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What's new: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Monster Truck and Slash Snow
As a few of you probably know, we are finally getting our share of snow here in the Midwest! As I started digging out the driveway I figure it would be time to measure.. we got exactly 2 HPI monster trucks and 1 Slash worth of snow! :)

Snow bashing tomorrow! WOOOO HOOOO!
I know Adam the Intern has a snow plow on the front of one of his trucks, but I don’t think it would of worked here. Hey Wrench, can you convert a 5B into a snowmobile for me?

What's new: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

I like me some universal/cv driveshafts.  They’re usually super smooth and can take a beating more than your typical dog bone.  On that note ST Racing Concepts is preparing a new line of heat treated, carbon steel universal kits that are compatible with Team Associated SC10 and RC10T4 as well as the HPI Blitz and OFNA Hyper 10SC.  Their new design is a thicker, more substantial design that should stand up well to massive amounts of power put out by LiPo/brushless combos.

Prices for complete kits will come in at just under $40 and they’re available now.  Slash owners don’t fret, you can expect a set for the Slash 2wd soon.  Check out the STRC web site for more info.

So I was recently made aware of a new Venom Gambler Short Course Truck video posted over on Youtube!
The video looks very well done, and I was excited to see the Gambler running around in the snow! Waterproof for the win! I’m glad to see Venom getting back on the RC map! Hopefully we’ll be testing one of these things soon!

Visit Venom-Group.com for details.

A big Happy Anniversary to Tower Hobbies who celebrates 40 years of bringing hobbies to people all over the world! To celebrate they are giving away a Tower Hobbies Gift Certificate worth up to $1000! All you need to do is head over to the Tower Hobbies website and subscribe to their email newsletter for a chance to win! They usually have some good coupons and specials in the newsletter if you find yourself ordering stuff often from there!

Hitec HS-7950TH Review

From: Hitec RCD
Direct Link: Hitec HS-7950TH
Review by Cubby.

Hitec HS-7950TH
So you drive an uber 8th scale or monster truck, and you are the type of person that only puts the best into your baby. There are dozens of choices in high end servos, but you don’t know which one to buy. Well, here’s Cubby’s quick and dirty review of one of Hitec’s most elite servos, the HS-7950TH.

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What's new: Monday, January 31st, 2011

DuraTrax is adding some new features to one of their popular and affordable Onyx AC/DC peak chargers.  The new Onyx 235 takes the 230 and adds some essential new features.  Most importantly the 235 now features a built in LiPo cell balancer for properly charging and maintaining your LiPo batteries.  The 235 also increases both the cell count and amp output capability.  It’s capable of charging up to 4S LiPos/LiFes and up to 10 cell NiMHs/NiCads at rates of up to 8 amps.  It also features a 10 battery memory, a universal radio port for charging tx/rx batteries, a USB port for charging personal electronics, and a Mini USB port for PC connectivity to update it’s firmware.

DuraTrax expects the 235 to start hitting shelves in early February with an MSRP of $139.99.  Check out DuraTrax’s web site for more info.

Pro-Line had gone digging through their archives looking for inspiration for their next short course tire.  The Gladiator had been a popular style for quite a long time, with it’s super aggressive square knob pattern, it has been tearing up lawns and tracks all over.  Soon the Gladiator will be doing it all over again on short course trucks.  We don’t have any other info at this time, but when the official announcement comes we’ll be sure to bring it to you.

Check out Pro-Line’s web site just for fun.

Cubby Who was the biggest mover and shaker in rc last week? Thunder Tiger/Associated!!! But first….

Rc has a new face to the masses, and his name is Peter Viera, the marketing manager for Traxxas. I only say this because Peter got some serious face time on mainstream CBS television this morning during their broadcast of the Oakland AMA Supercross. Peter was teamed up with Valli Motorsports rider Nick “Way Fast/Michigan Mafia” Wey for a short feature on hobby grade rc trucks. Nick was witty as usual, and Peter came across as very professional, overall a great segment on our hobby. Props to everyone involved with getting our hobby even more mainstream play.

Last week I complained about how bogus Associated’s new product teaser campaign was. Well….. turns out, they really should have went wfo with this one, as the truck they were teasing about is a nearly brand new from the ground up 4×4 short course truck labeled the SC10 4×4. It’s rare when any manufacture comes out with an entirely new platform, so when they do, they really should go all out.

Car Action let it be well know last week that they had the “exclusive” and they’d release the info on Friday at 6 pm. Well… I’m not sure what their idea of “exclusive” is, but NeoBuggy, RcTech, BigSquid, and even the Associated site all had the info up before they did. Well sort of at least, LOL. RCCA seemingly has no clue on how to keep timed queue articles secure, as any Joe Blow could search their site and come away with the goods. To make it even funnier, once people did exactly that, the RCCA camp went into meltdown mode. Freak’n web noobs.

Anywhos….. on to comments about AE’s new truck….

Around the office, well, the SC10 4×4 came across like a lead balloon. Why? Because it’s belt drive, and belt drive has always been the kiss of death for bashing on dirt. On top of that, the SC10 4×4 has not one, but two tranny’s. Bashers don’t like working on anything (except for our Bill The Master Wrench Technician Guy), and the more complicated it is, the more likely something is going to need wrenching. For one final kicker, the battery tray on the new AE doesn’t look large enough for a pack bigger than 2S. Bashers want to go fast, reallyyyy fast, faster than 2S is going to take them. To boil it down, the SC10 4×4 doesn’t look like it’s going to be a hit for the bashing market.

IMO, I very highly doubt the bashing crowd was even considered when the SC10 4×4 was being designed. It’s pretty obvious it was designed from the ground up to be a racer. Which is all good and fine for the racing only crowd, but- TT/AE could have designed the truck in such a way that it appealed to racers, and actually worked for bashing. They didn’t opt to go that route, which might help their street cred with the race crowd, but will surely hurt them massively in terms of overall sales.

My opinion doesn’t mean one bit more than yours, or Joe Blows, or Billy Bobs, I’m just lucky (cursed?) enough to have an audience for mine. So….. when I first saw the new SC10 4×4 I was impressed that TT/AE went with a new platform. New platforms aren’t cheap, and I’m quite certain it took a lot of arm twisting (read- politics, long meetings, begging) to convince those with the power to cut the big checks at Thunder Tiger to allow this truck to be new from the ground up. The design team took a lot of chances on this one, that takes a lot of balls to do, so I applaud them for saying “screw conventional design” and put in the two transmissions, the belt system, and clicker up front.

In the past, AE went above and beyond testing unproven designs, making sure they were perfect before they hit the publics hands. Lets hope the AE crew has months and months of real world driving on this new SC10 4×4, ensuring it’s rock solid. If it’s not…. well, we all know what will happen to their cred, and their cred can’t take too many more knocks right about now. Anywhos, I’m choosing to go the “optimistic” Cubby route on this one, I’m choosing that they put in their testing hours on the track and that the SC10 4×4 will blow away anything currently available (on track at least).

For the bashers that this site is intended for, you gotta look at TT/AE and wonder why they chose to exclude you (again) in their design plans. Do they really not want your money? Are they too obtuse to know they can take the racers money and the bashers too? Bashers aren’t stupid, nor do they have short memories. When AE designs a lil’ 2wd buggy for full tilt racing, bashers could care less, but when AE ignores the bashers on a 4×4 truck, then it hits close to home. Offend the bashers enough, and they won’t even consider a certain brands products anymore, even if they were the best. And like it or not, because of their vast numbers, it’s the basher that make or break companies in this industry……

So…. that’s it for this week. Support your local hobby shops, tracks, and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Sunday was a good day for bashing.  I had a family gathering and decided to take a couple r/c trucks along for the fun.  My choices were my Losi Highroller and DuraTrax Evader DT.  My brother brought his Traxxas Stampede as well.  It was a great time of curb hopping, burnouts, bootlegger turns, and donuts.  I was having so much fun with the bashing that I forgot to take any pictures or video of the action.

My brother was beset by issues from the get go, but in the end the only problem was a loose pinion gear.  The loose pinion chewed up his spur gear a bit, so he’ll have to replace it eventually, but it still had enough in it to keep going.  Once we got that squared away he was back to bashing.  By the end of the day I had gone from two fully operational trucks to two busted up trucks.  The worst of it was given to my Evader DT, it ended up with a snapped graphite chassis (pictured at right) and chassis brace.  I still have the original plastic chassis, so that’s going back on.  Graphite isn’t really ideal for bashing anyway, it’s too stiff and snaps too easily when pushed to extremes.  My Highroller fared much better with the hop-ups I recently installed, the durability of the truck wasn’t a  problem, but it’s failure was the most spectacular.  I burned up it’s old brushed motor (a 10×2 turn modified) from over-gearing, and with the massive amount of smoke pouring out of the back I initially thought I had a LiPo fire on my hands.  Since I have already installed a brushless ESC (DuraTrax’s excellent and affordable DE10), it’s time for me to start shopping for a brushless motor to go with it.

So here’s the broken parts tally for this weekend (all prices approximate):

  • Graphite Chassis for Evader DT – $45
  • Chassis brace for Evader DT – $3
  • Team Orion Formula SV2 10×2 brushed motor (to be replaced with a brushless motor) – $50 – $75
  • Spur gear for Stampede – $3

What's new: Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Peter Vieira, TraxxasPeter Vieira, Traxxas

Today we saw our good friend Peter Vieira of Traxxas on CBS during their coverage of the AMA Supercross in Oakland California. Peter did a couple minute segment with Pro Motocross racer Nick Way. I don’t believe they mentioned what they were driving around on the track, but it looked like E-Revo’s.

Keep up the great work Traxxas and Peter! We love the way you guys are bringing RC to the public eye! Chalk another one up for RC On TV!

Peter Vieira, TraxxasPeter Vieira, Traxxas

What's new: Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Recently we posted a REVIEW of the Venom VMX 450 1/4 scale dirt bike. We were really pleased with the bashing ability of this bike, as well as it’s ability to jump and go through snow! Here is a little video we put together of some of the bashing we were doing while working on our review.

Hope you enjoy the video! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to keep up to date with all of our vids, and a lot of the videos are in HD up there as well!

Special Thanks to Vince of Zeyer for the awesome new intro music, and Rotation for the song!

Photo of the Week:

Alcarrás
by Rafael Moyano

Another weekend, another opportunity for bashing.  As expected, last weekend’s plans did fall through, no ice fishing, no bashing on a frozen lake.  This weekend is going to be a nice one with a family gathering for my great-grandmother’s 90-something birthday.  A couple of my R/Cs are going with me (probably the Losi Highroller and DuraTrax Evader DT) because all the young kids love them.  My brother will have his Stampede, if he remembers it.  That reminds me, I need to build a portable ramp.  Family gatherings are a great time for bashing, trying to get friends and family into the hobby is time well spent.  And bashing with a group of people is much more fun than doing it alone.

Sorry for the lack of links this go-around, it’s been a busy week, didn’t spend much time on the interwebs.

Good Tips: Unstick a Stuck Pull-Start – Or you could throw that nitro engine out and switch to brushless :-P .

Reviewed: Speed Passion RS1 & RS2 RTRs @ RC Evil Empire

Shameless Self Promotion: West Mountain Computerized Battery Analyzer review, and don’t forget our Slash 4×4 hop-ups give-away.

Video of the Week:

What's new: Friday, January 28th, 2011

After much hype, we’re finally getting our first look at the Team Associated SC10 4×4.  So will it live up to it?  The SC10 4×4 features a very unique belt drive system with dual gearboxes.  The belt rides in a sealed system, well above the chassis, with the batteries and electronics tucked underneath in a very different configuration for not just the class, but for R/C cars as a whole.  The gearboxes feature sealed, oil filled diffs; CV drive shafts are used to drive 12mm hexes to turn the wheels.  A full set of ball bearings are included to support this unique drive train.  The SC10 4×4 will come unassembled and will require all electronics and batteries to complete it.

Words really aren’t appropriate for this, just look at all the pics we’ve posted and check out the video after the break.

[update: I haven't seen it anywhere in the official documentation yet, but it's being reported by other media outlets that the SC10 4x4 will be hitting shelves this March with a MSRP of $439.99]

Hit up the Team Associated web site for more info.

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