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Old 07-20-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
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Default First race tonight, some questions!!!

First of all I'll be racing 27T stock tonight. I've never driven my RC car on a real course before so it should be fun. Hopefully I don't take out too many people.

I have a few questions:

1) How many batteries do you typically bring for a 3-heat race? "Good" batteries cost upwards of $70 and I can't afford to have 3 of them sitting around. Do you typically just buy 1 good battery and keep recharging that one?

2) I have a Triton charger but my little brother in-law doesn't have his own charger. He needs something that is cheap and simply charges the batteries in between races. I figure we can use my Triton at home to do any complicated stuff like cycling the batteries, but at the races we just need something that will pump electrons into the batteries, for CHEAP. What are your suggestions?

3) I bought a cheapie Duratrax AutoSport Forward ESC. How will I be able to know when it's time to get a better ESC?

4) Are power capacitors legal for stock racing? I should ask the race coordinators but just want your take on this.

5) How do you know when your tires are almost going to go off? I am used to riding real vehicles at a race track and I could tell by looking at the tires as well as feeling small slips here and there. Is there an easy way to tell with RC cars?

6) I haven't installed my Team Orion Core Stock 27T motor yet. What method should I use to break it in? Someone suggested 5 minutes at 4.8V but does it really matter?

Thanks in advance!!! I'll let you know how tonight goes!
D
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:43 PM   #2
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1. 2 packs would work for ya. You need to let them cool most of all. Heat is what ruins them, not use

2. nimh's don't need to be cycled. I can''t suggest a cheap charger. sorry

3. You'll just know. When you drive perfect and still don't win, then it's time.

4. Not sure what you mean. Yeah, ask race director

5. Make sure your tyres aren't too soft for the track temp. On asphalt, I liked Goop hand cleaner as a traction compound. wipe on, wait 5 mins and wipe off.

6. I seat brushes with 2 volts for 200 seconds.

Good luck
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:07 PM   #3
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Donoman,

Dont sweat getting the best batteries, get as many packs as you can afford = more time on the track. You can get good 1.15 packs for less then 40 bucks. But I would say the least you should have is 2.

As far as chargers are concerned, jsut get some kinda of peak charger that charges @ at least 5amps. Tower or Horiaon should have something, just remember you get what ya pay for.

Use the speedo you have, you will know when the time comes to get a new one.

I have never heard of any specific rule for local racing that limits capacitors.

You can see a visual cue on most tires, but depending on alot of factors, that will detemine how much they go off, and at this point, you have bigger fish to fry, just get around the track ,and get good at it. You will start to get the "Feeling" for your tires when your laptimes start falling.

Seating brishes also depends on the brush compound. Some take longer hten others, best is to run it at least a couple of minutes, and then listen to motor, when it is smooth running ( no bumps or spike in RPM or sound ), you should be good to go. But the 300 sec is the standard from Big Jim.

My advice, while all the above is good, is to go to the track, talk to people, introduce yourslf, see if anyone is running the same car, and find out what they are doing. HAVE FUN. dont sweat being fast right off the bat, just go, get around the track and have a good time, the speed will come. Remember all the fast guys were in your shoes at one point or another

HAVE FUN

GOOD LUCK !!!!!
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:09 PM   #4
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2 packs will work but 3 is better. Look into Kinetix batteries kinetixrc.com and you can also look at zx racing batteries. Both good small business battery matching. Matched packs for around $40-$50.
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:31 PM   #5
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1. Two packs should be fine. You will have more time then you need to get your batteries charged, you may even make do with you and your bro using the same charger. I used to race two classes on one charger so if I can do it, so can you

Try looking a bit at some lower voltage #'d matched cells, typically the 70$ ones are 1.18+ and really arent nessicary for club racing at all. You can usually walk away with some decent packs for around 30-40$ Try looking into Fukyama's site, I beleive they had a deal going on some lower #'ed cells, and only charge an extra 5$ or so bucks to assemble them for you.

2. What do you mean by cheap? My version of cheap and your version might be two different things. but for getting back into the sport after a 7 year hiatus I went out and picked up an older Integy 16X3 pro w/NiMH charge upgrade, second hand for about 50$. I really like it, gets the job done, but am already looking for an upgrade (I like the LRP Pulsars, small, with the same features as a larger unit)

Dont skimp on a charger, if you race for a while it is definatly worth having a good one, spend money on a good charger before a good ESC.

If its a matter of needing to get charged, just say something at a drivers meeting, and Im sure one of the track locals will charge a few packs for you. When I first started racing, I borrowed a charger from an older guy for a whole season (an older Tekin model)

3. Keep your ESC until it blows up, like I said upgrade everything else first, your ESC should be enough see you through the Novice class, and into your first few stock races.

4. I am assuming you mean ROAR sanctioned rules, and you mean the capaciters soldered onto the motor? Yes they are pretty much all perfectly legal.

5. You should visually see wear marks where the outer casing has worn off, usually start very small around the molding seams. Similar to full size slicks.

6. If it is a "Pro" motor then it should be already seated, if not then, just run it off a 4 cell pack for a few min. If you dont have an extra 4 cells around, then hook it all up and run the motor using your transmitter at about 1/2 throttle

Doesnt really mater, just as long as you arent running full throttle, it tends to put a glaze on the brushes if you do.


All in all dont sweat all that stuff, main thing in a novice class is to keep the car pointed in the right direction and keeping the rubber side on the asphalt. One large crash will negate the time spent breaking in the brushes, so try hard to run a clean race, and when that happens, then is the time to start worring about batteries and so forth,

Oh and have fun too, remember it is just a model car on a model track <-- you'd be surprised how many people lose perspective of that
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:56 PM   #6
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Woo hoo thanks for the advice guys.

Yes, I agree that I will hold onto my ESC until it blows. Do you guys usually fix your ESC's or simply buy new ones? I have some experience designing and building my own H-bridges so if I could get my hands on schematics I might be able to fix stuff.

THanks for the advice on breaking in the motor. As I've found out already 3 times, it's no fun if your stuff is broken. I guess I hit a really "big" bump yesterday at a parking lot. In reality it was only 1" tall but it made my TC3 jump and I broke some stuff. Luckily I have spares to fix.

I was referring to "Power capacitors" installed in parallel with the battery leads which help give more boost. I believe i read that information here on RCtech.net.

This website rocks. I was on RC Universe and the clientelle there doesn't really know as much.


I normally ride an RC51 at the racetrack...but I figured a TC3 would be pretty fun and much less risk.
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:27 PM   #7
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The Fukuyama batteries are quite affordable! I could buy one of the $40 ones just to try it out. Right now I have 1 Reedy Black Label 3300 and 2 Reedy X-rated 3000's. I can't get a full 3000mAh charge into them, I think they might be screwed up.

I don't know proper battery procedures. Should I be discharging then charging them? I've simply been charging them at 4Amps then playing with them. Is this bad? I can only get 2200mAh into them, or so my Triton says.

Again thanks for the advice. Racing looks fun. I can't wait.
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Old 07-20-2004, 05:18 PM   #8
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You have some NiMH cells there...

Great cells, made to discourage battery memory, and give higher Voltage #'s then Ni-cads, however they arent as durable as the Nicads were.

before you put those batteries on the charger make sure that they are discharged first (for NiMH the discharge Voltage is kind of a generally accepted 5.4Volts, mind you dont bring the cells down to 0.0 Volts for any length of time) That may be the source of your false peaks. A NiMH cell likes to be stored with energy in it so if you put it on the shelf with say... 1000MaH of run left in it then your Triton should only charge to 2000MaH.

Typically you will want to store your cells with a little juice in them, then just before you plug them into your Triton you should discharge them.

4 amps should be fine and you should see some higher Mah #'s then the advertising on the Reedy cells (ie 3400, etc.) if everything is going good. A tip, before your race, repeak your Nimh cells for a minute or two on a 6-7 amp setting for some punch off the line. The main thing is to make sure your batteries get no more then slightly above room temperature when charging (heat kills)
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Old 07-21-2004, 08:31 AM   #9
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Donoman - Thanks for trying Fukuyama cells. I'm a team driver for Fukuyama and I'm here to help you in all aspects of racing. Shoot me an PM or email and we can chat about motors, racing cells (or club packs) tires and chargers

Happy Racing

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Old 07-21-2004, 11:42 AM   #10
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First race was GREAT! I learned a lot and had fun in the stock sportsman class. I was in 3rd place (of 5) for both the heats and in the main I was in 2nd place before I crashed out. It was kinda disappointing because I didn't even hit the wall hard, I just sort of skimmed it, and the A-arm on my TC3 broke.

I'll be buying some BRP bumpers and nerf wings today because this car simply has no protection for its wheels! I know, I know, I shouldn't have touched the wall, but I was passing some lapped traffic and got a little greedy with the throttle.

It was really misting since it was a night race and my tires were slipping everywhere. In between the heats I dialed in more ride height into the back to get the car to turn sharper. I think it worked but in the rain it would lose traction and push like crazy unless I was very careful. I did well in the rain compared to a lot of other people because I talked to one of the experts before the races and he told me his secret of hardly using the brakes, and how to conserve battery life. Basically, he said, the electric motor makes full horsepower at 1rpm so there's no use to give 100% throttle down the straight if your motor tops out at a certain RPM. If you exceed the motor RPM you are just creating heat. That made a lot of sense to me.

I'm disappointed that I crashed out but I'll be back next time and I'll have a little more protection on the car.

I also learned from some of the guys that they discharge their NiMH's before charging. Do I have to discharge every time?

They also equalize the packs and then charge them at 6A, which is more than the 4A suggested on the packs. I need to buy another charger because my little bro wants to get into it with me. I'll be buying some Fukuyama batteries and either an MRC Superbrain 989(?) (charges 2 batts at once) or an expensive-a$$ Quasar charger. Unfortunately my Triton only charges at 5A, not 6A like these other car chargers. I don't understand why the car-only chargers like the Pulsar are so expensive if they can only do one battery and if they can't even do Lithium Polymer (for airplanes).

I could tell that my car was a little slower than the other cars coming down the straight but not much slower, but when I switched to my brand new 3300 NiMH pack I could go faster than a lot of people. In fact, the power surprised me.

Anyway, I know I've nested a lot of questions in there, sorry about that... and thanks in advance.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:48 AM   #11
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buy a pulsar yes these chargers are expensive but think about what all options it gives
charging at all rates
discharging
motor run-in
lathe running
its a great all around charger its small compact and one of the less expensive speically if u compare to a Competition electronics product $400+ dollars
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Old 07-21-2004, 12:47 PM   #12
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I loved reading that makes me think of my first day out...
Lets say you had a lot better day then me. it all sounds like you did great though.
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:12 PM   #13
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Donoman, by any chance were you racing at RCTech in Daly City last night? Because the weather sounds exactly like last night
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:20 PM   #14
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Yes that was me at RC Tech, it was a lot of fun and I think I'm hooked. I learned that it doesn't matter what position you are in, if you break your car you come in last (like me). I'll be out again either Sunday or in 2 wks, whenever I get those new bumpers and nerf wings. I think you gave me your business card, I will probably buy those batteries from you and a charger, hope you can hook me up with a good deal. If you don't remember which car it was, it was the ugly beat-up silverishgreen car with runny paint marks and LED headlights. Some guy hit me (curtis?) coming down the front straight and my car rolled at least 4-5 times. Then it kept going, that is great. I'm so used to crashing real vehicles that it's not even funny anymore
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by donoman
I learned that it doesn't matter what position you are in, if you break your car you come in last (like me). I'll be out again either Sunday or in 2 wks, whenever I get those new bumpers and nerf wings.
Cool

Were you in Sportsman Heat 1 or Sportsman Heat 2? Didn't really remember you...
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