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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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