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Ask Cubby’ Category

ASK Cubby

“Animus 18TR

I was recently reading a thread on your website that reviewed the Animus 18 TR. I believe it was posted by Tim Mohr in Nov. of 2011. Near the bottom he talks about mods over $5 being a good quality charger, which would be around $50. I was wondering what the brand of charger (model # too) was and how long it would take to charge those batteries on that newer charger.

Thanks,

Pete”

Cubby- Yo hey Pete, thanks for taking the time to shoot in an email.

If there is one thing I truly hate it is using a wall charger that takes 5, 6, 7, or 8 hours to charge up a pack. I am just not wired to sit around that long waiting on a pack to be ready to jam.

There are a plethora of good chargers at the $50 price point to quick charge the Helion Animus 18TR’s 1100mAh Ni-MH pack. But sometimes those pesky Ni-MH packs can like to false peak, so I am going to recommend this one to you- the Duratrax Onyx 210 (#DTXP4210). It sits right at the $50 mark, is AC/DC, has more than enough power to charge the stock 18TR pack in under an hour, and I’ve used one extensively around the office with minimal false peaking. Oh ya, I really like its big LCD display as well.

How long would it take to charge the 1100mAh Ni-MH on the Onyx? You could set the 210 for a .8 amp charge rate, resulting in a charge that would take just under an hour and a half, or the stock Helion pack might be able to take a 1.5 amp rate, if so, you would be looking at charge times under an hour.

If you want to stick with a Firelands product, I would recommend the Radient Primal. The Primal is an AC only charger, but I’ve used it extensively and it has worked well for me. Oh ya, it also has plenty of power for small packs, plus it can charge Lipo, which if you haven’t switched over to yet, you really need to pull the trigger on. The price point is awesome too, just $40.

Hey Pete, when ya pick up a new charger shoot us an email on what ya ended up buying. Later homie, go fast, spin tires.


“Quadcopters

Hi,

So some people are getting wound up because of the quadcopters appearing everywhere. Never mind, now how about an update on the first quad shootout. I’d love to know what’s the best one to get now, especially with Christmas on the way.

The reviews and shootouts are great. Keep them coming.

Gary F.”

Cubby- Hey, good to hear from ya Gary.

I hate quads, or maybe I should say, I used to hate quads. I am truly a surface kind of guy, it is just how my brain is/was wired, but I have actually been using the Estes Proto X quite a bit around the office. It flies for a while, it is super fast to charge, and it takes some skill to put it where ya want it. If you are looking to pick one up for X-mas, I highly recommend it.

So… ya, you can put me on the list of people wanting to see an updated quad shootout. We’ve been toying with ideas for a bunch of different shootouts for a while now, but we get relentless emails about the quads. I need to crack the whip on Brian and make that one happen. There are bucket loads of new quads on the market, heck even I want to see how they stack up.


That’s it for this week ya freaks, shoot me your letters/questions/rants/manifestos to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter makes the front page shoot us an email with your snail mail so we can hook ya up with a sticker pack!

YOUR Rub-a-dub-Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“I am interested in getting one of the new avc systems and running it in my T4 this winter. Is the avc system legal for racing? thanks,
Jason K.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Jason, I just want to let you know you were ohhh sooo close to being letter of the month. You came in second, hope you weren’t holding your breathe for a t-shirt, but you do get a free sticker pack.

Is the Spektrum AVC (Active Vehicle Control) system legal for racing? Yes and No! Gotta love answers that completely conflict each other.

Yes! AVC is completely legal at local tracks that proclaim it to be legal. Hopefully local track directors are smart enough to realize that AVC isn’t gonna cut 5 seconds a lap off anyones time, but it can make a vehicle easier to drive in slick conditions. But… knowing the racing crowd the way I do- 1. they are typically idiots, and 2. they are more resistant to change than a Baptist church congregation. So… finding a local track that doesn’t care if you run AVC or not will probably be next to impossible.

No! No sanctioning body that I’ve heard of has made electronic stability control legal. The drift guys are against it (even though their cars are freak’n impossible to drive without it), the drag guys are against it (even though it would make zero freakn difference in cars that only go straight), and the off-roaders are against it (because they would rather spend countless hours working on their tracks to make their trucks easier to drive instead of just popping in AVC).

But me being Cubby, I think the more important question is “Should AVC be legal for racing?”. On one hand- our tiny cars are ridiculously hard to drive, especially in the wayyyy overpowered brushless age, on the other- it should all be up to the driver no matter how hard their car is to drive. Of course I am very pro electronic stability control, our small over-powered cars are frustrating to drive as they are now, with some stability control they are simply more fun. If I was running a track, stability control would absolutely be legal, heck I might kick drivers that showed up without it just to help get the ball rolling.


“I have an Animus for my 9 year old daughter and she likes it. We upgraded it with most of the aluminum parts and a losi mini insane motor. We looked at this truck at our local Hobbytown and it seems better than the Animus because the esc and steering servo are seperate, and it seems a touch bigger. Would you consider the SC4.18 an upgrade from the Animus?

Jeff D.”

Cubby- Yo Jeff, you didn’t finish second, you have won the highly coveted and sought after “Letter of the Month” award as proclaimed by me. Shoot Brian your shirt size and your snail mail so we can hook ya up.

So… what’s better (I love these questions) a Helion Animus or a Dromida SC4.18? Ok, I could totally make up some crap answer, but I’ll make an exception here and give ya the real scoop. Yes, we’ve tested both, but we haven’t tested them back to back. Without doing so it is incredibly hard to say which one is the best. Both vehicles are similar in the way they are both 18th scale 4wd brushed SCTs, but they both differ on their high and low points. Without a true shootout, I simply can not hook you up with a real answer. However… I can say that we’ve had a bunch of fun with both, and they both are decent bash machines.

Peace and love, and enjoy your new BigSquidRC t-shirt.


Well that’s all there is for this edition of ASK Cubby. Submit your questions, rants, or obvious trolling to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. Make the front page and get a free sticker pack, have your letter proclaimed as “Letter of the Month!” and get a free t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey Cubby,

I need your advice on 4×4 Short Course trucks. I’ll initially bash but grow into racing and am currently looking at the SC10 4×4 Factory Team and the Losi SCTE 2.0.

Obviously I don’t want to start a fan war between the two platforms, but can you give any advice on which way to go?

Thanks,

Matt M.”

Cubby- Yo hey Matt, thanks for the email and a super uber Thanksgiving to you and to all our readers.

Ummm… if you know me at all, then you already know the answer to this one, I’m going with the Losi SCTE (or 2.0) all the way. The SCTE has proven itself to not only be a freak’n animal on the track, but also an incredible bash machine. The AE on the other hand… takes too much time to dial in, is comparatively a PITA to work on, and while its belts may be able to handle the average racers 2S set-up, they live a short life on crazy basher power. Buy the Losi and never look back.


“Snow plow for a Honcho rc

I want to buy a plow for my grandson for Christmas. how can I find one?

Jean P.”

Cubby- Yo hey Jean, what’s up?

So…. your grandson is totally dialed with an Axial Honcho and you want to hook the lil’ fella up with a snow plow for X-mas. You sound like a pretty cool Grandpa. Have I mentioned all I want for X-mas is a case of perfectly preserved Dom Rosé ’00? Just a subtle hint if you feel so inclined (hint, hint).

Oh ya, about the snow plow. RC4WD is your friend on this one. Check out their # Z-X0007 snow plow which runs about $80. You’ll need the plow itself plus some mounting hardware which is also available from RC4WD and your Grandson will be uber-dialed for X-mas. Oh ya, look for our “Product Spotlight” on the RC4WD snow plow next week.


That’s it for this week gang. If you are working this Thanksgiving extra props to you, it sucks being away from family on a holiday. Btw, if you have a question just shoot me an email, Cubby at BigSquidRC.com.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey Guys,

I wanted to thank you again for the Invictus. Attached are some pictures from my Sons 6th birthday where we gave him the truck. He was screaming with joy!! Made his birthday. We had it hid away for a few months that is why it has taken time to get you pictures! My wife was laid off her job 2 years ago so we were able to give him a great present from Big Squid RC!!! Thanks soooo much! He has already put Big Squid RC decals on it!

Nathan M.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Nathan, thanks for checking in after winning the Helion Invictus monster truck. And ya, your son looks crazy stoked in the pics, glad Helion and BigSquidRC were able to help put a smile on his face. Happy to hear he is digging the truck, and congrats again on the big score.

Here is a little side note on our Helion Invictus review. During our review period we experienced a significant amount of cogging with it. The review went up and the crew over at Helion read about it and suspected our test sample had issues. Our test truck was a pre-production unit, something we were not aware of during the review. Anyways, we shipped the truck back to Cali and got it back with full production electronics. We haven’t had any cogging issues with it since, and we’ve been bashing it on a regular basis.


“I have a question, do you know of any hobby shows in the New York area?

David M.”

Cubby- Hey now Daveee M, thanks for the email.

No, there aren’t any “major” hobby shows in the greater NY area. We’ve actually batted around the idea of doing something in that area. The New York/New England area is crazy for rc, I personally think a show in that area would freak’n blow up huge. So who knows, give us a couple more years to get some big bucks together and we might put on something cool out your way.

Until then, the closest thing to an rc trade show in your “area” would be Motorama in Hanover PA. Several rc manufactures set up booths in additional to all the rc racing that goes on over the weekend. The dates are Feb 15-16 in 2014, check it out if ya get a chance.


“Hi Cubby,

I have a 1/8th scale 4wd buggy with a center, rear and front fluid filled differential. Im not sure what wieght the factory used to fill the differentials and i would like to know your recommendation on what fluid weight i should use when i go to perform maintenance on the diff’s. A general guideline for bashing would be great as i dont race at the track.

Thanks and keep up the good work over at BSRC!

David O.”

Cubby- What’s up Daveee O? Word up on the email.

So… what is a recommended starting point for diff oils for bashing? Should they be different than racing?

In racing, changing weights of the diff oils is a great tuning aid. If you need more rear traction you go to thinner oil in the rear, if want less front bite, you go higher in the front. Things are a bit different for the bashing crowd where diff oil is truly used more to help keep tires from ballooning and to help pull gnarly tricks. Bashers also tend to have a LOT more power on tap than the average racer.

In a typical basher set-up you’ll usually find much heavier center oil for sure. This helps a basher in a number of ways. First off, it helps keep the front tires from becoming pizza cutters when you tag the gas on 6S. A heavier center oil will force more of the power to go to the rear, resulting in less pizza cutting. Thicker center oil also makes it easier to pull back and front flips when jumping. A buggy with heavy center diff oil will be much more reactive to throttle input while in the air. Also, bashers like wheelies! A loose center diff will prevent a buggy from pulling a wheelie, forcing all the power to the front wheels when they lift from the ground. Going to a super heavy center diff oil will ensure plenty of power goes to the rear wheels, making it easier to pop wheelies.

As far as the front and rear diffs go, bashers tend to run somewhat heavier oil than a “racer” set-up. Because bashers aren’t looking for maximum corner speed, they are willing to trade some traction for the ability to keep the inside tires from pizza cutting in the corners.

So what weights should you run? That is entirely up to your personal driving style and taste. Light oils are easier to drive and jump, heavier oils can help you pull more extreme bashing moves. Personally I would recommend you start at 20k center, with 10k front and 5k rear, all oil Mugen. This might sound heavy, but if you are a core basher running crazy power, you might very well end up going much heavier to keep things under control. I recommend Mugen diff oil because it is relatively affordable and easily found at hobby shops and on-line. If those weights are hard to drive, go lower for more traction, if you are still having issues with ballooning, go heavier on the applicable diff.

Ask ten different guys and they will give you ten different recommendations, but at the end of the day you gotta do some bashing to figure out what works best for you.


That’s if for this week ya bunch of lunatics, keep those emails pouring in, I promise they will get read (eventually). Shoot me whatever is on that seedy mind of yours to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter makes the big time you’ll win a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours “Letter of the Month!” you’ll get a brand spank’n new BSRC Bash Crew t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey Cubby,

I just picked up a 2013 Savage x 4.6! What would be the best upgrade you recommend for a routine basher? Most bang per buck vs. Best Bang if money were no object?

Thanks in advance!
Jose C. Jr.

p.s. I’m also bumming it for a free decal :-)”

Cubby- Yo yo yo Jose, BigSquidRC Raps! Actually we don’t, we just dig phrases from the early ’90s.

Word up on the stickers, shoot Brian your snail mail and we’ll not only hook ya up with stickers, but Brian just might stick a “surpise” in there too.

Now to your question. What is the best hop-up for a Savage 4.6? IMO that would be a hammer to smash it to bits, then go out and buy the Flux version. Ya, you probably already know I am not a fan of nitro, so there is my “money is no object” upgrade.

Ok, but what if smashing it into a pile of rubble was not an option? I consider there to be two key hop-ups to any vehicle, regardless of scale or what powerplant it uses.

1. Gearing
2. Tires

In the case of your Savage it comes properly geared right out of the box, so you can scratch that one. So now you’ll be looking at some new kicks. The type you buy depends strictly on you and your driving habits. If you drive on pavement stay away from small pins, if you only drive in loam look for the biggest lugs you can find, if you do a little bit of everything buy Pro-Line Trenchers because they work well on just about any surface shy of snot covered ice (sorry for the ugly mental image… actually, no I’m not).

Have fun with your BSRC stickers and shoot us pics if you pick up some new tires for your truck.


“Greetings,

I saw that you did a review on the DXR8-E last year sometime, and you gave it pretty good marks. Did you run this machine any more after your test? I see some kind of crazy low bids on ebay these units and I am wondering if somebody knows something that I don’t know. . . . or is it that Duratrax just has a not great rep but this one is really a good ride?

My big concern is the composite motor mount, and secondly the plastic chassis. I have found one guy on the web that says he has had trouble with the motor mount, but everybody else says they do OK.

My driving is more of the bashing style, but not really a “fly it 25 feet in the air” bashing style.

Think I would be better served to save up for an 835E??

Thanks

Patrick C.”

Cubby- And greetings to you too Pat C, thanks for your questions.

Ok, so… is the Duratrax DXR8-E any good, or should you save up some cash and buy the 835E?

Brian, Wrench, and Adam put our review DXR8-E through a legit beating and didn’t have many issues with it. They were doing all the stupid stuff you shouldn’t do and it proved to be a very capable bash machine for us. I also need to mention that most of the testing was done in cold weather for that buggy, making it even more difficult for it to survive. If you are on the fence for getting one, get off it and cut the check.

However… the DXR8-E comes as a roller with no electronics. Electronics to get it up and cranking will run at least a couple hundred bucks (and a lot more than that for the “good” stuff). The 835E comes RTR completely ready to jam. If you don’t have a bunch of 8th scale electronics sitting around, the 835E might actually prove to be cheaper.

Also… I’m a big fan of the 835E. It handles well, takes a legit beating, and basically does everything you want a good bash machine to do. In years past DTX would use OEMs that maybe weren’t quite up to par, but the OEM they have build the 835E is who I’d use if it was my job to whip out an 8th scaler. The 835E has quality plastic, quality metal parts, and is put together by people who know what they are doing with 8th scalers.

Btw… we’ve been seriously tossing around an “affordable buggy shootout” for quite some time now. DTX vs ECX vs RedCat vs Ofna, we really should get off our butts and knock that one out.


That’s it for now ya bunch of lunatics, shoot me your questions, epic meltdowns, verbose rants, and anything else to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the bigtime you get a sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” you’ll win a BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Cubby,

My question is about a common belief that is passed around the internet. When an R.C. vehicle is discontinued is it really necessary to start stocking up on parts, or do the manufacturers continue to produce replacement parts? I recently had a vehicle I own become discontinued and am now faced with this question. (I would mention the vehicle but it is just too embarrassing to admit I made this purchase).

I realize that R.C. cars aren’t on the same level of investment as a one to one counterpart, but one of the major advantages of hobby grade vehicles is the ability to purchase replacement parts. If certain manufacturers simply stop production on replacements once a vehicle is discontinued that would effect a consumers initial decision to buy something. I would love to get your always unbiased insight on this question, Thanks,

Ryan”

Cubby- Word up and congrats Ryan, you have just won “Letter of the Month” and thus you get a free BigSquidRC t-shirt. Shoot us your snail mail and size so we can hook ya up.

When an rc car is disco’ed does the manufacture continue to produce parts? The answer is… it depends.

Now days, most “manufactures” literally have to wait in line to get parts produced from an overseas OEM. A big Asian OEM might make parts/cars for Team X this week, then Team Y the next, and Team Yeehaww after that. When Team X has a hot new truck they want out ASAP, many times the release date is at the mercy of the schedule of the Asian OEM. I say this to get across the point that even if Team X wants parts for a discontinued vehicle, sometimes it isn’t easy to get them produced. But… you can bet that if getting parts made is sure to make Team X some major cash, they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they end up on LHS shelves.

Also… I’m sure you’ve noticed quite a few manufactures have been on a rampage of putting out new cars. It isn’t like the old days when a manufacture might put out a “new car” once every couple of years. Now days, it’s not uncommon to put out a new car every couple of months. With that philosophy- put out lots of new cars, drop old cars fast, they typically don’t support old product. Once they discontinue it, they don’t look back, there are simply too many old cars to realistically support.

However… some more popular models, and some models from small manufactures, do get some parts support after the kit is killed off. Shoot off an email or give the manufacture of your vehicle a ring, most likely they’ll let you know what the future of parts support will look like for your specific model.

Furthermore… IMO, lets say you have a really awesome truck that you like. It gets discontinued. Sure, buy up a spare truck and the commonly broken parts so you can drive it a while. But for the real long term, you are going to have to put it in storage.

If it’s a pile that you are so ashamed of that you don’t even want to mention its name, I say beat it with a hammer, huck it in the trash, and never look back. It’s just a toy car and I can assure you there are plenty more out there that you’ll like better.


“Hey Big Squid.

My co-workers and I like to go out during our lunch breaks and do some racing. Recently we have started doing time challenges to reduce the amount of carnage, and have been on the hunt for an affordable, portable and easy setup/tear down Lap timing system.
A perfect solution would record each lap and total time to do X number of laps for several cars at a time (so we could race staggered)
Thats alot to ask for, but even a single car solution has been hard to find.
Do you know of any?
Thanks
Duston D.”

Cubby- Wow, lots of brainwashing going on in your letter Duston, maybe I can help open your mind a bit.

You do realize you are playing with toy cars on your lunch break right? I would think you would be looking for some stress relief, not a way to heighten it.

Heck, you even want to use IFMAR staggered starts. IFMAR starts blow in regular rc racing, you have been listening to all the wrong people if you are even considering using them for your informal lunch racing.

Yo Duston, wake up! Have some freak’n fun at lunch, not the IFMAR worlds. If the only way you and your homies can have fun is by racing, there are plenty of places to get your fill of that.

Instead… bust your cars out and have friendly competitions that don’t require a timing system. When we have limited time we usually play something called tag. Yup, simple old tag. Whoever gets tagged is it. This isn’t full on demo derby, it is just tag another car and they are it.

Should you need a bit more of a competition edge, try a measured long jump. Try high jump, heck, spend the $50 for a cheap radar gun and measure your top speeds. Rc soccer is a blast, but I would skip tug-of-war, it is crazy hard on parts.

BTW… lets say you did get your lunch break racing going and decided to invite the BSRC crew, this is what would happen. The tone goes off and guess what? Half our Bash Crew would start driving the wrong direction on your track. Why? Why the heck not! We are bashers and track direction has no relevance to us. Next, we would start smashing into every car we could find. Why? Why not! We are bashers and smashing stuff is fun. Then… well, I think you get the point, track “rules” mean pretty much nothing to us.

To boil it down, on a limited time lunch break, there are LOTS of other ways to have fun with your guys than wanna be racing. I know “Racing is the only fun you can have, you must race!” has been shoved down everyones throats forever, but luckily BSRC is here to tell you that you don’t have to drink that Kool Aid.


That’s it for this week, congrats to Ryan, the winner of our “letter of the month”. Every writer that hits the big time gets a free sticker pack, so send in those emails- Cubby at BigSquidRC.com is the addy ya want.

YOUR Cub Reporter

cubby

“Hi Cubby,
I must say I am thoroughly impressed with the Granite BLX after seeing the bash video and reading the review. However, I couldn’t help but notice that you guys gave it a “B” on the Bash-a-Bility rating. A buddy of mine has the brushed granite, and that thing is INSANELY tough. Once you replace the servo its pretty much indestructible. So, my question to you is why the “B” rating on the brushless? Does it have some redesigns that make it weaker? Or is it just not as tough due to the insane power (and I know you guys love to huck your trucks). The truck looks as tough as the Tumbler from Batman Begins in the video, so what’s holding it back from “A” grade?

Thanks,
Jon O.”

Cubby- Hey Jon, thanks for the email and congrats, you actually have a really good question.

We hate giving out an “A” unless we really have to. To get an “A” in our Bash-A-Bility category it pretty much requires that the vehicle not break at all. And we define “breaking” as the vehicle can’t not be driven anymore. A truck might be tweaked here or there, might have bent parts, or might have a tie rod fall off, but if it can still be driven we don’t hold it against the score. If it takes a trip to the hobby hop to get it going again, that is a break.

The brushless BLX version of the Granite is still one tough customer, that took a lot, actually a pretty insane amount, to break. But… it did break, therefore it received a B for Bash-A-Bility. The BLX and the brushed version share a bunch of parts, but being brushless the BLX is hitting everything much harder, which of course just makes it that much more difficult not to break.

To boil it down, for the BLX to have received an A, it could not have broken, even though it was jumping higher and hitting walls much harder with its new brushless powerplant.


“Hey there Cubby,
A few weeks ago I had the urge to look up some kits that I had been eye balling in years past and see how they were doing. I was happy to see the Kyosho Mad Force and Blizzard are still around. Something that almost made me cry is that it seems the RC10GT2 has been discontinued. Is that true? Don’t really see it on the RC10 site and towerhobbies lists it as discontinued. I also don’t see Losi’s equivalent anymore either. What happened?
Thanks
Michael”

Cubby- Yo hey what’s up Mikey? Thanks for the email.

So… what happened to the 10th scale nitro trucks? A few things actually…

ROAR ditched the class years ago, thus killing them at the competition level. Local racers could have stood up and supported the class locally, but instead were lured to the plethora of other classes to run.

Electric was blowing up huge when the Associated GT2 came out and has continued to do nothing but grow. Tuning a gas truck engine just isn’t for everyone.

And finally… have you ever tried driving one of those things on a slick surface? They are kinda like a 3S Lipo/brushless 2wd electric stadium truck, they just aren’t easy to drive. Sure, doing some donuts is fun once in a while, just not ALL the time.


That’s it for this week ya freaks, next week I’ll be selecting a “letter of the month” winner who will get a free t-shirt, so get those letters in. Cubby at BigSquidRC.com

YOUR Cub Reporter

ask cubby rc

“I have been thinking about going with piggyback shocks on my Associated T4 but do not know how much better they will perform. What are the upsides and downsides?

Bryan G.”

Cubby- Hey now Bryan, thanks for the email and be sure to shoot Brian your snail mail for a free sticker pack.

Hey bro, I’m so glad you decided to go with piggyback shocks, they are so rad. You can instantly plow through railroad ties and jump off the roof of the tallest building you can find and they just soak it up! Break out your credit card fast, I can’t believe you lived without them for so long!!!

And back to the real world…

Hate to break the bad news to ya, but in the rc world a “piggyback” reservoir on a shock is mostly (who am I kidding, they are 100%) cosmetic. There are piggyback shocks out there that don’t even hold any oil, and even if they did, the shocks never get hot enough to warrant the extra volume. Piggybacks work well in the full scale world, but that doesn’t transfer down to us.

However… they do look freak’n cool and if you are building a scale machine I would consider them a must have simply for looks.


“Cubby the new car I got says I should adjust camber and toe “when necessary”, what does that mean? I know you can help and thank you.

Wilson M.”

Cubby- Yo hey Wilson, thanks for the email, and freak’n of course I can help you out.

With that said… maybe you don’t know what camber or toe is. If that’s the case Google it, I don’t have time for you. But seriously, camber is the vertical angle of the wheels when viewed from the front or back. Negative camber, tires angled in at the top, lends to more grip in corners. Toe is the angle of the wheels pointing in or out from the centerline of the vehicle. Positive toe gives more steering at corner entry. If that was your question, we are done here.

If you have half a brain and already knew what camber and toe were, I will guess your question pertains to why you might need to adjust them as you own a vehicle.

Adjusting toe and camber is a very valuable tuning aid. For example, lets say the rear of your truck is loose in corners. You can dial in a couple degrees of negative camber on the rear wheels and find some much needed grip, simply making your truck easier to drive.

Also of note, camber and toe will need to be adjusted over time, especially after you hit hard objects (like everyone does). Smacking a curb at 30 can very easily tweak a camber rod, knuckle, etc, resulting in your camber/toe getting knocked a bit out of whack. I consider a RPM camber gauge a “must have” item for your pit box, ours get used daily.

Go fast, have fun, and smash stuff hard Wilson.


That’s it for this week ya freaks, shoot me your questions/hate mail/manifestos to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com, you’ll be soooo glad ya did. Every letter that makes the bigtime earns the author a free sticker pack and if I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” you’ll get a free BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

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