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Old 01-03-2012, 01:55 AM   #136
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I believe the last RC Thunderdrome was at Domingues Hills. I went to that with some friends and had a blast. That was the year NORRCA ran it with the 20 car mains. The following year it was called something other than the RC Thunderdrome...I believe it was the NORRCA Nats.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #137
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Had an interesting conversation with another racer at my track, and we both concluded that there is really no reason why R/C racing shouldn't be exploding with popularity. Ten or even five years ago you had excuses. Motors were touchy, batteries were expensive and needed time-consuming maintenance, cars were fragile and expensive, and so on. Today you can go as fast as you can control for a relative pittance and no skill needed. RTR kits really do mean ready-to-race with a change of tires and maybe springs. Kids and new entrants to the sport will never know the intricacies of commutator cutting, brush and spring selection, discharge trays, soldering their own batteries, and all the rest. It almost feels like in making this hobby easier and cheaper, it took something away from it.

I wonder what the best way to promote this hobby is.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #138
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Had an interesting conversation with another racer at my track, and we both concluded that there is really no reason why R/C racing shouldn't be exploding with popularity. Ten or even five years ago you had excuses. Motors were touchy, batteries were expensive and needed time-consuming maintenance, cars were fragile and expensive, and so on. Today you can go as fast as you can control for a relative pittance and no skill needed. RTR kits really do mean ready-to-race with a change of tires and maybe springs. Kids and new entrants to the sport will never know the intricacies of commutator cutting, brush and spring selection, discharge trays, soldering their own batteries, and all the rest. It almost feels like in making this hobby easier and cheaper, it took something away from it.

I wonder what the best way to promote this hobby is.
Video games has reduced the number of people from running out and buying a Radio Controlled vehicle and racing at a local track.

Also, the economy. Fewer people have the disposable income to buy.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:22 PM   #139
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What ever happened to the insane speed run car that was in Race Rock restaurant on International Drive, Orlando?? I think that when the place closed down, they auctioned off some/most of the stuff inside, so who got that car?? Cheers, Chris.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #140
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Video games has reduced the number of people from running out and buying a Radio Controlled vehicle and racing at a local track.

Also, the economy. Fewer people have the disposable income to buy.
The economy is a bit of a damper, but I don't think thats really the cause overall. The videogame thing probably has more to do with it. More video games are sold every year and why not, when you crash your digital car it doesn't really break.

However, in the words of Randy Marsh, "But, this is REAL!"
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:15 PM   #141
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... It almost feels like in making this hobby easier and cheaper, it took something away from it.

I wonder what the best way to promote this hobby is.
Yep, took the "hobby" out of the hobby is what happened. Now, the best you can do to modify a car is to change the suspension arm color.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #142
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Yep, took the "hobby" out of the hobby is what happened. Now, the best you can do to modify a car is to change the suspension arm color.
Oh, I remember the stack of companies that made TMAXX arms in all colors and material even though the stockers were probably just fine . That was some shit.

I think another aspect to it is that a lot of people my age (under 25) and younger aren't tinkerers. It seems like most of the young guys I know who race want to be able to throw the car down and go.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #143
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I believe the last RC Thunderdrome was at Domingues Hills. I went to that with some friends and had a blast. That was the year NORRCA ran it with the 20 car mains. The following year it was called something other than the RC Thunderdrome...I believe it was the NORRCA Nats.
The last few Thunderdromes were at Dominguez Hills - the early ones were at Encino. It was an amazing event, some of the things that made it special:
  • Goodyear Blimp
  • Driver's Meeting breakfast at Hotel
  • Insane Speed Run
  • 20 car mains
  • Advertising on milk containers
  • Gary and Dan
  • Two massive tents filled with racers and companies.

Too bad they turned the Dominguez Hills track into a soccer field. The Encino track is having issues with neighbors that is preventing any non-bike use. The only velo that is getting any rc car use is Major Taylor in Indy.

I remember driving 200 miles each way with the entry forms from a group of local racers on the day entries opened. We didn't want to risk missing it.

Joe
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:22 PM   #144
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A bunch of sweaty guys on bikes makes less noise than R/C car racing? The PA system drowns them both out.
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Current rides: Diggity DC4 Chassis #10. Losi JRX-S Type R. CRC Xi, Xti, and Altered Ego Aluminum Chassis. Associated B4 based dirt oval late model, and B4 Buggy.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:48 AM   #145
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The last few Thunderdromes were at Dominguez Hills - the early ones were at Encino. It was an amazing event, some of the things that made it special:
  • Goodyear Blimp
  • Driver's Meeting breakfast at Hotel
  • Insane Speed Run
  • 20 car mains
  • Advertising on milk containers
  • Gary and Dan
  • Two massive tents filled with racers and companies.

Too bad they turned the Dominguez Hills track into a soccer field. The Encino track is having issues with neighbors that is preventing any non-bike use. The only velo that is getting any rc car use is Major Taylor in Indy.

I remember driving 200 miles each way with the entry forms from a group of local racers on the day entries opened. We didn't want to risk missing it.

Joe
I suppose I can respect a neighbors opinions. Maybe it's based on parking or people trashing the neighborhood. Who knows. I know we lost a good dritbike riding spot in a similar way. Riding area was to close to civilization and when the new 4 stroke stuff started hitting, it was loud. Dipsticks out riding in the middle of the night or at 6am. Next thing you know, fenced off. I couldn't even blame the people. A few inconsiderate people, ruined it for the nice people.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:19 PM   #146
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I suppose I can respect a neighbors opinions. 0146TB
Unfortunately, it seems this has more to do with a single person that is upset at the baseball fields that are also at the facility. Any event/noise/whisper real or imagined will result in a call to the Army Core of Engineers as a complaint.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by DesertRat View Post
Had an interesting conversation with another racer at my track, and we both concluded that there is really no reason why R/C racing shouldn't be exploding with popularity. Ten or even five years ago you had excuses. Motors were touchy, batteries were expensive and needed time-consuming maintenance, cars were fragile and expensive, and so on. Today you can go as fast as you can control for a relative pittance and no skill needed. RTR kits really do mean ready-to-race with a change of tires and maybe springs. Kids and new entrants to the sport will never know the intricacies of commutator cutting, brush and spring selection, discharge trays, soldering their own batteries, and all the rest. It almost feels like in making this hobby easier and cheaper, it took something away from it.

I wonder what the best way to promote this hobby is.
I think it is just exposure. Traxxas is helping with all the ads on TV. Most kids are just not aware of RC car racing. How many of your local tracks would be easy to find if you were not in the know of RC car racing?

The local club here is exploding with interest. The other night there were 30 people at the temporary indoor track. This was with no racing being done at all. It was just a "play" night. A month ago only 6-8 people would have been there.

True something has been taken away with how easy it is to get a car running on the track. Tuning and working on your car is becoming a lost skill. Even here you see people asking questions for very simple things. The worst is people just tell each other what to do and do not include the reasoning behind it. How do you expect someone to learn how to tune a car if you do not help them learn why they are making the adjustments they are making.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:46 PM   #148
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Hi Bob, great idea/thread.

Thought I'd share a bit of my/the local history from the mid-80's.

I started working in my (current) career and had a bit of money. Bought a car first (1985 Trans Am -- yes, black and gold...) and then had the itch to get more R/C stuff. I had always been around models. Cox growing up, a couple of airplanes that never flew, and even a Futaba free-running dune buggy that I modified to add a receiver and steering servo. It was interesting trying to control it with no throttle or brake!

At any rate, in about 1986, I discovered the original SRS -- Scale Racing Sports on Hayden Road at Curry in Tempe, Arizona. At the time, I lived about 25 miles west of there, so it was a full day for me to come race. But I loved it. 2 Sundays a month, I had some of the best times of my (hobby) life.

Larry Stewart was the owner of the track, and he and Jim Silvay (who worked for Larry) ran the place. I bought a used Associated RC500 1/8 gas car, and learned to drive it. Dabbled in a bit of 1/12 electric (and a bit of off road -- but never liked it) when we were running $60-$70 Sanyo SCR NiCd packs, and peaked them with a Tekin charger (which I still have). We dialed those cars in so that they dumped literally seconds after an 8 minute race. Had both an Associated 12L, and a Delta Spyder.

But the gas cars were the best. I even had the first non-sponsored 4WD set up in AZ. Oh -- the sponsored drivers? Barry Grossenbacher and Butch Kloeber (Associated). Alan Dove (Delta). And there were others for bigger races. We had the Region 6 championships and the California guys would come over, including Tony N, and others I'm now forgetting. When those guys came in town, the best I could manage was the "C" mains. ha! Tough part about 1/8 is that a normal race day was $100 easy -- mostly due to tire wear. Would go through two sets per race day on average. And of course, if you broke something, the $'s added up. I remember one time I hit a wall -- hard -- and toasted my full bearing steering servo. I was having so much fun, it took me all of about 12 seconds to get in to the store and buy a $100 replacement. (Remember, this is 26 years ago!).

We all wore multiple hats in those days, too. Blowing off the track, spraying VHT (or sugar water, when funds were lower), running the AMB system and even announcing the races. I even remember saying "hello" over the PA to my future/now current wife one time when she came to watch.

One guy I'll never forget is Ron Paris. Ron loved racing, and in those days his motors ruled the tracks. I was fortunate enough to win one of his modded motors at an event. I chose a Nova Rossi for my RC500 and it was as fast as anything on the track. Ron was a great guy and I wore the blue "Paris Racing" t-shirt he gave me for years. I was very sad to hear when he passed away (years ago now).

Well, to bring it all back (and stop rambling), I may actually start racing again. I met a friend of yours (RacinJ) here in AZ and he's already given me some great info just chatting during race days. Great thing about r/c -- the people can be really awesome.

Sorry for the rambling, but thought you'd enjoy the stories.

Ben in AZ
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:09 PM   #149
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Cool idea Bob. At some point, I'll dig out an older Darkside oval chassis and add it to the collection. I can't believe that it's been nearly 22 years since I was that little kid with all of his "race equipment" in a cardboard apple box showing up to his first race. Time does fly!

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Old 01-19-2012, 03:07 AM   #150
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Some stuff you may not have seen in a while.








Guess what this is.
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