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What's new: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

In this week’s conclusion to ‘Blade Runner’ we discuss an important aspect of multirotor and airplane flight, propeller balancing. Granted an unbalanced propeller doesn’t keep something from flying, but it can cause propeller based failures as well as increased noise due to the blade imperfections. There are two parts to propeller balancing: Horizontal and Vertical Balancing.

To start, one needs a propeller balancing apparatus. This can be as simple as a pen placed across two boxes, or a commercial balancer from companies like this one from Dubro or this option from Great Planes. Next, you need either sandpaper to shave down the prop, or some clear tape or stickers to add to the prop. I’m a big fan of tape/stickers, but there are many schools of thought when it comes to prop balancing, so work with what makes you comfortable.

Prop Diagram

For reference, above you will see a diagram of a prop courtesy of Horizon Hobby. When I talk about the leading edge of a propeller, I’m making note of the thicker part of the propeller, shown as the light gray area of the propeller. The trailing edge of the prop is the thinner edge of the prop and is marked on the diagram as the black area.

Before any balancing can occur, don’t forget to ream the mount hole to fit your propeller shaft (similar to making body post holes, for you surface RC people). If you do not ream the hole until after balancing, you will have to do it again, and no one wants that.

Horizontal Balancing

Propeller Balancing Horizontal

Once you have the propeller on your balancing post, place it into the horizontal position. Here is where the sandpaper or tape/stickers come in: See what direction the propeller spins after in the horizontal position, and either add tape to (or near) the leading edge of the lighter half of the blade or sand down the trailing edge of the heavier half of the blade. Continue this process until the prop only deviates from the horizontal position 5-10 degrees.

Vertical Balancing

Propeller Balancing Vertical

The same applies to vertical balancing. Place the blade on the balancing post into the vertical position and, like horizontal balancing, either add tape to (or near) the leading edge of the lighter half of the blade or sand down the trailing edge of the heavier half of the blade. Continue this process until the prop only deviates from the vertical position 5-10 degrees.

…And that is all there is to it! With your propellers balanced you will see an instantaneous change in the noise coming from your motors as well as small changes to performance.

If you have any propeller or other RC Aircraft questions, feel free to contact me (kevin (at) bigsquidrc.com). If you have not yet, check out the big Multirotor Build Project I’m working on right here. Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

ARRMA-Granite_contest2

ARRMA Granite BLX Unboxing_00002How awesome is this? ARRMA was so happy about making it to the finals in the March Bash-ness competition we held this year, they have given us another truck to give away! That’s right, we are giving away a new ARRMA RC Granite BLX Monster Truck! This is the latest and greatest brushless monster truck from ARRMA and it is pretty darn awesome! How awesome you ask? Have you seen the Review? Do we have to remind you about the Big Squid RC Basher Approved logo RIGHT ON THE BOX?! You know you want this one! If you have ever called yourself a basher, the Granite is a must own for your RC stable.

The deadline for entries is April 18th, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. That’s like 3 days! A winner will be announced sometime on April 19th. A random winner will be chosen from all entries received by our software.

This contest is open to US and Canada residents only this time. Sorry guys, sending electronics around the world can make things a bit more difficult.. don’t worry.. we aren’t forgetting you guys.. we’re working on some future world wide stuff for you as always! Hey our last contest was world wide!

What are you waiting for.. get entered! Please help us spread the word on this one. We want to show ARRMA our appreciation!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Remember you can score new entries every day!

Xpartus Carbon Fiber Kit Duratrax Nissan Camaro
There is a new company on the scene called Xpartus making some very trick carbon fiber upgrade parts for the Duratrax Nissan GTR and Camaro ZL1 nitro touring cars. Their first release is an entire carbon fiber upgrade kit to make the Duratrax cars tougher, faster, and to boost their bling factor. We have had a bunch of good times driving our review Duratrax Nissan, it’s awesome to see the aftermarket making some trick parts for it. The Xpartus kit includes-

* Carbon fiber radio and battery trays
* Carbon fiber front and rear towers with aluminum spacers

We have received no word on a potential release date or pricing information, but we will pass those along when we get them. The Xpartus website is still under construction, but Here is the link for future reference.

Click Here for more Duratrax news on BigSquidRC.

XRay NT1 2014For all you nitro touring car fans, XRay has released information on the 2014 edition of their NT1. XRay’s nitro touring cars have a history of being some of the best in the industry, the latest version looks like the best one yet. The updates for the 2014 model include-

* Smaller 2-speed
* New shocks and shock towers
* New chassis, radio plate and center body mount
* New mounting system for fuel tank
* Improved battery holder
* New mount for front middle drive-shaft

You can read more about the NT1 at This Link over on XRay’s website, and you can hit up This Link to catch up on XRay news right here on BigSquidRC.

ECX 2.1 Ruckus
ECX has some updated versions of their popular 2wd brushed vehicles. The update looks to be a LiPo compatible ESC, and while the price stays the same on the Boost buggy ($149), prices go up $20 for the Ruckus, Circuit, and Torment to $189.

To check out all the products that ECX offers here is a link to their Official Website, and you can Click Right Here for more ECX news on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

proline_blockbuster

Pro-Line has sent a teaser picture of their upcoming short course body called the Blockbuster. And while you may think this is a typical teaser, it is anything but!

Since we are known for always digging up that extra detail, here is the scoop nobody knows… This is going to be the FIRST Pro-Line body built to hold a camera! Hence the name Blockbuster! We believe it should fit most GoPro size/type action cameras. So for all those guys that love making videos, and looking for a easier way to get that awesome shot, Pro-Line is about to hook you up!

Retail price should be about $32, and we believe the part number will be 3426-00, shipping in mid April.

More information and details will be released in the next day or so, until then hit up This Link to visit the official Pro-Line website.

Click Right Here for more Pro-Line news on BigSquidRC.

Vaterra Halix hop-up tie rod turnbuckles
This week in our Vaterra Halix upgrade series we’ll be showing you how to install new turnbuckles. There are a couple of good reasons to do this, the first being that the stock units can break during hard bashing, the second is that the stock units are not adjustable. Being able to adjust tire camber and front toe-in comes in mighty handy for dialing in your Halix to your local bash spot.

How to install new tie-rods on the Halix-

1. Use the four way wrench that came with your truck to remove the wheels.

2. Use a 2mm hex for the bolt heads and use either the supplied four way wrench or needle nose pliers for the nuts to remove the stock turnbuckles.

3. We used two pairs of Traxxas #3644 ($7 per pair) for the front and rear camber rods. When you install these take note that one side has a wide ball in the rod end, while the other uses a narrow. On the Halix you will want to install the wide ball towards the hub, with the narrow mounted to the shock tower. The Traxxas tie-rods are also directional, there is a groove in each tie-rod that donates direction. You will want the groove on all the tie-rods pointing the same direction. This is done so during adjustment the same rotation of the tie-rod will result in either tightening or loosening for all six units.

4. We used a pair of Traxxas #3745 ($8 per pair) for the steering turnbuckles, these are slightly longer than the 3644s and work well in the Halix.

5. We will also note that we drilled new camber holes in the rear tower of our Halix. This was done to lower the roll center and change the camber gain on the rear of the truck. The higher mount gives the rear of our Halix a more planted feel in the low bite conditions we normally drive on. We used a 7/64 bit to make the new holes and removed the bumper and top of the rear shocks to gain easier access.

6. After all six tie rods and the wheels are mounted back up, you will need to adjust camber. You will need to set your Halix on a flat surface and use an RPM #70992 (or better yet their #70950, $12) camber gauge and a turnbuckle wrench. We used a slightly modified Lunsford wrench to set front and rear camber at negative 1 degrees. Also of note, set camber with a battery in the truck while it is sitting at its normal ride height.

7. One step left to go, adjust the front toe-in. We used our Lunsford turnbuckle wrench with a metal ruler to set toe-in to zero degrees. Zero degrees is a fairly common setting that works well on the Halix. Setting the toe-in is easy, we used the metal ruler to measure the distance between the centers of the tires from the front side, then from the rear, until they both measured the same. Many people just “eyeball” the toe, as long as both front tires are pointed straight forwards, not in towards each other or pointing outwards, you will be close to zero toe.

8. With the turnbuckles bolted up and the camber and toe-in set, your Halix is ready to drive. It took us about 30 minutes to do the job, we have yet to break one of the new turnbuckles, and the additional tuning flexibility has allowed us to really dial the truck in.

Next week we’ll be installing a new servo, until then you can Click HERE to read more Halix hop-up articles on BigSquidRC.

LRP S10 Blast SC 2 4wd RTR
LRP has released information on their newly updated S10 Blast SC. The Blast SC 2 gets a few updates, most importantly for us bashers is the addition of splashproof electronics. Also getting an update are the shocks, which now come with membranes, and the drivetrain, with a new slipper and spur gear.

We have not heard if LRP America will be stocking the Blast series of bash vehicles, but for our overseas friends they look like a good option to explore. The part number for the Blast SC 2 is #120702 and you can find all the details at This Link over on the official LRP website.

Looking for more LRP news? You can find it at This Link on BigSquidRC.

Kyosho FAZER VE Audi R8 Matte Black
Murdered out black is all the rage, now Kyosho has announced a matte black Audi R8 Readyset. The Audi is part of their 10th scale PureTen Fazer series of vehicles that comes with a sturdy tub chassis and non-adjustable tie-rods. With waterproof electronics and a brushless power system, the Audi will make a splash down at your local bash spot.

* Sealed receiver box and waterproof Orion ESC
* Waterproof 2400kV Orion brushless motor
* 2.4GHz Syncro KT-200 radio system
* Comes with extra set of drift tires

The part number for the Kyosho Audi is #30916B, it is priced at $307, and to get more information all you have to do is click This Link.

Want more Kyosho news? Check out This Link on BigSquidRC.

iron-mountain-depot-recon-g6-20The Axial Iron Mountain Depot RECON G6 was held this past weekend in St. Louis, MO, and it was quite the event. It set the attendance record for the traveling tour (i.e. not Axialfest) with a staggering 143 day / 97 night entries, and 9 states were represented So how did the event actually go? What exactly is an “Iron Mountain Depot” anyways? Click the “Read More” below to see our full coverage.

READ MORE

Ofna Hyper GT
The latest release from Ofna is their 8th scale nitro Hyper GT on-road car. The Hyper GT uses a big block .28 engine and a two speed transmission to pump up the pulse factor, while it uses on-road optimized suspension to put all the power to the tarmac. Some of its other features include-

* Black anodized 17mm shocks
* Polished tuned pipe
* Large front bumper
* One piece radio tray
* Soft rubber semi-slick tires
* Front & rear sway bars

The part number for the Hyper GT is #14362 and you can get more information by hitting up This Link over on the official Ofna website.

Click Here for more Ofna news right here on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Monday, April 14th, 2014

rc-mega-truck-raceEver since I held a scale mud bog last year, the wheels have been turning in my head to do a mud racing series with purpose built trucks. Once I started building a Mega Truck I knew it was going to be “when” versus “if”. When I found out that the Axial RECON G6 series was descending upon my hometown (St. Louis, MO) I figured it would be the perfect time to get something together. Last weekend the event finally took place and it was a blast! Well, until I had to clean up that is. Click the Read More below to see some sweet rigs get VERY dirty.

READ MORE

Fantom 545 Brushless Motor
The crew over at Fantom Racing have released information on their new 545 sized brushless motors for 4wd short course trucks. A 545 is longer than a normal 540, but shorter than the more commonly used 550s, giving it perfect power while allowing it to fit in more vehicles. The 545s are available in three different kV (3200, 4000, 4850) and use a standard 540 mounting hole pattern. A 4 pole rare Earth magnet is used with a 12 pole stator for smooth power.

* Length- 57.44mm
* Diameter- 35.8mm
* Weight- 214 grams
* 5mm output shaft
* Adjustable timing and rebuildable
* Comes with 180mm long sensor cable

The Fantom 545s are available right now for a street price of $129, hit up This Link for complete information.

We have more Fantom news at This Link on BigSquidRC.