FEMCA week is here!

FEMCA week is here!

Today marks the start of FEMCA week! The 2017 Kart World FEMCA 1/8 I.C. Off Road Buggy Championships are upon us here in Perth! As Model Off Road Buggy Club (MORBC) in Whiteman Park, Western Australia plays host to the event for the second time in the last two year…all in the buildup to hosting the 2018 IFMAR 1/8 I.C. Off Road World Championships next year!

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The club have been tirelessly working over recent weeks and months despite the very wet winter that Perth has experienced. Last week the track build was completed by the master himself; Craig Laughton. Ropes have been laid and the track painted…were getting ready to hit the track Wednesday morning!

We have some big international names in attendance this year, with 2000 IFMAR World Champion Yuichi Kanai joining the entry list alongside fellow Japanese aces Shin Adachi and Wataru Takashiro, plus Indonesian 1/8 Buggy star Jason Nugroho and Joao Figueiredo from Portugal; just to name a few! They will line up alongside Australias best including 2015 FEMCA champion and 7-time Australian National Champion Kyle McBride and his fellow Queenslander Aaron Stringer fighting hard to keep the FEMCA title in Australia. We’re even graced with the presence of some Kiwi’s! Shane ‘Mad Maori’ Mangu and Shane ‘Taxman’ O’Connor will be ones to watch as they’re no strangers to racing with the best in Australia and abroad on the international scene. Flying the flag for the local West Aussies will be Josh Pain, Aaron Dexter and Kyle Francis who have all been prepping and getting ready for the last few weeks, ready to show off their skills on home turf.

This week we won’t only be burning Nitro however, as a Demonstration class of EP8 Buggy will take to the track also. Ones to watch battle on track will be Josh Pain (2015 FEMCA EP8 Champion), Kyle McBride, Shin Adachi, Shane O’Connor, Ben Panic, Zac Ryan and Aaron Stringer.

AsiaRC will be here following the event with regular updates, along with yours truly attempting to update as much as I can right here on Aussie RC News. But the best news of all, Front Row Screens will be covering the event from Thursday onwards with a complete live streaming package; moving cameras, vision switching, timing overlays and interviews to boot! (I will post the links each day so you can all find them easily)

If you’re still hungry for updates (you should be here!), keep an eye on the MORBC Facebook page and FEMCA Facebook page

Event Schedule:
Here is a rough breakdown of the event format coming this week
Wednesday: 4 rounds of Practice
Thursday: 2 rounds of Practice + Qualifying 1
Friday: Qualifying 2-4
Saturday: Qualifying 5 & 6 + Lower finals, EP8 leg 1 finals, Junior final
Sunday: all remaining finals, A final due to start 2.30pm.

My picks? McBride will be hard to beat, although if anyone can beat him it would be a tough decision between Joao Figueiredo, Aaron Stringer, Wataru Takashiro or Josh Pain. Adachi, Dexter, Nugroho, Francis, O’Connor, Ryan, Kanai, Panic, Mangu and Ricca are my picks for the A final, but don’t hold me to anything! We will find out come Sunday afternoon!

 

 

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Review: 720 Spin Setup Tools Part 1

What are they?

These setup tools allow you to quickly and easily adjust the toe and camber on a variety of 1:10 scale radio control vehicles. Also available is a set of camber gauges and a longer set of plates to suit Stadium Trucks and Short Course Trucks with their wider stance. Available in 3 fluorescent colours there is an option to please most people, but not get lost in your pit bag.  Those being Yellow, Pink and the Green set that is pictured in this review.

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The Review

Basically, the do the job very well at a fraction of the time and cost of a Huddy setup station.  Yes you are only measuring Toe and Camber, however they are two of the most adjusted settings on most race cars.

The camber gauges took me a minute to work out which corner was which angle on the three double sided gauges.  Then I realised that 1 large hole was for 1 degree, 1 large 1 small for 1.5 degrees etc up to 3 degrees, and a square hole for 0 degrees.  I have the Mini Camber Gauges on test at the moment which consist of 3 pieces, or there is the larger unit which is only 2 pieces, but is physically larger to store.

The Toe and Camber sets look very professional, and fit very well to the vehicle.  Measuring the camber is much simpler of these setup wheels than having tyres & wheels attached to the vehicle at the time.  The toe measurement is as simple as selecting the degree measure noted on one one side of the three bars, and adjusting until the blocks sit flush with the measurement plate.

If you have a wider Short Course Truck or Stadium Truck, you can either purchase a wider set, or you can purchase the longer plates to go with the standard set you already have.  We have both versions on test at the moment. Costs of the units vary from $15.95 for a set of Mini Camber Gauges, to $25.50 for a pair of camber setup wheels, or $56 for the Toe & Camber set.  There is also a 4 piece Toe set available for $49.95 (prices correct at the time of publication).

Where can I get them?

You can get them from 720 Spin directly, or through Traction RC.  If you want your local hobby store to stock these, then make sure you point them to the 720 Spin website at http://www.720spin.com.au/

Photos

Final Thoughts

These are a great product, and about the only down side is that I found that I scratched them when sliding them across my garage floor.  Yes, I should have been on a table so mostly my own fault, but they will scratch over time and use.  However the trade off is a lower cost than a carbon fibre unit, as well as the ability to see through the parts themselves.  If you are after some basic setup tools these are certainly worth looking into.

The 2nd part of my review will come next week looking at how they work over a major race weekend, as well as how they go on my Short Course Truck and Stadium Truck.

A huge thankyou needs to go out to the crew at 720 Spin in Melbourne for sending me these awesome products to test. We look forward to seeing what other innovative products they come up with.

Crash tested: Highest DLP750 Servo

Crash tested: Highest DLP750 Servo

Welcome to the first edition of Crash Tested. The review column where I will take an RC product thats new (to me) and go do my usual thing to see how it performs. There may be crashing, they’re may be winning (sometimes) but at the end, I have a verdict.

On my test bench I have a brand new Highest RC DLP750 low profile servo, aimed at 1/10 on road and off road vehicles in Highest RC’s regular fashion of good looks and impressive specs.

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Mounted up and ready to go! Oh father please forgive the sins of my messy wiring! 

Build and specs

An aluminium top and middle case, with plastic bottom looks very nice in any car. That ‘full metal jacket’ look that everyone likes is mostly there on the DLP750, although slightly diminished due to the plastic bottom cover, but we can get over that once its installed in the car!

A Coreless motor and full metal internal gears puts it on the same level as its main competitors in the Futaba BLS571SV and Savox 1251mg, however its 51.6g weight makes it 10g heaver than the futaba and 7g heavier than the Savox, if you’re a stock racer who’s watching the scales closely, this may be a deal breaker for you.

What the DLP750 loses in weight, it makes up for in its torque and speed numbers, boasting 0.1s / 11.8kg-cm on 6.0V, and 0.08s / 14.3kg-cm on 7.4V, its a full head and shoulders above the Futaba at 0.08 / 11/0kg-cm on 7.4V, meanwhile the Savox only hits 0.09s / 9kg-cm at 6V (no specs given for 7.4V)

With a 25t spline to match up with Futaba and Savox users, plus plenty of extra torque and a flashy ‘Full Metal Jacket’ look, at the cost of 7-10g of weight? This servo looks to be a winner for most.

Track Test

The testing comes at a perfect time, after last week I managed to knock a few teeth off the internal gears in my Savox 1251mg ‘Black Edition’, while I drove my Team Associated B6 around the indoor carpet track at Perth Radio Electric Car Club (PRECC). So it was time for a new servo to continue racing.

On Saturday I bolted the DLP750 into my B6, set the centre & endpoints, and threw the car down at PRECC. Right away the steering felt strong and more sensitive, even on 6.0V BEC .after turning a few laps I was feeling comfortable with the handling and pulled the car in to tinker with the BEC and try again.

After turning the BEC voltage up to 7.2 on my ORCA R32 ESC, i headed back out on track to see if I could truly tell the difference between alleged 11.8kg-cm and 14.3kg-cm of torque. Im happy to say that I have always struggled for steering on the tight carpet track at PRECC, however the increased torque made all the steering inputs happen in a flash, so much so I continued to crash into the apex pipes for the next 3 minutes while I tried to figure out the inputs I needed.

I settled down and added -5% expo into the steering before trying to set some fast laps, managing to steer harder meant I could cut tighter lines and change directions faster in the chicanes, a welcome addition to the small 13s layout! I bested my old hot lap from 13.63s to 13.28 s before the run finished. Enough proof to convince me this servo is up to the task!

To further cement my liking for the servo, during my final practice session I had a huge crash and tumble, which actually broke my modified (HB parts) steering linkage on the B6, but did not harm the servo at all.

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The Highest DLP750 looks great! (nicely broken improvised steering linkage)

Conclusion

If you want a servo with good looks, good specs and solid quality, at a decent price…then you should look no further than the Highest DLP-750 Low profile servo. At an advertised retail of $169.95 its not the cheapest servo on the market, but its still cheaper and looks nicer than its main competitor, the Futaba BLS571SV which would set you back $180+ at most Hobby Shops in Australia. Im very happy with the DLP750 in my B6, and I am definitely going to be putting one in my B64 4WD ahead of the upcoming IFMAR world championships in China!

The Highest RC range is now available at Hearns Hobbies in Melbourne, and Ryper Hobbies in Perth, thanks to the guys at Ryper for putting this one aside for me to purchase and test!

The countdown is on! 2017 1/8 FEMCA Championships are coming soon

The countdown is on! 2017 1/8 FEMCA Championships are coming soon

20728794_10156426796873219_5608475780974937501_o.jpgCalling all 1/8 Buggy racers from Australia and beyond!

As many of you already know, the 2017 1/8 FEMCA Championships are returning to Australian soil this year, being held at the Model Off Road Buggy Club (MORBC) from October 4-8, right off my own backyard in Perth, WA.

If you’re getting that deja vu feeling, you would be forgiven for thinking we’ve somehow wound back in 2015, as the same event was held at MORBC just 2 years ago. The FEMCA event in 2015 was an absolute cracker of a show, and kickstarted the push for MORBC to host the upcoming 2018 IFMAR 1/8 Off Road Worlds next year, potentially the biggest RC event to come to Australian soils in a very long time!

If you haven’t been to MORBC before, or haven’t seen the 2018 worlds trailer which was released on LiveRC’s stream of the 2016 IFMAR 1/8 Off Road worlds last year in Las Vegas, check out these:

2016 AARCMCC 1/8 Nationals Series RD3 Buggy A Main

2018 IFMAR Worlds Teaser

More information is continuing to come from the club as we near closer to October. You can keep tabs on all that is the 2017 FEMCA at the following links:

 

MORBC Facebook page

MORBC FEMCA Web page

FEMCA Facebook Page

 

720 Spin – New Setup Products

I love being able to promote new Australian RC companies, so it is always an exciting day when I find out about a new one.  720 Spin is a very new company selling performance RC Products from their base in Victoria.

72ab39_origThese products take the form of toe and camber wheels, camber gauges and more.  Make sure you find them over on Facebook and give them a like as well as check out what products they have available on their website at http://www.720spin.com.au. You will also find their products at Traction RC, as well as I am sure other stores in the near future.

In other excited news, I have a set of these arriving for testing soon and I will be able to give them a good test run at the largest event of the year at my local club, the 2017 Launceston R/C Cup.  So keep your eyes peeled for some first hand reports of what these are like.

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Review: Hobbywing Quicrun combo

You may, or may not, remember some time ago that I purchased a Hobbywing Quickrun combo for my son’s buggy along with the matching 17.5 turn motor.  Yup it was over a year ago I am sorry to admit.  wp-1457995377479.jpg

Why so long to review this, well that is somewhat of an embarrassing story.  At the time I purchased myself a new buggy, and moved my electronics into that, and set up my old buggy for my then 8 year old (now 10 year old) son.  I got it all together and ready for the next race meet at my local track.  My son was super excited ad ready to rock.  We got to the track, and that is when it happened.

The Rookie mistake!

Yes I plugged the battery in, turned the car on and the smoke came out!  Yes I had plugged the leads into the battery backwards proving it can happen to anybody! In my defence, I have one battery pack where the terminals are on opposite sides.  However that is no excuse for being lazy.  So no EVERY battery pack I have has the positive side tube painted RED with Humbrol red paint from my local hobby store so I can’t make the mistake as easily ever again!

The Review

Well I can’t review the ESC because I had to borrow an ESC that night and eventually purchased a 2nd hand blue Hobbywing Juststock esc to replace the promising looking Quicrun.  I thought about having it repaired, but really as it was my mistake it was never a warranty job so chalk one up to experience

The 17.5 turn motor however I can briefly talk about as now this is basically a long term review.  So as I mentioned, this car is in the hands of an 8 year old boy most Friday race nights, and whilst he is improving (and has just turned 10), he is not the most sympathetic towards his vehicle.  BUT, this motor is still kicking on strong.  It provides great torque and power for a very low cost proving the worth of these budget items from Hobbywing.  Really it is an amazing unit for the price.  Whilst the track conditions it is used in are not dusty due to racing indoors on carpet, the surface being concrete is not gentle on cars, and nor is Novice/Junior racing.  Yet it hasn’t missed a beat, not even the sensor cable coming loose.

The Verdict

Well I would have to say on what i experienced of the ESC before I killed it, and what I have seen of the ESC in other people’s cars, I would have to say that I am certainly converted to Hobbywing and would not hesitate to recommend this combo to anybody getting into the sport.  Whilst I have been looking for a ESC/Motor manufacturer to use since the departure of Novak from the scene, I think I can safely say that Hobbywing will be filling that place for future purchases.