Originally Posted by scmicromike
Looking at coming back to racing after a while out. I have an FK04, I ran for a while from new to end of 2007. I ran during 09 winter series with brushed 27 turn, LRP Q3, and a SMC lipo. Did OK, in 17.5 with this setup. Will run the same, and start upgrading slowly.
I am looking at getting new batteries for a November race. If that works out I want to go brushless the next race and start upgrading to complete new equipment; new car, radio gear, batteries, electronics, the works, but I want to give it a soft start for the rest of this year.
What batteries are being run now? I assume some sort of lithium polymer pack is the way to go. Are the packs as big of a difference as they where when I was racing 3300 NIMi SMC packs? What electronics are on top now?
Should I be looking at the 17.5 touring stock class, or is this RCGT thing working out for everyone?
I will need a body and tires too. what are popular?
I feel like a beginner again, its kind of refreshing.
Welcome back. I started racing this year, so I am by no means an 'expert' on anything, but I will pass my experience (as a recent new person) on:
Lipo and Lipo chargers are an expense. Having said that, they are THEY way to go. Once you shell out for the equipment, you are good. Get a nice balancing charger and use balance as you charge. Hyperion makes one for about $100 bucks including balancer attachment.
Batteries - there are plenty of choices. With Lipo, get one with a balancing port in the battery. I prefer hard cases, as they are easier to handle, carry around, and are more durable. Here is a link to a guy we use at our local track
. He provides discounts. Tell him you are with your local racing group (ask for a discount for your group as well)
What class to run? Not as easy to answer. Look at it this way, if you get the right equipment, you are positioned to move to any class that you desire. Specifically - get a good brushless motor and Tekin RS ESC. Another cost 'up front', but I wish I had done this initially. The 17.5 LRP X12 is awesome and the Tekin RS will cover any motor you might want to run on the track. Hotwire is the link between the ESC and your computer. Nice feature that allows you to tune quickly. This is a great setup!
Using the 17.5/Tekin combo, you will be able to run stock sedan (no boost), stock with boost, GT (no boost), and even mod sedan (advanced timing and boost on the Tekin). This way you can have a couple sets of tires (GT requires HPI X pattern) and simply swap them between races and plug in to the Tekin Hotwire to change your settings for the next class.
I bought a TC4 stock. The ESC is not Lipo capable. It has an analog servo. I bought NiMH batteries and a charger. It has a brushed motor.
What I experienced:
-- NiMH batteries do not perform like Lipo. Batteries must be charged after just a few minutes. Have to be careful of how far down the batteries are discharged. I ended up taking 3 down too far. Total loss.
-- Stock servo (analog) did not perform well. Had tracking issues at speed. Car was all over the track on the straights and coming out of turns to a straight.
-- I bought a Havoc Pro ESC/Ballistic combo set up. Very happily initially. I learned about gearing and tuned my car for the track. I found that I was 'hotter' than most other cars on the track. Havoc is temperature limited (more so than other motors). To avoid damage, I had to gear down (slower). Was always 'worried' about temps.
What I should have done:
-- Buy a used TC or equivalent car.
-- Buy a LRP X12/Tekin RS with Hotwire
-- Buy a digital servo
-- Buy Lipo and charger (balancing!) (Thunderpower is popular) Don't get wrapped up in the 'C' rating. Know what your motor needs (generally a 35 or above C rating is enough - buy just enough to save money).
Take this to the track and talk to the other racers. Having the right 'base' will allow you to have much more fun. You won't be needing anything real soon. You can grow and advance. That motor and ESC will last you through the season and allow you to run multiple classes.
Hope this is helpful. Enjoy!