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ADAM IS BACK!
I remember reading RC Car Action years ago, and I just want to tell you guys that your great magazine pretty much influenced me to get back into RC. Let me explain. At age 15, about 10 years ago, I was into the RC scene; I read your magazines every month to see what was coming up next, and I was getting some great advice. Unfortunately, the local tracks “dried up,” and I sold my Losi LXT. A few months ago, I was browsing at a local bookstore and saw the mag. I had to buy it to see what’s new. Amazingly, not much has really changed, and it hit me, “I’m going to find a track.” In fact, I found several around my area and one hidden at the end of my street! I couldn’t believe it. Thanks to you again, I’m back into RC full force and now the proud owner of an RC10GT and a TC3. Thanks for bringing me back! [email]
Welcome back! I also got into RC because of RC Car Action-it’s turned out pretty well so far!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Since we all want to know the horsepower of an engine before we buy it, why doesn’t the RC engine industry come up with a standard dyno test or a standard formula, or something like that? I’m sure it would make people happy to know exactly how many horsepower they’re putting under the body. The industry could also provide a reliability report and give you the recommended maintenance intervals. Anyway, it’s just an idea that I think might help the hobby, [email]
Great idea … we had the same one! That’s why we invested in our own custom dynamometer for RC Car Action and RC Nitro. When we print horsepower figures for tested engines, they are real power numbers-not mathematical estimations or reprinted data from manufacturers. We don’t doubt that the horsepower ratings cited by manufacturers in their ads are honest, but that doesn’t mean they’re accurate. The trouble is that “brand X” may measure horsepower in a completely different way from “brand Y,” and that means you can’t compare the X’s and Y’s horsepower ratings. RC Nitro dyno-tests at least one engine in every issue; be sure to check it out!
I was a little confused by the August 2003 article on the new Super Brain 969. Under “Features,” it states that the voltage threshold is adjustable from 5 to 75mV. Also, on page 182, a picture caption shows 30mV selected, and it clarifies that it is for the whole pack, so it’s also 5mV per cell. In “Testing,” the author says that the lowest setting is 5mV per cell, but earlier he writes that the reading is 5mV for the whole pack. So, is it millivolt per cell or millivolt for the whole pack that is displayed? [email]
It’s the millivolts for the whole pack. When you program the 969, always multiply the setting you’d like “per cell” by the number of cells in the pack to determine the correct millivolt setting. Sorry it wasn’t clear!
TEENY WEENY RALLY
Do any kits convert the HPI Micro RS4 for rally use? Is there a way to get stronger shocks and bigger wheels to get more ground clearance? [email]
You might be able to bash together an off-road Micro RS4 with wheels and tires from a 1/24-scale monster truck static model, but you’d have to do a lot of custom work, and you wouldn’t have a “rally” car. And you’d still have problems: the exposed belt drive would get wrecked in the dirt, and the Micro’s suspension doesn’t have nearly enough travel to soak up off-road hits. But the biggest problem has nothing to do with the Micro RS4 in particular. The trouble is that anything smaller than 1/10-scale is just too small for real off-road running. Even the Kyosho Mini-Z Overland, which is built to run off-road, doesn’t fare well in truly rough terrain.
You know what would be a great idea? An article on totally souping up a TL01 (I have a Baja Champ)-just a suggestion, of course. I’d just like to see a super-slick TL01 on your pages; people often underestimate the quality of that kit. [email]
Nobody loves the TL01B more than I do! That’s why I built a Tamiya Baja Champ “Project Car” way back for the September 1999 issue; I’ll send you a copy.
I am a faithful reader, and I want to purchase an RTR 2WD stadium truck. I have narrowed my selection to the DuraTrax Nitro Evader ST and the Associated RC10GT Nitro Plus. My friend is getting a Traxxas SportMaxx, and he thinks I should get one, too. It would be great if you did a “shootout” article that included the Nitro Evader and the RC10GT. [email]
We’ll do a new stadium-truck shootout soon, now that there are new players on the scene. The Nitro Evader ST is a really hot truck, and the GT is a classic with great racing potential. And don’t forget the Traxxas Rustler 2.5; it has a fantastic engine and electric starting. You should also consider the SportMaxx, especially since your buddy is getting one. Nothing will be more fun for you than hitting the track with identical trucks.
I was on Tower Hobbies’ website looking at the DuraTrax 12T reversing ESC. The technical write-up said to solder three type 0.1 capacitors to my motor. I’ve never seen this on any motor anywhere in your magazine. Is it really necessary, or will the car blow into a million pieces without them? I’m really stuck. [email]
The capacitors (or “caps”) reduce radio interference caused by the motor, and no, your car won’t blow into a million pieces without them-but the radio gear might glitch. Many motors now include “surface-mounted” caps that are factory-installed under the brushhood hardware, or they have traditional solder-on caps already installed for you. But if your motor or ESC does not include the required 0.1 microfarad caps, you can get them at the hobby shop and at good ol’ RadioShack.
YOU SAID IT “
Guys with big wallets don’t always win.”
I want to tell you a little story. My neighbor gave me a Tamiya Blackfoot to sell, so I could buy some equipment for racing. I sold the truck for $60 and added the money I had been given on various occasions. My Mom helped me out with a little more, and I managed to buy a basic RC10B3 kit, a Green Machine motor, a used ESC, a low-price Futaba AM radio and a battery and charger. For about six months, I spent all my time with that little car until it was just right for racing. I started racing in May, and by June I took first place. That was about three years ago, and since then, I have owned about five cars. I’m telling you this to give some hope to those people who think that guys with big wallets always win. I figured you’re the right ones to spread this information. Keep up the good work! [email]
Actually, Tim, you’re the right person to spread that information! Thanks for reminding us that drivers win-not fancy parts or dollar bills. I never forget this, because I’m always the guy with the trickest car in the C-main!
WRITE TO US! Letters should be addressed to “Letters,” Air Age Inc., Radio Control Car Action, 100 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877-4606 USA or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be edited for clarity and brevity, and each must include a full name and address or telephone number so that the identity of the sender can be verified. We regret that, owing to the tremendous numbers of letters we receive, we can’t respond to every one.
Each month, “Readers Write” sponsor Team Trinity awards the “You said it” letter writer the Reference body of his choice. This is the Wasp shell for the Kyosho Inferno MP-7.5.
Copyright Air Age Publishing Oct 2003
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