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State of R/C in 2015

Old 07-30-2015, 08:06 AM
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rc55
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Default State of R/C in 2015

I should of titled this changes in R/C over the years. 1. Change - rock crawlers. 2. Most newer modelers don't have the patience to tune nitro engines - it's an art and it's fun. 3. The driving force in the market for awhile now is for cheaper and easier to use R/Cs. 4. More electrics due to li-ion, advancements in batteries due to automotive, and ease of use. 5. The Japanese still own R/C by miles (not a change). But has the state of R/C, when compared to the 1990s gone downhill? Maybe it's just where I live, but I've seen a lot of shops where I live close throughout the years (despite towerhobbies being a competitor back then). Back in the mid 90's the hobby was growing strong with products like the USA-1 and the turbo burns, etc. It changed and made progress and more people were involved. Now, I don't know if the hobby has gone downhill, or people are less interested, or a bad economy, or less time for hobbies? Even Tower Hobbies pulled Kyosho products for awhile (I'm assuming due to cost related reasons). I have two auctions on ebay that I'm selling, because all the places like freedom hill, etc., closed up. I was thinking about opening up a track a long time ago, but there was not enough interest where I live. But yet there's enough interest for kiddie go-karts, and putt-putt golf (yawn)! Is this hobby still going strong where you live? And BTW, R/C car action was asking for suggestions to make improvements to their magazine, and I submitted a suggestion to include the MPH i.e. how fast each kit can go at their top speed, and the very next issue they started doing it, lol. That was about over a decade or so ago, lol. Anything to help the hobby. I'm at least glad the suggestion worked for the hobbys sake. :-) But about the questions...? Any comments? If you're old like me, list some changes you've seen throughout the years, good or bad, whether it be airplanes, heli, trucks, buggies, etc.

Last edited by rc55; 07-30-2015 at 10:44 AM.
Old 07-30-2015, 01:00 PM
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SyCo_VeNoM
 
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2. Agree people act like tuning a nitro is like performing a quadruple bypass surgery. While its not hard I will say its not for everyone.

3. Well cheaper is better(to an extent)

4. Well yes... but Nitro really hasn't had any advancements for awhile. The biggest advancement was the Savage Octane where it uses gas in a nitro sized motor, but even that they don't seem to be trying to scale it down, or make conversions for other RC's. You can also blame the price of nitro, and the difficulty to get it in some places.

5. Yes a lot of Hobby shops have closed as they can't compete with places like tower, and other big hobby sites in pricing. Also as there are now so many models out they can't stock all the parts so they have to order them usually from tower. For instance the LHS that shut down a year or so ago by me was the biggest one in like 25 miles. Their stock was abysmal for parts they didn't even stock parts for most things they sold so they had to order the parts. Why would I pay $0.50-$30 more(plus tax) for them to get me something, and have to blow 2 gallons of gas(round trip) to pick up a part(after I blow 2 gallons to go there to be told they don't got it) where it could be ordered online, and shipped straight to the house usually faster then the shop could get it.

Then there is the lack of tracks, and places to drive for some. Like in my case the city I live in pretty much closed down the only park that is relatively safe that is close by to build another school(they have at LEAST 5 within 3 blocks...), and as the closest tracks are around 2 hour drives away, and open when I'm at work I kinda fell out of the hobby, and don't buy anything new. I actually have 2 RC's I've never got to full speed as there is no where I can find that has enough room to run them lol


Kyosho wasn't pulled due to cost
I think it was due to them wanting to distribute the RC's themselves cutting out the middleman. I could be wrong on this I remember reading something a few years back when they did it.

As for speed now they just have to put fast, stupid fast, or ludicrously fast as people have got RC's going over 100Mph. I think the only things that don't easily go over 40 are the cheap brushed models(which can usually be made to VERY easily), crawlers, and scalers.

Last edited by SyCo_VeNoM; 07-30-2015 at 01:05 PM.
Old 07-30-2015, 05:29 PM
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There is an overload of electronics for kids growing up nowadays. They don't want to go out of the house and play when they got all the smart phones, lap tops, tablets, gaming systems...etc. When I was young, I was outside playing until the sun went down. I commanded my own fleet of tanks (apple orchard), and I pretended to be Spiderman with a rope as my web; swinging from trees...now it's just easier to pretend doing all this kind of stuff in front of a 65" TV; connected to a gaming system for hours on end; without moving hardly at all.

Back in the day there were no RTRs or very little of them that I can remember. Now that is all you see. I don't know how all these RTRs came about, but I don't like it. I personally like building something from sealed plastic bags and parts trees. I'm thinking the RTRs started out as kits and one could add a discounted combo pack (battery, charger, radio) to ease a new person into the hobby. And then (I guess) that became popular so much that companies started incorporating their own brand of electronics into their assembled RCs for a bigger profit? There are a lot of cool RTR vehicles out there that I would love to get, but only if they were sold as kits.

Kyosho was all (well most of the big colored pages) you would see in Tower Hobbies catalog back in the day. I'm glad to see Kyosho came to their senses and back at Tower.

Last edited by RustyUs; 07-30-2015 at 05:43 PM.
Old 07-30-2015, 07:07 PM
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rc55
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RIght. RTR kits back then would of been considered virtually pointless. I think it was implemented to get more people interested in the hobby, then it morphed into the instant internet gratification phenomenon and stuck. And I feel bad for these new millennial kids, they are getting paid a lot less than what I made doing the same job. They don't seem to know or care about that either. And they're getting hit hard with super inflated college tuition prices, four times what I paid. That might have something to do with it. I love electric gizmos too; like the ipad, etc., but Its gone a little nuts, with tweets, facebook, myspace, foursquare, etc., kind of narcissistic stuff. One more change I can add to this thread regarding R/C over the years is the use of two and three speed transmissions. Serpent had two speeds in the nineties, then many years later they found their way into new models, for top speed advertising purposes probably, i.e. Traxxas, lol. I love Traxxas. If there can be 1,000 putt putt golf courses for every square mile, why can't there be at least one outdoor R/C track that lasts more than a year?

Last edited by rc55; 07-30-2015 at 09:35 PM.
Old 08-02-2015, 09:52 PM
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cumquat
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as memory serves (from many thousands of hours googling) it was traxxas that released the first RTR.

locally there are 2 functioning tracks, an indoor carpet and an outdoor offroad. both have seasonal races (dirt in the summer, carpet in the winter). there are also 3 hobby shops (last i checked). the carpet track is in the back of one, then there is another that used to be good but something happened and they turned to crap, only carrying traxxas and venom (back when NIMH still ruled). the other is relatively new, a hobby town.
Old 08-02-2015, 10:18 PM
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collector1231
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Originally Posted by cumquat View Post
as memory serves (from many thousands of hours googling) it was traxxas that released the first RTR.

locally there are 2 functioning tracks, an indoor carpet and an outdoor offroad. both have seasonal races (dirt in the summer, carpet in the winter). there are also 3 hobby shops (last i checked). the carpet track is in the back of one, then there is another that used to be good but something happened and they turned to crap, only carrying traxxas and venom (back when NIMH still ruled). the other is relatively new, a hobby town.
Whats wrong with carrying Venom and Traxxas, eh? *gets paddle*
Old 08-03-2015, 07:27 AM
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Neil2704
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Well about the nitro thing, It isn't for everyone. I am a mechanic in my day job and after working on countless turds that don't run all day everyday the last thing i want to do is go home and play with another engine that is finicky at the best of times. After a long day of work i just want to "plug and play". So electric is by far the better option for me personally. I get my gear head fix at work and then some.(Sometimes with a lot of cursing along the way).

As for the RTR debate, I am fully on board with you guys. Every R/C I have owned has been an RTR not because i wanted an RTR but because the model i wanted was not available as a kit. It frustrates me greatly. They might as well be kits, because RTR really means ready to run twice, before screws start falling out and falling apart. You usually have to take it apart and loc-tite everything anyway. For my next rig that I plan to purchase soon I am actively seeking a kit on purpose for these very reasons but its hard because EVERYTHING is RTR now.

edit- My other beef with nitro is the smell, the mess, and grime that goes with them. If you have a garage to keep them in that's fine but I would bet over 50% of the people in this hobby live in apartments or town houses or something along that lines and they have to store their RC in their home. Not only is that messy but nitro is dangerous and cancerous and should not be stored in your home. I don't have a garage myself anymore. I am saving to buy the company i work for and downsized to an apartment and am currently using my kitchen table as my work bench for my RC's lol. When i bought my new 2013 f150 my friend spilled gasoline in the back seat a few days after i got it for his baja and I didn't much care for that smell in my truck for a month let me tell you. So there is lots of reasons why nitro is not for everyone whether it be the room, the noise, the mess, the added cost. Electric is just simpler and cleaner.

Last edited by Neil2704; 08-03-2015 at 07:32 AM.
Old 08-03-2015, 09:51 AM
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rc55
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I disliked electric for lots of reasons, like when the battery starts to lose power, the rc slowly gradually keeps running, making you wonder if the battery is now at 90%, 50%, until you run it, and it slows. Nitro is either on or off (because of lack of fuel). Then you have to condition the batteries, and you have a bunch of batteries to charge. Then you have to give the motor and sometimes speed control time to cool down between runs. This is not really the case with nitro, and not the case with gas. Turning on an electric is like turning on a light switch, boring (like the r/c's they sell at toys r us), and then it sounds like a wheelchair on steroids. Electric smells too, certain steps when you are building the kit smell, and when the motor is hot. Some people like the smell of nitro, but it's not like you huff it. Some people like the smell of diesel. I actually knew a guy that wished they had gasoline flavored chewing gum because he liked the smell when he was filling up his car with gas; so to each his own I guess. But then if your interest grows into planes, there's nothing cooler than a 7cyl radial engine. Or a 1/3 biplane kit. The only kit which needs electric is rock crawlers partly because of electrics instantaneous torque. But these are small models of the real thing, so I guess you could ask yourself would you rather have an electric vehicle (car) knowing all these drawbacks, or gas?

Last edited by rc55; 08-03-2015 at 10:10 AM.
Old 08-03-2015, 11:43 AM
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cumquat
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Originally Posted by collector1231 View Post
Whats wrong with carrying Venom and Traxxas, eh? *gets paddle*
when NIMH was still popular, lots.
Old 08-03-2015, 11:46 AM
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rc55
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Originally Posted by cumquat View Post
when NIMH was still popular, lots.
And nicad
Old 08-03-2015, 02:24 PM
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EXT2Rob
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But, who needs to "condition" batteries nowadays? Yes, you probably do get longer run times with nitro, but 7200mah 2S Lipos are becoming fairly common. And even on a 4wd SCT with a big 550 Novak brushless, that'll get you 30mins. I've even seen 10,000mah packs. Tho they're more the size of a 3S. Nah, I'm a firm electric guy, but I can understand the Nitro thing too. Just not for me.

Indeed, not for most people's NEIGHBORS either. Our local track got shut down for years because of noise from Nitro cars. Only when the local RC community got together, and talked to the Board of Sups over a period of years and made the agreement to be ELECTRIC ONLY, and only be open Thurs - Sun, were they allowed to re-open just last year. They also implemented a "No-Noise PA system" for race days using a small local FM transmitter. Everyone has a portable FM radio on them to get Race Announcements, so there is no noise from using a regular broadcast PA. Been successful so far. Zero complaints from the neighborhood around the track.

(BTW, I'm an "old guy" too. 50-ish. Only been in the hobby for 4 years or so, tho.)

Last edited by EXT2Rob; 08-03-2015 at 02:27 PM.
Old 08-03-2015, 03:03 PM
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rc55
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You have lots of amazing indoor dirt tracks in California where noise wouldn't bother the neighbors, because there aren't any. That was my point, that is nonexistent in most places and dwindling. I've been in and out for twenty years, and I'm almost that much younger than 50. The SPL of these nitros is not ear damaging, it's the pitch that non r/c's don't like due to the high rpms of the motors 33,000rpm. Seriously, you can wear earplugs like they do at nascar, but in ear ones, if the noise is the ONLY reason you don't burn carbon.

Last edited by rc55; 08-03-2015 at 03:09 PM.
Old 08-03-2015, 03:10 PM
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You are right there is a down hill trend in our hobby. From where I sit, two reasons seem to be, 1) Cost of getting into the hobby, it is so expensive the younger folks can't do it, the parents are strapped with this wonderful economy they can't spend the money, 2) attitude of the older folks at the flying field, some will help if you have a model that they like and approve of other than that you could sit in a corner and wait. Over all it is cost, cost of the model airplane, car, boat what ever, they are almost all pre-made now, crash and fixing it is a long shot, so buy another one is on deck. Clubs used to get involved with groups of kids and build small inexpensive models, get the interest flowing, now they do not have the time for youngsters. AMA has totally priced themselves out of the picture for most of us, flying fields are such that unless you belong to AMA, don't even think about flying there, and some you must join their club also to fly at their field. MONEY.......MONEY and more money, wonder why the hobby is going away.
Old 08-03-2015, 03:26 PM
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rc55
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It's not electric vs nitro, I was questioning a perceived lack of interest over the recent five to ten or so years, maybe due to constraints placed on the younger ones, and they may be more interested in other things. I typed this before I read your post skipper, well said. You answered what I was trying to understand better, but couldn't put my finger on it.

Last edited by rc55; 08-03-2015 at 03:39 PM.
Old 08-03-2015, 03:32 PM
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There are a good deal of tracks in California, but most are in SoCal. There is another up north in Chico. Supposedly there's one in Sacramento somewhere, and our local one in Rescue. I'm lucky to have one nearby. But I'm also lucky enough to have ten acres to have my own track on, too. 😀

The other reason I don't do Nitro is not the noise I'M exposed to, it's my neighbors. One of whom I'm in a fight with over his back yard dirt bike track being a nuisance and a hazard in our rural community.
Old 08-03-2015, 03:45 PM
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rc55
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I must move to California, the r/c capital of the united states. We are the motor city, kind of ironic.
Old 08-03-2015, 04:25 PM
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last i knew, you guys in Detroit have a model semi club. there's also a large crawler community there. no idea about the racing situation though. only been on that side of the mitten once on a field trip to greenfield village in 5th grade.

if you do move, take some of this rain with you. they could use it and i'm tired of my driveway flooding.
Old 08-03-2015, 05:06 PM
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rc55
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I knew a fellow Michiganian would chime in with that lol...Remember the winter of 2013, I'd rather be in the southwest, it was ten below zero, and that was the ambient temperature. Both coasts have their strengths and weaknesses. Fire is actually part the ecosystem in the southwest. Certain vegetation actually rely on fire in order to reproduce. But the media sometimes reports it like its a sign from above or something. But this is a thread about R/C and much of California kills us in that area, so credit is deserved. In Detroit, there's a place that has been successful here for many years, an indoor carpet track, but that is unusual. Our tracks have closed down, shops closed awhile ago even with online competition...they used to compete with tower hobbies actually. And I don't see any interest as it was before...so what changed? Skipper pretty much nailed it from what I've seen.

Last edited by rc55; 08-03-2015 at 05:24 PM.
Old 08-03-2015, 08:59 PM
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cumquat
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yeah, i remember that awful storm. knocked our power out for 3 days. i live 25 miles east of lake Michigan just off 131. any storm coming off of the lake hits me HARD. i also remember 2012. 80 in march was one thing, but 115 in august? no thank you.
Old 08-04-2015, 12:51 AM
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rc55
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Was it really 80F in March in 2012 in MI? I'd rather have 100F dry heat and a little less water for my garden than 10 below and frostbite in minutes, snow, chronic bad roads and ice. If other places can have one awesome indoor track, we should be able to have at least one that's comparable. The economy in Michigan isn't that great overall in the east, and it's worse in the western part of the state for a long time. Michigan needs to attract young educated independent thinkers. The car obsession is not like it was. It must of been cool in the 60s, but that time is over and is not coming back. I'm still looking forward to my next r/c regardless if I'm the only guy there lol.

Last edited by rc55; 08-04-2015 at 01:46 AM.
Old 08-04-2015, 08:00 AM
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yep, in some cases doubled the record high. most places the low for the day bested the previous high by 10 or more degrees for a week straight. we have gotten hit hard by the economy, and so have all hobby and recreation businesses..lost our best mini golf course and a large gokart/paintball facility. the checker plant closing down was the biggest hit. my grandpa retired about 4 months before the first round of layoffs. now the biggest factory employer is stryker (they make them fancy hospital beds among other things). used to have all kinds of manufacturing jobs. Gibson was founded here. they moved and closed the factory 9 years before i was born. now, there isnt much middle-middle class work. there's upper and lower middle class at Pfizer and stryker. there's minimum wage pretty much everywhere else. there's lots of money on the coast, but that's out of state and/or retirees mostly. what money there is for hobbies is mostly spent on electronics. i'm among last of a dying breed. people who would rather fabricate something instead of buy.
Old 08-04-2015, 10:56 AM
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dont you guys get tired of whinning.its not chicken little and the sky isnt falling in.so lots modellers dont fly nitro so what.I did it for 30 years and still have a couple four strokes.yes i enjoy electrics too.oh and i have a dle 30 gasser. technology is cheaper these days and back a number of years nitro was all you could get. sorry but rc is alive and well.
Old 08-04-2015, 11:09 AM
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Oh PLEASE, YES! Bring rain with you!! We're dryin' up out here! One community already has had their wells run dry, NO tap water! Those folks are gonna need that new machine that produces water literally out of thin air. Never mind we ought to be building solar desalinization plants as fast as possible. But our governments (State AND Federal) are completely corrupted by the Corporatocracy and don't give a ****e about the well-being of its citizens or the environment anymore. We're on our own. And if you don't see that, you're blind.
Old 08-04-2015, 01:30 PM
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You guys should do what the Saudis do, they just built a nuclear powered desalination facility, and they seem to be doing fine with it. Problem solved. Solar power doesn't provide enough power for these kind of things. And California would add jobs building the plant as well. The people just need to bring these things up and maybe things will get moving, despite any corruption. Or do what corporations do and get dc lobbyists lol. Californians used to pride themselves setting the lead for everyone else to 'follow' (just friendly ribbing). Cloud, you're in florida, so maybe where you live it's active. It's not the same everywhere.

Last edited by rc55; 08-04-2015 at 02:45 PM.
Old 08-04-2015, 01:38 PM
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rc55
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Cumquat, don't you guys have the Kellogg factory there also? Kalamazoo is a good college, but if you are in the process...consider my advice and get a 2 year degree. Credit hours are ridiculously expensive, and lots of 4 year degrees are worth a lot less than the 2 year ones (not referring personally).

Last edited by rc55; 08-04-2015 at 02:19 PM.

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