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Old 03-18-2009, 03:49 PM   #16
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Thanks so much for all the responses. I'm spending a lot of time reading, there is certainly a lot to go through here on the forum.

After some thought and more research, I think the B44 is going to be my best bet, it seems to be a better car for me than the CAT SX to get back into the sport with less headaches. Being able to easily get spares is very appealing, and saving a bit of money will give me some room for other stuff that I'll need. Suggestions on modifications, or what I should get to start out in terms of essential upgrades/spares?

For the radio, I'm liking the Futaba 3pm FASST, especially if I can find one used for a bit cheaper. Any other suggestions?

Still leaning towards a Tekin RS Pro brushless sensored system, then probably taking the cheaper recommendations made here on the LIPO/charger.

Thanks again, you folks have been VERY helpful, appreciate it!
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:29 PM   #17
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ice-nine,

Where are you located?

I came back after a while off too. I went with a xxx4, sort of liking the stick pack (LiPo). It is alright. I would prefer 2WD, my old favorite, but it is slightly less popular than 4WD right now near me.

Sounds like your choices are good.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:59 PM   #18
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kyosho zx5 sp for smaller tighter tracks,
kyosho zx5 fs for larger tracks or if you like saddle packs
lrp sphere
novak 6.5 7.5 or 8.5
airtronics m11 , pretty cheap these days

i only race 2wd but these would be my choices.

I have no loyality to any brand , but the kyosho 4wd are pretty solid choices.

b44 is nice if you get a good one, AE quality control has not been the best lately so every car you get is a crap shoot.

we have people running the exact same set ups and gear and not one of these b44s feel the same
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ice-nine View Post
Thanks so much for all the responses. I'm spending a lot of time reading, there is certainly a lot to go through here on the forum.

After some thought and more research, I think the B44 is going to be my best bet, it seems to be a better car for me than the CAT SX to get back into the sport with less headaches. Being able to easily get spares is very appealing, and saving a bit of money will give me some room for other stuff that I'll need. Suggestions on modifications, or what I should get to start out in terms of essential upgrades/spares?

For the radio, I'm liking the Futaba 3pm FASST, especially if I can find one used for a bit cheaper. Any other suggestions?

Still leaning towards a Tekin RS Pro brushless sensored system, then probably taking the cheaper recommendations made here on the LIPO/charger.

Thanks again, you folks have been VERY helpful, appreciate it!
Great choice on the B44! I'm sure you'll be very happy with it's performance and the club support you'll get with it. The other 4wd buggies are great, but the AE ride seems to be the best compromise for performance and all the other factors.

As far as a radio system goes, have you thought about Spektrum? In my opinion, it's the best option out there. The other DSM systems work fine, but Spektrum seems to be more widespread and a bit cheaper, plus it works flawlessly. Some of the Losi RTR vehicles come with Spektrum receivers so that adds flexibility down the road. Personally, I use the new KO Propo EX-1 -UR with Spektrum 2 module. I can use it on up to 30 models and it has all of the Bells and Whistles you would ever need. I wish one of the radio manufacturers would just come up with a way to add drag brake from the radio. None of them do of course.

Also, I'd recommend the Spektrum DS3R. It will do up to 30 models and has all the bells and whistles as well. As my ability has increased over the years, I really like the way you can tune your handling characteristics with exponential throttle and steering curves. The KO and Spektrum units both do that. I think the Spektrum unit is a little more inexpensive.

The IP batteries and the X-Charger B6 are definitely the best options for power. Not only are they the cheapest thing I've found, the perform extremely well and will allow you to be extremely competitive.

Good luck at the track. Where will you be racing?
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:37 PM   #20
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..... ok, first off, I completely respect your comment about not wanting to make this a war on sensored vs sensorless. Which I don't want it to be either. But I actually disagree and thing my sensorless 5700 is smoother than any sensored I've used. I also know a lot of Crawler guys who use the sidewinder specifically for that reason. That's IT! I SWEAR! No war! truce!
I totally agree with this point. Because of the extremely low gear ratios in a crawler, cogging wouldn't be noticed and a sensorless system would work well in a crawler. Think of it like this; a buggy runs a ratio around 8:1. A crawler may run a ratio around 16:1 or even lower. Because of the doubled gear reduction, a stuttering motor would only cause half of the cogging feel when compared to the buggy. Does that make any sense?
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:28 PM   #21
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I totally agree with this point. Because of the extremely low gear ratios in a crawler, cogging wouldn't be noticed and a sensorless system would work well in a crawler. Think of it like this; a buggy runs a ratio around 8:1. A crawler may run a ratio around 16:1 or even lower. Because of the doubled gear reduction, a stuttering motor would only cause half of the cogging feel when compared to the buggy. Does that make any sense?
Sort of... I mean, if there was a cogging issue, I can see where it would .. soften? But the thing is, my mamba honestly never cogs. And again I'm only bringing this into conversation ... I am not starting a debate!! There have been WAY too many threads dedicated to arguing this. Anyway, I can creep at a snails pace from a dead stop without any hesitation. I know you've heard it before, but the new firmware upgrade really did make a world of difference. Castle really got a bad rep from the earlier versions of the firmware that was installed on the mambas when it was first released. They're pretty smooth now. However, if I try to run a sensored motor which is supposed to be possible with a Mamba, it cogs like crazy. I tried an orion 10.5 and no matter how I adjusted the parameters, it cogged on start up. I really do think the mamba is a smoother system than anything out there... but there are drawbacks, you're extremely limited on motor choices... basically castle only, or a tekin, or even a hacker, but there really aren't that many companies producing sensorless motors. So if your track runs a 10.5 class, you're out of luck.

oops... I really went off on a tangent there didn't I?!

But back to the topic at hand!!!

You'll be very happy with the B44. I'd recommend the D4 for obvious reasons but if nobody else at your track has one, and you're just getting back into the hobby, you might find yourself occasionally stranded for parts. Like someone said above, M11s are really easy to find... LOOK FOR ON-ROAD RACERS SELLING THEIR ELECTRONICS.... They're stuff usually looks brand new!
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:36 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BobWoodhouse View Post
ice-nine,

Where are you located?

I came back after a while off too. I went with a xxx4, sort of liking the stick pack (LiPo). It is alright. I would prefer 2WD, my old favorite, but it is slightly less popular than 4WD right now near me.

Sounds like your choices are good.
I'm in Lisle. So far, I haven't done too much research on tracks, but I know of one in Joliet I'll be checking out. I would definitely travel a ways for good competition and nice people. Despite what I said about the Associated snobs, I was very fortunate in that I found a lot of very helpful people in the sport-- they taught me everything, setups, driving, even helped me paint bodies. We had a lot of fun, and helped each other out, everything a good community should.

4WD Mod was my personal favorite, but I could hardly afford to buy or maintain a Schumacher CAT at that time (that car was just light years ahead of just about anything but perhaps Yokomo at the time), so I first went to stock, didn't like it, and went 2wd mod, which certainly taught me a lot about driving. 2wd was fun, easier to take care of the car, that's for certain!

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Originally Posted by richard.bratton View Post
Great choice on the B44! I'm sure you'll be very happy with it's performance and the club support you'll get with it. The other 4wd buggies are great, but the AE ride seems to be the best compromise for performance and all the other factors.

As far as a radio system goes, have you thought about Spektrum? In my opinion, it's the best option out there. The other DSM systems work fine, but Spektrum seems to be more widespread and a bit cheaper, plus it works flawlessly. Some of the Losi RTR vehicles come with Spektrum receivers so that adds flexibility down the road. Personally, I use the new KO Propo EX-1 -UR with Spektrum 2 module. I can use it on up to 30 models and it has all of the Bells and Whistles you would ever need. I wish one of the radio manufacturers would just come up with a way to add drag brake from the radio. None of them do of course.

Also, I'd recommend the Spektrum DS3R. It will do up to 30 models and has all the bells and whistles as well. As my ability has increased over the years, I really like the way you can tune your handling characteristics with exponential throttle and steering curves. The KO and Spektrum units both do that. I think the Spektrum unit is a little more inexpensive.

The IP batteries and the X-Charger B6 are definitely the best options for power. Not only are they the cheapest thing I've found, the perform extremely well and will allow you to be extremely competitive.

Good luck at the track. Where will you be racing?
Thanks so much for all the info. Yeah, for me, B44 is like going to the dark side, but it just seems to make sense. Just googling parts on the internet, it's clear that nothing else is going to have the support that car does, so it's a good starting point for me.

I'm working with about a grand or so and starting from the ground up (within the next month), so even though I took a good look at the Spektrum, unfortunately, I need to cut a corner here and probably look at the Futaba 3pm FASST or something similiar, maybe used, hopefully keeping me closer to that $150 range if at all possible.

I'm also having to rethink Tekin, as I do not have a laptop, and I'm running Vista 64 at home on my desktop, so although laptops are cheap, it's another expense. So now I'm taking a look at the Speed Passion products, although nothing is completely for sure at this point, I've got some time to sort everything out.

I can't believe these cheapo LiPo batteries and that charger that you guys are recommending do the job, how about that? The first thing I learned back in the '80's was NEVER to go too cheap on batteries, ESC, and charger, even for practice. But I'll definitely take your word for it. Anything to look out for with these, heat issues with those batteries, for example?

I know virtually nothing about these new-fangled brushless motors, either. More reading to do. If you guys know of any links with overviews, post them, if you would. READ READ READ READ READ.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:20 PM   #23
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Welcome back. I was out of the hobby for 10 years myself. I came back a year and two months ago. And BOY things changed.

Buy a 4wd that your local hobby shop has alot of parts on hand. These cars brake. Not like years ago.

I bought Tekin RS Pro. Good tech support. I didn't buy a Hotwire until two weeks ago. You can still setup the Tekin RS Pro without the PC programming.

I started out with my old Futaba JR radio last year. My Novak mini RX went out on me last year at a big race in qualifing heat. I was leading it and on a 20 lap pace. I ended up buying Spektrum DSM radio. Don't have to deal with crystals and crystal changing.

Go with your gut feeling on buying your new ride and good luck.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:00 AM   #24
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Welcome back ice-nine! Take the plunge and enjoy all the improvements in our hobby over the last 20 Years... particularly in Electric off-road!
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:33 AM   #25
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I'm in Lisle. So far, I haven't done too much research on tracks, but I know of one in Joliet I'll be checking out. I would definitely travel a ways for good competition and nice people. Despite what I said about the Associated snobs, I was very fortunate in that I found a lot of very helpful people in the sport-- they taught me everything, setups, driving, even helped me paint bodies. We had a lot of fun, and helped each other out, everything a good community should.
...
Lisle. I am in Marengo, a town in the far distant exurbs, but within 2 hours of you. I have a racetrack (see www.outbackrc.com) that is running electric outdoors again this year. It is always free admission, too. Come on over sometimes. Here is an rcTech thread:http://www.rctech.net/forum/wisconsi...rc-2009-a.html

Of course, the one in Joliet, Leisure Hours, is a top notch racing place.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #26
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I'm in Lisle. So far, I haven't done too much research on tracks, but I know of one in Joliet I'll be checking out.
You're in a great area and there are great tracks in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio if you want to make the trek.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-nine View Post
I'm also having to rethink Tekin, as I do not have a laptop, and I'm running Vista 64 at home on my desktop, so although laptops are cheap, it's another expense. So now I'm taking a look at the Speed Passion products, although nothing is completely for sure at this point, I've got some time to sort everything out.
You can program the Tekin without the computer, but it does require a lot of LED counting and such. You'll be happy with the Speed Passion unit and it's super simple to program. You probably will just set it and forget it though in 4wd mod...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-nine View Post
I can't believe these cheapo LiPo batteries and that charger that you guys are recommending do the job, how about that? The first thing I learned back in the '80's was NEVER to go too cheap on batteries, ESC, and charger, even for practice. But I'll definitely take your word for it. Anything to look out for with these, heat issues with those batteries, for example?

I know virtually nothing about these new-fangled brushless motors, either. More reading to do. If you guys know of any links with overviews, post them, if you would. READ READ READ READ READ.
The IP batteries are what Trinity imports and sells. I was turned onto these batteries, and the B6 charger through RC Market,by one of the fast guys at a club race in Allbion, IL. You absolutely cannot beat the batteries. SMC makes great batteries too, but they cost a bit more. As far as concerns go, there really aren't any aside from not over discharger the packs. One time will ruin them. If you have your Lipo cutoff turned on you should never have issues. They actually run best around 100 deg or so and may feel a little warm after a tough run, but most of the time mine don't heat up much. If they ever puff up like a baloon, then you might as well throw them out. This only happens if you over discharge them or cause physical damage to the pack. They really are much more resiliant and durable than the old NiCds or NiMH. Just charge and run. You should store them around 80% charge and you can leave them alone for months.

The B6 charger has more features than the Astroflight, Losi, and LRP chargers I've used previously. It will charge and balance any type of battery out there.

As far as brushless motors go, I run a Trinity Duo 5.5T with a 17 tooth pinion in my buggy. Sometimes I run a 6.5T, but the 5.5T seems to provide me with all of the power and smoothness I need. I prefer the Trinity Duo motors and the Orion brushless motors. I believe RC Market carries the Orion motors for a good price. These brushless motors will get warm after a heat, but not nearly as hot as an old brushed motor would. In mod, you don't need to run much timing and I don't generally change the timing on mod motors at all. Just plug them in and run them. They last a very long time as long as you don't overgear, advance the timing, and cause them to get too hot. They are leaps and bounds better than the brushed motors. No more cutting coms, cleaning and changing brushess, and the other voodoo you had to do after every run with the old motors.

The RC hobby really is better than it was back in the 90s and much easier to be fast.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:32 AM   #27
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Sort of... I mean, if there was a cogging issue, I can see where it would .. soften? But the thing is, my mamba honestly never cogs. And again I'm only bringing this into conversation ... I am not starting a debate!! There have been WAY too many threads dedicated to arguing this. Anyway, I can creep at a snails pace from a dead stop without any hesitation. I know you've heard it before, but the new firmware upgrade really did make a world of difference. Castle really got a bad rep from the earlier versions of the firmware that was installed on the mambas when it was first released. They're pretty smooth now. However, if I try to run a sensored motor which is supposed to be possible with a Mamba, it cogs like crazy. I tried an orion 10.5 and no matter how I adjusted the parameters, it cogged on start up. I really do think the mamba is a smoother system than anything out there... but there are drawbacks, you're extremely limited on motor choices... basically castle only, or a tekin, or even a hacker, but there really aren't that many companies producing sensorless motors. So if your track runs a 10.5 class, you're out of luck.
Castle does make great stuff and I prefer their setup in 1/8th Electric 4wd. I'm sure their new products have fixed the cogging issues and this issue has been beat to death. I think they are even coming out with Roar legal motors...
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:04 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by BobWoodhouse View Post
Lisle. I am in Marengo, a town in the far distant exurbs, but within 2 hours of you. I have a racetrack that is running electric outdoors again this year. It is always free admission, too. Come on over sometimes.

Of course, the one in Joliet, Leisure Hours, is a top notch racing place.
Once I get up and running, I will definitely try to come out. Sounds like you folks are having some fun! Sorry, they won't let me post your linkies again, that's what you get when YOU'RE A NOOB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richard.bratton View Post
You're in a great area and there are great tracks in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio if you want to make the trek.



You can program the Tekin without the computer, but it does require a lot of LED counting and such. You'll be happy with the Speed Passion unit and it's super simple to program. You probably will just set it and forget it though in 4wd mod...



The IP batteries are what Trinity imports and sells. I was turned onto these batteries, and the B6 charger through RC Market,by one of the fast guys at a club race in Allbion, IL. You absolutely cannot beat the batteries. SMC makes great batteries too, but they cost a bit more. As far as concerns go, there really aren't any aside from not over discharger the packs. One time will ruin them. If you have your Lipo cutoff turned on you should never have issues. They actually run best around 100 deg or so and may feel a little warm after a tough run, but most of the time mine don't heat up much. If they ever puff up like a baloon, then you might as well throw them out. This only happens if you over discharge them or cause physical damage to the pack. They really are much more resiliant and durable than the old NiCds or NiMH. Just charge and run. You should store them around 80% charge and you can leave them alone for months.

The B6 charger has more features than the Astroflight, Losi, and LRP chargers I've used previously. It will charge and balance any type of battery out there.

As far as brushless motors go, I run a Trinity Duo 5.5T with a 17 tooth pinion in my buggy. Sometimes I run a 6.5T, but the 5.5T seems to provide me with all of the power and smoothness I need. I prefer the Trinity Duo motors and the Orion brushless motors. I believe RC Market carries the Orion motors for a good price. These brushless motors will get warm after a heat, but not nearly as hot as an old brushed motor would. In mod, you don't need to run much timing and I don't generally change the timing on mod motors at all. Just plug them in and run them. They last a very long time as long as you don't overgear, advance the timing, and cause them to get too hot. They are leaps and bounds better than the brushed motors. No more cutting coms, cleaning and changing brushess, and the other voodoo you had to do after every run with the old motors.

The RC hobby really is better than it was back in the 90s and much easier to be fast.
That's a ton of good info, my friend. Thank you! Amazing, how things have changed. Which Speed Passion Unit would you recommend?
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:30 AM   #29
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Get the Speed Passion Gran Turismo 2.0. They are hard to find, but can be had for $200...
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:51 PM   #30
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Go visit your local track before buying anything. Matter of fact, you'll probably find a good deal on some parts there! See what everyone else is running, and ask them questions. You are sure to get the best info there, and an idea of what local support is like for any of the parts you select.

Here is the charger I use, and it's excellent:
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=7028

For batteries, check out eBay, look for IP or intelligent power saddle packs. They are a screaming deal, they are the OEM used by Trinity, and you can pay half the price if you don't care about the name. I have an IP stick pack already, and a saddle pack in the mail.

God luck with the B44, I don't think you can go wrong with one! Might even consider getting a used car, and making a decent investment in your radio gear (you will end up replacing a lot of parts on the car anway, maybe even replace it later on, but a good radio, you will likely keep for a while.)

That's my two cents. Only you will know what's best for you. If a good speed controller is $200, and you find an option on ebay for $50, then something is wonky about it. There's a reason the good ones cost $200.. Because they are good!

I just bought my son a Novak Havoc ESC w/8.5 turn brushless motor new for $130... We are installing it tonight, so I can report back on it afterwards, but it seems like a good deal so far...
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