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Old 03-04-2013, 04:58 AM   #1711
biggziff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FPGT72 View Post
I have never been a big fan of Spektrum...got bit EARLY on by some of their teething problems and never went back. Guess that is why I still fly FM. As long as FM receivers are available I will likely stick with those, but the old Futaba radio only has a 10 model memory...may have to look to getting into this centruy.
No Cam-Pak slot on your Futaba? I have a Super 7 for sale that was a backup radio if interested.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:18 AM   #1712
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Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
Does anyone know of any ground based RC forums that aren't overrun by kids?

I have been reading a lot over at Ultimate RC and watching Jang's video's but my brain is slowly rotting due to all the misspelled drivel.

Also I did a couple of reviews on my ECX Smash and HPI Mini Recon. Any interest on reading those here or is this mostly about RC airplanes now?

I am up for stuff on any kind of RC.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:20 AM   #1713
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NICE!!!! I have not seen an Optima Mid SE in quite a while. I remember, many years ago, when one of my friend that I used to run with got one. There were 8-10 of us that would run every Sunday might at a local ballfield. Not a single one of us could keep up with that buggy!


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Old 03-05-2013, 12:01 AM   #1714
Jimmy the Heater
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ECX Smash review

Heaters ECX Smash Review

Unboxing and first impressions.
Unboxing went as normal, lots of cardboard in that lil box but everything looks good. A few tools, owners manual, radio, 12 AA batteries, and a racing turn marker are included. Bought this at the LHS for $74
Likes out of the box-

Appearance, it certainly looks the part for sure. Tires are soft-ish and have foams in them, Bigger than I thought it would be, tho to be fair it has the same wheelbase as the Recon or RC18. Suspension arms look to be of good quality. Plastic on the main tub is high quality. Metal dogbones. Diff action seems quite positive.

Dislikes

Oh there are a bunch, but I did read the product description and knew what I was getting. Friction shocks, they don't even have any friction, just a shock shaft to keep the springs in place and compressing in a straight line. Phillips screws everywhere!! Plastic on the front and rear bumper is way too stiff and of a different quality than the main chassis. Radio feels awful, steering wheel has a loose rubber covering on it that makes me want to pull my hand back in disgust, and its 27mhz. All in one receiver/esc...Yuck.

First Run

Installed all 12 batteries and away we go, um, sort of. I ran it for about 3 minutes on the AA pack and was distinctly underwhelmed. I'm glad I did run it this way as I now know how slow an RC can be. After those 3 minutes I came inside and placed an order with Hobbypartz for 2 1300mah lipos.
Yes it really is that slow. Yes there are faster toy grade cars out there. Yes, it bounces all over the place even at 5 mph. Out of the box impressions are bad, really bad. I would not buy this kit if you are looking to just buy and drive it, it needs that much help out of the box.....However there is a silver lining and it's what makes me love this lil thing.

Aftermarket.

The aftermarket for this lil thing is big.....Not traxxas huge, but still quite big and that's what saves this lil truck. It is identical to the Losi Mini T, one of the most popular mini's out there, second only to the Associated RC18 in my opinion. Put a hobbypartz skylipo in there and it really wakes up! Top speed goes from about 5 mph to closer to 20 mph. Enough to where power isn't a worry. Just make sure you have a lipo alarm or know what you are doing.

Now with it flying along, it really brings out the shortcomings of the friction shocks. It REALLY bounces all over the place now. I'm looking for options out there but it appears a lil limited. Losi has a pair of aftermarket shocks but they are almost universally panned as being leakers. Racers Edge used to have a shock set available but it looks like they have been discontinued. I refuse to buy anything Integy as well. Anyone know if the GPM shocks are ok?

Bearings vs Bushings....Just an observation here but the stock wheel bushings aren't that bad. I was expecting the wheels to barely turn and wobble all over the place. However this isn't the case. I have no doubt that the bushings won't last very long at all but it is not the immediate upgrade that I thought it would be either.

I plan on taking the all in one unit out and replacing the stock electronics except for the servo. I have used 2.4 and I can't go back I'm afraid.

Have noticed a little handling quirk under braking as well. If you get hard on the brakes the Smash is very hard to keep in a straight line. It wants to spin out one way or the other. Now there are 2 things happening that I think may cause this. The gear diff will only allow one wheel to apply braking force and the other wheel just freewheels. And the stock tires, they are fairly soft in my opinion but still not the greatest.

But I'm not really going to let this lil quirk bother me as the Smash is a basher. I might be able to put the Mini T ball diff in and the problem will go away, but I'm not racing it so I don't think I will bother. Just not worth it in my opinion.

One final gripe. Plastic, press on pinion gear. Makes removing the stock motor a pain and there is no adjustment for gear mesh. This can be cured with a dremel and a lot of work, or just get the Mini T motor plate that is adjustable and some metal pinions.

Post upgrade pics.


The nice 3racing shocks.


HPI Electronics, YAY 2.4ghz!


Mandatory dual disc slipper.

Final thoughts
Despite all its awfulness out of the box, the lil Smash has won me over. I really love this thing. It's cute, can be made to absolutely haul, and is just plain fun. It came into this review being the underdog and in stock form it is...it's absolutely pathetic. However with just a few well placed hop ups and a lil extra $$ it is a winner .
Now in a perfect world here is what I would have from ECX.
Smash Roller-No electronics at all, just sell me this wonderful lil kit by itself for $40 or so and let me do what I want with it. No crappy stock radio, all in one esc thing etc. I would buy 5 of these things and set them up all different.
OR
Factory Super Smash Charge me $150 and put oil shocks, a regular slipper clutch, ball bearings, adjustible camber and toe links, and a 2.4 radio with separate esc (heck it can even stay brushed) and include a lipo! They are $6 at hobbypartz, you don't have to kill yourself with it Horizon!
As far as costs go here is what I have put into it. (all prices are approx)
Smash RTR $74
2 1300 LiPo's $12
3racing Oil Shocks $26
4 wheel bearings $4
Dual disc slipper $13
HPI radio $25
Lipo Alarm $4
Brushed mini Speed control $30 (I had one lying around so mine was free and I'm not going to include it in the total)
Mine is sitting at $158 ($188 if you need to buy a speed control. Though to be fair if you need a brushed speed control you are better off going brushless)
So, yes it is getting pretty spendy at this point and I could easily put another $50 into it with a hex screw kit and turnbuckles. So you have to decide if this is truly what you want to do with it. I think I'm gonna stop at this point and enjoy it for what it is. Hope this little review helped anyone looking at one of these.

Jimmy the Heater screwed with this post 03-05-2013 at 12:10 AM Reason: Formatting
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:27 AM   #1715
biggziff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
Heaters ECX Smash Review
So are these sold specifically lacking so that people can customize to their liking? Can you buy one already setup?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:40 AM   #1716
Jimmy the Heater
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That is a good question, and one that I can only guess the answer to.

I'm thinking that they really wanted to get the street price below $75 RTR for some reason and would cut every corner that they could to make that possible.

If they included the mandatory lipo, in order to make it RTR they would also have to include a lipo charger, which would have blown the budget.

What they aren't considering however is that by doing that, they have such a poor out of box experience that the first time RC driver isn't going to see the the benefit of going hobby grade. They are just going to go back to their New Bright or Nikko and never see how fun this can be.

There are 2 options for finding one already set up.

1. Used Mini T/Smash on Ebay/Craigslist that already has the hop ups done by someone else.
2.Buy a Losi Mini Desert Truck which is basically the same thing with an extended chassis. It has most of the hop up's installed from the factory but still comes with the awful 27mhz radio/esc all in one unit.

Another thing to consider with this lil guy is for the money you put into the mandatory hopups you can have a much bigger and better 1/10th rc such as a Duratrax Evader, ECX Circuit or Boost. That is much easier to work on, has a better radio, has oil shocks etc, right from the factory.

But I really like the 1/18th size, it's easy to put in a saddlebag of my bike, and parts and batteries are much much cheaper than the 1/10th scale trucks.

Will take a picture here in a bit to show the size difference between a 1/18th scale and a 1/10th scale. You'll be able to clearly see how one would be much easier to carry around than the other.

Wow, that was a long winded response to such a short question!

Jimmy the Heater screwed with this post 03-05-2013 at 11:59 AM Reason: Adding pic
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #1717
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I'm ready for some FPV!

Blade mQX





HT-FPV



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Old 03-05-2013, 02:54 PM   #1718
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Will that MQX get off the ground?

I bought some upgrade props for mine...big diff.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:38 PM   #1719
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That thing is cool. What does something like that cost, minus the GoPro?

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:48 PM   #1720
anodyne
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I recently picked up the DJI Phantom and set it up with FPV. First flight was scary ... just playing around in a field and got a bit disoriented. Took off the goggles to look around and was blinded by the sunlight. I happened to throttle down and found the Phantom in the field among a number of snow drifts (quad is white). No crash, but it could have been an expensive lesson. Hindsight I should have throttled up (trees nearby) and used IOC (GPS and Home Location). I'm going to put off my TBS Discovery or FPVManuals build until I have a bit more of a clue.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:47 PM   #1721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggziff View Post
Will that MQX get off the ground?

I bought some upgrade props for mine...big diff.
Barely! I will definitely look into some GWS or other aftermarket props. Where did you get yours?

Since the camera and transmitter are both 5V and the machine is a 3.7V I had to add a 7.4V 2S and then also a BEC to step it down to 5V. I built a voltage divider to step the 7.4V to 5V but the output voltage actually came out to 5.3V and it didn't like it. I may try another one and get it close to 5V output. Of course, as the 2S input voltage decreases so does the output.

The BEC is great at keeping the voltage at 5 volts but it's fairly heavy.

That being said, I did get it flying and wow, it is very different. Of course, I was in the living room. Outside would give me more space.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #1722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2whlrcr View Post
That thing is cool. What does something like that cost, minus the GoPro?
I bought it used for $270 and added about another $300 into it.

$270 for the frame, skids, motors, ESCs, two battery alarms, power distribution block.

I added:

Spektrum AR8000 satellite receiver $130
Black Label 2600mAh 3S battery $20
1.3 Ghz FPV Tx $50
Crius AIOP flight controller $57
Ublox GPS receiver $27
Misc servo extensions, foam tape, etc. $25

That said, if you bought the same used one I did for $270, added a cheap receiver, $20, KK 2.0 flight controller, $30, battery, $20, misc harnesses, etc, you could get it flying for $350-360.

Bare frames are here: www.hoverthings.com
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:12 AM   #1723
CousinLarry
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Nice Dakar! Good looking quad there.

I am waiting to hear back from Dragonlink so I can order a UHF system! Anyone know anything about the DL's? I am trying to decide weather to use it with my DX8 or old Futaba 9C..
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:38 PM   #1724
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Just playing around with a Corsair and a video camera.

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:04 PM   #1725
biggziff
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Cool!

What camera are you using?

Mix in a little rudder on your turns! Scale baby...scale!

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Just playing around with a Corsair and a video camera.

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