers or a t-shirt if your letter hits the big time. And I hear Brian is finally going to let me change the letter font, so hopefully that happens by next week!
YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Guys,
The Bigsquid bash was awesome! You should advertise it more. It was great meeting all you, including the infamous Cubby. He actually let the little kid win, and good reason, he could actually drive! I got a chance to talk with Cubby and he really knows his shit. I have been into the hobby for a while and discussing the release of the RC10 with him, he was dead on about what he wrote about it. Yes, it’s sort of cool, but it I bet it wouldn’t pass any of the BigSquidRC “normal test flogging”. The events were well planned and with little time in between them, the hours flew by, I drove down there with my finance, and the only reason she agreed to go was because there was a mall across the street! She even walked across the street to meet me because I told her this was so cool, I didn’t have time to pick her up. If you ever want to do a vintage bash a thon, i would be in!

Keep up the good work!

Steve

Cubby- Yo to the yo Steve, glad you had fun at the bash, and nice meeting you as well. However, you really understate just how cool I am in person. :)

Bashes have seemed to explode this summer. We’ve covered a number of them here on our site, but we’ve also missed many of them due to schedule conflicts. Bashes are super easy to put on and are not only good fun for the competitors, but also great promotion for the hobby (not to mention the nearest LHS gets to sell lots of parts afterwards!). If anyone out there has been thinking about putting on a bash, here is essentially what is required-

1. Get a venue. Ask around and get permission from a local park, hobby shop, or private land owner.
2. Come up with some events. These are up to you, your imagination is the only limitation.
3. Make up an event flyer. Put these up at your LHS, local super market, gas stations, etc.
4. Post your flyer on-line.
5. Invite BigSquidRC, we’ll cover your event and bring goodies with us. :)


I read some of your reviews and I’m in 2 mind sets, which one would you take, not worrying about costs: HPI Savage Flux HP or the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3?
I don’t do racing and all that, just bashing around, playing on all types of terrain.
Thanks for your help, Kind regards
Werner

Cubby- Hey now Werner, thanks for taking the time to shoot us an email.

Monster trucks are still “kings of the bash spot”. They aren’t some fad that comes and goes, they’ve been popular since they first became available, and are still popular today. Those great big tires and extra ground clearance make them the weapon of choice for serious bashing.

With that said, there is a war at the top of the heap between the Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3, Traxxas E-Revo, Associated Rival MT, HPI Savage Flux, and Thunder Tiger eMTA. We’ve been working on getting this shootout going, it’s really the best/only way to see which one truly is the best. You can test one car at a time and think they are all pretty good, it’s only when you get them all together at the same time that you can really tell the differences.

Until then…. based on too many hours behind the wheel of both, I’d recommend you go with the Thunder Tiger MT4-G3. The reasons are quite simple- it handles well, comes with good power, and rarely breaks, everything that a basher is looking for.
The Savage is also good, you wouldn’t be disappointed if you bought one, but personally I grab the TT before the HPI. Plus, the TT is about $50 cheaper than the HPI and over $100 cheaper than the Traxxas.

Get the TT, go huge, send pics.


That’s it ya freaks, shoot me your questions, comments, and epic meltdowns to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the front page you get a free sticker pack, if your win letter of the month you’ll get a free t-shirt personally autographed by me (read- Brian will scribble something on it that looks like my name).
YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Question for Cubby :)
Hi mate,
I have a rustler vxl that i have been slowly modifying. Its a good RC and all but i would like to have a little more performance overall for a reasonable price. So i was wondering what could be my options, change for new ESC and motor combo or just try with different motor than the velineon or maybe just keep the vxl setup lol.

Also, I plan on running on 2S lipo juice only and i bashing it mainly on dirt and gravel with small jumps and on grass. Can i really feel an improvement in performance by changing my current setup and still using 2S lipo pack? By the way you guys have great website, great stuff :)

Keep it coming.

Thanks Cubby

Bryan D.

Cubby- Yo to the yo Bryan D, thanks for the email, and thanks for the props.

So… you want some cheap performance gains, and you seem dead set on staying with a 2S set-up.

Running your Velineon system on 2S isn’t even close to showing you its true potential. While powerful on 2S, there is a lot more left in the tank it isn’t showing you. The cheapest way to get more power out of it is… wait for it…. yup it’s really cheap…. gearing. Robinson pinions are dirt cheap, like $5, yet going to a bigger pinion can gain you a lot more power to the wheels. For starters, buy a pinion 3 teeth larger than what you are currently using, bolt it on, and see how fast that feels to you. You should see significant gains in low end yank and top speed. However, any time you make a power system change, monitor temps closely. Check motor temps to make sure you aren’t over-geared and cooking your motor. You don’t want to see motor temps over 160 F.

Btw, if you’ve never tried 3S, you really should. While there might only be a third more voltage on tap, your truck will feel twice as fast, and if you pick up an affordable 3S Lipo it won’t be a huge hit to your wallet. Of course remember to re-gear for this change, you’ll want to start with the smallest pinion you can bolt on and monitor temps.

One of the other most popular mods regardless of vehicle is tires. Tires can make all the difference in the world, they can make an undriveable vehicle into one that can put down some pretty insane power. Tires aren’t exactly cheap, but they aren’t crazy expensive, yet because they can offer such performance gains they are generally a great bang-for-the-buck. Personally, if I had a mod’ed out Rustler it would be wearing a suitable set of Pro-Line shoes to make sure all that power gets transferred to the ground.


Scale and Short Course
Just read your latest Cub report, and I’m there with you on the “Keep Short Course Scale” argument.

I’m a very casual 40ish RC hobbyist over here in the UK, and I started out with the Axial AX10 simply because it looked scale. I wanted to get into racing, and although it was the HPI scale cars that attracted me due to their realistic appearance, I soon discovered that everyone is racing the odd-looking “jelly mould” cars. The blobby body and dish wheels put me right off.

I eventually gave buggies a go, again I’d been put off by the non-scale look of them, but I actually found it to be great fun and I’ve stuck with it. So Short Course is my holy grail – scale appearance AND off-road fun! I’m building an SC10 4×4 right now, and rest assured I will NOT be putting dish wheels on it – actually I’ve bought a set of Proline beadlocks for it (I’ve even got a set of soft compound “treaded” tyres for bashing). I’ve also built an Axial Exo and although no-one seems to race them, you’re right that the tyres in that kit perform well AND they’re scale.

As much as the buggies are fun, I find the scale-appearance vehicles far more interesting. The silly thing is, it’s just a body shell and wheel design that we’re talking about – but the “racer” mentality of doing anything to shave of a fraction of a second is dictating that we should have slippery, unrealistic designs; if they put me off for so long, I can only assume they’re doing the same to many other people…
Cheers,
Andy

Cubby- Ya know Andy, there are a whole lot of “very casual 40′ish” hobbyists out there (including me.. LOL), welcome to the club.

IMO, scale looking vehicles leave a positive and relatable impression when seen by non-hobbyists, where as a typical UFO looking rc race machine simply leaves them with a “WTF” look on their face. I base that opinion on constantly questioning muggles out in the wild when I run into them at rc events. And while some hobbyists may argue “OMG, we don’t want every Tom, Dick, and Harry in our hobby!”, we are playing with toy cars for goodness sakes, something that should be open to everyone. And…. the more Toms, Dicks, and Harrys we have in our hobby, the more raw cabbage the manufactures have to play with in designing the uber cool stuff that the more hardcore guys like running.

Also… scale isn’t slow, no matter how tightly that bunches up the panties of the hardcore racing crowd. Scale can be just as fast as UFO, and it does it with a whole lot more style. The hardcore racing crowd is really good at two things- 1. resisting change, and 2. complaining (also my specialty.. LOL). They will come around eventually, but sometimes I wonder if they resist change so hard (like they did initially with brushless and Lipo) simply because they are jealous the “bashing” crowd latched onto it first. The bashing crowd jumped all over scale appearing vehicles, and the racing crowd simply can’t stand following the bashing crowd yet again. Just say’n….


That’s it for this weeks ASK Cubby, shoot me your questions/rants/meltdowns to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. Hit the big-time get a free sticker pack, be named “letter of the month” and get a free T. Oh and… making our front page will make you the coolest guy at your local bash spot, just say’n.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Hey Cubby~

So I figured I would come to the experts to get a real answer to my question. I purchased a Venom 8.4v 5000mAh 7-Cell for my Traxxas Slash last summer. I have probably run about 20 cycles thru it and suddenly the battery won’t take a charge anymore. I hook it up to my charger and it tells me it is full but when I put it into my slash it rolls a few feet then dies. I always follow the proper charging instructions and take good care of my batteries. I also use a nice charger for Lipo, NiMH batteries that I can control the power inputs. I am currently using the original Traxxas battery that came with the truck on the same truck and charger and it’s no problem. So the question is: Can I do anything to fix the battery like discharging it and recharging again or am I stuck with a dead battery?
Sean

Cubby- Congrats Sean, I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” thus entitling you to an uber new BSRC t-shirt. Shoot Brian your snail mail and shirt size for the hook-up.

So… you’ve got a Ni-MH that won’t charge anymore. If your other pack works fine and this one is having issues, yes, it sounds like one (or more) cells have gone bad in the pack, but lets try something first.

Is there any shot of reviving the bad pack? Probably not, but give this a try first. You say you’ve got a “nice charger”, lets hope it’s nice enough to have a discharge function. Attempt to discharge your bad pack at 5 amps, down to .8 volts per cell. Once the discharge is over and the pack has cooled, attempt to re-charge it, this time at a very slow rate, such as 1 amp. If the pack still refuses to charge, you can either attempt to isolate and discard the bad cell (or cells), or just call it a day and get a new pack.

Best of luck, enjoy your new uber shirt, and you should really think about upgrading to some Lipos.


Two simple questions
Hi,

HPI do a couple of electric powered 1/5th scale models, the Baja 5B flux and the Super 5SC flux. How do they rate as bashers and which one is best?
Also, when are you reviewing the Thunder Tiger eMTA?
Cheers,
Gary

Cubby- Hey Gary, thanks for taking the time to shoot me an email, hit Brian up for your sticker pack.

Normally I dislike emails with the words “simple questions” in the title. Typically those mean hours of pondering and cursing. But… for perhaps the first time ever, yours are indeed simple to answer.

Are the HPI Baja 5B and 5SC Flux good bash machines? Pretty simple answer here, I have no idea, we’ve never reviewed them. The only 5th scale HPI we’ve reviewed was the original gas 5B, and it rocked. We still beat on our review 5B on pretty much a weekly basis. However, we don’t have either of the Flux 5th scalers in house, I’ll shoot out a request, but no promises if we’ll get them reviewed.

Next, when are we reviewing the Thunder Tiger eMTA? Well… we posted the unboxing pics back in March and have been reviewing it ever since. I haven’t been a part of that review, so Brian and Bill must really be going the extra mile on that one. I’ll crack the whip on them this weekend at our big Bash & Swap Meet in Orland Park to see if they can get that review wrapped up.


That’s it for this week, submit your questions and random rants to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the big-time you get a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as “Letter of the Month” you win a free t-shirt. Yay. If your email doesn’t get answered don’t write back flip’n out, my letter screener immediately deletes those, you are essentially wasting keystrokes, and really that’s my job.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Ask Cubby – OK, I will
Cubby,

I love what you guys do – the website is my go-to site for what’s going on in RC. However, I do have one question/complaint – the letters in Thursday’s “Ask Cubby” section are barely legible. Would it be possible (and not blasphemous) to ask that you consider changing the font to one that doesn’t look like a 4th-grader printed it? I understand that’s what you’re going for, but still, I’m an old fart and it’s hard to read, even with the bifocals.
Thanks, and keep up the good work,
Best,
Mugsy

Cubby- Yo hey Mugsy, thanks for the email.
Back when “ASK Cubby” got started the readers questions were in a normal font, or maybe in italics, I don’t remember, any which way they were easily legible. Maybe a year or two into it the powers that be decided the column would look better in a 6 year old girls handwriting. We’ve had numerous complaints over the years and I think maybe Jeff has tried a couple of different fonts in an effort to make them more readable, but they didn’t pan out either. I’ll get on Brian again to try something different that is hopefully easier on the eyes.


LHS sucks
Hey Cubby,

So I have been in the hobby for about 15 years now and although a lot has changed over the years, one thing remains constant…. hobby shops terrible customer service. I have had hobby shops come and go (read terrible service no surprise they went under) where I live, but even the ones that have stood the test of time have crappy customer service. You walk into these places like you are disrupting them, not a valued client. Furthermore, they won’t price match with online. I understand their overhead, but if they price matched they would have greatly profited from me and others like me over the years. Oh and they never have anything in stock and say they will order it…. I can do the same thing straight from Tower. Seriously what gives? Why aren’t these shops ran like a BUSINESS…. Your customer is your #1 priority. Especially ones like myself who will spend a great deal of money with them over time. It is for these reasons my shop of choice is and will remain Tower Hobbies because they treat customers like valuable assets.

On a side note, we now have 25+ 4-wheel independent suspension short course trucks with all kinds of stupid variations. When is someone going to step up to the plate and make a legit 1/10th scale (slash sized) solid axle 2wd truck like a real Trophy truck, pro 2, or SST truck??? Yes I know about the Thunder Tech junker or the RC4WD $250 conversion…. Both of which are not wide spread and way over priced. And then HPI’s failed mini trophy where they decided to model the only real truck in its class that had 4 wheel independent suspension which is just stupid. I was on their pre order list for two of them before pictures showed it to be independent rear suspension. How many more 4 wheel independent 2wd short course trucks do we need?!?!? Lets get some solid axles!!!! Yes they won’t handle great, but who cares…. They would be bad ass!

Your loyal reader,
-Casey

Cubby- Hey now Casey, thanks for the email.

The BigSquidRC Bash Crew is pretty spoiled when it comes to LHS’s. Our STL guys have Checkered Flag which is an outstanding hobby shop, our Champaign crew has Slot & Wing and Hot Slots, while our Chi-Town guys have Leisure Hours and HobbyTown USA Orland Park. Those places have knowledgeable staffers that live the lifestyle and some pretty vast inventories.

However, as you know first hand, there are a lot of sub-par hobby shops out there. You have the types that simply don’t do rc, being more train shops or Dungeon and Dragons, then you have the types that seemingly only stock rc to fill up shelf space and have little to no parts support.

At the end of every Cub Report I say to “support your local hobby shops when ya can”, fully realizing that many hobbyists either have a poor LHS or simply don’t live near one at all. For those people, places like Tower Hobbies and A-Main are really the best option.

Why aren’t some of the crappy LHS’s run better? Well, if their doors are still open they are doing something right, but it might be with trains not rc. Just try and do your part to help them, express your concerns with the owner and buy rc gear from them when you can.

Now, about a true to scale solid axle short course truck… I know of one “major” manufacture that had one in the works, but it has yet to materialize. The handling downsides might have killed that project. But… with everything scale being as hot as it is right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one pop up before Christmas. :)


That’s it for this week, the amount of emails I’ve been receiving lately has been overwhelming. I do read every one, but due to time restraints don’t sit around holding your breathe for a reply. With that said, the emails I find most interesting will be used here in ASK Cubby. If your letter makes the front page you’ll get a free sticker pack, while the email I proclaim as “letter of the month” gets its writer a free t-shirt. Cubby at BigSquidRC.com is my email address, don’t be shy, shoot me what’s on your mind.

YOUR Cub Reporter