Thursday, February 21, 2008

Preview: Some New "Awesome-ness"

I've been driving various R/C's since I was a kid; first I had the original RC10 from Team Associated (with the gold chassis and a mechanical speed control), a few cars later, and more recently I got a 1/18 scale Losi mini Baja which is pretty much the same as their MiniT. The small scale is really great, you can drive for more than 20min on one charge, and in smaller spaces. Recently, though, I've had my eye on something a little bigger, and that would be the new EMAXX from Traxxas. The major new thing with this truck is that it has been mostly waterproofed - which means less dirt will get in, and you can drive anywhere. Here's a picture:

Time to start saving lunch money!


On the battery front there's been a couple new technologies that are worth having a look at as alternatives to NiMH that have come around in the last few years. One is the LiPoly batteries that look like small silver bricks. These have really good energy/weight density - meaning you get lots of speed and driving time in a light package. These are some of the highest performance batteries currently on the market, but you have to be really careful when charging/hadling since they can explode big time if mistreated.Here's a few:

The newest battery technology is from a company called a123 ( who invented a new type of battery called Lithium nanophospate. This battery has by far the best power, fastest charge, can really take abuse, and can last for many years. Its energy density (running time) is between NiMH and LiPoly. Currently the only cheap way to get these cells is to buy DEWALT 36V battery packs, and disassemble them for about 10 dollars a cell (each cell is 3.6V 2.3Ah) which means you typically only need 3 cells:


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

RC Lifestyle: RC'ing in Napa!

Last weekend while staying in Napa with my girlfriend, I got the chance to kick up some dust in the back lot of a winery. Needless to say, I have a pretty awesome girl who understands and supports my hobby (and even gets into it herself here and there!).

I couldn't have asked for nicer weather and (FINALLY) got a chance to get my RC18T and RC18MT a little muddy ;) While the lot was pretty flat, there were a few obstacles to keep it somewhat interesting and by being a little creative, I was able to make a ramp out of a few rocks and a scrap of wood....Hey, at least I was able to get a little bit 'o air!

If you ever find yourself in Napa, be sure to bring your RC gear as there are plenty of places for you to pull over, strap in your batteries, and go. Oh, and do yourself a favor and do NOT miss out on the V.Sattui winery. They have plenty of delicious wine to choose from and an awesome little cafe/BBQ(on nice weather days) with lots of room to picnic. It was definitely the highlight of our trip.

Getting Started in RC

So you say you are new to the world of RC cars? Well welcome to one of the most exhilarating hobbies around!

While some may consider an RC car a "toy", there really is so much more to it than that - as they say, there really is more than meets the eye. RC cars are a great way to learn about or increase one's knowledge of mechanics, electronics, physics, and much more. In fact, these are not "toys" at all....lift the body off a hobby RC car, and you will find a fully functional model car that in every way acts like (and often) outperforms what it's full sized cousins are able to do (in scale, of course).

There are many differences between a "toy" RC car and a "hobby" RC car. What really separates the two is the flat out performance you can achieve with a high quality "Hobby" RC car. Other things you can do with a "hobby" car are:
  • build
  • replace parts
  • modify
  • race at RC car tracks
  • tune, etc.
While the hobby can definitely get expensive, it doesn't have to be! There are lots of options out there for different types of enthusiasts. In fact, the hobby has evolved over the years to make it even easier for beginners to get started. Once upon a time, almost every vehicle came in parts which you had to assemble yourself. In addition, most kits did not come with any electronics - meaning the kit required additional things to get it "up and running", such as a motor, speed control, battery, receiver, steering servo, charger, and of course, the radio. Well, those days are over. It is common practice for most companies to offer "RTR" or "Ready to Run" kits, where you can take the vehicle out of the box, charge the battery, and off you go!

At Bay Area Peninsula RC we are completely open to any and all who love RC cars, whether you are a beginner or a serious racer who just wants to hang out and drive with some cool people.

There is a wealth of information online and here are some recommended places to start:


RC Car Action

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

1/18 Indoor Offroad Nationals

While the Indoor Offroad Nationals will be taking place in (what seems to be) a world away, we will definitely be paying close attention to the outcome of those races. Should be fun to see how everyone does and which vehicles take home the grand prize!

The 1/18 Indoor Offroad Nationals will be held at R/C Madness in Enfield, Connecticut on March 28. 29, and 30.

For more info, click here:

Pro-Line Releases new Pre-Mounted 1/18 Truck Tires

For those of you looking for a replacement for your RC18T or Mini-T stock tires/rims, look no further. Pro-Line has released 3 new options for you to choose from that should definitely hold up just a tad better than the "stockers". At just $18 a pair, they are $6 more than the originals and should provide a definite increase in grip.

Just in time too, since my 18T's tires are starting to resemble slicks.....


Hey there,

This blog is intended for casual RC enthusiasts the world over - and more specifically, for those of us that reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am what many would consider a "Weekend Warrior RC'er" = In other words, I love RC cars and try to get out and drive as often as possible, yet hardly ever participate in "actual" races at tracks. The main reason I don't often get to a track is one I'm sure many RC drivers can relate to: There simply aren't very many tracks located in a short distance from where I live, and the ones that are do not have the track open for general purpose/practice very often or at convenient times.

Thus, this blog's main goal is to document my passion for RC cars, as well as gather up as many RC enthusiasts as possible for a chance to share knowledge, stories, tips, and most importantly, opportunities to meet up and drive together.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope to hear/see many of you soon!

Happy RC'ing!