For those of you that own a Traxxas Slash, and since that seems like anyone into RC, Pro-Line Racing has you covered! I can’t believe how this truck is taking off, and now you can finally get your paint out and look different. The Traxxas body is called the Hardcore Slash. This body is built to be durable and ready for action. It’s got some cool details like roll bar, radiator, rear shocks and wing and everything you would expect from Pro-Line You know you need this! Wait for it….. GO!
Pro-Line Rat Rod Package Contest!
Review – ProTek RC Universal Radio Case
Review – Duratrax Nissan GT-R Nitro RTR Review
Review- TrakPower MS Series 8.5 Turn Brushless Racing System
Review – Vaterra Twin Hammers 1.9 Rock Racer
What's new: Monday, August 18th, 2008
Welcome once again to another exciting and infuriating Cub Report!
BigSquidRC.com’s top man, Brian, is not at the top of his game. He was actually hospitalized this week, but seems to be doing better now. If you get a chance, shoot him a “get well soon” note to brian (at sym) bigsquidrc.com . We need to keep Brian well and healthy enough to keep my checks coming. Thanks!
Also in BigSquid news- aspiring models are needed. If you are, or know of a pretty lady that would like to get in some trade show modeling experience, shoot Brian an email as he is looking for “booth-babes” for this falls I-Hobby International Hobby Expo in Chicago. If you know someone, help Brian have the coolest booth at the show, and help a young lady gain a nice reference on her resume.
I can’t help it, I’ve got Olympic fever. I just can’t get enough! Phelps, Liukin, and others- how can I resist? It just looks so damn good in HD. Seems I’m not the only one, as the ratings of this years Olympics from Beijing are through the roof. But what does this have to do with rc? Not a damn thing other than it’s nice to see a well organized event come off as a huge success, and I’ve got some results from the question I asked last week about who us Americans would like to see represent us if rc racing was actually an Olympic sport. The top 3 vote getter’s from BigSquid readers are….
Honorable mentions- Brian “Dirtinator” Kinwald, Scott Hughes, and Billy “Mr Versatile” Fischer.
3. Mark Pavidis- Perennial front runner Pavidis garnered 3′rd place in the votes. Mark would certainly be a good pick for the team, as he has nerves of steel, and really picks up the pace the bigger the event is. He doesn’t back down from anybody, forcing passes when he has to. And perhaps his largest asset? Car set-up, he’s simply a master at making the most out of his equipment.
2. Ryan Maifield- AE’s latest hotshot has been tearing a wide swath through the pro ranks, winning nearly everything he enters. Driven, determined, and even a bit cocky, Ryan drives the tires off anything he races, and isn’t afraid to huck it huge to make a tricky pass. And, he doesn’t just like to win races, he prefers to CRUSH the field. Confidence is a dangerous thing, and he has lots of it right now.
1. Getting the most votes for our theoretical “Olympic RC Team America” is- Adam Drake. The Drake is not some pretty boy model type, he looks just like you and me. But what he is, is perhaps America’s top racer at the moment. The Drake is known for incredible corner speed, but less known, and more importantly, he is the king at finding good lines. If you want to find the very best line through any section (and have the skill to follow it), just watch where The Drake goes. Likable, friendly, and smart, The Drake deserves his title as being the best liked racer in America, and would represent a Team America in only the best light.
Of course there are tons of super talented drivers left off this list, but the most surprising to me was that not one carpet guru got made the top 3. Just goes to show that BigSquid readers, along with most Amercian rc’ers, know the top dirt guys better than the top carpet guys.
Did you tune in live to Speed TV this weekend and catch the CORR race? Gotta love CORR’s tv package this year with Speed, as you can’t beat Live! Rockstar/Makita/Kal-Gard’s Kyle LuDuc pwned Pro 4, Rockstar Energy/BFGoodrich’s Rob MacCachren took Pro 2, and BOSS Plow/Kumho/Amsoilʼs Chad Hord took Pro Lites. And what the Heck does this have to do with rc? Well, Thunder Tiger/AE unveiled their new rc CORR truck at the event, that’s what!
Dubbed the SC8, which stands for “short course”, the new AE rc CORR truck is based off their extremely fast RC8 nitro platform. The trucks look phenomenal, very scale, even down to the tires and mud-flaps. But will it be a bigger hit than the Traxxas Slash? Oh, it’ll be a hit alright, but don’t expect to see as many of them as the Slash. The Slash has a much better price point, and, it’s electric, which is all the rage now. I’m also disappointed to see the SC8 being a nitro, as it’s obvious the industry is swinging hard to electric now, but, I’m impressed to see AE jump into the “CORR” truck game so quickly. Industry rumor is that word about the Slash leaked out over a year ago from guys within the CORR ranks to the Thunder Tiger/AE camp, giving AE a bit of a “head’s up” to get a similar truck to market. Truth? Who knows.
Not to be outdone, Horizon/Losi released info on their 8th scale nitro buggy based Oval car this week. Dubbed the L8ight, this is what you get when you take one of their 8th scale off-road buggys and convert it for oval use. Does it look trick? Sorta. Will it suddenly be the boost that dirt oval needs so desperately? I don’t think so. But, it will open a lot of eyes, and provide lots of enjoyment to owners. I’ve seen converted 8th scale dirt oval cars race, and they look like a blast! Very realistic, lots of roost, tons of fun!
Now, if Thunder Tiger/AE and Horizon/Losi can FINALLY release their BL/Li-po 8th scale RTR’s! I-Hobby, you’ll see.
As previously posted by Brian on the main page, Tekin’s former sales and marketing man, “Scooter” has opened up a new BL and Li-po company. Scooter has been a warm face to see at many a race, and I personally wish him the best on his new business venture. The BL/Li-po sector is a hard one to break into, but Scooter is a down to Earth guy that knows what racers are looking for. I am looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table.
Lastly, Red Bull Cola tastes awesome! It tastes best well chilled, just like normal Red Bull. It is quite strong, but very pleasing. If you can find a can, it’s worth a sip or two.
Till next week, support your local tracks and LHS’s, and check BigSquid daily for the latest and greatest!
Your Cub Reporter
What's new: Friday, August 15th, 2008
Wow. I just got a letter from from Scooter telling me he has left
Team Tekin! Scooter has been the face of Tekin for years now, and it’s always great to talk with him at the iHobby shows. If you ever get the chance to meet him in person you will see he is one of the most passionate people about RC you could ever know.
Scooter has started his own thing called Scooter Motor Works. There isn’t much there on the site yet, but it sounds like he will have everything from Li-PO’s to new brushless esc’s! We will make sure to bring you all the future announcements from there.
We wish both Scooter and Team Tekin the best of luck in the future, I’m sure both will come out just fine.
Since we are talking about Scooter, check out our footage of him from last years i-hobby show, it’s probably the last time anyone will see him in front of a Tekin sign!
High Res version here:
Big Squid RC iHobby 07 – Meet Team Tekin!. Please ‘right click, save as’ for best viewing.
What's new: Thursday, August 14th, 2008
This is awesome! RPM RC has started to support the big boys! And by big I mean 5th scale. These are the new a-arm sets for the HPI 5B. Not that they do not come in these colors, these have been dyed. I also can’t believe that they can look that good dyed. I so have to try that. Anyway, if you own a 5B, your bashing world just got a little better!
The full press release will be posted in the NEW Product Forum.
What's new: Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
Here is the link for the Hi-Def version of the video I recently uploaded. This is from the first Lynwood Dragway event of the year. It was also the first event shot with the new Hi-Def camcorder! The video is zipped, and around 40 meg. It’s in mp4 format. If you don’t think you can watch such a video, check out the online version HERE! It’s in flash format. Enjoy!
R/C Drag Racing – Lynwood IL, Midwest RC Drag Racing Series Event – 40meg. MP4 format. (please right click, and save as)
What's new: Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
I finally had a few days to put together a full video from the Lynwood Dragway event opener a few months back! This was one of the first videos shot with the new Hi-Def camcorder! I’ll try and have a real hi-def version to download soon, but this one looks pretty darn good! This was an official Midwest RC Drag Racing event.
Thanks to everyone for all their support, this was a good time for sure! Feel free to discuss in the official Midwest RC Drag Racing Forum!
What's new: Monday, August 11th, 2008
First off, I would like to personally congratulate all our French readers (as if.. LOL) on their country’s SILVER medal in the men’s 4×100 swimming relay.
Experts seem not to know why ratings are way up for this years summer Olympics. Of course, if you are actually watching them at home, you know the reason, HD baby! Finally, loads and loads of great looking HD programming.
Back to what we’re here for- rc news!
MaxAmps batteries is one of the true “sleepers” in our industry. Based out of the climatic Pacific Northwest, a virtual rc industrial dead zone, they’ve gone from a young man’s dream, to selling more lithium based packs than the nearly all the “big” names combined. And, most impressively, they’ve done it without selling their souls to GP and Horizon.
This week, MA made some big waves, and in more ways than one. The first being they finally got a ROAR approval on their lithium race pack. This was not easy for MA, or at least not as easy as it was for other more mainstream companies that were already in ROAR’s “good ole’ boys” network. Regardless of the political mess behind their approval, the new MA packs are gnarly, and are rated for 35C constant discharge.
MA also introduced their new “leaded” packs- Lithium based packs that come with lead weights under the battery pack. This is something no other company has done in the industry, and it’s a great idea for a couple reasons. Lead added to the packs not only help keep your chassis balanced, but also help meet the minimum weight requirements for sanctioned racing. Props to MA for coming up with something original that can actually come in handy at the track.
Seeing as how this is an Olympic week, I’m asking BigSquidRC readers to send in their votes to “America’s Dream Olympic RC Team”. If the summer Olympics actually held rc car racing as an event, what 3 American drivers would YOU like to see representing the red, white, and blue? Shoot your replies to email@example.com , and I’ll post your results in next weeks Cub Report.
Btw, last weeks report was probably the most positive and “nicest” report I’ve ever done, yet it yielded the most love/hate mail. Not sure what’s up with that, but keep the emails coming, it proves that at least someone reads this drivel.
On a slightly different note, this week, there has been a lot of talk about what constitutes “C” ratings on Li-po’s, and where capacity ratings come from.
Here’s the scoop for all you lowly rc industry insider wanna-be’s.
Capacity of a lithium based pack, is typically determined at the point of origin by design perimeters. Some underpaid, goofy toothed, marble mouthed engineer in China will sit there and calculate predicted capacity based upon how he has designed the cell. This is typically way off, as much as 20% from what I’ve seen first hand, in the actual end result.
And how is end result/real world capacity tested? By discharging a cell at a 1C rate. For instance, if you are testing a 1000 mah pack, you discharge it at a 1 amp rate, and if the pack meets specification, it will put out 1000 mah. This rarely happens, so it’s really up to the end seller (the reseller/rebranders putting their stickers on the cells) to test the cells they get in, and make sure “real” capacity is listed, regardless of what their manufacture in China says it should be. The better resellers do NOT list capacity as what the manufacture tell them it will be, they list it after their own testing at a 1C discharge.
Oh and, regardless if it’s a Lithium based back, a Ni-mh, or Ni-cad, the higher the discharge rate, the less mah the pack is going to put out. Like Duh. So if you think your Joe Blow’s Battery Shack 5000 mah pack (at 1C) should still put out 5000 mah under a 100 amp load (20C), you are living in a fantasy world- put down the crack pipe, and realize that you can not dodge the rules of physics.
Some consumers are wondering where those wonderful “20C Constant Discharge” ratings come from- just how is that determined? Once again, leave it to the Cub to educate the world. Here’s the scoop. It’s determined just like the capacity is for the vast majority of resellers! Some greasy, overworked, communist China-man mathematically predicts what the maximum constant discharge current should be based on cell design.
But here’s the kicker. This “rating” isn’t one where the cells will live very many cycles, this is just a prediction of what they can theorhetically survive one time. So, if your Joe Blow’s Battery Shack 1000 mah pack is rated at 20C, it will (maybe?) survive a 20 amp discharge. But, don’t expect it to survive a 20C charge very many times without a raging chemical fire developing.
From what I’ve seen first hand in the industry, you are lucky to get 5 to 10 discharges on most cells at it’s maximum constant discharge rate (based on the ratings the overseas manufactures state on their cells), with insane discharge temps and pee poor voltage. Now, that’s not to say that some American re-badgers don’t test their cells, and adjust their stated “max continuous C ratings” accordingly, as
that will vary with each company. But as far as what I’ve seen in the industry, those are far and few between. Most just print the rating that their manufacture gives them, and now you know where the manufacture “rating” comes from.
So, here is what I’ve proposed for a long time. A standardized “maximum continuous C” discharge rating SHOULD be determined this way.
1. No “horseshoe” in discharge curve at this rating (a horseshoe looking discharge curve indicates that a given cell can not handle the load applied until it warms up enough to do so)
2. Maximum temp of 140 F under given charge rate (temps above this start entering the danger area for most common chemistry/designed Li-po cells)
3. Must maintain at least 3.2 volts per cell under this load (anything below this also nears the a danger point for most common Li-po type cells)
4. Should be able to survive this rated discharge at least 10 times without thermal runaway or catastrophic cell damage (what’s the point if it can only do it once?)
So if you are in doubt of whether a certain Li-po pack can do 20C (or 30 or 35), what do you do? Only buy from reputable battery companies with awesome customer service. Great customer service is the single most important factor when buying Li-po packs (or nearly anything for that matter)! That way, if you do have a problem, or have a pack that will not meet your performance demands, they will take
care of you.
One last note on Lithium cells this week. Because of rule changes for 2009, full size Formula One racing will be forced to partially recover energy normally wasted during braking, and use it to help accelerate the car (KERS). So what the heck does that have to do with rc? Well, the Formula One teams spend BILLIONS each year on development, and now, part of that budget will be used on making sure their Lithium packs used for this regenerative braking are the best on the planet. If an rc company can get an inside scoop on the details on the cells they are using, they are sure to blow away anything commercially available right now. Of note, the Red Bull F1 team has already had to evacuate one of their buildings due to a Lithium battery fire. But, with the budgets the F1 teams have, they will solve the inherent dangers and performance downsides. F1 racing will get further with Lithium cell development in a few months than the rc world will in decades.
Hopefully that tech shows up in the rc world sooner rather than later.
That’s it for this week folks, be sure and get your daily dose of BigSquidRC.com , support your local LHS’s and tracks, and shoot us an email with the top 3 guys on your American “Olympic RC Dream Team”!
What's new: Friday, August 8th, 2008
Electric RC guys, fear not! Outerwears now has you covered. By using the Outerwears Pre-Filter, you will keep out a lot of the dirt out, and keep your electric motor running smoother and better! It has elastic and zip tie closures around the wires and comes in black, blue, red, yellow, orange, purple and lime green!
Outerwears also has a special version for the Hot Bodies D8 which has a reinforced hole in the top for a durable and precise fit.
Make sure to visit the official Outerwears website for more information.
What's new: Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
Here is the info sheen on the new Parma 1/8th scale R12 Nitro Race Body. It’s got a closed cockpit, tons of aerodynamic improvements and even has body stiffeners. If you are a on-road rc racer, this is probably on your ‘to get’ list! Click the image for the full version.
What's new: Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
What's new: Monday, August 4th, 2008
“You have GOT to be freak’n kidding me!” I shouted while walking up to Rodney Dangerfield.
The date was October of 2000, and I was in Vegas not only for the IFMAR 8th scale off-road worlds, but also for the US Open of Supercross being held on the same weekend. Most any weekend in Vegas will yield legendary stories, but that particular weekend was even more way-super-dope than usual.
I had spent the majority of that particular Saturday afternoon standing around in some hell’ishly sweltering Vegas hotel parking lot (at the “Silverton Hotel”, and no, you don’t want to stay there) watching IFMAR sub-finals, while all the biggest rc factory drivers of the week sat around waiting for their shot at the world title on Sunday. That year, Pavidis qual’ed in first, and looked to be a shoe in for the championship till he broke late in the main final, as the legendary Yuichi Kanai went on to the win.
While standing around in a Vega parking lot being cooked alive might be fun to some people, I left about 5 p.m. and headed back to the MGM Grand to watch the US Open of Supercross. This is a “one-off” type of event, not part of any series nor AMA sanctioned, but it does yield the biggest paid day of any single race in the history of motocross/supercross.
That evening, after watching Ricky “The GOAT” Carmichael crush his competition, I set off down the main lobby/casino of the MGM looking to do some gambling. That was certainly easy enough to find, LOL, and I sat down at the blackjack table next to Pro Circuit’s owner Mitch Payton, former pro mx’er and factory wrench to the stars “Factory” Phil Lawrence, Arenacross champ Buddy Antunez, and AMA
Supercross/motocross champ Jeff “Fro” Emig, among others. Having a relatively limited budget by Vegas standards, I lasted all of 15 minutes before my empty pockets provoked me to find another less expensive type of entertainment. Mitch, while being known as one of the hardest nosed men (read- A-hole) in motocross, is actually very pleasant to be around when he’s up a few hundred bucks at the
This brings me to Mr. Dangerfield. By then, it was 2 a.m. in the morning, about the time you can see just about anything while walking around the strip. I only made it about 50 yards down the MGM lobby, and there he was. Now, Rodney was quite the old man by 2000, and wasn’t in the best of health. That particular evening, Rodney was in a wheelchair, BUT- that wheelchair was being pushed around by two Gorgeous looking Vegas showgirls!
“You have GOT to be Freak’n kidding me!”, it just blurted out, I couldn’t even help myself. Yup, there he was, nearly 80 years old, and the guy that “couldn’t get any respect” was being wheeled around by a pair of long legged, silicon enhanced, goddess’s. I just couldn’t believe it, not so much that I was about to talk to him, but by the fact he was living MY dream- 80′s year old, living it up in Vegas late on a Saturday night, with a hot chic on each arm!
“Hey kid, it’s past your bedtime” he replied to me with a small chuckle. I then introduced myself, and in turn Rodney introduced his two pieces of eye candy. Strangely, I don’t remember their names now, but I’ll never forget how they looked (from the neck down anyways). The girls wheeled Rodney over next to a table, and myself and the girls sat down next to Rodney’s wheelchair. He was obviously looking beat, vulnerable, tired, and just plain older than I thought he would look like, but like nearly everyone else in the town that never sleeps, it’s much harder to just sit around in the hotel room than look for adventure downstairs, no matter how old you get, so it was easy to understand why he was roaming so late in the evening.
Rodney was super nice and talkative, and seemed to actually care about why I was in town. It took a lot of balls for me to say “for racing rc cars”, as that seemed totally meaningless to what he had done in his life, but he was actually sparked with interest by my reply. It seems that at one point in his life, he had wanted to get into rc airplanes as a hobby, but he told me that the guy behind the counter at the rc airplane store took one look at him and told him “pigs will fly before you can keep one these up in the air!”. For nearly an hour, we just sat there talking about anything and everything, with a constant stream of people coming up to say hello to him. I just sat there with a smile so big you couldn’t take wipe it off with a wire brush because it looked as though I actually knew Rodney, LOL!
Eventually, we parted ways, and it was really hard to sleep that night for sure. I made it back to my room about 4 a.m. and all I could think about was what a day I had. What really stood in my mind wasn’t even the wonderful conversation with Dangerfield, it was the stark contrast I had seen back-to-back between the most elite rc race on the planet, and the most elite Supercross race. The IFMAR race was held on a crappy parking lot, at a crappy off the strip hotel, with nearly zero spectators, on a track that looked more bombed out than downtown Baghdad, with nearly a four story tall drivers stand made out of cheap looking piping, with the winners knowing that their sponsors were going to keep sending them more free stuff and maybe even some checks if they were lucky! The Supercross on the other hand, was held in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, seating capacity over 17,000, air conditioned, real working toilets with marble floors, scantily clad hotties pierced in places you couldn’t see were everywhere, comfortable seating with a great view of the track, Dom Perignon easily available, and had over a $100,000 on the line to the winners.
Some people, even those deep within our rc industry, say that rc can Never become mainstream, and can Never hit the heights that Supercross has. But I beg to differ. At the local level, it can, and should be much larger because rc racing is just so much more affordable, and more importantly, you can’t get killed while racing rc’s!
At the most elite levels, I do admit it’s going to be hard to pack in 17,000 paid spectators who can’t even see the racing action because the cars are too small and too fast to follow. But what can not be appreciated when viewed from a spectators seat, could be appreciated when filmed properly for broadcast on television (if you need proof- just ask about BigSquid’s rc drag vid with well over a million views). If the sport can build up the local racing base enough, there will be a demand to view the larger events on tv, thus creating enough ratings to make it viable for an ESPN/SpeedTV to cover national and international rc racing events. Unfortunately, larger rc races are more popular than weekend local events right now, and that is a trend that needs to be reversed for the hobby to grow as a whole. RC racing needs to be like an old oak tree, it’s roots/base needs to be far larger than the creme at the top, not the other way around.
That’s it for this week folks, as always, support your LHS, support your local tracks (even on non-trophy race weekends!), and read your BigSquidRC every day!
What's new: Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
Another great weekend of racing! We had a decent turnout at the Lynwood R/C Dragway this weekend for the Big Squid RC Breakneck Bash. The weather held off, and we didn’t get the 95′s people were talking about, but we did get some 130 degree track temps! Kevin and Jerry did a good job of keeping the track prep’ed while Big Will and StangRey awesome at keeping things organized and keeping the event moving. I think this was by far the most organized event Lynwood has had, and I think it’s just going to keep getting better.
Over in the Midwest RC Dragracing Forum, there are results posted as well as some pictures starting to get posted. Here are the results for those to Lazy to click over:
Street Car – James – 2.311
Pro-Stock – Arvin – 1.946
Funny Car: “GID” Ray – 1.933
Pro-Mod – “Onstat” Kevin – 1.751
Unlimited Rail – “StangRey” – Rey – 1.500
Street Car – James
Pro-Stock – “GID” Ray
Funny Car – “GID” Ray
Pro-Mod – Arvin
Unlimited Rail – “StangRey” Rey who also had a 1.483 @ 94.6mph for the final win! Wow!
Best Reaction Time – Jack with a .402 light! (And that was with a nitro!)
Thanks again to everyone for coming out and making it a great event!