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Old 02-08-2014, 08:00 PM   #106
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This thread was a good read as I just got back into the hobby after a 7 year break.

Step forward:

-Lipos: This battery tech is such a huge boost to the hobby. Gone are the days of taking 5 nicad packs to the track for each class. Like previously said, I don't miss plugging in my battery at the start of a race and not touching any of the controls before the buzzer sounds in fear of dumping at 4:30 into the heat. I now own 2 lipos and its enough for me to run 1 class with 4 qualifiers and a main.

-2.4ghz radios: It's just so nice having reliable, glitch free, and antenna free radios! Dealing with crystals and constant fear of glitches are a thing of the past. I picked up a dsm1 Spektrum DX3 for $20 and it blows my mind how much better it is compared to my old AM/FM gear. That spektrum is pretty old too!

-Brushless motors: I do NOT miss having to constantly rebuild my motors after a few runs, and then having to cut the com, and eventually replace the armature (or buy a new motor) since those darn coms only last through a few cuts. The torque/speed/efficiency of brushless is pretty insane compared to the old brushed motors, and the lack of maintenance is just such a nice bonus.

-Gear Diffs: My serpent S411 TE that I just picked up to replace my HPI RS4-Pro (don't laugh!) has a oil filled gear diff, which to me was kind of odd at first. Until I rotated one wheel (you know, to feel/hear if your diff needs a rebuild) and felt how incredibly smooth and quiet it was. I was in amazement. Why on earth did we suffer through the pains of worn out diff balls/rings, losing thrust balls the instant you take the diff apart, and the finicky adjustment of the ball diffs. They were very hard to get them just right, and of course getting it wrong, usually meant a rebuild and dealing with those darn balls! The thought of not having to rebuild my diff after every race weekend just fills me with all kinds of happiness lol.

-Availability of parts: Back in the 90's you had to run what the LHS carried and had to rely on them for parts support, which was often lacking. I'd love to support my LHS more, but the internet has opened up a huge world of cheap and easy to obtain parts that allow you to run whatever brand you want really. Sadly, my LHS only really supplies Traxxas parts, which I won't be trying out anytime soon. China and Hong Kong have made this sport much more affordable as they are amazing at reverse engineering current tech, and improving upon it. Back then, it was either Novak or Tekin for ESC's, now there is just a massive amount of choice out there thanks to China/Hong Kong.

-Multi function chargers: My Tekin BC112C charger was amazing back when nicad's were the only battery around, but that's the issue, the chargers ONLY charged nicad's. The chargers now will charge basically any battery you can throw at them, and that's for charger from $30-$300+. I was so happy to learn new chargers aren't one trick ponies!

-Metric hex screws: The phillips screws in my HPI and nitro 1/8 buggy are a huge PIA. I can't remember how many got stripped from racing or from misuse and then having to use the dremel tool to make them into a flat head screw just to get them out! Hex heads are much easier to work with and last a lot longer.

Step Backwards:

-Cost of new kits: Seriously, $500-$600 for a new TC chassis that doesn't even include a body or wheels?? How is it that everything else has gone down in price, yet the cars themselves go up? The fact that almost all TC chassis look the same now is even more puzzling to the price point. This is 1 of 2 things that I think is far to expensive still for someone getting into the hobby for the first time, or back into it like me.

-Personal Transponders: Good and bad. Yes they are great, as someone no longer has to punch in car numbers on the race computer to keep track of lap times, but good grief are they expensive. $100+ for a transponder is just insane and it baffles me. The kind of tech I can buy for $100, or slightly more, make it seem like a single purpose item like the transponder should be more like $20, or even less. I'm still trying to find a used one to avoid having to pay over $100 for a new one. Ugh.

-RTR Kits: Great for the person who wants to bash around the local park, but why do they come prebuilt? Part of the fun of a new kit is building it and learning how everything on it works and goes together. I know a few people to picked up RTR kits and put them away forever simply because an item broke or malfunctioned and they had no clue had to repair/replace the item. The RTR kits should come partially assembled at the least and also come with electronics that would allow the person to race in a local stock class.

Last edited by CamLS; 02-15-2014 at 12:24 AM.
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