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Old 10-22-2016, 01:12 AM   #31
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Could not agree more with Grizzbob on the radio. Sanwa has an entry-level model (MX-V) with pretty much anything you could want, including expos. It costs like 90$, and it would be 10 times better than ANY Hobbyking radio.
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:23 AM   #32
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You don't say what the budget is, nor how many cars you need, so that makes it a bit difficult to give suggestions.

For the budget you mention above, and assuming you only want gear for one driver, I would suggest you look for the Tamiya RTR kits, especially if you're doing it for fun with young kids. My son started racing with a Tamiya TA02 kit stock and that was just fine for him. Being competitive is not the main point, but being fun is. And if the kids want to take it further, you can upgrade later, but for now, on a shoestring budget, I think those kits (or similar) are good value.

You will need batteries and chargers, and those things are not going to be cheap no matter what. Budget about 200$ for one mediocre battery and a mediocre/crap charger, and that is absolutely minimal. It may even not be sufficient, if the time between races doesn't allow the battery to fully charge - something that can kill batteries quickly. One way to avoid this is to get the smallest battery capacity that will last the race, so it will charge quicker, rather than push it at unrealistic rates of charge.

The radio gear can be an endless source of frustration, and can ruin your day. I know because I have been there, done that. You are much better off buying a good, old, tried and tested s/h radio and servo for your 25$ from say ten years ago, than a new one. My own radio was top of the cream ten years ago when I bought it, and if I sold it today, it would be a miracle if I got 50$ for it. It works perfectly, and has absolutely no missing function compared to current top radios (it actually has more functions than I care to remember or know how to use - you can probably tell these functions don't matter very much, especially for your kids).

Servos are in the same boat. Buy a crap one, and you'll never know where your car will go and there is nothing you can do about it but buy a better one. It is that bad. A bad servo can kill the car no matter how good the car is, so this is not a good place to skimp on quality. To give you a starting point, an old Futaba low profile 9551 is a good benchmark. I am not sure they make that one anymore, but even if you find one from 10 years ago that works fine, it will be on par with any new servo at any level. Many top racers still use it, I have about 10 of them in all my cars, they all work perfectly after many seasons of racing. Again, they're no longer top of the cream, but they are not going to be left behind by many, and have more than decent speed and torque.

Like I said. Tamiya has some very good value kits that come ready to run indeed (with radio, ESC, BL motor, servo, battery - not sure if they have chargers). Not sure what they cost where you are, but you can get them from HK for peanuts and you have very good spares support in the US (unlike other places).

I would seriously look at a TT01 chassis which is not that competitive, but is competitive enough for a young kid, tuneable, and low maintenance. We had lots of kids give us a hard time with these cars.

For your budget you can't be competitive by buying the top of the range tech, but you can by following some simple rules. Buy a simple car, sturdy, easy to maintain, and most importantly light. These things don't cost more, on the contrary, tend to be cheaper, because they are easier to manufacture. That is where you can find your strength.

The TA07 is a good benchmark for what you should avoid like the plague. Doesn't matter people swear by them. They are complicated, heavy and inefficient and for people with money.

The TT01 I recommend is not a silver bullet by any means, but it does embody what you should be looking for. Cheap, light, efficient drivetrain, easy maintenance, tank-like resilience, cheap as chips parts. There's many others you can find (Tamiya has a lot of shaft drive cars, not sure what is still in production, but I still see them on the shelves, so they're probably still churning them out - look into the TB range on Tamiya's US site to learn and then buy from HK at a fraction of the price).

I mentioned Tamiya because they have relatively good quality in the cheap kits. I am not familiar with other companies, but I have seen in the shops some things I wouldn't touch. There is too much temptation to skimp on cheap kits for companies who only want to turn a quick buck and then you're on your own when the first thing breaks. Tamiya has volumes that earn its profit so their quality doesn't need to suffer (too much). They also offer the choice to upgrade to any level you want all the way to the top at a rate commensurate with your budget.

Look at other companies by all means, the examples I gave you I know personally, and are my benchmark. There are plenty others, but before you buy check the parts situation in your neck of the woods. Where I am there is no support for anything, so that makes my choice a bit easier but my work to get parts harder.

And no, I am not a Tamiya fanboy.

Yokomo has put out in the recent past and I think still has on the market some brilliant budget TC cars, but they are a bit more expensive than your 300$ might allow. I have scored some good deals from Hk shops when they get rid of their old stock. Again, you can start small and build your car to a top of the range world class winner if thats what you want. I think this is brilliant and offers you the option to buy what you think you need, rather than pay for things that are in the kit, but may be irrelevant for you.

There is also Xray with budget kits, but again a notch up in price and am not sure they land in the US very often. Parts compatibility with their current top TC cars is 100% though, so that's a huge bonus (same for Yokomo).

Don't know for sure, but you might want to check HB, Associated and Schumacher in your area, see what they've got in the budget range.

Problem with all these (apart from Yok and Tamiya) is you can't get them from HK that cheaply (or at all).

Good luck and have fun.
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Last edited by niznai; 10-22-2016 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 10-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #33
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What about a VBC D08 now that the D09 is coming out? Would that be overkill for a beginner or a good USGT/VTA platform to start on road with?
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Old 10-22-2016, 08:57 AM   #34
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We have batteries and a couple of Hitec X1 balance chargers, I'll look more into other cars, I was going off some of the posts here and on other treads, I like the idea of a shaft drive, had a couple of belt drive AE SC18, what a pain!
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:19 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Petem View Post
We have batteries and a couple of Hitec X1 balance chargers, I'll look more into other cars, I was going off some of the posts here and on other treads, I like the idea of a shaft drive, had a couple of belt drive AE SC18, what a pain!
I was skeptical how well belt driven would hold up for the group running hobby store parking lot. Only 1 belt broke over 9 events over summer. 2 of us had belts damaged, but not broken.
I'm considering trying a shaft driven next year. Could use my TC4 but really what to try the Tamiya TB evo6.
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Old 10-22-2016, 12:20 PM   #36
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I've never had a belt break. On 2 different cars, and thousands of laps. Nobody I know prefers a shaft drive over belt drive. Do yourself a favor and go belt-drive.

Also, absolutely get a nicer radio. That's the one thing you'll keep when you upgrade. Totally worth it. A cheap radio is going to not only possibly give you issues, but will also feel cheap in your hands. A nice feeling radio is 75% of what you need to feel confident and go fast.

For USGT, just get the pre-glued wheels/tires from Gravity RC for $25. Cheaper than what you listed.
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Old 10-22-2016, 11:54 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfghan View Post
I've never had a belt break. On 2 different cars, and thousands of laps. Nobody I know prefers a shaft drive over belt drive. Do yourself a favor and go belt-drive.

Also, absolutely get a nicer radio. That's the one thing you'll keep when you upgrade. Totally worth it. A cheap radio is going to not only possibly give you issues, but will also feel cheap in your hands. A nice feeling radio is 75% of what you need to feel confident and go fast.

For USGT, just get the pre-glued wheels/tires from Gravity RC for $25. Cheaper than what you listed.
Again, a comment relevant only to one experience. Belts break, and they need to be replaced even if they don't (unless you want to break it mid-race).

That said, shafts break too, especially those on the TT01, which is just a cheap plastic item.

BUT!

Run this experiment. See who changes their broken item quicker. The guy with the belt, or the guy with the shaft?

And also, who pays more for the replacement part?

You're welcome.

On the TT01 the shaft can be replaced literally in seconds (you don't need to take anything apart, just pop the shaft in - the broken one flies out by itself) and it cost you pennies.

And if you REALLY, REALLY want to, you can upgrade to an aluminium or CF shaft that doesn't break for real (unlike the belts that don't break). Perhaps a very well spent 5 bucks or so after you break the stock shaft.

Oh, forgot to mention. Tamiya has released the second version, the TT02 car, which is supposed to be better, but like I said, check out other cars of similar design (subject to your requirements/constraints - budget, availability of parts, etc. etc.)

For the original poster.

You can find the manuals for serious companies online (certainly for Tamiya, Yokomo, Xray, etc).

That is an invaluable source of information about the car for you to peruse BEFORE you buy. You can even use the part numbers to check part prices if you think this part or the other will break often or whatever.

Like I said, the suggestions I made here are just that. There are other options and possibilities, but that is up to you to explore, perhaps best after you get a feel for some sort of benchmark.

You didn't mention if you intend to run indoors or outdoors. This might simplify the decision, because if outdoors, I would definitely advise a shaft car given the intended user's age. It is age also that calls for a simpler car with less tuning options, which can confuse the heck out of you and your kids. Later, you can take it up as many notches as you want (again platforms like the TT, TB, SD are infinitely tunable, so you won't need to change platforms to access tunability).

To address the belt question, I think right now there are some brilliant low budget cars in belt drive, so well priced, that I bought one I didn't even need (I don't actually understand why people still buy the top car from the same manufacturer, when the budget one is equal in performance and the price is half).

These are a bit out of your budget, and they require good tuning, but they are competitive at top level.

Also keep in mind that I am not a youngster trying to learn to drive.
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Last edited by niznai; 10-23-2016 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:00 AM   #38
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I do remember hearing a belt skip from a Sprint rtr(20t brushed) when I wanted to get my first touring car. That convinced me to go shaftdrive forever. Forget belt breaks: belt skips, slips are worst.
I got myself a tc4 and never broke a shaft....
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:12 AM   #39
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That is not a real problem. Belts are well and truly tried and tested. They fit the purpose as long as you know very well what purpose they are for. Even in mod, and this is at our track, which is very fast, you can tension the belt so it doesn't skip or slip. On a RTR car this is almost certainly due to negligent assembly on the line.

The real advantage as I said above, is that shafts are lower maintenance, bullet proof and cheap.

Shafts lose ground when torque steering becomes a problem, but that is only if you run mod, boosted or low wind stock. We have shaft cars in stock (13.5 blinky) which show absolutely no problems.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:27 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niznai View Post
That is not a real problem. Belts are well and truly tried and tested. They fit the purpose as long as you know very well what purpose they are for. Even in mod, and this is at our track, which is very fast, you can tension the belt so it doesn't skip or slip. On a RTR car this is almost certainly due to negligent assembly on the line.

The real advantage as I said above, is that shafts are lower maintenance, bullet proof and cheap.

Shafts lose ground when torque steering becomes a problem, but that is only if you run mod, boosted or low wind stock. We have shaft cars in stock (13.5 blinky) which show absolutely no problems.
You can decide for yourself if you want to continue your discussion with Bert, but you should know he brags about he is going to run 2.5t BL motors with his cars and he wonders why the pros don't follow his "thinking". Be warned, I had the misfortune of reading hundreds of posts of his that help no one.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:53 AM   #41
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Ha!

Look what I found:

http://www.rcmart.com/tamiya-58600-t...cPath=420_1167

PS. I forgot one last and important piece of advice.

If you decide to go with Tamiya, do yourself a favour and throw the kit screws in the garbage bin before they drive you crazy. I absolutely hate those effing screws Tamiya insists on putting in the kits. Replace them with socket scews of equal length and get yourself a good 2.5mm driver. That'll do the whole car and will cost you a few bucks but it is worth its weight in gold for your sanity.

If you decide to ignore my advice, be aware an ISO philips screwdriver is only going to jump out of the screw heads and strip them beyond hope. You need a JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) phillips screwdriver for the Tamiya screws. You can find these screwdrivers in old Corolla factory tool kits from the sixties-seventies. That will only make sure you don't strip the screw heads straight away, but it is still a dang right headfu*k to screw them in. I think Tamiya themselves sell a JIS screwdriver as well at a price that will explain why they insist on using those screws in the kits.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:08 AM   #42
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I thought that I would be utterly annoyed with the Phillips head screws on my Tamiya Xv-01. It uses a #2 Phillips bit. Semi fat. And works just fine. No stripped screws and easy to find non-specialty tools.

I am no pro, but the availability of common tools (you can find at any hardware store) makes working with the car, not as bad as you make it to be.

It is however nice to have hex screws, those that don't strip that is I know.. good tools.



Quote:
Originally Posted by niznai View Post
Ha!

Look what I found:

http://www.rcmart.com/tamiya-58600-t...cPath=420_1167

PS. I forgot one last and important piece of advice.

If you decide to go with Tamiya, do yourself a favour and throw the kit screws in the garbage bin before they drive you crazy. I absolutely hate those effing screws Tamiya insists on putting in the kits. Replace them with socket scews of equal length and get yourself a good 2.5mm driver. That'll do the whole car and will cost you a few bucks but it is worth its weight in gold for your sanity.

If you decide to ignore my advice, be aware an ISO philips screwdriver is only going to jump out of the screw heads and strip them beyond hope. You need a JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) phillips screwdriver for the Tamiya screws. You can find these screwdrivers in old Corolla factory tool kits from the sixties-seventies. That will only make sure you don't strip the screw heads straight away, but it is still a dang right headfu*k to screw them in. I think Tamiya themselves sell a JIS screwdriver as well at a price that will explain why they insist on using those screws in the kits.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #43
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VBC D08...too much for a beginner on road USGT chassis? It's under my $400 chassis limit and looks like a nice ride with endless tuning features...
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:39 AM   #44
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Thank you for reading my posts. I doubt that anybody would ever admit that BERT's posts helped them, as long as the reading was captivating, and you remembered the corrections the other members posted in response to my posts....
Quote:
Originally Posted by corallyman View Post
You can decide for yourself if you want to continue your discussion with Bert, but you should know he brags about he is going to run 2.5t BL motors with his cars and he wonders why the pros don't follow his "thinking". Be warned, I had the misfortune of reading hundreds of posts of his that help no one.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:25 PM   #45
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I stand by my statement that belts are not a problem. Like, at all.

And if a $6 replacement belt is a problem for you, you're in the wrong hobby.

Like I said, thousands of laps. My belt is still fine. So are the others I know. I'm not saying they don't break, but you guys make it sound like it's so common that it's an annoyance. It's definitely not. Especially if you're running 21.5. Replace it once a year while you've got it torn down for maintenance anyway if you're that paranoid about it. It takes 5 minutes to set the correct tension and then you're off and running.

::shrugs:: to each his own I suppose.
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