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Old 02-23-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default Comparing Electronics..Cheaper vs. Not so Cheap

So I'm relatively new to on-road electric cars, I've been building and flying quadcopters for the last couple of years. But I want to try something new, so I have begun researching what kind of electronics I need for say something like an F104 if I wanted to be competitive in a race.

I was SHOCKED at how expensive the electronics are compared to the quadcopters I have been building. Here are some examples.

Turnigy Nano-tech 6000mah 2s 65C 7.4V Battery $40 bucks

Thunder Power 6000mah 2s 65C 7.4V Battery $140 bucks!


Savox Servo $63 bucks

Similar spec'd servo $13 bucks


DX3 TX $130

Spectrum RX $99

Similar Spec'd 3 Channel 2.4ghz TX AND RX $40 bucks.

I would post links to each product, but I can't since I'm new here. I just want to know what the difference is between the more expensive options and the cheaper options (these aren't necessarily off brands either) and can you justify spending literally hundreds more?

I can understand and justify spending more on the motors and ESC, as I'm used to spending only $10-$15 on motors and ESC.

Thank you.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huskerwr38 View Post
So I'm relatively new to on-road electric cars, I've been building and flying quadcopters for the last couple of years. But I want to try something new, so I have begun researching what kind of electronics I need for say something like an F104 if I wanted to be competitive in a race.

I was SHOCKED at how expensive the electronics are compared to the quadcopters I have been building. Here are some examples.

Turnigy Nano-tech 6000mah 2s 65C 7.4V Battery $40 bucks

Thunder Power 6000mah 2s 65C 7.4V Battery $140 bucks!


Savox Servo $63 bucks

Similar spec'd servo $13 bucks


DX3 TX $130

Spectrum RX $99

Similar Spec'd 3 Channel 2.4ghz TX AND RX $40 bucks.

I would post links to each product, but I can't since I'm new here. I just want to know what the difference is between the more expensive options and the cheaper options (these aren't necessarily off brands either) and can you justify spending literally hundreds more?

I can understand and justify spending more on the motors and ESC, as I'm used to spending only $10-$15 on motors and ESC.

Thank you.
Battery you can get away with being cheaper. servo you kinda want a decent one. but in a f1 since their so light you don't need the top of the line servo. transmitter, pretty 2.4 is a given. something you can adjust endpoints is about all you really need. ESC, that's something you don't really want to cheap out on. tekin rs (not rs pro, inless your going to run under a 7.5t motor which in a f1 i doubt) is what i'm running now. and in a f1 the rs is the smallest ESC out their. if you want a average priceline for NEW equipment

servo: atleast metal gear prob want to spen $40 or more
esc: something thats universal for a lot of cars prob $150+
tx/rx: 2.4 with programming 150+
batteries: a lot of $40 batts work great. Do some research.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:46 PM   #3
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Like everything, you need to weigh up the pro's and con's of all gear. Take your battery example, the more expensive battery might give you a tenth improvement over the cheaper battery, but are you the type of driver who is searching for tenths of a second improvment, or are you searching for seconds.

For most drivers, there is no real difference between using the cheaper option when compared to the more expensive option, because they are not getting all they can out of the gear they have.

As long as the cheaper option is reliable and not going to break after 5 uses, then by all means use it. I use brands such as Turnagy batteries, ESC's and motors, Bluebird servos, Hobbywing ESC's, Speedpassion ESC's and motors, all of which are cheaper options and very reliable. Radio gear is one place i do not scimp too much because you cannot find some of the needed features in budget gear, but here i use the base model not the pro model.

There is nothing wrong with budget racing, just be smart in what you get and where and you will have reliable outfit that will be very compeditive at a club level.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:56 PM   #4
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As far as the tx/rx goes. Don't fall for the Futaba, Spektrum, blah,blah high-dollar hype. You can get a Fly-Sky GT3B that will out perform, outlast and has enough programming capabilities as the high dollar stuff. Period. I've raced $2000.00 1/4 scale gas boats with one. $67.00 street-price average. Extra recievers cost 7.00 to 9.00!!!!
I was once a Futaba-cronie myself. After buying and using this piece, I relized I was getting bent over for a brand-name. Never again!!!
There are software hacks for it out there that will blow your mind too..
It's an amazing piece.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:06 AM   #5
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Like everything, you need to weigh up the pro's and con's of all gear. Take your battery example, the more expensive battery might give you a tenth improvement over the cheaper battery, but are you the type of driver who is searching for tenths of a second improvment, or are you searching for seconds.

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Old 02-24-2012, 05:13 AM   #6
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The 'similar spec'd servo is interesting.

Does it have metal gears, is it high torque enough for the steering of a car that can do 50mph under load.
Is it fast enough etc.

There are always cheaper alternatives, but sometimes you have to look beyond the price tag and see what your really getting.

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Old 02-24-2012, 06:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddins View Post
The 'similar spec'd servo is interesting.

Does it have metal gears, is it high torque enough for the steering of a car that can do 50mph under load.
Is it fast enough etc.

There are always cheaper alternatives, but sometimes you have to look beyond the price tag and see what your really getting.

Skiddins
Here is a link to what i use in both my drift and TC cars, the drift car gets about 8 packs a week though it and the TC gets raced every other weekend and i have not had a servo fail yet in over 14 months of solid use.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...sec_46_5g.html

I have never put one on a servo tester to see how it stands up to its specs, but from the reviews on HK, some have and they go pretty close. So is it as good as a Hitec or Savox? I don't know, all i know is that they are reliable and cost a fraction of the price and thats good enough for me.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:38 AM   #8
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For elctronics,

Pay now or pay later... over and over again.

Spend some money on one, or keep spending money for a whole bunch.

You get what ya pay for.

etc, etc, etc...


Batteries though, you can get the cheap ones and most are just fine.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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All the comments here are pretty spot on.

In racing, like most tech stuff - the last 1 percent of performance is 50% more price.

There is a cost equation here that you need to keep in mind. The support offered by the name brands can significantly reduce the cost long - term. Especially if you put lots of miles on your gear.

And many of the high end manufacturers either offer outright trade up programs or if you catch them at a big race and ask nicely can be very liberal about helping you keep up to date. ....

Many of the high end servos and radios can be sent in after a few years of heavy use and freshened up. While you may not notice the difference a fresh potentiometer can make both in your radio AND servo now, in a few years you will. The difference between a $30 servo and a $100 servo is more than just torque and speed. Accurate centering can make a HUGE difference.

Especially if you start running an aggressive setup or race in a "loose is fast" class.

That being said, I buy some of the budget gear for classes I don't run much/ bashing around and for my kids. But long term the costs will even out.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:42 AM   #10
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Definitely go with a name brand motor and esc. Not necessarily the high end most expensive stuff, just quality. The Novak edge is a great esc for 100 if you don't need boost. Tekin rs is good at 170 for boosted classes.

I tried a cheaper motor esc combo and wasted my money. The motor was trash and the esc while it works fine, just can't keep up. This wasn't off brand no name stuff. It was a cheaper manufacturer that is actually well known.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddins View Post
The 'similar spec'd servo is interesting.

Does it have metal gears, is it high torque enough for the steering of a car that can do 50mph under load.
Is it fast enough etc.

There are always cheaper alternatives, but sometimes you have to look beyond the price tag and see what your really getting.

Skiddins
I can't post links yet, but here is the specs for $13 one:
1. Metal Gears
2. curve gear with smooth.
3. Double M9.6 ball bearing (si-oil)
4. 3 pole strong torque of motor with low signal affect and success get CE certification.
5. Rubber fitting case for waterproof
6. Same with Futaba 25 tooth spline
7. Heavy duty servo case
***
Weight: 34g / 1.19oz
Dimensions: 42 x 21.5 x 22 mm / 1.65 x 0.85 x 0.87 inch
Torque At 4.8V: 6.0kg/cm , 83 oz/in
Torque At 6.0V: 7.4kg/cm , 112 oz/in
Speed At 4.8V: 0.18 sec / 60 at no load
Speed At 6.0V: 0.16sec / 60 at no load

And specs for the $62 one:

Dimensions(mm):**40.8X20.2X25.4
Weight(g):**44.5
Speed(@4.8V sec/60):**.10
Torque(@4.8V oz-in):**97.2
Speed(@6.0V sec/60):**.09
Torque(@6.0V oz-in):**125.0
Gear:**Metal
Bearing:**2BB
Case:**Aluminum
25 Tooth Spline
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:46 AM   #12
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I know one shouldn't cheap out on servos, but this one http://www.hobbypartz.com/60gexidised2.html has really impressed me. I have four of them now, I've had one in my 1/8 scale for close to a year now.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:00 AM   #13
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As some said earlier- "You get what you paid for". ESC Novak Edge ESC.they also have motor and ESC combo's- it just depends on what motors everyone is using (25.5-21.5 or different).Servo get something with metal gears.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:55 AM   #14
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Im going to agree with the blue bird servo's. Been running those for two years without a problem. Hobbywing has a Stock Spec speed control for $65 from CRC which I am using in my Xray and it works fantastic. Ive also been using Turnigy batteries with good success. For the little difference in price get a name brand motor, probably whatever the fast guys are using so you can have help with gearing and such. The radio is the only thing I would make sure to spend good money on.

I am going to politely disagree with a previous comment about the Flysky being better than Futaba. I have a Futaba 4pk and tried to use the Flysky on a 12th scale and it was simply not precise enough for carpet on-road. Now that was a stock one with out and hacks or anything but I dont believe you should have to gut the radio right out of the box to get what you want out of it. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huskerwr38 View Post
I can't post links yet, but here is the specs for $13 one:
1. Metal Gears
2. curve gear with smooth.
3. Double M9.6 ball bearing (si-oil)
4. 3 pole strong torque of motor with low signal affect and success get CE certification.
5. Rubber fitting case for waterproof
6. Same with Futaba 25 tooth spline
7. Heavy duty servo case
***
Weight: 34g / 1.19oz
Dimensions: 42 x 21.5 x 22 mm / 1.65 x 0.85 x 0.87 inch
Torque At 4.8V: 6.0kg/cm , 83 oz/in
Torque At 6.0V: 7.4kg/cm , 112 oz/in
Speed At 4.8V: 0.18 sec / 60 at no load
Speed At 6.0V: 0.16sec / 60 at no load

And specs for the $62 one:

Dimensions(mm):**40.8X20.2X25.4
Weight(g):**44.5
Speed(@4.8V sec/60):**.10
Torque(@4.8V oz-in):**97.2
Speed(@6.0V sec/60):**.09
Torque(@6.0V oz-in):**125.0
Gear:**Metal
Bearing:**2BB
Case:**Aluminum
25 Tooth Spline
That's what you have to look out for. those servo's are going to be soo slow it will Not be able to keep up with the car. .18 doesn't sound like a lot. but it is. even though it has more torque that's not what your looking for on onroad. especially for a very light f1 car. you need speed. .1 would prob be the slowest i'd ever go.
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