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.

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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!

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.

Team C EP 1/10 long term review

Over the past three seasons I have been running a fleet of Team C cars in both on and off road. The only reason these vehicles were chosen was due to their cheap price and at the time, local track side support.

These vehicles are priced at the lower end of the market and do not have the pedigree of the established brands, but that does not mean that they are not durable or capable vehicles.

My experiences have been with the TS2TE 2wd short course truck, the TC02 2wd buggy in both rear and mid mount and the TR10 all-wheel drive touring car. All of these vehicles have been around for some time now and are generally similar to vehicles once produced by the established brands. I won’t go into the specifics of each car as an online search will get you any specifications you may need, but I will elaborate on the shortcomings and issues that I have overcome.

I’ll start with the on road car first, the TR10. This car was a ready built and only needed electrics, it was cheap and I mean real cheap. I only purchased it to race indoors during the winter when we couldn’t race off road due to the weather. The car is very basic and comes with absolutely useless pre mounted tyres, that offer no grip and are not suitable for racing at all. It has plastic hexes which always fall off the hub or get jammed in the wheel hex when changing tyres. The plastics are of a low quality and strip easily so care is needed. I found the servo mount to be particularly annoying as the plastic is so poor is flexes easily and the servo twists in the mount. The only real positive I found is that despite its short comings it can handle a beating, I regularly hit the boards around the local track and never broke anything except for popping a rear axle pin out once. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this car to anyone interested in racing, but it may make a good drift car by locking the rear diff and fitting some drift tyres. In hindsight I would have been better off finding a used X-ray or Yokomo as a cheap platform to get into on road.

Now onto the off road cars and the TS2TE has been a solid performer and I have enjoyed owning it but if you want to make it a reliable truck then the first thing you will need to upgrade is the rear chassis brace. The kit comes with a plastic brace which is just not up to the task and it is common for the ball studs to tear out of the plastic brace. Replacing it with an alloy brace will solve this issue completely and give you a little more weight in front of the rear axle which can only help with some rear traction.

The other areas which need beefing up are the ball cups and hubs. If you have the alloy hubs which is part of the TS2TE kit you will be fine, but you will want to get these if you have the plastic hubs as they tend to fail at the ball stud. The ball cups are fine initially but they seem to lose their strength pretty quickly, I have found replacing them with the cup used on the TLR22 has worked well.

The only other area that requires some attention is getting out some of the slop in the arms, this is common with all Team C cars as they do not have the tolerances of the established brands. A little time spent shimming out the slop is all that is required.

The TC02 buggy is a similar story to the TS2TE and a lot of the parts have commonality which is pretty handy if you’re running multiple cars. The TC02C mid mount buggy is actually a pretty good car, it doesn’t have all the adjustability of a TLR or AE car, but you can achieve a reliable and predictable setup.

There are no real weak points with this buggy and the only modifications are performance orientated. The kit springs are of average quality and there are not a lot of factory tunning options available, but fortunately they use the now industry standard 12mm big bore shocks. This allows you to use a variety of other manufacturer’s springs, such as the TLR low frequency springs on the rear and standard TLR springs on the front. With the springs and shocks sorted the car is well balanced and provides predictable handling.

Overall Team C cars are a cheap and reliable platform however their biggest downside can be parts availability, local suppliers seem to have little stock and are regularly sold out for long periods. Unlike the big brands you do not have much choice when it comes to hop ups and option parts and the prices of some of the hop ups are way more expensive than an equivalent hop up for a TLR or AE car.

The TC02 and TC02C represent exceptional value on the second hand market and well sorted mid mount buggies regularly change hands at my local club for around $100 or less. This makes them a very cheap entry level car for someone just getting into racing and a great car to learn on.

Purchasing these Team C cars new is a different proposition and the value equation is not as compelling. At a local Adelaide hobby shop the TC02 is being sold for $399 which is only just cheaper than a Team Associated B6 or $100 more than the TLR 22 3.0 which is currently in run out. At this price you would expect the TC02 to be comparable to the other vehicles in this price bracket, but in reality it is not even in the same league. Add to this the lack of local support, lower quality componentry and lack of parts availability and you should be looking elsewhere for your first or next 1/10 car.

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Review – Boom Racing 007-BRV2 High Stability Aluminium Gyro

Hello again from the Perth RC drift scene, today I’m bringing you a review of the Boom Racing 007-BRV2 High Stability Aluminium Gyro.

Boom Racing is a brand that few of you may have heard of before. It’s the in-house brand of Ausdrift sponsor AsiaTees Hobbies and includes over 2700 lines over a very wide selection of chassis including; crawlers, buggies, touring car and drift cars. For this review AsiaTees kindly provided one of their very nice 007-BRV2 high stability aluminium gyros for testing. At the time of writing the 007-BRV2 was available from AsiaTees for $45.08 AUD with free postage from Hong Kong (On orders over $100 AUD).

BR High Stability Alloy Gyro

Boom Racing High Stability Aluminium Gyroscope #007-BR, Photo: AsiaTees

While some regard fitting a gyro to any kind of RC car as cheating, in the case of RWD drift it’s essential to overcoming the difficulties that working at small scale present. In a full size drift car the rotational inertia of the front wheels and tyres creates a natural gyroscopic effect (remember those high school science lessons) allowing the driver to release the steering wheel and let the tyres steer themselves. Due to the relatively low mass of RC drift wheels and tyres and relatively high holding torque of the steering servos used, this simply does not happen at a 1:10 scale. A gyro when correctly set adds a simulated effect of exactly what happens on a 1:1 car.

The Boom Racing 007-BRV2 gyro is available in 6 colours; black, blue, red, pink, green and gold. For this review AsiaTees supplied the gold version as shown above. The attractive aluminium cased gyro is supplied with a very nice mounting tray and all required fasteners. Spare mounting trays can be purchased separately to allow the gyro to be easily moved between models. Gyro gain can be adjusted either digitally with CH3 or manually by turning the gain pot. For manual mode a handy gain adjustment driver is also supplied which saves hunting around in your toolbox for a suitable driver. There are 2 dip switches on the gyro for setting digital or analogue mode and for gyro direction.

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Boom Racing 007-BRV2GD, Photo: AsiaTees

The Boom Racing 007-BRV2 gyro was fitted to 2 different cars for this review, to Jayden Goncalves’ brand new RWD dedicated Yokomo YD-2 Plus and to my RWD converted Alex Racing Design CER-D08 premium. Fitting and connecting the gyro is very easy with 3 short leads for connecting the gyro to your steering servo and receiver CH1 & CH3. The supplied instructions are light on for detail but very easy to follow. For testing purposes I simply mounted the gyro to my chassis with double sided tape rather than using the aluminium mounting tray, Jayden did much the same on his YD-2 Plus.

For me, the overall driving impression with the Boom Racing 007-BRV2 was a big improvement over the MST LSD 2.0 RS gyro it replaced. The MST gyro retails for between $80-90 AUD whereas the 007-BRV2 has much the same functionality at roughly half the price. I noticed on startup that the 007-BRV2 has a different centre frequency to the MST gyro, but once trimmed it maintained that centre setting perfectly throughout the run and on subsequent starts. When digitally set with CH3 of my Futaba 3PM radio to 50% gain, I felt that the 007-BRV2 displayed much smoother action and reduced twitchiness from my OMG D2-LP-CF07s servo compared to the previous MST unit at the same gain setting. For me this resulted in a much more “connected” feel to the steering and far greater predictability and confidence, both of which allowed me to drive a much smoother line with great control while still getting heaps of angle and countersteer.

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Boom Racing: 007-BRV2 gyro, Chassis: CER-D08 Premium, Owner & Photo: Noel Gettingby

Jayden’s impression of the Boom Racing 007-BRV2 was somewhat less positive than mine. Jayden fitted it to his brand new Yokomo YD-2 Plus for it’s maiden runs. He also commented that the 007-BR centred perfectly once trimmed but that on his car it suffered from gyro wobble (caused when the gyro over-corrects at low steering angles and the front wheels wobble). He also found it difficult to find the sweet spot for the gain, he ended up settling on ~40% in order to minimise the wobble from his Futaba S9570SV servo. After his review Jayden fitted a Futaba GY430 gyro, which he found to be smoother for his combination after some tuning. The Futaba gyro retails for $80-90 and also has similar functionality to the 007-BRV2.

In all, the Boom Racing 007-BRV2 high stability aluminium gyro is a very capable gyro, well suited to RWD drift at half the price of the better known brands. In addition the very easy mounting, beautiful appearance and wide colour choice will suit just about any chassis scheme. Give Boom Racing by AsiaTees a try when next looking for great value, high quality hop-ups for your RC chassis.

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What Racing Stadium Truck – 2016 Edition

What Racing Stadium Truck – 2016 Edition

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My old HPI E Firestorm

It is strange the things that motivate you sometimes, after racing at a major race meet on the weekend, and being perfectly happy with my RC Fleet, I find myself desiring a Stadium Truck once again after having a HPI E-Firestorm many years ago which had a number of modifications for racing, only to have nobody to race against!!  Unfortunately Team Durango are no longer making their DEST210R truck, so maybe I need to convert my Short Course DESC210R with a few parts….

However this, combined with teasers of the new Xray XT2 Stadium Truck got me thinking about what is available out there, so let’s have a look! I’ll look at racing kits at this stage, I will cover RTR Stadium Trucks another day as there is a lot of them out there.

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that all stadium trucks are electric, this is far from the case with many nitro powered trucks appearing over the years and a few that are still available. Kyosho and HPI both still sell Nitro powered Stadium Trucks, they have just fallen from favor when 1:8 Truggies started taking center stage.

Now a little history for those who may not be aware, Stadium Trucks, often just referred to as trucks are based on 2wd buggies with truck bodies, wider arms, larger tyres and often longer chassis.  And while that remains true of many of the original Stadium Trucks like the Tamiya Stadium Blitzer, the same remains true today.

Team Losi / TLR

So the current ST from TLR is the 22T 2.0 which is an upgrade from the original 22T released not so long ago as a part of the re invigoration of the Losi racing range under the TLR banner. Rear or mid motor mount is your choice in this kit in a very sleek design with a narrow (and not so spacious, chassis.

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Xray

The newest Stadium Truck on the block, and the one about which we know the least! We presume it will be based on the XB2, and that is about all we know.  When we know, you will know!

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Team Associated

RC10T5M or the shorter name it is most commonly known by, T5M is the latest from Team Associated, however with the release of the B6 and B6D there may well be a new version out some time in the near future.  This kit can trace it’s roots back to one of the original Team Associated Classics, the RC10T, and what a classic that is.  Honestly with the original RC10 being re released, I am amased the RC10T has not followed suit.

The T4.2 however is also still available in it’s rear motor mount only setup, but as an RTR, so that is for another day.  The T5M conversely is mid mount only so you really need to choose a kit to suit the surface that you are driving on, loose dirt or high traction clay or carpet/astroturf.

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Kyosho

The Ultima RT6 is the latest truck from Kyosho released not too long after the new RB6 buggy.  Kyosho design and quality is hard to go by if you can afford it.  All in all a beautiful truck that has all the adjustment and tuning you could ever need. It almost goes without saying that Mid and Rear engine mount configurations can be built from this truck kit.

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Team C

Team C isn’t a name you hear that often about the traps, but they do still sell a Stadium Truck in the form of the TC02T truck based once again from their buggy.  Whilst it is a slightly older design than some of the other trucks available, it will still put a smile on your dial.

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X Factory

This one is slightly from left field, but X Factory have been making conversion kits for Team Associated cars for many years.  Their X-60CF kit takes a T4 / 4.1 / 4.2 and turns converts it to the X Factory ST with a carbon fiber chassis and Mid motor configuration, something Associated only has done with the T5M recently.

Team Durango

Last but not least I do have to mention one sadly departed kit, the Team Durango DEST210R.  Yes, I know that it is no longer in production, but I mention it because A) I hope a new version will appear, and B) because it was the first ST (correct me if I am wrong here) to come where you could choose a Mid or Rear mounted motor position right out of the box, and switch them as needed.  Team Durango’s kits have been doing this since they released the DEX210 in 2011 and this feature has carried through to the Stadium Truck and Short Course Truck based on the same platform. As i’ve gotten back into ST’s I am thinking that I will buy the needed parts to convert my Short Course Durango into a Stadium Truck (Chassis, body and wheels), so i’ll let you know how that goes!

Review – HobbyKing GT2E Radio

Review – HobbyKing GT2E Radio

Yes, i have had this for a while now, but things have been so busy I forgot to finish this review. So let’s do this!

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The Review

So, we are looking at the HobbyKing HK-GT2E radio, it appears in a few places as radios in cheaper cars as well as of course through HobbyKing.  Cost wise, it is WAAYYY at the budget end of the scale at about $28 Australian depending on sales etc etc. Recievers if you ever need to purchase more, are only about $9.  Personally I like how it looks, and it is light and easy to use.  Yes you don’t get the adjust-ability of a more expensive radio’s features etc, but you get the regular reversal of channels, dual rate, steering and throttle trim that you get on a regular DX2E for example.

It has just the 2 channels and takes 4x AA batteries.  The receiver, weighing in at 5 grams, is a 3 channel and is nicely compact, which is good as it went into my space poor Tamiya XV-01 rally car freeing up space that the Spektrum receiver was eating up.

Summing it up!

So, it works well, looks ok, has good range and is cheap.  What more do you really need in a radio for that extra car, rock crawler etc etc.  Ok, it was a little more with freight but I still consider it a good buy, and for some months it has been working flawlessly in my Rally Car.  So i’m happy to recommend them to anybody looking for an extra radio.  Would I race with it?  if I had to, sure why not, reaction speeds were fine, but it wouldn’t be ideal in the situation.

Is that I hear you cry? well i’m not sure what else you need to hear, but if you have any questions, feel free to post on here, or on facebook!

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