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Old 01-13-2004, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Learning to drive is the big problem

I have read these forums and receved lots of good information about the setup of my 1/10 Electric Touring Car. I have run my car on a local carpet track 4 times now for average of 3 hours each time.

My driving is improving slowly but I find it very difficult to co-ordinate the speed and the turning.
I do ok, if I limit my speed and focus on making the turns, but car is going pretty slow. The local track is on the small side, so If I pull the trigger all the way on a staightaway I have to back off immediatly to make the next turn.
I have a hard time getting a feel for the speed of the car at half throttle, 3/4 throttle or full throttle, they all seem equally fast.

Does anyone have a shortcut or a method for developing the ability coordinate the speed and steering control.

I have one of those older Futaba Magnum AM controllers with a lot of trim adjusments. Is there something I can do with this controller to make it easier to learn control and co-ordination with.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:17 PM   #2
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There is a big secret. Time and Laps. Have someone who is good drive your car to make sure the setup is close and burn up some tires. Some guys have natural ability and others have to learn, like most things. Remember your doing it for fun and it wont take long. Ive been racing my TC for about 10 weeks now and am starting to keep up with guys that have been racing for years some 15-20. I do have a great car tho too (custom built TC3) and I study setups alot. Ya get out of it what ya put into it. And ask advice from the people racing around you, but be careful who you listen to. If there is another secret I hope someone posts it.
www.victoryhobbies.com Greenbay, Wisconsin
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:22 PM   #3
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Before you worry about your driving, see if one of the fast guys at the track can go through your car to make sure the chassis setup is close. Car setup is everything when you race on a rug.

When you are practicing, you may want to put in a slower motor or undergear the motor you have. When you are first learning the line to drive with a touring car, you need to worry only about your car. Drive slow and controlled. Don't worry about how fast you are and never try to race anybody even during a race. Just practice making laps without hitting anything. Once you can go an entire five minute race without hitting anything, then try to gear up a bit to get more speed.

Your transmitter might hold you back a bit. A high end transmitter (like a M8 or R1) can really help make things easier. To be successful, you need to at least have EPA and dual rate adjustments. Other features like servo speed can be extremely helpful as well, especially if you have a super fast servo. When you race on carpet, the servo only needs to move a little ways to the right and left, and it really does not need to do it all that quickly. What the servo needs to do is center extremely well. So make sure the servo centers perfectly every time.

Beyond those tips, just think about what the chassis is doing and what you want it to do in each corner. When you let off the throttle, weight tranfers to the front wheels. This gives the car more steering, which makes it possible to get through the turns. Use the throttle to control weight transfer, and focus on it in every corner. As you practice more and more, you will eventually do it without even thinking about it.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:25 PM   #4
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As a touring car (and racing) novice myself I've been following some things I learned from full scale car track days and autocrossing and it seems to be applying here just as well.

The key is smoothness. Smooth on and off throttle as well as turning. Yeah, you'll be going slow at first, but being smooth is one thing that will make you faster and more consistant down the road. Concentrate on smooth around the course and speed will come.

Setups: set it up one way and keep it there. Its way to easy (especially on RC cars) to keep changing things thinking that's gonna fix your problem. Its not. Yeah, there could be some things you could do that'd definatly help, but as you change things while your learning your just messing up all the stuff you've learned so far. Just keep it the way it is. Once you've reached a point where your pretty consistant let someone really good drive your car and see how they do. If your lap times are as fast as theirs that means you've reached the point where your setup limited and you need to start tweeking things to get faster, if they're still pulling 2 seconds a lap on you you simply need practice.

First tweak the driver then tweak the car.
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:33 AM   #5
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I agree with everything that was said with the last few posts. I think that the radio Is a big thing. With a better radio you will be able to adjust your steering speed and throw and your throttle.
These will really help you in just starting because you can limit your speed and steering. And the farther you progress with your driving the more throttle and steering you can add.
But there is one thing that I have learned in the years. SLOW IS FAST AND IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO DRIVING. Don't try and go out and beat everyone on the track. Worry about your car. Like it was mention before. You can be the fastest car out and hit every damn corner on the track. But the guy that is not so fast that doesn't hit anything will win everytime. Just don't get down it takes time to learn all of the tricks. Hope that helps.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:26 AM   #6
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Get the car setup right. It doesn't need to be perfect, but it does have to be close. If the setup is wrong, you could be learning bad habits. Check with any of the fast drivers at your track who run the same car you do. They should be able to give you tire, spring and chassis settings to get you close.

Stay 1 foot off of the boards. Don't try to cut the lines too tight, just get consistent with the car then worry about gradually tightening up the lines. You will lose a lot more time from hitting a board than going wide in a turn.

DON'T RACE other cars!!! Just worry about your car. Don't worry about how many laps you turn or beating other drivers. Look at your individual lap times. Look for consistency and improvement. Track your best lap time and try to match or beat it. Compare this lap time to the faster drivers lap times to see how you are doing.

Talk to the faster drivers about how they drive the track. In stock TC, I tend to rarely if ever get completely off throttle. By learning when, where and how much to use the throttle you can dramatically change how a car handles.

As for equipment, a faster servo can be helpful. It isn't that you need speed, it is mostly that it reacts to your input quicker. With a slower servo, you will need to turn the wheel on your radio before the turn, with a faster servo, your input on the radio will be more real-time to what you see on the track.

Track time is the best hop-up you can buy. Practice as much as possible. Have someone watch your car as you drive. They can give you advice on what they see.

Oh yea, and HAVE FUN!!!! That's what it's really all about.
Jeff Gilligan
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:27 AM   #7
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thanks very much. What a great series of replies.
I am copying and pasting all your messages together and printing it out.

You have certainly given me some hope that I can improve my skill.
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Old 01-16-2004, 05:55 PM   #8
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Imo track time is way more important then an expensive radio. You don't need a $300 radio when you start racing, a $100 radio is more then enough, fancy adjustments can just make matters worse. If your setup is in the ball park then practicing is all that is left, get as much track time as possible, stay off the walls, be consistant and you'll get better. As has already been said, you get out of it what you put into it.
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