RC Car Action Membership Site http://www.rccaraction.com/members RC Car Action Membership Site Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:10:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 RC Buyer’s Guide 2015 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/12/11/rc-buyers-guide-2015-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rc-buyers-guide-2015-2 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/12/11/rc-buyers-guide-2015-2/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:10:34 +0000 RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/?p=205973 The 2015 Buyer’s Guide special issue delivers: • Three amazing project vehicles • The best RC gear • More than 600 of this year’s hottest RC products • All you need to know to get started in RC The 2015 Buyer’s Guide is free to members, join now!]]>

The 2015 Buyer’s Guide special issue delivers:

• Three amazing project vehicles
• The best RC gear
• More than 600 of this year’s hottest RC products
• All you need to know to get started in RC

The 2015 Buyer’s Guide is free to members, join now!

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NOVAK WIRE STRIPPER/CUTTER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/novak-wire-strippercutter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=novak-wire-strippercutter http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/novak-wire-strippercutter/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/novak-wire-strippercutter/ Novak makes stripping and cutting wires an easy RC chore

The Novak wire stripper/cutter does a great job of cleanly pulling insulation from any size wire that you will find in RC.

I spend a lot of time cutting and stripping wires for various installs and projects and it's always important to me to have clean cuts and wires that have the same amount of insulation stripped to give me a clean look. I recently added Novak's Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper/Cutter Tool to my arsenal of tools and I couldn't be happier about it. The Novak wire stripper/ cutter tool is made up of several molded plastic and metal components and they are all housed in a stamped orange metal handle/housing. The tool is designed to self adjust to strip wire from 26 gauge to 10 gauge and on each side of the jaw are measurements; inch on one side and mm on the other. This shows you how much wire you are stripping and how far the insulation has been pulled. At the end of the jaw is a flat section that clamps down on the wire to hold it in place while two sharpened plates cut and pull the wire insulation. A twist knob at the back of the tool allows you to adjust the tension on the stripper jaws if necessary. Below the stripping jaw is a sharp metal wire cutter that has an opening large enough for thick 10-gauge wire. To test the stripper/cutter, I grabbed a variety of wire types and gauges and chewed through all of them with no problem. Stripping the wires was equally as fun. The stripper can strip the insulation off a wire faster than you can blink and it gives you a professional clean edge on the insulation. The stripper/cutter stripped thick, thin, hard and soft wire with no problem at all. This is a handy but bulky tool so it may be more at home on your workbench. This tool strips and cuts wire very well and will make you look like a professional wire installer. —Kevin Hetmanski

Item no. 5880, $19

PLUS

  • Cuts wire like a champ

  • Easy to read measurement on jaw

  • Strips wire perfectly

MINUS

  • A little bulky

SOURCE

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RPM MOCK INTAKE AND BLOWER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/rpm-mock-intake-and-blower/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rpm-mock-intake-and-blower http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/rpm-mock-intake-and-blower/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/rpm-mock-intake-and-blower/ Give your RC car a powerful look

Note the slanted base, which allows the blower to sit level on most hoods.

The scale RC scene is big right now and we keep seeing scale accessories popping up every day. RPM is a company that has been making aftermarket parts for years and is well known for producing some of the strongest parts around. RPM has dabbled in scale accessories before with short-course bumpers and mud flaps, exhaust pipes, and the love-'em-or-hate-'em Dirty Danglers, but the new Mock Intake and Blower set is much more ambitious. The guys at RPM are big-time hot rod fans so if anyone knows what an intake and blower should look like, it's RPM. The set arrives unassembled with all the parts attached to the sprue, and there are two finish options: solid black, or chrome-plated (as shown here). Also in the bag are mounting screws that are used to attach the pulley to the front of the blower and the assembly to your body. The large square support plate goes under the body and the assembly sits on top; when the screws are threaded in from below they pass through the support plate, the body and assembly. Once the screws are tightened, the parts clamp onto the body and your intake and blower are securely fastened. RPM includes a mounting template to aid in the mounting process. The template can be used to simply locate where the screw holes need to be reamed or you can use the profile to properly cut out the body so the blower can sit slightly below the hood to give it a more scale look. I suggest that you make a copy of the template before you cut it out so you have an extra just in case you mess up the first one. You can add to the realism of the intake and blower by adding a little paint to the butterflies in the intake and drive belt on the pulley (or, sand the chrome finish off of the belt to reveal the black plastic underneath). When removing the chrome parts from the sprue, you will find that the chrome is missing from the part where the sprue connected to the part. A quick swipe of some silver paint in those areas will help mask this. This is the first blower from RPM that I have mounted and I can tell you that it won't be the last. This is a great way to easily add to the scale look of your RC car. —Kevin Hetmanski

Item no. 73412, $10 (black); 73413, $12 (chrome)

The RPM Mock Intake and Blower set comes out of the bag as shown.

I took the time to mount my blower set on one of my monster truck bodies and it looks right at home.

PLUS

  • Great way to add scale realism

  • Includes mounting hardware

MINUS

  • Removing the parts from the sprue reveals unplated areas

SOURCE

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DYNAMITE RC GPS SPEED METER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/dynamite-rc-gps-speed-meter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dynamite-rc-gps-speed-meter http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/dynamite-rc-gps-speed-meter/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/dynamite-rc-gps-speed-meter/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

How fast? Now you'll know for sure

The GPS Speed Tracker measures just 20 × 65 × 40mm and weighs only 30 grams, so it's easy to fit in any car.

How fast does it go? That's easily the number-one question people ask when looking over an RC car. Most of the time the answer is very far off and the only way that anyone could accurately answer that is by having a radar gun handy. Radar guns are very expensive, so it's not often you'll find someone who actually has one. So, when you make a modification to your RC car, how do you know if it made a difference in speed? Generally, you had to assume that it's faster or you can see it when you race your buddy; however, even then you will never truly know if you improved acceleration or top speed. Dynamite has solved the speed issue by offering a GPS unit that is small enough to fit into most RC cars and is affordable enough for everyone to own. Speed isn't the only thing that this little box will show you; it's packed full of fun features that anyone would love to mess with.

PLUS

  • Easy-to-read display

  • Easy to use

  • Accurately measures top speed

MINUS

  • No mounting hardware or bracket included

Testing

When using the GPS for the first time I found that it took a little longer than I would have liked to lock on to a satellite but after that, the unit was able to lock on much quicker after turning it off and back on. I was immediately impressed as the time was accurately displayed once the unit powered up. Since I have a bunch of RC vehicles that were never officially tested for top speed I wanted to make sure my GPS unit was reading speed correctly. To make that happen I brought it with me for a ride in my car and I checked the speed shown on the GPS against my car's speedometer and they were a match. I used the GPS unit to measure the speed of my Vaterra Twin Hammers and I secured it with some wire ties to the roll cage. On some cars you can get away with double-sided tape but if you are running a fast car and expect to see a crash I highly recommend using wire ties to secure the unit so it doesn't get ejected. With my Twin Hammers fired up and the GPS locked on to a satellite, I was able to see that my truck reached a top speed of 17mph. The speed meter also has an altitude function, so I switched to the altitude mode and recorded the number shown on the display before jumping my truck. After a few jumps I brought the truck over and saw that it has gained 1 foot in altitude.


You have three speed measuring options on the GPS, speed, peak speed and average speed.

Want to know how far above sea level you are? The GPS Speed Tracker can show you that too. Use this mode to measure how high your RC car can jump.

FEATURES

The electronics for the speed meter are housed in a plastic case that measures 2.6 × 1.5 inches and weighs just a little over an ounce, so your RC car won't even know it's there. A power button on the bottom side is used to turn it on and off; a quick press turns the unit on but you have to press and hold to shut it off. On the other side of the housing is a mode and enter button that allows you to operate the unit. The display is large enough to make it easy to see at various angles and distances. Time, speed, peak speed, average speed, location and altitude are able to be displayed and recorded. According to Dynamite, the GPS speed meter can read speeds of up to 590mph which is way faster than any RC car or full-size (other than the Thrust SSC: top speed, 763mph), so you'll be covered when speed testing no matter what vehicle it's in. The unit is charged easily via USB cable, and any future software updates can down loaded from the Dynamite website.

THE VERDICT

Everyone wants to know how fast their RC car goes and now they can see just how fast and also check to see if any modifications made hurt or help the overall top speed. The unit is easy to use and to update thanks to a USB cable and the Dynamite website. I do wish that Dynamite included some sort of mounting hardware with the unit, but the cost of a wire tie or Velcro is minimal. —Kevin Hetmanski

Item no. DYN4401, $125

SOURCES

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QUICK SPIN: CASTER RACING F18 MINI RTR SHORT http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/quick-spin-caster-racing-f18-mini-rtr-short/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=quick-spin-caster-racing-f18-mini-rtr-short http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/quick-spin-caster-racing-f18-mini-rtr-short/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/quick-spin-caster-racing-f18-mini-rtr-short/ 1/10-SCALE 4WD SHORT COURSE | RTR

WORDS & PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO

Solid 1/18-scale fun that won't thrash your wallet


Caster Racing's F18 Mini Short Course Truck is a ready-to-run with a single mission: low-buck, high-speed fun. The RTR package includes everything you need with the exception of AAs for the transmitter, and the little truck is well equipped. The fully adjustable suspension uses high-quality oil-filled shocks with threaded shock bodies and is coupled to a molded composite plastic tub chassis. The full-time 4WD drivetrain is built tough with ball bearing differentials to harness the power of the included 5500KV brushless motor that pushes the F18 SC to speeds flirting with 30mph. With a price tag of $160, the F18 SC offers a lot of features for not a lot of dinero. Let's hit the dirt.


VEHICLE SPECS

  • Item no.: F18RTR 01SCT

  • Scale: 1/18

  • Price: $160

  • Weight, as tested: 1 lb., 6 oz. (749g)

CHASSIS

  • Material: Plastic

  • Type: Semi-tub

SUSPENSION

  • Type: H-arm with 2mm steel turnbuckle camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions: (F/R) 1/1

  • Outboard upper arm positions: (F/R) 1/1

  • Shock positions, towers: (F/R) 3/3

  • Shock positions, arms: (F/R) 2/3

SHOCKS

  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 8mm bore

  • Shafts: Plated steel, 2mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder

DRIVETRAIN

  • Type: 4WD shaft

  • Spur gear/pinion: 60T / 16T

  • Differential F/R: Ball type

  • Driveshafts F/R: Steel dogbone

  • Bearings: Rubber-sealed ball

WHEELS & TIRES

  • Wheels: One-piece plastic, 8mm hex

  • Tires: Soft compound rubber multi-terrain tread

  • Inserts: Open cell foam

INCLUDED ELECTRONICS

  • Transmitter/receiver: 2.4GHz with Dual Rate and EPA adjustment

  • Servo: Micro servo, metal gear 27.8 oz.-in. at 6V

  • Speed control: Hobby Wing, 90A

  • Motor: 2030 Brushess Motor, 5500KV rating

  • Battery: 1200mAh 6-cell NiMH

  • Charger: Wall charger

REQUIRES

  • 8 AA Batteries

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Threaded aluminum shocks and turnbuckle links are standard, a nice plus at this size and price.

The F18 includes a 2.4GHz transmitter that looks just like this AM unit, minus the antenna.

  • Length: 11.4 in. (289mm)

  • Height: 4.7 in. (119mm)

  • Width: 7.1 in. (180.3mm)

  • Wheelbase: 7.3 in. (185.4mm)

If you expect a small car to be slow, the F18 will surprise you as soon as you pull the trigger. The F18 SC's 5500KV motor has more than enough power to quench your thirst for speed, and pushes the pint-sized SC to an impressive 27.8mph top speed. The soft compound tires offer good grip on a variety of surfaces for versatile all-around performance. With plenty of low-end grunt to spare, the F18 SC was able to gap most jumps I aimed it at. In the air, the large body was prone to “parachuting” and caused the F18 SC to nose up on some launches, a problem that can easily be fixed by reaming holes in the body for air to escape. When I ran the F18 SC on more extreme terrain, it had trouble clearing taller rocks and obstacles. With a couple quick turns of the spring collars on the threaded shock bodies, I raised the F18 SC ride height a few millimeters to help it run better in the rough. After a couple of runs, I gave the F18 SC a thorough cleaning and turned the drivetrain by hand to check for any grit or debris and found none. The sealed front and rear gearboxes as well as the spur/pinion gear cover did a superb job shielding the F18 SC internal parts from the elements. On the next run, I ran the F18 SC on the street and set up a small slalom course with some water bottles I had in my car. The F18 SC seemed faster on the asphalt now the tires has full grip. During hard cornering, the F18 SC turned on a dime and exhibited very little body roll due to the over lightweight of the F18 SC.

+

Everything included to get you up and running

Powerful brushless system

Adjustable suspension

Threaded aluminum shocks

-

Un-scale body styling

FINAL WORD


The F18 SC is definitely a fun vehicle to drive and after putting some hard runs on, the F18 SC only asked for more. You will be happy with the power the 5500KV brushless motor provides, as it will tempt you to race real cars down the street. Although the included 6-cell NiMH battery did allow the F18 SC to reach almost 28mph, I can only imagine how much faster it would go with a LiPo battery. I do plan on hitting the track with the F18 SC and I have no doubt its fully adjustable suspension will get me dialed to track conditions in no time.

SOURCES

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SWORKZ S350 BE1 EVO PRO http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/sworkz-s350-be1-evo-pro/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sworkz-s350-be1-evo-pro http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/sworkz-s350-be1-evo-pro/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/sworkz-s350-be1-evo-pro/ 1/8-SCALE 4WD BUGGY | KIT

WORDS & PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO

Serious specs and pro performance in a big-value buggy


SWorkz S350 BE1 Evolution Pro is the latest 1/8 scale electric buggy to hit the track, and there's no mistaking this lean and mean battery machine for a nitro burner. The S350 is packed full of unique design features and it's immediately identified by its narrow chassis design. High-level competition racing requires a highly tunable car and the S350 has you covered with an adjustable rear H-arm and front pivot ball suspension, a full set of ball bearings and SWorkz's X-System Transmission Gear System that uses specially constructed and cut gears. With top-tier materials used throughout, SWorkz aims high when it comes to the S350 BE1 Evo Pro. Let's see how it delivers on the track.

VEHICLE SPECS


  • Item no.: SWX-910020

  • Scale: 1/8

  • Price: $369

  • Weight, as tested: 8 lb., 2 oz. (3639g)

CHASSIS

  • Material: Aluminum

  • Type: Plate

SUSPENSION

  • Type: Rear H-arm with 5mm steel turnbuckle camber link/ Front pivot ball

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3

  • Outboard upper arm positions (F/R): 0/3

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2

SHOCKS

  • Bodies: Aluminum, 15mm bore

  • Shafts: Plated steel, 4mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder

DRIVETRAIN

  • Type: 4WD shaft

  • Spur gear/pinion: 45T, 46T, 47T / 13T, 14T

  • Di‡ erential F/R: Sealed bevel gear

  • Driveshafts F/R: Steel CV-style/steel dogbone

  • Bearings: Rubber-sealed ball

WHEELS & TIRES

  • Wheels: One-piece plastic, 17mm hex

  • Tires: Not Included

  • Inserts: Not Included

REQUIRES

  • Radio, speed control, motor, battery, battery charger, tires/ inserts

TEST GEAR (NOT INCLUDED)

  • Transmitter/receiver: Spektrum DX4R Pro

  • Servo: Protek 150T

  • Speed control: Tekin RX8 Gen2

  • Motor: Tekin T8 Gen2 2050KV

  • Battery: ProTek 7.4V 7400mAh 100C

  • Charger: Hitec X4 AC

  • Tires/Inserts: JConcepts Dirt Webs (Gold Compound)

  • Paint Job: Fatty Grafx

TRIPLE-DIFFERENTIAL SHAFT DRIVE

The quick change spur gear system saves you the hassle of taking the fluid filled gear diff apart to change the spur gear. The S350 includes three different spurs to fine tune your gearing.

The oil-filled differentials follow the standard assembly pattern, with the exception of the center diff, which doesn't rely in the spur gear to cap the diff housing.

Another unique feature exclusive to the S350 is its quick change spur gear system used on the center diff. Three spur gears are include to help you fine-tune the gearing to a particular track and they are quick to change out by removing four screws without having to take the whole diff apart. The center differential is housed in between a pair of sturdy red aluminum mounts with one doing double duty as the motor mount and plastic top brace that doubles as a spur gear cover keeps you from snagging your figures and shields the spur gear from debris. A pair of steel universal driveshafts connect the center diff to unique spiral cut pinion gears that are designed to be a part of the universal joint unlike other buggies that have a pinion with a shaft that is connected to the universal joint through a coupler. The pinion shaft is supported by three ball bearings unlike other buggies that have only two doing the job. This guarantees that the gears will spin true and side friction is reduced which extends the life of the bearings. Sealed gear differentials can also be found in the front and rear of the S350 and all three feature steel internal gears. SWorkz helps with the building process by including diff oils for the base setup of the buggy. Milled steel outdrives on the differentials lower the overall weight of the car and rotating mass which will improve the acceleration of the car.

PIVOT BALL SUSPENSION

The pivot ball suspension provided smooth action during testing as well as precise steering. Note the plastic dust shield mounted on the hub.

The most effective tool you will have on race day is your suspension and its tuneability, and the S350 possesses a plethora of adjustment in that area. The S350 Evo Pro uses updated front lower suspension arms which SWorkz claims will improve the buggy's balance and weight distribution. The upper pivot ball is easily accessible through the outside of the hub and screws in or out to change the front camber. The top arm can slide fore or aft by switching plastic clips to alter the caster angle of the steering hub and plastic hingepin inserts are used to raise or lower the inner arm mount position to adjust the roll center. The rear end of the S350 uses a conventional H-arm suspension with an adjustable upper link for easy camber tuning. The rear hubs offer three possible camber link mounting positions and have two arm mounting points to alter the roll center and the hubs mount to the arm via a captured hingepin. A set of dust shields mounted to the front and rear hubs to help keep dirt and debris from entering the backside of the wheel. The front and rear suspension arms mount to the chassis via aluminum mounts that house plastic inserts.

PRO SHOCKS

The Pro 2.0 shocks feature attractive red anodized aluminum parts and use SWorkz new long stroke shock springs.


The included shocks are another special upgrade to the S350 Evo Pro over the previous USA edition. The “Pro 2.0” edition shocks feature a dual O-ring seal system that are held in place with an aluminum bottom shock cap. Up top, a rubber bladder seals the shock body and flexes to give the shock oil somewhere to go when the shocks are fully com pressed and they are secured by an aluminum cap. The threaded aluminum bodies use an aluminum spring collar that connect to the “long pitch” blue springs (longer length to improve linear feel) to precisely adjust ride height. The spring retainers feature a sleeve that are slightly longer than what we are used to seeing to do a better job of aligning the spring and keeping it from rubbing on the shock body. The shocks are secured to 4mm-thick aluminum shock towers that have a multitude amount of holes to adjust the shock angles while only two holes can be found on the lower rear and front suspension arms.

MILLED 7075 ALUMINUM CHASSIS


The Evo Pro chassis has a stealthy black look combined with attractive silver sections where material has been milled out to reduce weight.

The success of any vehicle usually starts with the chassis. It has to provide a solid platform so that all the rest of the components work effectively. The S350 Evo Pro is an upgraded version of the previous USA Edition BE1 buggy, and it now includes a revised chassis, optimized for racing on indoor tracks. The black hard-coated 7075 aluminum chassis promotes stiffness and the sides of the chassis have a slight kick up strengthen lateral flex and also offer support to the plastic battery carriers that bolt on top. The chassis is milled out in key areas of low stress to keep things lightweight and a pair of red anodized aluminum chassis braces are used to further increase the stiffness of the chassis. The S350 incorporates a pair of Lexan side dams that bolt onto the sides of the chassis in the areas where the motor and electronics are located to keep debris out of the chassis. One of the more unique features of the S350 is the use of the space where the electronics are mounted. The servo is mounted directly to the chassis, the motor is as low as possible beside the servo, on top of the servo is the receiver mount and the speed control mount spans the gap between the top of the receiver mount and motor. As an added bonus and tuning option, SWorkz includes the previous version USA BE1 chassis which is identical to the Evo Pro chassis with the addition of having kick up on the front end and in the rear.

BEHIND THE WHEEL


I headed to SDRC Raceway in Miramar, CA, to put the S350 through its paces. Everything on the S350 is extremely accessible, which allows you to make quick adjustments on the fly while in the pits so before hitting the dirt, I decided to set initial right height at a level 26mm on both ends of the car and start with 1-degree of negative camber on all corners. 1/8-scale buggies are fast, but on indoor tracks they seem to go extremely fast and that's what the S350 showed; it was a rocket! The drivetrain handled the monster horsepower from the Tekin T8G2 motor with no problem, but the surprise was how well it connected to the ground. Accelerating from a dead stop to full speed came up almost instantaneously with a confidence inspiring sure-footed feeling. As I familiarized myself with the new track layout that had just been put in the weekend before, I also began to familiarize myself with the handling characteristics of the S350. Around the turns, the first thing I noticed there wasn't a lot of was chassis roll; the super narrow profile of the S350's chassis gave it a nimble feel overall. As the tires broke in more with every battery I ran, the S350's handling began to improve and it began to turn in harder and held its corner speed without bleeding off too much momentum. Back in the pits, I decided to give everything an overall look and I found that the shock springs were still breaking in and this dropped the ride height 1.5mm. With a couple of quick turns of the aluminum spring collars, I was ready to go again. I had noticed that the steering wasn't holding its line as solid on the fast sweeper after the straight which in previous experience with other cars was a symptom of the servo saver coming loose; and this is exactly what happened to the S350. So it wouldn't happen again, I put a small drop of thread-lock and tightened the servo saver back up. Initial turn in off power was excellent enabling you to throttle late entering a turn that would gain you that extra bit of real estate to pass your opponent during racing. The S350 carried quick corner speed through the sharpest turn on the track without having to turn the wheels to full lock, which would allow excess tire scrub. When jumping through the air, the S350 defaulted to a level attitude most of the time, but if you did get out of control or needed to set yourself up for a perfect landing it could easily be done thanks to the great response of the S350 in the air. The plush shocks did an exceptional job soaking up hard landings and all the ruts and bumps on the track to keep rubber on the dirt.

TEST GEAR
Tekin RX8 Gen2 & T8 Gen2 2050KV



The power package of an 1/8-scale racing buggy has to be tough to meet the high demands associated with propelling an eight-pound buggy around a track. Tekin has on the racing scene for a long time and produces championship-winning electronics so for this review I used the Tekin RX8 Gen2 speed control and newly released T8 Gen2 brushless motor. The RX8 installed easily into the S350 and was even easier to set up to my radio which got me up and running quickly. The adjustment parameters on the RX8 were easy to access and setup with the aid of the easy to follow included instructions. The real secret of the S350's top speed was the T8 Gen2 2050KV brushless motor and gone are the red accents of the first generation T8 in favor of an all-black design. Power deliver from the T8 was silky smooth and always consistent throughout an entire race. The T8 didn't complain too much when I accidently over geared it and when it was geared correctly, temps never got over 127 degrees.

+

Innovative design delivers on the track

Two chassis included

Plenty of tuning parts included

Limited lower shock mounting positions

FINAL WORD

Since my initial test session of the SWorkz S350 BE1 Evo Pro, I've logged a few race days on it, which made me like the S350 more and I've conclude that it's a competent racing buggy capable of finishing on the podium on any given day. Overall, the S350 BE1 Evo Pro performed remarkably well and suited my driving style perfectly. ? e quality of materials plus excellent fit and finish place the S350 in the same class as buggies costing twice as much. At a $369 price tag, the S350 is one of the least expensive, pro level 1/8 scale buggy on the market.

SOURCES

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TEAM ASSOCIATED APEX SCION RACING GREDDY FR-S http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/team-associated-apex-scion-racing-greddy-fr-s/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=team-associated-apex-scion-racing-greddy-fr-s http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/team-associated-apex-scion-racing-greddy-fr-s/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/11/24/team-associated-apex-scion-racing-greddy-fr-s/ 1/10 SCALE 4WD TOURING CAR | RTR

PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO

Associated gets sideways in style with a drift-flavored street machine


It wasn't too long ago that authentic race-liveried onroad cars were strictly for the Japanese brands, who did (and still do) a great job of shrink-raying competition tire-burners into 1/10 scale. With Associated's new Scion Racing FR-S, however, the guys in Lake Forest, CA, show they can do scale too. The sleek shell is patterned after the drift-prepped GReddy version of everyone's favorite “Toyobaru,” complete with aggressive air dam, rocker panels, and wing to emulate the full-sizer's Rocket Bunny aero kit. Beneath the body-work is Associated's Qualifier-series Apex chassis, which is everything you could want in a parking-lot play car: easy 4WD handling, a pebble-proof shaft drive system, and a potent brushless system that plugs into an included 6-cell NiMH pack but is ready for 3S LiPo power when it's time to crank things up a notch — or a bunch of notches.


VEHICLE SPECS


  • Item no.: 30113

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $290

  • Weight, as tested: 3 lb., 10.5 oz. (1658g)

CHASSIS

  • Material: Plastic

  • Type: Semi-tub

SUSPENSION

  • Type: H-arm with fixed-length camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R) 3/4

  • Outboard upper arm positions (F/R) 1/2

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R) 3/3

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R) 2/2

SHOCKS

  • Bodies: Plastic, 10mm bore

  • Shafts: Plated steel, 3mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder

DRIVETRAIN

  • Type: 4WD shaft, 6.73:1 ratio

  • Spur gear/pinion: 72T / 28T, 48 pitch

  • Differential F/R: Sealed bevel gear

  • Driveshafts F/R: Steel CV-style

  • Bearings: Rubber-sealed ball

WHEELS & TIRES

  • Wheels: One-piece plastic, 12mm hex

  • Tires: Rubber street tread

  • Inserts: Open-cell foam

INCLUDED ELECTRONICS

  • Transmitter/receiver: Team Associated XP2G 2-channel 2.4GHz / TRS403-SSi 4-channel

  • Servo: XP DS1903MG, metal gear 53 oz.-in. @ 6v

  • Speed control: XP SC500-BL water-resistant with

  • Motor: Reedy 3300KV 540 Sensorless

  • Battery: Reedy WolfPack 6-cell NiMH with Deans-style connector

REQUIRES

  • Battery charger

FULL-TIME 4WD WITH CV SHAFTS

Lots going on here: you can see the cam-style motor mount, direct-drive spur gear (no slipper clutch), and the metal ring and pinion gears. The drive cups hold CV-style axles at both ends of the car.

Associated set the standard for shaft drive with its TC-series cars (until they went to belts with the TC5, at least), and the Apex follows the same basic layout with updates for modern preferences and the car's fun-running street-machine mission. The ball differentials of old are replaced by bevel-gear diffs, and though few are likely to bother exploiting their tunability, the diffs are in fact sealed and silicone-filled should you wish to dig in and start messing with different fluid viscosities. As for me, I'll pass — less wrenching, more driving. An aluminum driveshaft joins the differentials for full-time 4WD, and the metal ring, pinion, and internal diff gears should last approximately forever. Both ends of the car eschew dogbone driveshafts in favor of much more e? cient CV-style axles. At the very least, I would expect rear bones in a budget blaster such as the RTR Scion, so good on you Associated for the superior spec. In the “one less adjustment” department, the spur gear bolts directly to the rear input shaft instead of squeezing into a slipper clutch. The robust drivetrain doesn't need the protection, and if something needs to “give,” the tires will break traction.

OIL-DAMPED H-ARM SUSPENSION

Plastic shocks, clip-on preload spacers, one-piece camber links — basic, solid stuff. Not basic: those faux brake rotors and calipers. Nice touch.

Associated makes a few price-conscious spec choices in the suspension department, but they're smart trims that have zero effect on the fun factor. The oil-filled shocks have plastic bodies, which isn't a bummer on any budget car and especially OK on a tourer. Street cars don't work their shocks very hard compared to a long-travel off-road machine, and even off-roaders work just fine with plastic shocks. The black plastic dampers aren't as sexy as a sleek set of anodized aluminum shocks, but they do their job well and you can't see them with the body on anyway. The other cost-cutters are the car's fixed-length camber and toe links, which are less expensive than threaded rods or turnbuckle links, and also easier on the RTR assembly line as well as your own workbench—just pop them on and camber and toe-in set themselves. If you were looking forward to tuning camber and toe-in, sorry, you'll have to upgrade to adjustable links—but we bet you're more interested in terrorizing the cul-de-sac ASAP than twisting turnbuckles.

TOUGH SEMI-TUB CHASSIS

The Apex chassis is well braced and ruggedly built. Note the notch next to the servo for easy access to the servo-saver screw, and the pivoting pads on the body posts. Nice touches.

The Apex chassis is pretty standard stuff as far as shaft-driven 4WD touring platforms go, and follows the essentials that Associated first laid out with their TC3. This latest take on the proven formula includes tall sills, a boxed “spine” beneath the driveshaft, and a well-supported upper deck that all contribute to a solid base for all the components that call the chassis home. The motor mount is a separate metal casting that clamps a cam-shaped motor plate for easy gear-mesh adjustments (loosen clamp screw, rotate motor, tighten screw), and the metal construction and cast-in cooling fins help pull heat away from the motor. The chassis is modular, with separate front and rear sections that integrate the lower gearbox halves and arm mounts in a single molded part. This reduces the parts count (and with it, price) without requiring a complete chassis replacement should you split one of the hingepin bores. An anachronistic detail is the battery tray, which is slotted for six side-by-side NiMH cells. The tray still holds modern LiPos (not to mention the included 6-cell NiMH stick pack), so no worries there. The only packs that won't fit are 7-cell NiMH. The battery tray is too short for seven cells in a flat configuration, and the battery strap doesn't accommodate a hump pack.

BRUSHLESS REEDY POWER

Good stuff in the power department. The XP / Reedy combo is good for 30mph on the included NiMH pack, and over 45mph on a 3-cell LiPo!


Nice specs in the electronics department, with an XP speed control and Reedy sensorless motor providing ample horsepower. The 3300KV motor is good for 30mph out of the box on the included 6-cell pack, 32mph on a 2-cell LiPo, and over 40mph on a 3-cell LiPo — that's plenty of rip for anyone. Most buyers won't fiddle with the SC-500 speed control's tuning features, but if you want to experiment with different drag brake and punch settings, you have the option. You can also lock out reverse for track driving, and if you blast through a puddle, no worries — the speed control is water resistant. That goes for the servo too. It's got good torque for road work with 53 oz.-in. of twist, and Associated specs metal gears so a curb shot won't wipe out your steering system. But just in case, there's a leaf-spring-type servo saver installed on the servo.


Associated's XP2G transmitter is one of the nicer RTR pistols out there — good feel, a foam wheel, strong 2.4GHz signal, and big ol' knobs that make it easy to dial in steering dual rate, trims, and throttle endpoint settings (the latter is more of a nitro thing, but still welcome). You'll need to fire in a couple of extra alkalines though — the XP2G takes six batteries instead of the usual four.

BEHIND THE WHEEL


Prepping the Scion FR-S for its first run is super easy — just fire six AAs into the transmitter and charge the included 6-cell NiMH battery, then switch on and drive. Step one for testing was top speed, and with the battery pack still warm from the charger, the Scion had no trouble peeling off straight and stable high-speed passes at just over 30mph. Some RTRs post big speed numbers at the expense of acceleration by relying on a tall gear ratio, but the Scion rips off the line with all four tires spinning, then hooks up and moves out like the 850+ horsepower machine it's patterned after. My tester needed only a smidge of steering trim for arrow-straight tracking, which I later re-adjusted as the steering parts broke in—normal new-car stuff.

On-power steering is very responsive, with a touch of oversteer that's much more fun that the heavy front-end push that many 4WD RTR cars tend to have. Easing off the throttle will make the rear end step out further, but if you stay on the gas the rear tires will find grip again and the car rails turns with slight understeer. I had the most fun burying the trigger all the way down the street, chopping the throttle to set up a drift, then making a 90-degree left turn into the driveway fully sideways before straightening out and getting back on the gas, making a 180, and doing it all again with a right turn back out into the street. The stock tires offer a good mix of traction to make the most of the car's speed and power potential, with plenty of slip for drift-style driving (though nothing like a set of rock-hard drift tires—see “Getting the Drift”).

The Scion is adept at stunt moves such as donuts and J-turns (or Rockfords if you prefer), but the sensorless power system does hiccup on the transition from reverse to forward occasionally, causing a half-second delay. Nothing to worry about, and I only saw it happen twice in the course of maybe doing the trick about 100 times — the neighborhood kids just love those J-turns. Durability wise, the Scion held up well. I managed to crack a wheel when I side-swiped a curb, but if you're going to hit things at speed, something's gotta give. The only other wear was purely cosmetic, and standard fare for RC—chassis scuffs, body scratches, and chewed up tire sidewalls. Unless you keep your car on a shelf, you can count on this kind of street rash.

Also Available In Lexus Flavor


If you prefer your import muscle to be less boy racer (or boy drifter) and more street-luxe, you can also get the Apex dressed as a Lexus FC F. Choose blue or white and cruise in style—everything under the Lexan is the same as the car reviewed here.

GETTING THE DRIFT


Associated has styled out its Scion FR-S as the GReddy-sponsored drift machine driven by Ken Gushi, and by the time you read this, the car will be offered in two versions: one with “grip tires,” as reviewed here, and another with solid plastic drift tires. Drift tires allow for non-stop wheel spinning slip, so drifting action is endless. If you want to navigate sidewalks, hot-lap the neighborhood, etc., go for the “grip tire” model. You can still perform big drifts with the supplied rubber tires (at the expense of tread life), and you'll also plenty of traction to put down the Reedy 3300KV motor's healthy horsepower. You can always swap the rubber tires for drift hoops if you like (or, if you get the drift-equipped car, install rubber tires when the need for speed strikes you.)

+

Fast right out of the box with included battery 3S LiPo-ready Fun to drive and drift Tough construction

7-cell NiMH packs won't fit the chassis

FINAL WORD

My RC stable was in need of a reliable, no-hassle street machine, and Associated's Apex Scion Racing GReddy FR-S is the perfect fit. A carbon-fiber, belt-twirling competition car is great for carpet running, but a bomb-proof, shaft-drive ride is what you need for cul-de-sac carving. The Scion is exactly the type of fun-driving, switch-on-and-go RC experience that I'm most likely to reach for. All the terrain I need is right outside my front door, and with the NiMH pack on board, I'm never worried about putting the car away charged or uncharged (though I do wish I could put my old 7-cell packs in it). Just grab it and go. Even if all you have is 10 minutes before real life intrudes, that's enough time for a few hot laps around the neighborhood. Shaft drive and ball bearings reduce maintenance to a bare minimum, and the Scion looks like the real deal in its licensed racing livery. It's a solid chunk of RTR fun and value—what else do you really need?

SOURCES

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XTM RACING X-SERIES SHORT COURSE TRUCK BRUSHLESS POWER SYSTEM http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system/ Powerful 4-Pole Punch for 2WD and 4WD SC Machines

The 3300KV 4-pole motor has attractive machined detailing and etched logos. six mounting holes assure you'll be able to position the motor for best wire placement.

“Speed costs. How fast do you want to go?” We've all heard that one a thousand times, and for good reason: it's true. More speed and more power always means more money, but it doesn't have to be as much as you think. Case in point, Hobby People's XTM X-Series power systems, which aim to put sensorless brushless power into your favorite car or truck for maximum go with minimum dough. Two motor combos are offered, each with XTM's 3S-rated, 60-amp speed control. You can get a 540-size 3900KV motor, or the setup I tested, with a 550-size 3300KV power-plant. The speed control and 4-pole motor arrive pre-wired and ready for plug-in installation with 4mm bullet connectors, and a “T connector” (aka Deans clone) for battery hookup. And the price? Just $120 for the 550/3300KV setup, and $110 if you opt for the 540/3900KV combo. It's a good deal on a good power system, as I discovered.

SPECS

  • Item no.: 145700

  • Price: $120

  • Includes: X60 speed control w/cooling fan, X550 3300kV motor, instructions

X60 SPEED CONTROL

  • Input Voltage: 2S/3S liPo, 6-8 cell NiMH (7.2-11.1V)

  • Continuous current: 60 mps

  • Burst current: 380 amps

  • Resistance: 0.0007 ohms

  • BEC output: 6 volts / 3 amps

  • Motor Type: Brushless Sensorless

  • Suitable Motors: 540-size and 550-size*

  • Battery Connector: Deans-style

  • Motor connectors: 4mm gold-Plated Bullet

  • Dimensions: 2.04 × 1.49 × 1.41 inches (52 × 38 × 36mm)

  • Weight: 3.8 oz. (107g)

Adjustable settings (Programming Modes):

  • LiPo cutoff voltage

  • Reverse lockout

  • Motor timing (Very Low; Low; Normal; High; Very High)

  • Initial acceleration (punch) (Low, Medium, High, Very High)

  • Reverse throttle limit (20-100%)

  • Forward throttle limit (20-90%, off)

  • Maximum brake (10-100%)

  • Drag brake (0-30%)

  • Motor rotation (normal, reverse)

  • Neutral range (deadband) (2-10%)

X550 MOTOR

  • Watts: 1200

  • Maximum Voltage: 15 volts

  • Maximum Amps: 80 amps

  • Poles: 4 Resistance: 0.0095 KV: 3300 Maximum rpm: 50000

  • Shaft Size: 3.175mm

  • Dimensions: 55 × 36mm

  • Weight: 6.9 oz. (195g)

INSTALLATION & SETUP

The X60 speed control is tall, but has a small footprint. The cooling fan is included and factory mounted.

Since my X-Series combo was designed for 2WD and 4WD short-course trucks, I installed the system in a Traxxas Slash 4X4. The system installed as quickly as I could thread the motor screws, slide on a pinion, and peel mounting tape—everything just plugs right in. The color-coded motor wires have deep, gold-plated plugs that grip tightly but can still be removed without tear-a-phone-book-in-half strength when required, and there's ample wire length for any 1/10 vehicle. Neat freaks may want to shorten the wires, but I don't mind extra wire in my fun-runners, especially when it allows me to swap the power system to another car without re-wiring.

If to want to dig into the wide range of customizable settings (see the spec chart for the list), you can get the optional programming card (Item no. 145725, $22). It's easy to use; all you need to do is click MENU until you reach the number of the Programming Mode you wish to adjust, then click VALUE until the value you want is displayed, then click OK to enter the value. One hitch: the manual doesn't numbered the Programming Modes for you, so you'll have to bust out a Sharpie and number the modes in the manual yourself.

TESTING

Sensorless brushless systems give up some low-speed throttle resolution compared to sensored setups, but this e ect is minimal with the X-Series combo. Unless you're trying to creep as slowly as possible (what fun is that?), you'll never wish you had finer throttle control when slowing for U-turns or picking through obstacles. The real fun, of course, is in mashing the trigger. A big squeeze is rewarded with an instant blast of tire-spinning torque, and the 3300KV motor had no trouble lighting up the Slash 4X4's BFGoodrich replica tires on pavement before they hooked up and shot the truck down the street. The Initial Acceleration setting (AKA “punch”) is set to “High” from the factory, with “Very High” easily accessed via the optional programming card. In the interest of battery life and motor heating, I stuck with the stock setting, but for high-grip drag racing, Very High will get you out of the hole with maximum thrust. The rest of the X60's setting were spot-on for all-around fun driving, including the 50% throttle setting for reverse. It's all you need for stunting, and if you just gotta have more, you can bump it all the way up to 100%. The other settings are more track-oriented, but “Throttle Forward Limit” may come in handy if you want to let an inexperienced driver take the wheel, as it lets you dial back maximum throttle to as low as 20%. Instead of looking like the heel who won't let little Timmy try your toy car, you can hand over the transmitter without worrying that the Timster is going to instantly spike your truck into the nearest hard object at full speed.

PLUS

  • High-quality look and feel

  • Punchy performance

  • Lots of adjustability

  • Good value

MINUS

  • Programming card required to access full tuning potential

THE VERDICT

The optional programming card id required to access the X60's adjustable features—it's well worth the extra $22.

The XTM X-Series power system im pressed me with its easy installation, solid construction and performance, and quality feel. There's no low-end vibe going on here, and I would expect the power system to sell for more than its $120 price tag. Beyond performance and specs, there's added value in having XTM service and support is as close as your local Hobby People and hobbypeople.com — something you don't get if you go for the cheapest of the cheap bargain brushless systems from off-brand names. The only hitch is the X60 speed control requires you to purchase a programming card to access all of its tuning adjustments. I like programming cards for convenience, but I'd prefer a card not be absolutely required. Many X-Series buyers may not notice or care, however, and will just plug the system in and hit the dirt without ever thinking about setup again. Final word: as a value-priced sport power system for high-performance fun driving, the XTM X-Series is a capable combo worth a slice of your RC budget. –Peter Vieira

SOURCES

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TRINITY MOTOLYSER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/trinity-motolyser/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trinity-motolyser http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/trinity-motolyser/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/trinity-motolyser/ High-tech motor testing for peak performance

It almost looks too simple, but the Motolyser's touch pad helps you navigate through a multitude of sophisticated test parameters. Once the Motolyser is up and running, testing motors is quick and easy. It's a good idea to keep a note pad handy to keep track of your motors testing history.

In all types of racing, whether full-scale or RC, extracting maximum power and efficiency from the power system is critical, and the ability to measure performance is essential to that end. Back in the heyday of brushed motor competition, there were numerous dynos and tools to monitor and optimize performance. With the advent of brushless motors, the incompatible brushed-motor dyno technologies disappeared, leaving racers to simply trust the motor manufacturers that their motors were operating at full potential. Trinity is the exclusive importer of the Motolyzer, a device that allows you to analyze brushless motor performance with precision and insight not available before. The device measures motor timing, rpm, and overall efficiency as well as providing diagnostic functions. With a handful of motors, I put the Motolyser to work in the pursuit of maximum performance.

FEATURES

A handy kickstand is incorporated into the Motolysers case to prop it up making the backlit LCD screen clearly visible.

Easy-to-use design. The relative small size of the Motolyser makes it easy to transport in your regular arsenal of racing gear. The functions of each of the plugs that are located on the left side are clearly labeled on the front face of Motolyser for easy identification. Once powered, the Motolyser's easy-to-read backlit LCD screen clearly displayed current information of the mode being tested. Navigating through the different testing modes and parameters is done via the front touch pad that you can either push up/down and side to side on the touch buttons or scroll menus by rubbing your finger in a clockwise/counterclockwise motion on the touch wheel.

Testing Modes

Sensor Timing Advance. This feature measures and shows the quality of your motor's sensor. Ideally, when you set the timing on your motor (30 degrees for example), you want the three sensor elements connected to your A, B, and C leads to measure exactly the same number of degrees.


SPECS

Item no. TEP9009

Price: $400

Input voltage: 3.4V – 8.6V

Display size: 36mm × 12mm

Display resolution: 128 × 23 pixels

Length: 117mm

Width: 73mm

Height: 25mm

Weight: 102 grams

PLUS

  • Extremely informative motor tuning tool

  • Simple to use and understand motor readings

  • Easy to navigate display

MINUS

  • Expensive

TESTING

It was an easy task when it came time to hook up the Motolyser and get it ready for testing. All wires needed to hook up a batter and to hook up a motor to the Motolyser came with the unit. All the hook ups to the Motolyser are located on the left side of the unit and are clearly labeled for easy identification and to avoid confusion. All the motor and battery wires use a 3mm banana plug on one end with an alligator clip on the other with a sensor wire plugging into a sensor port. The Motolyser includes a built in kickstand to help you easily read the screen during testing.

When it was time to test the Motolyser, I packed up my race gear like I normally do, only this time including the Motolyser to my arsenal of tools and headed down to SDRC Raceway in Miramar, CA. Since I was planning on running in the 17.5 stock buggy I brought half a dozen 17.5T brushless motors to test in the pits before choosing one for racing. I had a couple of pairs of the same motor, which the Motolyser should help me see how different or the same two of the same make motors. I also brought a few motors that had lots of race time logged on them to see how they would stack up against fresh motors. I started with the pairs of motors I had and the first pair I tested were two Novak Vulcan 17.5-turn stock motors. With both motors set on 30-degrees of timing, and with a notepad ready to write down test numbers I started the Motolyser by tapping on the right button on the touch pad while in the “start motor” screen. The motor fired up at 50% power with the option of ramping it up to 100% power. A good motor should show all sensor timing and phase current numbers from the A/B/C terminals and that's what the first test motor initially showed. The A and C terminals were reading right around 30% of timing while the B terminal was slightly off reading 4 degrees under 30, which was backed up with the B terminal drawing slightly less current. When I hooked up the second Novak Vulcan 17.5 motor, the numbers showed all A/B/C terminals were closer to being the same and showed higher rpm number under the same testing parameters. I ran the same tests on the rest of the motors I had with me and found that my current competition motors were decently fast compared to the new motors, but were slightly down on rpm and the timing numbers showed a bigger difference between the A/B/C terminals with the current draw numbers varied as well. On the track, I tested the two Vulcan motors with the same gearing and the same battery pack (after charging it up) and the lap time did back up the Motolyser's findings, the motor with the better numbers was a up to four tenths faster on the track.


Phase Current. In the phase current mode, the Motolyser shows you true RMS (Root Mean Square) current for each phase, or A/B/C terminals. This measurement preferably should read similar values on each terminal. If the amount is off on one of the phases, it shows that the stator is not balanced or something is hindering a smooth electric flow through the motor.


Motor Drive. ' is mode shows the voltage of the battery powering the Motolyser and once you start the motor at the default 50% speed, the screen shows you motor rpm, current draw and the rpm per voltage ratio (KV). Here, the Motolyser shows the battery is supplying 8.28 volts; motor rpm is 12,594; rpm per volt at 50% power is 3,062; amp draw is 0.27A; and motor timing on the endbell is 50 degrees.

VERDICT

The easily accessible plugs on the left side of the Motolyser allowed quick hook up of the battery and the test motor. A USB port is included for any future firmware updates

When my day of testing and racing was over, the data I was able to collect from the Motolyzer and put to work on the track made me feel confident that I had the fastest possible powerplant in my buggy. By the time you read this, the Motolyser will have even more functionality. A patch will be available to all Motolyzer owners that will change amp draw and RPM with timing to gather even more data. The Motolyser is a high-quality and effective tool, but at $400, it's priced out of reach of casual racers. Savvy race shops would be smart to purchase a Motolyser to service their racers, as it would definitely be worth $5-$10 to have a motor spun up on the Motolyser. If you do happen to be a bucks-up racer who can afford to buy a Motolyser for personal use, you'll find it's a valuable investment in your quest to stay ahead of the competition. —Joel Navarro

SOURCES

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ORION VORTEX R10.1 SPEED CONTROL & VST2 PRO MOTOR http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

Orion's two-time World Champ controller is better than ever

The Orion 8.5-turn VST2 Pro brushless motor had smooth power delivery and obeyed every one of the R10.1's commands with precision.

Just like the R10.1, the 8.5T VST2 motor uses dual sensor ports to route your sensor wire in the ideal position. The large surface on the solder tabs ensure a solid solder joint. The gold plating on the solder tabs helps lower resistance.

Winning a World Championship title takes a tremendous amount of work and to produce championship winning electronics takes an equal amount of work. Team Orion put in the hard work with their Vortex R10 speed control and it paid off in 2013 with factory team drivers Jared Tebo and Jilles Grosskamp winning off-road and on-road World Championship titles using the R10. As technology improves and time is spent on the track, things are learned and now Team Orion introduced the Vortex R10.1 Pro. The new speed control features a redesigned aluminum case, updated FETs, a thicker circuit board and improved software profiles. Equally as beneficial from its World Champion experience, the 8.5T VST2 brushless motor features precision CAD-designed aluminum motor can, low-resistance gold-plated solder tabs and a dual sensor wire port. Given the success of this gear in the hands of top pros, I can't wait to see how it performs in the hands of a club racer.

FEATURES

The R10.1 looks downright mean with its black and silver finish. The aluminum case along with the heat sink keep operating temps down to a minimum.

Aluminum Case. R10.1 uses an aluminum case like the one before but the look has been updated and this one has a stealthy black finish on the upper casing that is accented by silver. The aluminum case does a good job of drawing heat away from the electronic components inside but Orion also includes a multi-finned heat sink on top to help dissipate as much heat as possible during operation. Holes are also included on top for the installation of an optional fan for high amp draw conditions and a plug beside the status LED is used to power the fan. The bottom of the case is molded out of plastic and it sports a carbon-fiber finish with the labeling that clearly marks where all the motor and battery wires go.

Upgraded Internals. From the beginning the goal of an electronic speed control was to get the power to the motor as efficiently as possible with the lowest possible resistance. For the new R10.1, Orion used a thicker-printed circuit board that less prone to performance loss due to heat and it lowers resistance at the same time. Orion also incorporated improved FET transistors to smoothly pass the power from the battery to the motor.

Dual Sensor Wire Ports. Modern RC racing cars have been coming in all shapes and sizes making wiring up a car difficult and the only way to mount your electronics in a professional looking way is to get creative with your wiring. The R10.1 is the first speed control to incorporate two sensor wire ports to make it easier to fit your speed control into various areas. One port is found on the top of the speed control while the other is mounted on the side.

Multiple modes. The R10.1 is aimed towards being one of the most versatile speed controls on the market and its updated software helps it achieve that. The different throttle profiles allow you to adjust between a forward only profile with brakes to use in racing applications where reverse isn't allowed. A profile with reverse delay is also available that is useful for everyday bashing and also helpful at the race track during practice when there aren't any turn-marshals around to back up your car if you're up against a pipe. For the rock crawling and trail scale crowd, the forward/reverse with no delay is available. The different modes of the R10.1 can be adjusted easily by using an optional programming box.

INSTALLATION AND SETUP

Picking a mounting location for the R10.1 is easier thanks to the two sensor ports that are located on the top and side of the speed control.

Installing the R10.1 couldn't get any easier. Orion ships the speed control with preinstalled black wires on the motor and battery terminals and they are long enough to reach the motor in most applications. The bases of the motor wires have a blue/yellow/orange insulation wrapped on them for easy A/B/C motor wire identification. There are no markers however for the battery wires so you have to pay close attention when soldering on your battery connectors or when plugging in your bullet connectors into the battery. I like the look of all black wires on the speed control but feel that it may be a problem for the less experienced user and wires may be plugged in the wrong way. I decided to mount the R10.1 into my Kyosho SC6 short course truck for testing and its small size made it fit nicely onto the speed control shelf mount on the truck right in front of the rear shock tower. The motor wires routed easily through the shock tower leading towards the Orion Vortex VST2 8.5-turn brushless modified test motor for soldering. I cut about an inch and a half of excess wire that gave me the proper slack the motor needed for whatever pinion gear I used. My test truck had plenty of room to mount the large capacitor plate but I could see it being a problem to mount in cars with less space. The side mounting location for the motor sensor was the perfect mounting location in my truck.

Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box

The big buttons on the front of the DSB-R are clearly labeled and make on-the-fly adjustments easy.

The Orion Vortex R10.1 is a lethal speed control out of the box, but to unlock the full potential of the R10.1 and other speed controls in the Orion line, the optional Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box is certainly a valuable asset to your secret weapon racing gear. The DSB-R features a large, easy-to-read backlit LCD screen. Orion periodically updates firmware for its R-Series speed controls and using the DSB-R program box allows you install the new software to your speed control. It connects to the R10.1 via an adapter that plugs into the sensor wire port. In addition to accessing the regular program parameters in the speed control, it unlocks the additional six boost timing parameters that are otherwise not accessible through the setup button, allowing you to fine-tune settings to your liking. The DSB-R even allows you to check the status of your LiPo/LiFe batteries via a balance port plug on the side of its case.

SPECS

ORION VORTEX R10.1 SPEED CONTROL

  • Item no. ORI65128

  • Price: $250

  • Input voltage: 7.4 volts

  • Rated current: 170 amps

  • BEC: 6 volts at 3 amps

  • Case material: Aluminum upper, plastic lower

  • Drive modes: Forward/brake, forward/brake/reverse and forward/reverse function modes for crawlers

  • Motor limit: 3.5 through 21.5 turn brushless

Adjustable/selectable features:

  • Drag brake: 7 steps, 0-100%

  • Low voltage cutoff: Yes, adjustable

  • Start Mode (punch): 9 levels

  • Max brake force: 8 steps, 12.5 to 100%

  • Max reverse force: 4 steps, 25-100%

  • Initial brake force: 3 steps − 0-14%

  • Neutral range: 3 steps, 6.12%

  • Overheat protection: Yes, adjustable

  • Length: 41.5mm

  • Width: 30.5mm

  • Height: 20.2mm

  • Weight: 44g (without wires)

VORTEX 8.5T VST2 PRO 540 MODIFIED MOTOR

  • Item no. ORI28260

  • Price $139 Motor Can: 540 size

  • Motor Wind: 8.5-turn

  • Input Voltage: 3.2-11.1V

  • Length: 52.8mm Can Diameter: 35.8mm

  • Shaft Diameter: 3.175mm

  • Weight: 188 grams

PLUS

  • Attractive and effective case design

  • Convenient dual sensor wire ports

  • Easy to set up and adjust

MINUS

  • More expensive than most speed controls in its class

  • All-black power wires look cool but require extra attention to avoid incorrect installation

TESTING

I decided to initially start testing with the R10.1 with its default settings which were forward operation with brake/10% drag brake/punch set on level 7/max brake force on 75%. As a general rule of thumb, I set my brake endpoint adjustment on the transmitter to 75% brakes for a 2WD off -road vehicle. On the track, the first thing I noticed about the R10.1 was how snappy it commanded the Vortex 8.5T to be when it was coming on throttle. My Kyosho SC6 short course truck launched out of the corners connecting every bit of the Orion 8.5's motor to the ground. Clearing most jumps was easily done with a blip of the throttle. After the first battery pack through the R10.1, its temp was at a barely hot 102 degrees and the 8.5T VST2 coming off the track at 119 degrees running the 9.6:1; the high side of the recommended gearing. The next feature I wanted to test was the punch control on the R10.1. SDRC Raceway's high-bite clay didn't give you much tire slip when running proper tires, so I decided to wait for the track crew to hose water the track for it be become slippery. I threw the SC6 on the track five minutes after they were done watering, running the R10.1's default “level 7” punch control setting. It proved to be way too much initial punch, as the back end of the truck would break loose with the slightest pull of the trigger. Back in the pits, I quickly accessed the program modes on the R10.1 to the fourth parameter in the speed control which was punch control. I set it to Level 1 and pressed the setup button on the on/off switch for three seconds to save the setting. Back on the wet track, the SC6 was a different truck as I was able to successfully make an in control full lap around the track. The lap was slower of course versus a lap done in ideal conditions, but it shows the control the R10.1 can give you in super loose conditions. Experimenting with the other program features of the Vortex R10.1 Pro allows you to fine-tune your settings to any track conditions or driving style. Throughout testing, the Vortex 8.5T VST2motor power was always plentiful and consistent each run. When then R10.1 is coupled to the Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box, you can make ultra-fine adjustments plus allows access to six extra program parameters.

THE VERDICT

Throughout testing and during racing, there wasn't any doubt that the Orion Vortex R10.1 would make me fast on the track. Experimenting with the different drive modes and various other setup parameters were simple to navigate through while referring to the easy to understand instruction book. When coupled to the Vortex 8.5T VST2 brushless motor, this duo made lethal weapon capable of laying down insanely fast lap times. I had barely scratched the surface of what the Vortex R10.1 could do right out of the box, and if armed with the Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box, you could definitely do more damage to your competition. Both the R10.1 and the 8.5T VST2 motor are in a higher price bracket when compared to other speed controls and motors in the same class, which might put it out of reach to racers on a budget. However, you do get what you pay for which is premium running gear able to run at the highest of competition. —Joel Navarro

SOURCES

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