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What's new: Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Schumacher Cat K1 Buggy
Schumacher teased us last week but now they’ve released full information on their all new uber 4wd race buggy, the Cat K1. If you are looking to go really, really fast off-road, the Cat K1 looks up to job. Some of the features and specs include-

* New Optimized 2 belt transmission with efficient low tension belts running on large CNC machined pulleys.
* New 2.0mm aluminium chassis with aerospace grade carbon fiber top deck.
* New Molded side pods for superb dirt protection.
* New Mid motor layout with adjustable motor position.
* New Chassis mounted, angled steering bell cranks for low C of G.
* New Steering rack design for improved dynamic ackerman throughout the steering range.
* New Long top deck for superior flex characteristics.
* New Black anodized components for the aggressive stealth look. (We call that “murdered out” here in America)
* New Medium flex suspension arms as standard.
* New Stronger pivot blocks and pivot block mounting system.
* New ‘High agility’ small bore shocks with big bore springs, titanium nitride shafts, threaded collars and twin o-ring sealing.
* New Machined tapered pistons with different colors for easy identification.
* New Optimum weight distribution with adjustable saddle pack layout.
* New Larger layshaft bearings.
* New Belt adjustment for consistent driveshaft geometry at all belt tensions.
* New Cab forward body shell for improved jump handling, bump stability and high speed cornering.
* New Large high down force rear wing enhances cab forward aero package.
* Super free, limited slip ball diffs with extreme high strength silicone nitride balls.
* Strong steel universal driveshafts.
* Rubber sealed, super precision ball bearings throughout.
* Smooth twin pad vented slipper with easy access adjustment.
* Unique motor clamp mount to fine tune weight distribution.
* Optional gear diff available.
* Rigid 4mm aero space carbon fiber shock towers.

Hit up the official Schumacher Website for more information on the Cat K1 and all of their other fine products. While you are at it, click This Link to view more Schumacher news right here on BigSquidRC.

RPM Gearbox housing and motor plate for Traxxas Slash/Stampede/Rustler
If you are a loyal electric Traxxas Slash, Stampede, Bandit, or Rustler owner, then you already know some of the downside of the stock gearbox. One of the biggest problems is the motor bolts to a plastic plate rather than metal, not giving a place for all that motor heat to dissipate to.

RPM Products is legendary in the bashing world and are proud to announce their new hybrid gearbox housing and rear mounts for Traxxas electric 2wd’s. The kit comes with a new gearbox case, a 3mm thick 6061 aluminum motor plate, and 0 degree and 3 degree rear mounts. You can get the kit in three different colors- blue, green, and black, and they have a retail price of only $30. Also, each kit has been designed and manufactured right here in the USA. Hit up the RPM Website for more information on all their uber-basher products.

Want to completely re-do the rear end of your Slash/Pede/Rustler/Bandit? Check out THIS link.

Looking for more RPM news here on BigSquidRC? Click right HERE.

Cubby

NeXXt Review…
*Handling – 7/10 -* The NeXXt is not the worst driving vehicle we’ve ever tested, but it was pretty darn close.
It’s gets a passing grade even though it’s one of the worst vehicles you’ve ever driven? I think your scale is a bit off.
Jason

Cubby- Yo what’s up Jason, thanks for the email and be sure to shoot Brian your snail mail for some of our uber stickers to paste your rig with.

I’ve explained this before, but I’ll post it up again for those readers that may have missed it. Since we’ve gone to the 1-10 rating system we rarely use 6′s or below. For the most part we use 7-10 as sort of a grade system, such as 9-10 being a type of “A” and being superior, an 8-9 being a sort of “B” and being “above average”, etc. Starting in 2013 we will be going to the grade system. Instead of a 1-10, we’ll simply be going by grades, A through F, which in theory should be easier for readers to relate to, and easier for us reviewers to stay consistent with. High hopes, I know. :)

As far as the NeXXt goes we gave it a 7 out of 10 for handling even though IMO it was one of the worst rc vehicles I’ve driven in the last 30 years. However.. we use multiple testers, and not all felt the same way I did. While I did not enjoy the NeXXt bouncing around like a basketball with 50 psi of air in it, other testers thought that was a blast. Iron Mike couldn’t get enough wheel time with the NeXXt, and each time he got to drive it he would plow straight into the roughest section of track he could find just to get it bouncing all over the place. What was fun to Iron Mike was pure hell to me, and that’s why we use a multitude of testers in pretty much everything we review here. Each and every one of our readers is different, enjoying different handling styles, etc. We attempt to get a broad spectrum of input from our testers because we already know you guys have very diverse tastes, then we attempt to state as many of our opinions as possible to get you guys in the ballpark with whether or not you would enjoy the product.

There it is, and there ya are Jason. If you don’t dig a buggy that bounces around uncontrollably, the NeXXt is NOT for you, but if you are as brain damaged as Iron Mike, you might laugh yourself silly every moment you are pulling trigger on it.

Oh and.. I’m wayyyy too lazy to check, but I would doubt that we’ve issued too many handling scores lower than the one we gave to the NeXXt, if you have some free time research that for me and LMK.


Young bashers vs. new battery tech

I have a truck/battery tech question that I’m seeking expert advice on and believe you can best answer. The forums are filled with so-so or partial answers so I’d like your take on the matter. I’ve been out of the hobby for over 20 years and battery tech has evolved quite a bit.

My kids (4&6 yrs old) have been begging for R/C vehicles and this year Santa is coming to the rescue. The younger one wants a Gravedigger 30th anniversary RTR and the other a HPI Blitz RTR. Both come with LiPo cutoff and brushed motors. While shopping for a charger, I came to the following conclusions. Overnight chargers will not cut it and good NiMh chargers can only handle one battery at a time. I’d need two chargers to keep up with two kids, and we’d still spend most of the day charging. In cutting to the chase, why not just go LiPo, where I can balance charge in parallel – with one potent charger (liking the i-charger 400W). I am eying up the Turnigy Nano-Tech 2S2P 5800 mah batteries which are no more expensive than NiMh and they can provide the desired run times of around 20-30 min. Charging at a 2C rate safely at 5A, I should be able to charge two batteries in a more reasonable amount of time. I’m not interested in speed at this time, but can’t see sinking one dime into NiMh battery tech.

Q1: In keeping with the brushed motors for the time being, are we going to fry motors or ESC’s with this brushed /5800 LiPo set-up sooner than brushed/5000mah NiMh?

Q2: Assuming heat in the motors/ESC is what kills them – and for my newbie kids, top speed is irrelevant, what gearing should I go with?

Q3: Is there another battery tech that is better for my application such as A123′s LiFe – the rumor being it offers lower voltage and is less damaging than the LiPo?

Love the reviews – keep em coming. They led me (and my son) to the Blitz RTR. Also, the 30th anniversary Gravedigger, with 2.4 Ghz resolved my issue with Traxxas putting crap Radios with their basic RTR packages.

Thanks in advance,

Ed M.

Cubby- Wow, a lot to chew on in your email Ed, but thanks for taking the time to write in.

First- to your direct questions.

Q1- Are you going to fry more motors when using a 2S Lipo or when using a 6 cell Ni-Mh? Answer- I have never buckled down and done a somewhat scientific study on that one. The Lipo will maintain a higher voltage under load, thus making your motor faster, but it is much lighter. The Ni-Mh is putting out less voltage/slower, but it’s heavier to hall around. I’ve done impromptu testing on this subject, but it always yielded spotty results for me- sometimes the motor driven off a Lipo lasted longer, sometimes it was the motor being powered by the Ni-Mh. If I had a spare 100 hours or so I’d doing more testing on this for ya, but I don’t, so I’m not going to give you a solid answer on this one.

Q2- What gearing should you go with? I am a big fan of gearing via temp gauge. Your kids may never get the stock motors hotter than 100 F with bone stock gearing due to their driving styles, in that case you could elect to leave gearing stock. Or you may choose to drop a few teeth on the pinion to knock a few mph off the top end (making them easier to drive) and get longer run-times. Whatever you do gearing wise, pick up a cheap temp gauge from your LHS and use it. Below 120 is awesome for motor life, 120-160 is less than optimal, and hotter than that and you start ruining electronics. But… IMO more important than gearing is properly seating the brushes on those RTR brushed motors. Out of the box most RTR brushed motors arc like mad because the brushes are not seated properly to the comm, thus causing lots of extra heat, wasted energy, and short lifespans. Yes, water dipping a RTR motor is time consuming, it might take up to an hour per motor in the water to seat the brushes, but it is well worth it if you are wanting to get the maximum life (and power, and run-time) out of a motor.

Q3- Is there better battery tech out there for your application than A123 LiFe cells? The A123′s have one major downfall, their form factor. They are a PITA to fit properly in most of our vehicles. And yes, 2 cell LiFe vs 2S Lipo, the LiFe are about 1 volt less under load, meaning your truck will feel significantly slower unless you gear up. But… when you gear up you pull more amperage to make the power, making more heat. Lastly, A123 filed for bankruptcy a couple of months ago, and they haven’t been supporting the rc hobby the last couple of years, so I would not recommend you buy them at this time.

My recommendation to you is… wait for it… no, seriously wait for it… Ni-Mh.

I have a 5 yr old son that is getting his first ever rc truck for Christmas this year. In theory I plan on him doing most of his own charging (we’ll see how well that goes.. LOL) so he’s getting a new ECX Torment and four 1800 mah Ni-Mh packs with an old school Dynamite twin peak charger. I’ve water dipped the motor and made sure the slipper is a bit on the loose side so when he pins it WFO against a wall it burns up the slipper and not something else. I’m going Ni-Mh for this reason- you can do stupid stuff to a Ni-Mh and not get into much trouble, that is not the case with Lipo. For years I was paid to burn Lipo’s up, I know first hand how they react in a thermal runaway, and while the chance is small it might happen, I don’t want my 5 year old anywhere near a Lipo fire.


That’s it for this week ya bunch of lunatics, submit your questions, answers, and anything else in that demented brain of yours to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your email makes the big time on our front page you’ll get free stickers, and if I pick yours as letter of the month you’ll be dialed with an uber new BSRC t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Are you ready for Big Squid RC Live? Tonight at 9pm CST we will be doing a live web show where we discuss the latest RC news, reviews, and answer your questions!

Other big news tonight? We will announce another BASHER APPROVED vehicle!

Did we mention we are giving away another BRAND NEW Team Durango Vehicle?!

Note: We will be live at 9pm CST.. please hold…

Rules for the Durango contest: You must leave a comment below in the comments section DURING THE LIVE SHOW. Chatting in the live chat won’t get you an entry, you must leave a comment in the COMMENTS SECTION (protip: click that link) of the post. It’s not ideal, but it’s the only way we can get a confirmed email address for the winner. So be sure to do that, then come back to the live chat box and get your chat on. This contest is limited to US residents only. A random comment will be chosen towards the end of the show, live, and a winner will be announced!

Special thanks to this evenings sponsors, Team Durango for the giveaway vehicle!

BigSquidRC Live
Here is a reminder that tonight the second edition of our BigSquidRC Live show starts at 9 PM CST. On tonight’s show we will be discussing some of the biggest rc news of the week, talking about your comments, announcing a new Basher Approved award, and then giving away a brand new Durango truck live on the broadcast. To join in the fun all you have to do is check out our post on the top of our front page at 9 PM tonight, see you then!

HERE is the link for last weeks show, and hit up THIS link to catch up with BigSquidRC on Google +.

Traxxas Slash 4x4 Ultimate LCG/GTR/TQi
Traxxas has sold thousands of Ultimate Slash 4×4′s but they are bound to sell a lot more with the updates that come on it now. Traxxas is now including their new LCG chassis, a Lipo battery, their TQi radio, and GTR shocks on the Ultimate series Slash 4×4 for your driving enjoyment. Some of the other specs and features of the Ultimate Slash 4×4 include-

* NEW- Rigid low center of gravity chassis design
* NEW- Power Cell 5000mAh 2-cell LiPo battery
* NEW- AC 2-cell and 3-cell LiPo charger
* NEW- Hard-anodized and PTFE coated 13mm bore GTR aluminum shocks w/ 3.5mm titanium nitride shafts
* NEW- Factory installed speed, temp, and voltage telemetry sensors
* TQi 2.4GHz Radio System with Docking Base
* 5-channel Traxxas Link micro receiver
* Blue-anodized aluminum C-Hubs
* Blue-anodized aluminum steering blocks
* Blue-anodized aluminum rear hub carriers
* Blue-anodized aluminum axle nuts
* Front and rear swaybars with included optional extra-stiff swaybar set
* S1-compound, officially-licensed BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires
* Sealed, silicone-filled center differential (included separately)

Hit up the official Traxxas Website for more information, or hit THIS link for more Traxxas news right here on BigSquidRC.

Pro-Line 1973 Ford Bronco Clear Body
It looks like Pro-Line has another hit on their hands with their new 1973 Ford Bronco clear body. The new Bronco body is made to fit longer wheelbase monster trucks (like the Savage, Summit, and E-Revo with extended body mounts) and is fully licensed. Pro-Line uses crystal clear GE Lexan and of course it is made in the good ole’ USA. Street price is expected to be just over $30 and you can get more information on all of Pro-Line’s gear at their Official Website.

HERE is the link you want for more Pro-Line news on BigSquidRC.

Team Associated Apex Touring Car RTR
Team Associated has just announced the second vehicle in their new Qualifier Series line-up called the Apex Touring Car. Like the Qualifier Series Pro-Lite 4×4 truck, the Apex comes with 4wd, has brushless power, comes at an affordable price point, and is designed for maximum fun! Some of the other features and specs include-

* Fully assembled Ready-To-Run
* Shaft-drive 4WD Touring Car
* Water-resistant XP SC500-BL brushless electronic speed control, up to 3S Lipo
* Comes with Deans® Ultra Plug®
* Equipped with Reedy 3300kV 540 brushless motor
* XP 2.4Ghz radio system
* Comes with XP digital metal gear steering servo
* Comes with Reedy WolfPack 6-cell NiMH battery
* Composite modular chassis accepts NiMH or LiPo type batteries
* Ten-spoke touring wheels with high-grip racing tires
* Factory-finished authentic touring car body
* Fluid filled adjustable shocks
* Steel CVA drive axles front and rear
* Metric hardware and ball bearings throughout
* Sealed metal gear differentials

Street price for the new Apex is expected to be $290 and you can click over to Team Associated’s Website for more information.

Looking for even more Associated news? Hit up THIS BigSquidRC link.

What's new: Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

THE Kyosho NeXXt ReadySet EZ Series Buggy Review

Kyosho NeXXt ReadySet EZ Series Buggy Review

When the Kyosho NeXXt buggy was first announced certain staffers of ours couldn’t wait to get their hands on the unique “moon buggy” looking vehicle, even though it was aimed directly at entry level enthusiasts. How does the NeXXt drive? How does it hold up to abuse? Does it turn heads at the track, and most importantly, is it worth buying? Read on my friends and let’s find out…

READ MORE

BigSquidRC LIVE Show
Here’s a reminder that we’ll be doing another BigSquidRC LIVE show tomorrow night. This weeks show will be one hour earlier, 9 pm CST, to make it easier on our East Coast viewers. This week we’ll be announcing another Basher Approved product, as well as giving away a brand new Durango RTR live during the broadcast! To watch the show just check out our front page at 9 pm CST for a new post featuring the live Google + Hangout feed on YouTube.

Also of note, this weeks show will feature more interaction with you guys! We’ll be responding to more of your comments from the BigSquidRC post and from comments on the YouTube feed. So join us Wednesday night for loads of rc bench racing and interactive fun!

Did you miss our last live show? Catch the replay RIGHT HERE.

XRay XB4 10th Scale Electric 4wd Buggy Kit
XRay has long been known as one of the ultra premium car manufactures in the rc world. XRay made their bones with top of the line touring cars, 18th scalers, and 8th scale off-roaders. Finally XRay has announced their first uber 10th scale 4wd off-road buggy, the XB4. The XRay team has gone to extraordinary lengths to make the new XB4 the most elite car in its class. Some of the features and specs include-

* Multi-Flex chassis tuning
* 2mm Swiss 7075 T6 aluminum chassis
* Composite chassis frame
* Optimal weight distribution for electronics
* Innovative motor mount
* Oil filled front and rear gear diffs
* Slipper clutch
* Hudy spring steel front, center, and rear CVD’s
* Fast diff removal
* Super lightweight outdrives
* 14mm wheel hexes
* Dual arm steering system
* Hudy spring steel turnbuckles
* 2mm graphite top deck
* 3mm graphite shock towers
* Swiss 7075 T6 aluminum big bore shocks
* Front and rear sway bars
* 22 rubber shielded bearings
* Low profile Lexan body
* Width: Adjustable 245-250mm
* Length: 352mm
* Wheelbase: Adjustable 279-281mm
* Ready to race weight: 1650 grams

To learn more information on all of XRay’s high end products hit up their Official Website, or to see more XRay news click THIS BigSquidRC link.

Hot Bodies D812 Nitro Buggy
The old Hot Bodies D8 was not only a world championship winning buggy, but also an affordable and popular bash machine. Never the type to rest on their laurels, Hot Bodies is now introducing the replacement to the D8, their uber new D812. The D812 is loaded with new parts and features to help keep it at the top of the racing charts, as well as make it a fun bash machine. Some of the new stuff and features include-

* Centralized chassis weight for superior handling
* Monocoque style suspension arms for strength, stiffness, and ease of cleaning
* HB Big Bore threaded aluminium shocks
* Race-optimized steering
* Long stroke shocks for long suspension travel
* Lightweight drivetrain gears have less rotational mass for quicker acceleration
* Lightweight aluminium axles
* Graphite steering knuckle arms
* One-piece engine mount for easy engine installation without resetting gear mesh
* Aluminium front and rear shock towers
* CVD boots to retain grease in axles and keep dirt out
* Adjustable hinge pin heights, kickup, and anti-squat angle
* Adjustable rear toe-in (inboard and outboard)
* Steel skid plate in chassis to extend chassis life
* Aluminium front caster blocks
* Aluminium rear hub carriers
* One-piece radio tray
* Fuel clunk for continuous fuel pick-up even when upside down
* Low-profile air filter
* Front and rear anti-roll bars
* Threaded outer hinge pins
* Steel turnbuckles

For more information on all of Hot Bodies fine products hit up their Official Website, and for more HB news on BigSquidRC hit up This link.

traxxas funny car hop ups

If you are in the the Traxxas Funny Car / Drag Racing scene, they have just released a bunch of hop-ups to help bling out and toughen up your ride! There are a bunch of new aluminum parts like the Wheelie Bar Link, Suspension Link, Front Tie Bar, Suspension Mount, and Steering Blocks. You can also at new GTR Shocks, and Headers.

You can hit the Traxxas Website for details. Most of the hop-ups are between $10 and $30, except for the Shocks which will be closer to $60. The header pipes were not priced yet.

Need more Traxxas news? Click HERE.