All posts by Richard Green

H.A.R.D. Racing Storage and Hauler Bags

I get newsletters from a bunch of RC Stores around the globe, and today one caught my eye from RC Mart which had some interesting information about some bags from H.A.R.D. Racing.  I hadn’t heard of them before so I looked at what was on offer from them.  As well as starter boxes and setup stations they have a fabulous array of Hauler and storage bags for almost any RC application.

Personally I have a large 8th scale size hauler bag from Atomik which straps my SCT on top, a Rally Car or buggy in the top drawer, and everything else in the 4 drawers below that, and to date it has been tough and extremely useful.  To be honest I have no idea how I did without it!  It was actually a birthday present from my wife who tried to buy a bag from a local hobby store, but they weren’t too interested in helping her out, so I was given a voucher to buy from a store in Sydney.   But I digress!

H8931_11

 

I love a good storage solution, and while many are all the same bags re badged, or similar to, the range and variety here certainly gives you pause for thought on how you could move your equipment better. From charging sacks, to starter box bags, Touring Car haulers, 8th scale haulers, and  Transmitter bags, H.A.R.D. Racing have all your needs covered!  Check them out on their website at http://www.hard-racing.com/ .  Available in Australia?  Well HEI International is listed as their Australian Distributor, so your local hobby store should be able to access them.

H8941_03

New VBC Firebolt DM

VBC Racing, who to date have only made F1 and Touring Car kits, have released some photos and information of their new 2wd buggy, the Firebolt DM.  This mid mounted buggy follows a different line of thinking to many of the other players in the buggy game, but that makes it interesting,m not necessarily worse.  Features of the kit include:

Features:

Chassis
  • 2.5mm Lightweight 7075 aluminum chassis
  • Adjustable chassis flex system
  • Carbon fiber chassis brace
  • Narrow chassis design
  • Lightweight 7075 aluminum motor mount, arm mount and rear bulkhead
Suspension & Steering
  • Big bore 12mm oversize shocks
  • 7075 aluminum shock caps with integrated bleed screws
  • Adjustable caster insert
  • 3.7mm carbon fiber shock tower
  • Quick rear toe and anti squat adjustment
  • Adjustable front suspension mount kick up angle
  • Oversize rear hub bearing and camble link insert.
  • Captured hinge pin system
  • Horizontal Steering ball studs for fine Ackermann adjustments
 
Drive train
  • High torque slipper system
  • Ultra smooth ball differential
  • Hardened heavy duty CV drive shaft
 
Design & Quality
  • Intergraded motor fan mount
  • Carbon filled composite parts
  • Hardened heavy duty turnbuckle
  • Multiple battery positions for in-board, shorty, saddle and square packs
The kit is slated to be available in July 2014, so not far away at all.  In Australia they are available at R.A.B. Hobbies so keep an eye out for this interesting buggy.

Source: http://www.vbcracing.com/blogs/firebolt-dm

2014 RCAA Victorian Carpet titles.

Written and submitted by John Watkins

This past weekend racers from all over Victoria gathered together at the Melbourne’s newest Indoor racing facility, Adrenalin Arena (AA) for the first ever off-road indoor Carpet state titles.

On a chilly, winter Saturday Morning drivers were greeted with a brand new track designed by off road driver Simon Healy, the fresh layout was super tight and ultra technical and included a cross over section and never seen before in Victoria, a Wall climb!     The new layout was completely different to anything racers have seen before at AA all previous layouts were flowing, high speed and quite easy to drive. This fresh look at the hand of Simon had a lot of fast changes of direction, hair pin corners and a large jump section that was enticing enough for a few of the mod guys to try and clear the 16 meter jump section!

Qualifying was intense through all classes and consistency rewarded.  In 2wd modified 1 mistake was the difference between TQ and 5th. Ex UK driver Simon McHugh took the prestigious TQ honours with a flawless 5 min run nudging the un heard of 18 lapper! The Finals were incredibly fast paced in the high grip carpet conditions, the motor of choice in Modified classes ranged from a 5.5 to 7.5 most driver running a small amount of boost  in order to get out of the corners as quick as possible.

A1 : Simon McHugh  Jumped out to an early lead over John Watkins as P2 on the grid was left vacant with Andy Bishop not making the start with a wheel nut issue.  Watkins went on to take the win after a mistake by Simon McHugh at the 3 min mark.         A2: at the tone drivers jumped to a frantic pace and on lap 2 leaders Simon and Andy Bishop came together and with Watkins finding a way through the carnage he laid down a lawless 5 min run to take the title with Paul Sims driving a Prototype 2wd finishing 2nd  ahead of the fast paced Andy Bishop in 3rd. John Watkins sat out the 3rd final and watched as Andy Bishop set a new lap record with a 16.7! 1st John Watkins , 2nd Simon Mc Hugh, 3rd Paul Sims

All eyes were on the stock classes, as in the lead up month’s stock was by far the more popular class with almost 30 entries qualifying was going to be tight. Local Hero and Carpet Specialist Andrew adamic driving a Schumacher KF was left with some serious work to do after round 1 of 2wd, from  out of nowhere Richard Dyer took A1 from newly signed AE junior Development driver Cameron Zammit  by .2 of a second , Round 2 and both Andrew and Cameron knew what they had to do, both shaved considerable time off their previous best with Cameron going almost 10 seconds quicker and with a time that would of put him 6th in the Modified A Main, Cameron took TQ with this run and Andrew was a close 2 seconds behind.

2wd Finals were close Richard Dyer took A1 by .2 of a second over Cameron and Andrew only a couple of second’s further back. A2 and A3 was a extremely close race with Cameron getting the job done closely followed by Andrew and Richard. Overall, 1st Cameron Zammit, 2nd Richard Dyer, 3rd Andrew Adamic

4wd Stock saw the same epic battle between Cameron, Andrew and fresh prince Neil Kovacs, the battle royal was set with an AE, LOSI and XRAY showdown, Cameron Zammit took his 2nd TQ honours of the day . A1 was epic and the lead changed multiple times with Adamic getting the win by less the half a second, A2 saw the early retirement of Cameron with a broken front arm on his B44.2, Kovaks stepping his game up and taking it Andrew but a last lap roll over handed the overall win to Adamic and his Xray XB4 , this was the first time Andrew had run his new 4wd ever!

SCT was a great spectacle to watch as these big heavy brutes tried to cope with the mega grip of the carpet. TQ went to Hayden Palmer with a brilliant display in all qualifiers. With 1 win a piece in the finals Hayden in A1 and with a stellar drive in A2 David Varricchio the show was set for fun A3 with a couple of forced errors Hayden Palmer took the overall win. Hayden Palmer 1st , David Varricchino 2nd , David Shilton 3rd

Stadium truck: Numbers were low on race day but drivers were as keen as they could be to hit the track. Truck King Andre Morton came out swinging with a dominant performance in all 3 Qualifiers taking TQ easily, Finals were close with Kyosho driver Glenn Wilson taking the win in A1 closely followed by John Watkins after a retirement by the master Andre. John Watkins Took A2 over the fast finishing Andre.  A3 was lingering Andre had to win to force a count back, and win in a better time to take the title, he did this comfortably with almost all of his laps being a full second quicker the Watkins and Wilson.  Results , 1st Andre Morton, 2nd John Watkins, 3rd Glenn Wilson.

Vintage classes were also offered and number were huge with almost 20 entries over 3 classes,  but as you can imagine retirements were plenty from these dinosaurs with the shining stars Andy bishop and Simon Healy putting on a display with their mid mount RC10 worlds cars, in most cases with times that would of giving them a podium in the stock classes. Vintage Competition results: 1st Andy Bishop, 2nd Simon Healy, 3rd Craig Jenner.  2wd Vintage kit Competition results:  1st Simon Mc Hugh, 2nd Andre Morton, 3rd Brent Jefferies.

 

Thanks to Adrenalin Arena for hosting what hopefully becomes a long tradition of indoor winter off road racing. The great atmosphere was heightened by race by race commentary by AA owner and vintage guru Damien Andrews.

I look forward to see you all again next year!

 

Facebook posts from the 2014 Victorian Indoor Carpet Tiles

Hopefully we will have our own report on the event up some time soon, however until then I spotted a few bits and pieces on facebook from the event.

Cameron Zammit posted; Great day racing at Adrenalin Arena for the off road Vic titles. (TQ) in both classes finished 1st in 2wd stock and 2nd in 4wd stock buggies.

Team Xray Australia posted; Great showing of Xray Xb4 2wds today at the 2014 Victorian Indoor carpet tiles. Xb4 takes the win in 4wd stock class at the hand of Andrew Adamic , Team driver John Watkins takes the win in 2wd modified class against some super talented carpet specialists. Hats off to Adrenalin arena for putting on a top class event and a super technical track at the hands of track designer Simon Healy.

A Small Change at Aussie RC and Contributors Wanted

As some of you know, there are two Richard’s Here, me who has come along to help a little while after inception, and Aussie RC Admin (also a Richard) who started this place up. Except that really it is two separate accounts for the same person, me.

However now i’ve decided to just post things as myself, to make things a little clearer where the opinions are coming from.  In time I will migrate the old posts to this username, but for now they will stay as they are.

However this brings me on to another point, whilst I am not the only contributor we are always looking for more contributors from all aspects of the RC hobby.  If you have a review you wrote of a new car or piece of equipment, send it to us to publish, if you have a major race meet coming up, we would love to publicise it. Perhaps you want to be a regular contributor, we are more than happy to welcome you to the team. Contributions of any kind are always welcome through our facebook page, or through aussierc@outlook.com .

So whether you area a basher, racer, cralwer, off road specialist, flat track fanatic or love the very big or very small RC cars, we want to hear from all of you.

Why so Serious?

You may have seen the RC Tech thread that we shared the other day on our facebook page titled “The Crisis in Our Sport: Junior Participation” , if not, you can find it here http://www.rctech.net/forum/australian-racing/813885-crisis-our-sport.html .  I’m not sure i would call it a crisis, but much of the discussion appears to be centered around on road numbers.  However as I don’t race at enough places here or on the big island, I can’t comment on numbers there.

The thread is a few pages long with some interesting ideas and thoughts thrown around the place.  Now a lack of juniors is a problem in any sport, but a sport such as ours where the numbers are much lower than many other sports to start with, it can be devastating.  Personally I think that cost is a problem as it has always been in this hobby, however I also think that not enough Fun and some entirely too serious people are also partly to blame.  At my local club I have witnessed some highs and lows in this vein. From a new racer leaving, never to return, after being the subject of another members dummy spit, through to seeing three boys, all under 7, playing together with short course trucks near to the track on a social day on the Saturday just passed.

The event on Saturday of the weekend just passed was at my home club, Launceston RC.  We had what can best be described as a Social / practice day.  Because the venue costs us a significant amount each time we use it, and it is some distance from town behind locked doors and gates, we can’t have the track regularly open for practice.  So the committee decided the best way to promote the club and bring people together socially, was to run a casual practice day.  $10 got you access to the track from about 9:30 until 4:00 pm, some snags from the BBQ, and the time to practice, bring mates out for a try, have a play outside with any vehicles that didn’t suit the track (A 10th rally car beside a Baja SC is quite a sight), and generally have fun.  Track time was not limited in any way, it was open for all with the computer on for practice. Pick a quiet time for a run, let a mate have a try, or let the kids have a go as my 6 year old son was.

 

My Distinctive Green, White and Black Blitz ESE and XV-01 Rally car that many locally know well.

You see at the moment I am working out if my son would use a proper RC car (he wants a 2wd buggy) enough to warrant the $250 odd dollar investment to get him one.  As he only has toy RC cars I dialed my Blitz back to 50% throttle, and for the first time let him drive on the track, unaided but supervised, while it was quiet.  He was struggling a bit with not going 100% left or right, but he was doing much better than last time I let him try, I was a proud father indeed.  Slowly the track got busier as more people finished lunch and came back on to the track.  Most people know my distinctive Green, White and Black Blitz and many figured that it was my son, not me driving as while I am not great, i’m a little quicker.  They were also giving him plenty of room which was good experience for him to avoid other cars on the track.

However one person just didn’t get that the day was about fun. There are many stereotypes at a RC track, this person falls within the Very Serious type of racer, I am at the other end of the spectrum as I race because it is fun. I have nothing against the serious racer but mixed with a bad attitude it can cause a problem. Mr Serious started mouthing off from the drivers stand (I was standing on the ground in front of the stand helping my son) saying who is that person, they keep getting in the way, they shouldn’t be on the track and becoming fairly irate and aggressive towards whoever the driver was. Beside him was my Brother, loving Uncle of my son who is also fiercely protective of him. For those that know him, they know that he too is passionate about racing for the fun of it and not taking it all too seriously. Needless to say, this kind of behavior and attitude directed towards a 6 year old did not go down well, and there were some very terse words said for some time between the two.  By the end of it, Mr Serious still didn’t get why we should waste time running controlled practice by classes and experience on what was a fun and open practice day where the track was open for some 6 1/2 hours to anybody who wanted to be there.

I personally think it is people with that kind of attitude that put off people staying at local clubs, and certainly I would not want any child exposed to that kind of behavior. Not the serious racer, certainly not, but the serious racer who gets angry and takes it out on the world. Our club is based around drivers having fun, and being a family friendly environment and having a class for pretty much everybody to get on track and have fun.  Abusive behavior like we witnessed on the weekend has no place in any sport or hobby, and certainly does those of us trying to promote the sport to others no good whatsoever.

I think one of the best things we can do, is loosen up, have fun, and bring all of your friends racing!

Tune up tips for the WR8 from HPI

I love rally cars, I just find the appeal of going sideways on dirt irresistible! To fulfill that dirt urge, I have a Tamiya XV-01 that I use, but at the time it was a real toss up between it and the WR8 from HPI.  At the time, the bodies and parts available for the XV-01 won me over, but this article from hpi shows just how many parts are actually available for the larger WR8 (happy to take donations of WR8’s from anybody that doesn’t want theirs by the way).

The article can be found on the HPI website here http://www.hpiracing.com/en/article/view/2014061302 and covers pretty much everything you could ever want for one of these beasts along with some great information and photos, enjoy!

 

Taking our own advice

I have a terrible affliction when it comes to RC Cars.  Not only am I a dreamer, but I am always wanting more RC Cars, and I have a VERY tight RC budget.

I had been toying with the idea of another RC car for racing, as when it comes to big 2 day events like the Launceston Cup event that my club holds, one car just isn’t enough racing as my RC “garage” currently contains one raicng vehicle, a HPI Blitz ESE as well as a XV-01 Rally Car.  My racing skills are about average, so a buggy to run in 4wd Mod was probably not ideal, and much as I love stadium trucks, the numbers seem to wax and wane.

So 2wd Stock looked like a good idea.  I didn’t like the TLR 22 because it couldn’t easily take a normal battery in mid mount configuration, i’ve never been an Team Associated Fan, Schumacher only had ball diffs (ball diffs and I don’t get along),  I didn’t mind the Durango DEX210 and HPI/HB haven’t had a production 2wd buggy for some time.

The DEX210 ready for delivery to me
The DEX210 ready for delivery to me

Then along came the release of the Schumacher Cougar KR, and I like that a lot, but as I race indoors on carpet, a mid mounted car would be more suited to where I race.  And then came the Schumacher Cougar KF, and I was in love!  A truly mid mounted, belt driven design on a carbon fibre chassis with a sexy body.  And if anybody knows indoor racing, it is British brand Schumacher.  I spoke with Scott at Action RC and got prices, and set a target to save enough money to buy one as all that sexy doesn’t come cheap.  After some months of slowly saving I was getting closer to the kit, but it would take some time to save for ESC, motor, tyres, receiver and a servo. One day sitting at work I had an epiphany, the KF would be great, but in the time it would take me to save for it I could have been enjoying a less expensive buggy for some time.  So I went back to Team Durango and their latest version, the DEX210 V2, and I liked what I saw.  An optional gear differential and I would be away. So a more modest target was set for a new DEX210 V2, or an original DEX210 if I could find a good 2nd hand one locally.

While I was thinking about that, I sent another racer at my club, Leo Lorenzen of the Durango Fansite fame, an email to keep an eye out for any good 2nd hand kits.  The response was that Leo had one for sale himself, and after some discussion what can only be described as a fantastic deal was struck.  A DEX210 with Tekin ESC and motor, Savox Servo, Spektrum Rx, a couple of sets of tyres and rims, an unpainted Pulse RC body and a few upgrades and spares for somewhat less than the cost of a Cougar KF kit alone. I was ecstatic as I had only $30 left to scrimp and scrounge to meet my target, and a few weeks until I saw Leo next to collect the purchase.

The next race meet came, payment was made and a very happy Richard was in possession of his first Buggy.  Leo had even included a couple of batteries that I was not expecting, but was very thankful for. In the coming week I had time to look at it more closely, and it really was a peach in excellent condition.  First thing to to was charge a battery and give it a try.  No dice, some research revealed that my Spektrum DX2.0 was not compatible with the SR3100, so a quick swap was done with another Racer/Drifter/Crawler Shaun and I had a SR300 installed and it was alive, I could run some laps of my garage! Next job, cut out and paint the body.  On this time defeated me before the next race meet and I didn’t have a body to race with.  However a quick message to Leo and I was able to borrow one of his spare bodies for the meet so I could run the DEX210 instead of my usual Blitz ESE.  And what a difference it was to drive, responsive, nimble, quick and full of grip.  It was exhilarating to drive and responded well to being pushed.  Obviously the setup Leo had done on the car for me suited the track, and my driving style, but whatever the case it left me with a grin from ear to ear by the end of the night. The icing on the cake was and winning the B final after only 2 qualifiers and 2 finals of driving a buggy at all!

Ready to Race last Friday night with a borrowed body, and the Pulse RC body in the foreground ready to be cut and painted soon.
Ready to Race last Friday night with a borrowed body, and the Pulse RC body in the foreground ready to be cut and painted soon.

The moral of the story, you don’t need to have the latest and greatest kit to be competitive, and certainly not to enjoy it on the track.  One in the had is always better than two in the bush (or the newest version in the shop window). So it seems that taking our advice on Aussie RC not to discount 2nd hand kits paid off for me in a big way.  A bit thanks to all those involved along the way, and those that offered advice and setup help along the way, Scott, Leo, Shaun, Sam and those I have forgotten to mention. I will update you all with the progress of the body and the rest of my fleet as changes occur.

A Basher or a Racer?

There has always been two distinct categories of RC Car driver, the Basher and the Racer.  The two groups rarely cross paths, and don’t talk about the other half at all, somewhat like a couple part way through a divorce hearing. It is almost taboo to claim to have a foot in both camps or mingle with the “enemy”!

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The thing that got me hooked on RC cars as a child was the Tamiya Stadium Blitzer.  I saw a pair of them being run in a hall in Devonport as part of a school fair many many years ago and loved anything RC from then on.  I started of my RC career in the late 80’s with a Tandy Porsche 944 Turbo which still haunts my children’s toybox in a somewhat sad condition to this very day.  Certainly not a hobby grade RC car  by any means, but as a young child of about 5 or 6 it was the best thing since batteries were invented.  The worst thing in the world however, was waiting for the Arlec C size batteries to recharge and the short time that they seemed to last.

Fast forward to adult life and my interest in RC cars was re awakened probably by my brother who had a few RC cars with a mate, Greenie and Brickwood, this is probably all your fault to be honest!  So as a university student I had a few dollars in my pocket and I invested in what I still believe to be a cracking RC Car, the HPI MT2.  This Nitro powered, 4wd stadium truck was similar to the Tamiya Stadium Blitzers I had seen, but it was more powerful, it was loud and when it worked, boy it was some serious fun!  I went to nitro because it was fast, did not need to recharge like those dreaded C batteries and it looked fast standing still! However nitro to this day is not my friend, and all too often I just couldn’t get it to run well, and it was eventually sold (to finance a E-Savage monster truck).  As with the 944, the MT2 is still alive albeit in a slightly modified form as it was my brother who bought it from me!  I always enjoyed running my RC cars in various parks and places round this beautiful state, but it was fairly rare to bump in to anybody else running a hobby grade car.

After that I had a few RC cars, E-savage, E-firestorm, Sprint 2, Blitz ESE, but all were electric cars as this was the time that Lipo Batteries and brushless motors were becoming the norm.  Certainly I classed myself as a basher and never contemplated stepping foot in what I perceived as the expensive world of RC racing.  Then something happened, a local group of people started getting together to investigate starting a RC Racing Club. At that time the nearest two clubs to my hometown of Launceston were 1 hour or 2 hours travel in opposite directions.  I’m not sure how the group of people found one another as I was dragged into it by my younger brother and his friends, but I do know that a key instigator was Scott Guyatt, to whom our local club owes it’s existence.  Weekends mostly were out for me, but an indoor venue was found with lights, and Thursday night racing began without the worry of interference from the weather (ok, a little as the roof had some leaks).  I wasn’t so sure, but I went along and gave it a go.  We had a few ropes and a lot of chalk marking out the track, we stood on the ground or broken chairs that were about the place in the disused indoor cricket arena, but it was great fun and boy oh boy was it addictive! The club ended up forming and incorporating and has been on the rise and rise since.  Many faces have come, helped and gone again, and we unfortunately lost Scott once again to warmer climates, but he can be sure that his smile, commentary, help and assistance will always be missed. Now I am the Secretary of that same club and I am fairly active in the operation of it.  Launceston RC is now one of the longer running indoor off road establishments (having lost our hybrid on/off road layout due to the popularity of off road 1:10 scale racing) in the country, and certainly the only indoor venue in Tasmania. Looking into the older posts on our website, the first post was dated October 14, 2009, and the first test session at the venue the 26th of October 2009.  And we have come a long way since then!

I still classify myself as a basher as well as a racer, despite my vehicles being mostly race cars with the exception of a Tamiya rally car.  However whilst not the world’s best racer, I love the challenge, the camaraderie and the friendships that I have forged as a part of my local racing club.  I guess my point is that the two camps are not so dissimilar than they think, at least at our club where fun and friendship is just as important as lap times and positions.   Both groups love their hobby, they love hanging out with their mates partaking in their hobby, and racing is a natural extension of hanging out with your mates and having fun.

Let’s face it, having fun is always better when you are having fun with your mates, regardless of which camp you put yourself in.

D413 first impressions from ShortCourseWorld

Ok, so personally i am only just starting to get into the 1:10 buggy scene at my local club, Launceston RC, but i’ll elaborate on that in another post.

1:10 4wd buggy has always fascinated my as the formula one of the off road 1:10 scene, with 4wd and all the power in the world.  However racing on an indoor track with a somewhat unforgiving surface when it comes to cars, I was always concerned by the physical toll this seemed to take on cars with many seeming to break on a very regular basis.

Those of you that know me also know that I am a HPI fan, with almost all of my previous cars being from HPI, with the only exception being one Tamiya currently in my garage.  So when HB (previously Hot Bodies, now a part of HPI) came out with their D413 4wd buggy in 2013 I was instantly interested.  It has an interesting specification with the ability to reconfigure for saddle or shorty packs by rotating the center differential (not slipper) and motor mount around and move the servo to the opposite side of the vehicle.  There was some debate at the worlds last year as to if the shorty packs were legal, but to date the decision to allow them has been carried.  As I mentioned before, the vehicle has three gear differentials instead of the more normal 2 diffs and a slipper which is a feature normally found in 8th scale vehicles.  The triangulated shock towers are also of interest as they provide a lot of strength, and that is a feature that the designer of the vehicle,  Torrance Deguzman, has stated was one of the core aspects of the vehicle’s design, strength.  If your vehicle is strong and can take a hit, you can push on with more confidence that you won’t break the vehicle, and some epic crashes at last year’s world championships certainly proved that the D413 can take a hit, with one crash breaking the two vehicles that the D413 hit and was hit by.

So the D413 was released last year, why the post now?  well to date, very few if any D413’s have been seen in the hands of the public with pre orders having only begun delivery about now. HPI has certainly copped some very warranted flack over the delay in making these available to the public.  What prompted this post was a video by Short Course World on youtube featuring their first impressions of their D413, and, well he is a little impressed with the D413 so far, and it will be interesting to see what their impressions are once they get it on to the track.  Hopefully I will remember to share those videos with you.  I wonder if I will get a chance to turn a wheel on one of these on day, because unlike most 4wd buggies, this certainly captures my attention with regards to owning one myself.

More information on the D413 at the HPI/HB Website here http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/112723