Back into RC

Old 01-02-2013, 11:57 AM
  #1  
Tech Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Default Back into RC

I'm really not new to RC, but feel new since I've been out of it for so long, about 12 years now. I have a Tamiya TA-03 Kure Nismo and have some questions.

I have a Novak Rhino charger and a couple old Nicad batteries. One of the batteries only gave me about 20seconds of run time before stopping after a fresh charge, the other battery gave me around 2 minutes of run time. Is there anything I can do to revitalize the performance of these batteries. I used to get around 5-10 minutes of run time. I don't mind buying new batteries but am wondering if Nicad batteries are still available. It looks like Rhino won't charge Nimh or Lipo batteries. I'm trying to keep things on a budget and dont' want to buy new equipment if I dont' have to.

If I end up needing a new charger, can you recommend one for around that is in the $50 - 70 range.

Also, is touring car style racing still popular? I'd like to get the TA-03 back on the track.
helladub is offline  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:09 PM
  #2  
Tech Master
iTrader: (38)
 
cdwilliams1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 1,055
Trader Rating: 38 (100%+)
Default

Welcome back! I was in R/C for the eighties and 90's but then took about a decade off. I know where you're coming from

NiCD's behave as you describe. There is no way to bring them back. You can still get NiCD packs, but I wouldn't advise it. At the very minimum I'd do NiMH. I'd look at maybe this pack and charger:

Pack: $20 http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXXUP0&P=M
Charger: $40 http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXTCJ8&P=ML

That will get you bashing in the street again. If you want to race, I'd move up to LiPo batteries and a brushless motor/esc combo.

For a charger that can do LiPo and Nimh, and maybe bridge you into racing later on.....
LRP Quadra 2 - $65 http://www.teamassociated.com/lrp/pa...ails/LRP41281/

Touring car is still reasonably popular, but not like it was. I would encourage you to try out the Vintage Trans-Am class if you can find a track running it in your area. Basically, you slap a pony car body and some old school tires on old touring car chassis and race them. It's really a lot of fun, and the old chassis remain competitive due to the motor restrictions and weight limits. Check out the thread here on RC Tech if that sounds like something up your alley. It's probably the fastest growing on-road class right now.

US Vintage TransAm webpage:
http://www.usvintagetransam.com/

RCTech Thread for VTA:
http://www.rctech.net/forum/electric...t-2-a-239.html

Last edited by cdwilliams1; 01-02-2013 at 01:22 PM.
cdwilliams1 is offline  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:49 PM
  #3  
Tech Master
iTrader: (1)
 
locked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,758
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

Hobbyking sells a bunch of inexpensive chargers that can do any chemistry.

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

Don't waste money on NiCd or NiMh batteries. That tech is dead. You can get cheap LiPo batteries that perform far better. Longer run times, shorter charge times and way more ooomph. You'll just need a lipo cutoff or a low voltage alarm if you are using an old ESC.
locked is offline  
Old 01-02-2013, 03:05 PM
  #4  
Tech Master
iTrader: (1)
 
locked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,758
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

Regarding the popularity of TC...

The popularity of ANY class varies from area to area.
You'll need to find the track(s) in your area to find out what is popular there.

Rules can also vary from track to track. In most parts of North America, 17.5 blinky (no esc timing) touring car is probably going to be the most popular class. Most tracks offer this class, but I know of some that don't, so you'll want to check out what they are running in your area before you go buying stuff that you might not be allowed to use.

As mentioned by cdwilliams1, VTA is a class you might want to look at if they offer it in your area. In most areas of the US it will be USVTA rules, but again, find out for sure before buying anything. I'm in Canada and most of the tracks that do VTA here use any 21.5 motor, any ROAR approved blinky ESC and a few other minor changes compared to USVTA rules. There are parts of the US that have similar rules to ours. USVTA purists would be appalled, I'm sure.
locked is offline  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:33 PM
  #5  
Tech Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Default

Seems like the vintage trans am series is in my area. I'm in Maryland and found two local shops that race them. If I decide to get back into racing, this seems like a good match for me since I can use my older 4 wheel drive chassis.

Curious, would a Lipo battery make my stock silver can Tamiya motor any faster, or just longer run times.

Thanks for the welcome back and info, appreciate it.
helladub is offline  
Old 01-02-2013, 09:02 PM
  #6  
Super Moderator
iTrader: (2)
 
Grizzbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sand Springs, OK
Posts: 3,075
Trader Rating: 2 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by helladub View Post
Seems like the vintage trans am series is in my area. I'm in Maryland and found two local shops that race them. If I decide to get back into racing, this seems like a good match for me since I can use my older 4 wheel drive chassis.

Curious, would a Lipo battery make my stock silver can Tamiya motor any faster, or just longer run times.

Thanks for the welcome back and info, appreciate it.
Well, considering the old batteries you've been using, you might see a little performance boost from a decent LiPo(moreso from their low internal resistance, & that they retain more of their nominal voltage throughout a run than old chemistry batteries did). And yes, if you get a LiPo with a good capacity(& most USVTA people use packs up to about 5000mah), you will have all the runtime you could possibly want(the motor will get hot before the battery runs out, most likely)....
Grizzbob is offline  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:01 AM
  #7  
Tech Master
iTrader: (38)
 
cdwilliams1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 1,055
Trader Rating: 38 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by helladub View Post
Seems like the vintage trans am series is in my area. I'm in Maryland and found two local shops that race them. If I decide to get back into racing, this seems like a good match for me since I can use my older 4 wheel drive chassis.

Curious, would a Lipo battery make my stock silver can Tamiya motor any faster, or just longer run times.

Thanks for the welcome back and info, appreciate it.
You can get both LiPo and NiMH in large capacites. The NiCD packs from back in the day were 1200 mAh or maybe 1800 mAh if you had the best of the best. We could barely squeeze 4 minute races out of those guys.

Nowadays, you can get NiMH's up to about 5000 mAh and LiPo's up in the 7000 mAh range. That's a TON of runtime! We're talking 3-5 times longer! It's awesome.

The difference in Chemistry is this... (cliff notes version): NiMH will start at a higher voltage when fully charged and drop off in voltage as the pack is run. Picture a ski slope. The voltage drops over the run time. Since more voltage = more speed, you get more initial "punch" but it drops off over your run time.

LiPo is much more consistent with it's power output. It stays pretty uniform, and finally drops off at the end. Think of Wily E Coyote running towards a cliff. Flat output then a big drop :-)

Since the pack capacities are higher, and the power output is much more predicitable, LiPo is generally favored these days. However, if you're not going to use the full pack up in one race - the NiMH drop off may not be noticeable. There are plenty of guys at my local track that only let their kids run NiMH's (for safety reasons) and they do just fine.

If you go LiPo, make sure to read up on them. They have to be charged and stored inside of a certain voltage range, or they become fire prone. You can not run the pack until it's dead. Modern speed controls will detect the low voltage condition and switch your car off. You can still plug a LiPO pack into old school stuff. If you are running older electronics you just need to monitor the situation yourself and make sure to not fully drain the battery. You might want to invest in a fireproof box (an old surplus ammo box will do the trick).

So, coming back to your question.... you will see more consistent speed, and it might seem a bit faster to you on your silver can, since the output stays higher for longer on LiPo. Definitely longer run times!
cdwilliams1 is offline  
Old 01-04-2013, 12:10 PM
  #8  
Tech Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Default

That's a TON of runtime! We're talking 3-5 times longer! It's awesome
3-5 times longer run times, that is amazing. You really are convincing me to upgrade!

I definately know what you are talking about with the dropoff of power as the battery discharges with the older technology. I'm going to really consider upgrading to Lipo sometime, but will have to wait since I'm just slowly getting back into the hobby and would need new batteries, a new charger, and a cutoff/alarm for my old speed control.
helladub is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.