glory days well they'll pass you by

Remote Control Car!

Disclaimer: The following is written by an opinionated oaf and should not be taken particularly seriously. If you get offended, it's your own fault for reading it and taking shit seriously. No facts were considered, opinions withheld, spelling checked, and certainly no proof reading occured. Read at your own risk.


It wouldn't be Xmas without me getting myself a daft arse present to have fun with....

I've been wanting an RC car for the longest time. 30 odd years back, I saved all my Xmas and Birthday money, alongside pocketmoney and paper-round money, to buy a Tamiya kit car. I got the grasshopper. My dad then spent 2 months making it. Finally, I took it out to drive, instantly it broke and it never got repaired.

Ever since, every couple of years I've wanted a car. I recall being in a shop with Will in our early twenties and taking a look at the options. Every few Xmas periods, there's a cheap RC car on HotUKdeals that catches me eye. I'm always tempted, but a quick bit of research puts me off because cheap is cheap and not the way to go, it would seem.

This year, I saw another cheap car, researched, and then made a rather blind eBay purchase for a "used in good condition" car, the Axial Yeti XL. This turned out to be a mistake, as when it arrived, it was beat to crap. The body was held on the chassis with zip ties, and bits were missing. I wasn't impressed. It was to be my Xmas gift, but that was a few months away so I tested it first. I literally put the batteries in (and one day I'll discuss the power these cars needed), powered up, went to spin the wheels and a differential exploded oil everywhere! Thankfully the seller was cool and accepted the return, and I put the money into a new car. 

After lots off research and back and forth, I went with the Arrma Kraton, which has a reputation as being a sturdy car. It's 1/8th scale, which may have been a mistake as it's massive at 60cm long. I went ahead and put on a bumper and wheelybar, making it even bigger. As a starter car, a 1/10th Traxxas made car would probably have been a smarter buy, as spares are easy to get (Traxxas seems to be the more popular brand) but research led me to the Kraton. I prefer the scale look of the Axial stuff, but they won't have the best reputation (by all accounts, you need to upgrade many parts of the car).

I decided to run the car on what is known as "4S", which is basically the battery power I'm pumping into the car. It can handle 6S but that looks silly speeds, especially for a beginner. I change the controller handset and receiver for two reasons - the one I have selected has a Beginner mode limiting speed to the 50% (so the kids can use it relatively safely), and secondly because this controller allowed me to switch the steering wheel from right hand to left hand. Usually, it seems you control cars with your left index for acceleration, right hand for steering. As a video gamer, this is backwards to how I've used a controller since my first driving video game. I could adapt of course, but I'm a traditionalist Smile

Xmas day, I'm finally ready to run it. I've changed suspension springs (something firmer) and oil weight in the shocks. I'm READY!

I head over to the local green. Wow this is FUN. Faster than I expected. We race up and down, so some donuts, and have fun. The next park round the corner has a few potential jumping areas, so we head there. I launch over a 2 foot grass mound and the car looks great. I do it again, it lands, flips, and breaks a shock axis. This is the very first time using it, on Xmas day. I can't repair it, the part I need is sold out nationally, and the local shop I purchased it from is closed for the next few day.


Today the shop re-opened. I was there first thing. They seemed surprised I'd broken the shock shaft. With the supplier currently out of stock, the only immediate option was to replace shocks. They didn't have anything the same lenght, but they had something a little shorter. Half hour later, the shocks were on, and I was ready to have another go.

This video shows some of the fun. Most of the time I was was running at 50% power on 4S. You can tell when the car is on full power, it goes faster! The jumping at the end was on half power, as full power the car was going really high up in the air and I've not got the hang of air control yet.

Looking forward to taking it again, even though I spend a good half hour cleaning the car (so I spent as long cleaning it as I did driving it).

This may just be a new hobby Smile