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Old 03-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Let's Talk Modified

In a few weeks, many of North America's best mod drivers will be coming to our track. I plan to practice until then and race with them.

My attempts at mod in the past have typically been with a 5.5 using an ESC in blinky mode. I've managed to get comfortable with the amount of power, but what I can't seem to conquer no matter how much I practice is how to make the car feel like a 17.5 in the infield. No matter how smooth I am with the throttle, or how much expo I add, it seems like I'm constantly blowing out simple lines.

So, is there a better way? It came to my attention recently that blinky mode might not be the best choice since its designed to dump power to spec motors as aggressively as possible. One mod driver I spoke with said that people have been running boost with their motors because it makes them easier to drive in the infield? Does this sound right?

For our race, I was thinking something like a lightly boosted 7.5 might be a good option. But I'm perplexed. I see lots of ESC's have "mod" software, but I had always assumed that was just mild boost for use on huge tracks or 1/12 scale. Am I wrong? Is there something I'm missing? I would really like to start practicing mod and trying to become better at it, but the power delivery is so difficult to manage, it's really discouraging.

Help me out, mod drivers. Other than a pro driver finger, what's the secret? How does the layman break through this barrier?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by syndr0me View Post
In a few weeks, many of North America's best mod drivers will be coming to our track. I plan to practice until then and race with them.

My attempts at mod in the past have typically been with a 5.5 using an ESC in blinky mode. I've managed to get comfortable with the amount of power, but what I can't seem to conquer no matter how much I practice is how to make the car feel like a 17.5 in the infield. No matter how smooth I am with the throttle, or how much expo I add, it seems like I'm constantly blowing out simple lines.

So, is there a better way? It came to my attention recently that blinky mode might not be the best choice since its designed to dump power to spec motors as aggressively as possible. One mod driver I spoke with said that people have been running boost with their motors because it makes them easier to drive in the infield? Does this sound right?

For our race, I was thinking something like a lightly boosted 7.5 might be a good option. But I'm perplexed. I see lots of ESC's have "mod" software, but I had always assumed that was just mild boost for use on huge tracks or 1/12 scale. Am I wrong? Is there something I'm missing? I would really like to start practicing mod and trying to become better at it, but the power delivery is so difficult to manage, it's really discouraging.

Help me out, mod drivers. Other than a pro driver finger, what's the secret? How does the layman break through this barrier?
+1 Rick Dawg should be all over this one
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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+1 Rick Dawg should be all over this one
Yeah I am thinking about how to answer already!

For now I will say that I have been thinking about how to create a limiting device that a driver can attach to his transmitter so that there is some mechanical feel in the trigger to indicate where certain throttle positions are. Back in the "throttle driving" days of 1/12 - when drivers would basically overpower there cars and use less than full throttle at the beginning of the race to conserve energy - I remember sticking a small pad to the back of my trigger so that I could feel where 90% (for example) of the trigger position was. To get full throttle you would simply squeeze and compress the foam on demand.

This could be a potential training method for TC mod driving. At the ROAR Nats in Horsham, I never used full throttle in the infield. I would estimate no more than 75%. I feel that a driver could use the same foam method to indicate a 75% throttle position to help keep the trigger finger in check in the infield and only when on the straight pull full throttle.

There is still the problem about getting to that point because you would still have to be smoother than with a spec motor but it could be a place to start.

Different equipment (motors and ESCs) act differently and choosing the right setup will make a huge difference. More detail to follow.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by syndr0me View Post
In a few weeks, many of North America's best mod drivers will be coming to our track. I plan to practice until then and race with them.

My attempts at mod in the past have typically been with a 5.5 using an ESC in blinky mode. I've managed to get comfortable with the amount of power, but what I can't seem to conquer no matter how much I practice is how to make the car feel like a 17.5 in the infield. No matter how smooth I am with the throttle, or how much expo I add, it seems like I'm constantly blowing out simple lines.

So, is there a better way? It came to my attention recently that blinky mode might not be the best choice since its designed to dump power to spec motors as aggressively as possible. One mod driver I spoke with said that people have been running boost with their motors because it makes them easier to drive in the infield? Does this sound right?

For our race, I was thinking something like a lightly boosted 7.5 might be a good option. But I'm perplexed. I see lots of ESC's have "mod" software, but I had always assumed that was just mild boost for use on huge tracks or 1/12 scale. Am I wrong? Is there something I'm missing? I would really like to start practicing mod and trying to become better at it, but the power delivery is so difficult to manage, it's really discouraging.

Help me out, mod drivers. Other than a pro driver finger, what's the secret? How does the layman break through this barrier?
Let's be cliche and say Practice, practice, practice...

But seriously, I like 5.5's on tracks under 120 ft. They can be made to have plenty of top end and are far more driveable than lower winds at low speed. They tend to allow you to mash the throttle a bit harder. They will never feel like a 17.5, but they will be pretty smooth once you get up to speed.

I like some boost with the 5.5 along with a smaller pinion. Typically I gear around a 20/84 on my T4 on a 110 ft straight. I like to play around with my boost curve (start and end rpm) to make sure I can control when it kicks in. I run start 6k to 8k - end 20k to 24k RPM and play with that range. Turbo is used for top speed and boost is used sort of as the "punch" or the "power" of the car. On this 110ft track I use about 20 degrees of boost and 10 degrees of Turbo. All of this is with a HW V3.

I also like using anywhere form 7-10% of negative throttle curve to mellow out the rip when I first get on it.

However, all of this is useless if the motor is not the right one and it is not tuned right. Some motors make a lot of bottom end. Some are way smoother. Tekin Gen 2's are super smooth. Orion and Peak Previous gen motors are very powerful. Reedy is somewhere in between. If your track is smallish, try something like a Tekin and/or don't use a lot of end bell timing if you don't like violent power engagement. Start at 0 and adjust slowly until you feel comfortable.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rick Hohwart View Post
Yeah I am thinking about how to answer already!

For now I will say that I have been thinking about how to create a limiting device that a driver can attach to his transmitter so that there is some mechanical feel in the trigger to indicate where certain throttle positions are. Back in the "throttle driving" days of 1/12 - when drivers would basically overpower there cars and use less than full throttle at the beginning of the race to conserve energy - I remember sticking a small pad to the back of my trigger so that I could feel where 90% (for example) of the trigger position was. To get full throttle you would simply squeeze and compress the foam on demand.

This could be a potential training method for TC mod driving. At the ROAR Nats in Horsham, I never used full throttle in the infield. I would estimate no more than 75%. I feel that a driver could use the same foam method to indicate a 75% throttle position to help keep the trigger finger in check in the infield and only when on the straight pull full throttle.

There is still the problem about getting to that point because you would still have to be smoother than with a spec motor but it could be a place to start.

Different equipment (motors and ESCs) act differently and choosing the right setup will make a huge difference. More detail to follow.
Would you say that using a non-blinky profile can create more of a dead feeling in the early stages of throttle? I think what Syndrome is looking for...is how do you setup the electronics to make a mod motor easier to drive?

A boosted profile with less initial torque would create a less aggressive curve then a boosted profile, which dumps a lot of timing/ power to the motor. When you combine a mod motor and a blinky profile you get a car that rips like hell from 0%-50% throttle and then the curve flattens out above that.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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This was my first year racing mod, and I've been having good luck with higher winds (8.5-10.5) for drivability in the infield, and using boost to get the straightaway speed back. You should be able to tune your boost RPM range so that it pretty much only kicks in on the straight. I think you can get the best of both worlds to some degree: Smooth infield with lots of straightaway speed.

Another thing to keep in mind no matter what wind you run - gearing up takes away the crazy bottom-end torque off the low-speed corners. Just keep an eye on temps, although I have not had any issues.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syndr0me View Post
In a few weeks, many of North America's best mod drivers will be coming to our track. I plan to practice until then and race with them.

My attempts at mod in the past have typically been with a 5.5 using an ESC in blinky mode. I've managed to get comfortable with the amount of power, but what I can't seem to conquer no matter how much I practice is how to make the car feel like a 17.5 in the infield. No matter how smooth I am with the throttle, or how much expo I add, it seems like I'm constantly blowing out simple lines.

So, is there a better way? It came to my attention recently that blinky mode might not be the best choice since its designed to dump power to spec motors as aggressively as possible. One mod driver I spoke with said that people have been running boost with their motors because it makes them easier to drive in the infield? Does this sound right?

For our race, I was thinking something like a lightly boosted 7.5 might be a good option. But I'm perplexed. I see lots of ESC's have "mod" software, but I had always assumed that was just mild boost for use on huge tracks or 1/12 scale. Am I wrong? Is there something I'm missing? I would really like to start practicing mod and trying to become better at it, but the power delivery is so difficult to manage, it's really discouraging.

Help me out, mod drivers. Other than a pro driver finger, what's the secret? How does the layman break through this barrier?
For the record are adding positive or negative expo? If you are adding positive expo then you should adding negative expo. You have what most stock motor drivers have that make jump - stock finger. Like Christian said its going to take practice to become smoother...it's only time. I know I'm pointing out the obvious here but there is no shortcut to success here meaning that it going to take time for your driving to become 2nd nature. You will get frustrated (as you already are a bit) but the trick is when you encounter those times where you want to quit, keep pushing. I've seen stock class drivers out here on the WC toss their hats in the ring only to give up when they don't acheive the results they feel they should fast enough. One important point that I tell guys is don't cheat yourself by starting with anything slower than a 5T. You can turn down the power on a 5T and grow with it to the point where you can fully utilize it but if you invest in anything slower then you will have to retrain yourself. I use Rick as an example to illustrate my point of a 5T being more than fast enough to grow into

Quote:
Originally Posted by artwork View Post
Would you say that using a non-blinky profile can create more of a dead feeling in the early stages of throttle? I think what Syndrome is looking for...is how do you setup the electronics to make a mod motor easier to drive?

A boosted profile with less initial torque would create a less aggressive curve then a boosted profile, which dumps a lot of timing/ power to the motor. When you combine a mod motor and a blinky profile you get a car that rips like hell from 0%-50% throttle and then the curve flattens out above that.
IMHO I say that unless you are running on a track that has a straitaway 100' or longer you don't need to use any type of turbo/boost and using boost on winds from 9.5 to 5.5 is counter productive. I feel it's too much work to try and use boosted settings when you could just use a full blown modified motor and "dumb it down" a bit.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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Syndrome - Pretty much +1 to all Christian said. I would start with your 5.5 blinky, and just run it as much as you can. The thing about blinky for mod is, you want to be able to adjust your throttle profiles while having 0 boost, so look for this.
Dont set goals too high at first. If you can simply run the same laptimes you do with your 17.5 car at your track, your doing pretty good. At the carpet nats, Mod hotlap was only .4 better than 17. hotlap (10.7 to 10.3). So the window for improvement is pretty small. Simply being .1 better than 17.5 is good. I think overall mod was 1 lap better than stock. So being a few seconds better is good.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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Subscribed...

If Rick is talking, I'm listening.

I ran mod 12th and mod sedan at Nats this past week for the first time and made more improvements this week sitting behind Rick than I have in 6 months of trying to figure it out on my own at home. I arrived with 5.0's in both cars and they both felt way slow. I added some boost and turbo and they were definitely faster, but also harder to manage. Looking back I think I would have had more success just gearing up, as with the 5.0 in sedan geared 7.9 to 8.4 the esc and motor were both just over 100* (in a 66* room). I think gearing up would have given the top end I was wanting while letting me manage the infield a little easier.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:58 PM   #10
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Yeah, Art explained it better than I did I guess.

What I'm trying to figure out is what things I can do to smooth out and ease the transition into modified. There's so many options with ESC's and radios, but I'm not sure what (if any) people are using. It sounded plausible that blinky mode isn't the best choice to get started, and that an undergeared boosted motor might be a bit easier to control?

Anyway, I realize time and practice are the biggest factors, and I've put in a decent amount in the past. I hope to continue that in the coming weeks and only kind of embarrass myself in front of some of the world's best.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:03 AM   #11
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Yeah, Art explained it better than I did I guess.

What I'm trying to figure out is what things I can do to smooth out and ease the transition into modified. There's so many options with ESC's and radios, but I'm not sure what (if any) people are using. It sounded plausible that blinky mode isn't the best choice to get started, and that an undergeared boosted motor might be a bit easier to control?

Anyway, I realize time and practice are the biggest factors, and I've put in a decent amount in the past. I hope to continue that in the coming weeks and only kind of embarrass myself in front of some of the world's best.
In my opinion, you want to gear higher to make it easier to control.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #12
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In my opinion, you want to gear higher to make it easier to control.
+1
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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This is a great discussion! I just started running mod two races ago. Keep it coming guys, thank you!
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:23 AM   #14
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I also found myself over shooting lines. I switched to a motor that has more torque and more natural drag brake. I also cranked the drag brake up until I was no longer over shooting my line.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #15
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Ive been running almost exclusively mod for a year now and the easiest way for myself to smooth out the car and keep it tight on our low traction carpet was to lower the timing on the motor and use about 15% drag break. This is with a Speedzone 4.0 geared at 116/24 and an Orion R10 with 5 degrees of turbo after .3 seconds.

When I went to birds where there was high traction I just went up in motor timing a notch and the car was still easy to drive and just as fast as everyone else down the straight.
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