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Old 02-20-2003, 07:49 PM   #1
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Default AE Starter Box Problem

All,

I just purchased AE's starter box (the stainless steel box w. the single 750 motor). It came assembled with the flywheel running across the chassis line, so I had to follow the instructions and rotate the flywheel 90 degrees to work with my RC10GT.

The problem I ran into is that in its new in-line position, the flywheel slightly rubs the side of the slot that it sticks out of. In other words, its not centered in the slot. I've tried recentering the mounting bulkheads under the box many times, but no luck. Its almost as if some screw holes were drilled slightly misaligned.

Has anyone else had this problem?


ps. IMHO, this isn't that great of a design although I still hope to get it working. Here's my 2 cents:

a. Flywheel slots are much narrower than they need to be, so tolerance to manufacturing or assembly variance is almost non-existant. There's a gap of only 2mm on each side of the flywheel when centered.

b. When in the in-line position, the flywheel bulkheads are attached only to the top of the box. When in the other position, the bulkheads are attached to the top and the bottom, a more rigid and sturdier configuration.

c. That one-piece nylon handle is going to break someday, esp if you put a gel cell battery underneath, and leave it lying out in the sun. The major stress points on the handle where it attaches to the side plate have a fairly small diameter.

d. No stock mounting for a small gel cell like others. Yes, you could rig it, but why, when you just spent $90?

e. Doesn't have an external on/off switch - not really necessary, but the Ofna version has one.

f. The design and mfgr of this box was clearly contracted out. I don't feel this box is up to AE's normally high standards. Sorry, I'm an engineer, but I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to design a good starter box.
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Old 02-21-2003, 12:19 AM   #2
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I have a AE starter box with the same problem. The donut does rub slightly on the box but I have no ill effects from it. Definately does not seem up to AE standards like you said but I havent had any reliabilty issues with it running 2-2400 packs.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:34 PM   #3
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I had to convert mine over for the Rc10GT use, and yes mine is a little close to one side than the other. My guess would be that the hole the wheel sticks out of is 1mm or so off, not the mounting holes. The bulkheads are the same for the other 2 mouting positions and those are flawless. I wouldnt worry much about it, it doesnt seem to rub on mine or effect its performance. I've tried this box on a NTC3, Ofna 9.5, and now my GT and its been really reliable with 2- 2400 batts.

P.S. I dont think we can label this as a Associated only made product since it mearly has there name on it. Both Thundertiger, and Ofna have this same exact box right down to the case, and handle. I would guess its made by Thunder tiger somewhere in the oriant.

Last edited by hobbipro; 02-21-2003 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 02-24-2003, 05:51 PM   #4
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I just ordered Associated's starter box from Tower yesterday. My biggest concern is that the battery that I ordered will fit in it. I ordered a 12v 7ah gel-cell. It measures 5.95 long by 2.56 wide by 3.70. Do you think it will fit...?

I was flipping through R/C Car Action mag this morning and noticed an ad for Ofna's starter box. You're right. It's the exact same box!!!
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Old 02-25-2003, 03:27 AM   #5
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One cool thing about the AE box is that it comes with leads to use it off a automotive battery.
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Old 02-26-2003, 01:22 AM   #6
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Well, I found 4 other people who have the AE box, and all of them see that the alignment of the flywheel in the slot is off. So, my conclusion is this is the way the box normally comes off the Thunder Tiger assembly line. Too bad.

Most people aren't having any serious rubbing as I was, but we'll see how this box ages. I ended up using my Dremel to widen the mounting holes in the SS box by slightly less than 1mm. This allowed me to center the donut in the slot. If you do this, use Dremel's #9901 Tungsten Carbide cutter and be sure to wear eye/breathing protection - you don't want to get any of those tiny sharp SS slivers in you!

The dimensions - W=4.5", H=3 1/8". How much length you have to work with will depend on how you have the motor mounted (after removing the stick batt holder). If you have it setup for an RC10GT, you have about 6" to work with. Keep in mind that there are two posts near the handle, and they protrude below the box into the battery area. I have the smaller Tower 4.5A gel cell, and will fashion some straps out of aluminum to mount the battery. The bottom of the box has a "lip" where you can drill holes for mounting brackets, etc.

If I had to do this all over again, I'd take a closer look at the Ofna (non Thunder Tiger) boxes. $90 should have bought more quality.
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:52 AM   #7
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Well, I got my AE starter box in yesterday and guess what...
The battery that I got won't fit! Just my luck. I guess the battery itself will fit in the box, but it didn't come with any hardwear to mount it. Oh well. I'm going to try and fabricate some mounting hardwear for it and make it work. I'm like you, hydro-gin,....Sure, I can make it work, but why? I just spent $90...! I shouldn't have to!!! The box needs to come from the factory with the appropriate mounting hardwear!!!
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Old 02-27-2003, 11:29 AM   #8
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Donnie-D,

You may have noticed another thread in this forum where we've been talking about the AE box - its the one about starter box recommendations. Someone figured out the box is made by Thunder Tiger - AE has a version, and Ofna has a version. They are almost identical except that the AE is designed to use two stick packs while the Ofna is designed to use a gel cell (like we both want to do). Both boxes use two different kinds of plastic brackets to hold the batts - I wish AE would have just included both brackets in their offering - how much could it have raised the price, especially since TT already made the molds for both?

The Ofna version also includes an on/off switch plus little pad stickers for the top of the box. Someone else said the AE donuts seem to wear quicker than the AE donut (can't confirm that myself).

Tower doesn't sell the Ofna version, but there's a guy that sells it on Ebay every week, just do a search on 'Ofna starter box'. Ofna also has a SS top box with the big motor for 1/8 & 1/10 that looks nice.

Oh well, this may not help us, but now others have more info to make a purchasing decision.
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Old 03-01-2003, 06:03 PM   #9
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I used a 12v gel cell in mine. I installed it by first lining the inside of the box with duct tape. then I stuck some foam padding, which I got at a local auto parts store, to the top and sides of the box so that the battery fit snuggly inside the box opening. Then I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood to a size of about 3" x 4". I then slid this between the rails on the bottom of the box and the battery. This "sandwiched" the battery into place very effectively and it does not move around at all. Yes, it would have been nice if AE had included the 12v battery brackets, but it's still possible to do this. Next mod will be an on-off switch so I don't have to unplug the battery when it's time to store it in my pit box. Oh well, another trip to the auto parts store.............. Rick
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