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Ask Cubby’ Category

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

Cubby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I have a question!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

Torment Xtreme LCG Kit

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Cubby- Yo hey Mario, thanks for the email.

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


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

Cubby

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

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

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

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

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


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

Cubby- Hey now Riley, thanks for the email.

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

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

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


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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby

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

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

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

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

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

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


Letter of the month winner

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

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

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

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


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