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

Just got this video link from our friends over at DuraTrax showing off their 1/8 scale Performance Tires for Buggies and Truggies.

You can read our review of the DuraTrax Shotgun Buggy Tires Here. Also, check out the DuraTrax web page for info.

What's new: Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Novak Rock Star Crawling Motor So we finally get a lock at the new Rock Star Expert Crawling Brushed motor from Team Novak. These new brushed motors replace Novak’s 45T and 55T brushed motors with more durable technology. They are Sagami built and come in 35T, 45T and 55T. The Rock Star motors are completely rebuildable and come with dual ball bearings. They are also compatable with the Rooster Crawler Edition and M2 Dig Dual Brush ESC’s.

For more info and details, just hit the Team Novak website.

What's new: Friday, February 18th, 2011

Venom Lipo Safety Sack New from Venom is a little LiPo safety. The new Lipo Charging Sack comes in a large and small size. As part of their new design, these bags come with snaps along with the velcro that is found on most sacks. You should always use a Lipo sack when charging. The large should cost you under $20 and the smaller version about $15. Safety first kids!

Visit Venom-Group.com for details.

Weird Al YankovicOf all the days to forget my camera, it’s when I’m hanging out with Weird Al Yankovic! To make it worse, I had to hand my iphone to someone to take the picture, and they looked at it like I just handed them some sort of alien technology from Area 51 or something! So sadly this is the worst missed photo-op I have had in a while. *sigh*

Al was great. I have met him about 3 times before, and every time he’s been extremely friendly, patient with fans, and just seems like a genuinely good guy. He does not read BSRC every day, but I understand, he’s on the road a lot and it’s tough to surf your favorite sites on what little spare time he has.

If you are unfamiliar with one of the greatest song writers to walk the face of the earth, check out his website and go buy some albums, videos and books!

Thanks Al! Sorry for the bad picture, next time Dinner is on me!

What's new: Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Here’s something that’s a bit overdue.  The Trencher tread is now available for the Stampede, Stampede 4×4, and other 2.8″ wheeled trucks from Pro-Line.  This is a basher friendly, very aggressive tread that should provide you with plenty of hook-up in all kinds of conditions, from hard dirt and pavement to tall grass and deep mud.  All of which together are the basher’s favorite surface, right?  Amirite?  Hello?  There’s no mention of what compound it is, but various marketing keywords suggest it’s probably Pro-Line’s long-life M2 compound.

Anywho, these monsters are available now at a list price of $21.95, check out the Pro-Line website for all the infos.  For a taste of how these might perform on your truck, check out our review of the short course version of these tires.

Is your charger too complicated?  Does it have too many buttons and 70+ menu options?  Are you saying to yourself “why can’t this be simple?”  I’m not… I like complicated stuff, it makes unexpected results from not knowing what you’re doing more exciting.  But if you are a simpleton person that likes to keep things simple, Reedy might have a new charger for you.  The new 526-S AC/DC LiPo/LiFe capable balance charger is as simple as plugging the battery in and pushing the start button.  The charger is able to charge 2S to 6S packs at up to 5 amps, and includes a Deans pigtail and JST-XH balance harness.  Not only is it simple, it’s also fairly inexpensive, with a list price of just about $65.  The 526-S should be hitting shelves in March.

Check out the Reedy section of the Associated web site for more info.

Novak has finally come to their senses and put their NovaGear App on the Android platform.  It’s the same thing as the iPhone/iPod/iPad version, so you can expect all the same features but now on a  phone that is actually capable of NOT dropping calls (HA! TAKE THAT IPHONE FANBOYS & BRIAN!).

For the unaware in the group, the NovaGear app is useful for figuring out what kind of gearing is best paired with your choice of motor/esc combo and vehicle.

The NovaGear app is now available from the Android Market for only 99 cents.  And, of course, it’s also still available for the iDevices through the iTunes App Store.  For all the info on what this app can do and how it might be worth adding to your tool kit, click on over to the Novak website.

Cubby

Cubby
I am going to buy a new short course truck, what is better Associated SC10 or Traxxas Slash? Thanx
Robert G.

Cubby- Which one is better? The Traxxas Slash, and here’s why…
Let’s say you are a basher- the Slash is better. The Slash is less prone to breakage, waterproof, has more ground clearance, and replacement parts are cheaper.

Let’s say you are a racer- the Slash is better on medium and low bite tracks, and given a Thundertech Outlaw chassis, can be just as fast on high bite. The stock set-up on the Slash generally works quite well. The SC10 comes with a crap set-up, it’s harder to tune, and needs more tuning to suit different tracks.

So Bobby G, it’s an easy decision, buy the Slash and let the good times roll.


Greetings and salutations good people at Bigsquid

While reading an on-line forum I came across a thread about using a helicopter gyro on a steering servo. I have a Lazer ZX-5, what gyro should I buy and how does it hook up?
Edward

Cubby- Well……. if you are an rc drifter, using a gyro on your steering servo makes it easier to pull trick drifting moves, on a 4wd off road buggy like your Kyosho, a gyro can make your buggy easier to drive on slick surfaces.

Just how does a gyro make your off road buggy easier to drive? Let’s say you are going into a corner and the rear of your buggy slides out to the side- a gyro will automatically generate countersteer to help keep you from spinning out. In fact, any time the rear of the buggy kicks to the side, the gyro will send a countersteer to your steering servo, generally making your buggy easier to drive.

What gyro should you buy? I am a fan of the GWS PG03. It’s easy to set-up, fairly crash/shock resistant, and typically costs under $40.

How does the gyro hook up? It’s really very simple. Unhook the servo lead from your receiver and plug it into the gyro. Next, plug the lead that comes out of the gyro into the servo slot on your receiver. Done!

How do you set-up the gyro? This is quite simple and should take you under 10 minutes. First, read the instructions for whatever gyro you buy, but to boil it down, the important part is the direction that you mount the gyro. You’ll need to mount the gyro in the proper direction to generate countersteer. You’ll then need to adjust the gain. A typical gyro will have a “gain” setting on it- when set to “low” the gyro’s effects on steering are minimal, when set to “high” it will generate a lot of countersteer. To adjust the gain- simply do some driving on different settings and see which setting you like best.

Some people love the feel of a gyro on their servo, others hate it with a passion, so give it a try and have some fun.


Hey, you made it to the end of yet another ASK Cubby column, congrats! But seriously, we dig getting your emails, so shoot’em to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Hitec X2 Ultima

New from Hitec is the X2 Ultima Two-Channel Charger. It features dual 200-watt power ports, and can charge two Lithium, NiCd, NiMH, or Lead Acid packs at once. It has a 10 amp output, and can discharge at 5 amps. With electric vehicles currently being the ‘hot’ item right now, these dual charger systems will be all the rage to charge all those batteries.

Expect the street price to be around $160, with two balancing boards and an assortment of connectors. Additional adapters will be available. Head on over to the Hitec web site for more info.

Well, this looks like the start of something that the public will enjoy seeing played out on the internets.

I haven’t been keeping track, so I’m not sure if Han shot first, but I’m guessing this isn’t going to be a one shot fight. Futaba vs Spektrum… FIGHT!

Want to know how our first test of transmitters played out? Make sure to check out our Transmitter Shootout!

Update: A few people have written in to let me know they have been firing multiple shots for a while now. Duck and cover people.

Racing body specialists, PROTOform, have a new, tough looking body for the very popular Vintage Trans-Am class.  The J71 is based on the same styling of the 1971 Trans-Am Championship winning AMC Javelin, though it’s not officially licensed since, you know, AMC doesn’t exist any more.  But don’t let that get you down, it still looks remarkably like the original car and features all kinds of detail adding decals.  The J71 is a 200mm fr/210mm rr width body so it should fit most any chassis with proper offset wheels.  The body is formed out of .030″ clear Lexan that is covered with overspray film, ready for painting.

The J71 should start shipping around the first of March at a list price of $34.95, check out the PROTOform website for more info.

Pro-Line has a new adjustable battery strap for the Slash and Slash 4×4, let me tell you about it.  Well first of all, it’s a battery strap, it’s also adjustable, and it’s made for both the Slash and Slash 4×4.  Also, it’s blackish in color and … did I mention adjustable?  I guess the main point of this whole deal is that it’s not the stock battery strap and it is adjustable for use with larger batteries.  So if you have issues with your current battery strap and it’s non-adjustability, this may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

The strap is available now for $29.95, check out the Pro-Line web site for more info.

Rogue Element Components is prepping a new limited edition part to add some interior detail to the Tamiya Sand Scorcher.  The Sand Scorcher dash kit consists of aluminum and polystyrene parts, and high quality printed details.  REC says the kit is quick and easy to assemble.  It is also setup to accept an LED light to provide back-lighting of the dash instruments.  As with all REC parts the dash kit is only available during a short ordering period and requires a $5 deposit.   The final cost will be $34.95, and it should be shipping out around March 5th.

Check out the Rogue Element Components newsletter for all the details.