Futaba has just released a whole ton of good new servos. Too many to list all the details here, but I will post the full press release in the NEW Product Forum. The one pictured to the left is the BLS452 Brushless High-Torque Car Servo. It has dual bearings, metal gears, and is ready to be put in just about anything electric or nitro you own. They also have some super light new micro servos, as well as brushless Heli servos that are 30% faster then standard digital servos! Speed = Good. Check out the Futaba or NEW Product Forum for more details.
Team Novak has just sent word that the HV Pro Brushless ESC has been updated as well as making now an individual item. (So you don’t have to buy the whole kit). They are also shipping a 5.5-turn as well as a 7.5 version. That’s good news if you are in the market for a new ESC system! Check the Team Novak site for details.
Team Novak is expanding its line of gears with the addition of 32-pitch 5MM
Steel Pinion Gears. These precision-made gears mesh with any brushless motor with a 5mm output shaft, including Novak’s HV-Series of Brushless Motors (#3524-3527), and can be used to power Monster trucks, including the Traxxas E-Maxx, and HPI E-Savage. Check the NEW Product Forum for the full press release.
I see this as a good sign. Electrics of all shapes and sizes are becoming popular, and it’s cool to have some pinion gears that can stand up to the big abuse of a monster truck!
It looks like the Schumacher USA Speed Passion motors are now ready to get dirty! The new Competition 2.0 brushless motors come in 8.5, 7.5, and 6.5t. They are built to handle 2wd and 4wd off road vehicles. Make sure if you pick these up, to grab the Speed Passion GT ESC that comes with the programming box!
You can read the full press release in the NEW Product Forum.
We just got some new details and pictures of the Schumacher USA CAT SX 4WD Buggy. It will have a 3 belt transmission, adjustable internal transmission ratio optimized for brushless or brushed motors as well as a unique clamp motor mount to fine tune weight distribution. It is optimized for LiPo packs which is cool, has lots of carbon fiber, and a bunch of other cool stuff! Check the NEW Product Forum for the full press release! While we had the chance to talk about Schumacher, check out this picture of Shawn Palmer’s (Schumacher sales dude) car! It says “My other car is Speed Passion Brushless Powered!” Hah!
I have just posted in our REVIEWS section, our review on the Team Novak GoaT Brushless Crawler System! If you are thinking about getting into the HOT RC trend that is RC Rock Crawling, or if you are already into crawling, and thinking about getting a new system, you do not want to miss this review! Read it Here!
Team Novak is giving RC drivers more racing options by combining the SS17.5 Pro Brushless Motor with the GTB Programmable Racing Brushless / Brush ESC. The system has been recently approved for ROAR Stock spec class races. It comes factory-wired and ready to race straight out of the box! For a few new full press releases from Team Novak check the NEW Product Forum as well.
As I sit here watching “Giant Squid: Caught on Camera” on the Discovery Hi-Def channel, I can’t help but to reflect on just how far BigSquidRC has come in the last 12 months. This site has come from a little known basher site, to one that now gets more hits than most of the mainstream rc magazines sites get. That’s a huge accomplishment, and a statement to the fact that the paper based rags are in a for a butt kick’n by internet only news sites. Thankfully, BigSquidRC is one of the leaders in providing internet only rc news, reviews, and other information. So thank you readers and contributors for helping push BigSquidRC closer to the top every day!
Enough tooting of the horn. The show must go on.
One news item you won’t be seeing in the paper rags has to do with something I touched on last week, rc’s era of litigation. Early in 2007, several rc companies were sued by private individuals over labeling their products as “Made In the USA”. Novak, Horizon/Losi/Spektrum, Castle Creations, and Thunder Power went under the legal microscope in the state of California. To boil it all down- in California, to legally promote your products as “Made in the USA” not only must they be made here, but every single part in your product must come from the USA as well. In todays world, it is impossible to find every single part you would need for a speed controller from an American manufacture, making it impossible to meet California’s criteria for the “Made in USA” logo. So no matter if 100% of the actual work to design, assemble, and distribute the product happened right here in the US of A, a 99.9% American product could never legally wear the “Made in the USA” logo in the state of California.
It appears that all four companies have reached out of court settlements. What this means to the Joe Blow American rc driver is two things. First being that money hungry lawyers now smell blood in our industry, and we can expect even more litigation. Secondly, the more lawsuits that are filed, regardless of win or loss, the more the prices on rc products are going to go up. Companies that lose or settle out will be forced to raise prices to keep their doors open, and even companies never sued will start taking greater measures to limit losses in such case. Those preventative measures will raise costs of operation, and thus trickle down to higher prices at your local hobby shop.
Now, to take a quick look at some of the products and news released this week.
HPI announced their off road series this week. Yet another week where HPI manages to make it back into the news. It looks like an awesome idea on club racing. The rules are pretty simple- you have to drive an HPI or Hotbodies platform. Wouldn’t it be neat to race where everyone is essentially running the same vehicles? Imagine how much tuning info you could gain in just one race weekend!
Also on the HPI front, HotBodies has shot out the press info on their new 2wd dirt off-road competition buggy. This really is a landmark release. I mean really, who would have ever thought HPI would have sold a competitive 2wd buggy? Well it’s here, so now the buying public has more choices in that class than they have had in years. And the biggest design feature of the new buggy? An aluminum chassis! Awww, takes me back to the good old days when the original RC10 came out.
Isn’t it interesting that both Hotbodies and MRC/Academy have both released new 2wd buggies? Yet another sign that the manufactures are gearing up for the big switch from nitro back to electric. Can anyone say “B5 on the way”??
Traxxas announced their “Platinum” edition Revo. I guess that’s fine and dandy, but the buying public would much rather have seen the brushless/li-po powered Revo. True, the Revo in any form is arguably the single best engineered rc vehicle of all time, and also one of the toughest. But let’s get on with the electric revolution already.
Speaking of the electric side, Schumacher USA shot out the press release for the new 3250 mah CORE li-po pack they are distributing here in the USA. Looks like a fine pack, but a bit shy on capacity. Schu has had amazing success with their new Speed Passion brushless line-up, and deservedly so. Let’s see if their li-po’s take off with the same intensity.
That’s all for this week rc fans. Support your local hobby shops, support your local tracks, and be sure and get your daily dose of BigSquidRC!
I’ll get right down to the most important thing that happened this week in rc. Brian, CEO/CFO/C-Everything-O at BigSquidRC showed that not only does he have mad skillz on an rc drag track, but showed mad crawling skillz as well by winning his
first crawling event over the weekend. Crawling world watch out!! Brian likes to get into something new and pwn it asap!
Looking at new products this week left a lot to be desired. Nothing of real note was released, just the typical nic-nac crap. Yawn.
The rc world is ripe and about to burst waiting for the first production 8th scale off road electric buggy/truggy. You can’t go anywhere without seeing the signs. The technology is here to do it. Whoever is first to the plate is going to make some mad money. (And AE will release their version about 10 years later, B44 anyone?)
This sport has had two boom periods. The first in the late 80′s, when hobby grade rc cars were relatively new to the world. And the second came when the Traxxas T-maxx was released. It amazes me that you can still go to pretty much any track and see evidence of these two era’s. Ask around in the pits, and you’ll find that most 90% of the people at the track got into the sport during these two boom periods.
It certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the third boom period for our beloved sport is nearly here. The circle will become complete yet again when the rc world turns back to electric, away from nitro. And goodness knows, the sport could use the boost, with nearly record low sales and race attendance.
My guess is that Horizon/Losi is going to be the first to step to the plate with an electric Losi 8 buggy. They’ve already made the leap to selling a li-po powered rtr, and by releasing their “own” line of brushless motors and speedo’s. If Horizon/Losi isn’t first, then it might actually be Hobbico/Duratrax. I say this based on the
fact that only Horizon and Hobbico have enough financial backing to put up a proper legal defense.
Do you remember back in the 80′s when 3 wheel atv’s were all the rage? It only took a couple years for them to become dinosaurs because of litigation. It only took a couple kids getting their grapes popped and a few million dollars being awarded to their families to permanently change the face of the atv world. That is what is
still known as the litigation era of that sport, luckily, the rc world has yet to see one of those.
Any company wanting to sell an 8th scale bl and li-po rtr is staring dead in the face this same problem. It’s only going to take one landmark court ruling to put a company out of business. There is a lot at stake here- make big money by giving the public what it wants, while facing the very likely chance that some idiot is going to burn down a house full of babies while charging his Brand XYZ brushless/li-po truggy.
That’s it for this week geeks. So hit your local hobby shop, hit your local tracks, and remember, we are in this to have fun.
I have pretty much zero information on the new Castle Creations Sidewinder Micro 1/18th Scale Sport Brushless Power System, but I did find a picture. I have heard that the system has been in limited testing, but nothing besides that, so the picture has to do for now. Looking forward to see what this new system has in store for us.
In what I would pretty much consider a “Stop The Presses!” moment today, Team Novak dropped me a press release with talks of conversion kits for many popular NITRO buggies to convert them to brushless! Now I know what you are thinking… ok.. so they probably made a kit for one OFNA, the one that came out that one week that had a Tuesday in it..(yea they come that often, come on it’s funny cuz it’s true!). But NO! The Novak people mean business! Check this list: Associated RC-8, CEN Matrix, Hot Bodies Lightning, Kyosho Inferno, Mugen MBX5, X-Ray XB8, OFNA 9.5/Ultra, OFNA Hyper 8, OFNA Hyper 7!!!!
WOW! Is there a major player not covered there?! If I can have a solid buggy, that can take a true basher beating, and is just as fast or faster… Sign me up! How big is that news?
To help complete the conversion, Team Novak is releasing six Mod 1 Steel Pinion Gears for 5mm Shafts! My guess is you are going to need these to handle all that weight and power. To top it off, Novak is offering a HV Brushless Motor 5mm upgrade kit to equip your existing 4.5 and 6.5 HV High-Voltage Brushless motor with a 5mm output shaft! That should really help the strength!
Week two in 08′ has flown by.
Product wise, MaxAmps, trying to make good on their vow to dominate in 08′,
introduced another product- some hard case saddle pack li-po’s. The jury is still
out on encasing li-po’s in a hard pack. On one hand, protecting them is very
important. On the other, li-po’s don’t like being contained in essentially, a
warming blanket. Before it’s all said and done, a compromise of the two- a hard case
with either a cooling system or vent holes, is bound to become the standard.
Speaking of compromises, Schumacher USA issued their press release on the Speed
Passion brushless controller this week. What really catches the eye is their use of
hybrid technology. It uses sensors like a Novak or LRP for the first few feet off
the line, then switches to non-sensored mode so motor timing is adjustable. This
seems to use the best of both worlds. Several of these systems were used at S&N’s
Trackside’s US Touring Car Championships last weekend with great results. Expect an
interview with the suits at Schumacher right here at BigSquidRC in the near future.
In the sport of rc racing, if you talk about the single best American racer, the talk always begins and ends with Brian Kinwald. Arguably, he’s the best American of all time.
This week, the press release went out that BK had signed with X-Ray. Nothing wrong with that of course, Brian is top of the heap, just like X-Ray is. But, it brings up a problem that is particularly bad in the rc world. Brian drives for X-Factory in electrics, and now, X-Ray for nitro and touring. This is sort of like Dale Jr. driving a Chevy in the car series, and a Ford in the truck series. Only one chassis can be the best, so it sends a mixed message to consumers.
Every time a factory shoe signs a contract, they always say “I truly believe they have a superior product”. But if they are driving for two chassis manufactures (or three!), how can this possibly be an honest statement?
So what’s the cure? A couple. Factory shoes should limit themselves to only driving for one similar sponsor at a time. Just because you can get free gear from everybody on the planet doesn’t mean that you should. It devalues both the driver and the manufacture when they send out conflicting signals to consumers.
Manufactures should demand exclusivity from their drivers. When someone asks “what chassis does National Champion guy drive?” there shouldn’t be a half dozen answers. Manufactures are only sponsoring “National Champion Guy” to increase their own exposure, not other companies as well.
On the racing front this weekend, the biggest race in the country is the annual Midwest Electric/Nitro Off Road Champs in Columbus Ohio. This weekend, they are racing electrics, next weekend, nitro’s. The host club is CRCRC, say that 10 times fast!
Some pro’s love this event, as it gets them away from the office for 2 full weeks. Others loathe it because of having to spend 2 full weeks in a cold, humid, shed in the middle of nowhere. (most SoCal guys consider anyplace other than California as being the middle of nowhere!)
That’s the highlights from this week in rc. Support your local hobby shop, get off the computer and go racing!!! Oh and remember, Red lost the war at CES, buy Blu Ray!
Straight from a cold bunker in the middle of the desert,