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Old 09-06-2008, 12:45 AM   #16
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Jon Kerr... your points are spot on. I work at a trackside store in the UK when i am there and we are pushing to make a sponsored electric series for kids so we can give those interested a start without the frustrations that can hit you before you even get to the track. Nitro is a huge learning curve... however a huge satisfaction if it's what you love and you get it right and get fast. I should really have gone electric first, but i dove in with Nitro a year ago... it's been a tough ride but worth it. I have however reached points where i just want to trash the car and go paint watercolours... but that is also messy and a huge learning curve

Point is, yeah, i have seen a lot of people not last 3 months... or turn up at the track with some piece of machinery sold to them that won't last and no one has taken the time to show them the basics of tuning, or even running in an engine. It can be heartbreaking.

Thing is... there is no 1/10th scene in the UK right now and Nitro is bigger, louder and more exciting and people (Like me really) just want to jump on in.

As someone said... 1/8th electric conversion leading to retail units from existing manufacturers could and should turn out to be the missing link and offer a perfect choice depending what people want out of their racing and how much they want to put into each side (Driving/maintenence/tuning).

Nitro isn't for everyone and neither is electric.


Only thing on tthis thread that i am not entirey in agreement about is people helping... sure hobbyshops can be funny but there are some great ones out there.... and you will find the majority of Nitro drivers will go out of their way to help newbies. Believe me, we remember and sympathise with the frustrations and challenges of being a newbie. It stays with you

Hobbyshops are of course the first stop and a few could do with learning the value of repeat customers and they are the ones that are happy...

Last edited by IanWright; 09-06-2008 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:02 AM   #17
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I race both and perfer Electric by far since Li-pos and brushless has become mainstream with longer races! No more nasty nitro for me!

Can't wait to get my Electric 1/8th scale buggy going with the Novak conversion kit! It is going to be a big class next year!

Novak makes the conversion kit for most 1/8th scale buggies!!!!

Novak Rocks!
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jon Kerr View Post
This is the big problem. Nitro didn't hurt the hobby. The sales people in the hobby stores have hurt the hobby. Nitro racing is a lot of fun. But IMO it's for experienced racers or hobbyist. I have first hand experience with this.

One of my wife's co-workers asked if she could have me look at her husbands RC Car because "he thinks he killed it." I asked him if it was an on road car or off road car. He didn't really know what I meant. I asked if it was nitro or electric. He says "I have to put gas in it. Does that mean it's nitro even though it has batteries in it?" He had never had an RC Car before. He walked in to Hobby People and asked for the fastest thing they had. They sold him an HPI RTR nitro on road car. He had no idea what he was doing. He couldn't tell a carburetor from a caster block. He pretty much burned up the engine because he had the thing running probably 2 full turns too lean or more and never put after run oil in or anything. He was using Trinity fuel that his neighbor gave him that had been sitting in his garage for 2 years. He didn't even have the right servo horn on the car. The optional one he saw on the shelf was pretty and red so he put that on even though it was completely wrong and he tossed the stock one. The guy at Hobby People told him it would be stronger and wouldn't break because it was aluminum. It was a throttle servo horn! The mounting holes on it were wrong and it was causing a bind and making the brakes drag even at full throttle. Eventually he ended up not having any brakes because he wore through the caliper and it broke. He broke some suspension parts and ended up gluing them together when his regular Duracell AA's in his receiver pack died and lost control of the car. I fixed the car as well as I could and got it running for him. I gave him the car back with some instructions on things he needed to do and parts he needed to buy. The first time he drove the car after that he ran it for a long time in their driveway and let the FRESH AA's in the receiver pack die again and ran the car full throttle into a brick wall. He brought it back to me and the chassis was about folded in half and every suspension part was ripped off the car. It even broke the cooling head off the engine. I told him it was dead now and he'd be better off buying a new car rather than spending the money to fix this one. So he threw it away and swore he'd never even think about getting back into this.

Now had he started with something electric that he could actually control and didn't have to worry about tuning so much, he would have enjoyed LEARNING how to drive it more. Especially with brushless being the norm now. No need to worry about teaching them about cutting comms and changing brushes, breaking in motors, etc... And had he started with a kit that he had to actually build, he would have LEARNED how to work on the car by building it so when parts broke he'd know how to fix it rather than give it to me to do. I'm not saying he would have definitely stayed in the hobby, but it would have been much more likely.

I ran 1/8 scale all of 2007. It was the first time I'd run gas cars. It took me a couple of months to get the basics on maintaining and tuning a race engine and I never really did get extremely good at it. And I've been racing RC cars on and off for nearly 18 years. Imagine how a noob feels when they get into this new hobby and spend $500+ on a nitro RTR then he/she realizes there are hours of work that goes into making an engine run right and maintaining it. "I thought this was supposed to be Ready To Run." I've heard that exact thing said when you tell someone who bought an RTR gas car that you have to break in the engine before you can really run it. They don't get that. They don't know. As a salesman behind the counter you need to sell them the product that matches their experience level. Sell the product that will get them to want to stay in the hobby. Not the most expensive car on the shelf so you can get a few extra bucks commission. In the long run you'll end up with more customers spending more money in the shop. (Can you tell I'm a sales rep in real life. )

edit: Wow, I was more long winded than I thought I was going to be.

I agree, but that's why I mentioned RTRs.
In electrics they're OK, in nitros they're a killer.

IMO electrics are a good way to get intro'd into the hobby, while nitros should be left to the more experienced hobbyists and racers that understand the hobby.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:47 AM   #19
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I agree about nitro being a challenge for sure. when I tried nitro, I decided to go in with something that would be fun (MT) both at the track and away. started with an LST1. not really knowing anything, I think I spent the better part of the day screwing around with the pull starter cord than driving (my came with the pull starter as it was second hand, just needed a backplate but engine was new). Took it to the LHS in the city I was in at the time and the store owner got it to fire right away. I used his tricks to get it to work, but there were other issues that would always pop up.

Next season went with a 1/8 scale. To sum it up, loved the vehicle, hated the engine. And this was after doing a winter of research on nitro to make sure I got a very userfriendly quality engine, tips on starting, breakin etc. When it came time, engine worked good for breakin about 1/2 gallon, and then decided to work when it wanted to. the last straw for me was when at a big race I attended that I was looking forward to all summer, I had to drop out because the engine would not fire for the start of the heats after it had been running fine for practice.

Didn't help matters either that I had to have a certain set of Nitro clothes since the oil from the fuel exhaust would pretty much ruin anything you had on.

Finally, just seems more things on a nitro that can fail that cause problems versus an electric setup. Alot of my issues were always in the clutch area if the engine wasn't having issues.

I was almost out of the hobby at that point as 1/10 scale electric is just not big out here. saving grace for me was finding a RTR brushless 1/8 cheap here on RC Tech. It was the best RC purchase I have made.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:04 AM   #20
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I 100% agree with you Jon! When i used to work at hobby shack during the time it turned into hobby people i would do everything i could to sell a newbie an electric car and most of the time i convinced them but every once in a while you would get someone dead set on getting a nitro car and i would tell them every single one of your points and they would still end up buying one but most of the time they would end up with an electric kit with decent electronics to get them started and i would wlak them through every single step so they hopefully would not get discouraged and most of the time it worked.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:06 AM   #21
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oh and yes i do believe rtr nitros for newbies have hurt the sport some.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cracka View Post
I think it's the rtr nitro's are what have hurt the hobby's growth more than anything else.
rtr's give the false opinion to people that they're just like electrics and that anybody can do them just by putting some gas in them and go, but it's not that simple. then by the time someone finds out that pullstarts don't work, maintenance is crazy, stock engines don't last very long, and getting a new motor costs more than the entire car and it drives them away.
Cracka that is the most spot on thing I have seen posted in a long time!!!RTR nitros have turned away many a newb due to frustration and cost issues.What are the manufacturers thinking?? You are talking about vehicles that can be frustrating at times for seasoned racers, and they think that they can wrap it in a bow , call it RTR, and just anybody will be able to make it run right.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #23
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I dig both.

Electric because I can show up at the same track as last week, charge up the batteries, and run. So can my kids.

Nitro because I can show up at the same track as last week and fiddle w/ air/fuel/heat to find optimum tune. Yes, it's appealing and very satisfying to get a nitro running properly enough to race it. Nitro is for the masochist in all of us.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:24 PM   #24
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You electric guys sure have alot of miss-info about nitro..
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:20 PM   #25
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There've been some good side issues discussed here:

1)RTR Nitro's being too sophisticated for the noobs that have been steered/attracted to them.

2)Hobby Shop idiots (and magazine ads) that steer/attract noobs towards sophisticated/fast/expensive RTR's.

3)Whether the recent shift in racing popularity towards 1/8th nitro off road buggies/truggies has hurt the sport.





However.....................The original question that started all this question is flawed. To me, it reads as "Did nitro hurt the (previously electric) model car hobby?" Well........................Nitro and Electric RC cars have BOTH been around since the late 1960s!

Before the days of RC (talking 30's,40's, and 50's here) gasoline and later nitro powered tethered cars (car ran in a circle on a banked track, connected to a central point by a steel cable) were the ONLY racing game in town. Some of these beasts went well over 100MPH!!!

In the 70's, electric cars were mostly 'toy grade'. Serious on-road racing was again almost exclusively a nitro sport. Associated Electronics started out with cars like the RC300 and RC500. Electrics didn't realy come into their own until the late 70's and early 80's (most notably the Cox/Kyosho Scorpion series and the AE Pan Cars), due to new battery developments (NiCads of decent capacity). I got started in RC cars (as did many others) by graduating from 'toy' electrics to nitro on road cars and off road buggies.

This was before the MRC/Tamiya, Kyosho, and AE electrics exploded in popularity. I jumped on that bandwagon to get away from the unreliable nitro off road buggies of the time, and to get into racing as NOBODY was racing nitro off road in my area. Electrics continued to gain in popularity into the late 90's (the golden age of the 2WD electric stadium trucks and TC's) when 1/10th Gas Trucks, Nitro TC's and later the RTR MT (think TMAXX) crazes took off.



So......what does all this rambling mean???

Nitro did not come out of the blue and hurt/ruin the sport. The popularity of nitro just shifted back into the forefront. With Brushless/LiPo setups and conversions becoming more sophisticated (yet affordable), I'm quite sure that the pendulom will once again swing back the other way (as it has done before).
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:25 PM   #26
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I think with 8th scale electric should be allowed in sportsman classes for outdoor, electric is hands down better for someone starting out, then they can upgrade to nitro while keeping the same tires...etc. then there is always winter indoors.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:44 PM   #27
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I think with 8th scale electric should be allowed in sportsman classes for outdoor, electric is hands down better for someone starting out, then they can upgrade to nitro while keeping the same tires...etc. then there is always winter indoors.
Hands down its the best is it, well it will be pants down when the lipo packs it in and the speedy blows up...
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Kerr View Post
This is the big problem. Nitro didn't hurt the hobby. The sales people in the hobby stores have hurt the hobby. Nitro racing is a lot of fun. But IMO it's for experienced racers or hobbyist. I have first hand experience with this.

One of my wife's co-workers asked if she could have me look at her husbands RC Car because "he thinks he killed it." I asked him if it was an on road car or off road car. He didn't really know what I meant. I asked if it was nitro or electric. He says "I have to put gas in it. Does that mean it's nitro even though it has batteries in it?" He had never had an RC Car before. He walked in to Hobby People and asked for the fastest thing they had. They sold him an HPI RTR nitro on road car. He had no idea what he was doing. He couldn't tell a carburetor from a caster block. He pretty much burned up the engine because he had the thing running probably 2 full turns too lean or more and never put after run oil in or anything. He was using Trinity fuel that his neighbor gave him that had been sitting in his garage for 2 years. He didn't even have the right servo horn on the car. The optional one he saw on the shelf was pretty and red so he put that on even though it was completely wrong and he tossed the stock one. The guy at Hobby People told him it would be stronger and wouldn't break because it was aluminum. It was a throttle servo horn! The mounting holes on it were wrong and it was causing a bind and making the brakes drag even at full throttle. Eventually he ended up not having any brakes because he wore through the caliper and it broke. He broke some suspension parts and ended up gluing them together when his regular Duracell AA's in his receiver pack died and lost control of the car. I fixed the car as well as I could and got it running for him. I gave him the car back with some instructions on things he needed to do and parts he needed to buy. The first time he drove the car after that he ran it for a long time in their driveway and let the FRESH AA's in the receiver pack die again and ran the car full throttle into a brick wall. He brought it back to me and the chassis was about folded in half and every suspension part was ripped off the car. It even broke the cooling head off the engine. I told him it was dead now and he'd be better off buying a new car rather than spending the money to fix this one. So he threw it away and swore he'd never even think about getting back into this.

Now had he started with something electric that he could actually control and didn't have to worry about tuning so much, he would have enjoyed LEARNING how to drive it more. Especially with brushless being the norm now. No need to worry about teaching them about cutting comms and changing brushes, breaking in motors, etc... And had he started with a kit that he had to actually build, he would have LEARNED how to work on the car by building it so when parts broke he'd know how to fix it rather than give it to me to do. I'm not saying he would have definitely stayed in the hobby, but it would have been much more likely.

I ran 1/8 scale all of 2007. It was the first time I'd run gas cars. It took me a couple of months to get the basics on maintaining and tuning a race engine and I never really did get extremely good at it. And I've been racing RC cars on and off for nearly 18 years. Imagine how a noob feels when they get into this new hobby and spend $500+ on a nitro RTR then he/she realizes there are hours of work that goes into making an engine run right and maintaining it. "I thought this was supposed to be Ready To Run." I've heard that exact thing said when you tell someone who bought an RTR gas car that you have to break in the engine before you can really run it. They don't get that. They don't know. As a salesman behind the counter you need to sell them the product that matches their experience level. Sell the product that will get them to want to stay in the hobby. Not the most expensive car on the shelf so you can get a few extra bucks commission. In the long run you'll end up with more customers spending more money in the shop. (Can you tell I'm a sales rep in real life. )

edit: Wow, I was more long winded than I thought I was going to be.
+1 thats why experienced people should work behind the counters,And Owners should not try an sell a new person a hobbyist a bunch of crap.
which i have seen many times owning a Business !!!!!!!!! Mincks,Brian
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:27 PM   #29
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People are lazy these days and would rather play ps3 and xbox 360.........My buddy dave used to be into r/c when i was fixing his stuff. He is lazy I am alittle lazy but i still understand things don't come easy for everyone.....especially me.

If i see a new guy come to our track to watch i let them drive my top of line car and they see how hard it is and rarely come back. Nobody likes losing.

I like video games too but they don't make me jitter when i race someone on a screen. That and video games get boring and you stop playing them it's always the same.

My buddy dave says i waste my money on it and i should be out at the bar picking up chicks on friday night instead of racing..... Hello dave i already got a sexy GF who is more then a drunk (insert your words here)...... he is still a idiot. I party too but why can't i do both

Funny thing is i show him my rc trophys (which don't come easy as we all know) and he thinks they are stupid yet he has little cones from Auto X with a mailing label on them from driving around a cone course. I have beat him at the auto x with his own car. (you can have 2 drivers per car)


Moral of the story is peoples is lazy and it's hard for some justifing the time we spend on a toy car. To me it's my little race team and i take it very serious because i know it's not easy and i am proud of myself at the end of the day.

I am also fortunate i have you guys on r/c tech and my track cause without them i wouldn't be having so much fun.


The internet is a blessing for us r/c guys cause you can learn so much so quick.

It's also alittle expensive but thats another argument.



do i think nitro killed R/c ....... NO, I think the lazyness of people these days has.

We had this convo at our track last night after racing. I have gotten the gweed into r/c like 6 months ago and he has 3 cars and loves racing now. I helped him alot in the beginning but now he is a up and comer. He knows dave, He knows dave is a idiot. I love RC.
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Old 09-07-2008, 06:39 PM   #30
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you always see people in the rookie area asking about nitro or saying they have one but dont know how to tune it or fix it they always think its so much better because of the cool noise and speed but they arent educated and dont research at all on electric performance some are just too ignorant to consider anything else
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