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Old 07-17-2011, 09:15 AM   #181
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Has anyone tried offering rentals or demos? We'd like to start an outdoor club in a local parking lot of a church. Hoping to be able to set up a regular schedule.

Our theory is that developing an experience where people can see and try out various classes and price point vehicles would be more engaging. Many have posted on the idea of helping people make good decisions, and that would be one of the aspects of the event. Mostly, those of us who are not going to race competitively won't put in the time to tweak and maintenance a high performance vehicle, so the majority of our purchases will be low maintenance RTR kits that we can pull out of the box and race for fun.

So, again, the main question of this post is to see if others have had any success with offering demos whether or not there is a rental fee?
This is a new hobby shop and r/c track and their rental program is going well. Contact them if you have questions.http://hotshotrc.com/
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:20 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by olhipster1 View Post
make it fun for the new guys and just plain help them out.
if you got extra stuff laying around...that you won't be using...just pass it down....help the new guy start out.

practice tires...give it to the new guy..
practice batts... sell dirt cheap..or give it away.
Setup help....Please just give it freely. this is probably the most important give away.
etc.etc.etc...
One of the best posts of the discussion IMO.

And is one reason how an established club keeps its members - when they all help each other out

If I know of anyone new turning up with a brushed motor, i make the effort to bring my old lathe with me and true their comm if they would like me to.

After that, and refitting their motor, I will ask them how is their day going, and see if I can help them with anything else.

Sometimes it is just the simple things that makes the newcomer know they can ask a question and they will get an answer, (and keep coming back to race again) rather than turning up and going home without speaking to anyone.

At the end of the day, we are all at the track to race - so unless you have a reason not to talk to someone, get out there into the community and enjoy the racing....
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:12 AM   #183
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One of the best posts of the discussion IMO.

And is one reason how an established club keeps its members - when they all help each other out

If I know of anyone new turning up with a brushed motor, i make the effort to bring my old lathe with me and true their comm if they would like me to.

After that, and refitting their motor, I will ask them how is their day going, and see if I can help them with anything else.

Sometimes it is just the simple things that makes the newcomer know they can ask a question and they will get an answer, (and keep coming back to race again) rather than turning up and going home without speaking to anyone.

At the end of the day, we are all at the track to race - so unless you have a reason not to talk to someone, get out there into the community and enjoy the racing....
This is spot on.

It's more than just being "available", it's being proactive. Many times new drivers won't approach the "fast guys" because they may feel intimidated or they're interrupting. I feel, if we want to keep racing at our local tracks, that we need to make the new racer feel welcome and help them be competitive.

One of my favorite racing stories was a number of years ago. I was at a big parking lot race series that they use to have here in So Cal and was running electric sedan. I don't remember why but I wasn't running my Super Nitro like I usually did but I had it and my parts for it with me. I always like to go out and watch the novice class and on this particular day there was a younger kid running a Super Nitro in the Nitro Novice class. During warmup his engine kept flaming out and his dad was having a bugger of a time restarting it...classis "too lean" condition.

So I went over and struck up a conversation with his father and found out the car was box stock and this was his second race with it but they were having a hard time keeping it running. It flamed out again and the car came to a stop at our feet. I asked if he would mind if I took a look at it and he said sure. I reached down and started counting how many turns out the main needle was and stopped at 1.5 turns...too lean for the .15fe. I turned it back out to 2.25 turns out, let it cool a bit, and refired it. Off it went with a nice plume of blue smoke. I then explianed to dad what I did, why I did it, and how it was causing the enigne to shut down.

The car never again flamed out and the kid finished the race but I noticed the car was spinning out everywhere. He had finished dead last. I asked his father what tires they were using. The stock ones, he told me. I told him that after his son was done turn marshelling for them to come over to my pit area with his son's car and I'd help them with it.

When they got there I put a set of my Super Nitro tires on it. These were the same ones I raced with normally. I told them what compound they were and what inserts were in each. Then I had them squeeze them so they could FEEL the difference. I then put his car on my Hudy station and went through all the adjustments with the son...showing him were things were off and where things were good. We set ride hight. We checked shock length and made all the shocks the same. I showed him camber and toe. I showed him how to make sure nothing was binding, bent, loose, or broke. I basically put my setup on the car with a few differences since my car ran a front one-way and his didn't. We did everything, but other than the tires we didn't add any option parts to the car.

He went back out for his next heat and I went out with them. After a few laps during warm-up I asked him how the car felt. He told me it felt much better. Well, I guess he wasn't kidding because he went out that heat and TQed!!!! He then went out and won the main! He and his father brought the tires back to me, after writting down exactly what they were so they could buy them at the hobby shop the following week, and thanked me over and over for my help. The smile on that kids face, and the fact that he would definatley be back, was all the thanks I needed and far more than I expected.

Obviously you always have to be careful when approaching someone asking if they want help as many won't be so quick to accept. If someone doesn't want your help, that's okay too. I once tried to tell a guy he was running too much camber...that only about -1 degree is where he wanted to be...but he insisted that his -25 degree setup (I'm not exagerating) was faster because "like with a VW Bug, when you accelerate they'll 'stand up'". But offering is the important part.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:42 AM   #184
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This is spot on.

It's more than just being "available", it's being proactive. Many times new drivers won't approach the "fast guys" because they may feel intimidated or they're interrupting. I feel, if we want to keep racing at our local tracks, that we need to make the new racer feel welcome and help them be competitive.

One of my favorite racing stories was a number of years ago. I was at a big parking lot race series that they use to have here in So Cal and was running electric sedan. I don't remember why but I wasn't running my Super Nitro like I usually did but I had it and my parts for it with me. I always like to go out and watch the novice class and on this particular day there was a younger kid running a Super Nitro in the Nitro Novice class. During warmup his engine kept flaming out and his dad was having a bugger of a time restarting it...classis "too lean" condition.

So I went over and struck up a conversation with his father and found out the car was box stock and this was his second race with it but they were having a hard time keeping it running. It flamed out again and the car came to a stop at our feet. I asked if he would mind if I took a look at it and he said sure. I reached down and started counting how many turns out the main needle was and stopped at 1.5 turns...too lean for the .15fe. I turned it back out to 2.25 turns out, let it cool a bit, and refired it. Off it went with a nice plume of blue smoke. I then explianed to dad what I did, why I did it, and how it was causing the enigne to shut down.

The car never again flamed out and the kid finished the race but I noticed the car was spinning out everywhere. He had finished dead last. I asked his father what tires they were using. The stock ones, he told me. I told him that after his son was done turn marshelling for them to come over to my pit area with his son's car and I'd help them with it.

When they got there I put a set of my Super Nitro tires on it. These were the same ones I raced with normally. I told them what compound they were and what inserts were in each. Then I had them squeeze them so they could FEEL the difference. I then put his car on my Hudy station and went through all the adjustments with the son...showing him were things were off and where things were good. We set ride hight. We checked shock length and made all the shocks the same. I showed him camber and toe. I showed him how to make sure nothing was binding, bent, loose, or broke. I basically put my setup on the car with a few differences since my car ran a front one-way and his didn't. We did everything, but other than the tires we didn't add any option parts to the car.

He went back out for his next heat and I went out with them. After a few laps during warm-up I asked him how the car felt. He told me it felt much better. Well, I guess he wasn't kidding because he went out that heat and TQed!!!! He then went out and won the main! He and his father brought the tires back to me, after writting down exactly what they were so they could buy them at the hobby shop the following week, and thanked me over and over for my help. The smile on that kids face, and the fact that he would definatley be back, was all the thanks I needed and far more than I expected.

Obviously you always have to be careful when approaching someone asking if they want help as many won't be so quick to accept. If someone doesn't want your help, that's okay too. I once tried to tell a guy he was running too much camber...that only about -1 degree is where he wanted to be...but he insisted that his -25 degree setup (I'm not exagerating) was faster because "like with a VW Bug, when you accelerate they'll 'stand up'". But offering is the important part.

nice post

The title of this topic is "how to revive on road racing?"

The way I see it is if you have a good, friendly bunch of people racing then the class will never need reviving as such, as it keeps itself working well.

It may need adjusting as and when say new technology comes along, to keep the racing close but they are usually the only changes that need to be addressed as such.

I don't get any satisfaction from being miles ahead of the next fastest guy in my heat or main, I prefer a close race where a win is hard work

The more you help others, the more reward you get from your racing IMO.

If a club feels that its on road programme has issues, discuss them as a group!

Set aside say, 30 minutes or so as a group and get discussing why you think the programme isnt working well.

Sometimes things are easily resolved, sometimes they need working on a lot more.

But the loyal club members will usually have a fair amount on their mind about the racing and what works and what doesnt....

The facility alone does not attract people to race there, it is the people who race there that make it a place worth racing at IMO so they are the core of the club
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:53 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by tc3team View Post
nice post
Thanks

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The way I see it is if you have a good, friendly bunch of people racing then the class will never need reviving as such, as it keeps itself working well.

It may need adjusting as and when say new technology comes along, to keep the racing close but they are usually the only changes that need to be addressed as such.

I don't get any satisfaction from being miles ahead of the next fastest guy in my heat or main, I prefer a close race where a win is hard work

The more you help others, the more reward you get from your racing IMO.

If a club feels that its on road programme has issues, discuss them as a group!

Set aside say, 30 minutes or so as a group and get discussing why you think the programme isnt working well.

Sometimes things are easily resolved, sometimes they need working on a lot more.
I like the idea of a meeting but here is the general issue with all on-road.

On-road starts to grow when you get a particular chassis that becomes popular when it is first released. Originally it was pan cars and more recently it was sedans. We'll go with sedans. The TA01 and TA02 revolutionized on-road. Rubber tires meant the cars could be driven in rough and dirty parking lots and thus specific tracks didn't need to exist for a race to be held whereas pancars with their foam tires needed either perfectly smooth asphault treated with VHT or carpet to get their low grip but ultra low weight foam tires to hook up. 4wd also made the TA series easier for new drivers to control and their slower speeds also leant itself well to the new racer.

Because the chassis were new, not many upgrades were available and even those that were didn't make a huge performance difference thus racing stayed close. In these early days, everyone was welcome because the more people you had the better chance for the event to survive and make it week to week.

As time marched on though you began to get your regular drivers who showed up every week. They became a close knit core of racers. New racers come and go thus it wasn't worth trying to really get to know them only to never see them again. While this core didn't shun outsiders, they really only warmed up to you after you were there a few races and they figured you'd be sticking around and thus it was now worth getting to know you. So now you had the "click" of your core racers that didn't feel approachable by new racers. Since they were there almost every week, they also tended to be the fast racers.

In addition to this social change, technology changed as well. Soon other chassis options were available from competitors and the peformance difference between these chassis and the TA01/02 chassis that started the class was huge. HPI, Kyosho, and Yokomo chassis became dominant and while Tamiya tried to keep up with the TA03F Pro, it soon lagged behind. Then hop up companies started turning out more "race" inspired parts for these more advanced chassis. Of course with more advanced chassis came higher prices. The TA01 was a $100 car but now the newer cars were selling for $130 for a "sport" version and $200+ for the Pro version.

Speeds increased and those "fast" guys invested in the newer equipment and got faster while the "new" racer coming into the sport with a less capable chassis lagged behind. While the performance level between the two chassis was, in reality, slight if even perceptable the new racer felt to keep up with the faster guys he needed the more advanced version of the chassis or hop up parts that would bring his car "up to their level".

Thus begins the "hop up" wars. Faster motors. Better Batteries. The latest tire and insert combo. The Dodge Stratus as THE race body...later replaced by the Mazda 6. (killing one of the two reasons that Touring Cars became popular in the first place...thank god for RCGT type racing) The newest speed control. Better shocks. More carbon fiber for less flex/less weight. The list went on. Then the manufacturers caught on and began introducing a lot of the "hop up" items in the kits to start with. Team kits or special edition kits began being released with one-way diffs, one-way pulleys, spools, threaded shocks, and sway bars.

With lighter, more race inspired parts the cars became more fragil. For a experianced racer this was fine but for a crash-prone new racer this meant more cost buying replacement parts rather than the new battery that would "let him catch the fast guys".

Speeds went up and to stay competitive with one another the "fast guys" pit tables began to look like an F-1 garage paddock. Laptop computers, motor lathes, multiple chargers, a set of "practice packs" that were more potent than most new racer's "A-main" packs.

Parking lot tracks gave way to dedicated race facilities and when that happened, foam tires made a comeback. (Killing the second reason why touring cars became popular...) Now tire truers got added to the fast guys pit areas and one guy could have so much support equippment that he'd take up four or five "normal" pit areas.

The perception to the new guys became "THAT'S what I need to go fast!" However their wallets couldn't keep up. Eventually the new people stopped coming because they saw the potential cost to be "competitive" as too high. Race chassis now sold for $400+...and didn't even come with tires or a body much less electronics. The cost just to "get started" could easily run into the $700 to $1000 range. Then add in the cost of multiple batteries and a full set of tires that would only last a couple racing nights or a few days practicing and the cost grew even more.

LiPo and Brushless did help some, but now speeds increased and this meant the need for better tires which wore faster and the learning curve became that much steeper. Plus the initial cost went way up too. Whereas with brushed motors you could get a motor and speed control for about $70 and have a decent chance, now brushless systems would run you $150 to start. Then to gear it the way the "fast guys" ran you'd need a couple of fans and heat sinks. What you use to have to spend in brushes and lathes you were now spending elsewhere...but still spending it.

Once the new blood stopped coming, it was the recreational racer who was next. Guys who had decent, basic cars but who couldn't keep up with the spending to race regularly. Their skills never improved and most felt they didn't want to keep spending the money to never really have a chance of winning. Again, the fast guys weren't talking to them because they were not "regulars" and thus never really around to get to know.

Now the pinch starts to hit the regulars. Because there are fewer racers you have fewer classes and guys that did race every week but were in different classes were now getting lumped together. Throw in a downturn in the ecconomy and some of those racers can't afford the new equippment for the class they now find themselves running in or can't get to the track often enough to keep their skills up and decide to hang it up for a while and the numbers get even smaller.

Eventually, all you have left is that small core of the "regulars". The ones that showed up to race every week. They were always getting the newest stuff to stay competitive or get that little extra edge against the other "regulars". Like the arms race, it was this need to keep finding the slightest edge between each other that drove them to become "the fast guys" and it was the perception they presented by doing this which eventually chassed the sport to where it is today.

It's a cycle. Replace touring cars with pan cars, brushed vs brushless with non-rebuildable vs rebuildable, NiMH vs LiPo with NiCd vs NiMH or even 1400 SCE vs 1700 SCR (I think that's what they were...). It's always this march of progress where eventually those that have bottomless funds drive the sport into the stratousphere where only they can afford to compete.

Sorry for this huge post...and much of this may have been covered, but the real question isn't being addressed here. To revive the sport requires a new chassis where we can begin the cycle again (look at the Slash and off road). The question needs to not be how do you "revive" on-road...but rather when on-road starts to come back, how to stop the cycle???

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:16 PM   #186
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Pretty much agree with all of the above. Slash is classis, as it's followed this process, but in the space of 2 years! Now you have 2wd spec, mod, 2wd spec, mod, god knows what else.

I packed up my TC because it was far too fast with the 13.5 Turbo we call our "intermediate" class, and after almost 4 years of racing I still didn't have the ability to identify hadling issues enough to tame a car that fast.

All of the social issues are a tough one, because it's not just a change in racing, it's a change in scosiety in gneneral. People are becoming less comfortable talking face-to-face.

The technology part is so true, but the problem is, racers generally decide the rules, which I don't necessarily agree with. If the drivers of F1 got to choose their rules, you could bet all the cars would do 400kmh and have ground-effects tech up the wazoo!
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:09 PM   #187
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Good discussion here.

A thought popped into my head recently.
And I didn't like the answer...

How many of you would start in this hobby if you were not already in it ?

I don't mean start over, or take a break and come back.

Imagine if you had never participated in RC racing.
Looking at the cost, and complexity of Sedan racing especially, could you see yourselves getting into it, as it is today ?
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:23 PM   #188
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Good discussion here.

A thought popped into my head recently.
And I didn't like the answer...

How many of you would start in this hobby if you were not already in it ?

I don't mean start over, or take a break and come back.

Imagine if you had never participated in RC racing.
Looking at the cost, and complexity of Sedan racing especially, could you see yourselves getting into it, as it is today ?
Never. The learning curve is too steep and initial cost is too much.

The problem statement starts there.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:44 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by RedBullFiXX View Post
Good discussion here.

A thought popped into my head recently.
And I didn't like the answer...

How many of you would start in this hobby if you were not already in it ?

I don't mean start over, or take a break and come back.

Imagine if you had never participated in RC racing.
Looking at the cost, and complexity of Sedan racing especially, could you see yourselves getting into it, as it is today ?
Yeah, I could see myself getting into as of today. I only started last year. I decided I wanted get into racing super stock touring cars (13.5 boosted) last summer without having any equipment at first. The complexity is a large part of what interested me. If it was simple and easy, I'd be bored with it.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:53 PM   #190
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The cost to start in R/C racing is no different in the cost of doing any other hobby. Examples golf,fishing,hunting etc. they all take large investments in the beginning, ALL of them. There really is not a hobby out there,other than girl watching, that isn't expensive. Again it all comes back to how big do you want to go. Cost controlled racing is like cost controlled living what can you afford and how much are you willing to spend. Yuo dDO NOT have to spend a small fortune to be competetive in this hobby,you DO have to spend time in learning and doing.
Just my humble opinion,let the flames begin
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:59 PM   #191
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Let me ask this then...

Does anyone here think that it is possible to have a competitive touring car for around $300? Not including batteries and chargers, but a boosted 17.5 TC capable of running close to the faster guys at a club level.

Maybe not winning the race, but always making the A main with a good driver...
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:59 PM   #192
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Could part of the problem be a lack of promotion on behalf of the local clubs? Our local onroad club has dried up, but there was absolutely no promotion of the club. There was no way for other people to hear about it (other than seeing us set up in a Home Depot parking lot on race day).
Perhaps there are things a local club could do to promote itself and get the word out to the community.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:03 PM   #193
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Maybe because there is no reset button on the track like on gaming consoles.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:24 PM   #194
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Let me ask this then...

Does anyone here think that it is possible to have a competitive touring car for around $300? Not including batteries and chargers, but a boosted 17.5 TC capable of running close to the faster guys at a club level. I also ran it this last winter at club races on carpet spec 17.5 and never missed an "A" even 20 to 25 cars deep

Maybe not winning the race, but always making the A main with a good driver...
ran 17.5 boosted at a regional club race in Memphis last weekend and missed the "A" by making stupid mistakes and not getting a clean heat, not because my car wasn't good enough to make it was on a mid "A" run each heat and was leading the guy that made it 7 in the 4th qualifer and tapped out. Xray T3r $250 or so depending on what you want to make more durable. I qualified 4 seconds out of 6th as the back of the "A" was tight.

also I run my local indoor carpet track. I told my racers it's 17.5 spec till you get enough driver to break off and in 17.5 open. we went from 5 or 6 17.5 open driver 2 years ago to 20 to 25 spec drivers last winter as MOST drivers could drive spec but open scared them off. if the track director can't hold the "fast" guys to some sense then that track won't last long. more racers means tighter competition means more fun to me. IMO
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:27 PM   #195
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The cost to start in R/C racing is no different in the cost of doing any other hobby. Examples golf,fishing,hunting etc. they all take large investments in the beginning, ALL of them. There really is not a hobby out there,other than girl watching, that isn't expensive. Again it all comes back to how big do you want to go. Cost controlled racing is like cost controlled living what can you afford and how much are you willing to spend. Yuo dDO NOT have to spend a small fortune to be competetive in this hobby,you DO have to spend time in learning and doing.
Just my humble opinion,let the flames begin
True, and yet not so much. The difference is that we aren't talking recreational R/C cars, we're talking racing. Competition. Pitting your skills against someone else. That changes everything.

Golf is perhaps the closest comparison. Hunting and fishing...once you buy your gear other than the expendables you're pretty well set unless, again, you compete. Golf, however, is very similar to R/C Racing. Look at what guys will spend on a ball that drives 20 feet further, or a driver that gives you another 10 yards. Or a putter that will allow for a more consistant stroke.

The difference with Golf and R/C car racing is that Golf has a national audience and isn't "just" a hobby. So while there will be periods were you may see less sales and more sales, you'll never see it fall off like R/C does.

No, you don't have to spend a small fortune to be competitive but the issue is we're talking the PERCEPTION that permiates this sport that you DO. And, at a certain level, you do. I raced Expert and Pro Sedan...in So Cal...so we're talking REALLY good drivers. The difference between first and second with them is so small that small equipment short comings make a HUGE difference. The beginner level guys see this and think "Hey, to race with them I need better this or a more expensive that." What they don't see, and what SO few people tell them, is that the level of the equippment they have is FAR more capable of going faster than they are. When you get to the pros, their skill is so high that their equippment CAN hold them back.

Skill is the difference and, sadly, in on-road equippment differences become far more of a factor far earlier than off-road so the perception isn't JUST smoke and mirrors. There is some truth to it and THAT'S why you see these cycles in on-road far more often than in off-road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nashrcracer View Post
Xray T3r $250 or so depending on what you want to make more durable.
Plus $45 for tires. $30 for Body (and paint). And another $100 for ESC/Motor.

So $425...a little more than $300.

And remember that if you're talking about someone "getting into the sport" then batteries and charger have to be included. Now you're looking at another $80 or so pushing that to the $500 mark.

Last edited by Robotech; 07-19-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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