RCU Review: Team Losi Micro-T RTR


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    Contributed by: Eric Hege | Published: March 2007 | Views: 166700 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Team Losi Micro-T RTR underhood17.jpg


    Team Losi

    Distributed Exclusively By
    Horizon Hobby, Inc.


    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 USA


    Phone: (877) 504-0233

    Email:
    productsupport@horizonhobby.com
    Website:
    www.teamlosi.com



    See the Micro-T in action!
    Resolution: Low Medium High

    Quality
    Performance
    Assembly Ease
    Handling
    Durability
    Speed
    Motor
    Price


    Responsive Handling
    Excellent Pricing
    Very Tough For It's Size
    Lots of Power For a Micro


    Dampening Weak on Large Jumps

    Team Losi turned the RC world upside down when they released the Mini-T. Until that point no one had put the level of detail into a mini platform the way Losi did. This showed with the way the vehicle's popularity exploded. Now Losi is poised to do this yet again with the Micro-T. Up until now 1/36 scale micros vehicles have been street cars with very basic suspensions, not stadium trucks with a very capable independent suspension.

    The Mini-T offered a very well-rounded package, but Losi touts the Micro-T as a fully ready to run vehicle. You'll find the radio, charger, and even the AA batteries in the box. So it's ideal for someone looking to get into the hobby, or someone that doesn't want to purchase a lot of support equipment.

    I'm curious to see exactly what kind of power the Micro-T offers, as some minis seem to suffer in this department. Team Losi's minis have never really had a problem with speed, so I expect this little truck to be a nice little pint-sized terror. However, the proof is shown with the radio in hand, so let's find out!




    Model Name: Team Losi Micro-T RTR
    Part Number: LOSB0230
    Price: $80.00 (Approx. Street Price)
    Type: 1/36 Scale Stadium Truck
    Length: 4.5" (114mm)
    Width: 3.5" (89mm)
    Weight: 3.4 oz. (96 g)
    Wheelbase: 3.0" (76mm)
    Drivetrain: Two Wheel Drive, Gear Differential
    Suspension: Front C-Hub Carriers and Rear Bearing Carriers
    Axles: Stainless Steel CVD Axles
    Shocks: Coilover Friction
    Wheels: 0.75x0.53" (19x13mm) Plastic Dish-Style
    Tires: 1.13x0.56" (29x14mm) Pinned Rear, Grooved Front
    Chassis: Composite Tub
    Motor: Micro Electric
    Speed Control: Integrated Reciever/Speed Control with Reverse
    Radio: Losi 27MHz AM

    Additionally Suggested Items
    Jeweler's Screwdriver
    Body
    Manuals and Documentation
    Radio

    The Losi Micro-T arrives just as its bigger twin the Mini-T did, with a pre-stickered body that's ready to go. There are three variations of the Micro-T, each with a different color body; blue, green, and red. The main body color has a metallic sheen to it, which really causes the body color to pop. Two holes, one at the front and one at the rear, provide the means for the body to be secured to the posts on the chassis.

    Losi doesn't leave you out in the cold without means to understand the inner workings of their latest pint-sized terror. So you'll want to glance over the included documentation before you first run your new Micro-T. The Operations Guide gives you the basic information you'll need for charging and running the Micro-T, while another included sheet provides you with exploded diagrams and a parts list.

    The Micro-T sports a similar radio to what was first seen in my Losi Mini-LST review. It's a basic AM radio with analog knobs. The Micro-T's radio uses crystals though, instead of synthesized operation. The main reason behind this is to keep the cost of the model at a very competitive price range. The radio does include a dual-rate adjustment, which is very handy if you need to dial out some of the truck's steering. The radio has a nice cushy feel to the steering knob. The angled grip is designed to fit both smaller and larger hands, so it has a unique characteristic to it. It takes a little time to get used to this, when compared to other radio handles that are more vertical in design. However, it works well as I could use it comfortably, as well as my kids.

    Charger
    Batteries
    Vehicle Size

    The Micro-T comes with a nice compact charger that's self-contained and easy to carry around with you. It's very unique, thanks to the fact that it doesn't use an external power source. Instead it relies on a set of eight AA alkaline batteries to power it. A single LED lights up when you charge the Micro-T, and turns off once the truck is ready for some action. The plug that connects to the truck is keyed, making it easy to distinguish the direction it needs to be plugged in for charging.

    The Losi Micro-T offers one outstanding feature that is rarely found in the RC industry. That is the fact that everything you need to run the Micro-T is included in the box. This includes all of the AA alkaline batteries needed for both the charger and the radio. The completeness of the Micro-T makes it a true ready to run vehicle.

    So just how big is the 1/36 scale Losi Micro-T? With a length of only 4.5 inches, it's just a little larger than a common Matchbox or Hot Wheels car. I knew the Micro-T was small, but until I actually held it in the palm of my hand I simply never knew how small it actually was. I thought it was amazing when Losi produced the small Mini-T platform, but the Micro-T platform is unreal and takes shrinking a stadium truck to a whole new level.

    Left Side
    Right Side
    Underside

    With the lexan body in place, it's hard to get a true feel for the size of all of the Micro-T's components. So much more can be seen with the body removed, and it gives one a real feel for what it took to produce a truck of this size. For a vehicle of this size, there's still quite a large amount of detail involved.

    The Micro-T is a two-wheel drive truck, just like its larger namesake. A plastic tub chassis forms the foundation of the truck, and supports the front and rear suspension assemblies. The top of the front shock tower is kicked back, and allows the front skid plate to angle up. This provides some extra caster angle to the front of the Micro-T, and helps the truck correct itself upon landing should the front end come down a little too hard. To the rear of the shock tower you'll find the transmission, motor, and driveline.

    The bottom of the Micro-T is nice and smooth. Countersunk hardware is used to avoid having any screw heads that could catch the ground as the Micro-T speeds across it. The left-hand side sports a power switch to turn the truck on and off easily without the need to remove the body. Behind it, you'll find the cover for the battery compartment, held in place by a pair of screws.

    Front Suspension
    Suspension Arms
    Suspension Pin Assembly

    The front suspension mimics what you'll find on the larger versions of Losi's popular stadium truck platform. There are some differences however, due to the small size of the components. Most notable of these is the fact that the front shocks aren't given any adjustment options like you'd expect to see on Losi's 1/10 scale truck. However, given the small size of the truck, shock adjustments are likely to have little effect overall.

    The plastic lower suspension arms have a thickness of 3mm, with the upper 1.5mm thick camber links utilizing a bend to provide clearance for the front shocks. The axle and steering assembly for the front is made possible by a c-hub assembly. The steering links are fixed, and made of plastic. They are surprisingly thin at first glance, but their design allows them to flex if impacted which offers the servo an extra layer of protection. The axle stub is stainless steel, and has a diameter of 2mm. A groove at its end serves as a point meant specifically for the e-clip that holds the wheel in place.

    The suspension pin used on the front of the Micro-T is u-shaped and serves double duty, working as both the suspension pins and the tiebar. Its 1mm thickness is paper-clip size in appearance, but provides plenty of strength for the small lightweight Micro-T.

    Rear Suspension
    Axles
    Shocks

    The rear suspension is modular, just like the front. This makes it easy to remove the whole assembly if maintenance becomes necessary. Just like with the front, the lower suspension arm is plastic and 3mm thick. Instead of a c-hub, you'll find an axle carrier to support the rear axle. The rear shocks are adjustable, with two positions provided on the suspension arm. The shock tower doesn't provides the shock with any adjustability options though. The pins that connect the suspension arms to the rear assembly have a thickness of 1mm and are stainless steel.

    The dogbone axle assemblies are a sight to behold, as seeing the axles this small is really hard to imagine. The dogbone shaft is only a mere 1mm thick, but offers plenty of strength for the pint-sized truck. The axle stub has a flat spot which is made specifically to mate with the wheel, and the stub rotates inside a set of bushings. A groove on the end is meant for the e-clip that holds the wheel in place on the 2mm axle stub.

    The Micro-T uses plastic friction shocks to handle the dampening duties. A 1.5mm thick stainless steel shock shaft offers plenty of strength for the Micro-T. At the top end of the shock, a plastic shock cap is used to hold the upper end of the spring is in place. The shock's preload is not adjustable, but again will not have much of an impact on such a small vehicle.

    Wheels and Tires
    Front Wheel
    Rear Wheel

    The tires for the Micro-T are pre-glued onto yellow rims that are very easy to see. The front tires are ribbed, and meant to provide good traction when cornering. The rear tires are a multi-pin style, which provide good traction on dirt. The pinned tires will also work well on carpet, which is a good thing since the small Micro-T will likely spend some time indoors as well.

    The tires use foam inserts between them and the wheel. This helps the tire maintain its shape. To allow air to flow in and out of the tire freely, Losi has pre-drilled holes into the wheel. Both the front and rear wheels are held in place by e-clips, due to the small axle size. The front wheels rotate on plastic bushings.

    Battery Pack
    Electronics
    Motor

    The battery pack that supplies the Micro-T with power is housed on the underside of the chassis. Two screws hold the pack in place and the plug routes back up to the top of the truck where it plugs into the speed control. The battery pack provides a total of 4.8 volts, using four 1/3 AAA NiMH cells.

    The receiver and ESC that handles the Micro-T is combined into a single unit to conserve space. The receiver crystal is mounted on the top of the board housing all of the radio's components, and connectors on the wiring allow you to disconnect the electronics from the other electronic components. Under the receiver is the steering servo. The micro-sized servo is laid on it's side and it has a servo saver mounted on it to protect the servo's gears.

    The micro motor is mounted to the rear of the stadium truck on a metal plate, and is protected by a plastic brace that wraps around the motor. The motor is equipped with a 12-tooth pinion from the factory. If you're looking for more gearing options just swap out the stock pinion for the optional pinions that are included in the box.

    Transmission
    Optional Pinions
    Inside the Transmission

    The entire transmission assembly is made to be easily removed from the Micro-T for easy maintenance. The pinion and spur gap is adjustable to accommodate the optional pinions included with the truck. The stock plastic spur gear is protected by a slipper clutch just as a larger stadium truck would be. As I mentioned earlier, optional pinion gears with 10 and 14 teeth allow you to easily alter the truck's performance for more speed or torque.

    The inner workings of the transmission spin on a set of ball bearings. The differential is a geared differential as opposed to a ball differential that you'd normally see in a stadium truck. However with the size of the Micro-T's differential this makes much more sense. The inner gears are brass, while the outer gears and idler gear are made of plastic. The gear mounted opposite of the spur shaft is also manufactured of brass.


    Radio Antenna
    Rear Spoiler
    Charge Battery

    The Micro-T is one of the easiest vehicles I've encountered to date, in regards to getting it up and running. The first thing you'll do is slide the antenna into the radio, and twist it clockwise to tighten it into place. Then grab a set of the included AA batteries, and place them into the AM radio. The fact that Losi includes the AA batteries illustrates the fact that they really wanted this vehicle to be truly ready to run.

    The rear spoiler for the stadium truck's body is not installed when it's pulled from the box. So you'll want to peel the back off of the double-sided tape on the backside of the spoiler and then press it into place on the back of the body. With that complete, all that's left is to charge the Micro-T's battery. Insert the other AA batteries into the back of the charger, and then plug the charger into the battery. Wait for the charger light to go out, and you're ready to rock!


    Since the Losi Micro-T is electric, it was easy to get it up and running. The most time consuming preparation task was charging the battery, and that simply involves waiting for the charger to complete its task. The nice thing about the charger is that it's super easy to use, being as foolproof as possible. There's only the connection to the truck's battery to be concerned with, as the 8 AA batteries that fit in the back handle supplying the charger with power.

    I found that it took roughly 15-20 minutes to charge the Micro-T's battery most of the time, which ends up being a little quicker than the estimates on the charger's label. So waiting on the pack to charge doesn't take too long at all. On the other side of the coin, I saw runtimes in the 7-9 minute range. The exact runtime depended upon how aggressive I was driving the Micro-T, and the gearing option used. The larger pinion would shorten the runtime, while the smaller pinion increased it slightly.

    I will admit when I received the Micro-T, I wasn't expecting it to feel very fast. After all, box stock minis don't often seem super fast when compared to the nitro-screamers I normally run. However, the speed provided by the Micro-T was surprising. Outdoors, with plenty of room, the truck seemed a little tamer. However, once in an enclosed area, I found myself watching exactly how much throttle I was using. Even in a large room, such as the basement game room I made my indoor runs in, the Micro-T had more than enough power to suit any speed junky.

    I did start by taking the Micro-T along with me to Monkey Bottom Raceway. Initially it was just for a photo shoot to give me the header image for this article, but before I left the truck spent some time in the dirt. The track is oversized for a 1/36 scale truck like the Micro-T but, since some owners will undoubtedly take theirs outside every now and then, I felt it offered a glimpse into what it would do in the dirt. I started by zipping the Micro-T up and down the carpeted pit road, but soon headed towards the track.

    The large oversized jumps prevented the truck from getting major air, but I was very pleased at the level of control the truck seemed to offer. It stuck to the track well, showing that the friction-based shocks and the small truck well a pretty well-matched combination for general driving. The shocks aren't quite as smooth as oil-filled versions, but they really didn't seem to hinder the truck's suspension performance as much as you'd expect. This was due in large part to the vehicle's small size and the fact I wasn't getting much air over the large jumps. Even when I got a little air, the truck wasn't landing on flat ground, but rather the sloped backside of the jump. While the vehicle's strong suit is tailored to areas that offer a fairly smooth surface, it was encouraging to see that the Micro-T could still muster up some fun at the track.

    After some time at the track, I took the Micro-T back indoors at headed to the large floor area offered in the game room. In cooler weather it's really nice to be able to relax indoors with a little RC action, and not have to brave the elements found outside. With a fully charged battery, full throttle starts on carpet would raise the front of the Micro-T up as it lunged forward. I fashioned a ramp using some items I had lying around and jumped the Micro-T seeking some airtime. The micro-sized stadium truck took to the air well, and landed with a little bounce to it. It was even more fun to put the ramp on the landing for the stairs, and jump the last couple of steps down to the floor of the game room. The truck would soar into the air, although the landing was a little more bouncy than the smaller jumps. The height of the jump pushed the friction shocks a little harder than the smaller jump, and started to show the limit of what friction shocks could reasonably dampen.

    Despite the use of friction shocks, overall control was very good while jumping the Micro-T. This is one area that most minis and micros tend to suffer the most, but the Losi Micro-T just doesn't seem to suffer the same twitchy handling that many small RC's do. It would be tough to improve on the truck's friction shocks; given the small chassis size you're given to work with.

    It was cool to see the Micro-T zip by on the carpet and, if you were unprepared to see it fly by, you'd first think you'd seen a mouse. Something that small, and that fast, tends to zip past someone's field of vision before what has happened even registers in one's own mind. The Losi Micro-T is just so much faster than one would think it would be upon first glance.

    Despite that, so you want to go faster? Simply slap the 14-tooth pinion onto the motor and reset the pinion and spur gap. You'll lose a little low end, but the speed will increase noticeably. Be aware that the motor will run a little warmer though, especially when doing a lot of start and stop driving or running on carpet. So allow a little cool down time between runs if you have multiple packs. If you're after more acceleration and torque, the use of the 10-tooth pinion will keep the Micro-T pointed to the sky with the blip of the throttle. This even includes when you're rolling forward at slower speeds. The 10-tooth pinion is great for getting plenty of speed up for when the running area is smaller, and extends the runtime on a battery charge slightly as well. I found myself using the 12-tooth pinion most of the time, as it offered a balance that seemed to suit the truck very well.

    The question everyone probably wants to know is what sort of speed to expect out of the Micro-T. For that, I pulled out my trusty radar gun and took some readings. Trying to clock this super small truck wasn't easy, but after several runs I got a good feel for what the speeds appear to be. The stock pinion seems to offer speeds of around 12 MPH, with the other gears swing the truck's gusto about 2 MPH in either direction. One may first think those figures are slow, considering they way I've talked about how fast the truck is. However given its size it's really fast, especially when you're indoors zipping around at full speed, which is what the Micro-T was really designed for.

    The Micro-T offers a very stout durability factor as well, which surprised me. While I managed to bang it into the wall a few times myself while driving it, I opted to really put the truck though the torture test via my 3 year old son. I didn't expect it to last long with him at the wheel, but I ended up being very surprised. I turned him loose with the truck and let him run a full battery out in the basement game room. He tends to perform most of his running wide open, and slammed the Micro-T into the walls, brick fireplace, pool table, and treadmill over the course of the time he ran it. He ran through a total of five battery charges in this manner, and I cringed as he seemed to leave no immovable obstacle untouched. However, when all was said and done, the Micro-T was still running at the end of the day.

    It took my 14-year old hitting the edge of a door while drifting on the linoleum, a few days later, to finally cause a problem with the Micro-T. He broke the left-hand steering link. However, considering what it had been through up to that point, I can't slight how tough the truck had actually been. The steering links are cheap and easily replaced, and to keep running that day we simply cut our own link out of a piece of scrap lexan left over from a body I had painted. We avoided a trip to the hobby store for the afternoon, and kept right on running!





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    See the Micro-T in action!
    Resolution: Low Medium High


    The Losi Micro-T provides much more fun than it appears it would upon first glance. The combination of power and handling over most household terrain makes it a solid contender for an indoor mini. Outside, on fairly smooth terrain, it can prove itself to have quite a bit of potential as well.

    The truck proved very tough, with my only broken item being a steering link. It took quite a bit of abuse before that even decided to show up! The truck can prove to be a little tough to work on if you have large hands. You'll find that a jeweler's screwdriver is an invaluable asset to keep along with your Micro-T. The screws themselves are very small, and easy to loose if dropped. So make sure you perform any maintenance on a clean well-lit surface.

    I'm still amazed at how Losi was able to further shrink their popular stadium truck platform to an even smaller size. If you're looking for a small RC that can provide tons of fun on a rainy day, then the Micro-T is most likely going to be the ideal ticket for you. Once again, Losi has proved they know the mini and micro market very well!


    Team Losi
    Distributed Exclusively By
    Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 USA
    Phone: (877) 504-0233
    Email: productsupport@horizonhobby.com
    Website: www.teamlosi.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Team Losi Micro-T RTR

    Posted by: savtraxx on 02/03/2008
    wow great stuff my micro had a lot more probs tho try getting a pce of thin ply extreems 3 m jumps at full speed in the hall way to a plastic down ramp or a lot of blankets and pillows to cushin it
    Posted by: evan14221 on 05/15/2008
    i have the DT, but its insanely durable, just like you said. I jump it off a flight of stairs, and nothing broken but a slightly bent dogbone
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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