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  1. #1

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    Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    This is an all metal Mato Tiger 1 that I'm converting to RC. The Mato metal tiger comes with gearboxes but no electronics. I'm going to do this conversion in stages - first the drive train then later the turret and gun. I'm using brushless motors not because I want greater speed, but I do want more torque for what will be a very heavy tank in the end. Unlike my Kyosho Blizzard conversion which had 17 turn motors, this tank has 22 turn motors, sort of in the rock crawler range in terms of maximum rpm. I'm using the same kind of 60 Amp ESCs that I used on the Blizzard, as well as the Turnigy 9X TX/RX. I need to remote the antenna to the outside of the tank as it is metal and that would probably interfere with signal reception. I've got 60 cm 2.4 GHz antennas ordered (57 cm of coax and 3 cm of antenna.) The real challenge will be soldering the new antenna to the receiver PCB - the wires are very small (not sure I can actually do it.)

    When I first got the tank I noted that the wheels and suspension were sticky, so I dissembled everything and lubed and retightened it all. I had to modify the pinion gears on the gearboxes to 3.17 mm (1/8 inch) bore, which I did with files and a reamer. It's almost impossible to get perfect results this way, and indeed mine are slightly eccentric. They seem to work ok though, but maybe with a little more gear noise.

    The only mod to the hull I made was removing 4 standoffs from the floor. I removed the circular coverplate from the rear (not sure what this is for anyway.) I made a combination battery box - electronics platform out of PVC. I decided to try use two large 3S lipo battery packs in parallel, not to get more current, but to extend my run between charges. These 22 turn motors can draw about 20 amps max, or more than 200 Watts at 3S voltage, so you'll need some serious battery power. The 65C rating of the batteries is totally overkill but they were not larger in size or that much more expensive, so I got them. I'll have 7,700 mAhr - have to wait to see how far that gets me.

    Next I'll get the tracks back on and do some testing. I hope the speed is close to scale. I had the same motors in another Heng Long Tiger 1, with steel stock gear ratio gearboxes, and it was way too fast.
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  2. #2

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Final image
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  3. #3
    Perry S.'s Avatar
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Very nice and good to see the metal Mato getting some airtime. Quetstion on the pinions. They are huge. How many teeth do they have vs. the stock. Seems like it takes the 3:1 gearbox and turns them back into 1:1 gearboxes. Maybe that's why your other Tiger was way too fast.

    Perry


  4. #4

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    The pinions I believe have 20 teeth, but they are what comes stock on the 3:1 gearbox. I have two sets of these gearboxes and all have the same pinion gear. The way the gearbox is made I don't think you could use much smaller pinions because you can't move the motors much closer to the rest of the gears.

  5. #5
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1



    Right on the gearboxes. I have that set in my sehrman. I believe Asaitam boxes used a similar gear setup as well.
    One thing I am not sure of is the brushless setup though. I always thought they were for more top end or rpm, as opposed to torque on the low end. If this don't work for you, check out the long can 480 bushed motors at www.etoarmour.comThey give plenty of torque, even at that weight.


  6. #6

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Well, just like with brushed motors, there are all kinds of brushless motors - some built for high rpm and others are not. Usually brushed motors are rated in "number of turns", and brushless motors in kev (rpm/volt), but for some reason Hobby King doesn't list the kev for these motors I used and instead lists the "turns." In general, higher number of turns means lower top rpm and more torque. Brushless motors with kev of 700 are going to be significantly slower than the stock 380s that come with the tanks we buy.

  7. #7
    yellowshaker's Avatar
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Interesting info there. Thank you. I suppose it wwill be a case of trial and error, using an educated guess of what will work best in terms of scale speed and power. Let us know how it runs. I am curious to see this in action.

  8. #8
    Perry S.'s Avatar
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1


    ORIGINAL: rampa203

    The pinions I believe have 20 teeth, but they are what comes stock on the 3:1 gearbox. I have two sets of these gearboxes and all have the same pinion gear. The way the gearbox is made I don't think you could use much smaller pinions because you can't move the motors much closer to the rest of the gears.
    Ahhh, I see now. I haven't seen the Mato 2.0 gearboxes before.

    Keep us informed, this looks awesome so far

    Perry



  9. #9

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Insane build rampa203!
    I'm going w/the more conventional RX-18 electronics and the motors that it came with it on mine.
    Please let me know what you think about the track tension. After tightening up the road wheels and suspension arms on mine (by adding extra shims to the suspension arm mounts so that I actuallycouldtighten them down w/out binding[:@]), the tension seems to be "ok" for now.... But after everything breaks in, I can see a set of track tensioners in my future (and maybe your's w/the power that you're running). And adding them will be no trivial task as those cast aluminum rear idler monts will have to be ground off[]
    Shambrick

  10. #10

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    A few bumps in the Road

    1) Shambrick - Regarding the tracks I thought the same thing, a little loose. Actually one side of my tank was way too loose - had one too many links - removing a link made it the same as the other side. I have a set of tensioners I bought from Phil which I haven't installed on anything. In fact I don't really know how to install them even on a plastic tank. There are no instructions and I couldn't find anything very clear on the internet. I think you're right it would be a pain to install on the metal tank.

    2) My road wheel axles are comming unscrewed. WhenI took everything apart and put it back together I didn't use threadlock. Also the hex socket seems to strip. (There is another thread about screw heads stripping on HL tanks.) I wish there were some high quality stainless steel axles available. It would be nice to find some stainless steel lag bolts to do the job, but the the axle part is 3.9 mm and the thread is 3 mm.

    3) So anyway, I put the tracks on and did some tests. First the top speed is definitely not too fast - seems to be scale appropriate. The torque is incredible. I'm sure the tank could go up a straight wall, 90 degrees, if the tracks had traction and the parts held out.

    4) Now the big problem - the parts didn't hold out. I was trying to go up a very steep incline, something close to 60 degrees. It was on a rubberized mat to improve traction. It made it about half way and then one track stopped moving, although the motor was spinning. So naturally I thought I had stripped the gears on one side. But after removing the gearbox and taking it apart I could see than the gears themselves were fine. The problem was in the gear axles (not sure this is the right term.) See the photo - I don't mean the final drive axle, but the narrower rods that the other gears spin upon. If you look at the close up photo I think you can see that the axle in the middle is straight, and the ones above and below are bent. So the gears were not meshing properly. Funny that the brass parts - the gears - held up, and the steel (I think) axles did not. So now I'm not sure what to do other than not trying to torture test the tank like I did.

    I know there are some very high quality gearboxes for Tamiya made from stainless steel, and there are regular steel 3:1 gearboxes for HL, but as I said, it wasn't the gears themselves that was the problem for me. The gearbox axles are 3 mm, so I might try some 3 mm stainless steel rod cut to the right length (32.8 mm). If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
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  11. #11
    Perry S.'s Avatar
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    That's too bad. SS rod looks like it could be substituted. Calling the existing shafts steel can be generous at times. I like to think of it as a new material I call Chinalloy.

    Perry


  12. #12

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    I have some T-Rex heli flybars that are 3 mm and supposedly stainless steel, but they are magnetic so I'm not absolutely sure about them. I decided to get some 3 mm stainless steel round rod, which I found on ebay (coming from the UK.) I also bought a set of steel 3:1 gearboxes from rctank.de. They are the same width as the regular ratio gearboxes - much narrower than the mato 3:1, so I'm thinking it would be harder to bend those gear axles. The shipping from Germany is astronomical - 26 euros!

  13. #13

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Thanks for all the info rampa. You're breaking the ice ahead of me

    As to the number of links, good idea, should count mine.

    As to the road wheels coming unscrewed, welcome to the club! I'll give Mato the benefit of the doubt and say that they expect most people to disassemble this tank for painting, but at least 60% of the fasteners on my example were loose! On the 1st run w/the electronics tacked-in, I lost one road wheel and two suspension arms!

    As to the stripped wheel screw heads, yep I had those too, and had to take some from my electronics donor plastic Tiger. Also to my surprise, the suspension arm mount bolts are phillips head, and are easily stripped. Again, the hex-head bolts in the original plastic Tiger are a better alternative. I'll probably end up switching those out when I paint this thing.

    And lastly, yeah, those trannys are a lil shaky. That main angle piece that holds the motors is a lil thin and has a bit of flex to it.

    I don’t mean to hijack your thread, and I’ll write more in my own review when I’m done, but if one was considering this tank, no way would I pay the full $499 (I got mine on sale for $399). Sorry to say, but $300 - $350 is more like it.

    ORIGINAL: rampa203

    A few bumps in the Road

    1) Shambrick - Regarding the tracks I thought the same thing, a little loose. Actually one side of my tank was way too loose - had one too many links - removing a link made it the same as the other side. I have a set of tensioners I bought from Phil which I haven't installed on anything. In fact I don't really know how to install them even on a plastic tank. There are no instructions and I couldn't find anything very clear on the internet. I think you're right it would be a pain to install on the metal tank.

    2) My road wheel axles are comming unscrewed. WhenI took everything apart and put it back together I didn't use threadlock. Also the hex socket seems to strip. (There is another thread about screw heads stripping on HL tanks.) I wish there were some high quality stainless steel axles available. It would be nice to find some stainless steel lag bolts to do the job, but the the axle part is 3.9 mm and the thread is 3 mm.

    3) So anyway, I put the tracks on and did some tests. First the top speed is definitely not too fast - seems to be scale appropriate. The torque is incredible. I'm sure the tank could go up a straight wall, 90 degrees, if the tracks had traction and the parts held out.

    4) Now the big problem - the parts didn't hold out. I was trying to go up a very steep incline, something close to 60 degrees. It was on a rubberized mat to improve traction. It made it about half way and then one track stopped moving, although the motor was spinning. So naturally I thought I had stripped the gears on one side. But after removing the gearbox and taking it apart I could see than the gears themselves were fine. The problem was in the gear axles (not sure this is the right term.) See the photo - I don't mean the final drive axle, but the narrower rods that the other gears spin upon. If you look at the close up photo I think you can see that the axle in the middle is straight, and the ones above and below are bent. So the gears were not meshing properly. Funny that the brass parts - the gears - held up, and the steel (I think) axles did not. So now I'm not sure what to do other than not trying to torture test the tank like I did.

    I know there are some very high quality gearboxes for Tamiya made from stainless steel, and there are regular steel 3:1 gearboxes for HL, but as I said, it wasn't the gears themselves that was the problem for me. The gearbox axles are 3 mm, so I might try some 3 mm stainless steel rod cut to the right length (32.8 mm). If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

  14. #14
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    You might find that the SS shafts are also going to be to soft, and will bend. To do it right you need good steel shafts that have been hardened. You can do it yourself with piano wire and a propane torch and a can of light weight oil.

    Herman
    The older I get, the better I was.

    LVT 4, USMC M4 105mm, Stug III, DD Sherman & Hetzer building.

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    @Green Amphibian - I just bought some of this http://www.amazon.com/Starrett-Polis...9743714&sr=8-3 polished drill bit stock tool steel. Do you think that would still need to be hardened?

    @shambrick - don't worry about hijacking the thread, I appreciate your help!. When I first got the tank and tore it apart, I found that most of the fasteners where loose. My wheel screws came loose after I had already tightened them, which is why I think I need thread lock. When screwed into plastic they are very tight and loosening is not an issue. Thanks for the tip about the hex heads suspension arm screws in the plastic tank. Do you know if the thread is the same as in the metal tank?

    I wish I had got the $399 sale price. I paid the $499 "sale" price. I will admit that the tank was pretty much an impulse buy. Really I was more interested in the metal hull/wheels set as I wanted to build a high-powered tank. Then I thought, what the heck, it's $200 more, and while $500 is more than I would want to spend on a tank, its still only half the cost of a Tamiya and less than a quarter the cost of an aero-mate http://www.aero-mate.com/Tiger1.htm (although the comparison is unfare I suppose.)

    If I can get the gearbox problem squared-away I think I'll be happy, for the moment anyway.

  16. #16

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Hey rampa.

    >Thanks for the tip about the hex heads suspension arm screws in the plastic tank. Do you know if the thread is the same as in the metal tank?

    I didn't check, but I really hope they are. Thanks for the threadlock tip on the road wheels. I'll do that on the painting rebuild.

    Yeah, mine was an impulse buy too. Just something cool about an "all metal tank". I wish I could afford and aeromate as that's exactly what I'd want, but no way can I justify that much on a single hobby purchase.

    I guess we'll keep each other posted.

  17. #17
    Green Amphibian's Avatar
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Rampa203,

    that is much better steel than the original stuff was. You should still form it to the length you need, harden it, and temper it. If you just harden it, it will break like a ceramic cup, so it has to be tempered. There are a few videos out in google land that show how to do it if you don't already know.

    Herman
    The older I get, the better I was.

    LVT 4, USMC M4 105mm, Stug III, DD Sherman & Hetzer building.

  18. #18
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1


    ORIGINAL: shambrick

    Hey rampa.

    >Thanks for the tip about the hex heads suspension arm screws in the plastic tank. Do you know if the thread is the same as in the metal tank?Β*

    I didn't check, but I really hope they are. Β*Thanks for the threadlock tip on the road wheels. Β* I'll do that on the painting rebuild.

    Yeah, mine was an impulse buy too. Β*Just something cool about an ''all metal tank''. Β* I wish I could afford and aeromate as that's exactly what I'd want, but no way can I justify that much on a single hobby purchase.

    I guess we'll keep each other posted.

    Yes I ended up usiing the hex end shafts form the plastic donor tank as well. Whne I had mine in Danville I also broke a couple of metal swing arms. I had reamed them out where you scre them to the hull as I thtught the seems tight. Would have ben better to emery cloth the screws as it turned out. Reaming thme out weakened them and caused the failure.

  19. #19
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1


    Hey Guys,

    On the Mato gearbox's 2.0 they have their flaws but to see the bent shaft like that has not happened with anyone else set up. Now the can come in that way or something tweeked here or there. But something that must be cionsidered is he is running a 60 AMP ESC the RX-18 is only 8 - 10 amp max, EL MOD is 20 amp and I thing Tamiya is 20 amp. Now he said the motors are only running 20 amps max but that is DC brushless imediate snap torque. That why the RC Cars can hit 60 miles an hour within about 40 feet. Not only the gearbox but the suspensions are just not designed for this kind of performance. This type of instant torque will rip a set of $ 250.00 gearbox's. For what they cost and for the ease of repair if something does go wrong they are a solid gearbox for our tanks.

    IMHO

    Phil ( The Blitz )
    RCTankWars.com

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Hey Phil - Thanks for your help. I don't mean to malign the Mato gearbox.Your right about the instant torque. My esc's are programable, and you can set the acceleration rate to something slower than max. I haven't done that yet, unfortunately, but I think it would help. Also I think I was trying to do some unreasonable maneuvering when I broke the gearbox.

  21. #21

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    1) The stock screws that hold the idler wheel halves together are totally lame. They only bite about 1 thread and they are hard to insert. I very easily stripped that one thread. The stock screws are 3mm x 6mm long - I replaced them with 3mm x 8mm hex socket stainless steel screws. They are much easier to install and they bite nearly the full length of the thread inside the idler wheel. The only potential problem is that the caps on the screws are higher and if all the planets are in alignment it is possible for the cap to barely touch the road wheel rubber. I don't think I'm going to worry about it, but if it does become a problem I think another washer on the idler axle would fix it.

    2) Refining my goals - I tried to justify my use of brushless motors in my other post http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10967806/tm.htm. When I was thinking about powering the metal mato I had images in my head like the pictures below - tanks pulling out of ditches or climbing over high berms at high angles. One of those tanks is from WWI actually. Basically I wanted a tank that could not get stuck because of lack of motor power. Getting stuck because of traction is a separate issue that we really can't change (except maybe with weight.) As I said in the other thread, the main problem we have is lack of mutispeed transmissions. I've been trying to make up for that with increased torque. But this is like trying extreme hill climing in 8th gear (of the real Tiger), which the original could never have done. So maybe my goal is unreasonable, I don't know yet. I'm still in the early stages of the experiment - have more things to try.

    I don't think we need 8 speed transmissions. Even two speed might be just fine if the ratios were wide enough apart. Image if we had the same 70:1 ratio as the Mato 3:1 for second gear, but first gear was something like 350:1

    Russ
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  22. #22

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    Another Small Problem (Resolved) - When I first reinstalled the gearboxes in the tank I noticed that they were not sitting perfectly flat on the mounting plate. The gearboxes would rock back and forth a little, but I couldn't find the problem. Later I removed the mounting plate itself to see what was underneath, and I discovered that it was the mounting plate that was not properly seated in the floor of the tank. I was warped - high in the middle. The reason was some protruding metal on the undersurface of the mounting plate (the metal that sticks out after drilling and tapping a thin sheet.) See the image below - these holes are tapped but unused on my tank, there are standoffs below the holes, and this is what the protruding metal is pushing on. I filed off the protrusions and now the mounting plate is perfectly flat and the gearboxes sit on the plate the way they should withought rocking.

    I think that middle hole is supposed to be used, providing three mounting screws for the gearbox instead of two. The standoff below the middle hole is also threaded, but the holes don't line up with the holes in the mounting plate. Not sure if this is just a fluke on my tank or if all are like this. To use a middle screw I would need to either cut off the standoff, or maybe modify the holes in the mounting plate and gearbox so that the screw could go through the gearbox and the mounting plate to anchor into the hull itself. The later would be the best idea strengthwise.

    Russ
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  23. #23
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    I don't have the metal tiger hull but I do have metal idlers for my tiger, and with alittle thread lock they become rock solid. I dont think I've ever undone them besides when I installed new bolt-through axles!

    I hate having apparently random mounting holes on the plate... On my asiatam P3 only ONE hole lined up with the gearbox, I had to drill & tap out 2 more (works fantastic now ! )
    CAN-AM Rc Tank Club - Tiger I * Panzer IV * Panzer III * Chi Nu Kai * Stug III-G **** KV-2 * Pershing * T-34/85 * M4A1 Sherman * SU-76i

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  24. #24
    rivetcounter's Avatar
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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    I have a 1/6 Tiger that uses 40amp speed controllers, 60 amp in a 1/16 model why your motors will never pull anything like that??

    Your 2.4gig RX will be fine inside the metal hull, chaps with 1/6 Armourtek models have the same setup without having to extend the antenna outside the hull
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  25. #25

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    RE: Heavy Metal Mato - Stage 1

    The only reason I got 60 amp esc's is because they where so cheap - $25 each at hobby king, and the lower amp versions weren't much cheaper. There really isn't a downside to using esc's that are too big (that I'm aware of anyway.) Better to have 60 amp esc's running cooler rather than 20 amp esc's maxed out if your using 20 amp motors. Also its nice to have the flexibility with the esc's to use them some day in other projects with bigger motors. I have some motors that look exactly the same (same size also) as the 20 amp ones, but they are 8 turn 4900 Kv, and using a 3S battery they can run 600 Watts, which is close to 60 amps. At over 54,000 rpm, they are totally inappropriate for tanks however. More like for ducted fan jets. Maybe someday I'll build a Messerschmitt Me 262 to provide air support.

    Regarding the 2.4 GHz RX inside a metal tank not needing an external antenna - that is great news - I'm psyched! I have been dreading trying to solder another antenna. Also not having the delicate antenna wire tethered to the upper body will be great. You have to remove the upper half of the Mato Metal to access the batteries, and I can see the antenna wire snapping easily.

    Russ


    ORIGINAL: rivetcounter

    I have a 1/6 Tiger that uses 40amp speed controllers, 60 amp in a 1/16 model why your motors will never pull anything like that??

    Your 2.4gig RX will be fine inside the metal hull, chaps with 1/6 Armourtek models have the same setup without having to extend the antenna outside the hull


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