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What's new: Thursday, January 27th, 2011


Hey guys,
I have to tell you, I have been a long time supporter of your website but you have me close to the end on that. I always read through your editorials and lately I feel you guys are forgetting this is supposed to be about fun. Does ROAR need to change? Yes. Do other companies need to pay attention to how Traxxas is marketing? Yes. The point is, don’t race if you don’t want to, don’t buy anything other than Traxxas if you don’t want to, just like I may take your website off my favorites list. Bring back the good times here. Go bash your vehicles and stop bashing the industry. If I want controversy I’ll watch Glen Back. By the way, I don’t do that either.

Cubby- Hey what’s up Chris, thanks for the email.
I’m totally with ya on your Traxxas/ROAR point. Problem is, I gotta write 52 Cub Reports a year, and well, there are a lot of slow weeks for news. Therefore the mighty TRX and ROAR get overplayed. So achtung industry types- give me something better to write about.

As far as “Bring back the good times here”, I can personally assure you ALL the time is a good time around the BSRC offices. Brian can usually be found re-reading one of his many mint condition John Norman “Gor” books, Jeff The Web Dude can be found watching the movie “Hackers” for the 8th googolplex time, Bill The Wacky Wrench Minion is always happily fixing all the cars we taco, and of course I spend all day surfing Dutch porn websites and slug’n down 38 degree Dom. Good times I tell ya. :)

Hi Brian,
I was searching thru the website looking for any kind of review on the XTM rail. Has Big Squid done one yet, if not do they plan on doing one any time soon? If not, is there anything that you know about the XTM rail? I’m really interested in buying one but I’ve only seen a few reviews and the result is that I haven’t been able to determine if it is a go or a pass on this vehicle. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.
Daniel P.

Cubby- I like stealing from Brian’s email box, especially when it’s a great question.

XTM/Global doesn’t even talk to us, which is a shame really, as their XTM Rail buggy looks like one of the most uber bash machines ever made. Why won’t they talk to us? Wouldn’t ya think XTM would want their uber bash-mobile plastered all over the worlds #1 basher site? Well, it might very well be my fault, as I tend to ruffle a lot of feathers (who would have thunk?). But…. if our readers keep hit’n XTM up, telling them that BSRC is the place be, maybe they’ll start play’n some ball with us.

With that said, I have had some experience with older XTM vehicles (typically very poor durability), and yes, I’ve had a “little” experience with the XTM Rail. I was in an LHS a couple months ago where they had a Rail sitting out on the counter. “Someone” I was with “accidentally” pushed it off the counter and it landed right on its roof/rollcage on a cement floor. The result was a furious LHS worker, and a severely bent rollcage on the XTM. Based on that experience, if it can’t take a fall off a LHS counter, I highly doubt it’s up for what our typical reader is going to put one through. So… IMO, it’s a pass.

That’s it for this week, start mash’n your keys and shoot us your questions, suggestions, epic meltdowns, expired coupons, and used English 100 books to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Here’s another wheel for the basher crowd from the JConcepts gang.  The Rulux wheel is 2.2″ with a 12mm hex drive.  The important aspect of this new wheel is that it’s designed to give the 1/16 E-Revo a wider stance, making it more stable and a better performer.  The stylish design will also add to the looks of your mini monster.

In addition, these wheels are also available in premount combos with JConcepts’ popular Goose Bumps tires in their sticky green compound.

MSRP for the wheels will be $7.00 per pair, while the premounts will retail for $25.00.  Check out the JConcepts web site for more info.

What's new: Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

JConcepts has a hot looking new wheel style for a few different Traxxas vehicles.  The Tense is a one piece wheel with a cool little added detail, wheel caps.  The caps come in two styles, open and closed, with the closed featuring JConcepts’ logo machined on.  They’re held on with six button head screws for a realistic look.

For the Slash/Slash 4×4 you can get the standard 2.2″/3.0″ wheel (part #3324 for Slash 2wd rear and Slash 4×4 f/r, part #3323B for Slash 2wd front) and for the Rustler and Stampede there is a 2.2″ wheel (part #3335B for front, part #3336B for rear).

MSRP for all is $11.00 per pair.  Check out JConcepts’ site for more info.

LRP is ready to power your 4×4 short course truck with their new X12L line of brushless motors.  When they hit shelves they’ll available in 4.5 and 5.5 turns.  What makes them appropriate for short course trucks is their longer, 550 size can, which let’s them use a longer rotor and stator to generate more torque that big and heavy 4×4 SCTs require.  The motors also feature a 5mm output shaft and easy to solder tabs.

The X12Ls will be available next month with a MSRP of $199.99.  Check out the LRP section of Associated’s site for more info.

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.]

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:

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.