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Getting back into RC. - Where to start?

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Getting back into RC. - Where to start?

Old 12-04-2017, 09:48 PM
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Jonbass
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Default Getting back into RC. - Where to start?

Iím new to the forum.
My wife and I were talking about what to get our 6 year old son for Christmas. We wanted something that he could do independently but also something he and I could do together. I suggested an RC car (maybe one for me too! &#128513, started doing research, and immediately got overwhelmed.
I really enjoyed RC cars when I was a kid but the last one I had was a Tamiya Fox and my charger hooked directly to my car battery.... late Ď80s...
Is there a good resource that explains the different types of cars, batteries, chargers, advantages/disadvantages etc? A starters guide?
Here are some things I am wondering about.
1) We live in the Yukon so I donít have a local hobby store and will do most of my shopping online. Can anyone suggest dependable shops to deal with? Preferably Canadian to avoid delays and costs with customs.
2) Things to consider for the car or truck I would get:
a) We have long winters so a lot of driving will be on packed snow/ice so it needs to be fairly water and cold resistent
b) Batteries - if my son and I each get an RC vehicle, it would be nice to get something with compatible batteries so we could have a few kicking around.
c) Durability - We are a long way from hobby shops so it would be nice to not be breaking stuff constantly and good to have vehicles with easily obtained replacement parts. ( If you have vehicle suggestion, are there extra parts I should order in advance?). It sounds like Traxxas parts are pretty easy to get.
d) Upgrading - Part or the fun is driving the cars and part of the fun is working on them. I would like cars that you can modify and upgrade. I used to like painting up car bodies.(I had a poorly fitting 69 Camaro body for my Fox back in the day...I think it was a 69...). Some models might be better for adding an aftermarket body to.

Anyways, if anyone can suggest anything to me, it would be great. I know it is subjective but Iím guessing there is a lot of experience on this forum. Brands/models, Monster truck vs buggy, 4WD vs 2WD.
I need to get shopping in the next few days if it is going to arrive by Christmas. Haha!
Thanks in advance.
Jon
Old 12-05-2017, 03:55 AM
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RustyUs
 
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Welcome to RCU.

Help others that will chime in here on your delima. Budget? That will probably be the deciding factor when looking at 2wd/4wd and brushed/brushless RC platforms.
Old 12-05-2017, 06:27 AM
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Play Grade or Serious RC car choice will somewhat determine the budget. Keep in mind a 6-year old will damage a play grade vehicle just by looking at it. And a more serious vehicle will not only cost more, will be more complex and will likely require parental supervision. Think this through carefully. "Speed" is NOT what a six year old needs in an RC car. If the car is powered by a lipo battery YOU need to become familiar with battery charging safety. You cannot leave a six year old in charge of a charging lipo battery because, quite frankly, they have the attention span of a gnat. It is nice you want to get him started early but this is where parents need to be parents and provide guidance. Do this together and then gradually ease him into his own equipment. I guarantee your first rc car will only be the first of many to come.
Old 12-05-2017, 07:12 AM
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Jonbass
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Thanks for the replies. I think budget is $200-300 CAD. I am definitely thinking of something we can do together but I would like him to develop some independence eventually. Can you define play grade?
Old 12-05-2017, 01:42 PM
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Play grade is a cheap no-name almost 100% plastic "toy" typically sold in the same store where you buy your groceries or clothes. Spare parts are typically not available. Your local hobby shop can help make a good selection.
Old 12-05-2017, 03:25 PM
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OP has no local hobby shop loopdeeloop.
Old 12-05-2017, 03:44 PM
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My 4yo boy had a gptoys s911 car for a year, its a cheep rc car 50 bucks from china. Its fun little car but it required lots of maintanence.... you get for what you pay for.
so i have decided to get some better truck that would not break as much.
i found Losi xxx sct, used, in craig lists and i bought it... what a mistake!
5 time driving it 3 times replacing parts, a arms, 2 times bulkhead. It is too fast for him.
cant tell would it be fine for 6yo, but as already mentioned speed is not for them.
I can only tell he needs 4wd so it ca go over high grass, buggy or MT with moderate speed, max 30kmh.
Old 12-05-2017, 05:08 PM
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for bashing in the snow, I would only consider 4WD... the larger the truck the better so if you can afford 1/8 scale then that will be a good balance between performance and durability.

I would stay away from Traxxas, they aren't very durable when compared to most 1/8 brands on the market. I would take a first look at the ARRMA lineup then possibly Losi or Associated which all have decent RTR's to choose from. If your budget is tight, then I would take a look at the ECX brand. Good luck!
Old 12-05-2017, 05:23 PM
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For that price you may have to stick to 2wd . 1/10 ECX Amp 2wd Monster Truck . I don't have one but they are supposed to be pretty tough . Add a couple of extra batteries and a half decent charger and there is your budget . Horizon Hobbies has them at about $190 Can . I think with free shipping .
In really cold conditions , plastics can become brittle ( you probably already know this ) and can break rather than flex .
Old 12-05-2017, 07:48 PM
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Jonbass
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Thanks for the replies!
Ecx looks like they have some affordable stuff. How are they for spare parts?
Those Arrma monster trucks are cool. Watched a couple of videos on their website.
It is good to hear others experience. From looking around online, I got the impression that Traxxas cars were pretty durable so I need to keep researching.
I thought the HPI stuff looked really cool (Jumpshot) but the electronics and motor looks more exposed. Some motors are more tucked into the body which I assume would better for snow. Can the motors get wet?
1/8 seems so huge. Is 1/10 more common/easier to find parts for? Is there a brand that is well known to have easy to find parts? I’m assuming we will break stuff.
Lots of questions! ��
Old 12-05-2017, 09:47 PM
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If you were to go with a 1/8 design, they typically come with far thicker parts which make them more durable and last considerably longer before parts wear out. Something like this 1/8 Buggy here would be indestructible on a 2S LiPo with speeds around 20-25mph:
https://www.amainhobbies.com/losi-8i...hoC5EgQAvD_BwE

When you're ready to drive it for yourself, then drop in a 4S LiPo and then you can have some serious fun with speeds close to 50mph

There are other less expensive options to consider, but they will all be making sacrifices in options/durability/performance... and driving in cold weather tends to make plastic very brittle and a lot easier to snap... so the thicker the plastic, the better off you'll be in the long run.

If you're not fully committed to the hobby, and just want to get a half way decent starter, then that's where the ECX brand comes into the mix, they are also a subsidiary of Horizon just like Losi... and Horizon recently started a newer lower budget brand below the ECX line called Force:
https://www.horizonhobby.com/product...ck-fces03001t2


The quality and options between these 2 cars I've linked are worlds apart even though they are roughly the same size physical dimension, that's why the pricing is vastly different... you get what you pay for. By all means take your time before you make a decision, there are LOTS of options out there and I will be happy to discuss the pros and cons for each option so you can determine what makes the most sense for you.
Old 12-05-2017, 10:54 PM
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To be honest. I am kind of on the lower side of the budget, at least to start.. Partially because I’d like to get a car for each of us. Maybe a couple of styles. Down the road 1/8 is in the stars but they are generally more expensive. I think I am in the 2WD 1/10 category to start.
Spent a chunk of the evening looking at stuff. Here are some that caught my attention. Mostly brands carried b Great Hobbies and Hobby Wholesale. 2 Canadian online retailers.

Traxxas Stampede - it has a lot of clearance, water resistance, and a 50% training speed which would be good for my son to start.
Arrma Granite Mega Monster Truck- inexpensive, they have a 4x4 version for a bit more. I don’t know much about the Arrma brand.
Arrma Senton 4x4 Short Course Trck - This one caught my eye for myself. I like the looks of the short course trucks... not sure about practicality.
Electrix Torment SCT. - This is another that caught my eye. Does having the mother out the back expose it too much for snow and water? The SCTs all seem to go that way.
Electrix Circuit stadium truck - It seems like you see a lot of videos of people jumping the stadium trucks.
Traxxas Slash - read a lot of positive things regarding durability. Seems like there are a ton of aftermarket parts for upgrading.
Electrix Amp or Ruckus- more inexpensive monster trucks

Let me know if you have any thought or knowledge on any of these.
Old 12-06-2017, 09:04 AM
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ECX (Electrix) without a doubt... although I've never personally owned one, I've seen these cars take some serious abuse at the tracks (race clubs) in my area, they simply amaze me in what you get for the price where most other brands in this price range will tend to run into problems discussed further in this article here:

Brushed 2WD Short Course Truck Shootout ę Big Squid RC ? News, Reviews, Videos, and More!
Old 12-06-2017, 05:08 PM
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Jonbass
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Thanks for the link. The big squid RC page has lots of great resources.

i called Great Hobbies and talked to someone there. They are a bigger Canadian dealer and were very helpful.
He steered me towards the Traxxas Stampede and Slash but I get that they are maybe getting a bit out of date.
i an inclined to agree with a Stampede for my son just because they have the speed limiter to keep it slow while he learns. Great Hobbies also has a lot of parts etc for Traxxas (sounds like everyone does).

I really like the ECX Torment. I think it would be a great starter for me. The only downside that I can foresee would be that the Stampede and the Slash have some interchangeable parts and I am planning on getting extra Lipo batteries so I could swap them out between the Traxxas trucks (I am assuming Traxxas iD plugs only work for them or am I wrong? Are there adapters that would work for both? I really don’t get the battery thing yet).

Of course, I then looked at the 2WD monster truck shootout on Big Squid and the Arrma Granite came out on top....
Haha! Hard time making decisions. Even if I went for a Slash over the Torment, I don’t think I would be making a big mistake.
Old 12-06-2017, 06:47 PM
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The main reason why Traxxas does well for hobby shops is because they rarely update their designs so the shops never have to worry about losing money on stocking parts that might get discontinued. Traxxas also isn't very durable when compared to most name brands, Traxxas is just durable enough for casual bashing around but break often enough to be profitable for hobby shops which is why they love to promote Traxxas more than any other brand.

I feel that Traxxas is better suited for someone who knows nothing about R/C and has a local shop to take their car so the shop can make repairs for them in the shop for a small service fee. This is a win/win situation and I fully support that business model. For the folks who get online and do more research, they tend to become more savvy and quickly learn that Traxxas isn't quite as great as they were first told by the local hobby shop.

Don't take my word on it, there's a great write up from this hobby shop owner here who spells everything out:
https://rogershobbycenter.com/from-b...w-opinion.html

ARRMA is pretty good too... most brands share many common parts between their cars just so long as you stay within the same brand name between classes.

Since you are in a remote location, I would encourage you to pick a brand that is the most durable you can find for your price point.

As far as battery connectors go, there are tons of adapters out there on eBay to get you going no matter what brand you decide to go with, even better for you to buy a soldering iron and attach your own connectors. It may sound intimidating to learn how to solder, but it's extremely easy, pretty good tutorial here:


One final caution for you to understand the gaping money pit if you decide to go with Traxxas, be sure to watch the durability montage here:


Same guy performing the same durability testing on ECX:


Last edited by bill_delong; 12-06-2017 at 06:50 PM.

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