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Need advice on buying an RC Truck for use at work taking data

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Old 07-06-2014, 01:42 PM
  #1
dinahmcc
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Default Need advice on buying an RC Truck for use at work taking data

Hi, I'm new here. I would like users' input about what sort of RC Truck I should think about buying. This would be used on a salt-water beach to take data on the elevation of the beach. I need the truck to be as big as possible, with very aggressive tire treads. It would need to be waterproof. It does not need to be capable of doing fancy tricks or anything, and even going fast isn't necessary. I would put a GPS unit on it. We use Real-Time Kinematic Differential GPS to take thousands of datapoints on the beach surface, measuring it every 6 months to monitor for changes to the beach. For the past 17 years we've been mounting our GPS onto an ATV which we drive all over the beach with ourselves inside it, and it seems to me this is a waste of money, as it takes a lot of money to keep the ATV running. Also, it uses a lot of gas & makes noise & fumes as we drive on the beach, which is a shame. I imagine that an RC truck could collect the data just as well, carrying just the GPS and not me. The GPS would be about 5 pounds, I think.

Thanks in advance for your helpful responses.
Diana McCandless
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:34 PM
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off hand im thinking a HPI wheely king. $200 rtr. Waterproof electronics. 4wd. comes with a battery good for 15min of runtime.

5 pounds will weigh it down some, but you can put on heavier springs.

The wheely king is meant to pop wheelies, but putting most of the weight forward will help.

It can be a top heavy truck, but you can set the suspension lower to help correct that.

You can also put on a much smaller motor pinion...this will lower the top speed and extend runtimes. stock speed is around 20mph.

Another option is an exceed mad torque. this is a 1/8 scale rock crawler. It has a better center of gravity (more stable) and it goes slow...5mph. It can run for an hour or more on a 5000mah battery. And it shouldn't be hard to setup the shocks to handle 5 pounds. I have a heavy 1/6 scale hummer body on my mad torque and it does well. This is also a 4wd truck with large tires.

Any RC on salty sand will need some work after being run. salt will rust any metal parts. removing the salt/sand is needed.

Exceed also has an even larger 1/5 scale rock crawler and they also have a 6 wheeled version of the mad torque. these trucks cost more, but should be even more stable and handle the added weight even more.

The exceed mad torque trucks (4x4 or 6x6) don't have waterproof electronics. but the electronics sit high in the chassis so as long as you don't go full speed threw a deep puddle you will be fine. and it is possible to waterproof the electronics with plasti-dip.

Most 2.4ghz radio system are good for a long range (I know my trucks can drive far enough away I can hardly see them) how much range were you needing?

Edit: you can also check on the HPI Crawler king. this version of the same truck has a higher turn motor (more torque, less top speed) as well as a longer wheel base.

http://www.nitrorcx.com/1rcrocr.html

http://www.nitrorcx.com/51c877-maxst...n-rtr-24g.html

http://www.nitrorcx.com/03c20-madtor...d-rtr-24g.html

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXBUSA&P=ML

Last edited by nitrosportsandrunner; 07-06-2014 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:08 PM
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Traxxas summit. Bar none
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:31 PM
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So far I'm thinking something 1/5 gas...only because on durability, payload capacity, running cost and run times.
yes gas cars are noisy, but they are cheap to run and maintain. And the little fuel tanks give them runtimes of easily over 45min.
the only thing with gas is they can/will burn out the clutch at consistent low speeds.

but out I really need more information.

say with the current setup how fast are u going to record the data points??

rc cars have very short runtimes compared to quad bikes, what are the run time requirements??

how big is the recording gear?? Because 5 pounds is about the same weight as a 1/10 rc car. So I don't think I would recommend a rc car that small and light compared to the payload.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:48 PM
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Actually, the Summit sounds like a good idea. Or a 1st gen Emaxx, as you could make a remote switch to go between the 2 onboard batteries, and you don't need to stop for 2 packs.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:52 PM
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I am so thrilled to have your input! There was a HUGE amount of information you have given me, it will take me a while to digest it all. I will go into work on Monday with good information! Thank you so much!
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:02 PM
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I googled the GPS unit and it appears there's a couple pieces of equipment. It all fits on a surveyors tripod nicely but it's a bit big for a wheely king. The height of the equipment would also make it unstable so a bigger, wider vehicle would definitely be better. The Summit would be my first choice, wide enough, should be fine with the weight, the stock tires are fairly big so it shouldn't get stuck too easily and run times with Lipo should be pretty long.

For a more "ultimate" platform, the 1/5 Mad Torque crawler could work very nicely. Personally I'd want extended hexes to widen it and make it more stable since the equipment will make it more top heavy. This crawler also has plenty of options for mounting more than one large Lipo pack to make for really long run times.

The only other 1/5 I'd consider is the RedCat XBe. This would also be an excellent candidate but the smaller buggy size tires would definitely have to be changed out for running on sand. I doubt the GPS can take accurate measurements running flat out bouncing around and bigger tires will be needed to go slow and not get stuck. I've seen the XBE fitted with 24mm adapters and with MCD Monster Truck tires that are over 7 inches tall which would be great in the sand. It's also really easy to put large battery packs in them.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:12 AM
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I looked up the gps...IMO a Motor Over Axle (MOA) rock crawler is going to be the best option
MOA crawlers are usually slow....5mph
They have 2 high torque motors, so 5 pounds wont bother them
They are wide and long even in stock form. My mad torque has a wheel base of 17''...and the track is 14'' wide. The exceed 1/5 should be even bigger.
The high torque motors will equal long runtimes. My truck can run for 2 hours going on trails and over rocks, threw mud and tall grass ect. Add 5 pounds but make the terrain mostly flat and the runtime should be similar. And that is with a 2s 5000mah lipo. You can buy 2s lipos that are even bigger or run 2 packs in parallel....meaning a potential for 3-4 hour runtimes!

the other reason I think a MOA makes the most sense, is how simple their construction is. It would be very easy to construct a frame that is basically a box whatever size is needed to house all the gear plus the batteries speed control and radio receiver. This box just needs 2 lower and 2 upper mounting points for the suspension links. Then from the top of the box you have 2 rails extending out towards the axles...where you can mount the top of the shocks. Then just lengthen the motor wires and bam! you have a custom machine made to fit your gear. With a MOA, all the driveline/motor/steering is self contained on the axles. so extending or just replacing the chassis with a custom one is pretty simple to do. And a custom chassis for these MOA rigs will make the center of gravity much lower than stock and you can also limit the suspension travel.

I looked up the exceed 1/5 rig....a massive 24'' wheel base and a track width of 17''!!! And that one comes with waterproof electronics as well.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:34 PM
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i'm going to make a ridiculous suggestion, the losi desert buggy XL. it's a 5th scale 4wd buggy with a 2 stroke gas engine. it's runtime is near-endless, just pour more gas in the tank, whereas an electric would need battery swaps. it should have no issue carrying 5 pounds.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cumquat View Post
i'm going to make a ridiculous suggestion, the losi desert buggy XL. it's a 5th scale 4wd buggy with a 2 stroke gas engine. it's runtime is near-endless, just pour more gas in the tank, whereas an electric would need battery swaps. it should have no issue carrying 5 pounds.
3 problems with a 1/5 scale gas powered rc....
cost...$1000 is not cheap
Noise, one of the issues he is looking to get rid of
Fumes, another issue that the ATV has.

and a electric rock crawler with a pair of 2s lipos can do at least 3 hours.

also, reverse might come in handy
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:35 PM
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ultimately I would of thought the current method ATV, is the most reliable and cheapest method.

possible problems with a electric rc car that would need to be addressed
payload capacity
Field charging
runtimes
durability
maintenance
cost

and one thing that I keep thinking... how big is the area? because if its a really big area u might have to walk after it anyway... even just a 1/4 mile square area would be really pushing how accurately u can see and drive the car. and at that range the police might consider it a public safety hazard lol

ideally the best would be a 2014 Polaris Ranger EV. that would solve the noise issues
but the draw back is its very expensive. I would even have a look at some of the smaller electric quads... or a modified golf cart

Last edited by phmaximus; 07-07-2014 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:46 PM
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these kids ECO Monster things look cool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTKKlGjOKIE
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:55 AM
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it would be as much money as the RC, but you could add First Person View camera system to drive the truck.

Id imagine that the beach is pretty flat. and a 1/8 or 1/5 rock crawler is pretty stable. However, should the driver roll the truck on its side 1/4 mile away, it would stink to have to walk all the way out to right it again.

But then again, if a custom chassis was made that used 1/8 or 1/5 rock crawler drivetrain, the chassis could be made such a shape to prevent rolling over.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:28 AM
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We'll ideally a autonomous drone based of a 1/5 crawler would be awesome. But it would need to be built and maintained by an experanced hobbiest. But is it practical?
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:50 AM
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Thank you. I'm looking into 1/5 scale gas powered. I weighed the GPS and it is only 2 lbs 6 ounces!
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:54 AM
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Nitrosportsandrunner, thank you so much for all your input about MOA, waterproof, runtimes. I am so glad I posted here! My 5-pound guess was off.....the GPS is only 2 lbs, 6 ounces (I weighed it in our shipping department).

Thanks, Diana
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:30 AM
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Wow, cool, that's great advcie on the RedCat XBe. You are very intuitive about the sand/tire issue and the need to have the GPS not bounce around. Thanks! Diana
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:34 PM
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How big of an area are you Measuring?
what speeds are u taking measurements?
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:34 PM
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Summit. No doubt about it. Here, go buy this one: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...=LXELZTGG&P=ML
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phmaximus View Post
ultimately I would of thought the current method ATV, is the most reliable and cheapest method.

possible problems with a electric rc car that would need to be addressed
payload capacity
Field charging
runtimes
durability
maintenance
cost

and one thing that I keep thinking... how big is the area? because if its a really big area u might have to walk after it anyway... even just a 1/4 mile square area would be really pushing how accurately u can see and drive the car. and at that range the police might consider it a public safety hazard lol

ideally the best would be a 2014 Polaris Ranger EV. that would solve the noise issues
but the draw back is its very expensive. I would even have a look at some of the smaller electric quads... or a modified golf cart
I wasn't going to argue which would be better but I thought ATV to be the best choice too. Also if I was the guy on the beach taking these measurements I'd be pissed if they took away my Atv and gave me a rc!

Last edited by Maj_Overdrive; 07-09-2014 at 07:24 AM.
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