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What's new: Monday, July 7th, 2014

FPV RC CubbyTo mix things up a little this week I’ve decided to make THE Cub Report about some of my favorite hobby shops. I travel a lot for my “work”, so each year I am lucky enough to hit dozens of shops coast to coast. After all my traveling these are my top 3 hobby shops, the ones that if you are a gnarcore hobbyist you have to hit before you die.

3. A Main Hobbies, Chico California - While A Main is known primarily for their on-line sales, their brick and mortar is no joke. Their store isn’t the largest, but with their huge warehouse only about a mile away, it has to be considered one of the best stocked in the country. Want the latest Schumacher? No problem. Need to new Mugen? No problem. Quite simply they have all the stuff in stock that you wished your LHS carried. Also adding to the allure are their top notch tracks and the ability to get all the latest SoCal gossip from the guys working the counters. If you are in SoCal and want to get a real taste of rc, hit up the A Main shop.

2. Slot and Wing Hobbies, Champaign Illinois - Ok, so while A Main has every piece of uber new gear you could possibly want, Slot and Wing has a mind blowing amount of classic products. Slot and Wing, located just a few miles from the behemoths of Hobbico and Horizon, have been buying up “scratch and dent” items for years, thus making for an incredibly diverse product selection. Walking down an isle at Slot and Wing is like walking down memory lane (their classic body selection is particularly impressive). While many local hobby shops have a few leftover parts for older models, what makes Slot and Wing so special is the shear volume of older parts they carry. If you are into a walk down memory lane, or new to the hobby and want a real taste of what the hobby used to be like, plan a pilgrimage to Slot and Wing, some of the items they have on the pegs will blow your mind.

And now for my #1 favorite hobby shop here in the states…

RC Madness, Enfield Connecticut - Does RC Madness have the most gear? Nope, not by a long shot. Is it the most pristine shop you can walk into? No way. However, what makes them the number 1 shop in the country is how they treat their customers. Nearly every time I get to visit I am amazed at some of the things they do to help customers. The crew behind the counter are extremely well versed on the surface side of things, so you never get the deer in the headlights look when you ask for a strange part like you would at most hobby shops. Also, the shop owner Chris would do just about anything to make sure you leave with the parts you need. I’ve never known him to say “no” to even the most bizarre of requests. For example I would say something like, “Hey Chris, any way you can get me one of those #1 Phillips Hudy screwdrivers that only came in the XRay M18 kit?”, and his typical reply is never “No.”, it is more like “Give me a second and let me look.”. This inevitably ends up with him searching around the back, then walking to the counter with obscure part in hand and a price on his mind. In fact, I’ve seen him crack open brand new kits to get a customer the parts they needed. And when they don’t have the parts (or a suitable replacement) in stock, they have no issue going to great length to acquire them. To boil it down, the reason why RC Madness is #1 is because they go the extra mile (sometimes several extra miles) getting every customer exactly what they want. Oh and yes, if you are a hardcore hobbyist it is absolutely worth planning a dedicated trip just to visit Madness, they have multiple tracks to keep you busy once your spending spree is over.

That’s it for this week ya lunatics, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

XRay X10
The folks over at XRay have recently announced the 2015 edition of their X10 pan car. The X10 was given a slew of upgrades to make it easier to work on, drive, and to adjust. Some of the updates on the X10 include-

* Narrow chassis with new battery placement & weight balance
* Narrow rear pod
* Harder material used on new front arms
* Updated ride height adjustment
* New servo saver
* New side tubes and rear link brace

Want more details? Hit up This Link over on the official XRay website.

Click Here for more XRay news on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Friday, July 4th, 2014

Some pretty cool video of fireworks shot with a quadcopter, thought everyone might enjoy! Go fullscreen and HD.

roughneckscalers-trailrun6Happy 4th of July!

I recently had the pleasure of heading out to one of the first official trail runs for the Roughneck Scalers Missouri Chapter and had a heck of a time. The club originally hails from California but recently expanded to St. Louis, MO due to the exploding scale off-road scene in the area.

The trail spot was Bangert Island Park in St. Charles, MO. The densely wooded trails run along the banks of the Missouri River and are a popular destination for those looking to get their scale on. While the park generally houses a wide array of terrain (river silt, rocky creek, dirt paths) today it was mud, mud and mud. The area saw torrential rains the night before but there are no rain outs in scaling. You kwitcherbitchin’ and get out there!

Despite the thick mud and awful Missouri humidity about 20 people showed up and we had a blast. It was also a lot of fun watching a few tug-o-war competitions take place on the sandy river banks. Motors were smoked, parts broken and a good times were had by all. Big thanks to the Roughneck Scaler guys for having me out and letting me wheel my trusty old “Missouri Mule” Axial SCX10 with them. For more info on the Missouri branch of the Roughneck Scalers you can check them out on Facebook right here. Have a safe holiday weekend everyone!

To see 5 more galleries of scalers getting very, very dirty click the “Read More” below.

READ MORE

big_chief_street_outlaws

Noticed on last week’s episode of Street Outlaws on the Discover Channel, that Big Chief (Justin Shearer) has a good amount of short course vehicles on the wall of their garage!

Love it or hate it, it’s still great to see them up there, getting the word about RC! I think Big Chief needs to give us a call, and we can show him how it’s done in the RC world.

Just thought I’d do a quick mention of it as part of our RC On TV category. Need more? Click that link!

It’s Still Friday! Have a BSRC Mystery Link.

Basher Approved Team Durango DEX408 v2

We recently stopped by the Hobbico offices where we handed off the latest Basher Approved Award for the Team Durango DEX408v2 Buggy. Scott Cramer did the honors of accepting the award for the Durango folks while we were in town.

Team Durango DEX408v2 ReviewThe DEX408v2 has been hard to pry from Cubby’s hands. When he called it one of the best jumping vehicles he has ever driven, he wasn’t kidding! The Durango kit has been his go to buggy for a while now, and we decided any vehicle that can have that sort of effect on Cubby as well as the rest of us here, must be special!

Curious what it takes to get a Basher Approved Award? You can read all about them Right Here and also see who else has won the prestigious award.

Want to know more about the Durango DEX408v2? You can read our review at This Link.

Congrats to Team Durango, keep up the great work!

It’s Friday! Happy 4th of July everyone! Check out the BSRC Mystery Link.

What's new: Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

THE Losi LST XXL-2 4WD Gasoline Monster Truck Review

Losi LST XXL-2 Review

Hype, hype, and more hype, that has been the name of the gas game so far. The first offering, the HPI Octane, seemed to come up a bit short of all the promises. Hit the “Read More” button below to read our review of the second gas burner to hit the market, the Losi LST XXL-2 Monster Truck. Does it have enough power to be fun? Does it easily start every single time? Do you have to constantly tune it? Is it worth your hard earned cash? Make the jump to find out…

READ MORE

RPM Mock Intake and Blower Set
Nothing looks tougher sticking out of a hood than a big intake and blower. Now RPM makes it easy to put one on your car or truck with their mock intake and blower set. The RPM unit is made for scale realism featuring blower belt ridges, pulley splines and recessed butterflies in the scoop. It is easy to install requiring the use of just 3 screws, and with a large flat plate underneath, it won’t get torn off when you crash.

The part number for black is #73412 and they are street priced at $9. Chrome has a part number of #73413 and their street price is $11. Both start hitting hobby shops in late July and you can get full details at This Link over on the official RPM website.

Click Here for more RPM news on BigSquidRC.

RC4WD BigDog
RC4WD, home of BigDog scale trailers, now has a collectible plush toy sporting the looks of their mascot. While the BigDog might not help you make it through a huge mud hole, it is sure to be a hit while out on the trail. Some of BigDog’s specifications include-

* Features RC4WD logo on back
* Height- 7.3″
* Width- 8.4″
* Weight- 2.57oz

The BigDog has a part number of #Z-L0058 and they are street priced at $19. Here is the link you want for full details.

Read more RC4WD news Right Here on BigSquidRC.

ASK Cubby

“Murfdogg Psycho

Guys, I would love to see a review and maybe even a head to head vs. The Proline Pro-2 with the new Murfdogg Psycho. I am just getting into the growing field of short course truck dirt oval racing, I’m running a late model style body, and am thinking about one of these two trucks for my next build. The big question is; is the Murf worth $200 more? I’m currently running a LCG Slash with a ChuckWorks mid motor conversion on the way soon. Really love the look of the Pro-2 and the reviews it has gotten but the new Psycho seems to be a strong challenger with the mid motor layout.

Thoughts?

Bryan C.”

Cubby- Yo hey Bryan, thanks for taking the time out of your day to shoot us an email. Oh ya, I have proclaimed yours as “Letter of the Month”, be sure to shoot us an email with your snail mail so we can hook you up with a BSRC t-shirt.

While we did post the PR for the Murfdogg, we have never really talked to them so I have no idea if they would be up for going head to head again the Pro-Line PRO-2. However, what I do know is the PL is a solid truck, whether it is being used for bashing, off-road, or oval. And… although the Murfdogg uses several AE parts, I would be concerned about the availability of parts for it. Not many hobby shops are gonna stock the specialty parts on that truck. If it was up to me I’d cut the check for the PL and use the extra 200 clams on uber batteries or to stock up on tires, but then that is just my opinion.


“Break too much

I read over on Facebook about how a certain website likes to throw review stuff off of roofs to bash and thrash it. Just wondering, do you think that is irresponsible?

Dayton R.”

Cubby- Heyyyy now Dayton, thanks for the email, get us your snail mail so we can get ya a sticker set in the mail.

Ya, I had multiple people shoot that to me. It was an industry person expressing their opinion that we (I can’t imagine what other website they might have been talking about, LOL) might be a bit rough on review product.

Pretty much every product we get goes off a roof at some time or another, and I’m not just talking cars here, I’m talking transmitters, batteries, etc. As I’ve always said, “We do it so you don’t have to.”. Some product is very tough and not easily broken, and because we aren’t going to stop a review before a product is broken, we have to resort to hucking them off a roof.

Is that irresponsible? Well, what we do for a living is to test rc equipment. Part of that testing is to determine if it will break the first time you drive it, or if it is the toughest product in its category. We could just beat the stuff with a hammer to determine how tough it is, but that just doesn’t have the flair or suspense of seeing whether it lives when coming off a roof.


That’s it for another ASK Cubby. Submit your questions, rants, and other verbal narcolepsy to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter makes the big time you’ll get some free stuff in the mail.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Vaterra Twin Hammers 4WD Rock Racer Kit
Our friends over at Vaterra have announced the Twin Hammers will soon be available in kit form. This is some big news as many hobbyists prefer to build their trucks from scratch, modifying and hopping them up during the build process. The kit version also features upgrades like licensed Interco Super Swamper tires, a front locker, and heavy duty front axle outdrives.

* Comes with clear body and a GenRight decal sheet
* 1/10 scale 4wd
* Two-speed tranny
* Metal tranny and diff gears
* Threaded aluminum shock bodies
* Metal 12mm wheel hexes
* Front & rear sway bars

The part number is #VTR03001, it has a street price of $279, and they are expected to hit hobby shops in late July. Get full details at This Link over on Vaterra’s website.

Click Right Here to read more Vaterra news on BigSquidRC.

What's new: Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

AMAFAABSRCLogo

Last week I posted the newest suggested policies the FAA has drafted regarding model aircraft (airplanes, helis, multirotors) and how they can be used for ‘recreation’ as compared to ‘commercial.’ Personally, the rules are not HORRIBLE, but they do go against most of the rules and policies of the AMA, the governing body of model aviation.

Being a member of the AMA, I have been sent correspondence from the group discussing the primary concerns of the AMA regarding the FAA’s rules. The details are located here, but here are the key points:

 

  • Throughout the rule the FAA takes great latitude in determining Congress’ intentions and in placing tightly worded restrictions through its “plain-language” interpretation of the text.
  • The FAA uses the plain language doctrine to create a regulatory prohibition of the use of a specific type of technology.
  • FAA’s overreaching interpretation of the language in the Public Law is evident in the rule’s interpretation of the requirement that model aircraft be “flown strictly for hobby or recreational use.”
  • Although the FAA acknowledges that manned aviation flights that are incidental to a business are not considered commercial under the regulations, the rule states that model aircraft flights flown incidental to a business are not hobby or recreation related.
  • The rule overlooks the law’s clear intention to encompass the supporting aeromodeling industry under the provision of the Special Rule, “aircraft being developed as a model aircraft.” The rule’s strict interpretation of hobby versus business puts in question the activities of the principals and employees of the billion dollar industry that supplies and supports the hobby.
  • The Public Law states that when model aircraft are, “flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft (must) provide(s) the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation. However the rule indicates that approval of the airport operator is required. Although it is understood that making notification to the airport and/or ATC will open a dialog as to whether the planned activity is safe to proceed, there is no intent in the law that this be a request for permission on the part of the model aircraft pilot.
  • The Interpretive Rule establishes new restrictions and prohibitions to which model aircraft have never been subject. This is counter to the Public Law which reads, “The Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft,…” if established criteria are met.
  • The Interpretive Rule attempts to negate the entire Public Law by stating, “Other rules in part 91, or other parts of the regulations, may apply to model aircraft operations, depending on the particular circumstances of the operation. This in and of itself makes model aircraft enthusiasts accountable to the entire litany of regulations found in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, something that was never intended by Congress and until now never required by the FAA.

Understandably, the AMA has worked hard to create a set of rules for RC pilots to fly by, and some of the FAA’s rulings/opinions directly negate some of those guidelines.

Want to make you opinion heard? Want to help the AMA or support the points of the FAA? Don’t comment here!

Instead, you can contact the government directly regarding these FAA rules and the AMA response by sending your comments directly to the FAA.

You can:

There are four methods to submit a comment. Emailing your comment is the fastest and most convenient method. All comments must include the docket number FAA-2014-0396. Tips for submitting your comments.

Email: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Mail: Send Comments to Docket Operations, M-30; US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: (202) 493-2251.

Now, for these comments to count towards the final decision of the FAA, you must submit your two cents by July 25th.

Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

Serpent Asiatees
If you’ve been in the hobby for any length of time then you already know about Serpent. If not, they are known world wide for putting out high-end cars, buggies, and trucks. Recently our friends over at Asiatees Hobbies picked up the Serpent line and they wanted us to let you know about it. Hit up This Link to read more details on buying Serpent products directly from Asiatees.

Check out This Link for more Asiatees news on BigSquidRC.