Big Squid RC – News, Reviews, Videos, and More!

For Bashers, By Bashers!
Recent Reviews
Desktop Calendar
Big Squid RC Calendar
Like us on Facebook
Big Squid RC Channel
Big Squid RC YouTube Channel

What's new: Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Suburban AeroClub of Chicago  Memorial Day Float Fly (22)I attended the Suburban AeroClub of Chicago (aka SAC) Memorial Day Float Fly last weekend and checked out all the float plane fun going on. There were planes powered by electric, nitro, and gas and it was fun to watch them fly off the water and sometimes bounce and nose over on landings only to be rescued by boat when landings didn’t go so well.

There were lots of neat planes (and a helicopter or two) and I can’t wait to check out their other events, which can be found on the SAC website Right HereRead More to see more galleries and video from the event!



This is your chance to enter to win one of the new Pro-Line 2013 Ram 1500 True Scale Clear Bodies! Their new True Scale stuff looks awesome, and we have partnered up with Pro-Line to give away two of these awesome bodies! One Short Course style that fits vehicles like their Pro-2, or Traxxas Slash, Slash 4X4, and SC10. The other will be their Monster Truck style that fits Traxxas T/E/2.5-MAXX®, T-MAXX® 3.3, REVO® 2.5, Savage!

We will draw two winners from all the entries. We are giving away CLEAR versions of the Ram 1500′s, so if you are drooling over that paint job in the pictures, you’ll need to do that part yourself. Since every contest we get the emails, this contest is open to readers WORLD WIDE!

The deadline for entries is Monday June 9th 2014 at 11:59pm CST. A winner will be announced sometime on June 10th. Two random winners will be chosen from all entries received by our software.

You know what to do, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, you can come back each day and earn more entries!

Cubby Keeps Breaking TrucksOur industry really likes noobs, the rc hobby would not exist without them. If you are in fact a noob and reading this, thank you for giving the rc hobby a shot. However, just because you are an rc noobie doesn’t mean you have to look like one. Here is my advice on how not to stick out like a sore thumb as an rc noob when around seasoned hobbyists-

At The Hobby Shop-

Know the easiest way to spot the noob at a hobby shop? Yup, he’s the guy up at the counter with his car in hand. If you don’t want to appear as an rc noob leave your car/truck/buggy at home. Yes, if you are at the hobby shop you are most likely there for replacement parts, but that doesn’t mean you need to drag in your filthy truck to show the hobby shop worker that your front a-arm is busted up. Trust me, he has seen your truck/car/buggy a hundred times before and your new Ruslter VXL isn’t going to impress him.

What you really need to bring to the hobby shop is a part number. Look at your truck, see what is broken, look the part number up in your manual, then hit the hobby shop. While I know several hobby shop employees that have memorized thousands of part numbers, most are not that way, if you bring in the part number you are saving both yourself and the hobby shop time. And… at crappy hobby shops the guy behind the counter might actually look up the wrong part number, so to make absolutely sure you get the part you really need, trust me, just bring the part number in with you.

If you are shopping for a new car, don’t have the guy behind the counter pull down two dozen different models ranging from a Losi Micro SCT to a Losi 5IVE-T to look at. If you are that clueless about what you really want, chances are you aren’t going to be happy with whatever you pick off the counter. Do some research at home (like reading reviews on BSRC), before you crack the door on your LHS to buy a new car.

Also… don’t haggle. Seasoned hobbyists know the mark-up is diddly squat on kits/rtrs, and they know the hobby is in a slump right now, your LHS can use every penny they can get. As a noob why would you want to keep your LHS’s doors open? Because if you break your truck on a Saturday morning you can drive down to your LHS and have your truck running again in an hour. If your LHS goes belly up it will take days before you’ll have your truck up and running again. Do you want to drive again later today? Or sometime next week? Ya, support your LHS.

At The Track/Bash Spot

Want to know the easiest way to spot a noob at the track? Ya, he’s the guy driving backwards on the track while standing down on the ground. If you don’t want to look like a noob get up on the stand and drive the right freak’n direction.

Now… yes, the BSRC Bash Crew is known for driving backwards on local tracks, but I can assure you we only do it to really set off the racer types that are wound wayyyy tooooo tight. For you, driving backwards can mean a nasty collision, which will cost you in parts, plus it can mean a run in with the local track a-hole, which might leave you in jail after you punch him in the face. Make life easy, drive the proper direction.

As far as the stand goes, it does give you a much better view of the track, making it easier to stay between the pipes. Many noobs crash a lot and tire quickly of going up and down the stairs (the famous “walk of shame”), therefore they elect to drive from the ground. The proper way of doing it is to get up on the stand and SLOW DOWN, and keep driving slower until you are no longer crashing.

Also… if you are noob who inherited some old truck from your Uncle Bob, you will stand like crazy if it isn’t 2.4GHz. It’s been nearly a decade since long antennas were common on transmitters, so if you don’t want to stand out, don’t even show up with an old school 27 or 75 MHz radio.

Want to really stand out as a noob at a track? Drive Traxxas. While Traxxas has kept our hobby alive for years, the vast majority of noobs at the track drive that particular brand. Don’t want to look like a noob? Give something else a try like an ARRMA, ECX, Durango, or Vaterra.

One more thing about noobs at the track, do NOT sway back and forth up on the stand. It makes you stand out as a noob, and drives the guys next to you absolutely INSANE. Just stand still, I promise you physically swaying from side to side will not make your truck drive any better on the track.

Cruising the RC Boards

Ok, so internet boards are dying off, so this actually applies more to Facebook Groups, but if you do not want to look like a noob don’t go full goofball on everyone that doesn’t agree with your opinion (that’s my job… seriously). But seriously, seasoned hobbyists have been surfing the rc sites since the ’90s and have already been hit with truck loads of hate and negative comments, so many that 20 years later there is absolutely nothing you could ever say that will even get their attention, all it does is signify you are a noob.

Another thing that will instantly make you stand out as a noob- regurgitating what you’ve read on-line, but never actually done yourself. For instance, if another noob asks “Which is better, Associated or XRay?” and you reply even though you’ve never personally owned either brand, you instantly look like a huge noob. If all your replies contain first hand info that you’ve learned all by yourself, you’ll be giving much better info than 90% of the people on the web, and will not come across as a noob.

Btw, “feels like” speed isn’t what you should post on-line about your car. Ok, so you are a noob and your car “feels like” it is doing 90 mph, this does not mean you should post that it actually does 90 mph, instead you post post its actual speed (probably closer to 30).

Want to sound like you are in-the-know with the industry types? Talk about THE Cub Report. Pretty much all the “big” names in the industry read it every Monday, and if someone brings up a certain Cub Report and you haven’t read it, ya, you are gonna look like a serious noob. So read up, there are hundreds of old Cub Reports to catch up on.

So that is it for this week’s Cub Report, get out and support your local bash spots and hobby shops when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Dromida RC New Bodies Colors
Dromida has announced clear and new colored bodies for their line-up of bash machines. Each of their three models now has two new color options, or you can get a clear body to put on your own custom paint scheme. The pre-painted bodies are all priced at $15, while all the clear bodies are $13. All of the bodies are shipping and available right now.

DIDC1136 Green/White body for BX4.18
DIDC1137 Blue/Gray body for BX4.18
DIDC1138 Gray/Yellow body for MT4.18
DIDC1139 White/Blue body for MT4.18
DIDC1140 Black/White body for SC4.18
DIDC1141 Red/Orange body for SC4.18
DIDC1120 Clear body w/Decals BX4.18
DIDC1123 Clear body w/Decals MT4.18
DIDC1125 Clear body w/Decals SC4.18

To get more information on everything Dromida, Click Right Here to visit their official website.

Click Here for more Dromida news on BigSquidRC.

Axial AE-5 Waterproof ESC
Axial’s AE-5 ESC is affordable and loaded with features for the crawling/scaler crowd. To make it easier to program while out on the trail, the AE-5 uses jumpers instead of a traditional programming button. These jumpers are used to change settings for battery type and drag brake. The AE-5 is also waterproof, something that is a must for all those long trail drives, or for general bashing.

* Laser etched logo on heat sink
* Comes with Tamiya style connector
* Max cell count is 3S LiPo
* 5 volt 2 amp BEC
* Motor limits are 12 turn on 2S and 18 turn on 3S
* 1.8 x 1.3 x 1.1″ in size

The AE-5 has a part number of #AX31144, they are street priced at $38, and it is expected to start shipping in August. Click Here for full details over on Axial’s official website.

Check out more Axial news at This Link on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Sunday, June 1st, 2014


And just like that, it’s June 2014! We are happy to see everyone really enjoying the monthly desktop calendars. Every month they get a ton of downloads, and even a pretty high number seems to be going to phones, so that’s cool!

This month’s photo is the Carisma M40DT Desert Truck getting a little bath. This vehicle was a blast to drive, so if you are interested, make sure to check out our review.

We have several different resolutions available. Just right click these links, and do a ‘SAVE AS’ for the one matching your PC’s desktop ratio. Basically we have a wide screen version, and a standard 4:3. Your computer should resize as needed. Then all you need to do is right click on your desktop, and change wallpaper to the picture for your calendar!

Grab one below:
Wide Screen: 1920×1080
Standard Screen: 1280×1024

wall_phone You can also use these on your phones!
We are using the most popular resolutions, but if you are having trouble scaling it, or if there is a different resolution you need, leave us a comment below and we will try to add a few more links.

If you are looking for a previous month, or just want to collect them all, you can HIT THIS LINK.

What's new: Friday, May 30th, 2014

THE ECX Circuit 4WD RTR Review

ECX Circuit 4wd Review

Myself, like many of you, spent years driving 2wd Stadium Trucks. They were a whole lot easier to drive and bash with compared to a typical 2wd buggy. A 4wd stadium truck would have been even better, but there were very few available, and those that were tended to break all the time.

ECX recently released their all wheel drive stadium truck, the ready to run 4wd Circuit. Does the Circuit make a good basher? Can it get around the track? Does it have enough power to be fun? And most importantly, is it worth your hard earned cash? Find out by hitting the “Read More” button below…


Duratrax Li-24 Charger
If you have been looking for a handy little charger at an affordable price point, take a look at the new Duratrax Li-24. The Li-24 is designed for light charging duties on most popular Lithium based packs and should be super easy to use.

* Made for 2 to 4S LiPo & LiFe batteries
* Max charge rate is 3 amps
* Features charge status LED and balance status for each cell
* Connectors are gold plated
* 200mA balance current
* Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.6″

The part number is #DTXP4621, it is street priced at just $24, and they are available right now. Hit up This Link for complete details on the Duratrax website.

Click Right Here for a very BIG TGIF Mystery Link!

 Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler G6 Falken Edition
New from Axial is their SCX10 Jeep Wrangler G6 Falken Edition. The latest Axial sports a fully licensed dovetail Jeep body with special Falken livery and is loaded with scale detailing from front to rear. The uber scale realism on the outside is mounted on top of the SCX10 platform, a platform that has long proven itself to be extremely reliable out on the trail.

* Comes with 1.9″ Falken WildPeak Mud Terrain tires
* Walker Evans Racing wheels
* Detailed interior
* Dual slipper clutch
* Hardened steel axles with heavy duty diff lockers
* Features WB8 HD Wildboar Driveshafts
* Poison Spyder Rock Brawler front bumper
* 5 bucket light bar set with choice of plain, Axial, and licensed PIAA grille covers
* 4-link rear suspension
* Steel c-channel frame
* Axial AX-3 2.4GHz transmitter
* Tactic metal gear 151 oz-in servo
* 3S LiPo capable Axial AE-5 speed controller

The part number is #AX90036, it is priced at $349, and you can get complete details by hitting up This Link over on the Axial website.

Happy Friday, why not risk it on a TGIF Mystery Link?

rc-scaler-trail-backpackThe passing of Memorial Weekend means the unofficial start of summer. It also means scaling season is now in full swing! In an ongoing effort to educate newbie scalers, here’s a quick guide to something many people overlook until they are broke down in the woods – a backpack. I know I’ve mentioned a backpack in passing before, but I recently solicited my scaling club for a consensus on what to pack. The resulting list is what everyone agreed on. I didn’t include spare parts because this is a general guide, but obviously packing things like extra driveshafts, c-hubs and knuckles  (these are the most common broken plastic parts on Axial trucks) will never hurt.

Hex/Screw Drivers - This is the most important thing on the list. No matter whether you are driving a bone stock Tamiya High-lift or a Vanquish’d out competition Axial Wraith, a loose screw can stop them all in their tracks. Make sure you carry 3 or 4 vehicle appropriate drivers. Blue thread lock is also not a bad idea. If you don’t have a good wrench set at least make sure you take some allen wrenches.

Wheel Wrench – Much like a good driver set, this is crucial. You may need to remove a wheel to makes a repair or tighten up a nut that’s loose.

Magnet - This may sound like an odd thing to have initially, but when you inevitably lose a screw or misplace a body clip (very easy to do in dirt or grass) a small magnet is invaluable.

Needle Nose Pliers - A set of pliers has saved me numerous times when something has become tangled in the drive train. If you run anywhere near large bodies of water you will probably experience a nasty case of fishing line tangle at some point (trust me, you may not see it but it’s there). The same thing goes for roots and weeds when running in densely wooded area. Oh, and you may need them for field repairs.

Knife - A good knife is always handy. It’s also great for getting your vehicle out of really nasty tangles like moss.

Duct/Servo/Electrical Tape - I’ve (hilariously) seen vehicles make it back to the trail head multiple times by the power of the all mighty duct tape. From busted four links, broken shock caps, and even pretzeled driveshafts, duct tape can get you back without making a walk of shame. Servo tape is necessary for when you electronics come loose, and electrical tape can patch up wires or in some cases even patch up de-soldered lead.

Zip Ties - Much like a good roll of duct tape, zip ties are great for “in a pinch” field repairs.

Extra Battery (if lipo have a safety sack) – Always good to have extra juice in case a battery dumps or you decide to play an extra long time. Most scale off-road trucks can last an hour or two with a single 5000 mah pack (most average powerplants), but this can deplete much faster if you are using a lot of wheel speed.

Bottled Water – It seems this is what most people forget. A truck that starts getting hot can be turned off to cool down but you don’t have that luxury. Stay hydrated!

A Friend With a Backpack Carrying All of the Above - If you have this you can skip the above suggestions. What, you think I’m joking?

For more scale news on BigSquidRC click here.

Pandora RC Nissan 180SX
The Pandora RC crew has released yet another trick drift body, this time it’s a Nissan 180SX Origin Labo Edition. The body is sized for 10th scale drift machines (width 198mm, for wheelbases of 258 – 260mm) and comes unpainted so you can throw your own custom scheme on it.

* Decals, window masking, and wing parts are included
* Comes with polycarbonate bumpers and bonnet ducts
* Retractable lights
* Certified by Nissan Motor Company Ltd

The part number is #PAB-147, they should start shipping any day now, and you can get more details by hitting up the official Pandora RC Website.

Click Right Here for a star-studded TGIF Mystery Link.

RPM Traxxas Nerf Bars Rally Slash
Tired of breaking the nerf bars on your 1/10 Traxxas Rally, 2wd Slash LCG, or Slash 4×4? Well RPM has the solution for you, their new nerf bars feature extra webbing and are molded from RPM’s famous engineering grade nylon to take a beating without breaking. The nerf bars are available in two different colors and come with RPM’s limited lifetime warranty against breakage.

The part number for black is #70652, for blue it is #70655, and both are priced at $8. These start shipping in about two weeks and you can find more details at This Link over on the RPM website.

Thank Goodness It’s Friday! Kick off your weekend with a TGIF Mystery Link!

What's new: Thursday, May 29th, 2014

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’!