RADIO CONTROL CAR ACTION
WORLD’S FASTEST! IFMAR CHAMP TY TESSMANN SPEAKS OUT ››
THE MODEL MOTORSPORTS AUTHORITY
LOSI XXX-SCT WITH AVC | SLASH 4X4 DRAG TRUCK | WORLD CHAMP TY TESSMANN | HITEC LYNX 4S | GRAUPNER X-8N | HOW TO PAINT DRIVER FIGURES
! D E T A R WE DRIVE LOSI’S AVC-EQUIPPED XXX-SCT PLUS
SLASH 4X4 DRAG TRUCK I NS
W E N HOTUCTS D PRO DETC410
O RANG S U D R DE YNX 4 L D E T O R ED-H ET SH C’S R NGE STRE E T I REVE TH X N C I E O GGY GER P IG-BU B TRIG T E BUDG
Display until March 17, 2015 APRIL 2015 $5.99 US $7.99 CAN
Kyosho Mad Bug
#1170-00 #1170-12 Mounted * #1170-13 Mounted ** #1170-14 Mounted † #1170-15 Mounted ‡
#1192-00 #1192-12 Mounted * #1192-13 Mounted **
(Traxxas Style Bead) ®
(Traxxas Style Bead) ®
POWERSTROKE SHOCKS (ALL-TERRAIN) for 2WD or 4X4 Stampede ®
#6063-00 Front #6063-01 Rear
#6063-02 Rebuild Kit #6063-05 Universal Shock Mounting Kit
for 2WD or 4X4 Stampede ®
#6308-30 Front #6308-31 Rear Optional springs and replacement parts are available.
SAND PAW 2.8” (Traxxas Style Bead) ®
#1186-00 #1186-14 Mounted † #1186-15 Mounted ‡
SCAN WITH YOUR
BADLANDS 2.8” (Traxxas Style Bead) ®
* ** † ‡
#1173-00 #1173-12 Mounted * #1173-13 Mounted **
Mounted on Black Desperado 2.8” Wheels for Nitro [R], Electric [F] or 4x4 [F/R] Mounted on Black Desperado 2.8” Wheels for Electric [R] Mounted on Black F-11 2.8” Wheels for Nitro [R], Electric [F] or 4x4 [F/R] Mounted on Black F-11 2.8” Wheels for Electric [R]
F-11 2.8” Black Wheels (Traxxas Style Bead) ®
#2743-03 Nitro [R], Electric [F] & 4x4 [F/R] #2744-03 Electric [R]
1966 Ford® F-100 for 2WD or 4X4 Stampede
#3412-00 Ford® Motor Company Trademarks and Trade Dress used under license to Pro-Line.
`66 Ford® F-100 body shown on 2WD Stampede® with: Badlands 2.8” Front Tires (sanded smooth), Sand Paw 2.8” Rear Tires Mounted on F-11 Wheels, PowerStroke Shocks, ProTrac™ Suspension, Light Bar Kit (#6085-00) & Secure-Loc Extended Body Mounts
SECURE-LOC EXTENDED BODY MOUNTS NEW HD STEEL Diff Gear & EXTRA THICK Composite 86T Spur Gear HEAVY DUTY STEEL Internal Gears for Maximum Durability 3mm thick aluminum motor mount with cooling fins
PROTRAC SUSPENSION COMPONENTS for 2WD Stampede ®
#6062-01 #6062-02 #6062-03 #6062-04 #6062-06 #6062-07 #6070-00
2WD Front Arms 2WD Rear Arms [F] Shock Tower [R] Shock Tower [F/R] Camber Links Steering Links Secure-Loc Mounts
for 4X4 Stampede ®
Full BALL BEARINGS used throughout
#6082-01 #6082-02 #6062-06 #6062-07 #6252-00
Racing style SLIPPER SYSTEM with vented disks
4X4 Front or Rear Arms [F] 4X4 Camber Links [R] Camber Links Steering Links Secure-Loc Mounts
Performance pre-oil filled, SEALED DIFFERENTIAL
PERFORMANCE for 2WD Stampede ®
#6261-00 Please note: All tires and wheels are sold in pairs, unless otherwise noted. All bodies are sold in crystal clear lexan and are painted for advertising purposes only. Stampede® is a registered trademark of Traxxas® L.P.
CONTENTS Volume 30 Number 4 April 2015
56 | Project Slash 4x4 Drag Truck Building the ultimate street machine ›› By Kevin Hetmanski
On the cover: (From top) Ty Tessmann, reigning IFMAR 1/8 Off-Road World Champion; Losi’s XXX-SCT shredding with a little AVC; Kyosho Mad Bug
72 | Pro–file: Ty Tessmann Racing, family, and what’s next for RC’s newest World Champion ›› By Carl Hyndman
48 | Losi/Horizon Hobby XXX-SCT with AVC Top-shelf tech comes to Losi’s track-tested short course machine ›› By Carl Hyndman
110 | HITEC Lynx 4S 112 | LandWave Ramp System 114 | Graupner X-8N HoTT
94 | Kyosho Mad Bug Classic baja bug styling meets modern brushless power and 4WD tech ›› By Carl Hyndman
64 | ECX/Horizon Hobby Revenge Type E Big buggy fun with brushless power that won’t bust your budget ›› By Carl Hyndman
82 | Team Durango DETC410 Durango’s first-ever touring car is a pro-grade performer ›› By Joel Navarro
RADIO CONTROL CAR ACTION (USPS 001-087; ISSN 0886-1609) is published monthly by Air Age, Inc., 88 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897 USA. Copyright 2015, all rights reserved. Periodicals postage permit paid at Wilton, CT, and additional offices. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40008153. SUBSCRIPTIONS: U.S., call (800) 877-5169; Canada and elsewhere, call (386) 246-3323; or go to our website RCCarAction.com. U.S. $34 (1 yr.); Canada $44 including GST (1 yr.); elsewhere $54 (1 yr.). All international orders must be prepaid in U.S. funds; Visa, MC, Discover and AmEx accepted. RC CAR ACTION DIGITAL EDITION: 1 year $19.95 in U.S., Canada and International. To subscribe go to RCCarAction.com/de. EDITORIAL: Send correspondence to Editors, Radio Control Car Action, 88 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897 USA. Email: [email protected]
We welcome all editorial submissions, but assume no responsibility for loss/ damage of unsolicited material. To authors, photographers and people featured in this magazine: all materials published in Radio Control Car Action become the exclusive property of Air Age, Inc. unless prior arrangement is made in writing with the Publisher. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: To make sure you don’t miss any issues, send your new address to Radio Control Car Action, P.O. Box 420134, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235 USA, six weeks before you move. Please include address label from a recent issue, or print the information exactly as shown on the label. For faster service, go to our website RCCarAction.com and click on the customer service link. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to Radio Control Car Action, P.O. Box 420134, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235 USA.
DRIVE MORE. CHARGE LESS.
Charge ahead and maximize your time behind the wheel with the Losi® 1/24-Scale Rally-X and SCTE. Thanks to the innovative new Dynamite® HyperCharge™ system these power-packed micros recharge in minutes, not hours. That means you’ll get more time to spend pushing the limitations of a ballistic 7915Kv brushless motor and equally impressive 4WD while your competition waits to reach full charge. This is big time innovation on the small scale; this is Losi. Micro Rally-X LOS00002
Micro SCTE LOS00001
Charges batteries in 10 minutes!
Your Local Retailer
©2015 Horizon Hobby, LLC. Losi, HyperCharge, Dynamite and the Horizon Hobby logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Horizon Hobby, LLC. 45832
89 | Assemble and Paint a Driver Figure From pile of parts to painted person in 10 steps ›› By Kevin Hetmanski
103 | Mount Beadlock Wheels Six easy steps to go glueless ›› By Kevin Hetmanski
18 | Starting Line 20 | Feedback 26 | Readers’ Rides 28 | Pit Tips 37 | Tech Center 43 | New & Hot 122 | Tailpipe
118 | AirAgeStore.com
Your source for up-to-the-minute RC — the latest news, tips, contests, and so much more! LIKE
Go to Facebook.com/ RCCarAction and do what over 312,000 Facebook fans have already done — “like” the number-one RC brand on Facebook! Our Facebook page is a rapidly growing community of RC enthusiasts, industry professionals, and pros — and it’s a great way to get the latest on the goings-on of the RC world.
Don’t miss your daily dose of RC excitement on Instagram — follow RC Car Action! From trick trucks and overthe-top action to eyepopping projects and sneak peeks at what’s next in RCCA, there’s always something new to see. instagram.com/ rccaraction
Make sure you enter the latest contest at RCCarAction.com— just visit the site or follow our social media for the latest details on what we’re giving away. Previous contests have included a tricked-out Losi 5IVE-T and Pro-Line PRO2 Buggy kit, so we’re talkin’ good stuff here! But you can’t win if you don’t enter, so get on it.
starting Line est. 1985
Editorial Director Peter Vieira ›› [email protected]
Senior Editor Kevin Hetmanski ›› [email protected]
Editor Carl Hyndman ›› [email protected]
Associate Editor Matt Boyd ›› [email protected]
Easy does it
Deputy Managing Editor Katherine Pierpont
think it’s safe to say anyone participating in the radio control hobby, whether on land, sea, or air, is interested in technology—specifically, better technology. Please do let me know if any of you out there still prefer resistor speed controls and wide-band AM radios (you’ll contact me via snail-mail, I’m sure), but I suspect you’d all rather be running modern stuff. Why? The answer is easy. Literally, “easy” is the answer. That’s why technology continually evolves: to make things easier. Not just in RC, but everywhere. Does a TV remote change the channel any better than a knob? No. But one of them keeps your butt on the couch, where it belongs. We like our RC easy too. How great was it when radio crystals went away? “Who’s on 68?” Nobody, that’s who. We’re all on 2.4GHz, and we just switch on and drive whenever we want. Remember when Novak took us into the brushless era? Cars didn’t really get any faster, but going faster sure got easier. In the brushed-motor era, a 50mph motor would chew up brushes like they were made of Slim Jims, and it needed a rebuild after the battery dumped. Today, we have ready-torun cars that will do 50mph all day long with “maintenance” about as complex as wiping the motor off with a rag. Name any RC innovation, any refinement, and you’ll find its benefit is related to “the easy factor.” That goes for racing too, where going faster isn’t really about horsepower—you can easily install more than you can use—but rather how easily you can use that power. “Easy to drive” is what you want in a race car, and play cars too. No one enjoys a car that’s hard to drive. Which leads me to the point of this piece: Spektrum Active Vehicle Control. I can’t get over how many RC fans lose their shpadoinkle over this technology. Some of it is misunderstanding, so let’s clear up a few things right now: an AVC-equipped cannot drive itself, and it will only do what you command it to do. That includes crashing: if you drive into the mailbox without AVC, you’ll still drive into the mailbox with AVC. The only thing AVC does—the ONLY thing—is make your car or truck easier to drive. That’s it! If you’ve ever changed tires, or moved a camber link, or refilled your shocks, or added toe-in to make your car easier to drive, then you should be OK with AVC. Does it matter if it’s sensors and a microprocessor instead of a set of tires or shock-oil change that’s making the car easier to drive? Not to me. It’s more likely that some of us have a chip on our shoulders about our mad RC driving skillz and/or tuning know-how, and it offends us that anyone’s driving skill can be “turned up” with a knob. And that’s OK. I’m not saying you should get AVC if it’s not for you. But I’m glad it’s there for those who want it, and rest assured, technology is only going to keep making our RC lives easier. Resistance is futile.
IN THIS ISSUE
PRO-FILE: TY TESSMANN
TRAXXAS SLASH 4X4 DRAG TRUCK
Kevin wanted a tough truck built for street racing domination (don’t we all?), so he came up a megamodded take on Traxxas’ superpopular short course machine. Hard to believe there’s a Slash under there!
Creative Director Betty K. Nero Art Director Kevin Monahan Photographer Peter Hall Videographer Adam Lebenstein
Web Producer Holly Hansen
Advertising Director Mitch Brian ››203.529.4609 Senior Account Executive Ben Halladay ››203.529.4628
CONSUMER MARKETING The Media Source, a division of TEN, The Enthusiast Network
MARKETING & EVENTS Associate Creative Director Leslie Costa Marketing Assistant Erica Driver Event Manager Emil DeFrancesco
Group Publishers Louis V. DeFrancesco Jr., Yvonne M. DeFrancesco
Follow us on Twitter: @rccaraction On Facebook: rccaraction Visit us online: RCCarAction.com Comments may be sent to: [email protected]
ASK FOR RADIO CONTROL CAR ACTION AT YOUR LOCAL HOBBY SHOP! HOBBY SHOP DISTRIBUTION BY: Kalmbach Publishing Co. (800) 558-1544 ext. 3 NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY: Kable Distribution Services (212) 705-4600
Peter Vieira Editorial Director/Surface Group [email protected]
Ty is an IFMAR Work Champion, hard worker, dedicated to his family, and a good sportsman. He’s also an all-around nice guy, but that’s just the default setting for Canadians. We found out Ty’s secret to success (spoiler alert, it’s practice and preparation).
Joel Navarro, Michael Wortel, Lito Reyes, Trevor “Chilly” Duncan, Scott Murphy, Bill Zegers
We’ve got two hot transmitters for you to check out this month, both with high-zoot features to raise your game without raising your credit card bill too much. If you’re ready to supercharge your signals, our Hitec Lynx 4S and Graupner X-8N reviews are a mustread.
HOW TO REACH US EDITORIAL MAIL 88 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897 USA PHONE (203) 529-4647 EMAIL [email protected]
SUBSCRIPTION CUSTOMER SERVICE (800) 877-5169 or RCCarAction.com/cs
Magazine Publishers of America
PRINTED IN THE USA
Feedback YOU’RE STILL THE DRIVER
When we teased this issue’s Losi XXX-SCT review, a lot of the comments focused on the truck’s Active Vehicle Control system, which a lot of people still don’t seem to “get” (at least on Facebook). AVC doesn’t drive the truck for you, people, c’mon. And you can turn it off. Settle down! It’s Losi, of course I like it. Nick Pfleeger
I can’t wait to get one! John Caudle
First all the RTRs and now AVC... sounds like RC for dummies.
I need that.... Luis Campos
That’s a good looking truck. Daniel Totel
What the FO-XX Says
Last month’s issue roosted off newsstands with dirty flying from the paddles of the Kyosho FO-XX, which definitely made the long haul out to Glamis worth the trip. And yes, Giovanni, it was a blast! I have a FO-XX and I love it. The great thing about it is the ability to adjust the throttle on the remote...from crawler to rock racer instantly!
Great cover and a cool car. Alain Pauwels
I want one so bad! Jay Herron
For every awesome driver figure paint job we see, there’s at least ten that look like a guy with a helmet full of scrambled eggs. Or, no paint at all—just a white plastic mannequin. We show you how to paint a dazzling dude in this issue, and asked for your opinion on people-painting on Facebook. Painting the driver was my favorite part of building my VTA car!
I still have my old Mad Force, which the FO-XX is based on, and it was an awesome beast. I have been looking at this kit as an electric replacement.
Painting drivers is a pain in the [butt]! B Spencer Frakes
I love building but don’t have the patience for detailed painting.
How much fun did you guys have on that photo shoot?
Driver painting can be both fun and frustrating. Luke Bacon
Everybody likes a good-looking Baja Bug, and who can blame them? They rock. This issue’s Kyosho Mad Bug pairs the classic bubble-top look with 4WD and brushless power for affordable off-road action. Go check it out. Does it come in candy apple green and black with green accent? Randy Lane Hines
Cool change of pace from the usual truck body! I like the look of the push bar with headlight mounts too. Now, if someone would just make a dummy engine insert for the rear...
OVER 312,000 LIKES! RC Car Action is the #1 RC brand on Facebook! Thanks for all your Likes, comments, and support. facebook.com/ rccaraction 20 RCCarAction.com
RC Car Action 88 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897
Readers' Rides [email protected]
FG/JetCat Turbine Big Rig Jerome Swift ›› York, England
r e a de
r i de
of t h e
mon t h
This amazing Red Bull Racing MAN Jet Truck is based off of an FG 1/5-scale long-wheelbase kit and powered by a P120 JetCat turbine producing 30lbs of thrust at 125,000rpm! Builder Jerome Smith is the proprietor of JS Models and Hobbies, and he used all his professional expertise to assemble a machine. As he tells us, “When building a Jet powered model attention to detail is crucial. A P120 JetCat in a model plane can reach speeds in excess of 250mph!” The truck features disc brakes, adjustable alloy shocks all around, upgraded upper ball ends, alloy suspension braces and carbon fiber side-impact bars. It uses a King Cobra SS001 MG digital steering servo and a Hitec HS-645MG Ultra Torque brake servo—essential to whoa down the thrust produced by the turbine. The MAN race truck body shell features a multifunction flashing strobe LED light kit and a custom alloy bull bar. The turbine mount is also custom fabricated. It’s all controlled by a Spektrum DX5e stick radio. One look tells us he wasn’t kidding when Jerome said he spared no expense!
“Snowhopper” Tamiya Grasshopper Jeffrey Transou ›› Long Beach, CA
Jeff started with an original vintage Grasshopper that he reinvigorated with a few re-release parts, and then things started to get crazy. The reworked front suspension is part CRP nylon, part custom-designed and water jet-cut aluminum with inboard cantilevered vintage You-G shocks. You-G shocks are also used out back with a custom fifth shock mount. Jeff tells us that this was an idea that he first had as a kid that that he’s finally been able to build as an adult, and he kept it vintage-themed, using all old-school electronics, including the Grasshopper’s original mechanical speed control and his favorite vintage Hitec radio equipment. Jeff fabricated the nerf bars, front bumper, vintage-looking ski set, and added dual rear wheel adapters. He dressed the body up like a snow rescue vehicle with a roof rack and accessories, and an auxiliary light kit. It doesn’t snow much in Long Beach, so Jeff fabricated his own snow for the photo too.
Custom Southern Buggy “Kratos” Jesse Dennis ›› Springfield, MO
Jesse tells us he named his custom-built crawler buggy ‘Kratos’ after the Greek God of strength and power (and maybe the character from the God of War video game too). The chassis is custom-bent stainless steel tubing TIG welded by his buddy Warren Tjarks on RcCrawler.com, and Jesse raves about his outstanding work. We agree! Jesse added Vanquish axles and transmission housings, MIP drive shafts, and Axial 2.2 White Dot BFGs. Power comes from a Castle Mamba Max Pro ESC sending juice to a Tekin Pro4 3300kV motor. Wheels are custom from LockedUp RC, who also supplied various other scale hardware bits. Jesse’s buggy is set up for 4-wheel steering using a pair of Hitec HS7955TG servos. Readers’ Rides is also on Facebook! Visit facebook.com/rccaraction, post your ride, and we’ll message you if we want to feature it here in the mag. 26 RCCarAction.com
PREVENT BATTERY BOUNCE-OUT
If you’re running a nitro car with AA batteries for a receiver pack, be sure to wrap the cell holder with tape so the batteries can’t bounce out and cause a runaway car.
Upside Down Glow Plug Removal When removing your glow plug for replacement, inspection or to apply after-run oil, it is important that dirt and dust, which accumulate on top of the engine cooling head, do not enter the combustion chamber when unscrewing the glow plug. To prevent debris from entering the combustion chamber, turn the car upside down when removing the plug (make sure the fuel tank is empty to prevent a mess). Any debris will fall away from the engine instead of falling into the combustion chamber.
DIP N’ LOCK
Applying thread lock directly from the bottle to small screws usually results in over-application. Instead, put a drop of thread lock on a disposable surface and touch the screw to the thread lock to coat the threads. You’ll get the right amount on the screw and your bottle of thread lock will last longer.
A DIGITAL EDITION SUBSCRIPTION AND RCCA HAT 28 RCCarAction.com
If you need to drill a blind hole in a part, use a piece of fuel tubing as a depth gauge. Slide the tubing onto the drill bit to match the depth of the required hole. When the tubing reaches the surface of the part, you’ve got the right depth.
Camber In a Can If you find yourself at the track without a camber gauge, just use a can of motor spray to set camber. Use the can to set the tires vertical (zero degrees of camber), then count the number of turns you give the camber link as you eyeball the right amount of negative camber. Make the same number of turns to the opposite link to set camber equally on both sides of the car.
SEND US YOUR PIT TIPS! Email your tips to [email protected]
Be sure to include your mailing address with your email. If we feature your tip as our “Top Tip,” you’ll receive an RC Car Action hat and one-year Digital Edition subscription (or extension to your existing digital subscription).
Top of the List. Six Years Running. Thank you to all the Radio Control Car Action readers who once again put Spektrum technology at the top of the list. Winning races is great. Winning the vote of hardcore RC fans who aren’t easily impressed? That’s even better.
Readers’ Choice Radio of the Year
Readers’ Choice Innovation of the Year
Editors’ Choice Innovation of the year
©2014 Horizon Hobby, LLC. The Horizon Hobby logo is a registered trademark of Horizon Hobby, LLC. The Spektrum trademark is used with permission of Bachmann Industries, Inc.
Pit Tips Puny Parts Painting There’s no better holder for small parts than the sprue that they are molded onto. After painting, you’ll only have to touch up a tiny bit of unpainted plastic where the parts were snipped free.
Dirt and corrosion will add electrical resistance to your battery and speed control plugs. To prevent this, clean the contacts with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol when you perform your routine car cleaning and maintenance.
Bend-Free Brush GET YOUR BALANCE
Your car or truck will run smoother with balanced wheels. Use the front axle as a balancer, and give the wheel a gentle spin. It will stop with its “heavy” side down. Apply poster putty to the opposite side of the wheel and repeat, adding or removing putty until the wheel is balanced.
If you need to soak a paintbrush for cleaning, use a pair of spring-type clothespins to hold the brush off the bottom of the jar. This will prevent the bristles from bending as the brush soaks.
PARTS TO DYE FOR Nylon-based parts can be colored using fabric dye—just add the dye to water and boil the parts in a sauce pan for a few minutes until they reach the amount of color you like. Use metal tongs to remove the parts from the water when checking color. After dying, rinse the parts in clear water and dispose of the dyed water in the sink. Label the pan ‘not for cooking” and store it out of the kitchen.
RC CAR ACTION IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MESS UP YOUR GEAR, OR YOURSELF, BY USING THE TIPS GIVEN HERE. IF YOU AREN’T COMFORTABLE FOLLOWING ANY TIP WE SHOW—DON’T!
tech center YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
BY MICHAEL WORTEL
Wondering About Roll Center?
Where is my car’s roll center, what does it do, and how do I adjust it?
Roll center is often misunderstood, but it isn’t difficult to understand. As a car leans (or rolls) on its suspension, the positions of the suspension linkages determine the point on the chassis around which the chassis will roll. The illustration shows how the vectors formed by the suspension arms and camber Roll center is dynamic and its position is determined by the angle and location of the suspension links.
A nitro car’s roll center is typically set higher than an electric car’s, because the tall engine gives it a higher center of gravity.
Quick Question Can I make my own fuel? It is possible to get the ingredients in nitro fuel (methanol, nitromethane, and oil) separately and blend your own fuel, but there’s zero benefit to doing so. Finding the ingredients is just part of the puzzle. Accurately mixing the components in the correct proportions and keeping contaminants out is the real challenge, and you still won’t have juice as good as what’s in the hobby store, since you won’t have access to the proprietary synthetic oil blends they use (not to mention anti-foaming agents and the like). Factor in the safety concerns around working with and storing the fuel ingredients, and you’ll quickly see DIY fuel is just a bad idea. No home-brew will match the performance and engine life you get from the RC-specific fuels at your hobby store (like a bottle of Byron, for example).
links intersect. A line drawn through the center of the tire’s contact patch to meet that intersection is the final component of the roll-center puzzle; where that line crosses the chassis’ centerline is the car’s roll center. Great. So how does this affect handling? That depends on the car’s center of gravity (CG). The distance between the car’s CG and its roll center determines how much leverage the chassis will exert on the suspension due to cornering forces; the greater the distance, the greater the leverage. Adjustments to roll center are made by changing camber link position. Raising the outside camber link position (or lowering the inside position) raises roll center, and vice-versa: lowering the outside camber link position (or raising the inside position) lowers roll center.
I’ve rebuilt my ball differential twice, and it still slips. What am I doing wrong?
To check for tightness before reinstalling the diff, slip a pair of hex driver shafts through the outdrives to keep them from turning as you try to rotate the diff gear.
There are three things that can cause a ball diff to slip: worn or missing parts, improper assembly, and insufficient tightness. First things first: bust out the manual (or download a fresh copy) and make sure you’re assembling the right parts in the right sequence. As you go, inspect the parts for wear. The diff rings may have a polished surface where the balls ride, but if there is a groove or wear you can feel, then replace the rings or flip them over to reveal a fresh surface. Do the same for the thrust bearing washers. Also, have a look at the nut that holds the diff together with the diff screw and the nut holder. Then make sure the tabs that hold it in the outdrive slots have not worn down or sheared off. The nut itself can also wear; if the diff screw threads through the nut without resistance, Be sure you rebuild with its nylon-locking insert is fresh parts assembled worn out and it should be per the manual. Use the right greases, too. replaced. Check for tightness before reinstalling the diff by using the trick shown above. It’s normal for the diff to loosen once the parts seat themselves, but after readjustment it should stay slip-free.
APRIL 2015 37
All Pumped Up How important is it to get all the air out of shocks?
If pumping the shock a few times smoothes out the shock’s feel and the air seems to “go away,” then don’t worry about it. Shocks without bladders actually require some air in the shock oil to work properly. Without it, the shocks could not compress. This type of shock is called an “emulsion” shock because air is mixed (emulsified) with the oil. Bladder shocks are more common, and the bladder is used to separate the compressible air from the incompressible oil. Even if you get all the air bubbles out of the shock during the build, it’s common for air to get into the shock with use. Refill or rebuild as needed, but for fun running there’s no need to obsess over air-free shocks.
Duratrax 5X5 Pit Mat More of a parts tray than a pit mat, this handy hunk of rubber will keep hardware from wandering all over your pit space as you wrench. The low-profile, flexible mat is made to stow in your pit box or bag or even stuff in your pocket. And at $6, it’s an easy add to your next hobby store run. DTXP2045; $6
Avoid getting air in the shocks as you build, but don’t lose your mind over making your shocks 100% air-free.
11/14/14 3:11 PM
Vexed by Vents
After mangling the first slot on my vented truck body, I’m afraid to keep cutting. What’s the secret?
It’s all about the tools. When cutting vents, a body ream and fresh no. 11 blade are your best friends. If you try to cut tight corners with body scissors, the tips of the scissors gouge the surrounding area, and the cuts tend to be sawtooth nibbles rather than smooth curves. Instead of scissors, use the ream to make a hole at each corner, the bigger the better (bigger hole = larger curve). Use your hobby knife to score across the vent from hole to hole, then pop out the waste plastic to open the vent. Clean up any rough edges with a rotary tool on low speed.
Ream holes to shape the corners, then connect the corners with cuts.
Quick Question Is CA the only glue that will hold tires onto wheels? Pretty much, yeah. You can try using Shoe Goo or GOOP (or any other brand of RTV adhesive) to keep tires from slipping on slower vehicles, but when it comes to models with any kind of high-speed performance, only cyanoacrylate (CA) glues will do the trick. If you want to go glue-free on a scale / trail / crawling truck, use beadlock wheels. We show you how to mount them up in this issue.
They make CA tire glue for a reason: it keeps the tires on.
Opening up all those vents takes patience, but the result is a better-flying body.
4/16/14 12:19 PM
APRIL 2015 39
new&hot NEW GEAR YOU NEED NOW
THE TRUCK STOPS HERE Team Associated RC10T5M
After much success with the RC10B5M, the engineers at Team Associated got back on their computers and built an allnew mid-motor stadium truck. The RC10T5M has been optimized for high traction surfaces and was designed with many features that made the mid-motor buggy so successful. Its aluminum chassis can fit 2S saddle packs and shorty packs as well as square packs. Other features include a four gear transmission, Factory Team V2 12mm Big Bore shocks, aluminum rear ball stud mount, adjustable front kick up and oversized rear hub bearings. It comes with a Pro-Line body but the tire and wheel choice is up to you. teamassoiated.com
O.S. Engine Speed B2101 Engine
Pro-Line Prime tire
Dynamite Passport Ultra 100W Charger
This new engine comes to you with a World Championship already under its belt with Ty Tessmann at the trigger. According to O.S. this engine will get your buggy or truggy off the starting line and out of the corners faster than anything else O.S. has offered. Air and fuel enters the engine through the proven 21J slide carb, and its heat sink head has been machined to sit low on the block to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. Holes in the heat sink head reduce overall weight and increase its surface area for better cooling. The B2101 engine also features a sealed crankshaft bearing, DLC-coated crankshaft and turbo style glow plugs. osengines.com
A lot of tracks these days are carpet or pure clay to give the racers a surface that has maximum traction. With a surface like that a slick tire is the way to go and racers have been making their own to get the edge at their local tracks. The new ProLine Prime tire may look like street rubber but this one is designed specifically for off-road use and eliminates the need to make your own slick tire. It comes in Pro-Line’s M4 (super soft) and MC (clay) compounds and its available in 2WD front, 4WD front and rear buggy sizes. According to Pro-Line the grooves in the tire allow it to get grip on freshly watered tracks and a unique raised tread has a rough surface that is similar to ground down tires to give it great traction right out of the package.
The new Passport Ultra charger is designed to charge any type of battery in RC including LiPo and NiMH batteries, and this 100-watt unit can push the voltage into the batteries from .1 amps all the way up to 10 amps. Other features include 1-6S LiPo balancing, cooling fan, discharger, overload protection and includes EC3, Deans and RX connectors. All the functions are easily adjusted through the touch-screen display. dynamiterc.com
prolineracing.com APRIL 2015 43
TLR 22T 2.0
The TLR 22 and 22SCT have received the 2.0 treatment, so it was only a matter of time before we saw a 2.0 version of the 22T. This truck may look the same as before, but it has a long list of updates to make it a real performer on the track. A 2.5mm aluminum chassis enhances its stability and the wider rear suspension arms gives the truck a wider stance for more stability. Other new features are an updated ball differential, Gen-II shocks with X-Ring seals, hard battery mount system, and adjustable speed control and battery mounts. For silky suspension action that lasts, the hinge pins and kingpins are Carbonitride coated. tlracing.com
2.0MG CUSTOM CARRIER
JConcepts Universal Storage Bag
JConcepts latest addition to their line of loot is custom-fit specifically for your gear–because you’re the one doing the custom-fitting! The durable, zippered outer shell holds a block of pre-scored foam that is easily “plucked” to create a custom opening for your favorite radio, charger, backup motors, engines, or whatever you want to store and transport in style and safety. jconcepts.net
CAR ACTION FIGURE
RC4WD Driver Figures
FLUX CAPACITOR HPI Sprint 2 Flux
HPI’s Sprint 2 Flux is now available with a BMW M3 GTS body and this great looking sedan is packed full of power to give you the speed you need. The waterproof Flux Vapor Speed control and 5900KV motor get the X-Pattern tires moving in a hurry. A waterproof servo and sealed receiver box complete the waterproof package. Features of the Sprint 2 Flux include sealed planetary gear differentials, oil filled shocks, adjustable suspension and 4mm thick plastic plate chassis. This M3 is ready to tear up tracks and parking lots everywhere. hpiracing.com
You can stop scouring the toy aisle for a decent driver figure, RC4WD has rescued you from wrestlers with their new driver figures. There are four different styles to choose from, each 5.8” tall and dressed in actual cloth duds, ready to strap into your scaler. They’re poseable, so you can easily match their hands to the steering wheel or shifter, and there’s no painting or assembly required—just open the box and stuff your plastic pal into the driver’s seat. store.rc4wd.com
1/5/15 1:25 PM
1/5/15 1:26 PM
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T
1/10-SCALE 2WD SHORT COURSE TRUCK | RTR
LOSI/HORIZON HOBBY WITH AVC
Top-shelf tech comes to Losi’s track-tested short course machine 48 RCCarAction.com
WORDS BY RC CAR ACTION TEAM PHOTOS BY CARL HYNDMAN AND JOEL NAVARRO
If they haven’t already, the gang at Losi really should bake a cake for the XXX-series. After debuting in 1999 as the XXX (or “Triple-X”) buggy and promptly winning the ROAR Mod Nats in the hands of Brian Kinwald, the innovations of XXX platform became the foundation of the Triple-XT race in kit and RTR forms as diverse as the Losi Desert Truck and Speed-T. Its biggest splash since first hitting tracks in stadium truck form was the debut of the XXX-SCT as a brushed RTR, marking Losi’s entry into the exploding short-course scene. With a deep well of parts support and an established fan base already in place for the XXX series, Losi had no trouble sliding into short-course with a fun and capable design. Losi’s latest update to the SCT piles on the latest in electric performance tech. A Dynamite 4-pole brushless system, Spektrum’s Active Vehicle Control electronic stability system, and a Dynamite 2-cell LiPo pack and 2amp balance charger are all included, making the XXXSCT truly ready-to-run with truly good stuff. No scramble to replace low-buck gear here, just open the box and pull the trigger for high-performance short course fun.
APRIL 2015 49
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T ALUMINUM-SHOCK SUSPENSION
No shake-ups in the suspension department, as Losi sticks with time-tested stuff. Which is good news, because it means parts are easy to find, and everything works. The shocks are Losi’s classic bottom-fill units, which skip bladders in favor of an emulsion design and load the o-ring seals into a cartridge that makes rebuilds easy. As filled from the factory, the aluminum dampers work as well as they always have on the XXX-series models, and those have won plenty of races. Big-bore designs dominate now, but in the XXX-SCT’s all-around fun driving mode, you’ll never wish for better shocks. One thing you might wish for is clip-on preload spacers instead of the clamping collars that are on the shocks. They work fine, but are a little trickier to set equally between the left and right shocks if you decide to change the factory settings. As for camber and front toe-in settings, steel turnbuckles make it easy to twist in whatever setup you like.
7.5 in. 190mm
11.4 in. 291mm
Losi’s classic bottom-fill aluminum shocks smooth the ride, and steel turnbuckles set camber and steering toe.
12.6 in. 329mm 21.7 in. 550mm
VEHICLE SPECS Item no.: LOS03002 Scale: 1/10 Price: $350 Weight, as tested: 4 lb., 11 oz. (2132g)
CHASSIS Material: Plastic Type: Molded semi-tub SUSPENSION Type: H-arm with steel turnbuckle camber link Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3 Outboard upper arm positions (F/R): 3/2 Shock positions, towers (F/R): 4/4 Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3 SHOCKS Bodies: Aluminum with clamp-on preload spacer, 10mm bore Shafts: Plated steel, 1/8” Volume compensation: Emulsion DRIVETRAIN Type: 2WD enclosed gearbox Spur gear/pinion: 86T / 25T, 48 pitch Differential: Sealed bevel gear Driveshafts: Steel CV-style Bearings: Metal-shielded ball WHEELS & TIRES Wheels: Standard SC type with styling ring, 12mm hex (rear), 5x10 bearing (front) Tires: Losi Eclipse SCT Inserts: Open-cell foam INCLUDED ELECTRONICS Transmitter/receiver: Spektrum DX2E V3 / SRS4200 4-channel DSMR with AVC Servo: Spektrum S6170 digital, plastic gear, 80 oz.-in. Speed control: Dynamite Tazer 45A Motor: Dynamite Tazer 4-pole sensorless, 3300KV Battery: Dynamite Speedpack 2-cell 3000mAh LiPo Charger: Dynamite 20W / 2amp AC LiPo Balance Charger
THREE GEARS AND A BEVEL DIFF
The three-gear, differential-on-the-bottom gearbox has been a staple of 2WD off-road racing for over 20 years, and the XXX-SCT follows suit. But instead of a ball differential as was once the norm, the XXX-SCT gets a bevel-gear diff. Most gear diffs work reliably with two spider gears, but the SCT gets four, and the differential is sealed to hold silicone fluid. Hardly a must for knocking around, but a nice plus for track running if you want to experiment with different fluid weights in the differential. Outside the gearbox, you’ll find Losi’s traditional dual-pad slipper clutch. Losi was the first to adopt the spurgear-sandwiched-between-the-pads design, and it’s as effective here as ever. A pair of steel CV-style axles complete the drivetrain, and are capped by 12mm hexes so standard short-course wheels can be mounted. Instead of fitting over crosspins in the axles, the hexes are actually pierced by the crosspins, so they won’t pull off when removing the wheels. Nice touch. While the SCT can wear standard short-course wheels in the rear, the front wheels are a different story. Instead of using bearing-supported front stub axles and hexes, the XXX-SCT mounts its front wheel bearings in the wheels themselves. So, you have to use Losi front wheels, or convert the front axles to a hex setup.
Losi’s dual-pad slipper clutch protects the transmission gears.
An o-ring sealed gear differential is standard, and a metal idler gear assures you’ll get plenty of life out of the transmission.
As mentioned earlier, few RC chassis are as well proven as the XXX-series, and the fact that it looks as fresh today as it did when it first debuted is a testimonial to how well designed it is, and how much it has influenced modern RC. The SCT version is the longest of the XXX series chassis, and it’s well braced to maintain rigidity. The upper nose plate has “arms” that reach up the chassis’ sides to the front bulkhead, and the side nerf bars slot into the chassis and are secured by three screws, lending additional support. There’s ample space for the supplied 2S LiPo, with five foam spacers filling the unused space in the tray and allowing for easy experimentation with fore-and-aft weight distribution by moving the pack forward or back in the tray.
The nicely-detailed wheels wear Losi Eclipse tires and non-functional beadlock-style rings. The rings are attached with screws and are available in other colors. No need to upgrade to LiPo, Losi straps in a Dynamite 3000mAh LiPo pack for you. You don’t have a LiPo charger, you say? That’s in the box too.
BRUSHLESS POWER AND LIPO JUICE
Losi cars get Spektrum radio gear, and in the case of the XXX-SCT, that means a DX2E transmitter and the latest Active Vehicle Control (AVC) technology. The transmitter features a dual-rate steering knob, but when paired with the included SRS4200 receiver, it actually controls the AVC system. The system uses gyros, accelerometers, and sophisticated software to constantly compare the commands received to the truck’s actual acceleration and direction. If the two don’t line up, AVC will step in and make steering and throttle corrections to keep you on course. Turn radio’s AVC knob clockwise to increase the level of AVC intervention, turn it counterclockwise to turn AVC “down.” If even the lowest AVC setting is more than you like, you can turn the system off at the receiver.
Losi sets you up with a LiPo from the start, and it’s a nice hard-cased 2-cell 3000mAh pack. To make sure you charge it safely, a balance charger is also included. It’s not super speedy with its 2-amp charge rate, but it does the job well and makes sure both of the pack’s cells are equally charged, which assures maximum performance, run time, and battery life. As for what the battery feeds, that’s good stuff too. Dynamite supplies the Tazer waterproof speed control and 3300KV 4-pole motor, and if tuning is your thing, you can tweak drag brake and maximum brake force as well as throttle punch. There’s also a reverse lockout for racing, and different low-voltage cutoff settings. According to the manual, the default is 2.6 volts per cell, which is pretty steep; choose the 3.2v setting and you’ll go easier on your LiPo packs. If you want to dig in and do some performance tuning, you’ll find the fan-cooled Tazer speed control is fully adjustable.
The Spektrum DX2E and SRS4200 combo bring Active Vehicle Control to the XXX-SCT.
APRIL 2015 51
Behind the wheel
LiPo pack and balance charger When it came time to tear up some terrain with the XXXincluded SCT, getting from the box to the dirt took no time at all. Active Vehicle Control really Absolutely everything you need is included in the box, and I works was able to charge the included partially-charged battery in about 40 minutes with the supplied charger. First stop was Proven Triple-X performance my usual bash spot at Jesmond Dean Park in Escondido, CA. This spot has a ton of loose dirt, berms and jumps. Lazy Sundays are usually a pretty popular day for this spot and Front and rear wheels are not the SCT immediately turned heads when I threw it on the interchangeable dirt. With first pull of the throttle, a huge roost immediately erupted behind the truck as the included 3300Kv unloaded and easily lifted the front end in a huge wheelie. With so much power on tap, it was easy to get the XXX-SCT airborne. As is common for short-course trucks, the SCT did experience some body parachuting, which made the front end come up quite a bit while jumping. This could easily be fixed by venting the body for air to escape. The bumpy dirt made the ride a little bouncy due to the XXX-SCT being lightweight, but the suspension soaked up bumps effectively overall. The included tires are perfect for this type of terrain, and allowed quick and precise direction changes. Mounting the battery all the way back in the battery compartment made the XXX-SCT tail heavy and wheelie happy. For better steering performance, I recommend sliding the battery all the way forward. The included lightweight 3000mAh LiPo battery had good run time, but for the second run, I dropped in a heavier, higher-capacity battery. This made a significant difference and settled down the XXX-SCT. The truck was less bouncy and more controllable everywhere I pointed it. By this time, most of the other drivers on the lot had stopped and come to see what this fast truck I was driving all about. It was easy to turn the AVC up or down to help control of the XXX-SCT in loose conditions. With the AVC turned all the way up, yanking the steering wheel left and right made the SCT swerve some, but it never lost composure—AVC really works. I passed the transmitter around to let others try out the truck and let them dial the AVC to their liking, and they came away impressed with the XXX-SCTs performance as well. –Joel Navarro
Also Available in SCB Flavor
If you prefer your short-course RC fun come wrapped in buggy styling, Losi’s XXX-SCB packs the same specs and price as the XXX-SCT with the single-seater look you’re after. The buggy rolls out on a narrower chassis than the SCT, allowing for the scale-like bodywork, and gets front-specific tires to complete the look. Otherwise, it’s identical to the SCT—brushless, AVC, LiPo, the works.
Losi’s reputation for performance is well earned, and the XXX-SCT is another in a long line of XXX-series RTRs that delivers the goods. The chassis and suspension are well matched to brushless power, and for new drivers in particular, the AVC system can make it much easier to drive fast and enjoy the performance the SCT has to offer. It’s a good buy, too, with a LiPo pack, balance charger, brushless system, and AVC for right around $350—there are other trucks that offer less and cost more. And while the Team Losi Racing 22 SCT 2.0 eclipses the XXX-SCT in outright track performance (and costs a lot more, naturally), the SCT is hardly a slouch on the racetrack if that’s your thing or becomes your thing in the future. But for most buyers, the XXX-SCT’s main mission will be off-road fun with short-course flair, and Losi delivers that experience with high quality, unique features, and good value.
SOURCES Losi Losi.com Spektrum spektrumrc.com Dynamite dynamiterc.com
4 X 4 H SLAS
g a Dr uck Tr BUILDING
More power, more grip, less ride height— this build is all about street speed.
E N I H C A M T E E R T S E T A M I T L U E TH
BY KEVIN HETMANSKI PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO AND KEVIN HETMANSKI
Any time two or more RC people get together, the session always turns into a top-speed showdown and the drag racing begins. With exactly that in mind, I set out to build the ultimate street-racing machine—something that would not only be fast in a straight line, but also durable and easy to drive, and also a good handler for those times when the guys with slower cars decide they’d like to throw in a few corners to even the odds in the battle for parking lot supremacy. Right out of the box, the Traxxas Slash 4X4 ticks the speed, durability, and handling boxes with over 60mph on tap when you go for 3S LiPo power and a gearing change. But with my eye on a no-holds-barred build, I chose a Slash 4X4 Platinum as my base. The Platinum ups the performance ante with a low-CG chassis, larger-volume GTR shocks, front and rear sway bars, optional center diff and a full set of aluminum hub carriers and steering knuckles. The Platinum arrives minus transmitter and receiver, which is also a good fit for my project plans.
APRIL 2015 57
4 SLASH 4X
BACK IN BLACK
Like other Traxxas models, the Slash 4X4 Platinum’s chassis is molded in “Traxxas grey.” I wanted my truck to have a sinister look to it to scare off my opponents, and went with all black. Instead of using fabric dye to color the chassis, I decided to try Krylon’s Fusion spray paint, which is designed specifically to bond with plastic. I’d been looking for a good project to test its durability, and the 4X4 was a perfect chance to try it out. The paint covers well, and looks good.
JConcepts low-profile front bumper setup is required to mount the Scalpel body properly. The kit includes the bumper, upper and lower fiberglass plates, hingepin retainer, low-profile body mounts, and hardware.
Acer’s ceramic bearing set trims a few grams, but their main benefit is super-low friction.
The Slash 4X4 arrives with full bearings, but the greasefilled, rubber-sealed units are designed for long wear and contamination resistance rather than absolute minimum friction. To give my project the least possible drivetrain drag, I replaced all the stock bearings with Acer Racing ceramic bearings which are lightweight and have less rolling resistance. To free them up even more, I cleaned out the factory lube using an RPM Bearing Blaster and motor spray, then re-lubed them with Acer’s Sin synthetic lubricant. The moisture-displacing compound leaves a lubricant film on the parts and is super-slick. When putting the drivetrain back together I cleaned off all grease from the ring and pinion gears and coated them with smooth running Sullivan Dry Ice lubricant. Speaking of the differentials, I filled the front diff with 500K weight fluid to ensure that both tires grab with the same amount of force and went to 10K fluid in the rear.
My Project 4X4 is now one of the models in my DX4R Pro transmitter.
Rough pavement or a dusty surface can cause a pretty dramatic crash when running at high speeds. To keep my truck grabbing pavement and going straight, I paired the Slash 4X4 with my Spektrum DX4R Pro transmitter, hightorque S6100 steel-gear servo, and an SRS4210 receiver with Active Vehicle Control, better known as AVC. If AVC’s gyros and accelerometers detect the car is performing contrary to radio input, it will adjust throttle and steering to compensate, just like the electronic stability system in a full-size car. The amount of AVC intervention can be dialed up or down, or turned off completely to suit your needs and preference. When used with the DX4R Pro or DX4C transmitters, you can adjust the level of AVC for throttle and steering independently.
Spektrum’s SRS4210 receiver makes it easy to add Active Vehicle Control to any vehicle.
Instead of dye, I used Krylon Fusion paint to give the chassis this blacked-out look.
Parts List ACER RACING
Slash 4x4 VLX Ceramic
bearing kit - CTR027, $68 SIN Lube Synthetic Bearing Oil - SIN01, $9 JCONCEPTS
1972 Chevy C10 Scalpel
When you build a drag truck, you can’t have a The aluminum C-hubs and steering knuckles are suspension that is soft standard on the Platinum 4X4. I added Lunsford titaand set up with a lot nium turnbuckles to trim a few grams over the stock of down travel. It may steel parts and offset some of the weight added with be able to go fast in a steel parts elsewhere. straight line with that setup but if you try to make any adjustments to keep the truck on its path you will have your hands full. To tighten up the suspension I replaced the stock 30wt shock oil with 60wt oil in the front and 70wt oil in the rear. I also ditched the stock springs and replaced them with a set of Traxxas’ blue 1.004 rate springs, and mounted the shocks in the suspension arms’ outermost holes to lower the suspension without using limiters in the shocks. RPM shock towers are the finishing touch. They are guaranteed against breakage and preserve the stock suspension geometry.
Steel slipper, steel spur gear…this Robinson stuff is bomb-proof.
The Slash 4X4 drivetrain is well proven as high-power ready, but I was going for total bomb-proofness and made a few upgrades to ensure maximum reliability. Since the Novak motor has a 5mm shaft, I could not use the stock Traxxas pinion (which has a 1/8” shaft opening). A Novak 5mm 32 pitch steel pinion did the trick, and the motor is coupled to a steel spur gear from Robinson Racing. Sounds heavy, but Robinson machines away a lot of material to reduce weight. It also has a trick black coating that prevents corrosion. The spur gear is connected to Robinson Racing’s heavy duty slipper clutch which normally is used to protect the drivetrain from shock but since this truck is going to be a street demon (where there are no jumps) and drag racing so I locked it down to give me the best possible acceleration. The stock plastic drive shafts can handle the power in that they don’t break, but the shafts can twist under load. I replaced them with Traxxas’ heavy duty steel shafts which don’t flex at all and deliver instant power transfer.
speed run body— 0267, $37 Slash 4X4 front bumper conversion kit— 2173. $34 G-LOCS pre mounted tires— 3056-3030, $26 LUNSFORD RACING
Ti turnbuckle hinge pin kit—
6500 3-cell 11.1v dual core
battery pack—$165 NOVAK
Crusher/Ballistic 550 4X4
SCT brushless system— 3086, $200 5mm 32 pitch steel pinion gear 3 pack—5160 (12, 13, 14), 5161 (15, 16, 17), $23 ROBINSON RACING
GEN3 Slipper Unit and
hardened blackened steel spur— 7854, $49 RPM
Front shock tower— 70392,
$11 Rear shock tower— 70362, $11 SULLIVAN
Dry Ice— S699, $11
Slash 4x4 Platinum—
6804R, $430 Spring, shock, white 1.004 rate blue—7449, $5 pair Steel Constant Velocity Shafts, front— 6851R, $80 Steel Constant Velocity Shafts, rear— 6852R, $80
APRIL 2015 59
4 SLASH 4X
Hard launches on loose surfaces are no problem with Active Vehicle Control on board.
IT CORNERS LIKE A TOURING CAR AND I CAN THROW IT INTO THE TURNS WITH NO PROBLEM.
Drag truck testing took place where I designed my truck to be run: on the street right in front of my house. Since my first runs were on new and clean pavement, I shut off AVC to see what the truck had to offer. Of course before pulling hard on the trigger I drove the truck around slowly to make sure that the trims were set properly and that I had brakes. Throttle response was quick and smooth. Steering was equally responsive, and the servo and grippy tires instantly pointed the truck where I wanted it to go. I built the truck to be super fast in a straight line but I was surprised to see how well the truck turned and I found myself carving up the street. It corners like a touring car and I can throw it into the turns with no problem. I lined the truck up for what it was made for and pegged the trigger on a full-throttle drag run. The front tires came off the ground and the rear tires spun slightly as the Novak system unloaded. The 4X4 tracked straight and true, and quickly reached it’s top speed. Although its top speed is similar to the stock truck’s, it gets there much faster thanks to the low-end grunt of the Novak motor and smoothness of the sensored system. You aren’t always going to be able to play on a perfectly smooth surface so I brought my truck over to a road that was a little rough and had a coating of dirt to see how AVC would help the truck out. I made a few passes with AVC off at first and the truck’s suspension did a good job of controlling the ride of the truck but trying to keep it straight was a challenge. I clicked on AVC and it was like I was driving a completely different car. The truck went straight pretty much on its own and that kind of control on a surface like that is sure to get you the win light when racing against any other vehicle.
SLICK SHELL, GRIPPY TIRES
A drag truck has to slice through the air so it can get to the finish line before the other guy and that why I’m using JConcept’s Scalpel body. There are two versions available; one that looks more like a futuristic car, and the one I chose, a slammed Chevy C10. The body is super wide and covers the truck’s tires to keep air from hitting them and a chin spoiler helps keep the front tires planted. I gave it a coat of LRP Fluorescent green paint with white racing stripes to give it a classic drag truck look. All that power on tap is nothing if you can’t apply it to the ground so for traction I glued up a set of JConcepts G-Locs tires. They have an aggressive street ready tread that are right at home on rough and smooth surfaces and they come with firm JConcepts G-Loc tires on Rulux wheels give my 4X4 a inserts. JConcepts Rulux wheels complete the package. high-grip footprint.
What a fun truck! My project Speed Slash is very fast, accelerates well and is easy to control. My truck isn’t geared to break speed records, but when you’re drag racing it’s not just how fast your vehicle can go; it’s also about how fast you can get it from start to finish. It will be hard to find anyone who has a truck that can reach that speed and do it quicker in a scale quarter-mile pass. Whoever decides to challenge me will have to do some work to top what my truck has to offer. AVC may be cheating to some while racing, but since when are there rules in parking lot grudge matches? My Project Slash 4X4 is a great straight-line machine that can do double duty as a road racer.
BALLISTIC POWER Traxxas doesn’t skimp on horsepower with the Platinum’s stock Velineon 3500KV sensorless setup, but I wanted to try out Novak’s Crusher speed control and 6.5T Ballistic motor “4x4 SCT” combo because of the tunablity of the speed control, high torque output of the motor and fine control of a sensored system.The Crusher speed control is packed full of adjustable features, including drive frequency and minimum drive percentage, which are ideal for tuning the system’s punch. Dynamic Timing Advance increases top-end RPM and can be set for up to 35 degrees to boost speed by over 20% compared to a “zero timing” setting (the catch is, more timing raises temps and reduces efficiency). The 6.5 turn motor puts out a lot of RPM even without the Dynamic Timing boost, but it’s nice to have the option as a “secret weapon” for sheer speed. Of course, none of that matters without juice. I went with MaxAmps and installed a three-cell, 6,500 mAh LiPo pack for maximum voltage.
Acer Racing acerracing.com JConcepts jconcepts.net LRP lrpamerica Lunsford lunsfordracing.com Maxamps.com maxamps.com Novak teamnovak.com Robinson Racing robinsonracing.com Spektrum spektrumrc.com Sullivan Products sullivanproducts.com Traxxas traxxas.com RPM rpmrcproducts.com
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T
1/8-SCALE ELECTRIC4WD BUGGY | RTR
REVENGE TYPE E Big-buggy fun with brushless power that won’t bust your budget
words & photos by carl hyndman
1/8-scale electric buggies have handling characteristics that have been developed on the track and can be a great option for entry-level R/C drivers looking for a vehicle with nimble handling and snappy acceleration. ECX has a well-earned reputation for making affordable and durable vehicles, and with the new Revenge, ECX offers their first electric 4WD buggy. The Revenge comes ready-to-run and has a host of features including a Spektrum 2.4GHz radio system, sealed gear differentials, and a sensorless brushless system in an eye-catching package that makes it easy to add a big buggy to your RC stable. At a street price of around $360, the Revenge is a lot of buggy at a jaw-dropping price. Let’s see if it can hold up its end of this smoking bargain.
april 2015 65
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T STEEL-GEAR SHAFT DRIVE
7.2 in. 183mm
As expected for a 1/8 buggy, the Revenge is equipped with front, center, and rear differentials. The bevel-gear diffs are filled with grease from the factory, but gaskets and o-ring seals allow tuning by filling the diffs with silicone fluid. The center differential is housed between two mounts: a beefy plastic one up front, and a thick aluminum rear bulkhead that performs double-duty and incorporates a sliding motor mount. A pair of steel dogbone driveshafts connect the three differentials, and dogbones are also used front and rear to drive the wheels. Universal-joint or CV axles would be preferred, especially for the front shafts, but the dogbones aren’t a surprise on a budget buggy. ECX positions the stub axles’ drive cups directly between the steering knuckles’ kingpins, which helps prevent dogbone bind and chatter. Throughout the drivetrain, steel gears are used, including the spur gear. Plastic spurs are common in low-cost designs, so the steel gear is a nice plus for durability.
12.1 in. 309mm
12.7 in. 323mm 19.1 in. 485mm
The Revenge uses race-inspired triple-differentials at the front, center and rear and these transfer the power through drive shafts to all four wheels.
VEHICLE SPECS Item no.: ECX04000 Scale: 1/8 Price: $360 Weight: 6 lb., 11.2 oz. (3039g)
35.1 mph* with 3S LiPo
CHASSIS Material: 3mm 6061 Aluminum Type: Plate with plastic side guards SUSPENSION Type: H-arm with 5mm steel adjustable turnbuckle camber links Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 2/4 Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/4 Shock positions, towers (F/R): 6/6 Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2 SHOCKS Bodies: Aluminum, 12mm bore Shafts: Polished steel Volume compensation: Bladder DRIVETRAIN Type: 4WD Shaft Spur/Pinion: 48/14-tooth Slipper Clutch: None Differential F/R: Sealed bevel gear Driveshafts: Steel dogbones Bearings: Metal and rubber-shielded ball WHEELS & TIRES Wheels: Black dish with 17mm hex Tires: Dynamite SpeedTreads premounts INCLUDED ELECTRONICS Transmitter: Spektrum DX2E 2.4GHz DSMR 2-channel Receiver: Spektrum SR200 4-channel Servo: Spektrum SPMS605 Waterproof, metal gear, 125 oz.-in. Speed control: Dynamite Fuze 130A Sensorless 1/8-scale Motor: Dynamite Fuze 550 4-Pole Sensorless Brushless Motor 2500Kv REQUIRES (4) AA batteries 2S or 3S LiPo Charger
ALUMINUM SHOCK SUSPENSION
The Revenge’s suspension package is standard buggy tech, but it does have a couple of surprises up its sleeve. The front upper camber link foregoes a ball cup and stud system and instead uses a wishbone-style link to attach to the front hub carrier. The hingepins are either captured or screw-in pins, so there are no e-clip hassles. The aluminum-body shocks use clip-on preload spacers rather than threaded collars to help trim the car’s price, but are well build with nutted pistons and 3mm polished shafts. The shaft seals are held in by a snap-on cap rather than a threaded part, but the fit is tight and there were no problems with shock blowouts in testing. In the “nice surprise” department, the aluminum shock towers are 4mm thick, instead less rigid 3mm parts. The Revenge’s steering system is a traditional dual-bellcrank setup with two positions for Ackermann tuning and an adjustable servo-saver. The installed waterproof, metal-gear servo makes good torque at 125 oz.in, but the plastic servo arm looks like a light-duty part—I’ll keep an eye on it. Above: Aluminum shocks and H-arm suspension, standard buggy stuff here. Note the wishbone camber link design, which incorporates a short turnbuckle for camber changes. Left: The Spektrum SPMS605 servo puts out 125 oz.-in. of torque, helping give the Revenge quick steering. An aluminum or thicker plastic servo arm would be welcome, the stock part could be beefier.
TRADITIONAL 4WD BUGGY CONFIGURATION
The foundation of the Revenge is a 3mm, 6061 aluminum chassis. As expected for a low-priced car, it has no special milling or funky design ideas, but follows a proven layout. Plastic braces lend extra support, and at the battery tray is a simple plastic pan with a pair of Velcro straps, which allows for a variety of pack sizes to fit the chassis. The chassis plate is shared with the nitro-powered Revenge “Type N” buggy, and in electric mode it retains the unused slots and holes for the nitro components. A single chassis shared between nitro and electric models helps keep overall costs down, and with it the price of the car. The chassis is 3mm 6061 aluminum and has a nice black finish. No surprises in the layout, just a well-proven buggy format.
2500KV BRUSHLESS POWER
The ECX Revenge comes in at a pretty low price point, so you’d normally expect to see a really basic power system, but the included Fuze sensorless system is very solid and has features usually only seen on higher end models. The fancooled speed control allows you to adjust drag brake and max brake, minimum brake, motor timing, and more, in addition to adjusting the speed control directly, you can program it using the optional Dynamite Fuze Digital Program Box (DYN3748). The motor is a 4-pole design and rated at 2500KV and delivers 35mph on a 3S LiPo pack, which is the maximum the system is rated for. The Revenge will also run on a 2S pack with speeds in the mid-20s, which is a good fit for firsttime drivers. With the exception of the receiver, the electronic gear is waterproof. The receiver gets a splash-proof box, but it’s not o-ring sealed, so avoid full-on U-boating with the revenge. Or any RC car, for that matter.
Right: The Dynamite Fuze 2500Kv motor provides dependable sensorless operation that is virtually maintenance-free. Its 4-pole design gives it plenty of torque and top speed. Left: The Dynamite Fuze speed control is rated at 130A and can handle up to a 3S LiPo battery pack.
april 2015 67
BEHIND THE WHEEL
Simple, durable design For my initial runs, I installed a Dynamite 2S LiPo pack and headed over to my local stomping grounds and kept a Lots of bang for your buck charged 3S pack close by for when I got used to the buggy. My local spot has a mixture of loamy dirt, grass and asphalt, mixed in with elevation changes, natural berms and some mounds that replicate some nice big jumps. In no time I Not rated for 4S LiPo power noticed the Revenge had predictable manners and had a slight push that kept it from getting too squirrelly when Beefier servo arm should be standard on the throttle. This instilled a lot of confidence and even though I was only running a 2S LiPo pack, the power level was still exciting. It had enough grunt to throw roosts and break the tires free, but wasn’t so much that it felt twitchy or uncontrollable. However, as I pushed the buggy further it was apparent that the tires were a little hard for optimum traction and it tended to slide more than grab in the varied terrain. On the plus side, the firm rubber improves durability and tread life, and for all-terrain running it’s a good trade off. I also noticed the buggy’s ability to go through rough sections easily with its relatively tall ride height, which is a reflection of the Revenge’s intended mission. Although it did show its lineage to racing buggies, its real application is fun running. The Revenge claws through terrain with the help of its 4WD and is able to launch with solid dexterity. Compared to more expensive buggies it is a bit on the heavy side, but once again this seems to be a positive trait. Racers know that a light buggy can make it quick and nimble, but can also make it too aggressive and ill-mannered for going flat out or when thrashing through the bigger stuff. The extra weight helped plant the buggy and gave it a better grip on the loamy dirt and loose obstacles. I also found the suspension to be adequately damped and sprung. It struck a good balance and never executed excessive roll or slapped on landings- even when my piloting skills sent the Revenge into awkward flight. Testing with a 3S pack took it up a notch, but it never got too crazy and the tires never went in to “mohawk” mode and the gear differentials felt well tuned to this type of driving. If a tire broke traction it didn’t transfer the power and create a diff’ing-out scenario. It just laid the power to the ground and kept accelerating forward. Now these things are great when the buggy is going at Mach 10, but when I ventured in to tighter, smaller spots of the field, the buggy lacked a bit of agility and feel at low speeds. The slight push that made the buggy easy to drive at speed was a bit of hindrance when going slow and combined with the electronics’ sensorless nature, contributed to less finesse at the bottom of the throttle band. Fortunately, the Revenge uses standard 1/8-scale buggy wheels and tires to help give drivers options and to help adjust the buggy’s handling, and tuning parts are also available.
The Revenge’s Spektrum DX2E transmitter does duty with a number of Vaterra, ECX, and Losi models. In this issue, it’s also paired with the Losi XXX-SCT. Unlike the Active Vehicle Control (AVC) equipped Losi, the DX2E’s dual-rate steering knob is left to control its intended function rather than the AVC system. If you want to try AVC for yourself, just replace the included receiver with a Spektrum SRS4210.
If you’re looking for a fun and simple entry to 1/8 scale e-buggies without maxing out the credit card, the ECX Revenge is a solid choice. It’s a lot of fun and is well suited to its intended role as a first-time-friendly big buggy. ECX did make a few compromises to lower its price, but they are well thought out and don’t diminish the fun factor. The Revenge is easy to drive (especially on a 2S pack) and a capable car straight out of the box with the quick and nimble handling 1/8 buggies are known for.
SOURCES ECX ecxrc.com Dynamite dynamiterc.com Horizon Hobby horizonhobby.com
younger, but he’s mechanically inclined and we just went through the learning curve together.
Racing, Family, and What’s Next for RC’s Newest World Champion By Carl Hyndman If you race off-road, you’ve probably heard of 21-year-old Canadian phenom Ty Tessmann. The young Hot Bodies driver has been turning the scene upside down, culminating with a win at the 2014 IFMAR Nitro World Championships in Messina, Italy. He was taking wins or standing somewhere on the podium at almost every international race he attended. Softspoken, polite and backed by a crew that includes his parents, Ty is slaying the veterans and establishing his own winning dynasty one race at a time. His system is refined, polished and so efficient that many long-time pro driver standouts and factory teams have had to take a long look at how they approach racing to respond to this new wave of speed. We sat down with Ty and his parents just after team Tessmann won the overall at Gunsmoke Classic at Inland Empire RC in San Bernardino, CA to find out what makes his winning formula so special.
Ty celebrates his first Worlds win. Odds are it won’t be his last.
RCCA: When you first saw an RC car, were you instantly hooked or was it something you grew to love? Ty: My grandmother bought me a car from Radio Shack and it was crappy. I drove it till it broke, then my parents bought me a hobby grade car and I just kept driving it and getting more cars and it snowballed from there. RCCA: So you started out just messing around on your street or in the dirt, but then you got interested in racing? Ty: Well we had a club in our town and there were a couple of guys and we ran there, but then we started going to bigger races in Canada. We got pretty good, so we went to the states to see how we would do against the racers here and see 72 RCCarAction.com
how fast everyone was. After that, it just continued from there.
served its purpose, but my parents really gave up a lot of stuff for me.
RCCA: What was the first class you started out in? Ty: My first class was 1/10-scale Mod Stadium Truck around 2002 or 2003. I wasn’t super serious, but that’s what I started out with.
RCCA: Now it seems that they have gotten even more involved- they pit for you, your dad helps with wrenching and tuning… How far does that go? Ty: It helps a lot. It’s really nice to have my parents doing it with me. My dad and I know each other so well that we know what we are going to do and we communicate better than if we had just hired a pit guy. My mom books all the hotels, flights—it’s really nice to have all that stuff.
RCCA: Your parents are very involved with your racing. How did that develop? Ty: They’ve always supported me and they’ve given up a lot of stuff to support me in this. They opened a hobby shop and that supported my racing for a long time before I got sponsored. Once I got sponsored and started going to a lot of races we ran out of time to work in the hobby shop so we shut it down. It
RCCA: Your dad is your mechanic. Did he just learn it along the way or did he have a background with it? Ty: He had a car when he was
RCCA: Well you guys are known for having quick pit stops in nitro racing. Rumor has it that you actually have a pit spot at your house and that you practice pitting with your parents in your yardfilling fuel tanks, etc? Ty: Yeah we have a track at home and a pit lane so we practice pitting there. Before the 2014 IFMAR Nitro Worlds, we had the new Pro-Line fuel gun, so we practiced a lot. We needed to get familiar with it, so we were always practicing. It's about giving 110%. RCCA: When you are planning for a big race and you know it’s months out, what are your typical steps to prepare? Ty: I practice a lot, probably three to four times a week regularly, and for a big race will increase it more. It depends on the race, but we will usually go four to five times a week. We’ll go and simulate what we think the track will be like. We’ll also water the track or do what we need to do to mimic the track and try and get a setup that will work. RCCA: Is narrowing down your tire selection part of that, or do you have other things you typically do? Ty: We try and look at the track, whether it’s online or in person. We will also ask people who have been there before to try and get a feel for it and what it’s going to be like. We try to set up our car close to that and then we usually ask the locals what tires are working. We’ll then go out with a tire we think is going to work. It takes a long time to get to know your car and know what it’s supposed to feel like, and from there we can make changes. It comes about through testing, but the first run we always go out on tires we think are going to work for the surface. While I’m learning the layout I’ll try and think about what the car needs and what we need to change. RCCA: You’ve been on a roll over the last year or so. Do you feel like it’s been a sudden breakthrough, or does your success feel more like gradual progress? Ty: I think it’s been a slow, gradual progress. You have to work at it over a long period of time. The IFMAR Worlds is a funny race and anything can happen. The guys that are favored to win, don’t always win. In the past it’s always been people who you probably didn’t think of. There’s been polls and it isn’t the top guy from the votes. It’s a crazy race and you
FAST FACTS Age: 21 Home: Alberta, Canada Sponsors: HPI/Hot Bodies, Pro-Line, O.S., Team Orion, Savox, AMain.com, Avid, Lunsford, MuchMore Racing, Nitrotane, MIP, UpGrade, and 110% Racing. Biggest Wins: IFMAR 1/8 Scale Off-Road World Championship (2014), Hot Rod Hobbies Shootout, 4WD buggy (2014); ROAR Off-Road Fuel Nats, 1/8 Buggy (2014); The Dual Race, Overall Invite Class (2014); Lone Star Nitro Challenge, 1/8 E-Buggy, Truggy (2014); Neo 14 Dash for Cash, Buggy, 1/8 E-Buggy (2014); The Dirt Nitro Challenge, 1/8 Buggy & Truggy (2014)
Kendall and Kelly Bennett are husband IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET TO KNOW YOURand CAR KNOW wifeAND and have WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE, AND FROM THERE teamed up toWE makeCAN AMain.com a unique MAKE CHANGES. WHILE I’M LEARNING THE LAYOUT OF A option in the RC and TRACK, I’LL TRY AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THE CAR NEEDS sports industries.
AND WHAT WE NEED TO CHANGE. FEBRUARY 2015 73
Pro File TY TESSMANN
never know what to expect when you go over there, but winning an IFMAR Worlds was definitely one of my goals right from the start. But, we aren’t going to stop or give up. We’re going to try to win as many races as we can. RCCA: What are your next goals and what is on your racing schedule? Ty: Well the next big race is the Reedy Race and we are going to do the best we can there and win it. We’ll be testing for the IFMAR 1/10 Electric Worlds in Japan this coming year. We’ll try and learn as much as we can, especially since it will be on Astroturf, so we’ll have to figure out something for that. Then after that, the ROAR Nationals, Nitro Challenge- every race we go to we try to win. RCCA: So you’re planning to focus more on electric because of the upcoming Worlds? Ty: We are still going to nitro races, but we are going to more electric races. RCCA: You’ve been doing really well with the Hot Bodies D413 4WD buggy, and I see you running a 2WD prototype buggy. How is that going? Ty: The 4WD buggy is good. We
Ty’s Hot Bodies D812 on the way to the finish line at the 2014 IFMAR 1/8 Nitro OffRoad World Championship in Messina, Italy.
Left: What does winning feeling like? Cold and wet, sometimes. Above: Gord and Ty, hugging it out after a win.
have a bit of experience from nitro 1/8-scale. It’s 4WD and has similar characteristics, so we know what to change. But 2WD buggy has been a little different. Stuff that works in 4WD doesn’t always work in 2WD. We are learning every time we go out and it’s getting better and better and we are looking forward
to Reedy Race to make it that much better.
to the next track where faster guys are. If you are the fastest guy there, you should be traveling more and finding faster guys to go up against. Keep practicing and working on your cars as much as you can.
RCCA: If you could give advice to new drivers getting into racing, what would it be? Ty: I’d say just go to your local track and practice as much as you can. Once you are the fastest there, go
RCCA: What’s the biggest difference between racing in Canada and racing in the USA? Ty: The competition is much stronger in the USA. I think it’s just the lack of people who do it in
SO MUCH RADIO. SO LITTLE MONEY.
Whether you’re just starting out or upgrading your RTR’s radio, there’s a clear, affordable choice: the TTX300 from Tactic. A programmable 3rd channel gives this system flexibility that no other analog radio can match, and a $50 street price makes the TTX300 an incredible value. Proven, 2.4GHz technology puts you in the driver’s seat with worry-free control for cars, trucks, boats, buggies and crawlers. It’s all of the upsides Tactic has to offer in a surface system — at a downto-earth price! ■ Steering and throttle reverse and trims The TTX300 comes equipped with a multi-functional programmable third channel that can be used as a 2-, 3- or 4-position switch or proportional control
■ End point adjustments for all channels ■ Steering rate adjustment dial ■ Two-button control of third channel ■ Light, compact 3-channel receiver ■ Internal antenna ■ Power LED Actual size
©2014 – 3134479
Tactic, a Hobbico company.
Pro File TY TESSMANN
Ty’s winning combo includes his parents who act as his factory mechanic, pit team, management and overall support.
Canada because of the population differences.
The Tessmann Team Part of Ty’s winning formula is the support he receives from his parents Gord and Leann. Ty is quick to point out that without them, he would not have the success that he enjoys today. They truly work as a team and handle every aspect of Ty’s career. Often that has meant an even broader reach and recently, Gord was hired as the Team Manager for the Hot Bodies/ HPI off-road team. It’s a unique situation and we were lucky to sit down with all of them to get their take on this interesting dynamic. RCCA: How did you all get involved with RC? Gord: My mom—Ty’s grandmother— gave Ty a car when he was little, and he drove it till it broke. He loved it. Then I got a car and we went to the local club and it just snowballed from there. 76 RCCarAction.com
RCCA: Is it something you thought about in advance, or did it just happen? Gord: It just kind of happened. My family’s nature is that when we get in to something, we don’t do it halfway. If we are going to do something, we are going to do it right. RCCA: At what age did you see the spark in Ty? The time when he was digging it? Gord: I think he was about ten and we saw a race advertised in a magazine. It was Monster Hobbies Madness Invitational in Idaho. TLR’s Adam Drake, Team Durango’s Travis Amezcua (at time he was probably TLR), JBRL’s Jimmy Babcock, Doug Scripture and Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri, were there and Ty looked up to all of these guys. It was eight hours away and we might not ever get a chance to see all of these guys again in our lives, so we said, let’s take Ty down there and let him meet them. He ran electric truck and nitro truck. He got to meet Adam
and Travis and they made him feel like a million bucks. They gave him some autographed tires and he still has them today. Adam came to him and Ty was just in awe. Ty said that was what he wanted to do, be a professional RC racer. That was around 2003. RCCA: Ty explained that you’ve always wrenched for him and that you’ve always been mechanically inclined. Was that something you had to learn along the way? Gord: When we started, he ran electric truck and I ran nitro stadium truck. I was even local Nitro Champion one year at our local club. Then, I decided I wanted to try 1/8-scale buggy, so I gave him my nitro 1/10-scale truck. I would run and he was smoking me with everything. I’d run 1/8-scale 4WD buggy and he’d beat me with 1/10-scale nitro 2WD truck. So, I decided that I would start wrenching. I always taught Ty that anyone could die at any time— have a heart attack, get hit by a bus—so he could actually do this
all on his own. He does most of the wrenching, but I watch his car and we communicate. If I was gone instantly, his career wouldn’t be over by any means. He would just need someone to fuel his car. He can do everything himself. I just think we can do it better as a team. Leann: And if we do the wrenching, he can focus more on his driving. RCCA: You guys had some of the fastest pit stops at the IFMAR Worlds. How did you prepare? Leann: We practiced our pit stops for a couple of weeks. Gord: We knew which direction the track was going, and we knew roughly how high the pit lane was, so we took all of that into consideration and basically left nothing to chance. We tested tires from Pro-Line on cement. We know that a very small group have won the IFMAR Worlds and you don’t win it by accident. I’ve heard soand-so got lucky, that’s not true. You don’t get lucky for a week straight.
Pro File TY TESSMANN little cocky—his D812 design just won the Worlds—but he’s still so down to earth. Both of our goals are the same. We just want to win. He admires how much work we put into it, and we admire that in him, so I think that is why we work so well together. Torrance understands that practice and theories don’t always match and he’s willing to accept what is reality.
The Tessman Team is known for their meticulous preparation and leave nothing to chance. Everyone pitches in.
RCCA: Did the IFMAR Worlds go according to plan? Gord: No, it actually didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised to see how fast he got on pace, because we had never driven on anything like that before. Ty is more of a finesse driver. He does better on small, tight, technical tracks. I was also surprised how he did at the 2014 ROAR Nats in Texas when he won. It wasn’t a small, tight track. I’ve told people that when he was 17, that Ty was the best driver in the world, but not the best racer in the world, but I think now he’s the best at both. I mean I’m his Dad so I’m bragging, but his craft, his patience and his mindset are very strong. You can’t show up to a race like that and not expect to win. I get a kick out of the media when they ask us how we expect to do. I don’t know how they expect anyone to say third. Leann: “I’m going for tenth!” (laughs) RCCA: Well you’d be surprised, because a lot of drivers just want to make the “show” (the final main). Gord: To me, that’s a waste and not why we are there. RCCA: You’re now the Team Manager for Hot Bodies/HPI. How did that happen?
Gord: I’ve always traveled with Ty and I have background in business with my brother. I talked to [Hot Bodies/HPI owner] Tatsuro Watanabe and we were looking for a new mechanic for Ty. Tatsuro asked me what it would take to do it and also become Team Manager. Tatsuro is an awesome guy. I can’t say enough good things about him. Leann: He’s been gracious since day one. He first sponsored Ty
and has been there 100%. Ty was unknown and he took a chance. RCCA: I noticed you’ve been working with Torrance DeGuzman, the lead engineer for Hot Bodies/ HPI. How is that going? Gord: Torrance is an amazing engineer. He’s super smart, super knowledgeable and probably the least arrogant person we’ve ever met. He has every right to be a
RCCA: Ty, how do you feel working with Torrance? Ty: It’s pretty natural now because I’ve been working with him so long and it’s really cool to have that engineering support and helping me out since I’m working to become a mechanical engineer myself. Gord: I remember when we had a meeting about the 4WD D413 and we thought the buggy would work well with a center diff and Torrance was so open to the idea instantly. After we left, Ty said he hoped Torrance wasn’t going to be like everyone else. I asked what he meant, and Ty said that everyone is always so nice to us at the start, but if we disagree with something they say it always turns bad. But I told him to just be positive and work hard and that’s all we can do. He hasn’t changed at all. I remember a while back someone wanted to interview Torrance when we won the Worlds and he said it wasn’t about him. Torrance wants to win, but he wants to support and stay in the background. RCCA: I’ve noticed there’s been a lot of changes at Hot Bodies/HPI, can you comment on this? Gord: A lot of drivers are coming to us. We aren’t seeking out drivers. That hasn’t happened in many years. Tatsuro is passionate about racing and wants a strong team. As a father I’m torn, because we just made winning harder for us, but it’s better for the company and we are able to get better products. So I have to look at it that way and how it is going to help our company. I talked to Ty about it, and he’s okay with it. If as a team we finish one, two, three and Ty has to be third, we know it’s what’s best for the company and what we work for. We want to win all the races we go to—small, big- it doesn’t matter.
FINAL WORD The Tessmann team gives beyond the normal effort and their commitment to Ty’s career is impressive. Racing involves a lot more than just driving and raw talent, and although they possess those traits, it is only part of the equation. The Tessmanns have already won an impressive list of major events including an IFMAR Worlds and ROAR National titles, but they aren’t ready to stop any time soon and expect to win at any event they attend. That’s an easy claim to make, but they’ve backed it up with wins and their approach is hard to discount. A lot of things are changing in their camp and the ways things are going, we can expect to see many more. Best of luck to Ty and his family and we look forward to what the future holds.
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T
1/10-SCALE 4WD COMPETITION TOURING CAR | KIT
Durango’s first-ever touring car is a pro-grade performer
words & photos by joel navarro
Team Durango has made a name for itself in the RC world as a manufacturer that produces ultra high-quality performance vehicles that are successful in the national and world championship arenas. Off-road vehicles has been the company’s primary focus until now. Durango is hitting the pavement hard with its first sedan offering and it’s packed with features that put it up to par with its off-road siblings and the other high end sedans on the market. With a double deck carbon chassis, fully adjustable suspension and two belt drivetrain design, the DETC410 aims to dominate tracks around the globe.
april 2015 83
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T Here you can see how the dual-belt setup sandwiches the spur gear between the belts. Note the indexed, eccentric bearing mount used to set belt tension.
4.13 in. 105mm
7.4 in. 188mm
DUAL-BELT DIFF AND SPOOL DRIVETRAIN
10.2 in. 259mm 14.5 in. 368mm
VEHICLE SPECS Item no.: DETC410 Scale: 1/10 Price: $400 Weight, as tested 3 lb 13 oz (1420g)
The DETC410 spins a pair of belts to deliver 4WD, and mounts the spur gear between the layshaft pulleys to hold the motor close to the chassis’ centerline. The bevel-gear rear differential uses plastic gears to reduce the rotating mass, and the diff case is sealed to hold silicone oil. Durango leaves oil selection to you, and does not include any with the kit. Up front, a solid spool takes the place of a front diff, so both front wheels receive equal power at all times. CV-joint driveshafts are fitted front and rear, and pair their hardened steel joints with lightweight aluminum dogbone shafts. The front shafts have unique, double universal joints for better efficiency and improved steering throw. Sleeves on the drive pins reduce friction between the drive pins and drive cups to smooth out the drivetrain, and the completed belt-drive system is indeed slick.
CHASSIS Material: 2.25mm carbon fiber plate Type: Double-deck plate SUSPENSION Type: H-arm with aluminum turnbuckle upper link Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3 Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/3 Shock positions, towers (F/R): 6/6 Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3 SHOCKS Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 11mm bore Shafts: Plated steel, 3mm Volume compensation: Bladder or emulsion DRIVETRAIN Type: 4WD belt Spur gear/pinion: 116T / Not Included (64 pitch) Differential F/R: Spool/Sealed bevel plastic gear Driveshafts F/R: Aluminum CV-style/Aluminum CV-style Bearings: Rubber shielded ball REQUIRES 2-channel radio system, speed control, motor, steering servo, battery, body, wheels and tires
TEST GEAR (NOT INCLUDED) Radio: Futaba 4PKS Servo: Savox SC-1251 MG Speed Control: Trakpower MS-1 Motor: Trakpower 13.5T Sensored Brushless Body: Protoform P37-R Wheels/Tires: Solaris Premounted Medium Compound Battery: Trakpower 7200 mAh 7.4V 90C LiPo Charger: Hitec X4 AC Plus
Aluminum shafts with steel CV joints spin the wheels. The “D-Joint” front shafts have double universal joints, and the rear CVs have a unique cutaway design instead of a full “bell” surrounding the joint.
The DETC410 has all the adjustability required of a competition car. The threaded-body aluminum dampers can be built as emulsion style shocks or use bladder compensation to make up for oil displacement when the shock shafts are compressed. When building the shocks you have the option to use one or two silicone o-rings to seal the bottom end; one will make the shock ultra smooth while two will do a better job of sealing the body. Aluminum hinge pin mounts secure the suspension arms to the chassis and they incorporate plastic inserts that allow you to change rear toe angle from -4 to +4 degrees in halfdegree increments. Inserts are also used in the hub carriers to set front caster, and turnbuckles set front camber and toe. Durango also equips the car with front and rear swaybars, so you have plenty of options to suit any track.
Clamping hex hubs, threaded shocks, carbon fiber towers… all the comp-grade stuff you’d expect. Note the hole in the ball cup that allows you to remove the ball stud without popping off the cup.
The chassis plate is symmetrical from left to right for consistent torsional flex.
The narrow graphite chassis leaves no room to spare, and holds all the electronic gear close to (or over) its sides.
Low-Profile Carbon Fiber and Aluminum Chassis
The DETC410 looks every bit the pro-caliber machine it is, with a heaping-helping of gold-anodized machined aluminum set off by the woven carbon-fiber chassis parts. The main chassis is 2.25mm thick and is symmetrical from left to right so it has equal flexibility whether cornering left or right. The slim top deck gives the car fore-and-aft stiffness to transfer power efficiently, and can be tuned for torsional flex by varying the number of screws used to secure to the center, front, and rear bulkheads. The aluminum bulkheads further stiffen the chassis, and the parts are heavily machined to remove unnecessary material and the weight that goes with it. The electronics are mounted as close to the car’s centerline as possible for sharp transitional handling, and a pair of minimalist brackets retain the battery. As a pure race car, the 410 skips Velcro straps or mechanical holddowns to restrain the pack in favor of strapping tape, which trims weight and holds the pack tightly.
Instead of mounting the servo directly to the main chassis, which can cause the chassis to flex under steering loads, the servo is suspended from above by a “floating” mount.
april 2015 85
BEHIND THE WHEEL
Highly tunable suspension The DETC410 was a dream to build thanks to its easy to understand and comprehensive instruction manual and excelTop shelf materials used throughout lent parts package labeling that correctly corresponded to a step in the manual. With the build complete I decided to head Stock setup is competitive right to CRaceway in Orange, CA to burn some rubber. I didn’t out of the box want to show on race day with no practice, so I decided to go Excellent instruction manual the Friday before for open practice. Some of the locals were already practicing when I arrived and I immediately noticed that the grip was way up on the newly resurfaced asphalt. The track layout had a bit of everything as far as fast sweepShock and diff oils not included ing turns, 180’s and switchback chicanes; perfect conditions Wheels not included to put the DETC410 through its paces. As the tires started to scrub into the suspension settings on the first few laps, the DETC410’s responsiveness started to increase. If a drivetrain on a vehicle is quiet, it means it’s efficient and the DETC410 was very silent on the track. All I heard was the scream of the motor and the tires scrubbing in the turns. The TrakPower 13.5-turn brushless motor powered the DETC410 out of turns like a rocket onto the long back straightaway. The box-stock setup on the DETC410 made it perform well on the track, but I could tell the setup was playing it safe. It allowed a moderate amount of push in medium and small radius turns, which in turn made for an easy to drive car that turned in respectable lap times. In search of faster lap times, I decided to bring the DETC410 back to the pits for some suspension tweaks. The rear end had more than enough traction and I needed more steering so I decided to start small and move the rear shocks out one hole on the shock tower. Back on the track, the small change was immediately noticeable with an increased amount of steering. Corner speed was exceptionally good around small and medium sized turns with excellent initial steering entering a corner. I like my sedan to have ultra aggressive responsive steering. With wrench in hand, I quickly loosened the rear droop screws a half turn which added approximately 1mm of rear up travel for a total of 5mm. On the next run, the steering feel remained the same, but with the added rear up travel more weight was allowed to transfer to the front tires making the DETC410 turn in quicker when entering a corner. After running half a dozen packs, I thought the handling was perfectly suited to my driving style and was ready to tackle my first race day with the DETC410.
TEST GEAR TrakPower MS Series Brushless System
For power I turned to TrakPower and its MS series brushless system. The sensored system is a speed control and motor combo and you can choose from a 6.5, 8.5, 10.5 13.5 17.5 or 21.5 turn motor when purchasing it. The 100A MS-1 speed control features easy to access gold plated solder posts and a an aluminum case to reduce operating temps. Adjustment parameters allow you to change the drive mode, motor direction, neutral width, start power and drag brake. I went with a 13.5-turn motor to run my car and it features a ribbed can for increased cooling, mechanical timing and heavy duty solder tabs for the wires.
Over the years I’ve had a chance to drive most of Durango’s line of offroad vehicles and I have never been disappointed, so I had high expectations for their sedan. Even though the DETC410 is Durango’s first ever on-road offering, they got it right. The DETC410 is a great performer out of the box and is very easy to drive fast, though I would like to see diff and shock oils included for those customers not already stocked with the right fluids. At $400, the DETC410 carries a price tag that is on par with the rest of its counterparts in the competition touring scene, and includes lots of trick parts that make it feel several steps higher than an average sedan.
SOURCES Durango team-durango.com Hitec hitecrcd.com Protoform racepf.com Trakpower trakpowerusa.com Savox savoxusa.com Solaris solarisrp.com Spektrum spektrumrc.com
How to Assemble and Paint a Driver Figure From Pile of Parts to Painted Person in 10 Steps
By Kevin Hetmanski
driver figure is an easy way to add Imagine how much less exciting this more realism to your scale build. beach buggy would be without a driver! You can see more of this James Knight Action figures may fit, but they build in our April 2014 issue. usually aren’t the sort of characters YOU’LL NEED you’d expect to see in -> Plastic cement a real vehicle, unless -> Plastic modeling putty -> Sanding stick or sandpaper (600 grit) they’re on their way to a -> Paint wrestling match or the -> Dull coat battlefield. Figures designed for RC models are the most detailed and look the part, but they come molded in a single color and require assembly and paint to bring them to life. Getting that figure from bare plastic to fully detailed looks like a lot of work, but it’s actually not difficult. In the steps ahead, we’ll assemble and modify Tamiya’s “RC 4X4” driver to fit the Tamiya Mountain Rider interior, then paint him to look right at home behind the wheel.
Step 2: Assemble the figure parts
Tamiya’s no. 54416 RC 4X4 driver is a good match for 1/10 models that don’t require the figure’s lower legs to be visible. For a head-totoe figure, Wild Willy (no. 58242) is a popular choice.
Remove the rest of the body parts from the parts tree and glue the halves of the arms and head together. I prefer Tamiya Extra Thin Cement for this because it allows you to hold the parts together correctly while it seeps into the joint. This gives you a clean joint that won’t A little grinding of the legs was required to make my require much clean up later. After about figure sit properly on my Tamiya Mountain Rider seat. an hour I like to apply more glue to the I used the contour of the seat and a Parma Detailing joint to strengthen it. pen to draw a line and show me where to cut.
Step 1: Make sure the figure fits It’s best to address any fit issues before assembling and painting the figure, so you can use paint to hide modifications. I found that the steering wheel was hitting the figure’s legs and keeping it from sitting properly in the seat. I taped the figure in place and used the contour of the seat and a Parma Detailing pen to mark where to grind the plastic away and get my figure to sit properly. Another issue with the figure is that there’s a big gap between the back of the driver and the seat. I solved this problem by extending the figure with styrene sheet that I traced to match the body contour then cut and glued in place. Plastic putty and paint will hide the joint.
There’s a big gap between the back of the figure and the seat so I filled it in with some thin plastic sheet. It may look weird now but paint will hide that later.
When assembling the halves of the arms and head, all you have to do is hold the parts together and apply Tamiya Extra Thin cement to the joint. It will seep in and glue the parts together.
APRIL 2015 89
HOW TO | ASSEMBLE AND PAINT A DRIVER FIGURE
Use putty to fill any gaps that will be visible on the assembled parts.
A sanding stick and a little time are all you need to clean up your glue joint and mold lines.
Bottled paints allow you to use a paint brush or air brush to apply it. Tamiya’s Lacquer is great for thinning down its Acrylic paints for airbrushing.
STEP 3: FILL GAPS AND SAND AWAY SEAMS AND MOLD LINES If there are any gaps between the parts, fill them with Tamiya Putty White. After the putty is dry, clean up the seams and mold lines on the glued parts with sandpaper or a sanding stick for a much better finished result when you paint later. If you don’t clean up the seams and mold lines they will be clearly visible and take away from the scale look.
STEP 4: POSITION AND ATTACH THE ARMS
Use masking tape to hold the arms in place while the glue dries.
Gluing the arms in place takes some planning because once the glue has set there’s no changing their position. Place the figure in your model and position the arms on the steering wheel, shifter, or wherever you would like them to be, then apply glue and hold in place for about a minute to let the glue set. Then, use tape to hold the parts in position as they dry. You can also attach the head, but you may prefer to leave it off so you can paint it separately.
Gaps are filled and sanded and the primer is applied. This guy is ready for some paint!
Once the blue paint on the pants was dry I applied the red paint to the shirt area of the figure.
Brush or Airbrush? When it comes to painting a figure it’s best to use bottled paints and a paint brush and/or an airbrush to apply the color. I chose to use Tamiya Acrylic paints for the job and I will use Tamiya Lacquer thinner for the colors that I will be airbrushing. This thinner allows the paint to flow better than it would if you used Acrylic thinner and the paint dries quicker once it’s applied. On my figure I’ll be using a Tamiya Spray Work HG airbrush to coat the legs, body and hat of the figure because of the large area that needs paint. I can use a paintbrush for those areas but it’s a little more time consuming and requires a few coats to get the finish just right. The rest of the parts such as the hands, face and hair will be done with a fine tip paintbrush.
An airbrush is not a must for figure painting, but for applying even color with precise control, there’s no better tool.
STEP 6: MASK AND PAINT THE CLOTHING STEP 5: PREP AND APPLY PRIMER Before any paint touches the figure, wash it with soap and water to remove any mold release, sanding dust, and anything else that might keep paint from sticking. Apply a thin coat of primer to prepare the figure for color. Go easy, you don’t want to fill in the detailing with too much primer. I like Tamiya’s Fine Surface Primer for this job. 90 RCCarAction.com
I started with the legs of the figure and made sure to get most of the Tamiya Royal Blue paint on that area with the airbrush. Once the legs were dry I masked them off and applied Tamiya Red paint for the shirt. The paint was thinned it with Tamiya’s Lacquer thinner in a 2 part paint 1 part thinner mix. Tamiya White paint colors the driver’s undershirt.
STEP 7: PAINT THE FACE AND HANDS Using a fine tip brush I painted Tamiya Flat Flesh color onto the hands and face of the figure and a 50/50 mix of Tamiya Brown and Flat Flesh paint was used to color the hair. If you want to mix your own “flesh color,” mix a bit of red into white to make pink, then add a drop of yellow. Finetune the mix to get a shade you like. Use a bit of brown for a darker complexion—people come in all sorts of colors.
A quick touch from a Parma Detailing pen is all it took to make the buttons stand out on the figure’s shirt.
STEP 8: ADD THE DETAILS To paint the white of the eyes, I used a tip of a toothpick dipped into white paint. If any paint goes outside the eye area, you can come back after it dries and apply a little more of the skin tone with a fine brush to clean it up. I used a touch of the Ultra Fine tip of my Parma Detailing pen to finish up the eyes, and then used it to pick out the buttons on the shirt.
STEP 9: ENHANCE DETAILING WITH A WASH
The hands, face, hair and shirt now have their color and the figure is starting to come to life. A steady hand and fine-tip paint brush made it happen.
A wash is basically super-thinned out paint (about a one part paint to 50 part thinner mix) that is brushed over the model. The wash collects in low spots to subtly darken them and create a shadow effect that gives much greater depth and realism. I used a black The dull coat has been applied and the wash on the pants, shirt and hat. For the face, hands figure has been installed. It’s time to go and hair I used a brown wash. for a ride!
STEP 10: APPLY DULL COAT
This driver is looking pretty good, but the various parts have different degrees of shine ranging from matte to semi-gloss. To pull everything together with a uniform finish, apply a few very light coats of Tamiya Flat Clear over the figure. Let the clear dry completely, and your new driver is ready to install.
Now you can mount the figure in your favorite scale vehicle and have that little extra realism that everyone is looking for. Painting the figure isn’t hard but it will take you some time to do properly. Everyone has their own way of making this happen and these are the techniques that I used to paint my figure for my Tamiya Mountain Rider.
SOURCES Parma parmapse.com RC4WD store.rc4wd.com Tamiya tamiyausa.com
APRIL 2015 91
p e r f o r m a n c e
t e s t
1/10-SCALEelectric 4WD truck | rtr
Classic Baja Bug styling meets modern brushless power and 4WD tech
words & photos by carl hyndman
Kyosho’s Fazer series of cars wear a wide variety of body styles, but the latest look for the versatile 4WD platform will easily be the most recognizable to the widest possible audience, whether full-on car guys or just casual fans of four wheels. There’s no mistaking a classic Volkswagen bug for anything else on the road—or off, in the case of the Baja-themed Mad Bug. Its fun styling is a powerful hook, but there’s more to this machine than lovely lexan. Shaft-driven 4WD spinning aggressively-styled tires and wheels starts off the package, and the Team Orion sensorless brushless system is a notch above the “house brand” fare common in RTRs. The waterproof electronics are powered up by an included Orion battery, and the adjustable suspension squeezes an exceptionally nice set of aluminum shocks—nice specs, especially for a $300 RTR.
The Mad Bug’s officially licensed Volkswagen body is available in blue (as seen here) as well as a white version.
april 2015 95
P E R F O R M A N C E
T E S T
A dual-pad slipper clutch and metal bevel gears are standard. All the Mad Bug’s rotating parts spin on ball bearings.
5.98 in. 152mm
11.30 in. 287mm
PLASTIC-SHAFT, METAL-GEAR 4WD
10.71 in. 272mm 15.55 in. 395mm
VEHICLE SPECS Item no.: 30994T1B Scale: 1/10 Price: $300 Weight: 3 lb., 14.2oz, (1764g)
CHASSIS Material: Plastic Type: Tub SUSPENSION Type: Lower H-arm with adjustable camber links Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1 Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/1 Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3 Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2 SHOCKS Bodies: Oil-filled threaded aluminum 12mm Bore Shafts: 3.5mm Steel Volume compensation: Bladder DRIVETRAIN Type: 4WD shaft-driven 3.07:1 Spur gear/Pinion: 75/25 Slipper Clutch: 2-pad, adjustable Differential: Sealed metal bevel gear, silicone oil filled Driveshafts: steel dogbones Bearings: Metal shielded ball
The drivetrain follows the standard shaft-down-themiddle layout, and trims costs with a plastic center shaft and plastic outdrives on the front and rear differentials. The outdrive cups are pretty stout and by using plastic there is less metal to metal friction and less need for grease or maintenance. An adjustable dual-pad slipper clutch is incorporated into the system, but since it’s hidden under the chassis’ top brace, it’s something you’ll likely set and forget, if you need to change the setting at all. The differentials have cast metal ring and pinion gears for durability as well as metal internal gears, and dogbone driveshafts are fitted at both ends of the car. The dogbones have larger diameter “ball” ends and thick 3mm crosspins specifically designed to work with the plastic outdrives. The Mad Bug’s motor engages the drivetrain via a cast-alloy, cam-style mount that fully encloses the pinion and spur gears to keep debris out.. To facilitate mesh adjustments, a hatch can be opened by removing a screw, allowing you to see the gears.
BIG-BORE ALUMINUM SHOCK SUSPENSION
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Mad Bug includes 12mm “big-bore” shocks with threaded aluminum bodies. These are similar to those used on racing vehicles, and take advantage of higher fluid capacity and numerous damping options to help improve handling and tuning. They work great and have a proven performance record on other Kyosho vehicles. The suspension uses a familiar lower H-arm with upper adjustable camber link setup, but since the links are threaded rods instead of turnbuckles, you’ll need to remove one end of the link to change settings. The steering tie rods are constructed the same way. Camber and toe are set properly from the factory so there’s no hassle-factor unless you really want to dig into suspension tuning—which most Mad Bug drivers aren’t likely to do.
WHEELS & TIRES Wheels: Black multi-spoke plastic, 12mm Hex Tires: 100mm NEO Block high-grip Inserts: Open cell foam INCLUDED ELECTRONICS Transmitter: Syncro KT-200 2Ch 2.4GHz Servo: KS204WP High-Response and Torque Waterproof Speed control: Team Orion R10 ONE Motor: Team Orion NEON ONE (KV-2400) Receiver: Team Orion NEON ONE (KV-2400) Battery: Team Orion 1800mAh NiMH Stick Pack
TEST GEAR (NOT INCLUDED) Battery: 4 AA
Threaded aluminum big-bore shocks are a high-quality touch. The standard H-arm, C-hub and steering arm setup is rugged, and 12mm hexes allow the Mad Bug to wear a wide variety of wheels.
PLASTIC TUB CHASSIS
The Mad Bug’s molded chassis features a reinforcing “well” around the center driveshaft and the chassis outer perimeter, while using a flexible material to resist crash damage. A narrow top deck spans braces at the front and rear that enclose the ends of the chassis and form a solid base for the dual-bellcrank steering and cast alloy motor mount to effectively apply power. A lidded receiver box is integrated into the right side of the chassis for splash protection (the rest of the electronics are waterproof) and the battery tray uses a hinged strap to hold the pack, so the strap stays with the chassis during pack changes and there’s only one clip required to remove and install when swapping batteries.
The Mad Bug’s tub chassis is ruggedly built with plastics that flex to resist breakage. Deep treaded all-terrain tires combine with large offset black spoke wheels to give the Mad Bug good traction on a variety of surfaces.
TEAM ORION BRUSHLESS POWER
The Kyosho Mad Bug is a 4WD beast and that puts a lot of demand on the power system, but the Team Orion R10 One waterproof speed control and 2400KV sensorless motor combine to give the vehicle appropriate power. A 6-cell Team Orion NiMH is included to provide 7.2 volts of juice, and the 25 amp system is LiPo ready with low-voltage detection if you prefer to go LiPo. If you do decide on a LiPo pack, be sure to set the low-voltage detection for 3.2v per cell (it’s in the manual) to prevent overdischarging. In addition to the low-voltage setting, the speed control offers a few tuning functions, including drag brake (default zero, max 40%), throttle punch (four levels, default is “level 3”), and maximum brake force (default is 75%). It’s a good power system, but I’m not crazy about the battery and speed control’s Molex connectors. They have higher electrical resistance than other popular designs, and LiPo packs are usually equipped with other plug types. NiMH packs with Molex connectors are common, however.
Orion also supplies the Mad Bug’s included 1800mAh NiMH battery.
The Orion R10 One speed control and Neon One 2400KV sensorless motor combo is reliable and virtually maintenance free.
APRIL 2015 97
BEHIND THE WHEEL
Big-Bore Aluminum Oil-Filled After topping off the included Team Orion 1800mAh NiMH Shock Suspension 6-cell battery and setting the trim and endpoints on the Unique plastic chassis provides radio, I was ready for my local spot. The spot has a great balanced flex and durability mixture of asphalt, concrete, dirt, grass, roots, and jumps to really test everything the Mad Bug has to offer. But, I had Rugged 4WD design to see what the buggy could do and did a few passes with Officially licensed Volkswagen my GPS unit to record its top speed. A posting of 21.6mph styling wasn’t exactly white-knuckle territory, but when I was done and began testing it by flying through rough stuff and attacking the jumps, I found it to be quick and probably more Molex battery plug than enough to give inexperienced drivers a thrill. However, although it did help with traction on the low end, it seemed to be a bit over-geared to really get the Mad Bug to light up the wheels or throw some serious roost. It seems a slight compromise was made and the buggy is set from the factory for top end speed at the expense of low-end grunt. Upgrading to a 2S LiPo makes a big difference. When we tested the Kyosho Rage VE, which shares its platform and Orion power system with the Mad Bug, it topped 25mph on an Orion 4200mAh LiPo. To help give the Mad Bug a harder kick off the line, I dialed up the speed control’s “punch” from its default “level 3” to the maximum “level 4” setting. On pavement, the high ground clearance that helps the Mad Bug through off-road obstacles gave it a pension for rollover when pushed on surfaces with more grip. The tires grab a bit more and the Mad Bug’s high center of gravity would pitch it onto two wheels when snap turns were made, requiring a quick counter-steer to prevent a traction roll. Back out on varied off-road terrain, I could tell the deep treaded tires were doing their job and worked with the silky smooth, big-bore aluminum threaded shocks and proven suspension to provide sure footed and responsive handling as it fended off some pretty big hits. The Mad Bug barreled through chunky stuff with authority. With all of this thrashing going on, I was often surprised to see what it could take and still keep coming back for more. The main plastic shaft-drive never got fouled and the tub chassis did a good job of sealing out the bigger dirt and debris I was driving through.
The Kyosho Mad Bug uses the Syncro KT-200 transmitter to provide a 2.4GHz signal for interference-free operation. The 2-channel, pistol radio has adjustable dual-rate for steering and endpoints and a firm foam cover for the wheel. You’ll have to supply AA batteries for operation, but once installed the radio still has good range and lightweight, balanced feel.
Kyosho has done a good job of balancing retro-cool Volkswagen Baja Bug looks with the modern features, electronics and suspension that we have come to expect. The 4WD design is solid and the Mad Bug proved durable. There are some really nice touches, including the threaded aluminum oil-filled big-bore shocks that were a surprise in this RTR vehicle at such a low sticker price, and that adds to its value. I would like to see a better charger (the kit comes with a wall charger that excludes even a simple red light to show status) and low-resistance connectors as standard, but it’s cost-savers like those that let put Kyosho put more quality elsewhere—such as the Orion brushless power system and battery, and those racequality aluminum shocks.
SOURCES Kyosho kyoshoamerica.com Team Orion teamorion.com
How to Mount Beadlock Wheels Six easy steps to go glueless
By Kevin Hetmanski
Bead lock wheels look great and do a good job of holding onto the tire. However, if you don’t mount them properly you may have a flat tire.
eadlock wheels are very popular and they have taken over in the world of rock crawling and scale trucks. They are used because they look like the wheels used on full-size truck, and since they don’t use glue to attach the tire to the rim, you can add or remove weight and change tires for different conditions. Mounting tires on beadlock wheels requires a few more steps than the usual glue routine, but if you follow the steps outlined here you will have a set of beadlock wheels that will never let go of their tires. We’re wrapping a set of Pro-Line Super Swamper tires around Denali 1.9” Bead-Loc wheels, but the tips here apply to many other beadlock designs as well.
Step 1: Scuff the Mounting Surfaces Most beadlock wheels and lock rings have smooth surfaces. You can leave them as-is and probably have no issues with tire slip, but I like to rough up the bead on the wheel with 220 grit sandpaper to give the mounting areas some “teeth.” Fold up the sandpaper and simply make a few passes with it in the bead. For the rings I get more aggressive and scribe as many lines as I can in the tire side using the back side of a hobby knife.
Use the back side of a hobby knife to scribe lines into the tire-side of the lock ring to increase its grip on the tire
Roughen the rim’s bead with sandpaper for a tighter hold on the tire.
APRIL 2015 103
How to | How to Mount Beadlock Wheels
Step 2: Clean the wheels Mold-release agents on the wheel can reduce the beadlock system’s grip on the tires. The same goes for ant dust created when you sanded the wheels. So, the next step is to thoroughly clean the tire mounting areas of the rim and lock rings. Wipe the tire side of the rings down with alchohol or motor spray. If you don’t have these, check the kitchen for window cleaner with ammonia. I like to use cotton swabs to clean the bead in the wheel because they do a great job of getting the cleaner into the tight space.
Clean mounting surfaces grip better. A cotton swab is a great way to clean the bead of your rim.
Step 3: Prep the Tires Due to the molding process there may be a little bump of rubber on the tire bead. It may be small but if you don’t remove it from the bead it will keep the tire from sitting properly in the rim. You can cut this extra piece of rubber away with scissors but you run the risk of removing too much material. I like to take care of this with a rotary tool and a sanding drum. Sand away at the bump until the area is blended in to the rest of the bead. Just like the rims, the tires come with a bead that is pretty smooth and will benefit from a rough surface. Sand both sides of the tire bead with a rotary tool and sanding drum. Make light passes, the object is to roughen the surface, not remove material.
Rough up both sides of the bead on the tire with a rotary tool and sanding drum to assure maximum grip.
Step 4: Mount the Tire
If the tire doesn’t seat fully in the rim bead, push it in place with a tool. A small hex wrench will do.
Stretch the tire over the wheel and press the mounting beads into the face of the wheel. It’s very important to make sure that the tire bead is fully seated in the wheel. If you have a spot that is raised slightly it will keep the ring from applying pressure to the entire bead. This reduces the surface area between the parts and therefore the overall grip. If needed, use the tip of a hex wrench to push the tire bead into the rim to fully seat it. Don’t worry about getting the tire to fully seat in both sides of the wheel at the same time; seat one side, install the lock ring (that’s the next step), then go back and do the other side.
Step 5: Install the First Lock Ring
Once you have two screws in place and tight you can install the rest of the screws.
You can start with the front ring or back ring, it doesn’t matter. Place the lock ring on the rim and align the holes before installing the screws that keep them in place. Install two screws 180 degrees from each other and fully tighten them to lock the tire in place. If you have a tire that is much wider than the wheel, install the two screws in the same position but only screw them down about half way to avoid too much pressure on the screws and a possible stripped hole. As the other screws are installed it will relieve pressure on the two screws that have been already installed. Now install the rest of the screws, following a criss-cross pattern as shown below. I like to tighten all the screws about half way then start the pattern again and bottom them out. This will help apply even pressure all around and ensure that the tire is properly seated. There are sixteen screws in all, and you may be tempted to use a power screwdriver to tighten them. No matter how careful you are with a power screwdriver you still run the risk of stripping out the holes in the wheels, so tightening the screws by hand is the preferred method. If you do choose to use a power screwdriver, stop before the screws are fully seated and use a hand driver for final tightening. The To help enhance the grip screws only need to be tightened of the wheel on the tire in until the lock ring fully seats against extreme conditions, place a the rim. Tightening any further only drop of tire glue at the 12, 3, increases the risk of stripping the 6 and 9 o’clock positions on screw holes. the wheel. Now the beadlock ring will have increased grip and you can still remove the tire later if need be.
A Little Glue for More Grip
Tighten the screws in a criss-cross pattern to ensure even tension across the face of the rim.
Step 6: Install the Remaining Lock Ring Repeat step six to install the opposite lock ring, then check to make sure all the screws are snug. Your wheel and tire are ready for action.
Locked In Beadlock rims will cost you more than glue-rims and tire mounting takes longer, but the benefits are worth it: there’s no chance of ruining a tire or wheel with a sloppy glue job, you can mix and match tires and wheels whenever you like (as long as you’re up for spinning all those screws), and you’ll never need to toss the rims just because your tires are worn out. Source Pro-Line prolineracing.com Done. That’s a good looking combo, and when you’re ready for new tires, you can re-use the rim since there’s no glue to hassle with.
APRIL 2015 105
Test Bench tried • tested • tortured
Hitec Lynx 4S
Hitec’s best radio ever offers premium features and quality at a “sport” price
itec is no stranger to the radio game, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a new pro-grade system from the brand. Good news: the Lynx 4S is here, and worth the wait. All you have to do is take it out of the box to realize it’s something special. The 4S has the feel and heft expected of a competition transmitter, and all the features too. Switch it on, and you’ll find yourself easily navigating menus and settings before you even crack open the manual. First impressions all register strongly in the green and so does the price. At $275 with a 2-channel receiver, the Lynx 4S is closer to sport-radio pricing than pro systems. Depending on which radios you’re shopping against, the Lynx 4S saves you $50 - $200, or even more. Here’s what you get for the money.
The Lynx 4S is available with a 2-channel or 4-channel Axion receiver, or 4-channel Proton receiver, which enables telemetry. Binding is similar to other 2.4GHz systems. and the Bind screen also allows you to select the transmitter’s response speed. The fastest setting is Hitec High Response HHR at 4 microseconds (4ms), which is for use only with Axion receivers and digital servos. The “High” setting (7ms) is also reserved for digital servos, and the “Normal” setting of 14ms is for analog servos. I selected the HHR mode since I was using a Hitec digital servo in my test truck. As for the radio’s physical features, there are tension adjusters for the wheel and trigger, as well as an adjustable stop for the brake trigger. Left-hand conversion is simple, with no additional parts required, and the included drop-down wheel adapter can be used in both left- and right-hand configurations. Dialing in settings via the backlit screen is a simple matter of using the jog-roller to navigate, then clicking the roller to make selections and roll values up and down. The “ESC” key functions as a “back” button to go to the previous screen. The screens for exponential, subtrim, steering and brake rates, and endpoints include graphic representations of servo travel as well as numerical values to help you choose your settings.
Features and Adjustments
Despite the chunky look, the Lynx 4S is as light (or lighter) than other pro pistols. The LED accent color can be set to red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, or cyan—pretty trick.
A drop-down wheel adapter is included, and can be rotated to any position you like.
Naturally, the 4S has all the usual adjustments you’d expect of a top-shelf transmitter, which you can see in the spec chart. The more exotic features include the ability to load voice alerts and music files (WAV format is supported) using a Micro SD card. Hitec even includes a music player screen as part of the software, allowing you to set the volume and repeat-play options for your music. The transmitter has an internal speaker, as well as a headphone jack. The SD card can also be used to import and export transmitter settings, and the 4S’ firmware can be updated via a PC link using Hitec’s HPP-22 adapter (not included). Software features include a Boost mode that allows you to set the throttle to jump to a pre-set position when a trigger point is reached, and then hold for it for a certain amount of time. When Boost activates, for how long, and how much throttle it applies are set by you, and the function switches off after the first activation. Steering servo speed can be set independently for “turn” and “return” speed, and the throttle servo speed function can be set to apply throughout the travel range or in two or three steps with different speeds relative to trigger position. I’ve never been big on boost modes and multi-speed throttle output systems, regardless of transmitter brand, but if you like ‘em, the Lynx 4S has ‘em. On the brake side, the Lynx 4S offers a fully adjustable antilock system that allows you to set where in the brake travel range ABS kicks in, and how deeply and quickly the brake is applied when ABS is activated. You can also mix the ABS with steering input so ABS is only applied if the steering servo is within a certain portion of the travel range—for example, you may want ABS in the corners, but not on the straights. So, you might set ABS to function only if the steering wheel is 10% or more past neutral.
Driving with the Lynx 4S I installed the Lynx 4S in a Durango DEST210 equipped with an LRP Works Flow speed control, 8.5T motor and Hitec 7940TH servo—premium gear to go with a premium radio. I initially set up the system without looking at the manual. The settings for sub-trim and end points are easy to find, and I was ready to run after about a minute’s worth of rolling and clicking. Set for “Hitec High Response” and coupled with the speedy steering servo (0.07 second transit time on six volts), the Lynx 4S delivers seemingly telepathic steering response. Throttle feel in an electric car is determined more by the power system than the transmitter, but the Lynx certainly wasn’t hurting the silky-smooth response of the sensored LRP motor. For the sake of a thorough test, I clicked around and made setting changes. The screen and jog-roller layout encourage you to hold the transmitter like a Nintendo DS or a smartphone, which I liked, and the large screen is easy to read. I experimented with exponential and a slower steering servo speed to tone down steering response, and tried some expo on the throttle too –all worked as expected. A nice bit of programming is the return-todefault mode; if you hold the jog roller down while a value is selected, it will return to the default for that value. Nice. Range testing proved the Lynx 4S has more range than anyone will ever need, as is typical for all but the cheapest 2.4GHz systems I’ve encountered. Likewise, there were no glitches or hang-ups in testing, as expected with today’s tech.
An assignable three-position switch under the wheel is located under the wheel. The case design makes it easy to hold the transmitter “game style” when changing settings.
Telemetry Ready with GPS Speed
As long as you “speak radio,” you’ll have no problem navigating the menus.
The Lynx 4S is available with a 2-channel or 4-channel Axion receiver. Or, you can get it with the Proton 4 receiver and activate telemetry.
Want more? Nitro fans will appreciate the idle-up function that holds a higher throttle trim setting to aid with warmup and help prevent stalling, and the 4S’ lap timer not only stores individual laps but also calculates average lap times. If you need channel mixing, Hitec has you covered with pre-set mixes for crawlers, 4WS applications, 1/5 scale, boats, and more.
The Lynx 4S is telemetryready, all you need to add is the Proton 4 receiver (which you can also get with the Lynx 4S, but it bumps the price from $275 to $330). In addition to its four channel ports, the receiver includes plug-ins for Temperature and RPM sensors. There’s no need to use RPM to calculate speed, however; the receiver includes built-in GPS, so you can measure your car’s speed with the superior accuracy of the same tech that’s in your smartphone or full-size car’s nav system.
The Proton 4 receiver features built-in GPS.
Item no.: 16200 (with 2-channel Axion receiver) Price: $275 (varies with dealer) Channels: 4 Modulation: AFHSS Resolution: 4096 Response time: 4ms (with Axion receiver) Operation Voltage : 4.8V-8.4V (2-Cell LiPo / 2-Cell LiFe / 4-Cell NiMH / 4-Cell NiMH) Receiver & dimensions: Axion 2-channel – 32 x 11 x 22.3mm; 140mm antenna Model Memory: 30 Display: Backlit LCD Telemetry data: Battery voltage, temperature, speed (RPM and GPS) Left-hand convertible: Yes Drop-down wheel kit: Included Weight w/ 4-cell NiMH: 1 lb., 4.2 oz. (513g) Steering wheel diameter: 2 in. (51mm) Features & adjustments -> Steering wheel tension -> Throttle trigger tension -> Servo speed (steering, throttle) -> Throttle Boost -> Throttle mode (50/50, 70/30) -> Steering rate -> Brake rate -> Steering, throttle, and brake exponential -> Subtrim (all channels) -> Timer (up, down, lap with lap listing) -> Mixing (all channels) -> ABS Brake -> Throttle idle up -> Display contrast -> Alert mode: tone, vibrate, voice -> Alert thresholds -> Fail Safe -> 12-character model name -> WAV file compatible for voice alert and music files (via micro SD card) -> SD card import/export data -> Headphone jack -> PC Link firmware update
+ Excellent fit, finish, and feel + Pro features and quality, sport price + Telemetry ready + Easy to navigate and program
- None, unless you don’t like the styling The Verdict
Best Hitec transmitter ever, for sure. The previous Lynx 3D had its fans, but the 4S is in a whole different galaxy when it comes to ease of use, quality feel, and fit and finish. In that regard, it’s as good as any radio at any price, and better than some‑yes, there are radios with higher-res and full color screens, but that’s a feature, not a reflection of quality. There are plenty of adjustments to experiment with, but best thing about the Lynx 4S is its feel. In terms of weight, balance, and wheel/trigger action, the Lynx 4S is world-class. I’d pay more, but I’m glad I don’t have to. –Peter Vieira Sources
Hitec hitecrcd.com april 2015 111
Landwave Ramp System
Catch air anytime, anywhere
umping is a blast—if you have a good jump. A plastic skateboard ramp is the most popular way to add hangtime to the neighborhood RC scene, but what if you want to go bigger? Ramp maker Landwave offers stackable, molded ramps that make it easy to customize your launch pad. The system makes it easy to build jumps as wide and tall as you like, without tools. Here’s what you get and how it works.
The “Starter Pack: includes two ramps and a deck.
The ramps can be used individually, set up as a tabletop, or stacked for maximum air.
What You Get
Tabs and grooves on the ramps connect them and lock them in place. The ramp’s surface is heavily textured so you can put power down all the way to lift off.
There are two parts to the system: the ramp (which looks like the molded ramps you’re familiar with), and the deck, which is essentially a flat box and makes the stacking feature possible. Tabs and grooves align to connect the ramp and deck so they don’t slip, and the ramps and decks can be assembled side-by-side as well as stacked to make jumps wider, taller, or both. The jump and deck each measure 28 x 38.5 x 12”, so they are large enough to have fun but not so big that they take up too much space when storing them. Or, just leave them outside since they’re weatherproof plastic (note: make sure the neighborhood kids can’t get to them without supervision).
Getting Air I did my testing with the Landwave starter pack, which consists of two ramps and a deck. I had no trouble connecting the pieces to make a double-wide ramp, a table top and a double-tall ramp. Disconnecting the parts required a little shaking to break them loose, but it was nothing that would keep me from buying them. A single ramp by itself is wide enough to hit with no problem, but it’s definitely easier to line up on a double-wide jump. With the Landwave system, there’s no gap between the jumps when you fit them together side by side—the same can’t be said for other molded ramps I’ve tried. I also found the Landwave jump’s textured surface allowed good traction all the way up the ramp. Landwave’s heavier, sturdier construction also helps the ramps stay in place instead of moving when you hit them. The only thing to watch out for is your approach speed. In order to allow the stacking function to work, the ramp face is flat instead of curved. At speeds over 20mph or so, the transition from flat ground to the angled ramp is abrupt and can unsettle the car. If you’re setting up off road, you can put dirt on the front edge of the ramp to smooth the transition (which is what I did), and your launches will be smoother. Overall, I had plenty of fun with the Landwave jumps. They locked together well and didn’t move during my jumping sessions, and I really like that you can build a ramp as wide or as tall as you want by adding more ramps and decks. The Landwave system offers superior made-in-USA construction and much greater versatility than department store ramps, yet surprisingly costs less. A two-pack of similarsized ramps at WalMart.com sells for $134. For $125, Landwave’s Starter System includes two ramps plus a deck, puts a better ramp system in your driveway, and leaves an extra $11 in your wallet. —Kevin Hetmanski
+ Versatile, stackable
design + Easy to connect, stays put + Textured surface gives good traction
- Uncurved design can
cause harsh launches
GRAUPNER X-8N HOTT 4-CHANNEL TRANSMITTER AND RECEIVER Graupner’s mid-level transmitter packs in pro features
raupner’s new X-8N transmitter is priced around the midlevel range, but the features included are those usually reserved for much more expensive pistol grip offerings. All the standard features you would expect of a competition radio are there, but Graupner also takes things a bit further with a nice blue, backlit screen with adjustable contrast, micro SD card slot and adapter, rotatable drop-down steering wheel, telemetry, left-handed support, headphone jack and an included LiPo pack. Considering trying something beyond the usual radio brands? Check it out.
The X-8N’s GR-8 receiver has 4-channels along with a fifth slot for the temperature/voltage telemetry sensor.
The X-8N is a telemetry-ready transmitter, and with optional sensors can record voltage, temperature and RPM data. In addition to using the transmitter’s built-in display, you can view telemetry data on an Android-based device when you use Graupner’s optional BT-V2-EXT Bluetooth module (S8351, $80) and the HoTT Meter Viewer app, which you can download for free from Google Play. The X-8N can also communicate with select servos and speed controls (such as the GM items below) to gather data.
Above: The plug-in Bluetooth module installs and sets up easily. Below: The app screen looks very trick, but for now it’s only compatible with Android devices.
No extra parts are required to move the steering wheel to the left side of the radio, and Graupner includes a left-hand configured switch panels to complete the southpaw conversion.
Getting the Graupner X-8N set up for use is fairly straight-forward. A LiPo pack and charger are included, or you can opt for the usual 4 AA alkalines. The 52mm wheel can be easily configured for right or left-handed use, and its drop-down mount can be rotated toward or away from the driver using seven indexed positions. Three assignable switches are positioned around the wheel and two more are placed above the grip for added flexibility. Programming functions are accessed and adjusted using buttons on top of the transmitter, and the backlit 128 x 64 pixel screen can be adjusted for brightness and contrast. Navigation is fairly easy, and I only needed a glance at the manual from time to time to access all of the features. Binding the X-8N to the included micro-sized GR-8 receiver is simple, and its transmission speed can be set to Fast (3ms) or Ultrafast (1.5ms) to suit the electronics you pair up with the receiver.
Want more data? GM Racing’s Genius Pro 120R speed control and HGM SLP brushless servo are both telemetry-enabled. The servo transmits its operational status and the speed control relays voltage, current, temperature, and motor RPM info to the X-8N.
A 4000mAh LiPo pack is included, and a wall charger is provided. With a LiPo on board, the X-8N weighs in at just over a pound.
The X-8N is one model below Graupner’s top-of-the-line X-8E transmitter and is loaded with features. All the basic stuff is there like endpoints, trim, dual-rate and exponential, but the X-8N goes even further by including B.R.A. (brake range), TH RESP (Throttle Response), Stick Calibration, Timer (lap timer, up and down timer, best lap, average lap, etc.), S/SPEED (servo speed), Fail Safe, Range Test, A.B.S., Idle Up, Pumping, Start, P/MIX (five mixers can be set), S/MODE (preprogrammed mixers for various models like crawler, track vehicle, boat), Voice (selectable and only operational through headphones) and even Telemetry (with additional sensors plugged in to the receiver and Bluetooth module sold separately). The X-8N is also compatible with their SUMD-V2 system devices, meaning you can plug in a servo and change things like dead-band, read the servo’s settings, change its parameters, or just reset it. If you want to go even further, use the micro memory card slot (micro SD card with SD card adapter is included- wow) to transfer the info along with firmware updates. There’s also a Data Port, mini USB port, charge jack and headphone input, plus more features too numerous to list.
Navigating the X-8N for essential settings is easy, and the display is backlit for easy viewing.
The front of the radio has a panel that covers some pretty interesting stuff. There is an earphone plug that also goes through the panel, and next to it are a micro SD and data ports, charge jack, and mini USB port.
Driving with the X-8N
Seven positions are provided for the drop-down wheel. To move the wheel, just pop off the cover above the wheel and loosen two screws.
As soon as you power up, the X-8N will ask you to select RF on/off, and lets you know if there is no receiver bound (this feature can be turned off). From there the user is directed to the Start display which displays information including user name, model name, Dual Rate, Exponential, ATL, transmitter voltage, Trim for throttle and steering, Signal transmission, an indicator for headphones and SD card, and indicator for button lock. A quick “Down” on the lower toggle button will take you to a secondary screen that shows a timer, stop watch, lap counter and lap time. Right away I felt at home with the X-8N, and noticed its good balance and lightweight feel. It lacks some of the finishing touches of other transmitters at its price point, such as rubber grip inserts and adjustable trigger position, but it’s as well built as other radios in its price range. The stock wheel and trigger tension settings were close to my preference, and with a few turns of the tension screws, the controls felt just right. I was also able to rotate and position the wheel by just loosening the two screws below the cover on the side. It literally only took about a half a minute and I was ready to go again. Wheel tilt and drop distance are fixed, but felt comfortable and not dissimilar to other drop-wheel designs. The trigger is untextured, which may be a plus or minus depending on your preference. It’s also a bit on the small side, so users with thick or big fingers may find it tight, but it fit fine for me.
Specifications Item no.: S1018 Price: $250 Channels: 4 Modulation: FHSS Model memory: 24 Display: Blue backlit with adjustable contrast Telemetry data: RPM, Temperature, Voltage Left-hand convertible: Yes Weight w/ rechargeable Graupner 1S 2P LiPo battery (included): 1 lb., 2.3 oz. (531g) Receiver dimensions: 30 x 21 x 14.3mm (Weight: 6.9g) Adjustable Features -> Throttle trigger tension adjustments. -> Different languages can be displayed (German, English, French) via later software update. -> E.P.A. (End-point adjustment) for steering. -> Special mixers and modes for crawlers, track vehicles and boats with two motors. -> Adjustable folding antenna. -> Drop-down steering wheel position with rotation option. -> Steering & Throttle Speed -> Left-handed support -> Adjustable Fail Safe -> “Pumping” function (automatic throttle activation in pulses for use with Nitro vehicles) -> Steering & Throttle Sub Trim -> Steering & Throttle Exponential. -> Idle-Up (Idle up at engine start). -> Start Function (Throttle preset at start function). -> Synthesized voice through headphones (additional voice files can be uploaded) -> Internal telemetry -> Anti-skid braking system (A.B.S.) additional Features -> Blue backlit 128x 64 pixel display with adjustable contrast -> Earphone jack -> Battery charging jack -> Built-in speaker -> Micro SD memory card slot and adapter -> Firmware update board with USB adapter -> Racing Timer -> Model Copy -> Low Battery Alarm -> High Temperature Warning -> Servo reverse
PLUS The Verdict
Graupner’s X-8N radio system is loaded and comes in at a competitive price. It has all the adjustability any racer could ask for, as well as mixing functions that make it a good choice for crawlers and trail trucks, as well as boats and anything else you would want to control with a wheel and trigger. The Bluetooth module is an interesting option for Android users, and hopefully we’ll see Apple compatibility soon. Overall, the X-8N packs in a lot of features and value for its $250 price, and is definitely worth a look for anyone shopping mid-level radio systems. —Carl Hyndman Sources Graupner graupner.de
+ Wheel can be configured for left-handed use along with drop-down and rotation positioning
+ Telemetry-ready + Headphone jack output + Includes LiPo battery, wall charger, micro SD card slot and adapter and cords
- Telemetry App only works with Android-based phones or tablets
april 2015 115
Like. Follow. Join.
6/20/14 11:02 AM
10/17/14 11:13 AM
MORE ONLINE! Magazines
PAY PAL D ORDER ONLINE at AirAgeStore.com ACCEPTE ORDER BY PHONE (888) 235-2021
Must-Have Special Issues! RC SHORT COURSE & OFF-ROAD
OUTSIDE THE U.S. +(203) 961-7690
MOST PRODUCTS AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
Item# SCWI15PD print or digital $7.99
RC Car Action digital edition 27+ years of RC Car Action archives Exclusive how-to videos & product reviews RC Car Action app Automatic 5% off every time you shop at AirAgeStore.com Exclusive videos & podcasts
Features: Project Traxxas Slash with sound ■ Inside look at Ryan Cavalieri’s Nats-Winng SC10 ■ Scale truck guide ■ Ultimate RC4WD Trailfinder 2 project truck ■ Tuning tips ■ Truck reviews ■
Must-Have! RC MONSTER TRUCKS
2015 RC BUYER’S GUIDE 160 PAGES!
Item# MRT14PD print or digital
Monster Trucks is an actionpacked page turner that includes a comprehensive guide to all the available monster machines, a Clod Buster retrospective, highpowered custom builds, and a 7-way shootout with the latest 1/8 scale, dual-battery brushless monster trucks—you’ll just have to pick up the issue to see who wins! Plus lots more.
The 2015 RC Buyer’s Guide is practically bursting at the seams with over 1,000 of the hottest products in radio control, amazing projects, and how-tos. There’s also tons of information for hobbyists from beginners all the way up to experts with plenty of action-packed features and informative segments covering topics such as “The Essentials of RC” and “How to: Maintain Your Car.” The RC Buyer’s Guide has it all in one place!
Print and digital & available.
RC SHORT COURSE WINTER 2014
Item# SCWI14PD print or digital $7.99
Features: ■ 25 Top Tech Tips ■ Keep your ride running its best ■ Test Drive: Racers Edge Pro4 Enduro ■ Race specs, 4WD, and 3S-ready: Racers Edge delivers a serious short course ■ First Drive: Pro Line PRO-2 ■ 1/10-Scale Short Course Truck Buyer’s Guide ■ Test Drive: Losi FIVE-T Roller ■ How-tos: Suspension , Tune-Up
o when y ! h buy bot
$34.99 for both!
MAIL ORDERS—PLEASE INCLUDE POSTAGE AND HANDLING CHARGES WITH ALL ORDERS: Mail to: Air Age Media, 88 Danbury Road, Suite 2B, Wilton, CT 06897. U.S. — $3.99 first item, $1.50 each additional item, per shipping address. Canada — $9.99 first item, $2.99 each additional item, per shipping address. International — $14 first item, $4.50 each additional item, per shipping address. Residents of CT, add 6% state sales tax. Residents of KY, add 6% sales tax. Additional county taxes will also apply. Canada, add GST. All checks and money orders must be in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank. Downloadable order form available online
Oil Baron DRIVERS READY Despite a full 20 heats worth of racers signed up, there wasn’t a single driver on the stand at Billy’s RC and Bait Shop all day. Why?
RC oto of Billy’s
al ph Not an actu
and Bait Shop
Math. Use it.
The Case of the Race
THOUGHT-PROVOKING PUZZLES AND PRANKS
At the start of the A-Main, there are ten cars in the race. The track is brutal, and all but two of them break before the finish. How many cars are left?
You’re the guy who always has spare everything, so when your friends at the track need a part or supply, they come to you. This time, you’re the only guy with 35wt. Is this enough? shock oil. The first driver asks for an ounce from your two-ounce bottle, the second driver asks for 1/2 ounce, the third asks for 1/4 ounce, the fourth asks for 1/8 ounce, and so on. How many drivers can you help out before you run out of shock fluid?
HAND ME THAT HAMILTON Tell your buddy, “I’ll bet you ten dollars I can write the precise weight of your car on a piece of paper.” When he accepts, write “the precise weight of your car” on a piece of paper and hand it to him. Collect ten dollars.
Fill ‘Er Up FREAKY
How many 1/5 scale cars can you put on an empty track?
Stare at the dot for 30 seconds. Count it off, the illusion won’t work if you don’t stare long enough. After 30 seconds, look at a white wall or blank sheet of paper. Crazy, right?
e’s Look, ther
GOTCHA Next time you finish a bottle of CA, don’t throw it out; refill it with water and give it to a “friend.” See how long he “glues” his tires before his head explodes. Stare at it! ANSWERS The Case of the Race: Duh, two cars are left, it says so right in the riddle. ■ Drivers Ready: All the drivers are married. ■ Fill ‘Er Up: One car is all it takes. After that, it’s not empty. Oil Baron: Way more guys than we can count. Each driver asks for half of what’s left, so you can keep helping out drivers until you get down to the last molecule of shock oil. That will take a while.