Five Things I Don’t Get

May 03, 2011 22 Comments by

I’ll be honest, there’s a handful LOTS of things I don’t get in this world, but my blog today focuses on the top 5 things in RC that I just don’t get.  Take my list with a grain of salt.  I’ve been in RC a long time…a loooong time…but these head-scratchers always make me pause and go “Huh?”

Does anything in RC make you go “Hmmm…what?” too?  Leave a comment below and let me know which things about RC you don’t understand.  Together we can share our questions and perhaps learn the answers…though I doubt it.

  1. Servo horn splines. Do I even need to explain this one?  We have “universal” servo mounts, and virtually all servos are the same size or within a small margin of difference.  And yet we have not one, not two, but THREE different servo output splines on the market in 23, 24 and 25-tooth sizes.  Having three different servo outputs is about as useful as an inflatable dart board.  Who will be the first manufacturer to give in?  Couldn’t we have a RC manufacturer’s peace accord and agree on one friggen’ servo output size?  I will probably go to my grave finding this discrepancy particularly irksome.  Dear servo manufacturers: do us all a favor and agree on one size.
  2. Battery connectors/plugs. Much like the servo spline thing, I simply don’t understand why we need a billion different battery connectors in RC.  It’s great that every company in our industry wants to have their own plug, but aren’t there more pressing issues to tackle?  I’ve seen proprietary connectors on batteries or vehicles I’ve tested and literally wanted to scream.  And it’s not just me who finds proprietary connectors annoying; electronics editors at Wired magazine find it annoying too.
  3. Forum experts/engineers. I wrote an editorial many moons ago about “Keyboard Cowboys,” the guys on forums that claim to know everything there is to know about RC, and I’m still scratching my head about these guys.  Keyboard Cowboys come out of the woodwork when a new vehicle or product is released, claiming knowledge about how the vehicle will handle, what will break, and the ‘mistakes’ the car company made when they decided to build the vehicle.  All based upon photos.  Are these guys serious?  How any hobbyist can judge a new product, assume its qualities and declare it a failure before the product has been released is one of life’s many mysteries.
  4. Screamers. Why is it that every track has at least one or two guys who scream at the top of their lungs, yelling profanities, curses, and acts that are illegal in 47 states, when they’re standing on the driver’s stand?  Guess what guy, you’re the one who wrecked.  It’s not the marshal’s fault, it’s your fault.  Guys like this must enjoy making babies cry, and I don’t get it.
  5. Marathon bench tuners. If you race nitro, you know that at some point everyone needs to tune an engine in the pit area (not on your pit bench) for a maximum of a few minutes.  Proper etiquette suggests that you warm up the engine away from the crowd, and fix the bad tune as quickly as possible and then fine-tune on the track during warm up so as to not choke everyone pitting next to you with nitro fumes.  But no, there’s always someone (maybe he’s the screamer guy too?) who likes to fiddle with, fine tune, and death-rev his nitro engine in the pits while applying 50,000rpm full-throttle for 10-15 minutes.  This guy usually starts the engine up, holds full throttle with the exhaust pointing directly into someone’s face, and then starts turning the needles.  He throws his hands up in disgust if anyone asks him to move his car.  I’ve never understood how some people could be so clueless.  If your engine is that far out of tune, go tune it in the parking lot or ask for help and don’t make me breathe 20-minutes worth of exhaust fumes.  And if the tune is close, tune it during warm up.

Post your favorite “what the…?” topics below!

Photo courtesy of sodahead.com

Featured News, Stephen Bess

About the author

Executive Editor I jumped into R/C back in 1987, when mechanical speed controllers and hard rubber tires were all the rage. Since then, I’ve experienced R/C in almost every state in the USA. I've built and raced every type of RC vehicle created, and traveled throughout the country (and world) to attend and cover more R/C events than I can remember. But what a fun ride it's been! I'm fortunate to live in Southern California, and I take advantage of my location by enjoying R/C outdoors year ‘round. Club racing is the future for R/C growth, and I’m always looking to bring new people into the hobby, whether it’s through backyard bashing or organized racing.

22 Responses to “Five Things I Don’t Get”

  1. SKUNKWORKS! says:

    Boy you nailed it with number five!! .. and I’m not even in to nitro , but as i race electric i gotta hear that douche bag warm his car up cause he’s up next ,,,and then i cant hear my car on the track !!! Great Read! thanx!!!

  2. Big Juice says:

    What’s the deal with RCCA and no Editors Challenges? I mean you guys have a lot of talent, so get together and figure out what, when, and how this thing is going down.

    Then get back to me. So the “Big Juice” can keyboard it up… keyboard it down… than read the rants about how the jump incline should be 6 deg more for proper take off, or darn rocket “never went off”…too funny S.B, Bravo Man!

    • Stephen Bess says:

      With me being on the West coast and Kevin & Matt being in CT, it could be difficult…but we will work on it!

  3. bill mossor says:

    why don’t anybody make a snowmoble ?

    • Stephen Bess says:

      Kyosho made a snowmobile at one point (I think?!) and I know for certain they made an “Arctic Cat” tracked vehicle for snow/sand use. Hit Google and you’ll find one.

      • fastharryDOTcom says:

        For someone who is commenting in the negative about forum engineers and then stating all he knows about RC as a credential you should have Known that Kyosho has had different versions of their snow cat through the years and that a snowmobile was made by ArtAttack…remember that those forum engineers keep otherwise boring forums alive……

        • Matthew Higgins says:

          I know the ArtAttack well, Harry. Stephen is from SoCal (and from down south before that), so I’ll give him a free pass on not knowing about the ArtAttack snowmobile.

          • fastharryDOTcom says:

            OK, I will go aling with that. And may I also mention that by posting my response you have once again proven that RCCA has integrity…

  4. Ray Robinon says:

    I have one 1/8 scale nitro racing indoors!!! This is a quick death for anyone!! During the winter just switch to electric, I just don’t get it.

    • Stephen Bess says:

      Good call, I can’t stand indoor nitro races either. My allergies are bad enough when I’m outside!

  5. Donnie Farnell says:

    You forgot the guy that throws everything Lol. There’s usually one per track that doesn’t remember to keep his cool or how much money spent before its thrown. Probably a screamer also. Lol

    • Stephen Bess says:

      The guys who throw everything fall under the “screamer” list usually. You’re right, I don’t get it either–why destroy your equipment because of a bad run?!

  6. Floris Hazewinkel says:

    I don’t get it, why do people curse when they lose, hate the person they lose from and just are way too serious. This is a HOBBY it is supposed to be FUN.

  7. Tony R says:

    I go along with number 4. I’ve seen people starting to shout “Marshal, Marshal!!” while the cars still only on two wheels – it hasn’t even rolled yet !! Like Stephen said “It’s your own fault if you crash”. The marshals are probably already aware of whats happening, but they’re not going to grab anything until it stops moving …
    And, my favorite …Drivers yelling at the top of their lungs “you stupid (car, truck, buggy, whatever), what are you doing!! dont crash there!! …. guys, it aint the vehicle ……
    (and is there a better place it should be crashing?:-))

  8. Joe says:

    You forgot the guys who think they are too good to marshal. And then when you dock them a lap they verbally assault you. Lol. Great blog. I enjoyed it

  9. riley lawlor says:

    stupid f’ing peope. now i know thats very broad term. But it makes better sense this way. People that always come up to you and give you an answer to something when i never asked for there advice, stupid f’ing losers that work for company’s and think they are factory drives because they can win a super stock race & have a tire sponsor.. Lets be honest, there is up to at least 7 classes of drivers:
    first timers,
    weekenders,
    practice pros,
    locals who race but suck
    people that race on weekends who win small races,
    fast drivers who can win in the right conditions
    & people that get PAID to race because THEY ALWAYS WIN!

    everyone else who is not in the top list that think they are cool when they walk in an RC Track lets just remind these people that outside that building your just anther stupid f’ing fat loser who in 10 years will be fixing speed controls still JUST LIKE YOU DO NOW.

    yeah i get carried away but needed to get a point across. again my name is Riley Lawlor… im not hard to find if you disagree with anything i have said. Thanks

    • riley lawlor says:

      just so everyone knows, I am a local who racer, & yes, I SUCK!
      I know i suck, and i don’t try to act like i know what i’m doing. in fact i make it very clear when people ask me for help, that i have NO IDEA WHAT IM DOING. and i’m just a hobbyist. -thanks again

  10. Trugsta says:

    What a great read Verry funn and verry true.
    as with the different tooth servo horns and servos I have also come across different servos (no names mentioned) work in different directions I recently changed servo brands and had to reverse my Steering and throttle on my transmitter.
    whats the deal with that.?.

  11. Chris says:

    Or the guy who just spent almost a months pay on his fabulous ride and sits despondent and inconsolable when it the thing craps out during the first lap…oh wait that’s me. Ha ha

    Yes folks taking the too seriously can be a bummer. Like the guy who takes his son to the track to “show him how its done” and then procceds to beat him down about how bad a job he’s doing the whole time they’re there.

  12. Nitrohobbiest (Mike) says:

    As I agree with 1-5, I can’t relate to the screamers and nitro tuners too much because I don’t race at a high volume track. I am the only nitro tuner at my track and even I find it annoying when I can’t hear other things around me. That’s pretty much why I stick to bashing with nitro MT’s.
    But I digress… my rant is slightly less annoying than the multiple servo horn spline choices. Mine is related to the different axle sizes and uses of hexes. In the 1/10th scale world, you have some manufacturers that uses hexes in the rear, pins in the rear, different axle sizes, etc. If I end up owning a few different Stadium trucks, for example, I may not be able to use my favorite dish wheel/tire combo from one crashed up truck to the next ready to go truck. Nope. I have to purchase 2 or 4 more tires and rims that only fit the second truck. Eventually you end up with a box full of tires/rims that you can barely use any of once you find that truck that you love to drive. Its a vicious circle.

    Excellent read by the way!

  13. FoxWithRoosterTails says:

    I have another one. kinda goes to the Servo and Battery connector issues…. RTR Kit power plants. If it’s a class that is run at the track why don’t all the RTR’s have the same turn motor? There is nothing more frustrating than showing up at the track with your kit only to find out you have to spend another 100-200 just to run. Sure some places have “Box” classes, but in the 1:10 2wd SCT class, you have some trucks with 550 motors, other with 540s, and anything from a 12T to a 17T motor, not really a good way to keep people into the hobby. If ROAR has standards for classes, and the chassis are built to satisfy them, then why can’t the manfacturers equip their RTRs with motors to match?

  14. Metalingus says:

    I would fall into the ” local who sucks” category. Not offended at all. Just happy to finally have a class! Hahah

    I agree with the splines and battery connectors but will also toss in radio receivers. Remember the days when you could grab an AM or even FM radio and did NOT necessarily have to have a rx from the same manufacturer? I love 2.4ghz to death and won’t run without it. But, really. Why do I have to spend $500 just in receivers for all my vehicles just because I want to change radios?

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