Team Associated add lights and sound to your car

Team Associated have added a Engine Sound and Vehicle Light all in one system to their product lineup.  The product looks more flexible than the one that Traxxas released recently, although it will inevitably cost more. But with the ability to add lights and 25 different sound sets all in one package, I think it’s an accessory worth considering for any RC Car.

The ESS-One Engine Sound System lets you choose from multiple throaty race engine sounds, shifting, brakes, and turbo blowoff valves! The programmable ESS-One delivers these sounds in one simple, small box for a clean and easy installation. Whether you drive a short course truck, drift, or rally car, the ESS-One has the right sound to match!
Team Associated XP light kits cut through the darkness with realistic lighting arrays that feature headlights, tail lights, fog lights, and reverse lights – and a police light bar kit.

Source: http://www.teamassociated.com/news/latest_products/1482-NEW_LED_Light_Kits_and_Sound_System

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Pro teams Wax and Wane

It seems to be a roller coaster for many of the Professional RC racing teams at the moment while the silly season driver changes are happening, and Team Durango and HPI/HB are two who seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

HB (Hot Bodies) seems to be increasing their number of drivers exponentially signing Reno Savoya and David Ronnefalk and confirming contract extensions for Ty Tessmann (they would be mad not to), Andy Moore, Tanner Stees, JJ Wang and Teemu Leino.  This really takes HPI/HB form a fairly small team, to a fairly large one with some bug name drivers.

On the other hand, after announcing that it was dissolving it’s professional team, Team Durano’s drivers have all headed off to greener pastures with the exception of Travis Amezcua who was announced as the TD North American Technical Representative. I had to go and look at the release to see precisely what that meant, but it looks to be in line with the theme of strengthening local support, notably “Travis will be traveling from his SoCal base, around the US, bringing expert track-side support to local club racers and Team Durango fans.” So TD are focusing on you, the local racer instead of it’s professional team.  A good thing for the local racer but will it work long term? Let’s look at Traxxas, the No.1 selling RC brand and their professional team, except that they don’t have one do they, they focus on what you the consumer wants.  So while some are saying that TD’s decision is insane, there is not only a precedent, but a successful one.  Another paragraph of the press release caught my eye as well:

Travis will work closely with our newly appointed, Champaign based, Hobbico Field Communications Manager, Brad Brucker, in the US. This new support team for Northern America will allow our fans to gain race-day support, whilst also feeding back important ideas and issues to our design engineers

Travis will also be scouting for new talent, in all racing classes, allowing us to build a base of local racers who will contribute to how we design new race machines.

Expect to see these guys travelling across the US to meet as many of you as they can at your local events.

Stay tuned for more news on how your local racing scene will benefit from regionally appointed Team Durango Trackside Representatives very soon.

So reading between the lines, the change comes after Team Durango was sold to Hobbico.

Also i would say that we will see more local Team Durango Technical/Trackside Representatives, which lines up with the rumors we are hearing from other quarters.  We will probably also see more drivers with minor sponsorships in busy areas as well, anther plus for average joe racer at the local track.

Source: http://www.team-durango.com/blog/2014/11/21/team-durango-%E2%80%93-strengthening-local-support/
Source: https://www.hpiracing.com/en/news

Pro-Line PRO-MT Monster Truck

Proline have released another vehicle on their own chassis line, this time a 2wd Monster Truck.

Featuring an alloy chassis, HD Transmission, PowerStroke shocks, Pro-Spline HD Axles and Trencher tyres, it’s almost a collection of the best of products produced by Pro-line.

See more about the PRO-MT at http://prolineracing.com/pro-mt

Nationals Videos and Results

Unless you are as blind as a badger, you will have noticed the 1:10 Electric Off Road National Championships held in Canberra last week.  For those of you that missed the action, you can head over to this youtube channel to find videos of most every final that was held, I for one will be spending some time watching the videos! Find them at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_8HpfZExvwRZLWdIr5pDXg

Some results appeared on the Tekin website as well as on various facebook pages, but i’m yet to see a complete list of results about the place, or I just missed them, either way here is the latest from Tekin! http://www.teamtekin.com/news/tekin-podiums-at-the-aussie-nationals-at-act/

Vatterra Ascender First Impressions from RC Car Action

I have to say, after handling a Gelande 2 for the first time the other week, and looking at the first impressions of the Ascender, I am seriously thinking of getting a crawler, anybody got a spare one for me? Anyway, have a read of RC Car Action’s first impressions here on their website  http://www.rccaraction.com/blog/2014/10/28/kevs-bench-vaterra-ascender-sneak-peak/ .  Another impressive vehicle from industry newcomers Vaterra.

However as sneak peeks go it’s a good one, so I’m reproducing it below, remember copyright belongs to Radio Control Car Action.

Kev

The Ascender is the latest vehicle to come out of the Vaterra Garage and like others before it’s very well detailed and is a performer. This scale truck is the only Vaterra model to be released exclusively as a kit. I just finished putting together my Ascender and am working on a review for the February 2015 issue of Radio Control Car Action Magazine. Here’s a sneak peak of the truck and some first impressions.

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The stamped steel ladder frame chassis and suspension are unique. They are designed to allow for major wheelbase changes that will let you put just about any body that is available on it and it will change how the truck performs. The frame members are channeled and the thickness of the front rails are slightly smaller than the ones used in the rear and this allows the front to slide into the rear. All the hex screws that are used to assemble the chassis pass through the rails and thread into plastic cross members.

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Check out those tires! They are scale replicas of Interco Super Swampers and come with foam inserts to support the rubber. They sure do look good and I am sure that they will find their way onto custom projects everywhere. The included 1.9 inch wheels are chrome plated and the tires are glued to them. Chrome plating can be found in the bead area and I recommend that you remove it before gluing for a better bond between the tire and rim.

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The rear suspension is your typical 4-link deal. See the spacers on the links? That is part of the changeable wheelbase. The drive hexes are standard-size at 12mm, so there are endless wheel options for the Ascender. Inside the axle you will find a one piece spool/gear that is unlike other trucks where the gear is screwed onto the spool. The rear axle use a straight shaft to get the power to the wheels while the front has universals to do the job.

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The front end suspension features a 3-link setup with a panhard bar. The shocks are molded out of plastic and smoother than some aluminum shocks that I have run in the past. The shocks are 108mm long (from mounting screw to mounting screw), have a body diameter of 11mm and 3mm diameter shafts for scale appearance. Having the servo mounted in the chassis gets it out of harm’s way but having it there does move the tires slightly through the linkage when the suspension is compressed and extended.

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The transmission is packed full of metal gears and it can be modified to become a 2-speed. There’s even room and mounting holes on top of the housing for a shifting servo. The transmission was easy to assemble and felt very smooth once complete. A slipper clutch is used to protect the gears and driveshafts when put into high stress situations and needs to be set at 6 turns out instead of the kit recommended 5. Out of the box the single-speed transmission is geared for torque and delivers a top speed of about 3MPH with the 35 turn motor that I installed.

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The battery is securely fastened to a floating battery tray. The rear of the tray pivots on bushings (circled) while the front is attached to the front axle and moves with it (as arrowed). This allows the tray to be mounted as low as possible and it puts more weight on the front axle which will increase the traction of the front tires.

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Look at how much steering you get out of the hubs on the front axle. This truck easily has the most steering throw available in the 1/10-scale trail truck class. Yes, all that travel can be used. The servo is mounted on the left side of the chassis and the right side is left open for anyone who wants to build and use their own winch servo.

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Vaterra includes a very well detailed 1986 Chevy Blazer body with the truck. Great stickers and an injection molded grill really add to the look. The body is however about an inch or more wider than your average scale crawler. Combine that extra Lexan and the injection molded grill and you have a pretty heavy body.

For the full review and to see how the truck performs you’ll have to wait for the Febuary 2015 issue of Radio Control Car Action Magazine to hit the news stands. So far, the Vaterra Ascender does not disappoint.

Serpent Spyder SCT RTR!

The RTR version of the Serpent Spyder SCT has launched and it is loaded with features including spring steel transmission components, 12mm big bore shocks, hard composite shock towers, wide side guards long throw suspension arms, a narrow chassis and a gear diff.

In the electronics package it packs a Dragon-RC sensorless 9T motor coupled with a 45A esc, Dragon-RC 2.4GHz radio with 10 model memory and it comes topped off with a sharp looking prepainted body.

Source: http://serpent.com/product/500005

Serpent also has a video on their facebook page that you can find here https://www.facebook.com/SerpentMRC?fref=ts

HPI updates their venerable E-Firestorm Flux

Stadium Trucks are a category I love despite not currently owning one.  My favourite, and one that has sat on my shelf in the past, is the HPI E-Firestorm, and for 2014 they have given it a bit of a makeover.

The Firestorm started out as the Firestorm 10T RTR, a 2wd, Nitro Stadium truck designed by Erik Shauver at HPI. If you look at the 10T here http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/10511 you will see many parts the same as the later E-Firestom, but with an alloy chassis and mid mounted gearbox.  One does wonder if these parts could be adapted to make an electric, mid engined stadium truck, I never thought about that before today!

At the same time, the E-firestorm 10T RTR was released in Blue and Red (I had the Blue one) http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/10551 with 27mhz radio, 15t Brushed motor and basic SC15 speed controller fitted to a composite chassis, and well most of the other parts from it’s nitro brother.

Later came the E-Firestorm Flux http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/10554 with chrome wheels, a new paint scheme, and importantly a 5700kv brushless motor and Moviv SEC (both of which were rebadged Castle items, not a bad thing).  The ESC could cope with 2s lipo, and had the appropriate Low Voltage Cutoff. The only downside, still a 27 mhz radio.

Next came the waterproof versions in Brushed (http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/105845) and Brushless (http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/105879) versions featuring a waterproof receiver box and ESC, another new colour scheme and finally a 2.4 ghz radio! Interestingly the Flux brushless version changed to a 4800 kv motor as it was reported that the 5700 got to some pretty stellar temeratures, and having a Mamba max and 5700 in my original E-Firestorm I can vouch that was the case.  Gearing never changed particularly I believe because to date only one spur gear was available for the E-firestorm. The flux now could take a 3s lipo as well, and may have been part of the reason for the lower KV motor.

Enough reminiscing, what about the latest version for 2014? Well a new paint scheme featuring more black with orange highlights that HPI seems to be favoring this year. The big change is a new EMH-3s speed controller and MMH-4000 motor that is again a step down to 4000kv. Another new addition is an included speed pack featuring a wheely bar, a 3s lipo battery strap (taller) and a 77-tooth spur gear and 35-tooth pinion for insane top speeds. Also a new 2.4 ghz radio is included in what is a good looking package, it makes me want to buy one again!

You can check it all out for yourself at http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/112878

Source: http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/112878