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R/C Car Tips 2011
It's 2011 and time flies. I remember starting to play with r/c cars in 1978 and racing around 1983.
Now I find it hard to believe I'm an adult, and an old one at that.
Yet, even after 33 years, I still enjoy the radio control car hobby. Everyday I think about r/c.
Photo left: Me and Porsha at the Tamiya Baguio competition. Photo credit: Jun Soriano.
I am very fortunate to have a 9 year old daughter who also enjoys racing r/c cars. We get to spend a lot of time bonding, travelling out of town to join races.
And after 1 year of racing, my daughter Porsha has already equalled my times in Mini and even the fast 13.5 touring car class. In our garage r/c track, she usually beats me with our 1/18th Nanda NRX-18 mini rc car.
She is a much better driver that when I was a 9 year old kid.
Kids Racing RC Cars
Porsha and I recently when to an out of town Tamiya race in Baguio Country Club. A pleasant surprise was to see many kids, some as young as 6 years old, already racing r/c cars.
There were also hundreds of kids who watched the morning practise session. They were screaming so loud.
And that's how it should be, toy cars for kids to enjoy. Not just a bunch of adults racing rc toy cars.
Shopping at the Local Hobby Shop
On the way back from Baguio, a 5-1/2 hour trip, my daughter mentioned she wanted to buy a new rc car. So we stopped by Lil's Futaba hobby shop in Makati City.
What caught my eye was the re-release of the Tamiya Avante 4wd off-road buggy. I remember this was a highly engineered model around 20 years ago and wanted to own one when I was a kid. Unfortunately the price of this new kit was too expensive so I did not buy it... yet.
Photo: 1/10 Tamiya Avante Off-Road Buggy. Source: TamiyaUSA.com
We bought the 1/10 Tamiya TA05 v2 Mach GoGoGo radio controlled on-road touring car. Porsha liked the body style. And the chassis was good for the Tamiya Jr. Stock racing class.
Photo: 1/10 Tamiya Mach GoGoGo r/c car on TA05 version 2 chassis.
If you're looking to get into electric on-road touring cars, I highly recommend the TA05 version 2. Good design at a very affordable price.
RC Car Tips - Tires
This past month I learned a very important lesson. Tires are very important. No amount of chassis tuning can compensate for bad or wrong tires.
Here is an introduction to R/C tires.
So if you are planning on racing, you would need to budget for tires. Yes, it is expensive, but that is the price to pay to enjoy the thrill of racing.
A good racing class that is somewhat economical on tires is the Tamiya M-chassis mini class. I would estimate a set of tires to last more than 10 hours of running. I have tires that are over 4 years old and are still competitive.
However for the fast on-road touring car class, be prepared to buy lots of tires. Though the rubber might seem to still be thick and not worn out, the grip level of tires do deteriorate with each 5-minute race.
Serious racers would probably replace tires every 3 to 5 runs in the 13.5 or Modified class. A hobby shop owner in Hong Kong even told me they use new sets of tires for each run.
But that is on the high level of racing. If you are racing for fun, a set of tires can last a long time. I am very stingy when it comes to buying tires.
In summary, if you are having handling problems, put on a fresh set of new tires and see if the problem disappears. I've wasted lots of time tuning suspension only to later realize the problem is old tires. And no amount of chassis or suspension tuning can fix a bad set of tires.
RC Hobby is Very Important
It has been a good start to 2011. A fun out of town race, a new kit and good race results.
The rc hobby has also given me and my daughter the opportunity to spend lots of time with each other having fun. We are very close thanks to the hobby.
Let's have fun! Thanks for spreading the word about this website.
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