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Has the popularity of minis waned?

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Old 07-15-2014, 08:49 AM
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Beomagi
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Default Has the popularity of minis waned?

When I got into minis years ago, the forum was pretty busy - back then it was mostly mini t vs lst vs rc18 vs miniquate/vendetta, and propulse/megatech was a cheap fairly capable alternative. I think they all had their problems.

It seems these forums are a lot less active than before. Are minis less desirable nowadays? Granted, even I have moved mostly onto 1/10 scale stuff.

So what's new? I see the rc18s are using a belt now, so is it better for brushless or still chewing gears? Are people using lipo more often now or are the 1500/1600mah nimh cells still popular?

I've been digging my old cars out off mothballs and was wondering other than cheap chinese BL systems what else was up. not asking so much about the minis themselves unless you think there's one that's head and shoulders above the rest.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:58 AM
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Nah that isn't the issue its that these forums due to massive technical issues over the years people just left them. The big issues were like 2-3 years ago where we lost I'd say 80-90% of the people as the forums were down for weeks with no updates from the company that hosts them. Even now they still act up every now, and then to the point the guy that is in charge of them was locked out of his account do to a technical hiccup.
If you look at the 1/10th offroad, the general RC forums even there its slow, and only a handful of regulars usually post. Few years back if you made a topic in an hour it would hit page 3 they were so active, now you are lucky if there are 5 posts a day there.


As for the newer RC18 from what I read there were belt issues I'm not sure if they corrected them, or if you need aftermarket parts to fix them.
Batteries Lipos are more popular in almost every scale as you can get superior run times with less weight, and cost as for example 2S 1800mah lipos for a RC18b cost me like $8 a few years back.

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:58 PM
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That's pretty cheap. I never really got on the lipo wagon though. I tend to abuse my stuff, so I use nimh and a123. I usually leave my batteries charging downstairs, while I'm busy doing other stuff, so I'm paranoid about lipo.

I'm looking at some 18650 cells that might do the trick though.
A while back, A123 cells held a bit of interest, but they are low on mah - 1100mah for the small 18650 cells. I've been searching for new stuff for some crawler builds and found these(sony vtc5, 40 amp drain, 2600mah).


I've been reading about the chemistry - normally, high drain in most applications is just a few amps. the crowd I came across that needed the highest current being e-cigarettes (I'm not blowing smoke...). These should deliver 30 amps, which should be comfortable on an rc18t or mini-t right? Any idea how many amps these minis need? With a mamba 25, I'm is that 25 input or 25 amps output (i.e. does it draw more due to loss?). They sag worse than an equivalent lipo - found out about that from an e-bike forum that tried em, but figure it should be enough?
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:17 PM
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We are just starting a mini class at my local track. Caster Racing offers 1/16 and 1/18 models. Should be a lot of fun and cheap too.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:21 PM
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other than the vaterra Kalahari/kemora, there are no mini events around here. The vaterras are cool cause they can run on 1/10 SCT tracks and do well.

Other than the vaterras I have never really enjoyed any mini/micro models. I suppose if I had a place to build a nice track specific for them I would enjoy them more, but for general bashing 1/10 scale models are so much more fun.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Beomagi View Post
That's pretty cheap. I never really got on the lipo wagon though. I tend to abuse my stuff, so I use nimh and a123. I usually leave my batteries charging downstairs, while I'm busy doing other stuff, so I'm paranoid about lipo. I'm looking at some 18650 cells that might do the trick though. A while back, A123 cells held a bit of interest, but they are low on mah - 1100mah for the small 18650 cells. I've been searching for new stuff for some crawler builds and found these(sony vtc5, 40 amp drain, 2600mah). I've been reading about the chemistry - normally, high drain in most applications is just a few amps. the crowd I came across that needed the highest current being e-cigarettes (I'm not blowing smoke...). These should deliver 30 amps, which should be comfortable on an rc18t or mini-t right? Any idea how many amps these minis need? With a mamba 25, I'm is that 25 input or 25 amps output (i.e. does it draw more due to loss?). They sag worse than an equivalent lipo - found out about that from an e-bike forum that tried em, but figure it should be enough?
Two other forums have mini sections that are slow. The micro forum I hang out is also slow. I think some of it is due to social networking. People would rather talk about themselves, post selfies and gossip instead of sharing, helping and learning on forums .

I don't think you want to go with Li-ion cells. There are many Li-ion cells that exaggerate about their specs. Lipos are far superior in cost, weight and power output. You need to find the amp draw in your motor's specs and then choose a battery based on those specs. 18650 cells are large, heavy and probably don't have the constant amp output you want. Batteries (and motors) should list their constant and burst amp outputs.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Dialed_In View Post
...People would rather talk about themselves, post selfies and gossip instead of sharing, helping and learning on forums .
LMFAO - unless the selfie is with said RC?

Originally Posted by Dialed_In View Post
I don't think you want to go with Li-ion cells. There are many Li-ion cells that exaggerate about their specs. Lipos are far superior in cost, weight and power output. You need to find the amp draw in your motor's specs and then choose a battery based on those specs. 18650 cells are large, heavy and probably don't have the constant amp output you want. Batteries (and motors) should list their constant and burst amp outputs.
I thought so too, but I'm constantly searching for better batteries - these new 18650s are not regular low amp lithium ion, but actually LiMn (think those hyperion packs). 18650s were never really used in high high amp applications like RC, until extreme laser/light and then e-smoking crowds used them, even so 10 amps was plenty. The new LG and Sony batteries buck the trend. I'm getting a few to try it out. 30 amp discharge, and 60amp burst.

I'm using an Align 430 L 3550 kv, which is pretty tame on power, and it shouldn't be pushed with 2s or 3s, even though I'm geared higher than normal. Motor is 28 amp max, ESC is a quark 33 (are they still around?).

18650 isn't too big. It's a little thicker than "A". I should be able to fit 2 on the side of the drive shaft. Since threads are more interesting with pics, here's when I used 3 26650 a123 cells (now those are huge...) on an rc18t. I'm kinda surprised that this was 7 years ago. I didn't think I was playing with RC stuff that long. The rc18s that survived me aren't the same anymore, having tamer motors and battery setups.


"Current" setup. 8 cell 2/3a. Haven't touched it since 2008 when these were taken. Cells are pretty dry.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:45 PM
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30amp constant discharge is pretty good. They look like good cells and I'm glad you've done your homework and stuck with a good brand. I know there are many crappy branded cells like that and they lie about their specs. I think one boasts 10,000mah capacity.

Quark is long gone unless you can find one on ebay. I bought a quark 22 a few years back and I couldn't get it to work . They are supposed to be good escs but they are a pain to program.

What shocks are you running? They look really beefy. I just bought a mini Rival (same as RC18MT) and bought a set of Losi mini-t aluminum shocks. Unfortunately I didn't know at the time that the parts for the shocks have been discontinued.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Dialed_In View Post
Quark is long gone unless you can find one on ebay. I bought a quark 22 a few years back and I couldn't get it to work . They are supposed to be good escs but they are a pain to program.

What shocks are you running? They look really beefy. I just bought a mini Rival (same as RC18MT) and bought a set of Losi mini-t aluminum shocks. Unfortunately I didn't know at the time that the parts for the shocks have been discontinued.
That's too bad. I've the quark 33 and 66, and they were quite decent, though with cheap chinese electronics getting better, it's a tougher market for ESCs (and it should be). I just realized my hpi flux and ez run 60 are exactly the same, so even mainstream OEMs have the same idea.

I bashed, and bent my shocks constantly until I upgraded to 1/10 scale touring car shocks.Those are from an HPI RS4. The rear shocks are broken, so I purchased some replacements. These probably wont handle as well as stock, but they take a beating and are dog cheap off ebay. I bought replacements for $10 (search for rs4 shocks)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HPI-RS4-3-Ev...item5664fe4d6e

Looking at the steering mod I did back then I'm thinking about doing the same for the rear. just trying to remember the screw size for the knuckles and which dubro ball end I went with.

I've another one too - with a different steering mod, but it wasn't as nice as this one in feel, so I may just cannibalize this one to retrofit the other. My minit also needs new rear shocks, so I can yank them from here too, though I think they need to be longer there. Mine had a tendency to bottom out (heavy with 6 4/5a 2000mah cells).
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:53 PM
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Wow! You really go all out when building your minis. Nice work . Thanks for the info on the shocks. I'm not sure they would work for me as I want a shock that is a bit longer than the stock RC18MT shocks. The mini-t shocks I bought are just a little longer for more travel. Your RS4 shocks do look awesome though. I love that beefy look on minis. I'll keep them in mind going forward You really should take another looks a lipos. I was also scared to death and spent a long time reading and learning about them before using one. Maybe you can build a "battery bunker" to charge your batteries in and put a smoke/fire detector above the setup. In all honesty your supposed to keep an eye on any type of battery you charge. With that said I do understand your concerns and fires can and do happen. Lipos aren't for everyone but they have nice benefits.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dialed_In View Post
Wow! You really go all out when building your minis. Nice work . Thanks for the info on the shocks. I'm not sure they would work for me as I want a shock that is a bit longer than the stock RC18MT shocks. The mini-t shocks I bought are just a little longer for more travel. Your RS4 shocks do look awesome though. I love that beefy look on minis. I'll keep them in mind going forward You really should take another looks a lipos. I was also scared to death and spent a long time reading and learning about them before using one. Maybe you can build a "battery bunker" to charge your batteries in and put a smoke/fire detector above the setup. In all honesty your supposed to keep an eye on any type of battery you charge. With that said I do understand your concerns and fires can and do happen. Lipos aren't for everyone but they have nice benefits.
Thanks. I just installed the replacements. Pics later I don't remember what the rc18t arms were originally, since I built my last 2 using RPM arms, but with RPMs, there's 3 mounting holes. If using the hole closest to the body, you'll raise the chassis slightly and have more travel. The shocks are stiffer than you may want though, but they're cheap.

TBH, I don't remember much concerns with charging before lipo. With all the batteries I've been charging, the most dangerous I've had have been phones (tossed a swollen lithium extended battery) DSLR (2 more lithiums that went bad), and a laptop - the charger melted (charger that MSI sold me was rated for 35 watts, laptop needed 65 watts). Think of all the batteries you're charging right now - Shaver, camera, laptops, cell phones, UPS, tablets, power tools - the list goes on. I doubt most people keep an eye on them all, yet given my track record, cheaper batteries for phones, cameras and other consumer devices have a higher chance of having problems.

It's not like I leave RC batteries charging over night - they DO have a high specific power compared to other batteries, but I truly believe my NIMH and a123 are safer than most other battery chemistries. I spend a few minutes during the start of charge while it's charging in a plate while working on some mod or wood work or something, then come back in an hour to check on the charge. I don't leave them overnight.

The worst experience I've had with a123 was when struggling to solder an a123 pack. It's hell. Sand the top to make it rough, and solder still wont stick right. I globbed too much on one and it shorted. I only noticed because it became hot as expected, but I was able to melt the lump and remove it. That battery still works fine. It's just beautiful how robust those cells are.

I guess I should retrofit my charging station with a fireproof box - can't be too secure, especially if I do go lithium. Thinking If I use something like this
http://www.amazon.com/STEELMASTER-Fi...=fireproof+box,
and charge the battery in there it should be pretty safe even if it does catch fire. What do you think?

Interestingly development, I just received my LiMn VTC5 batteries today. Wall wart charger at 0.375amps so I'm looking at a 7 hour charge time :P Looking forward to trying these in my rc18t and comparing it to the current 8 cell elite 1500 pack - though I had to junk my transmitter/receiver. It's the old 27MHz AM, but I think it's been damaged from flooding a couple years back. Purchased a Radiolink RC3S 4 channel. If I try a 4 wheel steer mod it should have me covered. Testing the batteries will wait till I receive it.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:37 AM
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Charged! I'll spin off another thread to discuss the batteries when I spend some time on them.

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Old 07-22-2014, 04:45 PM
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those batteries interest me are they the same size as standard AA's?
if so that might solve an issue I've had with my old redcat sumo I modded a few years back, and couldn't find a lipo to fit strapped to the sides.

As for a fire box I charge my batteries in a army ammo can I got from a army surplus store. On ebay people have tested them purposely setting off lipos in them, and they worked great in putting out the fires without causing any damage to the surroundings. In one test it put out the ruptured cell so fast the cell that it was glued to was still good
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:01 PM
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Nice idea, ebay has them even cheaper

They are larger than AA. 18650 is 18mm diameter, 65mm long. AA is 14.5mm diameter, 50.5mm long (fun fact: been around since 1907)

Looking at pics of the redcat:
http://www.hobby-estore.com/Redcat-R...uck-yellow.htm

It looks like there IS room for longer cells, if you're willing to play surgeon a little If the AA holders are removable, less surgery than I'd initially guess.

But based on this review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2mSkqCkvTA
The motor was getting hot with regular nimh, and people reported servo issues.

It may be optimal if doing so to be prepared to replace the electronics/motor/pinion/servo to handle higher voltages (unless your mod already included that?) since the nominal voltage is jumping from 4.8 to 7.4.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:00 PM
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I threw the electronics in it out a while ago as it would glitch like 5 feet away as it had one of the worst AM radios I've ever seen with a RTR.

I crammed a micro 15A esc in the place the stock electronics were underneath, a 2.4ghz rx taped onto the servo(well had as I used it in another vehicle in the mean time), an aftermarket motor with heatsink, and an airplane micro servo hooked up. I split one of the smallest 2S 1300mah lipo's in half, and strapped it to the sides, but it was a tad too long(69mm's), and tall(approx 36mm's which was more the issue), and would hit the arms, but I did run it for a few minutes where it seemed fine, but if it would heat up too much I could just lower the throw of the throttle on the radio.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:44 PM
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Charging lipos in a closed container can be dicey. The best you can hope for is to contain or isolate a fire if it happens. Many people who use ammo boxes for lipos remove the air tight gasket to relieve the pressure in case a lipo "goes off". Some even drill holes in the can but I'm not sure how well it would work. Check youtube for lipo fires or lipo explosion for their behavior.

I currently have my lipos in lipo sacks and in a file sized fire safe. The back hinge of the safe is busted so in theory if a lipo vents the hinge side should raise enough to relieve the pressure. If I didn't have that safe I would probably construct a bunker from a couple of 16x8x2 (or 4) concrete blocks for the top and bottom and 1 or 2 16x8x8 concrete blocks with the rib/s busted out. I've also read about guy who did this but on top of the block he put a plastic bag of sand thinking that the fire would melt the bag and release the sand down on the lipos extinguishing the fire.

Rcgroups battery and charger forum has this question asked a couple times a week if you want to read more.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:51 AM
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I saw tests of the drilled ones that was one of the ones that put out the fire so fast the adjacent cell didn't even start up

As for the Lipo bags I've seen tests of a few of them. In every test they failed to contain the fire, and in some cases made it worst by causing a 3-5 foot jet of fire in both direction when it initially went off, and hid all the warning signs of it rupturing till the bag itself was burnt, and over 700 degrees.

The sand idea I seen tested also that worked like a charm also as chemical fires you are supposed to smother out, and a bag of sand is very good at that.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:37 PM
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I know what you mean about the lipo sack videos. That's kinda why my sacks are in the fire safe. My sister had one with a broken hinge and now I use it to store my lipos in their sacks. I think the US "LipoSack" maker does a good job but they are pricey.

Here is a pic of the concrete block and sand idea. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2211971
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Beomagi View Post
When I got into minis years ago, the forum was pretty busy - back then it was mostly mini t vs lst vs rc18 vs miniquate/vendetta, and propulse/megatech was a cheap fairly capable alternative. I think they all had their problems.

It seems these forums are a lot less active than before. Are minis less desirable nowadays? Granted, even I have moved mostly onto 1/10 scale stuff.

So what's new? I see the rc18s are using a belt now, so is it better for brushless or still chewing gears? Are people using lipo more often now or are the 1500/1600mah nimh cells still popular?

I've been digging my old cars out off mothballs and was wondering other than cheap chinese BL systems what else was up. not asking so much about the minis themselves unless you think there's one that's head and shoulders above the rest.
I'm glad I ran across this post. I'm just like you as I recently got back into rc. Mini's were pretty popular and I loved them. Dug out my old RC18MT and bought a new pack for it earlier today, still runs! I was hoping one little project I could do to get me back into the hobby was convert my 18mt to the buggy version. I've been on google for hours and can't seems to find a single place (online mind you not)...(where everything for anything is!) that carries the buggy body, which is the first thing on the list I figured I'd start looking for.

Have mini's really been abandoned?

If any of you folks out there know where I could find a buggy body for a rc18 please let me know. I searched for the J Concepts variation of it as well with no luck.

Thanks in advance folks. Nice to be back but reading this post kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth. LONG LIVE 18th SCALE!!!
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sacagawea View Post
I'm glad I ran across this post. I'm just like you as I recently got back into rc. Mini's were pretty popular and I loved them. Dug out my old RC18MT and bought a new pack for it earlier today, still runs! I was hoping one little project I could do to get me back into the hobby was convert my 18mt to the buggy version. I've been on google for hours and can't seems to find a single place (online mind you not)...(where everything for anything is!) that carries the buggy body, which is the first thing on the list I figured I'd start looking for.

Have mini's really been abandoned?

If any of you folks out there know where I could find a buggy body for a rc18 please let me know. I searched for the J Concepts variation of it as well with no luck.

Thanks in advance folks. Nice to be back but reading this post kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth. LONG LIVE 18th SCALE!!!
just looked on ebay, and saw a few

http://thetoyz.com/search3.lasso?keyword=rc18+body also has some. I've bought the aftermarket parts for my RC18 from them a long time ago. seems like 1/3rd of the parts aren't in stock for the RC18 though
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SyCo_VeNoM View Post
just looked on ebay, and saw a few

http://thetoyz.com/search3.lasso?keyword=rc18+body also has some. I've bought the aftermarket parts for my RC18 from them a long time ago. seems like 1/3rd of the parts aren't in stock for the RC18 though
Thanks SyCo! I've never even seen that buggy body before, looks good. I ended up buying an "18t" body off ebay just a few hours ago. I like how it looks over the truck body and I think it will look good with the current mt tires. Hopefully the folks at thetoyz.com will have that body for a little longer. I might still buy it with a set of knobbed skinnys and go my original intended route but for now the "t" body will do. Sucks when cars are discontinued, I'm in the same situation with an old nitro of mine. I can run it but extra carefully, it bothers me if something goes I can't get an original replacement for it. Fortunately I have a rustler, those never go out of style! ;P I'll post pictures when the body arrives. Add a bit of color to this thread Thanks again!
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:13 AM
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yea I own quite a few discontinued models
Actually I'd say around 70% of what I own is discontinued. Outside my 2 savages, Stampede 4X4, and Axial SCX10 I can't think of anything else that parts are still made for
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