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What's new: Monday, December 13th, 2010

The folks over at AquaCraft sent along this video of the AquaCraft Vela One-Meter 2.4GHz Sailboat. Good thing Cubby didn’t get word of this one.

Check out the official AquaCraft Website for more details.

I can’t say the word Sail without thinking of THIS in my head!

Yet another week has flown right by in our hobby, welcome back to THE Cub Report. In some areas of our country, it’s blizzard conditions, in others (Hawaii anyone?) it’s a perfect 80 degrees. Inside the exceedingly well lit and remarkably well appointed BigSquid offices it’s always 72 degrees. We hope wherever you may be that it’s perfect rc weather.

Months and months ago one of our staffers, Bill The Wrench Guy, pre-ordered one of the soon to be released Traxxas Spartan boats at his local hobby shop, The months went by, and then more went by, and the Spartan release date kept being pushed back. Finally last week we hear from Traxxas that the Spartan boat is getting close to shipping with an expected LHS date of December 16th. Yes indeed, there are many parts of the country that are not frozen over, but for Bill The Wrench Guy, that is definitely NOT the case. I must ask, so just what good is an uber new Traxxas boat going to be in Chicago during the middle of the winter? The answer- not much, unless it’s being used as a static model. Traxxas isn’t known for dropping the ball, but December is about the worst release date I can think of for a boat.

Also on the Traxxas tip, their new 4×4 Stampede is just now hitting hobby shop shelves. While a Pede 4×4 should be awesome fun in the snow, December isn’t a very good release time for a pure basher. I’m certain all you basher guys down south are love’n your new 4×4 Pedes, but for the rest of us up North of you, 8″ of snow is the last place I want to make a run with a brand new truck. Because of this, a lot of potential buyers are going to hold off on the new Pede till the weather warms up (3-4 months from now). But by the time it turns warmer, who’s not to say that another uber bash machine won’t be released by HPI, AE, or Losi that will steal the 4×4 Pedes thunder (and sales)?

The two examples above, and the one I provided last week (the Losi 22), go to show that timing is very important in our hobby. They can make or break the sales numbers for a particular model. For many of us in Northern climates, we are stuck indoors several months a year where we typically have more time for our rc hobby because we are not out bbq’n, riding motorcycles, etc. Many of us Northern types spend a LOT of cash on the hobby during the winter, provided there is something that catches our fancy and works well indoors.

Unfortunately for us, it seems that sometimes the manufactures who reside in warm weather climates forget about us Northern types. It seems like they don’t even realize we can NOT just grab our gear any time we want and go outside and run. It’s like they don’t understand that many of us only run indoors on prepared tracks October through March. It’s like they don’t even realize that for months at a time much of our country is covered in snow and ice. It’s like they don’t understand how much money they are losing by not catering some “off season” product to us.

On another note….

Nearly every year I do a “what to get your rc’er” for X-mas article. This year I decided to switch it up a bit, so I asked around the office to see what type of rc car/truck the BigSquid staffers would want for X-mas if price were no object.

Web Guy Jeff replied he wanted an ole’ school Clod Buster. I can’t argue with that response, as Clods are a ton of fun and have an enormous aftermarket following.

Chunky Jason is perhaps the hardest core racer on the staff, and he answered with a HPI 5B SS. The 5B SS isn’t really a core racer, but it certain is a solid (and quick!) buggy that absolutely rips up grass in the back yard, open lot, or park.

Craig The Ramp Builder Guy went a tad bit more extreme with his answer, as he requested an electric Castle BL powered HPI Baja 5T. While a stock gas powered 5T tears up the grass something awful, an electric Castle powered one would absolutely annihilate it.

Bill the Wrench guy had a quick answer of HPI 5SC! It should be noted that the 5SC has been the only vehicle that could de-thrown his want of a 5T! During our bashing this summer we have beat the heck out of our 5B, and we usually have a 5T in the mix. If your dumb brave enough to go for big air, they can be a blast!

Micro Man Wes continued the trend by wanting yet another HPI 5th scaler, as he requested one of the uber new HPI 5SC’s. (I think we see a trend here, LOL)

Michelle The Receptionist replied that she didn’t know which rc she wanted, but requested that it be “cute” and “have a pink body on it”. Umm, ok? LOL

Jim The Test Driver Guy took the longest to reply as he just couldn’t make up his mind with all the cool cars/trucks on the market right now. But, in the end, he went with a new Slash 4×4 Ultimate. It would be perfect under anyone’s Christmas tree.

Editor Type Brian also took a while to decide, but after nearly 10 minutes of contemplation he replied with the Traxxas Ken Block Rally Car. That is one awesome looking little car that should be a ton of fun bashing around a parking lot with.

As far as what I’d want for X-mas, well lets see… I’d start with a Traxxas Brushless E-Revo, throw in one of Hitec’s Ultra Premium servos, install 6S worth of MaxAmps Lipo power, and lastly, accent the truck with a Pro Line body, PL rims, and massive PL paddle tires. Definitely not a racer, but it would just have to be loads of fun. Oh and, the rooster tails would be phenomenal!

That’s it for this week, as always support your local hobby shops, tracks, and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Tekin ryan lutz While we don’t cover race news or results, we do sometimes mention where the big name drivers are getting their pay checks from now and then. Team Tekin just announced that Ryan Lutz will be using a full setup of Tekin Electronics in his Durango vehicle. Head over to the Team Tekin Website for info.

What's new: Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Photo of the Week:

(HDR) Serious fun under a menacing sky
Serious fun under a menacing sky by Howard Elton

Build Log: A radio controlled gaming PC?  On tank tracks?  With mechanical grabbing arm?  Awesome.

‘Nother Build Log: 1/6 scale Dodge Ram – Those New Bright toys are a good source of great looking, large scale bodies.

Going Mainstream?: Apparently Toys ‘R’ Us is selling Traxxas trucks (and Venom and HPI products as well), via their web site at least.  Anybody seen them showing up in the Brick & Mortar stores?

Reviewed: Traxxas Stampede 4×4 @ Ultimate RC, build review of Tamiya Holiday Buggy 2010 @ R/C Racer

In other News: Our friend at got himself a nice site redesign.

Video of the Week:

We here at Big Squid obviously cannot endorse such AWESOMENESS reckless behavior.  Think of the above video as instruction on what NOT to do.

What's new: Friday, December 10th, 2010

RC4WD Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Tire

Looking for a tire for those Top Truck Challenges? This new RC4WD tire might be what you need. The Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC 1.9″ offroad tire is a replica of the full scale Baja Claw TTC tire. It’s a licensed tire, and will run you about $25 a pair.

RC4WD Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Tire RC4WD Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Tire

Visit RC4WD for more info!

What's new: Thursday, December 9th, 2010

mythbusters axial truck mythbusters axial truck

So last night while watching Mythbusters, we had another RC ON TV sighting! They were trying to cause a truck to flip similar to a scene in the Hellboy movie where something smashes the front end of a truck, and the vehicle flips end over end. Mythbusters does a lot of RC, but usually it’s some home made contraption, or a on-road vehicle. This time it looked a lot like a Axial SCX10 Honcho! Sorry for the blurry shots, but it was cool to see! Hopefully Axial sell’s a few hundred SCX10′s this weekend!

Update: Someone else sent in pics, and pointed out that the tires were Pro-Line Flat Irons. Good eye!
mythbusters pro-line mythbusters pro-linek

Another set of team colors joins Losi‘s stable of Mini SCTs.  The Stronghold Motorsports Team, (who, a few montsh ago, signed on Jeremy McGrath for driving duties next season) now has a minified version of their LOORS, Rob Naughton piloted, Pro-2 truck thanks to the gang at Losi.  As with the other Mini SCTs, the Stronghold edition is RTR with a 2.4 GHz Spektrum DSM radio system and water-resistant Losi Xcelorin brushless ESC with 4500Kv motor.  The truck also includes a 7.2v, 1100 MAh NiMH battery that comes prewired with Losi’s high-current EC2 connector.

A separate body set is also available if you already own a Mini SCT in another livery.  It’s also likely that in the near future this new Mini SCT will also become available in a Bind-N-Drive version for a lower cost.

MSRP for the RTR is $299.99 and it should be available late next month.  Check out the Losi web site for more info.

Schumacher novarossi

News from Schumacher Racing is that they are now the official distributor of NOVAROSSI engines in the UK. So if your looking for a power plant, and you are in the UK, you know where to go.

Head over to the Schumacher Racing site for more details.

Team Durango desc410r Team Durango desc410r

Word from Team Durango is that their short course truck called the DESC410R is now going into production! They are finishing off the final steps of packaging and it will be ready to go!

The Team Durango folks have been making waves in the higher end buggy market, it will be interesting to see how they do in the short course arena.

Visit the Team Durango web site info.

You have questions, we have answers, you have issues, we’ve got your tissues.

“To whom it may concern; you may want to revise your test results & testing methods in the 4s lipo shootout…

Capacity test: You put the turnigy lipo in last place because it had the lowest mah capacity; that’s utterly ridiculous. That’s like scoring a Ferrari higher because its faster than your mustang. If you actually scored that test on rated capacity vs actual tested capacity, the turnigy would come out in 1st place because it held 80mah more than its rating; the lipo in first place held 60mah less than it was rated for- your testing criteria/ methodology is seriously flawed, making that test pretty much worthless and entirely misleading. Once again you have failed to test like with like, resulting in totally skewed results that are largely subjective.

Top-speed test: Another horribly flawed test. This time you compared lipos with different mah & discharge ratings and decided it was totally reasonable that the highest rated pack should come in first place, even though the rather lower spec turnigy was only 1mph slower. Given that the thunderpower lipo is capable of producing 344.5 amps continuous ( well, until the wires melt anyway… ) and the turnigy only 180 amps, its safe to say the turnigy actually gave the best result based on its specs vs performance. As it happens though, the MMM system is recommended for use with lipos capable of producing at least 120amps, so all those batts are more than adequate; if you really wanted to see how well the pack could power the buggy then you should have been geared for perhaps 50-60mph on 4s lipo, to really put a load on the packs and see which ones couldn’t supply the current that’s being demanded, thus a slower speed ( and higher lipo temps ) would have been observed. Poor testing methodology once again..
(this is gonna be a long one.. click through to read the whole thing) READ MORE

motor city motors rc What is becoming a weekly post around here lately, we saw another RC car special on TV! This time, the show Motor City Motors
on HD Theater tried to create a full size RC car. What makes this different from most full size RC cars, was they were given an electric fork lift to start out with.
During the show they were driving around some pretty cheap looking RC vehicles, but it’s promo, we’ll take what we can get for the hobby! In the end they get a pretty ugly vehicle running, they start to run it around the track when the electronics go up in flames. LOL.

motor city motors rc motor city motors rc

It’s not the best show, but any RC on TV is good!

What's new: Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Mark your calendars.  December 16th, just in time for Christmas, the Traxxas Spartan brushless deep-v will be available, and for a reasonable $399.99.  We got a good look at this appropriately candy cane colored monster at iHobby, so check out the gallery below then bust out your pencil and paper and start writing your wish list to Robot Santa Claus (your mistletoe is no match for his TOW missle).  On second thought, maybe you should write to Kwanzaa-bot, if you, you know, value your life.

What's new: Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Not that long ago we mentioned the DirtChamp Designs IR Timing system. They recently released a little more info on their system specs.
Rum times greater than 12 hours (for those endurance events). IR range of 4-7 meters with Bluetooth range greater than 100 meters. The system is design to be a wireless solution to be able so you can set up a track and timing system just about anywhere.
Check out the video after the break…