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  1. #1

    TOTAL NEWB here...

    Ok, get your laugh'er warmed up 'cuz I'm gonna ask some Duesy Dumb-ones. I just bought my FIRST. EVER. RC Car!! I have ALWAYS wanted one but never bought one. I used to DREAM about the MRC Super Champ when I was a kid and the best I ever got was a GOOFY RC Three-Wheeler that did WHEELIES. So, my Fahter-In-Law bought our 5 y/o daughter an RC Corvette for Christmas last year. She never really gave it a second look but the other day she wanted to take it outside so we did and...THE BUG BIT HARD!! So I started researching and decided to get a Monsoon XTE because the price was right and it looked rather LEGIT in terms of getting me started. I've read all the positive and mainly negative reviews, but it didn't deter me, I went for it and it arrived today. NOW...I KNOW NOTHING about parts/specs/ANYTHING. The charger that came with it looks rather cheapo and I'm bummed that it looks like I have to charge the two batteries one at a time. I would imagine the charger is the first thing I'd upgrade if it makes a difference. Will it? What should I look at upgrading to? Should I upgrade the batteries? Honestly folks I'm totally ignorant but CAN'T WAIT to bust this thing out. There is a local(ish) track I am going to head to later this week with a buddy who bought..."his son"...a Traxxis Truck last year. My wife joked about our "play date" and I'm PUMPED!! Thanks for your help.

  2. #2

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    Cool. does that thing takes 2 batteries?

    I would order this for a charger:
    http://www.hobbypartz.com/73p-ac680-accharger.html

    and a 2 or 4 of these if they will fit in the battery trays etc:
    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...APPROVED_.html

  3. #3
    Rule 1 is drive it like you stole it

    Charger:http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-DC-Dual-2...p2056016.l4276
    Charge both your batteries in 1 hour

    Batteries:http://www.smc-racing.net/index.php?...product_id=209
    Danny is awesome and might even put some bullet connectors like Redcat uses other wise I would suggest changing your electronics to Deans or traxxas

    First truck upgrade I would plan on is the servo and then put some better tires. Welcome to the madness lol

  4. #4
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    all RTR chargers are junk. I mean, they work and get the job done but are slow.
    A decent charger (like some of the ones linked above) will charge a 2s 5000mah lipo in 1 hour.
    And there are chargers (for a bit more money) that can charge 2, 4 or 6 lipos at the same time.
    Most any 2s 5000mah 30c (or higher) battery will work. Hobbypartz and hobbyking both have packs that use the same type of battery plug as the XTE.
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  5. #5
    Is there an "RC for Dummies" thread somewhere? I see things like 2s and 4s and honestly...yeah...no idea. Don't know the pros and cons of one over the other. Is there a "standard" battery plug? I think I understand that Red Cat uses a non-standard one, is it the banana-plug looking thing that is non-standard or the little three-prong white plug?

  6. #6
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DudeDah View Post
    Is there an "RC for Dummies" thread somewhere? I see things like 2s and 4s and honestly...yeah...no idea. Don't know the pros and cons of one over the other. Is there a "standard" battery plug? I think I understand that Red Cat uses a non-standard one, is it the banana-plug looking thing that is non-standard or the little three-prong white plug?
    im sure there is a thread like that, but the search engine doesn't always work well.

    The "S" on a lipo battery refers to the number of cells. Why it isn't called a 2C I do not know. A 2s (2 cells) lipo has a nominal voltage of 7.4v. A 3s (3cells) lipo has a voltage of 11.1v. These are nominal voltage...when fully charged they read higher and when drained read lower.

    Your model is setup to use a pair of 2s lipos in series (series doubles the voltage, so the speed control (ESC) gets 14.8 volts) The other term you will see that is similar is running to batteries in parallel....this doubles the runtime, not the voltage.

    MAH....basically equals runtime. The more, the better. For most applications, 5000mah packs work very well.

    "C" rating. you will see on some packs both a constant and a burst "C" rating. This is basically how many amps the battery can put out quickly. 30c rated packs work well for 1/10 and 1/8 models. Nothing wrong with using a higher C rated pack and typically the higher that rating the higher the quality of the cells.

    The red plugs on the redcat are not standard. They are pretty good at handling the voltage/amps that most models need.
    There is no standard plug. Some use Deans (or T style copies of the deans) some use traxxas plugs, some use EC3 and cheap stuff still uses Tamiya (or molex) white plugs. Those Tamiya plugs will melt if used with a lipo...they cant handle the amps.
    There is nothing wrong with changing to deans or traxxas plugs....but there is nothing wrong with staying with the stock plugs either. And you can find batteries sold with different plugs on them...so use whatever you like.

    The 3 wired white plug...that is called the balance plug. Id imagine your stock charger uses this to charge (most slow charges do)
    Lipo cells work different then old nimh batteries. If you charge them without that white plug hooked up to your charger, the cells will over time become unbalanced...more voltage in one than the other. This becomes a problem as the speed control reads the total voltage of your batteries and cuts power to the motor when it reads a certain voltage level. Lipo batteries cannot be fully drained like old nimh packs. So if cells become unbalanced, the esc may read 6.2v, but one cell has 3.5 and the other has dropped below 3v (you don't want a cell to drop below 2.9v as this risks damaging it)

    while it is not nessasary , I balance charge my lipos every time. It takes an extra 10 minutes or so to balance charge verses just charging them.

    If you google something like RC Lipo Battery info then you should come up with some threads specifically on lipo batteries. They have a few extra rules than the old nimh packs, but their performance is SOOOO much better that it is worth it to read up.
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  7. #7
    Holy crap I had NO IDEA and electrical engineering degree was necessary!! Can you balance charge with the cheap charger? Is that a WAY of charging or is it a TYPE of charger? I have to say I am pretty disappointed with the instructions that came with this car which is why I am having to bother you kind folks!!

    If I upgrade batteries, does that mean I need to upgrade the ESC as well? Seems like, going into this, the weak point of this setup seems to be the Servo, ESC, and diff's.

  8. #8
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DudeDah View Post
    Holy crap I had NO IDEA and electrical engineering degree was necessary!! Can you balance charge with the cheap charger? Is that a WAY of charging or is it a TYPE of charger? I have to say I am pretty disappointed with the instructions that came with this car which is why I am having to bother you kind folks!!

    If I upgrade batteries, does that mean I need to upgrade the ESC as well? Seems like, going into this, the weak point of this setup seems to be the Servo, ESC, and diff's.
    well, you don't really have to learn about the make up of the battery, just how to charge it. you can post a pic of the stock charger so I can be sure, but id assume it uses just the white balance plug on the lipos to charge them. This means it will balance charge them.

    A imex b6, thunder ac6 and nearly all decent lipo chargers will use the main plug (red one) and the white plug. They pump the juice threw the red plug and balance the cells threw the white plug.
    And there are videos on youtube showing how to setup most lipo chargers (make the selections you want threw the menues, ect)

    If you upgrade to batteries with a higher C rating or higher MAH rating, you don't need to upgrade anything. The voltage will still be the same, just you will have more runtime and a bit more punch.
    You would only need to upgrade the ESC / motor if you wanted to run 6s (or a pair of 3s packs in series) and honestly the XTE is not designed for that. It will work, but the frequency of breakage due to higher speed and much greater motor torque will happen. Stick with running pairs of 2s lipo packs for now. But you can get a pair of 2s 5000mah 30c (or 40c / 50c) packs to increase your runtime.

    Due upgrade the steering servo. a metal geared servo with at least 200oz of torque will work better. It is not that the stock servo wont work, just the life of them is hit-or-miss. ive had a redcat servo last a year, while others failed within a couple of packs. So it is a good idea to buy a better one and have it on hand, so when/if the stock one dies you can just slap in the better one.

    Redcat manual are generally poor. It is one of the downsides with the brand. when you pay less you always get shorted somewhere.

    this video might help some: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb3v6l21nwU
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  9. #9
    THANK YOU NITRO!!! There is A LOT of helpful advice in that last reply! Sweet, thanks.

  10. #10
    WOW!!! Eventful day...got the car out for it's first spin and SCARED THE CRAP out of our 5y/o. Have to say I was a little frightened of the thing myself. Speed was crazy, range was great, crashes were...many. Some were HARD. In fact...broke the ball that threads into the upper suspension arm and connects to the wheel. Car is OUT right now. So my FIRST upgrade purchase was replacement ALUMINUM upper and lower suspension arms for the front of the car. I figured it looks like this is an area that takes a beating so let's beef it up a bit. Then, I started thinking about our conversation here and just purchased a Thunder ac680 charger (thanks for the recommendation FarBeyondDriven and Nitro) and ended up with two Gen Ace 5000mah 40C batteries (seemed like really good batteries and they used my connectors). REALLY wanted a charger that would do more than one at a time but...I was spending TOO MUCH for ONE DAY as it was. I think I MAY have wrecked a shock as well. Oil all over it and seems a little...flimsy. Where do I get into a shock discussion that I won't understand?

    THANKS FOLKS!!

  11. #11
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DudeDah View Post
    WOW!!! Eventful day...got the car out for it's first spin and SCARED THE CRAP out of our 5y/o. Have to say I was a little frightened of the thing myself. Speed was crazy, range was great, crashes were...many. Some were HARD. In fact...broke the ball that threads into the upper suspension arm and connects to the wheel. Car is OUT right now. So my FIRST upgrade purchase was replacement ALUMINUM upper and lower suspension arms for the front of the car. I figured it looks like this is an area that takes a beating so let's beef it up a bit. Then, I started thinking about our conversation here and just purchased a Thunder ac680 charger (thanks for the recommendation FarBeyondDriven and Nitro) and ended up with two Gen Ace 5000mah 40C batteries (seemed like really good batteries and they used my connectors). REALLY wanted a charger that would do more than one at a time but...I was spending TOO MUCH for ONE DAY as it was. I think I MAY have wrecked a shock as well. Oil all over it and seems a little...flimsy. Where do I get into a shock discussion that I won't understand?

    THANKS FOLKS!!

    your experience is like a friend of mine....he had never had a snowmobile, then got a 580ext. That is a pretty big and powerful sled. Which it only took him 3 days to roll.
    Another friend of mine had just as powerful a sled, but he had owned a 250, 340 before. so he worked his way up.

    You started on the high end of performance. Ive had the earthquake 8e which has basically the same performance and I know these things can haul.

    I personally do not like to upgrade suspension arms to alloy. Generally, plastic arms will flex enough to absorb most impacts. A alloy arm wont flex. This puts added stress on the chassis where the arms connect. so, id rather have to replace a plastic arm then replace the chassis where the arm attaches.

    Sometimes a shock cap can just come loose. other times the bladder that sits inside the cap can tear. Either can cause the shock to leak. If you remove the shock cap and the bladder looks good, just add some shock oil and tighten down the shock cap.
    Shock oils are rated by weight. many 1/10 models use 30w. The redcat may use the same, as they often have oils lighter than what would be best for them. there are shock oils made by different brands...as far as I am concerned they are all the same quality. A small bottle of 30w will be around $10 and will usually fill 4-8 shocks. The flimsy feel is because there is not enough oil.

    this vid shows how you refill a shock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybHDV4iGIFU
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by nitrosportsandrunner View Post
    your experience is like a friend of mine....he had never had a snowmobile, then got a 580ext. That is a pretty big and powerful sled. Which it only took him 3 days to roll.
    Another friend of mine had just as powerful a sled, but he had owned a 250, 340 before. so he worked his way up.

    You started on the high end of performance. Ive had the earthquake 8e which has basically the same performance and I know these things can haul.
    LOL!! Yeah, well, I look at it this way. Once I thought I wanted to get a pair of..COUGHRollerbladesCOUGH...just to see if I liked it. So I bought a cheap pair of skates and they were AWFUL. When I bought a nice pair I was amazed at the performance and how much I then enjoyed...COUGHRollerbladingCOUGH. Then for a while I worked in a bike shop and always used that analogy with folks. I'd tell them, put off your purchase a few more months and save until you can get something nice, chances are you will enjoy the bike better and want to use it more.

    I applied this same logic when it came time to FINALLY fulfill my childhood dream and get a REAL R/C car. I know I didn't buy the BEST, but I bought what seemed like a good enough one to truly enjoy my new hobby. BUT, as with any new hobbit, there is a learning curve, or learning CRASH anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by nitrosportsandrunner View Post
    I personally do not like to upgrade suspension arms to alloy. Generally, plastic arms will flex enough to absorb most impacts. A alloy arm wont flex. This puts added stress on the chassis where the arms connect. so, id rather have to replace a plastic arm then replace the chassis where the arm attaches.
    Well crap, this makes perfect sense actually...

    Quote Originally Posted by nitrosportsandrunner View Post
    Sometimes a shock cap can just come loose. other times the bladder that sits inside the cap can tear. Either can cause the shock to leak. If you remove the shock cap and the bladder looks good, just add some shock oil and tighten down the shock cap.
    Shock oils are rated by weight. many 1/10 models use 30w. The redcat may use the same, as they often have oils lighter than what would be best for them. there are shock oils made by different brands...as far as I am concerned they are all the same quality. A small bottle of 30w will be around $10 and will usually fill 4-8 shocks. The flimsy feel is because there is not enough oil.

    this vid shows how you refill a shock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybHDV4iGIFU
    I'll look into this when I begin the surgery to put on the new suspension arms...a task that, for the looks of it, I need to find a tutorial for...

  13. #13
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    generally, when it comes to alloy upgrades I like to use alloy on these parts:
    motor mounts (if the stock one is plastic)
    diff cases
    steering hub and steering knuckles
    rear wheel hubs
    shock towers
    shocks (or sometimes just shock caps)

    IMO, all other alloy upgrades are just for looks.

    For me, wrenching on RC's is half the fun. It doesn't matter if you are a backyard basher, or a racer....or if you have a $100 truck or a $600 truck, stuff will break. Ive literally had over 400 rc's by this point. I buy/sell/trade a lot. HPI, kyosho, losi, redcat, traxxas, duratrax, Tamiya, axial, ect....ive had something from all of them. They all have good/bad points to them. For me, it has always been about fun-to-cost ratio. with redcats, I generally found I got a good amount of fun for my money.

    I think your manual has an exploded view of the model. Generally that is all I ever need to tear a model apart and put it back together. For some who have a harder time, use a digital camera and take pics as you begin tearing it down. That way you can look at the pics if you get lost when putting it back together.
    The important thing is to take your time, and make sure not to lose any screws! I don't know how many times I have wasted 10 minutes looking for that screw that rolled off the desk and blends in perfectly with the carpet
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  14. #14
    What shocks would you recommend Nitro? Was looking at some Power Strokes but the Proline guy I spoke with on the phone said those might be too short and would be a downgrade over stock. (?)

  15. #15
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DudeDah View Post
    What shocks would you recommend Nitro? Was looking at some Power Strokes but the Proline guy I spoke with on the phone said those might be too short and would be a downgrade over stock. (?)
    honestly, I have had very few shocks on any model that didn't fail at some point...either bending the shaft or leaking.
    But, my team associated SC10's shocks work very well. The truck has over 10 hours of runtime and the shocks have yet to fail. They are the sc10rs shocks. I am not sure of the length of your shocks...you would have to measure them. Usually online (sometimes threw google search) you can find the length of a certain shock in MM. If you measure yours in inches, just use google to convert to MM. You can run slightly shorter shocks, you will just lower the ride height and lesson the shock travel amount. so the proline guy likely meant a downgrade as in lesser shock travel....less travel means less to absorb shock from jumps.

    I know many like the proline shocks. I haven't owned any that were new...so I cant really say. I had some used ones on a used slash I had bought, and they were toast. one had a bent shaft and the others had leaked and were dirty. But who knows how old they where.
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  16. #16
    Yeah I was really bummed to hear they wouldn't work, they seemed like a favorite amongst a lot of folks and seemed easy to rebuild. The thing to do may be to take my car to a local hobby shop and see what they might have to fit my car. I need to go in and have my new Servo limits set anyway...at least HOPING my local hobby shop will set them for me with a digital controller so that I won't have to buy one for what seems to be a one-time setup.

    Thanks again for your input.

  17. #17
    Well, WEIRD shock length of course. I'm measuring 101mm for the front and 108mm for the rear. Options seem to be few...

  18. #18
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DudeDah View Post
    Well, WEIRD shock length of course. I'm measuring 101mm for the front and 108mm for the rear. Options seem to be few...
    I just typed 101mm shock in google and the first result was a ebay link. clicked the link and the page had several different shocks...from 101-120mm.
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,


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