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Back To School Bash Reminder

BigSquidRC 2013 HobbyTown Bash_00015 Don’t forget, THIS SATURDAY we are teaming up again with our friends at HobbyTown Orland Park for Back to School Bash!

Join us on Saturday, August 30th as we celebrate the last days of summer in one action packed event! Sign ups will start at 9:30am with events starting at 10:30am.

For more details Click Here for the official post!

What's new: Monday, May 12th, 2014

TLR Bell Crank Steering
TLR has announced a new bellcrank steering system for their 22 series of vehicles. The new system replaces the original rail style set-up and is made to make steering less aggressive off center while helping low speed steering. The kit reduces Ackermann while also making it adjustable, and comes with ball bearings to make the stroke buttery smooth. Everything you need to make the conversion comes in the kit with no modifications required.

The bellcranks have a part number of #TLR231027, they are priced at $33, and you can Click This link to get more details.

Check out This Link for more TLR news on BigSquidRC.

Futaba 4PX Radio Telemetry
The time has come for a new flagship transmitter over at Futaba, take a look at the 4PX. The 4PX takes over for the 4PK series of transmitters and is designed to be at the very top end of radio technology. Some of the highlights include-

* 3.5″ TFT color screen
* Voice telemetry
* Improved weight balance
* Aluminum frame
* Lighter weight
* Low wheel position with drop down option
* Wheel can be switched for left handed drivers
* Can use T-FHSS, S-FHSS, and FASST receivers
* 30% faster response than previous model

The 4PX is slated for an August release date and we will post more information when available. Hit This Link for more Futaba news on BigSquidRC.

You can get one on pre-order at This Link over on Tower Hobbies’ website.

What's new: Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Horizon Hobby Big Squid
During our Southern California Road Trip, the fine folks over at Horizon Hobby were kind enough to let us drop by their offices for a visit. The Horizon offices are home to such brands as Vaterra, ECX, Losi, Pro Boat, and TLR.

While some of the Horizon brands are intended for hardcore racing, we soon learned that all the guys at Horizon were very basher friendly. We found that they honestly care about hardcore bashers, and are especially concerned about first day noobs. We had several long conversations, many of which centered around things we could be doing to make the hobby more noob friendly. It was nice to find the IFMAR and National Championship drivers sitting around the conference table were very much like us, simply wanting everyone to have the best experience possible in the hobby.

After the bench racing session the Horizon crew grabbed one of their new Losi Mini 8IGHT-T Truggies and we headed outside to get some serious bashing in. We found the Mini 8IGHT-T a blast to drive, and that the Horizon guys were just as hardcore about their bashing as we were. It’s nice to know the people designing the next generation of bash vehicles drive them like they stole them, just like we do.

We not only had a great time hang’n with the Horizon guys, but also learned a lot about the hobby from their perspective. We would like to give Jukka, Rich, Ray, and our homie Scott Hughes a super huge “Thank You!” for taking the time to visit with us.

What's new: Friday, May 9th, 2014

cliff-cave-rc-trail-run12With beautiful weather on tap, last weekend my scaling club decided it would be a good time to explore a new trail. We hit up Cliff Cave Park, just south of St. Louis, MO (a popular spot with the Big Squid Bash Crew), and decided to run a very tight stretch of mountain bike trail to see what it held. Batteries were charged, parts were packed, and off we went into the woods.

The pack of vehicles was very diverse with many manufacturers represented; Axial, Gmade, Tamiya, RC4WD, Vaterra, TraxxasRedcat, and various scratch built rigs were out roaming the wild. Variety is the spice of life and it’s great to see so many quality options available right now.

As we trekked uphill in a single file line we kept finding rock formation after rock formation to tackle. The best part about trailing is finding a good spot and seeing who can make it over or through…even if it destroys your vehicle in the process. The wooded forest canopy finally gave way to what we were looking for; expansive craggy bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. The view of the river and park from the high vantage point was spectacular. The terrain was also top notch as the jagged rock was a blast to crawl. We eventually made our way back down to the trail head and decided to play in the adjacent creek before calling it a day.

By the end of the afternoon we were all tired and many of the trucks were broke or waterlogged. Nonetheless, a great time was had by all. Days like this are why I love scaling.


Click the “Read More” below for more pictures.

READ MORE

Kyosho Lazer ZX6 Buggy
The latest vehicle in the “6 series” line-up from Kyosho is their Lazer ZX6 4wd Buggy. Using a 7075 hard anodized aluminum chassis, the ZX6 has received multiple updates to make it the best 4wd from Kyosho to date.

* High down force cab forward body
* Heavy duty drive train
* Diffs use Tungsten diff balls
* Can use shorty or saddle packs
* New uber motor mount

Can’t get enough K-car news? Click Here to find more on BigSquidRC.

RPM Rear Arms ECX Torment Ruckus Circuit
RPM has new rear a-arms for the ECX Ruckus/Circuit/Torment. Not only are the RPM arms much stronger than the stock units, but they are also higher performance. The RPM arms are built to tighter tolerances and are 21% lighter than the stock arms. Stronger, plus higher performance, plus lifetime warranty, equals winning!

The part number for the rear arms is #70462, they are priced at $11, and they should hit the market at the end of the month. Click Here to get complete details over on the official RPM website.

Want more RPM news? Find more at This Link on BigSquidRC.

HPI RS4 Nitro Drift
For added realism HPI’s new Discount Tire Nitro RS4 Nissan S13 RTR uses a nitro power plant, giving you the sound and smell of a tire burning drift car. The Nissan sports a fully licensed body and Falken tires for a sharp scale look, and the Nitro Star 3.0 engine provides more than enough power for serious sideways action. Putting the power to the ground is a 4wd nitro RS4 chassis, while a 75cc fuel tank helps provide long runtimes.

The part number is #112587, it is street priced at $329, they are available right now, and you can get complete information by hitting up This Link on the HPI website.

Click Right Here to read more HPI news on BigSquidRC.

RPM RC Products
It would be difficult to find a more iconic name for basher parts than RPM RC Products. For years the RPM crew has been making ultra tough plastic parts to give bashers more time driving, and less time wrenching. When you look around the BSRC offices nearly every one of our “personal vehicles” has RPM parts all over it.

RPM is based out of Southern California, so while in the area we were lucky enough to get to spend some time with them.

RPM is extremely proud that all their parts are made right here in the USA. They are set-up to design, make the molds, and actually produce their famous plastic parts entirely under one roof. Also of note, while most of their parts go out the door under the RPM logo, they also do OEM work for some “famous” rc names. If you are an rc company needing some plastic parts made, it might be worth your time to give RPM a ring.

Along with Brian, we were most struck by the pure passion shown around the RPM offices. They eat, sleep, and breathe, making the highest quality parts possible, and that a lot of heart and soul goes into every single product they make. The RPM crew is hardcore about getting the design perfect, the molds perfect, and ultimately, the best plastic upgrade parts you can put on your bash machine.

We would like to say “Thank You!” to Richard, Atticus and the entire crew at RPM, we learned so much about the fine art of making plastic parts, and about the rc industry as a whole. The folks over at RPM are good people, give them your support whenever you can.

asiatees_sakura

Our friends over at AsiaTees Hobbies have announced they are giving away the latest car in the 3Racing Sakura series, the Sakura FF! If you are a touring car guy, you know you would love to get your hands on this 2014 beast! For every $20 you spend at AsiaTees you get an entry. Click Right Here to get all the details.

asiatees_losi_nighcrawlerThey also announced that their hop-up parts for the Losi Night Crawler have arrived. The have a ton of parts as you can see to really bling out your ride! For a complete list just click Right Here.

Yep, it’s Mystery Link Day Click Right Here for a nice surprise!

Pro-Line Racing BigSquidRCThis week the BigSquidRC Bash Crew made a big Road Trip to Southern California. We’ve been wanting to road trip SoCal for a long time now, to get in some “face time” with the makers and shakers of rc, and to generally learn as much as possible about the rc scene on the West Coast.

Both personally and professionally, we’ve been big fans of Pro-Line Racing products for decades now, so naturally we called up the PL crew and asked if we could drop by for a visit. They generously gave us the green light.

Everything at Pro-Line was top notch. From their huge outdoor track, to their waiting area, to their machine shop and shipping area, everything was clean, neat, and organized. Their facility was dialed, just like their products.

If you don’t already know, Pro-Line is a true manufacture of wheels, tires, and bodies, right here in the USA. From the inception of a product idea, through the actual production, all the way to shipping it out the door, Pro-Line is very proud of how many of their products are American made. While it might be easier/cheaper to have products made overseas, they prefer to go the proper route, making them themselves.

After the full tour, the Pro-Line crew was nice enough to give us some very cool hook-ups. Matt from Pro-Line used their in-house 3D printer to make an incredibly detailed Squid for us to take home, and they even hooked us up with a super trick Pro-2 Buggy, complete with BigSquidRC livery.

We would like to give extra special thanks to Todd, Jessica, Gerardo, Matt, Tim, and all the rest of the PL crew for making our stay so special. It didn’t take long to see first hand that they not only want to put out the most innovative products in the wheel/tire/body industry, but also the very best you can buy, for racing, or for bashing.

*Update: We have gotten a few questions about who did the paint on the awesome body. It was done by Steve Burgess of Rugspin Graphix. You can get more paint info from their site at This Link

What's new: Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Duratrax RC Paint

We recently posted the announcement about the new Duratrax Paints coming soon. They have just released a video discussing their new lineup as well as give some quick and simple tips for you folks looking to paint your first body.

Click Here to head over on the official Duratrax website to check out all the available colors.

Click Right Here for more Duratrax news on BigSquidRC.

ASK Cubby

“Hey there…Just looking for some advice/ Opinions/ Guidence…. I’m looking to buy a new Electric Monster Truck…I have been looking at the HPI Savage XS and the Vaterra Halix….what are your thoughts on these two and what would you recommend? I’m a newbie and have a large grassy park across from my house with a skate park and a couple of Dirt fields for softball games.

Also, what Batteries would you recommend for long run time and what charger would you recommend for good fast charging?

Thanks for your time and help!
Santiago”

Cubby- Oh yes Santiago, the age old question, “which one should I buy”.

I found your letter interesting in the fact that you are stuck between two vehicles that have many things in common, yet are sooooo much different.

Both the Vaterra Halix and the HPI Savage XS are 4wd, monster trucks, and have enough raw, unadulterated, brushless power to do all the crazy stuff you see in the videos on U-tube. And… most importantly, both are capable of providing lots of good times.

However, just like everything else on the planet, they both have up and down sides. The biggest downside to the Savage is its size, it’s somewhat smaller than the Halix. This can be a downside when attempting to blast over extremely rough terrain. On the plus side, we’ve found the Savage XS can take some serious beating without breaking. Because of its size, the Halix can blast right over big dirt clods that would be tough to even get over with the XS, but you’ll have to do some upgrades to keep the Halix from breaking if you bash it hard.

Enough of the mumbo jumbo, which one should you buy? That’s up to you, but I would buy the Halix. It’s bigger, it has AVC, and most people are gonna mod-out their scoot to bulletproof it anyways. There is your answer, now go cut the check.

Oh and… for a battery and a charger, we had good luck with the gear we used in our Halix Review, which was a Dynamite 3S 5200 and Hitec X1 Touch.


“Part Number

Do you have a part number for the Kimbrough servo saver for the Carisma m40dt?

Aaron W.”

Cubby- What, seriously? Google search doesn’t work on the planet you are from?

Hey Aaron, welcome to BSRC, where everyone gets their balls busted from time to time.

Ok, so maybe you haven’t been in the hobby since the Earth cooled like us. Kimbrough Racing Products has made rock solid servo savers for years. They come in a few different styles and mount right to the output shaft of your servo. The spring inside takes all the abuse, while your servo lives on to fight another day.

During our Carisma review we broke the stock servo arm and just happened to have a Kimbrough #121 in our pit box, we popped it on and the truck was up and running in less than 2 minutes. We highly recommend Kimbrough servo savers if you want to bash hard without blowing up the gears inside your servo.


That’s it ya lunatics, shoot me your questions, wedding announcements, dirty secrets, and ex girlfriend pictures to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com. If I pick your letter to hit our front page you’ll get something cool and free.

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Build Title PicPart 1 of the Mega Multirotor build can be found Right Here.

The frames are built, and now it is time to get the right motors and speed controllers for each of our three multirotor setups. Don’t be afraid, with every kit/frame there is available for purchase there are always suggested motor and speed controller combos that go well with that particular frame. Even easier, theses combos can be purchased with the frame company to take out the legwork in finding the perfect match, but normally that adds a leg (or at least an arm) to the price.

I did all my shopping a la carte, so ideally this should cut down on costs, which we will sum up at the end of each part of the series. Let’s start with motors and finish with ESCs.


Motors:

As I stated, motors are usually suggested by the manufacturer of the frame. Now these are only suggestions; you can install any size motor you want, but going smaller risks labored performance of the multirotor aircraft, and bigger motors may have large power or ESC requirements.

Lynxmotion 400: In this case a 2830 (28mm stator diameter, 30mm length respectively), was suggested so I was able to acquire 4 11-turn, 1000kv motors from Turnigy (via eBay), with a maximum draw of 22amps (more on why that matters in a minute). All four motors shipped cost $84.

Armattan 258 V-Tail: This quadcopter was by far the smallest of the 3 frames, so this frame required the small 2208 motor (22mm diameter, 8mm length). I picked up Suppo 2208 14-turn, 1450 kv motors from RCPlaneBuilder. These motors have a maximum draw of 14amps, and cost $62 after shipping

DJI Flamewheel 450: This frame was a little more open for interpretation for required motors, so I picked a midrange size: 2212 (22mm diameter, 12mm length). I also relied on RCPlaneBuilder and acquired more Suppo motors, this time 2212 10-turn, 1400kv. These have a maximum draw of 14.5 amps, and only cost a little more than the 2208 with $66 after shipping.

Speed Controllers (ESCs):

The ESC is the barrier between battery and motor, giving us the power to control all that is the multirotor. Most important is that there must be a fast response between Transmitter and/or Multicontrol board (gyro). With that in mind, we need a more responsive ESC, which is found in flashed ESCs. Like updating a program or hardware on the computer, an ESC is flashed to update to a faster data transfer rate as well as modify various settings. The most common firmware programming set is called SimonK. This is the common programming in all the ESCs I acquired.

When it comes to choosing the amperage of your ESC, we refer back to our motors. The standard rule I’ve come to live by is round the maximum amperage of the motor to the nearest 10, and that’s a good ESC for your purposes without frying/overheating anything. So if the max amperage of a motor is 14amps, then a 20amp or higher ESC is sufficient.

Lynxmotion 400: With the maximum draw of 22amps for the Turnigy motors, I needed 30amp ESC which I found from BuddyRC. The DYS SimonK Multirotor 30A ESC was a perfect fit and reached me for about $66 shipped.

Armattan 258 V-Tail: The current draw of the 2208 motors only requires a 20amp ESC, but I decided to get adventurous (READ: shipping error). I picked up Afro 30A ESCs from -Redacted- for $62.

DJI Flamewheel 450: 14.5amps would required 20amp ESCs like the Armattan, and this time I did pick up the right ESCs. For this quad I also purchased Afro 20A ESCs from -Redacted- for $56.

At this point, it’s all just assembly for these electronics (soldering may or may not be required depending on the motor/ESC). Don’t forget your power distribution for each quad. The DJI Flamewheel has an integrated distribution board, so all I needed was a whip with a battery plug (Eflite EC3 Device Whip, $4). For the Lynxmotion 400 I soldered up a power distribution wire set with 3.5mm and a battery plug I had laying around (about $7). The Armattan was a perfect setup for a Turnigy Power Distribution Board w/ XT-60 plug I bought for $5. Below you will find pictures of the motors, ESCs, and some snippets of their install for some of the quadcopters.

 

 

Running Totals:

Quad Frame Motor/ESC/Wiring TBA TBA Total
Armattan $125 $129 $0 $0 $254
Lynxmotion $90 $157 $0 $0 $247
DJI $32 $122 $0 $0 $154

 

 

 

And with that, we are one major component away from having the electronics complete, which leads us to the title of the next installment: ‘If I Only Had a Brain

Until then, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!