When Electronics Attack

Aug 02, 2013 1 Comment by

I’m beyond spoiled to have a comfortable indoor track within a 30-minute drive from my house, and the local RC community is lucky to not only have a place to race, but an owner who listens to his customers and genuinely cares about making the most of his business. In order to make the track more consistent and cut down on track maintenance time, SDRC recently installed an overhead sprinkler system that evenly blankets the sticky clay surface with moisture in just minutes. At last week’s club race, however, those sprinklers also served as a metaphor for my on-track struggles as electrical gremlins ruined my chances at a win – they were raining on my parade!

rainonparade

The overhead sprinklers are great for the track, but this hazy and dark photo is how I felt after my car rolled to a stop.

If you’ve read my last few blogs you’ve likely laughed at the comical misfortune I’ve had while racing stock buggy against people with way more practice in the last couple of years than I do, and how I’ve tried beating them with experience and grit rather than…well, practice. Everything was going swimmingly last week until Lady Luck smote me again with another backhand slap of indiscriminate vengeance.

First, some background.

At the Top Gun Shootout earlier this month (read all about it here) I had a peculiar problem with my car during one of the qualifying races – it just shut off. After weeks of racing with no issues of any kind I was halfway through the final qualifying heat (on an A-Main run, by the way) and my car rolled to a stop. No throttle, no steering, nothing. It started responding just a few seconds later, and then quit again. I couldn’t see anything wrong when I got back to the pits so I checked all of my connections, went through the binding process on my radio again, re-calibrated the ESC, and took it for a test run. I didn’t have any problems the rest of the weekend, nor any since, so I wrote it off as a fluke. I headed off to go racing again without a second thought.

The first round was pretty typical of my performances lately – fast laps interrupted by a mixture of silly bobbles and catastrophic crashes. The stars aligned for round two and I rocketed to a TQ run with my best drive yet. Things were looking up!

It was just two laps into the main event that my car started acting funny, and it shut off a few corners later. I retrieved it from the turn marshal and walk back to the pits, where the car kicked back to life again. Oh well, I guess it’s time for some more trouble-shooting.

What’s the most frustrating mid-race problem you’ve ever had?

Aaron Waldron, Featured News

About the author

Associate Editor Since receiving my first hobby-grade RC car as a holiday present from my father nearly 20 years ago, I've been fortunate enough to meet more people and experience more opportunities through the adventures I've had in the RC industry than I would've ever imagined. I've done it all - from working at a hobby shop, to being a factory sponsored racer, to working for some of the biggest brands in the industry. I've enjoyed each and every one of the dozens of kits I've built, hundreds of events I've attended, and thousands of laps that I've logged at race tracks around the world, and my passion is to share those experiences with other hobbyists so that they may find fulfillment in their own RC careers.

One Response to “When Electronics Attack”

  1. Kevin Deselms says:

    Last weekend! Back racing for the first time in ages, my truck had just been sitting in the garage…patiently waiting for life to cooperate, so that I could take it back out to the track and run it again. First qualifying heat, after only five minutes of practice (curse LA’s rush hour traffic), I managed to avoid finishing dead last, in spite of still trying to come to grips with the track. In the second qualifier, I got out to a great start and spent a couple of laps in second. Got nudged into the pipes and fell into fourth place, but I was driving consistently and started catching 4th place…when all of a sudden, the car just stopped responding to throttle. It would move just a touch, only enough to drive to the side of the track to be picked up. Returning to the pits, I discovered that I’d sheared my thrust bearing screw in half somehow. Fortunately, I had a spare diff rebuild kit in my box (the hobby shop was closed). As I’m tightening the screw down on the rebuilt diff…SNAP. You guessed it: Another thrust screw fell victim to torque, thus ending my first race night back in ages.

    I will be back.

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