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Old 11-21-2006, 10:13 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by duckman996
Bob-Stormer,

Very interesting point regarding the 1%ers... and this just furthers to support the statement that battery manufacturers need to freeze the production of newer capacity cells and concentrate on make the current cells even better.
the problem, really is that our industry, for the most part has nothing to do with what drives the manufacturers to produce better battereis. That would be done by people like Black and Decker, etc. I'd say our industry is likely a pretty good test bed though. But people with drills only care how long it lasts. They're not racing their buddies to see who can put more holes in a board.

Also, companys like Panasonic, Sanyo etc. are continuosly trying to improve their products, with or without us, they will march forward. Better to work with them, than against them, as I doubt any company in our immediate industry is going to go into the cell manufacturing business.

I'd be willing to bet, and I would be happy to be proven wrong on this, that our performance side of the RC battery industry is a thorn in the side of places like Panasonic, Sanyo, etc. We probably demand the most and likely purchase the least, and then also complain the most over nit-pickey things.

I think we may have hi-jacked this thread... sorry 'bout that.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:24 PM   #47
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First there is a lot of good feed back here. I hope more people who have some input on the direction of future rules check in here and take the time to read through this.

Bob, I understand your point and IMO you are 100% correct. The problem with this is that racers being racers they will always look for the tech advantage, read $$$. The real problem is cost containment and IMO the only way to do this is with future rules. Technology is a moving target and rules must be revised to keep the racing in line with what the sanctioning body feels is best for the sport. The issue is that in ROAR we have racers making their own rules and I can't think on one instance of a rule being revised to restrict performance. In full size racing NASCAR determines that the speed are too high and they change the aero package or add a restrictor plate, In F1 the FIA changes the engine capacity and tire width to control technology. Power/speed increases in RC have several effects on racing, first the obvious one is the cost of equipment. Second is the cost of increased performance in higher consumables like tires, bodies and damaged parts. The higher speeds also make the set ups far more critical and lead to more frustrated racers. These costs take a bigger toll on the new or occasional racers than the sponsored guys. If you suggest something in ROAR that will reduce performance you will hear the crying and screaming a block away.

This thread shows that participation levels are down at most tracks and in most cases people are suggesting that the cost is an issue along with the issues of being competitive with the sponsored guys. We also have a problem with a lack of viable entry level classes. If we agree on these then we need to define what steps would correct this.

Cost control
I agree with Todd Hodge on this, Sorry Bob, batteries are a BIG problem, The battery companies have too much at stake in new product development and IMO they have too much of an effect on what ROAR does. The interests of the racers need to be balanced against the interests of the manufactures. There are several issues with battery wars other than cost, for the most part the newer batteries tend to be more sensitive and tend to have lower longevity.

Performance control
I think we need a little out of the box thinking on this one. We need to balance the reduction in performance with the ability of club racers to tech the cars with little effort.

So with that said here is my answer.
We offer all the manufactures and importers the right to enter a pro class. To do this they have to provide a list of their sponsored racers to ROAR All national races will have pro classes and only pro racers are eligible. Pro racers would have a less restrictive set of rules, example 4300 batteries. The rules package would be determined with voting input from the companies involved. At a local level the pro guys have two choices, either bring enough people to run a pro class or revert to the more restrictive standard rules, like 3800 batteries. A side benefit of this would be a lot of sponsored guys might rethink their program if they had to run with the big boys and not just whip up on the locals in Stock and 19turn classes.

We also need to look at a new revised entry level class like a 12th scale running 4 cell 48turn and maybe a TC with 4 cells and spec brushless with rubber tires. I think these plus a healthy attitude to new racers will see the frustrating current trend turn around over time. OK I vented, now let the beating begin. ....and yes I'm guilty of hi-jacking this thread, sorry
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:41 PM   #48
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I'm a club racer and I've probably more power than I can use but I do agree with what Todd is saying about increasing cell life. I'm in Malaysia and we depend on the shops to bring in the cells and they ALL bring in IB4200 SHV, WC, etc, mainly because they are the best value. But this value seems to be based only on the performance of the pack for the first few runs.

A year ago, they brought in IB3800 and we were discharging them down to 0 on the discharge tray because at that time, that seemed to be about all anybody knew about those cells. I got two Novak Flatliners (ya, you can laugh now) to do just that. How was I supposed to know? The opinions were conflicting. Some said to bring them down to 0, some said not to bring them below 0.9, some said to keep them cool, some said not to use a fan, some said use a temperature probe, but keep a fan and a battery warming tray on standby. I mean - come on! I got in the hobby to play with the cars, not the batteries. Anyway, now most of the first batch of IB3800s are dead here anyway and to stay in the NiMH game, everyone has the new and improved cells - IB4200s. Great! Higher price and higher maintenance, and more weight on the heavy side of the car.

Some people give the argument that we're all cry-babies who want our cake and eat it too - that if we want more performance then we can't expect the batteries to last us as long and that's fair enough but it's not like we actually have a say in the matter. Its not like the battery makers are making the old cells as well as the new ones for us to make a choice between performance and cell life.

Someone getting into the hobby here now will need to buy some old Ni-Cad stick packs at ridiculously inflated prices, or go for the IB option and find out in a few months that he shouldn't keep them as a stick pack, and he needs a discharge tray that costs more than his car and he needs to visit his batteries in the ICU every week to keep their voltage above 0.9V. Sheesh!
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:50 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by rpoage
OK I vented, now let the beating begin. ....and yes I'm guilty of hi-jacking this thread, sorry
No beating from here, I respect what you have to say.

Perhaps we could start another thread on this, ALTHOUGH, this does, I suppose, relate to club race participation, both high and low numbers.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:53 PM   #50
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I don't remember where I read it, but there is no diffrerence at all anymore between 3800 and 4200!! Only the shrink!

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Old 11-21-2006, 11:09 PM   #51
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Here's another weird thought.

I sold a few old packs at our club race last week for $20 bucks. Paid $50 and got to use them for A WHOLE YEAR. That's a good deal for both parties invovled.

I think it's fair to say, that a useable pack of racing cells has NEVER BEEN CHEAPER. And they have some value when you are done.

Racing thrives where it is FUN! The minute the fun is gone, people find other interests. Why participate in a hobby that is not fun??? I see and hear people gripe about the expense of racing RC stuff, and they get out of the sport. Next month you see them with $2000 in paintball gear and a new $8000 4-wheeler in the back of their truck. Mind you that 4-wheeler is going to depreciate to $4000 in 2 years...

People go where it's fun. Bottom line. I feel blaming the expense is a copout. It's a motorsport. Show me a cheaper motorsport. I am of the mind I could put together a pretty competetive club setup (and I mean everything) for about $300-$400 (all new stuff, and good enough stuff that the equipment will not be the limiter in it's performance, it will be the driver), and when you are done having fun, it still has some value. I have a stock car that costs me $100 a tire. How much is a killer paintball gun, or a good fishing rod? Anybody here snowboard? Pay way to much for a car stereo?

It's a hobby. People stay where it's fun. Not where it's the cheapest. "Honey, let's take the family on a ski trip, it will be fun!!!"..."No way, to much money, let's just stay home and you can push the kids up and down the driveway on a skateboard"... The cheapest method would be to stay home... WAY more fun to go skiing, so guess what happened in that scenario.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:25 PM   #52
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Just thought of another thing for Hodge. Sorry man.

Do you feel that a pack you've used for 2-3 major events would be the limiting factor in the hands of "joe club race" at any event?

I'm not talking about the best driver in any club. "Joe average". The driver who's laps look like this on a clean run.

11.7
10.9
12.4
11.6
12.5
11.9

Comapred to this guy,

10.9
10.9
10.7
10.9
10.8
10.9

That kind of scenario.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:30 PM   #53
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Default Question- Is your club track Slowing Down

Answer- Socal Raceway Had to little racers to race tonight. This is the first time I have ever experienced that at SoCal Raceway. Our other local indoor track bending corners only had 5 people. I guess this is a major slowdown
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:34 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRESFR
Answer- Socal Raceway Had to little racers to race tonight. This is the first time I have ever experienced that at SoCal Raceway. Our other local indoor track bending corners only had 5 people. I guess this is a major slowdown
That's surprising considering the population density in California. You'd think there would be a hundred guys there for club races. Maybe the traffic scares them off? Or the cost of living or something? The surrounding areas there probably have more people than any other city in the country with a track... It sounds like there's something wrong with SoCal (the track and the state) more than with racing.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:37 PM   #55
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My battery costs are the lowest they ever have been.... I dont have to search the world over for a certain date code and spend $100 plus like in the old (expensive) days. I dont have to be sponsored or have a buddy in the matching business to get "team" quality cells like before. I can now buy a SMC or EA or Brood etc with as good of numbers as the team guys for $65.
At the IIC they had cells on the hobby store shelf with as good or better numbers than the sponsored guys had. Years ago that just didnt happen. I am still running my Vegas packs with out any noticable performance loss at the club level. I will buy 2 packs for the Novak and probably finish the indoor year out with those. My total batt costs are low. I spend more on motors and a lot more on TIRES.
I have to agree with Bob... we are racing in the best time ever for batterys.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:42 PM   #56
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Here in Hawaii, there is no electric TC racing, only 1/12 and DRIFTING! uhhh my 415's are collecting dust!
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:15 AM   #57
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Just to re-cap. People will spend their time and money, where it is fun.

Also, I apologize, I type fast, so it looks like I'm long winded.

If racing is slow where you are, it is not as fun as other things people are doing. Blame the thing they are willing to do instead, or the facility and the other racers. Sometimes it's the 5-6 people that do all the work making a club fun, and doing all the work that give up, all at the same time. It happens.

Gotta keep it fun.

Our last club race, the mod touring main was up. Somebody yelled out, RUN THE TRACK BACKWARDS!!! Everybody chuckled, and finally the guys on the stand started chuckling about it and all agreed, "WTF", why not!

It was a freaking disaster, I don't want to abuse my car like that very often. BUT, what it was, was freaking hysterical (for everybody there, from the drivers to the marshals to the spectators). First corner, everybody overshot and we all went into the wall, laughing the whole time. It may be the same track, so to speak, but is NOT the same track, AT ALL, driven backwards with no practice. Looked like the rookie class, only worse... Guys hacking each other, yelling at the marshals (in a good way) "Leave his, get mine!!", "NO MAN, get mine...", "...HELP!!!!!...", smash, another car on the pile. Drivers trying to learn a brand new track and win the main at the sam time.. According to some of the spectators, some of the best racing they've seen, as it was really a more wide open race, everybody was struggling and everybody was on the edge. It was great. It did finally settle down a bit, but it was SERIOUSLY fun for everybody.

Every so often one of the drivers dad shows up with 10 pizzas on a Sunday afternoon. Or you sacrifice most of your race day to help a noob (or a very quiet, polite racer that has been around, but just seems to not "get it") with his car, and he actually makes the main for the first time... EVER. That has happened to me, and I was proud of that kid, his dad nearly cried thanking me for helping his son (because he knew he could use some help but didn't know how to help him), in fact, I get a little "teary eyed" myself thinking about it again. That was pretty cool. And the sad part about it, right up until the dad really gave me the serious thank you, was that I was thinking I opened up a can of worms I should have left alone. It really had taken to long and was effecting my race day. I spent a few hours helping this kid. And I was just starting to get that annoyed feeling with myself for letting my own day get shot down. Turns out the real reward that day was not on the track. And it saddens me just a bit that I almost missed it.

Here's another example, people get to wrapped up in winning and forget about another part of the hobby, the just plain old, who cares, I want to try something odd, scenario. Something fun to see what happens. An example is my own son. When he was around 10 he'd try the stupidest things, and I'd tell him so, and it would kind of bum him out. I finally decided "who cares", and let him roll with it. He's having fun, wasn't that the idea? Here's one that actually happened. "Dad, I want to run rubber tires on left side and foam on the right side...", I used to say, "That's stupid, we don't do that". Now I would chuckle and say, "knock yourself out, let me know if it works". He wasn't worried about winning, he was interested in having fun. Guess what, the correct setup for him, that day, was rubber on the one side and foam on the other side. What made it correct? he was happy and having fun.

Every year if we are at an event near my birthday, we bring cake and snacks. It's fun, and other racers we know do the same. If I'm going to Taco Bell, I announce it and usually bring 4-5 extra guys with me that are all starving and have been designated "food guy" for their team or buddies. I don't care in the least if these guys out qualified me. We're just all trying to have fun.

Racing flourishes where it is fun.

THAT, is what keeps people coming back, camaraderie and fun. Bottom line. Blame expense if it makes you happy, but people don't tend to quit a hobby that keeps them awake at night thinking of cool things, that all their friends are into and is the FUNNEST thing they do.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:36 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob-Stormer
[B] is what keeps people coming back, camaraderie and fun. Bottom line. Blame expense if it makes you happy, but people don't tend to quit a hobby that keeps them awake at night thinking of cool things, that all their friends are into and is the FUNNEST thing they do.
That is true...but...

There are other things that people can do in our area in which they can have as much fun as in R/C, as well as being much less expensive. Expense is a factor. Also, expense intimidates and turns people off. I'd be getting people intrested into my R/C stuff, but the moment I'd tell them they'd have to pay $20 track fee everytime they wanted to race they would instantly become a whole lot less intrested

Also, I believe sometimes R/C racers are too concerned about attracting new people and not concerned about keeping the ones that are already there.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:42 AM   #59
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Also, I believe sometimes R/C racers are too concerned about attracting new people and not concerned about keeping the ones that are already there.
Interesting observation. I like it, made me think for a bit.

Track fees are part of any motorsport. And pretty cheap in RC. Ask those guys what a trip to the hospital is worth in a motorcross, "incident".

We race with a guy that is in a chair now from a sprint car incident. What we do is a bargain in many ways.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:50 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Bob-Stormer
Track fees are part of any motorsport. And pretty cheap in RC.
You and I know that, but normal people who are on budgets, don't do this for a living, arn't THAT obsessed with toy cars simply don't care. Normal (for lack of a better term) people just see it as $20 out of their wallet. Then these people think, why was I charged $20? Answer: To play with my toy car in a clean lot, under a roof.

To (as Anders would put it...) your Svensson....it sounds hella lame! You could play with your toys in a parking lot, but more often than not, people join hobbies to do something fun with other people.
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