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Getting back into Racing after 20 years.. Please help!!

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Getting back into Racing after 20 years.. Please help!!

Old 01-18-2018, 09:12 AM
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Default Getting back into Racing after 20 years.. Please help!!

I was obsessed with racing in my teens, in the 80's.. starting with the old gold tub RC-10, my first car and later with my beloved Losi JXR2 (if I remember the PN correctly). I eventually gave it up.. family.. etc. I did keep quite a bit of the old stuff I had and at point I traded a few cars for an AE TC3.. so I do have a full setup that I dug out of mothballs.. it's all VERY old though. I think the only thing I'd consider reusing is the Futaba 3PJ FM radio, Novak Receiver, and JR high speed digital servo that I never used. lol

This past Christmas I got my son (12) his first real RC vehicle.. he REALLY wanted a Traxxas Slash. I did some research and it seems like a great basher for him to start with. We had so much fun with it around the yard that my brother and I quickly purchased one! We found a brand new track about 45mins from my house, up in St. Cloud MN and have been going there. every weekend. Our plan is to race Spec Slash at some point.. mainly because it's cheap and fun for us 3.

While the Slash is fun.. it's a pig. I drove a few buggies and I now have the itch to get back into 2wd stock buggy racing!

My brother and I are looking to get Team Associated B6's, once they are back in stock. We talked to a few guys from the track who are saying we will need to put about $750 into the car to be remotely competitive:
250 Car
150 Radio
150 ESC/Motor
100 Batteries
100 Charger

Does't seem unreasonable to me.. but it does lead to a few questions that I'm lost on!

There are SO MANY ESC/Motor combos.. what is a decent recommendation to start with? I'm absolutely lost. I'd like to spend enough to be competitive, but not get crazy. Is $150 a decent number? What would you all recommend? This is blinky stock racing, 17.5T.

Radios - I'm looking at a Spektrum DX5R, or Futaba 4PL.. both around $200. I'm wondering if my old ass Futaba 3PJ with FM would be adequate. Am I really giving up a ton by not buying a new digital radio? My 3PJ has throttle and brake expo.. do I need anything else? Will the signal speed really make a big difference?

For batteries, We're just going to start with some Gens Ace 50C shorty packs.. and if necessary jump up to the big buck racing batteries - do they really make a difference?? I hear good things about Gens Ace.

For the charger, I picked up a Hi-Tec X2 AC Plus Black Edition.. GREAT charger so far. 10Amps and I love how I can create barcodes for the batteries so my son can scan them with his phone to kick off charging.. Fewer worries about setting it up wrong.

That's it for now I suppose.. my biggest wonder is with my radio and a decent starting ESC/Motor..

Please Help!
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:49 PM
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A good radio will be a 1 time purchase that will last you years so don’t skimp on this. You want to feel as connected as possible to your car to be competitive. Having the ability to adjust expo, endpoints, speed, assign buttons and various other settings is crucial. I run a mt44 Sanwa. It’s $349 which is a great price for what it does. It’s very light which is my main reason I run it over the m12.

Here’s a great combo unit for $149. Comes with esc, motor and program box. https://www.smc-racing.net/index.php...product_id=411
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:58 PM
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You can save $50 off the top by getting either a Sanwa MXV or Futaba 3PV, which are awesome radios and do every single thing you will ever need them to for buggy racing. If you shop around you can get 2x Gens Ace 4200 shortys for under $50, great batteries with plenty of punch. Charger...I cant really answer that, I use a 6 year old Hyperion that still works absolutely perfect. The ESC/motor combo listed above is a good bargain.

Order from Amain and you can probably save another $10 or $20 on that B6, which can then be put towards tires.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:04 PM
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No need to spend a ton of money. Futaba makes great radios. The Futaba 3PV radio has more than enough features and speed. Search eBay for a 120a ESC. Buy two for less than $40 shipped. Get an inexpensive sensored Trackstar motor from Hobbyking.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:31 AM
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You are going to get a crazy amount of suggestions on what works. Most of them will be right because it is pretty hard to make a bad decision these days. There are a few bad eggs, but those are the exception at this point and not the rule.

I'll just toss in what I would do if I was trying to enter the stock buggy scene on a budget:

1. Gently used buggy for $150 that has good parts support locally. See what the guys run at your track. If not used, the B6 or B6d is a steal at the moment. Towerhobbies.com has $20 coupon codes to make them $230.

2. Any shorty pack that is around $30-40 is going to be just fine for several years. Gens Ace, SMC, and Hobbyking are prevalent at my track with no issues. I've used SMC and Hobbyking myself in the last 4 years.

3. Plan ahead with the speed control. If you want to stick with the car for a long time or jump to mod at some point, I wouldn't skimp there. Look at its features and ability to receive software updates. For stock, features don't matter too much and you get get going very inexpensively. However, tuning features become more critical in mod to keep the power as smooth and controllable as possible. I use Tekin speed controls. They are definitely on the pricier end, but I've had one RSX for 5 years now. Tekin currently has 17.5 motor and RS Spec speed control combos that were used one weekend at a spec race on their website for $99. Not bad for a competitive motor and speed control. That's what I would go with, personally. Tekin, INC

4. Get a motor that you can get parts for. Some cheap motors you can only buy as a whole. That can cost you later if the sensor board fails or the rotor gets overheated and looses its magnetic strength. The combo I listed above comes with a motor that is fully rebuild-able and will be supported with parts for a long time.

5. Servos are key to making your car competitive. There are plenty of choices in the $50-$80 range that will work. For 2wd buggy, make sure the transit speed is no more than 0.12 seconds. Ideally, 0.10 or faster will last you a long time as you get better. Best bang for the buck I've used recently was the Savox SA-1258TG at $60.

6. Chargers don't matter until you are at the top 5% of stock racers. Anything that will charge at 5 amps or more will get you going just fine. Sounds like you already are set there.

7. The Futaba 3PV and Sanwa MX-V radios are both perfect for the first 2-5 years of racing. If you are ok with buying used, the Sanwa MT-4 or MT-4S is a good step up as well. Some people have issues with Spektrum radios, but a lot don't. Personally, I would shy away from low end Spektrum systems after having my own issues several years ago.

Last edited by Krio; 01-19-2018 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:51 AM
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good info above. almost same as me

I run 2 b6's and I currently have a trinity monster max in one and a tekin in one.
the monster max is my favorite its $99
I used the venum duo charger it was $89 and can charge 2 batteries at once
I run hobbywing esc just stock pro I found gently used with programmer for $95
battery I run is 4600mah reedy zappers $72 new
and the futaba 3pv for $100 is perfect
also savox 1258 is great

my other advice is don't waste your money on junk and buy quality components from the get go also don't buy a used b6 build one its not hard and youll know everything is done right. I have bought numerous cars/trucks where wrong screws were installed or stuff backwards.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:03 AM
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Another good option for the B6 is the "Club racer" kit. It is essentially the B6d kit, plus a decent speed control, motor, and servo.

If you're running on carpet, and you're really committed, you would be better off starting with the B6 kit (no "d"). It has a better configuration for rug racing that would cost a bit of $$ to achieve from the "d" kit.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Davidka View Post
Another good option for the B6 is the "Club racer" kit. It is essentially the B6d kit, plus a decent speed control, motor, and servo.

If you're running on carpet, and you're really committed, you would be better off starting with the B6 kit (no "d"). It has a better configuration for rug racing that would cost a bit of $$ to achieve from the "d" kit.
We recently made a friend who is very happy that he went with the B6D Club Racer kit. My son has the $100 Futaba 3PV and is very pleased with it. And receivers are under $40. That Hitec charger was a good choice. When racing Stock, I would recommend lipos with at least 110C rating. There are many good ones out there. SMC is a good brand for quality at a low price. A lot of the fast guys around here are also running Voodoo Cells.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:23 AM
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For racing a new radio is a must! Once 2.4ghz hit the market tracks stopped regulating frequency and you're setting yourself up for interference....
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:52 AM
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I was in the same boat a year ago. Notes:
- No more Crystals! You can turn on your radio in the pits.
- Batteries last a long time, easily a year. And you can run 1 battery in your car, the entire event! No more run 1 pack, only once a day. No more matching cells.
- I race on clay, and a motor lasts me easily a year. No shelling out big money, before every race, on a new motor.
- B6 are solid. Almost nothing is needed to compete.
- Less money in Crystals, batteries and motors. Nice. Bad news, Tires don't last as long. But not to bad of trade off.
- Get decent stuff. Better to do a bit more to start, then have to upgrade.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:16 PM
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Ha, I saw this thread and I had to reply. I'm also looking to do some racing after roughly 10 years. I also had a Jrx2 back in the day, with the orange defective wheels..

Anyways I just picked up an sworkz be1, looking to do some 1/8 racing this summer.

Haven't raced since nicad days but I've been flying helis so I know my way around a lipo.

Anyways, good luck with your endeavors.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:08 PM
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I'm in the same boat more-less so I'm going to tell what I've found you should have on hand and what happened in the time you were gone.

For your needs it sounds like a good 2.4ghz radio is in order. Find one that can hold multiple models so you only need one radio.

One good Stock "Blinky" ESC, 17.5 (27T) and, 13.5 (19T) motors per car. TC and Vintage classes you will also want 25.5 and 21.5 motors in hand. Used in place of Silver can handouts at most events. More on that later.

Lipo is a must for racing. Gone are the days of NiCd & NiMh. Unless your playing around and/or teaching kids how to run changers. (Me)

During your break, Hobby People bought Airtronics some 13 years ago. HP folded in '16? taking them with. Also gone is Novak. They called quits last year. You can still find some of both online and in some LHS but service would be non extant. Tekin had a hard time for a bit but is back nice and strong with some really nice stuff. I'm not sure if they will fix there old stuff I for one would love to know that. Castle is good. I have a Mamba Max in my Slash/Pede. It will run both brush and brush-less. Nice if you don't have rules tieing you down in your just for fun cars. You most likely know about Tower by now so I'm not going to go there.
Vintage racing is a somewhat big thing now. So if you still have a gold pan or the JRX2, there are thing to do with them in a like minded setting without fear of being run in or made fun of because your an old fart. (like me) We have a great vintage crowd here that I think you will find friends in. Your TC3 is not a dead player just yet ether. Parts are still around for that and it would be a good candidate for Vintage Trans Am racing. They run 25.5 motors so the pace is much slower then normal stock. plus you get to dress it as the Hot rod you never had as kid. AAR 'Cudas and the like. Also the focus is on the looks of the car and having fun, not as much winning.
I hope this helps fill in some of the gaps from your time away and give you some fun things to look into. Here are some links for the vintage stuff to bring back the good old days for you.
RC Car Action - January 2018
Read the race reports from this. You'll like them.
U.S. Vintage Trans-Am R/C Racing Series This is the info you will want for your TC3. There is also a tread for them in the Electric On-Road area here.
Have Fun!
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:29 PM
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With the motor and ESC, higher price does not mean faster. I don't think it makes any difference in speed in the age of brushless.


The best ESC is expensive because it is designed to be reliable and long lasting under punishing conditions, and it will give you very smooth throttle response from zero to max. (Of course you need a sensored setup...)

Also, the expensive products have good customer support, warranty, and will repair or replace a damaged ESC for much cheaper than buying a new one.

The way I see it, buying a cheap chinese disposable ESC would be worth the risk if it is less than 1/2 the price. If it fails, you can replace it without spending more than if you had bought the better one. But when the cheap one is 75% the price of the top quality part, the cheap one isn't worth the risk.

I'm not saying every cheap one will fail immediately. Failure is random, and it is more likely on the cheaper units because of the engineering. Instead, I'm saying that if the cheap one fails, it is a total loss!

In my mind, the radio isn't the only thing that is a long term investment. I expect all my electronics to last years. I expect that my electronics will run multiple vehicles over their lifetime....so I have no problem laying down a bit of cash on electronics.
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:27 AM
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I disagree with most about the radio. I cannot see the logic behind spending $300+ on a radio. The Sanwa MXV is all the radio us 'regular' guys need, priced about $90 with a receiver.
Next, the TrackStar sportsman 60A ESC is the bargain of all bargains at $30. I have 4 of them running 17.5 and 13.5 motors.
For the motor, I'd also suggest a TrackStar (from HobbyKing), should be about $40. By the time you're ready to upgrade, there will probably be a new generation available and then you'll be ready to put more $$ there.
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:10 AM
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MX-V is pretty good. What finally made me upgrade to the MT-S was the difficulty of braking with the MX-V. I guess in the end it depends on how good your finger control is, but the trigger movement for braking is so short in the MX-V that it's difficult to brake just right. If you set EPA or ESC brake strength for soft braking then you can't brake hard when you need to. With a 4WD it's not so bad, but with a 2WD it was a pain. Doesn't help that with the MX-V you can't even set EXPO independently for throttle and braking.

The MT-S can be had for about double the price for the MX-V. I'd say it's worth it, but it does come down to each individual's preferences and financial means, in the end.

I'll second the Sportsman 60A, great ESC for one steal of a price! TrackStar motors work well for mod, might be slightly weak for non-timing stock classes however. Certainly enough to get started with, though.
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