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What's new: Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

It’s not Team Associated’s SC10 4×4, but it is another 4×4 short course truck.  German outfit Ansmann Racing is showing off their new X4TT.  This is an early prototype and the specs are subject to change.  But it’s for sure going to use a shaft driven drive train and be configured to use saddle pack batteries.  Also the pictures show it to have a metal chassis, probably aluminum, but that’s subject to change and based on their other 1/10 scale cars and trucks, may end up as a molded composite chassis.

What does this mean for the US crowd?  TQ Racing and Ansmann are business partners, so we will likely see this truck from TQ in the near future under their SX10 line.

Ansmann suggests that their version of the truck could be hitting in May or June, beyond that there isn’t much other info available.  Check out the Ansmann Racing site for info.

Airtronics has been spending some time cooking up something new.  The MT-4 is their new mid-range radio with all kinds of high-end features.  It starts with a new, light weight pistol grip design that features adjustable steering movement, trigger, and a selection of grips.  But more important is what’s packed inside.  The onboard computer features a fast navigation system to get to the settings you need quickly and easily.  Many of the external switches are assignable to different channels and tasks.  Some of the programming options include 4WS steering mixing, anti-lock brakes, multiple types of EPA, and more.  The telemetry features work in real time and sensors for monitoring receiver battery voltage, temps, and RPMs are included.

The MT-4 should be hitting shelves some time in February at a cost of around $250.  Tell Airtronics to update their site so I can tell you to go there for more info.

THE West Mountain Computerized Battery Analyzer (CBA) III and 500 Watt Amplifier Review

From: West Mountain Radio
Direct Link: West Mountain CBA III and Amplifier
Review by Cubby.

West Mountain CBA and Amplifier

If it’s Tuesday, that means BigSquid is posting an all new uber review. This week I’ve been elected the “lucky” review writer, so lets jump in knee deep on a very handy test instrument, the venerable West Mountain CBA.

What does a West Mountain CBA do? In simplest terms, it tests batteries. When I say it tests batteries, it tests a ton of different types, from small 100 mah to large 8,000+ mah capacities, from Lithium Cobalt to Lead Acid, it is capable of testing virtually any type of battery you are ever going to use in a surface rc.

How does it test my batteries? READ MORE

What's new: Monday, January 24th, 2011

The HPI Switch made some waves a couple years ago when it was first announced.  It’s design was a major departure from the typical on-road chassis with it’s McPherson Strut style suspension and being front wheel drive.  But then it seemed to disappear.  Some places still have the original Switch in stock in limited quantities, but it even fell off of HPI’s web site.

It’s back now.  The original chassis design remains, but the body style has changed.  This time it’ll come from the factory dressed as a Scion xB in white, silver, or orange; but it’s wheelbase and width are adjustable to accept other mini sized bodies and HPI’s entire line of Cup Racer bodies.  It’s also fully RTR with a 35-turn brushed motor, full ball-bearings, a 6 cell NiMH battery and wall charger, and AM radio gear.

The HPI web site suggests these will only be available through Toyota dealerships, but we’ll see how the market works out.  MSRP is going to be $359.00 but the street price should be hovering around $200+.  Check out the HPI web site for more info.

Reedy has just announced a new line of LiPo batteries.  The Competition line is rated at 60c and will be available as a 2S brick pack, 2S saddle pack, and a single cell pack.  The brick and single have a capacity of 5500 mAh and the saddle is 5200  mAh.  All of the LiPos are hard cased to keep them from blowing up when you totally trash your car after getting some huge air off the roof of your house.  They also feature 4mm sockets for low electrical resistance and a pair of plugs is also included to go in the sockets.

The MSRPs are $166.99 for the saddle, $152.99 for the brick, and $97.99 for the single.  All of them are available now for ordering.  Hit up the Reedy site for more info.

[edit: oops, had an error in capacities, they're correct now.]

Cubby
Is it Monday morning already? Geezus the weekends blow by too fast around here, but welcome to this weeks edition of THE Cub Report.

In moto news. LA’s Dodger Stadium hosted its first supercross last weekend. Troy Lee Designs rider Cole Seely pulled off a surprise win in the Lites class, and Monster/Kawasaki hotshoe Ryan Villopodium pwn’d Bubba/Dungey/Canard/Reed for his second win of the 2011 season in the premier class. Overall, LA was one of the most exciting nights of sx racing in years, as both the Lites and Supercross classes features lots of passing, crashing,a and hard racing. Additionally, it’s not really SoCal without having The King Jeremy McGrath in attendance, so even though he’s retired from pro supercross racing, Feld had MC on hand to bust out a few demo laps. And as uber as MC is, he wasn’t the coolest guest in attendance- Brian’s favorite rider, Travis Pastrana, was also in the house, actually driving a stock car on the the supercross track. Look for TP199 to get his first NASCAR race under his belt this July in Indy.

In Formula 1 news- I sure wish their season started a whole let earlier than it does. I need a fix of Ferrari vs Red Bull vs Mercedes vs McLaren!

Opppsss… forgot this is an rc column. :)

Middle of last week, the mighty Thunder Tiger/Associated posted a “teaser” on their website for their latest and greatest truck. The teaser simply said “Good things come to those who wait”. Oh really? Is that a guarantee? I mean, if their new truck isn’t at least “good”, can I get my money back? And how bad did that teaser suck that it didn’t even elude to what type of vehicle it was gonna be? I mean, no sh!# Sherlock, sooner or later TT/AE is going to introduce a new model (seemingly a dozen times a year for them). Associated used to be the coolest of the cool, with the best of the best marketing departments, but that teaser in particular was just lame and bogus. Anyways, later in the week they added a pic to their teaser indicating it’s going to be a short course truck, who would have ever thunk that (LOL)???? I just hope it’s got some new engineering under the hood and just not one of their other models regurgitated with a SC shell on it.

Horizon/Losi has released info on their upcoming electric 4×4 SC truck, calling it the “Losi 1/10 Ten-SCTE ARR” (whewww that’s a mouth full). The Ten-SCTE isn’t based off the XXX-4 platform, instead it’s roots come from the Losi Ten-T nitro truggy. In the last year, the electric 4×4 short course class has become one of the hottest in the nation, so it’s good to see another hat thrown into the ring. In theory, the Ten-SCTE should be one tough customer (seeing as how it’s based off a nitro truggy), here’s to hoping it’s an animal on the track, and tough as nails when being bashed.

One of the BSRC crew heard something about a group of ROAR racers getting banned for not wearing ROAR t-shirts at a big event last year and wanted my comments on it. I didn’t talk about it weeks ago because I thought nobody would even care about it, but now it sounds like there is some interest in it, and there are a lot of people that never even heard about it. So hummmm… where to start on this one. :)

So….. here’s some info on the big “ROAR T-Shirt Scandal of 2010″. No drivers were suspended or banned, only put on a one year “suspension warning” (aka- double super secret probation without reach around, aka- means nothing). All the warnings stem from the 2010 IFMAR 8th scale buggy worlds in Singapore. Five ROAR members were warned- some for not wearing ROAR shirts during the opening ceremonies, some because of their “behavior” at the venue. The five drivers were- Ryan “Tamiya S#cks” Lutz, Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) Fischer, I Wish I Had Jesse’s Girl Robbers, Billy “Softball Bat” Easton, Greg “Pass Me Another Bottle of That Dasani” Degani, and lastly, the ever charismatic Jay Smoker. It was roughly 3 weeks after the event that ROAR decided to pass down the “warnings” (it’s no secret they move slower than molasses on a cold Chicago morning). ROAR decided it would be best to publicly announce these “warnings” via the front page of their website. The infractions that resulted in these “warnings” have been done before without warnings being issued (selective enforcement, Sweet!).

To boil it down…… Yes indeed, I believe in professionalism in our hobby, especially when participating at an IFMAR world event. Yes, all the people representing ROAR should have been wearing ROAR shirts during the opening ceremonies. And yes, all drivers/pit-guys should have been on their best behavior. For the Singapore event, ROAR mailed the shirts out to each driver prior to the event, if you know factory drivers very well, then you just know how bad of an idea that was. At future events, if ROAR wants to mandate the wearing of their shirts, it must be up to ROAR to supply them at the venue, not depend on the United States Postal Service to get said shirts to overworked/underslept/forgetful factory shoes that must then get them halfway around the world. Also….. when ROAR decides to issue simple “warnings”, it’s ridiculous to make it front page news on their website. ROAR never seems to remember their main jobs are to provide rules and officials, the deformation of its members is veryyyy low on its priority list. Lastly, if ROAR is gonna pull the trigger and issue “warnings” or suspensions, waiting 3 weeks is asinine. If ROAR sees a problem, immediately issue the punishment, waiting for weeks comes across as very unprofessional.

Ok, I’ve typed wayyyy more than enough drivel for this week. If you’ve read down this far, congrats, you are the only one! But seriously, thanks for reading, and as always, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Ask, and ask, and ask, and eventually you will receive!
People have been bugging us to put our cool shirts up for sale, so we finally decided to give it a try.

Big Squid RC T-Shirts

We have a VERY LIMITED number of shirts, but if these start to sell, we will go ahead and order up another batch. Also, for a LIMITED TIME, EVERY T-shirt order will get a FREE set of mixed sized Big Squid RC stickers tossed in!

We only have Large and Extra Large (seems like a lot of big guys in RC) but if orders are going ok, and we get enough emails for other sizes, we will add more sizes in the future! First come first serve!

Head over to the Big Squid RC Store for details and ordering! And thanks for your support!

What's new: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Photo of the Week:

jumping
by Jonah Kellam

For the first time in well over a year I have every R/C vehicle I own in running order.  It’s amazing how I can let things sit on the shelf for so long in a broken state.  I’m planning on doing some bashing with one of my newly fixed trucks this weekend on a frozen lake in between bouts of catching fish through small holes, should be fun times.

Cool project: Extremely small R/C car with 2.4 GHz radio.

Reviewed: DuraTrax Evader EXT2 @ RC Universe – Our review of the truck will be coming soon.

Shameless Self Promotion: We’re a couple weeks into our GH Racing/Slash 4×4 giveaway and the list of entries is getting longer. Get your name in the hat now. We also posted up a couple reviews this week. If you’re looking for an R/C dirt bike, check out our review of the Venom VMX 450. Also check out our review of DuraTrax’s affordable brushless ESC the DE10.

The More You Know: What all that stuff means – El Presidente of Castle Creations, Patrick del Castillo, explains all those data points about brushless motors.

Video of the Week:


RC Bashing 2

Team Associated has updated their teaser to the above image.  So… 4×4 SC10 then?

Check out Team Associated’s web site to see it in it’s natural habitat.

What's new: Thursday, January 20th, 2011

It’s finally official.  Losi‘s TEN-SCTE, which has been in development for some time and been seen being tested on many tracks, is finally here and it appears to have been worth the wait.  The TEN-SCTE is certainly going to be a powerful weapon in the 4×4 short course wars.

As the name implies, the TEN-SCTE is based on the TEN-T 1/10 scale truggy, which is also the same platform as the 810 buggy.  But, it’s been converted to electric use, with brushless and LiPo power in mind.  It’s got the 1/8 scale bred drive train with three diffs and heavy duty CV drive shafts and axles.  It rides on a black anodized, light-weight aluminum chassis.  For better durability the TEN-SCTE is set up to run Mod 1 gears, which are typically found on 1/8 scale vehicles.  12mm hexes are used to turn the bead lock look wheels with Losi’s own Eclipse short course tire.

This sounds like it’s going to be a super tough truck.  Initially it’s going to be available as a roller only, requiring radio gear, a 550 brushless motor and ESC, 2S LiPo, and paint on the body.  List price for this bad boy is going to be $449.99, street price likely much cheaper, and it should be hitting shelves sometime in February.  Check out Losi’s site for more details.

We have a couple videos posted after the break, be sure to watch the Gary Katzer interview with the SCTE’s designer, Ryan Dunford, for some cool insights into the design plus the option of converting it from electric to nitro.

READ MORE

Cubby

Welcome to yet another trip visiting the tremendous depths of our email boxes….


I found your site just goofing around online and have really enjoyed it! I bought a Traxxas Slash 2.4 Ghz and upgraded it with RPM parts based on your reviews and info. It has withstood the abuse I put it through as well as being piloted on concrete by several children too young to read.The thing seemed indestructible until last weekend. It jumped a curb into some wet grass near the end of my 4 year old neighbor’s bashing session. I towel dried what I could access without taking anything apart and set it out to dry the rest of the way. Now I am having considerable range issues. The receiver loses connection about 5 feet away. I replaced the batteries in the transmitter three times and I’ve since taken the receiver box completely apart and inspected all the wires and connections. There are no signs that water ever got into the receiver box and the wires all look fine to me. There is no exposed wire and no crimping. The truck seems to operate normally other than the lack of range. Did some damp grass bring down the toughest piece of self-propelled plastic I have ever seen? I can’t think of anything else that happened to the truck outside the normal abuse. Can you use your interweb wisdom to solve my Slash sadness?

I’ve contacted Traxxas and they responded promptly and I think I will end up sending it to them for service. The guy at the hobby shop/track I shop at was less than helpful. He told me to change the crystals and walked away. I went into the shop with the intent to buy whatever they told me I needed. I guess he didn’t want to sell me said crystals.
Thanks, Tommy K.

Cubby- Yo thanks for the letter Tommy.
Ya know……….. I’m a big (HUGE) advocate of local hobby shops, but typically- when they are good, they are really good, and when they are bad, they are simply horrible.

First off, you should have offered the hobby shop employee two BILLION dollars to switch out the “crystals” in your 2.4 ghz Traxxas radio. :)

A good hobby shop could have resolved your problem within ten minutes of you being inside their freshly detailed establishment. First they would have had a charged stick pack sitting around and popped it in your truck. It’s amazing how even the best of us think we have a fully charged pack installed when we’ve actually put in a dead one. But, I’m betting you probably had that base already covered, so that would not have fixed your problem. The next thing the LHS guy would have done would have been to grab a Traxxas 2.4 transmitter and link it up to your truck. Yes, a good hobby shop would have done this for you, or any customer for that matter. This is super quick and easy to do, and will effectively narrow down the problem to either the transmitter or the truck. I’m also gonna guess linking up a new transmitter would not have helped, so the LHS guy would then have popped in a new Traxxas receiver and linked it to your stock transmitter. I’m guessing that would have completely fixed your range issue. You then would have cut the check for a new receiver and walked out with a smile on your face (and the hobby shop would have made some money!).

Ok, so your LHS sucks… is anything else you can try to resolve your range issue? Well first I’d try to find another local hobbyist that is running Traxxis 2.4 ghz gear and ask if he could help you figure out your range issue. If you don’t know anyone locally that could help you, then I’d try these two things…

1. Reset/re-link the receiver to your transmitter. The instructions on how to do this are on a paper that is located in the battery tray of your transmitter.
2. You’ve already had your receiver apart, so take it apart again. Try spraying it down with electric motor cleaner, let it dry, then give it a try.

If you have to send your truck into service at Traxxas they are known for being fair and for excellent customer service, so you should be dialed.

Lastly, be sure and let us know what ended up being the problem…. peace and love, peace and love…..


Hey i saw last week that my neighbor darren talked about his cars and a new car he wanted. I noticed that he has a bunch of cars though i only have to redcat racing nitros. Both dont run. They werent basher approved to my standards which i guarantee that my standards are much higher than most companies probably even yours. The only thing is if parts are discontinued and/or broken im out for a while as i am only in high school and a lot of money goes towards my large rc planes. Darren told me yall were searching for bashers. Well i tell you what yalls basher approval sticker is great i have seen yall throw the evader off from 20 feet high, down stairs, and everything, but getting air with Darrens SC-10 and almost hitting the fence 30 feet away and his trailer is epic and i must say that is just the least of what i do. If yall want a serious serious basher person that also can write some great review (which i do for rc planes) yall need to stop right here.
-Matt P

Cubby- I find it amazing that you have two Redcats, and neither of them actually run. I mean, isn’t Redcat known for their prolific reliability? All joking aside, I’ve seen quite a few Redcats put down on the track, but I’ve yet to see one in 100% fully functional operation afterward.

The BSRC crew spoke at length with the Redcat guys at the iHobby expo, they are quite affable and seem to be good guys, and perhaps more importantly, they know reliability is an issue for them right now. They say they are working on it, hummmmmm, we’ve heard that before….
READ MORE

What's new: Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Team Associated is teasing something on their site.  With the portentous text stating

Good things come to those who wait.

many on the interwebs have speculated that it could be an announcement of a 4×4 version of the SC10, others believe it could be the long awaited RC10B5 (which our own Cub Reporter suggested a month and a half ago was coming early this year).

But then there’s always the chance that they’ll pull a Kyosho and announce a mini track being built in the lobby of their headquarters.

Check out the Team Associated web site to see it for yourself.

HPI Racing has some new gear for the recently released Baja 5SC and the Baja 5T.  The new TR-10 wheels are true bead locks that will hold your tires securely without glue.  The wheels are available in four finishes: white, black, gunmetal gray, and chrome.  The fronts measure in at 120x60mm and have a 4mm offset while the rears are 120x65mm with 10mm offset.  You’ll have to provide the bead lock rings, but HPI does have heavy duty rings available in a variety of colors.

The front wheels have a price of $32.00, the rears will retail for $37.00, while the rings will set you back $15 for a set for two wheels (four rings).  Keep an eye on the HPI Racing web site for more info.