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ECX 4WD Sand Circuit Pro-Line
The BigSquidRC Bash Crew is firmly anchored in the Midwest, home to luscious top soil and sticky clay. One surface we don’t get a chance to drive on much is sand, therefore we forget that much of the world is covered with the stuff. After spending so much time in sandy SoCal this year, we decided it was time make a sand blasting machine.

For the project we grabbed our faithful ECX 4WD Circuit. The 4WD Circuit has done us well over the last few months, and due to its 4wd system and lightweight chassis, we thought it would make a great sand machine.

The first concern we had for our project was tires. We wanted to go with much larger units, specifically sand paddles, for maximum traction. It was easy to find the perfect tire for our needs, the Pro-Line Sand Paw 2.8″ is much larger than stock and comes with huge paddles. For wheels we opted for Pro-Line 2.8″ Desperados, they had the style we were looking for, are extremely hard to break, and mounted right up to our Circuit.

With the wheels/tires set, we then went searching for a body that would really set off our Circuit. With the scale look all the rage, we went with a 1972 Chevy C-10 body also from Pro-Line. The Chevy body gave our truck an entirely different look and mounted up easily.

All of our nearby sand areas are really rough, thus we wanted to go with a shock upgrade to help smooth things out. We’ve found that Pro-Line PowerStroke shocks work well through extra bumpy sections, so we popped on a set of their rear SCT PowerStrokes to both the front and rear of our truck. The PowerStrokes are slightly shorter than the stock shocks so we had to do some slight modifications to retain the same downtravel as before. We drilled new holes in the rear a-arms and used different mounting holes on the front tower to accomplish this task.

Let’s face it, sand likes to bog down the power of anything it touches, therefore we bolted in crazy amounts of torque. We used a Castle Creations Mamba Max Pro speed controller in conjunction with a Castle 1415 motor to give our truck insane pull. Of course that type of system needs a lot of current for maximum power, so we enlisted a MaxAmps 3S 5450 LiPo battery to supply the juice.

How did our creation turn out? Absolutely thrilling! One stab of the throttle was all it took to know the 4WD Circuit can be made into a sand spewing beast. The Sand Paw tires provided incredible traction while the Castle & MaxAmps power system pumped out more than enough yank for standing backflips and 30 mph+ wheelies on sand. We also learned not to stand too close, more than one Bash Crew member got seriously roosted by our new project.

We also learned that we had pushed our Circuit too far. After only a couple of packs the stock drivetrain could not keep up with the insane power system. Since our initial test runs we’ve taken out the long can 1415 and bolted in a more conservative Castle 1410. The 1410 still has plenty of torque for blasting through the sand, but doesn’t tear up the drivetrain as quickly.

We also noticed that the stock servo wasn’t quite up to the job of handling the new larger tires. Since the pictures were taken we’ve taken out the stock servo and replaced it with a 7965 from Hitec and have had no more issues with steering.

Want to read more about the 4WD Circuit? Check out This Link right here on BigSquidRC.

Unboxing Kyosho AXXE iReceiver
The Kyosho AXXE iReceiver Sand Buggy will be a historic vehicle for BigSquidRC. Why? Because it will be the first review we’ve ever done on a fully FPV surface machine. While there is a version of the AXXE that does come with a normal 2.4GHz transmitter, we’ll be reviewing the Wireless LAN Version with the optional camera.

Our AXXE did not come with a transmitter, nor will it ever use one. To control the buggy we’ll be using a variety of smart phones and tablets. Once we download the proper apps from the Apple store and Google Play, both the steering and throttle controls will come up on our devices. Also, because we are going to review the optional iReceiver camera, we’ll have a live video feed from the on-board camera being displayed on our devices for a full FPV experience.

The AXXE is part of Kyosho’s EZ Series, a budget line intended to get new people into the hobby. You won’t find any fancy brushless power system or even oil shocks on the AXXE, but it does offer cool styling and of course the cutting edge wirless LAN set-up. The AXXE is available without any type of transmitter for just $99, while a version with a 2.4GHz radio costs $139, and the wireless LAN version (without camera) goes for $159.

Our full review will be going up in the next two weeks, if you want more information on the various versions of the Kyosho AXXE hit up This Link on the official Kyosho website.

Want more unboxings? Click Here for more on BigSquidRC.

carisma_m40s_01

We got our hands on the new M40S Volkswagen Golf 24 from Cariama. It is a 1/10th scale 4wd RTR, and with a street price of $169, we are really looking forward to see how it does!

Click Right Here to visit the official Carisma website, or Click Here to visit the Falcon Hobby website where you can order one of the new Carismas.

Click the READ MORE below to see the rest of the pictures under the hood.
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Invertix400 Box Front

A while back I posted the first details of the EncoreRC Invertix400 full-3D capable quadcopter developed by Bobby Watts. The following weeks my email blew up from readers looking for more, or hoping we’d get to fly one and show off video. After talking with Mr. Watts for a few weeks, he got us our own Invertix to build and test! The review is coming soon, but check out all of the unboxing pictures after the jump…

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GB200 Box Front

While working on upgrading a friend’s Blade 350QX, he asked to get him that ‘new camera mount’ for his GoPro. A few days later, the Yuneec/Blade GB200 Camera Gimbal came in for me to install. Equipped with 2 brushless motors and mounts for the GoPro and CGo1 sport cameras, this gimbal is plug and play with the Blade 350QX and could even be used with other quadcopters after modification. The gimbal has a part number of BLH7910 and can be picked up for $200. Check out the unboxing pictures below!

Unboxing ARRMA Granite Mega Series
Have you heard about the new Mega Series from ARRMA? If not, it is their most affordable line-up of vehicles with prices starting at $159. We recently received one of the Mega Series Granite Monster Trucks for review and took some pictures so you can see exactly what it looks like when you open the box for the first time. The RTR Mega Series Granite is waterproof, comes with a 15 turn brushed motor, and is priced at just $179.

Enjoy the unboxing pictures and our full review should be ready sometime next week. If you want more information on the Mega Series Granite Here Is The Link to its page over on the official ARRMA website.

Check out more unboxings at This Link on BigSquidRC.

Well, here is something we don’t do everyday, and unboxing VIDEO. On top of that, it’s a BATTERY unboxing video! Why in the world would we do that? Well, we aren’t going to spoil this one, you’ll need to watch and see for yourself. Dont’ worry.. it’s short.

Hit THIS link for more information on the official MaxAmps website.

Looking for more MaxAmps product news? THIS is the link you want.

Unboxing Losi Mini 8IGHT-T Truggy
A few weeks ago during our California Road Trip we first got the chance to pull trigger time on the latest mini from Losi, the Mini 8IGHT-T Truggy. We had a blast driving it around with the Losi crew and couldn’t wait to get our hands on one for a full review.

When we did get our review truck we took some pictures to show you what it looks like to crack the box open. Inside you’ll find the truck, a Spektrum transmitter, a manual, along with batteries and everything you need to get it running. Enjoy the 3 galleries of unboxing pictures below, we are busy working on the full review which goes up on our front page about two weeks from now. If you are interested in the Mini 8IGHT-T, Here Is The Link to its official product page over on Losi’s website.

Find more unboxings at This Link on BigSquidRC.

High Speed ECX 4WD Circuit
While we’ve had a fantastic time bashing the ECX 4WD Circuit at the local park, it does come with brushed power that isn’t very fast. Like most people, we are always longing for more speed, therefore we decided to do a few modifications to see what it would take to break the speed limit. Hit the READ MORE to see what we did to get some serious speed out of the 4wd Circuit, and watch the video.

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lst_xxl_2_box1

We finally got around to digging our Losi LST XXL 2 Gas truck out of the box, and it is a beast! Coming hot on the heals of another recently released gas truck, we are really looking forward to bashing the heck out of this thing, and seeing what that .31 gas engine can do!

As you can see it came with the oil mix for the fuel, the roto-start, some tools, a lipo battery for the truck, and a Spektrum DX2E Transmitter.

Our full review of the LST XXL 2 will be posted soon. Check out all the unboxing pictures below, and for more information click This Link over on the official LOSI website for details.

Hit the READ MORE button for all the photos!
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Build Title Pic[To start from the beginning, check out Part 1 and Part 2]

The frames are built and the motors and ESCs are installed, and all that remains is one major piece: The Multirotor Control Board.

The Multirotor Control Board is the heart and soul of the multirotor vehicle. It maintains level flight, helps equalize motor speeds, and also is the gyroscope for the aircraft. Now these boards use a number of programming means: some use computer code to get set up,  others just a basic computer setup program, and some can be completely standalone. The only disadvantage? The price varies just as much as the capabilities of the control board. I picked up a little bit of everything for these quads, so I left no stone unturned.

Multirotor Control Boards:

Armattan CNC 258 VTail: This quad actually was designed with hardware to support the installation of a specific control board, the KK Multiboard. Available from various sources, though originating from HobbyKing the KK board is the go-to control board for most DIY multirotor builders. Priced around $39 shipped, this control board has an onboard LCD display and menu system to fine tune the settings. With its simple setup and reliable performance, I can understand why it is always on backorder. The disadvantage? Backordering, and the fact is ships from China. I can be quite impatient, so sometimes waiting is not worth the value. [Note 5/22/14: For those of you looking for a more 'Made in USA' KK board, ReadyToFlyQuads now has one available for purchase here.)

Lynxmotion Hunter 400: For this quadcopter I really got adventurous and went to my new source for multicontroller boards: ReadyToFlyQuads. Featured on a post from a while ago (found here), the guys there in Florida have made a great board called the MultiWii FLIP. With the gyro and accelerometer technology used originally for the Nintendo Wii controllers, the boards are programmed to handle multirotors using a programming language called Arduino. Yes, this does fall under the ‘Age of the Geek’ category, but all of the coding is premade and the FLIP board can also be purchased with all the programming pre-loaded. For a faster ship, you can order the board without programming and requiring the headers (ESC/Receiver Plugs) to be soldered, and get it to your door for around $20 shipped. I only recommend this board for the ‘tinkering’ kind of DIY builder, for you have a lot of tweaking available through the MultiWiiConf board utility program, shown below.

DJI Flamewheel 450: For this quadcopter I took the more traditional route by buying more DJI, more specifically the Naza-M Lite Controller with GPS unit. This is a basic multicontroller unit that was built with great instructions and support from the manufacturer. The GPS upgrade alone is the same as the GPS and controller bundled together, so I picked up the set for $169 from Empire RC. Granted it is much more expensive than the other two controllers, but the technology is backed but multiple sources of technical support as well as an ever changing firmware set that can be upgraded by connecting the whole thing to the computer. Overall, this was the only setup I had that was pretty straight forward without making me taking much risk in the ‘I hope this setup works or I will have a big crash to clean up.’

Now that the major ‘guts’ of the quadcopters present and accounted for, it’s time to update the scoreboard:

Quad Frame Motor/ESC/Wiring Controller TBA Total
Armattan $125 $129 $39 $0 $293
Lynxmotion $90 $157 $20 $0 $267
DJI $32 $122 $169 $0 $323

Looking back to Part 2 (link at beginning of article), the tables have turned when it comes to pricing, placing the DJI at the high end of the kits where it was at the lowest, thanks to the Naza-M Lite.

It’s time to assemble and pick up the last components, which will wrap up this build series with ‘Prop Up or Shut Up’. It will focus on the finished product, flight, and basic tricks to get your builds running smoothly.

I can’t wait to show you how these guys fly, but until then Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

Unboxing ECX Circuit 4wd 4x4
The ECX line-up has become quite popular among the bashing crowd, and the Circuit 4wd is yet another affordable bash machine from them. While we were unboxing our review ECX Circuit 4wd we took some pictures to show you exactly what it looks like inside the box.

The Circuit 4×4 is a RTR stadium style truck that comes with everything you need right in the box. You can see in the pictures it comes with the AA batteries needed for the transmitter, as well as a wall charger and 6 cell NiMH pack already mounted in the battery tray.

Our full review of the Circuit 4wd gets posted later next week, until then please check out the unboxing pictures, and you can hit up This Link over on the official ECX website for full details on the truck.

Thank Goodness It’s Friday! Click Here for a TGIF mystery link!

hpi_savage_xl_octane_02

It’s time to unbox the HPI Savage XL Octane! The world has been waiting almost three years for this moment, and it’s finally arrived! We are looking forward to hearing this thing purr.

Couple of quick notes, it feels pretty heavy, the roll cage looks cool without the body on, and honestly for the $960 we just spent, a foam or rubber steering grip on the transmitter would of been nice. Plastic, really?

Enjoy the pictures, there are a bunch! So make sure to hit the READ MORE button to see them all.

Go see the rest of the pictures:
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