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What's new: Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Venom Gambler Short Course Truck
Looks like the Venom short course truck called the Gambler is inching it’s way closer to release as we now have a few action shots! Looking forward to getting our hands on one when they are available in the next month or so.

Venom Gambler Short Course Truck Venom Gambler Short Course Truck

Visit Venom-Group.com for details.

RC Racing 101 #3- What Car/Class? by Tim Mohr

In the first two editions of RC Racing 101 (see here and here) I wrote about how to find a track and what questions to ask once you found one. If you are new to the hobby or a basher just wanting to give racing a whirl the next issue you might have on the way to your first race is what car/buggy/truck to race with. Some tracks have lots of classes and are very accommodating to cars that they do not currently have a class for, but other tracks may offer very few classes and will not let you run a car that doesn’t perfectly fit in. Here’s a top 4 list to help you determine the best class/car for you to race with.

4. The Car You Already Own- This might be the only option for some people, and if you are just wanting to get your feet wet there is no sense in buying a new car just for a race or two. Call ahead to see if the track has a class for your car, if not, most tracks have a “5 cars make a class” rule, so you might be able to ask around and have other people help fill up the class. If your closest track does not offer your class, then check other tracks in your area, you might get lucky. If it’s going to be a long drive each week to race the car you own, it just might be cheaper to just buy a new one.

3. Easy To Drive- Some cars/classes are easier to drive than others. Typically the smaller the scale the harder they are to drive, and 2wd is nearly always harder to drive than 4wd. Among some of the hardest to drive classes are 12th scale on-road, 18th scale off-road, and 2wd 10th scale buggy. Considered some of the easiest classes to drive are 8th scale truggy, and touring car, but of course this varies by track and with personal driving styles.

2. Price- If you are up for buying new just for racing, some cars naturally cost more than others, and not just in brand names, but also in operational costs. Typically the larger the scale the more they will cost you to run a season, with 8th scale on and off road considered to be two of the most expensive. But remember, the cost of racing is totally up to you. For example, you can easily sink over a thousand bucks into a little 18th scale car, or you can race it bone stock for just over $200. You can race a spec short course truck for under $300 and spend very little on a weekly basis for tires and other support equipment, or you can bling out one of the 4×4 short course racers and spend over a grand right off the bat. I must also mention that rarely does the amount of money spent equal more fun, as more expensive usually only equals faster cars. In fact, many racers will often tell you the most fun they ever had was in the cheapest class they ever ran.

1. What’s Popular- Every track will have one class that is more popular than any other. Racing in the largest class has several advantages like typically having more people of a similar skill level to your own, more people to get set-up advice from and more spare parts to borrow from fellow racers. At some tracks the “popular” class changes on a yearly, sometimes even monthly basis, while at other tracks it has remained the same for over a decade. So at some tracks if you buy what’s popular this season it might be good for several years, while at others you might be buying a new car every couple months, it just varies with the track.

Until next week, see you on the grid.

What's new: Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

1:1 scale off-road tire manufacturer Pit Bull Tires is jumping into the r/c arena.  Their first mold is the Rock Beast XOR 2.2″ crawler tire, which is modeled after their full scale Rocker LT tires.  The Rock Beast features a multi-varied tread pattern that they say increases forward, reverse, and lateral traction.  Pit Bull is using their proprietary Komp Kompound™ rubber which is suitable for daily bashing and competition according to them.  You’ll be buying them by the pair and foam inserts are not included, but a decal sheet is.

Check out Pit Bull’s site for more info.

Tamiya has an expensive drift machine for those of you that like driving sideways.  The High-End Drifter features an all new mid-motor layout and two belt drive-train.  It’s also loaded down with tons of carbon fiber, including a 2mm chassis and a twin vertical plate bracing setup that runs the lenght of the chassis.  It’s also got a lot of TRF accessories made with pretty blue anodized aluminum.  The chassis is also setup to accept all the popular types of batteries in use today.  This high-end setup isn’t going to come cheap though, with an MSRP of $667.00, and you’ll have to supply your own wheels, tires, body, electronics, and batteries.  No word on a release date, but I’d bet early this summer.

Read all about it at Tamiya’s Canadian site.

Robitronic‘s got a new line of competition grade LiPos. Available in 1S and 2S stick and saddle pack configurations and in capacities from 4500 up to 5400 mAh. They are also being promoted as 40 to 50C. They’ve got a set that should fit you no matter what you drive. Check out the Robitronic web site for more info and specs.

Core RC has a few new gears they want the world to know about. They are precision CNC gears for the Xray Touring Cars and ‘Diff’ spurs
for Pan/GT Cars.
CORE RC Gear CORE RC Gear

Check out the Core section of the Schumacher web site for more info.

RPM HPI Blitz In-Line Steering Blocks
Looks like RPM is showing more love for the HPI Blitz, Blitz ESE, Firestorm 10T, and E-Firestorm owners. The new In-Line Steering Blocks allows for the bigger 5×11 bearings improving durability and performance. The new bearings are NOT included, so you’ll have to get those on your own.

Visit the RPM RC site for details.

What's new: Monday, May 24th, 2010

Horizon Fuel Cell Horizon Fuel Cell

I think when we all first heard the story of the Horizon Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology, nobody was going to hold their breath. Well, it looks like the world is about to find out if it’s actually true! Not to be confused with Horizon Hobbies here in the US, these guys are coming right out of Singapore.
The kit is called the H-Cell 2.0, and is basically a mini hydrogen fuel cell to be used in RC Vehicles. It’s actually pretty exciting news to see a new type of energy come to the RC market. Remember when nobody thought LiPo’s would catch on?

Horizon Fuel Cell Horizon Fuel Cell

The kits will start shipping very soon, and the vehicle will be introduced this year at the Mondial du Modelisme show in Paris.
For more info check the HorizonFuelCell.com Website.

How about that Eli Tomac? Ya, ok, you don’t know who he is, but he’s got a famous dad and he won the first AMA pro motocross race he ever entered. Tomac races on the Geico Honda team and won the AMA motocross season opener at Hangtown on Saturday, beating such biggies as Christophe Pourcel (whos sponsored by Traxxas!) and Trey Canard. The GOAT Ricky Carmichael didn’t even win his first AMA pro event back in 96′, so the future sure is looking bright for Tomac.

I heard supercross/motocross fast guy Jeff Alessi raced the Babcock series race in SoCal over the weekend? If you have any news or pics we’d sure dig getting them here at BSRC. And congrats to his brother Mike Alessi for winning the second moto of the 450 class last weekend in Hangtown with the all new and uber KTM 350.

The powers that be at ROAR have approved the MaxAmps LiFe cells. IMO the lithium iron phosphate cells are the future of our hobby, very durable, yet not as volatile as a normal Lipo battery. Now if ROAR would only approve higher cell counts….. and a true national series…. and…. and….. and………..

Speaking of ROAR, perhaps the most prestigious race of the year in America for the last decade has been the 8th scale nitro off road nats. That might very well change this year with the popularity of short course and electric 8th scalers, making the ROAR electric nats at Leisure Hours Raceway in Joliet Illinois the biggie. Seemingly the tide has officially turned, and from the looks of things you’ll see larger resources from the big manufactures going towards the electric nats this year than the nitro nats. BigSquidRC will be there in full force with extensive coverage. I know this is a basher site, but the event is close, we dig Leisure Hours, and well, it can’t be that big of a sin to cover a race once in a while right?

Ok, we are way behind on the charger shootout. Why? Because we are actually testing them, and anything in bulk dealing with batteries seems to take forever. We’ll have all the logical tests (like which one is easiest to use), as well as actual Performance tests! “Like what kind of performance tests?” might you ask? Like seeing which charger actually charges the fastest, and which one puts the most mah into your battery. Wouldn’t you like to know if it only takes 50 minutes for one brand charger to fill your pack, but over an hour and a half for another? Or if one charger puts 5000 mah into your battery while the next brand only puts in 4000 mah? Oh yes, the charger shootout is not one to be missed. :)

Do you belong on the A&E show hoarders? Like, have you bought 40 cars over the past decade and have never sold even one of them off? We’d like to do a new article each week featuring one of our readers rc car/truck collection. So if you have 5 rc cars or more (like many more), shoot us a pic and the make and model of your cars and trucks so we can feature your collection on the BSRC front page (then you’ll instantly become obnoxiously famous, and drink nothing but Dom 2000 or Armand de Brignac Brut Gold).

That’s it for this week. We are humbled and thankful that you guys (and gals) actually read our mindless ramblings. Till next week, support your hobby, hit up your local hobby shop, and try to make it by your local track or bash spot.

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

rc-lights rc led light system While working on some final testing for our Charger Shootout, it was evening here at the Big Squid RC headquarters, and as always.. there was bashing on the brain! While watching a LiPo discharge (similar to boiling water) I suddenly heard the buzz of a electric motor zooming outside the shop. I grabbed a radio, a Slash, and followed pursuit. There were a couple of ramps set up, and it was pretty cool to see the effects of the RC-Lights (read the review HERE) as the vehicle caught some big air. Like most times when there are Traxxas Slash’s out, we ended up with a good round of tag! (You know.. the kids game.. but with RC vehicles). Since it was late and dark out, it made the whole event just that much more challenging. The only problem.. suddenly my awesome looking lights were a big disadvantage! Not only could the vehicles I was chasing see me coming, they could also easily track me when I was being chased! We had a blast till all our packs were drained. As always, there were no major vehicle casualties, (see Basher Approved) and everyone involved had a blast, including the spectators! I think it might be time to rig up a 3rd channel ‘stealth’ mode! Sure I could just unplug them, but where’s the fun in that? :)

Budweiser_01
Photo of the week:  Budweiser Nascar Mini Cooper on Xpress Mini Road Runner Chassis by britishopen93

Build log: Dual brushless Clod Buster

Event: No Limit R/C World Finals V – May 28-30 @ Digger’s Dungeon – Poplar Branch, NC

Forum Thread: Maxamps Out of their Mind???? – Almost two months on and people are still talking about The LiPo Shootout 2.  It’s a long forum thread about Max Amps LiPos with official replies from the Max Amps crew.  One of Max Amps’ official lines: “C” ratings don’t mean much, until industry-wide testing standards are developed and implemented, it’s just a marketing number.

Video of the week: Seattle RC Racers action.  If you’re in the Seattle area check out their web site and join them for some carpet based dogfighting and knock down-drag out fights while pushing it to the limit with some awesome 80s movie montage music!

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight!… er… sorry, wrong movie!

What's new: Friday, May 21st, 2010

Max Amps LIFE 4500 Are you looking to run a LiFe battery this year at the electric nats? Well MaxAmps will have you covered! Their LiFe 4500 is now ROAR approved.

I’m glad to see the LiFe batteries starting to get some acceptance. The fact that they are safer, and you can be a little more careless with them, is more our basher style! :)

Make sure you head over to the MaxAmps.com site for more info!

Trinity (Epic?) has a cool new wheelie bar for the Traxxas minis.  Made out of black anodized aluminum, this prostock style mono-wheel wheelie bar is said to help you keep straighter wheelies going.  It’s a quick bolt on accessory that will add to the cool factor of your 1/16 E-Revo and Mini Slash.

MSRP is $22.99 and it should be on shelves soon if not already.  Check out the Epic (Trinity?) web site for more info.