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What's new: Friday, January 14th, 2011

But before you get any wild ideas in your head, you should know that Tom Cruise was NOT involved in the creation of this Cocktail.*

It’s not often that we bring news of a new nitro fuel.  Most manufacturers are happy with their blends and haven’t mixed it up much lately.  The O’Donnell gang wasn’t satisfied though, so they went back to the drawing board and came up with their new Speed Blend.  They even go so far as to say that this new fuel offers up smoother idle, crisper throttle response, and cooler temps.  All of which are probably good things to those of you that use nitro.  Also, it’s orange.

The Speed Blend will be available in 20%, 25%, and 30% blends, and prices range from $10.99 – $12.99 for quart size and $29.99 – $34.99 for a gallon.  Check out the O’Donnell Racing Fuel web site for more info.

*Big Squid RC Management would like to officially apologize for Jeff’s lame attempt at a joke.  He has been punished.

What's new: Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Did you think your days of taking apart motors was over when you switched to brushless?  Well, you were wrong!  WRONG!  Taking motors apart will always be a part of this hobby, whether you like it or not.  Along those lines, Novak has a few new pieces for you to put back in your motors.

The epoxy dipped stators for the Ballistic brushless line are made for harsh conditions to keep the motor windings from moving around and contacting the rotor.  That will help keep your motor from shorting out and dying prematurely.  There’s a number of stators that will be available, from 6.5T up to 25.5T.

Also available is a new 1S graded sintered rotor for all of Novak’s brushless motors, including the Ballistic line.  This new rotor is 12.3mm in diameter and allows for higher RPM in 1S applications, such as 1/12 scale carpet racing.  The rotor has also been nickel plated for a longer life.

Both of these products are available directly from Novak, the stators start at $39.99 and go up to $42.99 for the 25.5T, while the rotor is priced at $16.99.

And to believe there was a point in time when we hardly got any emails around this joint…. You guys aren’t mess’n around now days, thanks for keep’n our mailboxes full.

I was just wondering if the HPI Mini Trophy would be able to take Li-Po batteries straight out of the box without any mods? If so, is there a low voltage cut off in the ESC?
Thanks, Ben

Cubby- The mightly HPI Mini Trophy truck, the best looking truck on the market, the truck that could’a/would’a/should’a been a huge seller….

Ok, our BSRC crew only used Lipo’s in our test HPI MTT. Most seemed to fit with zero issues, albeit any pack is a bit hard to put into the stock battery tray. No, the included HPI SC-15 speedo does NOT include any sort of low voltage cut-off protection for Lithium based batteries. And no, we didn’t run an LVC nor did we have any issues with our Lipo’s. To keep from running our Lipo’s too low we simply quit driving as soon as we felt the battery going “soft” (it feels like you are losing power, it’s no longer as punchy as it was). If you are unsure that you’ll be able to stop driving before your battery is too low, then by all means install an LVC.

Dear whoever,
When will the review for the horizon hydrogen fuel cell car be up? it looks interesting, and I would like to know more about it
Your Fan

Whoever (aka- Cubby)- Ya know…………… it’s never a good idea to put an item of value in a factory drivers hands, they Always blow it up!
Now I’m not going to mention any names here (he drives for Castle and his last name rhymes with “door”), but “someone” testing our Horizon fuel cell test unit took it well outside of spec on it’s third run, blowing it to kingdom come. Hence we had to return it, and further hence we’ve yet to post our review on it. The Horizon guys were at CES last weekend, and last I heard we’ll have a new test unit in a couple weeks.

To boil it down for ya on what we’ve learned thus far about the Horizon fuel cell-

1. Don’t let a factory driver install one of his uber wayyyy too fast motors on it.
2. It turned heads Everywhere we went.
3. If you are into “going green”, this is for you.
4. If you are into being on the very cutting edge of technology, here it is.
5. The unit will extend your runtimes, but we didn’t notice any increase in acceleration (in the short time we ran it).
6. The H2 filled HydroStiks get very cold during use.
7. The fuel cell system is safer than the Lithium battery you’ll be using in conjunction with it.
8. It sounds really cool when the solenoids purge the system of air.

So hold on tight, and we’ll do our best to get that review busted out as soon as we can. Until then, enjoy the ONLY pic of the Horizon unit mounted up in an HPI Blitz ESE.

Horizon Fuel Cell RC

Just curious if you guys have played around at all with the Losi Mini SCT. I know that you have reviewed the mico and discussed the xxx-sct, but I haven’t seen anything about the mini. My son and I have Slashs, SC-10s, and Evaders, but he wants to get something smaller for fun. Trying to see how durable the Mini is, we like to jump and have fun.
Thanks in advance for any info.
Thanks, Darren

Cubby- Yo, hey what’s up Darren, thanks for reading and for the email.

At the iHobby expo one of our crew ran a Losi Mini SCT’s during some of our demos. The driver was Wesley “Micro Man” Dennis, he’s one of the uber micro/mini racers on the circuit. I gave him a quick call tonight and he says that after driving/racing/bashing his Losi MSCT for several months now it has been very durable and a total blast to drive. And btw, no, Wes does not drive for Losi, so that’s a pretty honest testimonial.

On a personal note, I’ve gotten in limited trigger time on the Mini SCT- it seems to drive well, even outdoors on a rough parking lot. The MSCT is quite a bit larger than a normal 18th scale Mini-T or RC18, perhaps a bit too large to be run in spaces you’d normally have loads of room running most other 18th scalers. The added size is great for rougher or larger areas, but then you’ve already got a full compliment of 10th scalers for that. Personally I’d recommend the Associated SC18- it’s smaller so you can drive in smaller areas, 4wd, and also extremely durable. But, the Losi Mini SCT sure was fun to drive, let us know what you think of it if you get a couple of’em.

That’s it for this week, please feel free to crush my mailbox at Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!
YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Rogue Element Components is on a tear lately, releasing limited product after limited product.  Their latest piece is another small detail that every scale and rock crawling aficionado can appreciate.  The fully functional 1/10 scale “ARB 9000″ snatch blocks are machined out of aluminum, and assembled with brass and delrin components.  To make things even smoother the pulley wheel rides on a ball bearing.

As with all REC parts this is going to be a limited run piece and only available to those who place deposits.  The final price of this awesome looking snatch block is $27.95 each, or two for $49.99.  The deposit is $5 per piece and the cutoff date for orders is January 20th.  Finished parts should start shipping around January 31st.

Click on over to the Rogue Element Components newsletter for more info and ordering instructions.

JConcepts has jumped into the WABAC machine to bring their latest Lexan release.  The officially licensed 1979 Ford F-250 Ranger SCT body has all the smooth body lines that the 70s were known for.  It’s made to fit the Slash, Slash 4×4, SC10, and most other 1/10 scale short course trucks.  As with all JConcepts bodies it’ll come clear, and packed with the usual window masks, overspray film, and all the officially licensed Ford decals.

It’ll be hitting shelves later this month at a MSRP of $42.00.  Check out the JConcepts web site for more info.

Back during IHobby TQ Racing showed off a prototype of the SX8 e Evo buggy.  Well that prototype is finally ready for full on production mode.  But it’s not just the SX8e that’s ready for prime time, they also have a nitro version to go along with it.  Both cars feature big bore shocks, aluminum shock towers, a durable drive train with spiral cut gears, and anti-roll bars front and rear.  And they will share suspension arms, shock towers, bulkheads, diff cases and shocks, so you can take both with you to your track or bash spot and not have to carry a ton of different replacement parts.

TQ hasn’t decided on pricing yet, but they will start shipping them around the end of February or beginning of March.  They are planning for the SX8 Evo series to make it’s racing debut at the Motorama event in Harrisburg, PA.

Check out the TQ Racing web site for more info.

DE Racing is jumping on the XXX-SCT bandwagon with a compatible set of their Trinidad style wheels.  They are made in the standard and ROAR legal widths and 2.2″/3″ diameter.  The Trinidads also feature a ribbed design for better strength and durability and have realistic molded in details such as lug nuts and a faux beadlock ring with bolt heads.  Right now they are only available in black, but history suggests that white wheels will also be available soon.

You can order your set now direct from DE Racing for $8.95 with free shipping in the US.  If you bug your local hobby shop enough, I’m sure they can get them on the shelves for you as well.  Check out the DE Racing web site for more info.

frys electronics RC RC Vehicles at Frys

So I had to make a trip to our local Fry’s Electronics store, AKA Geektopia, when I had a pretty big surprise. When you walk in the door, the very first thing, was two huge pallets of RC Vehicles! One pallet was a bunch of licensed monster truck vehicles, the other pallet was a bunch of on-road vehicles.

Passing those by, I walked past the $2 keyboards and $.99 cent mice to find another table of RC! This time motorcycles, and just beyond them, another table of RC! Fry’s normally does have a small amount of RC but this was insane. The aisles were just filled with them. I then got to the RC aisle and I swear they had more RC then one of our local hobby shops! Sadly, the picture didn’t come out, so I can’t post it (dang phone camera) But they had several helicopters, and not just the mini ones, three scales of motorcycles, tanks, trucks, cars, robots, and planes! You name it, they had it covered.

None of this stuff was anything we’d call “hobby grade” but why not? Sure the prices are low.. $20 to $89, but this place carries some high end electronics. Why not carry some Duratrax or Traxxas or HPI? Why not offer a $199 vehicle in the mix somewhere, and let someone take a step up from this stuff?

It’s cool to see all this RC stuff outside of a hobby shop, maybe getting a few kids into the hobby.
RC Vehicles at FrysRC Vehicles at Frys

Just thought I’d share the adventure!

What's new: Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

From: Venom
Direct Link: Venom Creeper Competition Crawler
Review by Adam the Intern.

Venom Creeper

So I got my hands on a new Venom Creeper Rock Crawling kit. Brian decided I might as well jump in with both feet, so here we go!

Needed to complete: To complete this truck you’ll need a radio, receiver, speed controller, motor, and steering servo. I used a Futaba Fast 3PM radio and receiver, a Novak Rooster speed control with a 55 turn bushed motor, and a Savox 300oz servo.


Hey, remember a few days ago, when we told you about that whole Traxxas giving away motorcycles thing?  Well we finally got the official word from Traxxas about how, when, and where these things are going to happen.  There’s 17 bikes in total (well, 16 now, they already gave one away) that can be won if you take the time to attend one of the 17 16 remaining rounds of Supercross this season.

The motorcycle they’re giving away is a Traxxas Edition Kawasaki KX450F Motocross equipped with Pro Circuit T4R exhaust systems.

To enter all you have to do is go to the Traxxas area and fill out an Official Entry Form or there will also be a way to enter using your cell phone via text message.  The text message entry procedure will vary from venue to venue.  You can get your name in the hat twice if you use both entry methods.  But you have to be present to win.

For all the complete rules and info hit up the Traxxas Supercross Sweekstakes web page.

There’s a list of the dates of events after the break.


The guys in Blue at Team Associated and LRP have a brand new ESC for you to look at.  If by brand new you mean based on another ESC in the line but with tweaks and changes for different classes.  The new SXX Stock Spec V2 stuffs some great features into a super small package.  LRP’s TwinBEC technology puts out 6v/3A of power for your electronics even when using only a 1-cell LiPo.  It’s also software upgradeable with updates available from LRP’s web site.  The SXX Stock Spec V2 has the power to drive down to 4.5 turn brushless motors with 1 or 2S LiPo batteries.

It should be available sometime this month at a MSRP of $359.99.  Hit up the Team Associated web site for more info

[Update:  This contest is now closed.]

It’s time for another Big Squid giveaway!  Actually TWO giveaways to be exact!  This time we have a whole load of bright and shiny hop-ups for the Traxxas Slash 4×4 from those masters of metal machining at GH Racing.

GH Racing has been awesome enough to throw a bunch of their great looking and awesomely durable aluminum parts into our prize box!  We have two complete prize packages, each one consisting of front and rear A-arm sets, front and rear body mounts, and front and rear shock towers, all together worth over $150!  One prize pack is made up of red and blue anodized parts while the other is all polished aluminum.  One of these packs would look great on your Slash 4×4 and make it much tougher for all that huge air that we love around here!

Plus, the winners will get a boat load of Big Squid RC stickers to spice up the outside of their ride as well!


We don’t follow racing news much around here (well, except Cubby, he’s obsessed with all that rigmarole), but we think it’s important to look at what moves are being made on the racing scene every so often.  If you are one that follows racing, you probably know that Ty Tessman and Pro-Line are like PB&J, they’ve had a successful relationship together and have provided millions of children with quick, easily made, and delicious lunches in times when mom was too busy to cook a full meal.  Wait… maybe not that second part, but the part about the successful relationship is true.  So it’s not too much of a surprise that Ty Tessman and Pro-Line are going to continue with their sponsorship arrangment through 2011.  As you would expect, both sides are excited by this news with Ty saying I look forward to working with Pro-Line again for 2011, and am very excited about what the new season has in store and Pro-Line guy Tim Clark continued with we are excited that our alliance with Ty will remain unchanged for the 2011 race season.

For more info check out Pro-Line’s web site and Ty Tessman’s site.