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What's new: Thursday, February 24th, 2011

If you’re interested in collecting racing paraphernalia then this might interest you.  Traxxas sponsored TORC series and NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch, is holding a little auction to raise money for his charitable organization, The Kyle Busch Foundation.  You’ll be bidding on an autographed, race worn helmet from his debut TORC race at the Chicago Route 66 raceway this past season.  The helmet is still covered in the mud from the track.  At the time of this post the auction was up to $1225.00 with three days left to bid.

It’s for a good cause, the children, so get your credit card out and start bidding.  If you don’t then that means you hate children and that makes you worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the Abominable Snow Man combined.  So if you don’t want to be labeled a child hater for the rest of your life check out the Traxxas website for a bit more info and then click on over to eBay to make your bid.

Traxxas’ tiny truck is getting a big upgrade in the shock department thanks to the Exotek crew.  Their new Big Bore Shocks for the 1/16 E-Revo (and pretty much all the other 1/16 scale Traxxas vehicles, with minor parts swaps) are beautifully machined hunks of alloy with threaded shock bodies and a gun metal finish for hot looks.  You’ll also find silicon o-rings and cap bladders to keep the oil inside the shock where it belongs.  A complete kit comes with four shocks plus all the hardware you’ll need to mount them in your truck.  Best of all they’re pretty cheap, with list price of $69.95.

Check out the Exotek Racing website for more info.

How often have you been sitting around saying to yourself “boy, if only my sedan had a Boss 302 body, my life would be complete…”  I’m guessing not often, most of you probably rank other things as more important to having a fulfilled life.  Not me though, I’m a straight up, unrepentant consumer.  If it’s shiny or new, I must have it.  So with HPI Racing‘s new Ford Mustang Boss 302 body for 200mm sedans coming out, I now have a reason to live, I have one more thing I must buy.  The new Boss body is officially licensed from Ford and as such includes decals for all the details you’d expect on the 1:1 car.  It also comes with an instruction sheet for the difficult task of installing said decals correctly.  You can also expect all the proper window masks, overspray film, and other sundry items that most aftermarket bodies come with.

The Boss will be available as soon as the FedEx guy makes his deliveries to your local hobby shop, the MSRP is $35.  Check out the HPI Racing website for more info.

Cubby

hi i have been looking around for a new transmitter/receiver for my slash. i bought it when it first came out so it doesn’t have the 2.4ghz. i was wondering if the transmitter or the receiver makes the range?
Tyler S.

Cubby- Yo Tyler, what’s up? Btw, great question, one that generated much discussion around the office.

So what “makes” the effective range of a radio system? The general answer is- it’s a combo between Both the transmitter and receiver. You can have the best transmitter in the world operating at the maximum legal power, but if you pair it with a crap receiver you’ll get bad range. Take the best receiver in the world and pair it with a poor transmitter and same thing applies. It takes two to tango, and both a good transmitter and receiver for good range. Oh and lets not forget optimal antenna placement!

From the testing we’ve done at BigSquid, we feel the current “King of the Hill” for range in 2.4 ghz systems come from Futaba. Even the affordably priced Futaba 3PL 2.4 ghz system ($115 street) tested out to over 1000 feet, and that’s the one I recommend for those on a budget. As an option, the Traxxas TQ 2.4 ghz (around $85 street) tested out to over 800 feet. While 800 feet might not sound like that long of a distance, when driving an rc car, it’s a veryyyy long way. In fact it’s quite difficult to even see your car at that range. Check our the range of all the units we tested HERE.


Hey There Brian

Bought a Losi micro Sct for my son a month ago, returned it three times, on the third occasion I tried soldering the anteena (which kept on falling off), finally I had to replace the board and we’ve just had the model back a week and now it only drives in spurts and about three foot in range before it cuts out and then won’t go again unless the car is turned off and then on again; then it runs for approximately 20-30 seconds. Its an absolute disgrace that a so called reputable company can get away with selling rubbish like this. I would be extremely grateful if you could recommend a budget way of going 2ghz or a home-grown solution.
Cheers
Judd R.

Cubby- Hey ya Judd, I dig your question so I stole it from Brian. I hope you like seeing it on our front page.

We like the Horizon/Losi micro trucks here at BigSquid. They are small enough we can race’em inside the office, and typically they are quite durable. With that said, life is not all fun and games with the Losi Micro’s. We have 3 of them that we bash, and one of them came out of the box with a major range issue, so we feel your pain.

So what can be done? Currently there is not a truly “cheap” way of converting a micro over to 2.4. “Sigh”, but something that I’m certain the Horizon guys are working on. Horizon takes their micro line-up very seriously and are always looking to improve them, so IMO, a Losi micro 2.4 ghz radio system can’t be that far away.

Back to your immediate problem Judd, we have done an article on how to convert a Micro SCT to 2.4 already, but it wasn’t cheap. We used a Castle Micro Sidewinder speed controller ($60 street) because- it is affordable, has a moderate footprint for the scale, runs brushless and brushed, and is super thin leaving more room for the receiver. The receiver we used for our conversion was one of the smallest available, a Spektrum Micro SR3500 ($100 street). When converting over you’ll have install a new 3 wire servo, and we used the one from Losi ($15). We dumped $175 clams into our conversion, and to us it was worth every penny. The Castle speedo is worlds better than the stocker, and the Spektrum SR3500 has worked flawlessly. Click HERE to look at how we did ours.

The conversion can be done much cheaper, essentially you’ll still need the Losi 3 wire servo, plus a small speedo and receiver of your choice. Luckily for you the Micro SCT gives a bit more room to install electronics than some of the other micro sized trucks on the market. Best of luck and shoot us pics when you get yours done.


That’s it for this week, I dig getting your emails so shoot them to me- Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

If you’re looking for more ways to add a touch of realism to your scale crawler RC4WD has a couple new officially licensed products from Ballistic Fabrication for you.  If you’re not happy with those big, bulky plastic kit axles you’ve been using then you might want to have a gander at the Ballistic Fabrication axle.  It features Ballistic’s unique pumpkin style and comes loaded with 2.5:1 ratio gears, high clearance knuckles, 12mm wheel hexes, and measures 7.35″ from hex to hex.  Separate axles are available for front or rear applications.  You can get it in any color you like, as long as it’s black.

Also available are faux Piggyback shock reservoir caps for RC4WD’s dual spring scale shocks.  The caps are CNC machined and anodized in blue or black.  The Ballistic Fabrication logo is etched into the surface for an extra touch.

These parts will be available soon directly from the RC4WD store.  The axle’s are going for $139.99 each and the shock caps are $19.99 per pair.

What's new: Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Reedy 1800mah lipoReedy has just announced another addition to their lineup of LiPo batteries. This is the Reedy 1800mAh 25C Lipo designed for the 1/18th scale market. It features a Deans Ultra Plug, JST XH balance connector, 14 gauge wire, and should be hitting the shops around $32!

Visit the Reedy site for more info.

The Futaba mothership is showing off a new entry level radio.  Now I don’t read Japanese, but from various other sources I was able to cobble together that the new 3PRKA will be a 3 channel, 2.4 GHz radio with some minor features such as trims and servo reversing, possibly more.  It’s going to be targeted at RTR owners that want to make the jump to 2.4.  The Futaba JP site is listing a base price of ¥12915, which roughly converts to$155.  It’s also suggested that this new guy will be hitting the Japanese market in March.

You can see the complete teaser image with the Japanese writing all over it at the Futaba Japan website.  When we get more info from some English speaking people we’ll be sure to pass it along to you.

[hat tip to the Greek site RC Gossip for the info]

From: Traxxas
Direct Link: Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo
Review by Brian.

Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo
While a lot of people call it the Mini E-Revo, the good people over at Traxxas will be quick to point out that there is nothing ‘mini’ about it. From it’s power and speed, to hop-ups and durability, the 1/16 E-Revo does everything big. How big? Well, lets dive into our review of the Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo VXL!
READ MORE

What's new: Monday, February 21st, 2011

Those fellas at Kershaw Designs are a bit sick in the head.  In a totally good way of course.  You’d have to be a little messed up to come up with the idea to take a Traxxas E-Revo and stretch it out to the same wheel base as a HPI Baja 5T.  That’s exactly what this new chassis conversion kit does.  The chassis is a beautifully machined hunk of metal that adds eight inches to the length of the E-Revo.  Also included in the conversion are giant 7.5″ wheels with 23mm hexes, an optional but probably necessary sway-bar kit, a heavy duty slipper clutch spring, and extra long body posts for mounting the (not included) 5T body.  You can get it all together in one kit for $379.99, or break it down into individual components with the chassis itself costing $249.99, $99 for the wheels and tires, and everything else for a few extra bucks.  Most of the parts are available now, but there is a two week wait on the chassis.

Check out the Kershaw Designs website for more info.

Speed Passion and East Coast Bodies Tune (wait… wha? who?) have decided to get together.  And the body pictured above is the result of their coupling.  That crazy awesome space alien looking thing is a 190mm sedan body modeled after full-scale automaker Mazda’s Furai concept supercar.  The big Furai made it’s debut a few years ago at the 2008 North American International Auto Show.  The officially licensed 1/10 scale polycarbonate version is making it’s debut now.  This body is said to be suitable for every style of racing, whether it’s indoor carpet with foamies, or outdoor asphalt with rubber tires.  The gang suggest using wide offset wheels with the Furai for an even more “realistic” look.

I’ve been shopping for a new body for one of my sedans, this might be the one.  Check out the newly redesigned Speed Passion website for more info.

RTR Sucks.  I said it, and I don’t feel bad for saying it.  So any time I hear of a kit version of any vehicle being released I jump for joy.  HPI has long been cool about releasing their Baja 5 line as a kit version, so their new Baja 5SC SS comes as no surprise.  Just like all the other SSes, the 5SC version includes all kinds of great hop-ups to make it worth buying over the stock RTR version.  The biggest and most important is the engine, a Fuelie 26s engine, which as the name implies is a 26cc, tuned, race-ready engine.  Also included is a shiny tuned pipe that’ll help extract all the power out of that big engine.  HPI’s VVC/HD large bore shocks are also included to help keep the 5SC planted to the ground.  To top it all off is a clear body that you can paint to your tastes.  That isn’t all though, there’s plenty of other hop-up parts included, too many to keep listing here.

The Baja 5SC SS will be hitting shelves this month with an MSRP of $2099.  Be sure to check out the HPI website for all the details.

Cubby Yes I hate NASCAR, but even I had to watch a couple laps of the Daytona 500 today. I have no idea who won, well actually I knew who won, I’ve just never heard of the guy before. And what the hell was up with all that two car drafting? At least there was a couple of epic pile-ups, the only real reason worth watching a NASCAR race anyways.

Chad Reed pwn’d the Supercross class in rainy San Diego on Saturday night, which might come as a surprising to some. Reed has had it tough the last year- between the lack of factory support, injuries and epstein barr virus, Reed has had no shortage of adversity to battle through. It was sweet seeing Reedy put his Team 22 Bel-Ray/Honda on the top of the podium. In Lites class action, Geico/Honda rookie phenom Eli Tomac won his first supercross, while points leader Pro-Circuit/Monster/Traxxas/Kawasaki rider Josh Hansen rode with injury to a 6th. This week the Supercross road show finallyyyyy heads east, with Atlanta its destination. Watch it live on Speed this Saturday night, the BSRC crew will have it on and be texting back and forth during the entire race, you should too.

Coolest rc product shown last week? That honor easily goes to the uber retro Protoform J71 Trans-Am body. The Protoform J71 is just so damn cool looking, and brings back so many good memories, it is on my “must have” list when it hits hobby shop shelves, I hope its on yours.

Interesting on the Pro-Line front- while they’ve pwn’d the body/tire world forever, they rarely put out other accessories. Last week Pro-Line showed two items you normally wouldn’t see from them- a performance steering bellcrank set for the Slash/Rustler, and an adjustable battery strap for the Slash 2wd and 4wd. The Pro-Line name pretty much ensures both these items are going to be engineered to perfection. It’s freak’n awesome to see Pro-Line branching out more and more all the time, hopefully that trend continues on the rise.

Horizon/Losi released info on their new 24th scaler, the “4×4 Trail Trekker RTR“. Yes, at the BigSquidRC compound we dig jumping and bashing 24th scale Losi’s, but while the new Trail Trekker looks neat, it would have looked sooooooo much better in 10th scale. Just say’n……

Speaking of Horizon……. Brian and Wrench have been working on a review for one of the affordably priced Electrix line trucks. Seems Brian and Wrench have upped the ante on torture testing (hehehehe), which should make for an interesting read in the next couple weeks. Keep your eye on the front page for their Tuesday review.

Ya, we posted a YouTube vid of Futaba making fun of Spektrum the other day on our front page. Nice to see there are still some people in the hobby that have balls. And actually, IMO, the balls go both ways there. It took a lot of balls for Spektrum to admit they had a problem, it raised my opinion of them by doing so. And… it’s nice to see the Futaba crew has enough balls to make vids that aren’t all fluff. Awwww it’s refreshing to see some honesty and personality out there, here’s to hoping there is more of that on the way.

Associated showed their uber new hex driver and hardened tip set last week, and I was actually really excited about it. You see I have a soft spot for good tools, they just make everything so much easier, and the new Thunder Tiger/Associated set looks freak’n sweet! You can use’em like a normal driver, or pop’em in your drill and save yourself some carpal tunnel.

I love to rave about Hitec, hey, I’m not gonna deny it. When they start to suck I’ll love to bag on them, but in the meantime, let me keep the lovefest going. Hitec is rarely known for anything other than servo’s, but last week they showed their latest offering for charging batteries, the X2 Ultima Two Channel Charger. It’s got some spank at 200 watts per side, and has a veryyyy reasonable price point. Perhaps the X2 will open some eyes and make people realize that Hitec isn’t just a servo company.

BigSquidRC is IN for Rc Car Actions RCX hobby expo in the 909. Who says we don’t have love for the left coast? Btw, the hot rumor out of RCX is that this year their “Car of the Year” award is going to be THIS.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of rc fanatics. Till next week, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Sunday, February 20th, 2011

In what looks like a trend, we just got a video from Pro-Line showing off their Trencher 2.8″ (30 Series) All Terrain Truck Tires that are designed for 2.8 Traxxas Wheels. So for all you guys running Stampedes, here are some tire options for you.

Check out the Pro-Line web page for details.