Though relatively new in our RC hobby, crawling/climbing has taken off in a big way. Different from other RC vehicles, climbers are usually not fast, and their suspension isn’t stiff. Quite the opposite is true! The ability to keep a tight line in the corner of a race track is replaced by the ability to crawl over obstacles, and speed is outweighed by torque. Large soft tires give these crawlers the ‘bite’ they need to get over rocks, logs, and other obstacles. Knowing how to run a track is replaced by finding the best route through a pile of rocks. Many of the large 1:10 scale crawlers have more upgrades that you can comprehend, while the smaller 1:18 scale crawlers are introductory models to get modelers interested at economical prices! This review will focus on the new 1:18 scale Q45 from JJRC and geekbuying.com.
Name: JJRC Q45 1:18 Scale RTR with FPV camera
Where to Buy: geekbuying.com – JJRC Q45
Price (At Publishing Date): $49.99 USD
Size: 26.5 x 17.4 x 13.5 cm (10.4 x 6.8 x 5.3 in)
Weight: 510 g (18 oz)
Wheelbase: 19 cm (7.5 in)
Includes: RTR Vehicle, Transmitter and Device Holder, Battery, and USB Charger
Requires: 4 AA Batteries for the Transmitter, and a WiFi Device for FPV
The Q45 arrived in a full color box, and was received with no damage. All of the pieces fit well in the box! The RTR mini crawler included the vehicle, transmitter, device holder for FPV, the vehicle’s 4.8 Volt NiMh battery and a USB charger.
Being 1:8 scale, the Q45 is quite small, but I’m hoping it’ll do well on my local crawler course.
The dual-motor design gives the Q45 Four Wheel Drive and pretty decent climbing power. The are no differentials in the drivetrain, but that should work to the crawler’s advantage. Steering is done by a special servo that is built in to the front drivetrain. It makes a lot of noise when it is active, but seems to work well enough. There’s plenty of travel in the suspension, offering a lot of clearance for obstacles.
The 480p WiFi camera mounted on the hood of the crawler gives it’s driver the option of driving the vehicle in FPV (First Person View)! This is a novel idea – it’s been used on airplanes and drones for quite a while already! The camera tilts up and down several degrees, and it pivots left to right as well – these adjustments are all done by hand.
The included 2.4 gHz transmitter is color-matched to the Q45, which is available in Blue or Red. It fits nicely in hand, and is of good quality!
Getting Ready To Crawl
The first item to do is charge the Q45’s battery. The included USB charger must be connected to a USB power source (Computer, Phone charger, etc.) and then connected to the battery. An LED in the charger illuminates when the battery is charging, and goes out when the battery is ready to use.
To install the FPV device holder, I firmly grasped the ‘antenna’ on the transmitter and removed it by pulling straight up. The device holder snapped into the same location easily.
The holder even held my large phone, complete with case- with the case, my smartphone measured 3-3/8″ wide! The foam padding in the holder did a good job of keeping my phone secure in the holder.
To install the four AA batteries, I removed the small Phillips screw from the cover and removed the cover. The batteries were installed, and the cover was slid back into place. the screw was then reinstalled to keep the cover securely in place.
The same process was used to install the Q45’s battery as well – now, you may be tempted to leave the screw out of the battery cover to make it easier to get the cover on and off, but this screw IS NEEDED to keep the battery in the crawler while running on a course! With the battery in place, the crawler was ready to run! I powered on the Q45 first, followed by the transmitter. When the green LED on the transmitter glowed solid, the Q45 was linked to the transmitter – Yep, it was that easy!
Downloading the FPV App
The FPV app is available for both Apple and Android devices. It is called ClimbMax, and works well. The app has the ability to record video and take photos. Unfortunately, I was unable to work the FPV video into the video I put together for this review. It does work well, and can be watched on your device, but there was a problem converting the video format for my video editing software.
Part of the reason I am reviewing this vehicle is that my local hobby shop, West Central Hobbies of Willmar, Minnesota, has a really cool crawler course. Corey and Melanie Pavelko are the proud owners of this hobby shop, and are also good friends of mine. So, having access to such a great course locally made it really fun and easy to try out this little crawler! Unlike my usual RC airplane reviews, cars and trucks are less effected by the weather – usually, the wind isn’t a factor, short of gale force winds… Better yet, The crawler course at West Central Hobbies is indoors – the day I shot photos and videos, the outside high temperature was still well below 0° F!
Although the course is set up for 1:10 scale crawlers, the 1:18 scale Q45 did pretty well – there were a few times that I had to reposition the crawler, but overall it did well. The 4.8 Volt battery gave the Q45 enough power for all but the steepest of climbs, and had enough run time for approximately 10 minutes of hard crawling. The steering is a slightly underpowered when a tire is up against an object, but this also kept from stripping out the gears. It climbed over many of the obstructions well, and I had a great time driving! Corey picked up the transmitter and drove the crawler so I could shoot some video and photos.
Check out the video to see the JJRC Q45 in action!
And a few more photos!
The Crawling Course at West Central Hobbies
As I stated earlier, I’m lucky enough to have a crawling course right in my home town. Corey Pavelko, Owner of West Central hobbies, set up this course with the help and opinions of several of the local crawler drivers. I think that what they came up with is pretty cool, and well worth the time and money they put into creating it – Well done, guys!
Well, that’s going to wrap up this review of the JJRC Q45 RTR 1:18 FPV mini crawler. As an intro model, the Q45 is pretty cool, and the price is definitely right. The crawler did well over all, and I was pleasantly surprised by its ability to run the 1:10 scale course! If you’re looking to get into crawling, or just having fun in your back yard at a decent price, the JJRC Q45 is a good deal! Go out and get one today, and start having fun climbing and crawling!
Geekbuying.com – www.geekbuying.com
West Central Hobbies – www.westcentralhobbiesmn.com
West Central Hobbies LLC
1427 South 1st Street
Willmar, MN 56201