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Ask Cubby’ Category

ASK Cubby

“Please help with pro line body thumbwashers install

Hi guys, please help me. i was wondering what exact size drill bit do i use to install a Pro-Line Body Mount Thumbwasher Kit that i read about

Thanks,

Wolfy”

Cubby- Hey Wolfy. Obviously you are a man of good taste and judgment, choosing to ditch those PITA body clips in favor of vastly superior Pro-Line Thumbwashers. Actually, they are called Secure-Loc Caps now days, which is a much tricker name than what we gave them.

So you want to know precisely what size drill bit to use for drilling the holes when installing a Pro-Line Secure-Loc Cap Kit. To be honest with you, I normally just “eyeball” it and have never been off, not to brag, but yes, I am just that good. But… seeing as how I am so dedicated to our readers (LOL), I actually removed one of the cap screws on my personal PRO-2 SCT to get a solid answer for you. After spending nearly 2 minutes working my rear off to get a measurement, I am going to say a 1/8″ bit is the weapon of choice. Btw, a normal metal bit is fine as long as it has a sharp tip.


“I would like your expertise and have a question for you

I am currently in the market for a gas rc car. I want to take it off-roading and just have a fun time with it (no competitions or anything like that).

Do you have any recommendations if I wish to stay in a budget of about $1000-$1200. What are your thoughts about the HPI baja 5B SS kit? I was thinking of getting that or the Losi LST XXL 2 (which hasn’t come out yet). Perhaps you think it’s worth the wait?

I work crazy night hours and lately I have been bored out of my mind sitting at home and doing nothing. I was thinking it would be time consuming and interesting to get a kit. Do you think a person needs a lot of experience in putting it together? I have never put one together but feel confident in my abilities.

By the way, your website, bigsquidrc.com, comes highly recommended! I think it’s amazing. So much info and very interesting to see regular updates.

Johnathan G”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Johnathan, thanks for taking the time to write in.

What are my thoughts on the HPI Baja 5B SS kit? Well, we did a review on the initial RTR version which prompted me to cut the check and buy a 5B SS kit. The SS is a solid buggy, it drives well, has decent power, and if you don’t get too insane, is relatively reliable. The engine it comes with typically starts right up and is generally a joy to use. Yes, I consider the SS to be worth the cash, it is a lot of fun with minimal engine hassles.

Do I think you can build it? Hey, I don’t know you, but the SS comes with a decent manual and everything goes together without issue. Building an rc car/truck kit is really about one thing- how well you can read a manual. If you are the type that throws the manual away first thing, it will be a pain to build. If you go strictly by the manual, and are good at paying attention to the details, it will be easy for you.

But… the 5B isn’t without downsides, noise is the first one. I have no idea where you live, but the 5B sounds roughly like a chainsaw when driven, which might very well get on the nerves of your neighbors. And… the 5B is no small vehicle. If you don’t have much extra room in your garage, you will find it takes up a decent chunk of space to store. Lastly… the 5B is no joke, it can throw a serious roost, meaning it can be a grass killer. That might not be an issue for some, but for others, tearing up the grass at your local park isn’t cool and can get you in some hot water.

About the Losi XXL-2 gas powered monster truck… no, we haven’t received one for review yet, so your guess is as good as mine on whether it is so good that it completely changes the industry, or if it misses the mark.


Hey, got a question? Got something on your mind? Don’t be shy, the worst I can do is publicly shame you. Submit your letters to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the front page we will totally hook you up with a BigSquidRC sticker pack, and if I proclaim it to be the “Letter of the Month” we’ll even send you a t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Helion Criterion

I want to upgrade my spur gear for my helion criterion and it’s getting annoying trying to find anything for this buggy. I have upgraded my pinion gear and like the reviews say the stock spur gear gets worn VERY easily especially with the new 31t spur gear it doesn’t help I upgraded my motor to a brushless motor. I would like to know if your Exotek direct spur gear hub would work for my buggy. As well as can you direct me to how many teeth I may want to run with my 31t 48p spur gear. I personally was looking for a 62t to 65t.

James J.”

Cubby- Yo hey James, quite the interesting question/rant you have there.

It was difficult to follow your email, or perhaps it’s late and I just don’t care, but after skimming it here is my reply.

No, yes, perhaps and maybe. Have a nice day and thanks for writing in.

LOL. Ok, for sure you have a Helion Criterion buggy and you are having wear issues with the spur gear. We’ve tried a few different spurs on the Helion and ended up using one from a Vaterra Twin Hammers. The Twin Hammers spur takes a tiny bit of trimming with a hobby knife in the slipper pad area and it’s good to go. Oh ya, it last wayyyy longer than the stock Helion unit does.

As far as gearing goes, that depends on a lot of factors. It depends on the kV of your brushless motor, your tires, your cell count, ambient temp, etc. Lets say you pop on the Twin Hammers spur, which is a 78 (if I remember correctly, it’s been a while, feel free to Google it). Start off with the smallest pinion in your box, hopefully around a 16 or so and keep adding teeth until you get your desired performance or until you start seeing motor temps of 140′ish.

Go fast, turn left, and send lots of Dom.


The next letter is a longggg rant on ARRMA, to read it and my response hit the “Read More” button…

READ MORE

ASK Cubby

“ESC Upgrade

Hey Guys,
Do you think i might face any technical issues in case i replace the ESC of my TT countryman BLC- 80C with the BLC-150C which is being used on the MT4 G3? i’m looking for more power but im afraid to face some problems with the differential system or gearing…etc…
Thanks
OD”

Cubby- Yo congrats OD, I have selected yours as “Letter of the Month” which entitles you to a free BigSquidRC t-shirt. Hit the “contact us” link to shoot Brian your snail mail and shirt size.

Ok, so you might be replacing the stock 80 amp esc in your Thunder Tiger Mini Cooper Countryman with a 150 amp model. So…. what are the implications? Absolutely none if you keep the gearing and cell count the same. After the switch your car should have the same speed and power.

Now lets say you go ahead and kick up your cell count to 5 or 6S on the bigger speedo. Then will your rally car run into reliability problems? Hey, every car running on 6S runs into problems sooner or later, so expect to break some parts. But… all that insane 6S power will at least have you wrenching with a huge smile on your face.


“Just out of curiosity why yall cover this guy’s eyes up every picture?

Michael V.”

Cubby- Ya know, I’ve actually thought for nearly a whole minute on how to answer this question. I could say it’s because I dug out both of my eyes with a hot soldering iron from reading dumb letters. I could say it’s because I’m actually an alien and my eyes have a deep, dark, green phosphate like glow that I’m trying to hide from the government. I could say I only do it to tick off Joe-Blow consumers that have never met me in person.

But then, I could just break down and be honest (which is pretty rare), so… here’s the dealio. In the early days of THE Cub Report many of the things I would say were against my employer in the rc industry. Instead of getting fired and losing some rather fat paychecks, I wore a motocross helmet in the CR picture. Later, when I was working more outside the rc industry, I had no reason to continue using the helmet pic so we shot a “normal” pic, but decided to put a BSRC watermark over my eyes to still leave a bit of mystery.

So there ya go, pretty simple really. :)


That is it for this week ya punks, my email is Cubby at BigSquidRC.com, feel free to shoot me whatever you want, at some point it just might get read. Every letter you write that hits the bigtime gets you a free sticker pack, if I pick yours as “Letter of the Month” we’ll totally hook you up with a sweet BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hi Gentlemen
What do you think about the Kyosho DRX VE (Ford Fiesta or Subaro Impreza) Vs. the traxxas Rally? Actually i own a traxxas rally (and i’m very happy with it) and i was thinking to get a DRX VE but i’m not sure if it’s worth it. I need your opinion from technical/performance point of view.
Thanks for your feedback and for your amazing website as well.
Regards
Omar D.”

Cubby- Yo hey Omar, you’ve hit the bigtime, feel free to shoot Brian your snail mail so he can hook ya up with a sticker pack. Oh and, I think you’ve got us all wrong if you are calling us “gentlemen”, trust me on that one. :)

I am going to assume you’ve already read our Rally Car Shootout (if not, HERE is the link), so I’m going to give you some additional feedback on the K-car vs the Traxxas from my point of view. We had the “Demon” version in the shootout, which is similar to the Ford and Subaru versions you asked about.

The Traxxas Rally is somewhat different than the Kyosho. The Traxxas is much wider, so much so it doesn’t have the “scale” proportion of the Kyosho, and it drives that way. The extra width and firmer suspension of the TRX keeps it from traction rolling as much, and when it does flip, it tends to not roll over as many times. The Kyosho is better on loose surfaces like dirt or rocks. Its stock suspension is set up very soft which allows it to get more grip and generally drive better in low bite situations. The tires on the Kyosho also work better on loose surfaces than those on the TRX. I will also add that with its narrower proportions and greater chassis roll, the Kyosho feels more like driving the “real” thing than the TRX.

The stock powerplant on the Kyosho seems quite soft compared to the one in the Traxxas. We didn’t spend a lot of time changing the gearing, so it’s possible adding a couple teeth to the Kyosho might wake it up a bit, but otherwise if you purchase a Kyosho you might be looking at instantly installing an aftermarket BL system to make it feel as fast as your TRX.

So… is it worth cutting the check for a Kyosho? Does it offer you something the TRX does not? If… you are a big rally car fan, then yes, a Kyosho rally is worth the cash. While it might be slow compared to the Traxxas, all three models look gorgeous compared to the TRX and they definitely drive much differently.


“RC10 Worlds Car
If I want to get into casual racing & parking lot/gravel/skatepark bashing, should I go for this or a newer kit? I’d say 70/30 bashing.
Casey R.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo yo Casey, thanks for shooting us a question over on our Facebook page. Personally I hate FB, but hey, somebody has to keep Zuckerberg in the lap of luxury.

So… you are interested in the Associated RC10 Worlds Car. Here is the scoop…

If you are old school and owned one back in the day, it’ll probably be a hoot to have again. If you just like its style or want to own a piece of history, sure, cut the check. However, racing or bashing are two things you won’t want to do with it.

Vintagte racing- ya.. that didn’t take off so well for Team AE. I frequent several of the busiest indoors tracks in the country and none of them regularly hold vintage classes. This means that if you do buy a World’s Car that you will be racing it in the “normal” buggy class. That means that someone of your exact same skill level will be smoking you by a second (or more) a lap simply because their equipment is more modern/better/faster. Hey, losing to a better driver is an honorable thing to do, but to get beat by someone of the same (or lesser) skill sucks.

Bashing- ummm… like the original RC10 re-release, the World’s Car is a limited edition kit. Yes, there are some parts out there for it, but there won’t be as many available as a “normal” production run car. Additionally, a 2wd buggy is just about the worst platform you can select for bashing. They are low to the ground with relatively small diameter tires, this hurts them in grass or when driving in extremely rough or loamy areas. Lastly, 2wd buggies are known in bashing circles as being fragile (although that isn’t always the case).

I know a lot of people that are burnt out on the whole short course truck trend, but for what you are looking for they might be a good option. They are one of the most popular classes now days and they are typically rugged enough to bash with. If you simply can’t stand SCTs, then I would cut the check on a B4 or a Losi 22 (original). Both can be found at discounted prices and are decent buggies.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of raving lunatics. I’ll be picking a “letter of the month” next week so get those letters in for a chance to win a new t-shirt. Shoot your questions to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com, if your letter makes the front page you’ll win a BSRC sticker pack.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Question
I’m thinking of buying a hellion dominus, can a lipo be used in the truck in its stock form?
thank you,
Frank B.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Franky B, thanks for taking the time to shoot out an email.

For those not familiar with the Helion Dominus, it’s Helion’s 4wd 10th scale short course truck. It has an affordable price point, $199, and won March Bashness a couple years ago, which is voted on strictly by our readers. We liked the one we got to review, the Dominus is a basic, affordable, bash machine.

So… does it do Lipo in stock form? You are gonna love this answer, yes and no.

Yes you can! If you use a Lipo that has a relatively small form factor and you don’t mind driving without an LVC (low voltage cut-off).

No you can not! If you use a ROAR sized Lipo and want some low voltage protection.

Now… the BigSquid Bash Crew doesn’t really freak over the lack of an LVC. We routinely drive vehicles that do not have an LVC in their speedo. We have learned that when you first start feeling a pack getting soft you pull off and re-charge. However, if you are a noobie noob, an LVC can come in handy to keep you from over-discharging your Lipo pack.

Also of note, we ran Lipo in our test truck, a ROAR sized one at that, but to fit such a pack requires some elbow grease. You can find the details on what it takes Here, but if you don’t feel like doing any modding, you might want to look at another platform.


“Send to Cubby
Who you think the number one company that makes bashing trucks and cars is, all my friends say Traxxas but I like HPI the best.
Shiloh F.”

Cubby- Hey now Shiloh, what’s up and be sure to shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with an uber BSRC sticker set.

So who do I think the numero uno manufacture (<- sorry guy from last week, LOL) of bash machines is? Wow, my cell is gonna blow up tomorrow for answering this one, but of course that isn't a deterrent to me.

Well... it's not Traxxas, that’s for sure. I sure like their parts availability, but that’s about it.

HPI- has put out solid basher gear for years upon years, but no doubt they’ve had their issues the last couple of years. They didn’t release much last year, and what they did seemed to be drift/on-road oriented, which is fine for some, but not for the people I hang with. My crew needs a machine that works on pavement as well as hucking vert ramps. Oh and, the whole Octane thing…. oooofffaahh….

ARRMA- is known as Durango’s basher line, and they certainly do have some kick butt machines. Their line-up is modern, their marketing is coming together, all they need is one big 4wd gnar-core bash truck to be on top of the heap.

Thunder Tiger- TT has a winner with their epic G3 platform, but some of their lower-end models could use some freshening up.

ECX- still a relatively new brand, they got off to a slightly slow start, but their line-up now days is real solid. While some may hold their very low price points against them, we don’t care about such things here, if they work, they work, and we drive Torments and Ruckuses nearly every day.

Vaterra- is my preferred basher line-up (at the moment). Ya, they are still new to the scene, and it will take another 3-5 years of marketing to cement their name to an average hobbyist, but the product they’ve put out thus far is amazingly good. Pretty much everything in their line-up has class leading looks, while the platforms underneath are typically solid bash machines. Hot looks, decent price points, and vehicles that can survive a good hucking off your roof, now that’s what bashing is all about.

However Shiloh… if you were to go around the table and ask every member of the BSRC Bash Crew what their favorite is, I can assure you there would be several different answers. We have guys that are big fans of HPI, big fans of Axial, and some that even still like Traxxas. And… just because our answers might be different, it doesn’t mean a single one of them is wrong. What’s best for me might suck for you, while the best brand for you might just not work for me.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of lugs, shoot me your vintage ’72 Unadilla GP t-shirts, questions, rants, and F1 swag to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter makes the bigtime you’ll get a free sticker set, if I proclaim yours as “letter of the month” you get a brand spank’n new BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey Cubby,
I implore you to please quit using the word manufacture when you should be using manufacturer. A manufacturer is the company that manufactures the products.
Thanks,
Joshua H.”

Cubby- Yo hey Josh, you’ve made the big time, hit Brian up with your snail mail for a BSRC sticker pack.
Ok, a couple quick things here-
1. While I merely dislike Grammar Nazis, what I really hate is a bad one, and that would be you. When other Grammar Nazis write in they typically list dozens of issues, you only list one. If you are gonna live in a dictionary the very least you could do is pay attention.

2. I’m betting you were born after the internet was, thus you’ll never know the freedom that comes from letting misspelled words go, using internet shorthand, using lots of …. before and after each sentence, etc. You see in the era I grew up we had teachers breathing down our necks ready to bust out the red pen of death for every “i” we forgot to dot. Sadly you’ll never know that feeling of “freedom” by writing however you want to like in the early days of the internet.

3. I’ve explained multiple times that BSRC made a conscience decision years ago to not look like the dinosaur media. While some former 5th grade English teacher may be proofing every sentence at a dinosaur mag, we basically don’t have anyone. We do it this way so our readers see we are human just like them, making a few mistakes here and there. We want our readers to know 100% that we are just like them, down in the trenches of rc, more worried about how high the new HPI Octane truck can jump than the finer points of the written English language.


“I need expert advice
I’m a gearhead looking for a new hobby. Drag racing has gotten cost prohibitive and I stumbled across the RC world just recently. I’ve done a lot if reading and you guys have become my favorite source of what seems to be unbiased info.
I know from reading your stuff that I am going to be a basher so I need your opinion of the best 4×4 sct rtrs in electric and nitro. I love the test result and review of the ECX Torment but it was a 2wd. I live in rural Arkansas so parts will be mail order.
I only know what I read, mainly on Big Squid, so I can use any help you’re willing to give.
Thanks,
Chad P.”

Cubby- Ya know Chad, we have really worked hard to attempt to be unbiased, but… I am absolutely sure that we are. When it comes review time we attempt to blind test as much as we can and spread out our test ratings over as many reviewers as possible to fight this, but in the end it is impossible to be unbiased.

And why is it that I think it is impossible that we are unbiased? Because some companies treat us extremely well, while others treat us like dirt, so of course we can’t help but want to “like” the companies that treat us awesome. Still, when it comes review time, we do our best to block all that out.

Anywhos… on to your question. What are the best 4×4 SCT RTRs? You want the list for electric and nitro, but I am gonna stamp out the nitro thing right now. You might be a big-time gear head, but at this point I would never recommend nitro to anyone. Why? Yes, they have the sound and smell of the real deal, but with current technology they are a PITA to keep tuned and running.

With that said… several of our staffers are big fans of the Traxxas Slash 4×4, while we have others that are big fans of the Losi SCTE platform. I have only bought 3 cars in the last year, one of which was a Losi SCTE (then I added the MIP conversion and some STRC and RPM parts). To give you a feel for how much I like the SCTE, I can pretty much shoot a text to whoever I want and get a free car, however I actually cut the check to buy an SCTE. The SCTE rails on the track and you can torture the heck out of it when bashing. The SCTE is one of those rare vehicles that can do it all, and it comes in at a reasonably affordable price point.

But then… if you talk to other members of our Bash Crew they will emphatically recommend the Traxxas. It certainly has some upsides, with parts availability being at the top of the list.

Thanks for the props and whatever you end up buying shoot us an email and let us know how it turned out.


That’s it for this week ya freaks. Shoot me an email to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the front page you’ll win a free sticker pack, if I proclaim yours as letter of the month you’ll win an uber new BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Vaterra Cogging
How can I get rid of all cogging from my halix vaterra? 2s Lipo
Aspen Sam”

Cubby- Yo hey Aspen Sam, what’s up and I hope you’ve been bashing the heck out of your Vaterra Halix. While it is still a very new model it has become a favorite among the BigSquidRC Bash Crew.

The Halix comes geared somewhat tall out of the box, which is great fun of course. We’ve shot it with a radar gun at 46 mph on 3S and it has enough power to “wheelie out” at pretty much any speed under 40. But… with the tall gearing comes a few downsides. One being shorter runtimes, two being higher temps, and three, the potential to induce cogging. Our test unit exhibited just a small amount of cogging from a dead stop, but if yours is having more of an issue here are a few things you can do…

1. Use a smaller pinion gear. We’ve popped on a smaller pinion and our test truck still had plenty of rip. It also extended the runtime and had virtually no cogging.
2. Make sure you use a good battery. A battery that can’t keep up with the current demands of the brushless system will cause excessive cogging.
3. If all else fails, go medieval on it. By that I mean install a Castle Mamba Pro with a 1415. With proper gearing you’ll have even more power with zero cogging.

Peace and love, peace and love…


“you know its strange ive been in this hobby for close to 30 years my first truck was a mauri big bear with a 6 volt NiCad. seeing these “new” losi universals kinda makes me sigh a little. these were all the rage until mip came out with the cvd which at the time were leaps and bounds beyond the universal, so is the cvd obsolete? its strange to see this hobby come full circle. ive seen the aluminum chassis get upgraded to carbon fiber, then to composite and it appears were back to aluminum. every 4×4 1/10 scale still shares the same layout as the xx4 which is almost 20 years old.
well theres my rant of the day, happy new year to all.
Jeremie H.”

Cubby- Yo congrats Jeremie, I am proclaiming your question (off our FB page) as “Letter of the Month”. Hit Brian up with your snail mail and shirt size so he can give you the hook up.

And ya, the hobby, as well as life in general, is cyclical. It happens in clothing, it happens in full size cars, and it sure as heck is all over the place in rc. Years ago electric dominated, then nitro, now it’s back to electric again, but it will be dominated by gas/nitro again at some point in the future.

As far as driveshafts are concerned, it was interesting to see Losi putting out “universals” again. Back in the day they were the bomb, now they are more of a tuning option. But… what I really want to see is- some blind testing to determine just how many drivers could tell a difference between CVDs, universals, and sliders. My guess would be not many…

Anyways… congrats Jeremie, enjoy your new t-shirt and keep in touch.


That’s it for this week ya freaks. Don’t be a slacker, send me your questions, answers, smansers, and utter non-sense to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If you are lucky enough to hit the big time you’ll get a free sticker pack, and if you are luckier still, all our “Letter of the Month” winners get one of our uber new t-shirts.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Cubby,

I am in need of a new power supply for my battery chargers, which one are you recommending now days?

Btw, I read your last Cub Report and I totally disagree with you on the Associated B5, I can’t wait to buy one.

Martin V.”

Cubby- Yo hey what’s up Martin, thanks for the email and be sure to shoot Brian your snail mail so we can send you a BSRC sticker pack.

Which power supply am I recommending now days? My vote goes to the Racers Edge Prime 30, you can read our review Here. No, they aren’t an advertiser of ours, I simply like their power supply, and here is why-

* It is so quiet. The internal fan doesn’t always run, and when it does, it is very soft. Quiet is a Great thing in my pit area.

* It has plenty of power for most uses. I rarely charge a pair of Lipo batteries at over 20 amps each, and even when doing that, you aren’t really pushing its power capabilities.

* It has a nice display on top that shows both voltage and how much current you are pulling from it.

Cut the check for one, for most normal uses it rocks.

About the B5, to each their own and I certainly respect everyone else’s opinions (read- not really), and in return you should respect mine. Yes, I tend to hold AE to too high of a standard, and yes, I need to lower it. But… I will never lower it to the point where I will rejoice when they come out with a vehicle that simply catches them up to where the competition has been for years.

Peace and love, peace and love my friend…


“Please pass this along to Cubby.

Cubby keeps talking about how 18th scale is dead, but how can he say that with all the new trucks on the market? Just recently there have been 3 new 18ths from Dromida and the ECX 18th Ruckus and Torment. Where I live 18th is alive and well, I don’t know how he can say its dead. I read your website every single day, but what he is saying is dead wrong.

Chase”

Cubby- Yo hey Chase, thanks for the email.

So I take you are core into 18th scalers. Good for you, I am also a big believer in them. A good 18th scaler is fast, fun, and more importantly, affordable. Where it can take hundreds of bucks to keep a larger scale running on a weekly basis, it costs only a small fraction of that for an 18th scale.

Is 18th dead? You make a great case about Dromida and ECX putting out new small scalers, they wouldn’t put them out if there wasn’t a demand, and we’ve certainly had a lot of fun with them around the office.

But… we tend to get out a lot. Whether it be the local tracks, or the local spots known for bashers to congregate, we most certainly are Not all about writing, we are all about getting out and living the lifestyle by actually driving. With that said, yes, we do see small scalers here and there, but… and there is always a but… we just don’t see them out in the wild like during their glory days in the mid/late 2000′s. Back in those days it was common to see a “Mini-T” or “RC18″ class, now days about the only 18th scalers we see being raced are Losi Mini-T based oval cars. And at local bash spots, it reflects the same. Back “in the day” you would see multiple 18th scalers at a bash, now you are lucky to see a couple.

So while there have been several new models released, I think it would be a stretch to say that they are still “popular”, although we are totally for them blowing up and getting huge again. Both the Dromida’s and the new ECX’s are durable and a bunch of fun to wheel, hopefully they will help bring back some of the popularity of the small scale scene. Six months from now we would love to be able to say the mini class is more popular than it has ever been.


That’s it, I’m done. Well, for this week at least. I’ll be picking a “Letter of the Month” next week so get in those wacky emails of yours, you could win a new uber-boss BSRC t-shirt. Shoot your questions, balance inquiries, or off-beat jokes to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hello,

I am looking for a telescopic piston for r/c truck.
I am not using it for a specific truck, but assembling something general, so almost any type would be ok, as long as it is relatively short (not 10-12 inches, but less).
Can you help me?
Thanks,
Gal.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Gal, and I don’t think the question is so much “can” I help you, but whether or not I feel like doing so.
Luckily for you I am still full of X-mas cheer. :)

So… you are looking for “telescopic pistons” for your rc truck, AKA hydraulic rams/cylinders. Boy do I just happen to know of someone that can give ya the hook up, at least with units that look proper. And just who is that company… wait for it… our friends over at RC4WD. But seriously, I am not expert on scale looking hydraulic cylinders, but check out This Link. If those don’t work, cruise the rest of the RC4WD website. If all else fails, shoot them an email, the RC4WD crew are gnar-core scalers, if they don’t have exactly what ya are looking for they can most likely point ya in the right direction.


“Ask Cubby

Hey Cubby have you guys heard anything about Losi discontinuing the LST line. I thought for sure they were just bringing out a new truck , but its been awhile now and still no word. I would really hate to see that line die. Of all the trucks that have passed though my garage it is a blast and really tough. Anyways just wanted to see if y’all had heard anything.
Thanks and great section.
frontedge2001″

Cubby- Hey now FrontEdge. I truly believe that alpha & omega are the only two things guaranteed in this world. So while you had a way super dope time with your LST, all good things must come to an end. There was a first time you took a breathe of air, and there will be a last. Yes, I am a bit of a fatalist, but I prefer to call it realism. Perhaps one of the most important parts of life is simply learning to move on…

Even when the LST line-up goes bye-bye forever, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. I don’t have any first hand scoop on the LST line, but I do know some seriously hardcore truck people at Horizon who want nothing other than to put out the best trucks on the market. A good example of this would be the Vaterra Halix, which might not be as big as your old LST, but is indeed a burly bash machine.

So… you never know when Horizon might pull the trigger on a new and improved Revo/Savage sized bash machine, but I would suggest that you hit them up on their G+, FB, or email and let’em know how much you would dig a new 8th scale bash truck.


That’s it for this X-mas edition of ASK Cubby. Have a legit question? Have a fake one? Just send it to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the bigtime you get a free sticker pack, if yours is the letter of the month we’ll even hook ya up with a t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hey my name is Garett. I was wondering if you had some info on the Axial Exo Terra Buggy you guys put the tracks on? I really want to put tracks on mine and was wondering if i could get some info on what you guys did to get them to fit. Please get back to me i would absolutely love to know how everything worked out and what was needed to do it.”

Cubby- Yo Happy Holidays Garett and shoot Brian your snail mail so we can hook ya up with some totally boss stickers.

So… you want to put RC4WD tracks on your Axial EXO. First off, for those that didn’t read our article on how we did it, you can see it HERE.

When our track shod “Terror Buggy” was all done, it was a beast. It didn’t have nuclear top end, but had respectable speed, and it was a much different driving experience than expected. Perhaps its biggest asset was the strange looks we got when showing up at the local bash spot. Overall, normal wheels/tires do a much better job for bashing, and are a whole lot easier to keep working properly.

But sure…. you want to tackle the project just for the fun of it like we did. For more details on how we did it, refer to the link above, we listed roughly everything that was needed to make it happen. Pay particularly close attention to the details in the pictures. However, from having “been there done that”, I want to stress to you that it is a lot of custom work, and once finished they are even more work to keep running properly. A lot of getting them to work is simply looking and/or running the Exo, see where it is binding, then busting out the Dremel. If you like custom wrenching you’ll have a blast, if you are easily frustrated, you might want to pass on this little project.

Go fast, spin tires, and shoot us pics once you get yours done.


“Hey Cubby

I have a 2,5 year old son who’s into RC (el cheapo 1/32 Hummer), but we just can’t find a suitable sized pistol or gamepad-type transmitter for the bigger cars, that can fit his grubby little paws. Size wise, the kid is as big as a 4 year old. I’ve looked at 2 systems but am in two minds about them. Do you have any recommendations?

Cheers
Mark-Temba C.”

Cubby- Hey now Mark-Temba, what’s up?

To answer your question- no, I don’t know of a “normal” pistol type transmitter that is designed for hands that small, so you are tough out of luck. But… you bring up a very good point. A point about how pretty much 99% of transmitters are set-up for one specification of user (right handed, medium size adult hand).

I am not a statistician, but worldwide, approximately 15% of people are left handed, and who knows what percentage of rc users don’t have “medium size adult hands”. If someone were able to calculate how many rc users don’t fit the current mold for a standard transmitter, it would probably surprise us. Hence the reason there needs to be be transmitters for non-average users.

We were disappointed when the original ARRMA transmitter disappeared from its RTR line-up. The old ARRMA transmitter had a wild look, but most importantly, it performed well and at a touch of a button could instantly be flopped over for a left handed driver. It was perhaps one of the most affordable transmitters ever sold to cater to the left handed crowd. I am big into archery, the big bow manufactures don’t force lefties to shoot right handed, it has always baffled me why the big rc transmitter manufactures typically only have a left hand option on their top-of-the-line units.

Also… while all of our BigSquidRC Bash Crew are right handed, we have one member who has huge hands and fingers. His trigger finger has been known not to fit into today’s tighter fitting units, and the grip to trigger ratio on pretty much every radio is uncomfortable to him. Ya sure, he’s a beast, but there has to be more rc drivers like him out there.

This is a topic that just isn’t brought up much. Ya I know, radios that are smaller, larger, or are just set-up for lefties won’t be huge sellers. It is hard enough to sell aftermarket radios in these “RTR times” as it is, but if marketed correctly, they might just be a surprise hit. Most average handed consumers are dialed with the radio that came in their RTR, but those that are different might be begging for the chance to dish over some cash on a radio that fits them properly. I know if the world only had left handed radios I would be more than willing to pay a hefty sum for a righty.


That’s it for this week ya lunatics, shoot your emails to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com (but don’t hold your breathe for a response).

YOUR Cub Reporter

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