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Mad Ax

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About Mad Ax

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  • Location
    Lurking among the gothic shadows of Bath
  • Interests
    Streetfighters, motorbikes, fiction writing

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  1. I've never driven an Arrma but a mate has some buggy type thing and is pleased with it as a basher. Given how Traxxas conducts itself, if I was buying new today and I wanted this kind of car I would probably go Arrma. That said I know absolutely nothing about how Arrma does business :p
  2. Thanks for the correction I thought some of my older 27MHz radios from the 80s were AM but I may be completely mis-remembering that.
  3. I'll try to remember to measure the WB on Workshop Sunday (I might not get to the E-Maxx between now and then) - if I don't reply here by Monday shoot me a PM and I'll go measure it
  4. I'm not an expert in radios of any sort, and it isn't really necessary to understand how it works in order to get the best from it, but my rough understanding is as follows: Older RC radios were 27MHz AM. That means the signal had a frequency of 27MHz and the signal was sent on the amplitude (or height) of the radio wave. This was how voice and music was transmitted for years and quality was low but the technology was cheap. Popular radio stations (broadcasted music and speech) used a different frequency to that of RC radios, although IIRC those "toy grade" walkie talkies that were popular in the 80s also used 27MHz and you could get interference on your RC if the kids across the street were playing Army. Then there were FM radios. IIRC these used 27MHz or 40MHz (as well as other frequencies for aircraft) and the signal was carried on the frequency of the wave instead. This means that 40MHz is not exact - it refers to a range of frequencies for each 'channel' and each channel has a range of frequencies all of its own. So the exact frequency changes slightly in order to carry the signal. The FM radio on your kitchen worktop works exactly the same way, but in a different band - 87 - 108MHz. Modern 2.4GHz radios work in a completely different way. The basic principle is the same - radio waves are used to carry data - but the technology is very different. There are many different protocols for 2.4GHz radio systems but essentially they all do the same thing - the transmitter and receiver each have a unique ID on the frequency, and when you bind your Tx to your Rx, you are basically sharing the IDs so they talk to each other and only to each other. A whole bunch of radios are actually shouting data out at the same time on the 2.4GHz frequency but because all the communication is done with IDs attached, receivers only respond to stuff that is sent specifically for them. This is more a software thing than the old turning the tuning knob on your kitchen radio or changing the crystal in your old Acoms RC set. 2.4GHz is actually used by pretty much everything wireless - broadband routers, baby monitors, cordless telephones, virtually anything that has that little stubby plastic antenna-on-a-hinge will be 2.4GHz. Despite that, interference on a 2.4GHz RC radio is rare because of the clever software used for sorting out all the signals. I hope that helps
  5. @simalarion I'm not sure about the TXT-2 - you are right that pricing up wheels, tyres and hub parts to fit Clod tyres to a TXT-2 is pricy. You might be able to go cheaper if you get JConcepts Tribute wheels like these (IIRC they do another Clod-size wheel too). These are a direct fit to a 12mm hex, so if the TXT-2 has brass hexes under the wheels like the TXT-1 does then these should fit. I say should, I can't say for sure. But you do need 2 sets of wheels and 2 sets of tyres, which gets really expensive. AFAIK, Clod tyres fit on JConcepts wheels - so it might be cheaper to match the JConcepts wheels with the Clod tyres. As for overall rolling radius, I'm not sure it's that different? Clod tyres are big but so are TXT-2, I just don't have one to confirm how different. I expect the Clod wheel and tyre combo would be heavier overall because there's more rubber overall, that will affect handling but I doubt it will be a night-and-day difference, and it will look a whole metric tonne better - I never liked those TXT-2 wheels... @87lc2 the motor is an old HPI GT550 - I've had it around for years, still runs smooth. I was going to buy all new electrics for this truck but after a discussion on here we decided that a 550 on 3S was about right for general bashing if I didn't want to replace axles every other week Thanks for the offer of a print file - I will PM you shortly
  6. Yes @87lc2 it's the 13" '84. I bought it early last year for a TLT-axle project (actually it was going to go on Durandal before that went through multiple rebodies), but when it turned up it was way too big. It just looked completely out of proportion with Fifty-Fifty and Spellbreaker, both of which wore later Ford bodies from JConcepts. I've dug it out a few times since then but never been happy with the size, until I realised the scale was just right for the E-Maxx. So it made perfect sense. I've never really liked the ElCo body - actually I've had two of those over the years, in the same colour scheme, because I was a big lover of the ElCo growing up and always dreamed one day I'd own one in yellow with a black horseshoe stripe on the bonnet. But the Parma effort just never looked right, so both versions of that body got chopped up and used for other things. (The other one currently lives under the steampunk Clod Buster which will be getting a renovation later this year). The E-Maxx is a very forgiving truck to drive. The adjustable wheelie bar makes it driveable without flipping over on any surface, it will still front-flip if you're aggressive on the brakes and you can roll it if you corner hard, but there's so much suspension travel and so much width that it can be driven quite hard before it goes over. I remember when these first appeared - IIRC the pre-brushless version had a shorter wheelbase, and we thought they were fantastic. The brushless one took speed to a whole new level. At the time I was just getting back into Tamiya and stuff like this was way beyond my wallet, so I would wait until those bash days when I could borrow someone else's for 10 minutes. There really was nothing else that drove like them at the time - I know a lot of us here like to bash Traxxas for their superficially ridiculous size, their complete lack of scale realism and their faster-than-fast marketing, but being able to see the body lean and the suspension work while they're cornering is better than watching a Tamiya come off the ground and flip over at the merest hint of a bump under the grass. When the opportunity came along to buy, I couldn't say no - especially with the deal I was given. Even having to replace the ESC after the first run, I was still in for less than its resale value. I'd probably drive it more if I had more local mates into RC (and if I was actually allowed to see those mates outside of a Zoom window) but I really wanted it as a default go-to rig - if someone said "let's take the trucks to the fields" I wanted to have a truck that would always be in a fit state to grab and run, whatever the conditions and terrain.
  7. Maybe, I wasn't going to bother anyone to fix it tho, it was my fault for using something for other than its designed purpose and not keeping my own copies. It's not like the data is especially valuable or important, it's just helpful for me as an at-a-glance view of what I'm working on and I hope it adds value to the forum as a central repository for all the threads I've made over the last year. I can re-make my own local copy in a spreadsheet without too much hassle but I don't know how I can make a central place to share all my stuff across multiple platforms unless I go down the blog route. I'm not sure if that will add value to the community by giving people another place to go to catch up on some custom builds, or detract from it, by adding yet another RC blog into an internet already stuffed full of half-hearted soon-abandoned RC blogs and forcing those on TC who do read my threads to go away from the forum in order to read and potentially be bombarded with ads once they get there (since I'm in no way pretending an RC build blog will ever pay for its own hosting).
  8. A more complicated question than it first sounds. If I was being truly strict with my definitions, a proper "monster truck" must be 4wd and must have solid axles and must have a certain "monster" stance. Which counts out all of the Tamiya bigwheel trucks except the Clod Buster, Juggernaut and TXTs, but includes the Bruiser and CR-02 cars despite them not being (in my opinion) monster trucks. So we fall in the grey area of having to make allowances for the scale intention of the model. After all (as I remarked on the LMT thread over in the 4x4 forum) the Clod Buster is still considered the archetypal RC monster truck and is still the de facto standard for building a custom monster today, despite its motor-on-axle design being completely non-scale. So I think we need to be generous and include Tamiya's intent when we consider what is a monster. Building a scale monster truck obviously wasn't impossible at the time (take a Bruiser and add bigger wheels) but it wouldn't have had the speed or robustness offered by the Monster Beetle, Blackfoot etc. The Blackfoot and other trucks on the same chassis definitely have the monster stance as well as the big wheels, as do the Lunchbox and Pumpkin. The original Wild Willy doesn't (the wheels are too small), the later WW2 had bigger wheels but IMO still lacks the stance of a true monster - it is a lifted 4x4. Which brings us full-circle to the Bruiser. Is that a monster truck? Well, if you scaled it up to full size, its wheels would probably be bigger than that of Bigfoot 1, and it has the solid axles and 4wd that we demand earlier. But by the release of the Bruiser in 1985, the monster truck world had moved on and the high-body, 66" tyre platform was the norm, while regular civvie owners were outfitting their Fords and Toyotas with body lifts, solid front axles and big tyres, for fashion as much as for mud bogging. Even growing up in Britain, I remember seeing lifted Hiluxes on fat chrome steels in the 80s, and they were way too shiny to have ever seen anything but pavement. So - IMO, obviously - the Bruiser is intended as a lifted street truck. Once we leave the Blackfoot era behind, things change. The Blackfoot might have started the truck racing craze, but the RC10T truck conversion defined the formula. Buggy bodies with wide outriding wheels and low-slung truck bodies, they looked nothing like the 1:1 truck racing scene but were a popular race class. I've never fully defined the difference between a truggy and a stadium truck, except that truggy seems (to me at least) to be a newer word. In the background, the rest of the RC world moved on and, building on the TLT-1 design philosophy, we had things like the AX10 and SCX10. With 2.2 crawler tyres, these were bigger than the previous generation's monster trucks and they had the right suspension powertrain layout, but the real world had moved on too - these weren't monster trucks, these were rock crawlers, rock racers, mud boggers, or something else, depending on specifics of the design. So as the world changes, so the definitions change. Building on those scale truck platforms, the RC world is now blessed with the SMT10, MTX-1, LMT, etc, all of which follow the plan of late-stage monster trucks. IMO a manufacturer can't make anything that deviates too much from this design and still call it a monster truck. The majority of what we sell as 'monster trucks' today aren't, IMO, monster trucks. The E-Maxx, T-Maxx, Stampede, Rustler, even the Summit, are not monster trucks. They're truggies, stadium trucks or stunt trucks. Intent is no longer enough to apply a label to something because our manufacturing is so good. Well, that's my take on it, anyway Unless you are referring to a certain Jamaican-British Olympic sprinter from the late 80s / early 90s, in which case it means something else
  9. I bought a set of these for running 2wd buggies on tarmac. Not sure if they're still available anywhere. https://www.modelmaniacs.co.uk/product/carson-all-terrain-2wd-buggy-tyre-wheel-set-front-x-2-rear-x-2-c900027/
  10. So I just took off the rear body post mount and cut another piece of rod-and-tube to fit the rear shocks. I think I can bring the shock tops closer in which will improve appearance, once I've got the suspension dialled in, as I expect the spring collars will go down a bit and give me more room. Then I soldered up some motor plugs and took it for a quick run on the back lane It's pretty tame on 2S, doesn't really do much, but it's smooth and driveable. I had to turn out a lot of steering as even with the wide wheel adaptors it still hits the new lower links on full lock. But it has a surprisingly tight turning circle, which is great for a rig of that size and means I should be able to enjoy it in my garden without converting to 4WS. On 3S it's better, won't set the world on fire but it's plenty for now and should be a lot more fun once I've got the ramps out. I'm excited to see how well it jumps - so excited I just might even throw on the El Camino shell from the E-Maxx until I've had time to paint the Raptor. I need to investigate body post options. I cut the body but obviously the stock posts don't work for it. I see JConcepts have a 3D printed option but as it's a Shapeways part it'll probably cost me 3 times the part in postage. I need to relocate the front body mounts also as they want to come up right where the power bulge is on the hood. Just one question - how does one go about truing balancing those big soft tyres? The wheels are wobbling all over the place.
  11. I just watched a youtube vid of some guys doing the same shock relocation and they had issues with the shock touching the chassis. They said they'd get some longer spacers but no updates on how it went. The stock hole is countersunk so there's very little meat there to hold the shock flat, however the rod and sleeve method works just fine so I'll go with that once I've sorted the body mounts. Depending on how I feel tonight, I might trim and mount the body later. Right now I have to replace the felt on the shed which came off in last week's storms - it's finally dry, light and calm enough for me to do it
  12. This week's update! I haven't done much in the evenings besides contemplate the relevance of blogging in 2021, especially in relation to RC. It's probably worth a whole nother thread all by itself, but I've been doing a lot of internal asking of where I can host a proper permanent project thread which won't get lost or damaged like this one did last week. After discussing with my wife, a blog seemed superficially like the perfect solution - but I'm not sure that anyone really reads them. I mean, I don't. I know of a few members who have blogs, and I'll visit from time to time if they link somtehing useful here, but I don't make a point of heading there every week to catch the latest. Yet I kind of feel that my weekly project update thread could be doing more than it is. I don't know, I need to ask more what I want to achieve. Ultimately a greater online presence in general would help my future plans as I rebrand my other creative outlets (my wife and I have been talking a lot about online presence since she's started her own craft business) and it would be helpful if I decide do to push on with a UK monster truck racing event. It's something I need to give a bit more thought to before I start making too much noise about it. Otherwise, I haven't done much during the week - busy with one thing and another as usual - but here's the progress report from Workshop Sunday: I started the day trying to get the Budget Bruiser into some kind of driveable state, but a slight disaster with the rear bumper has forced me to rethink my plans. Read all about it here: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/94224-budget-bruiser-maverick-scout-class-1-scaler/&do=findComment&comment=851274 Then, randomly and for no obvious reason, I got my E-Maxx off the wall and started fitting a new body that I've had lying around for a while. As I was there, I decided to pull out the transmission, just because. All-new project thread here: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/97824-e-maxx-reshell-and-renovation/ Finally I took my almost-finished SMT10 up to the workshop to get the final main assemblage done on the workbench where I had more space. Catch up on the latest here: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/96930-gloryhammer-smt10-race-truck/&do=findComment&comment=851315
  13. For the rear shocks, I put a longer screw into the rear body mount - but I'll switch to the M3 rod and sleeve method as I don't need the body mount there. Already those screws are sagging. Anyway - here's the almost-finished rig. I haven't fitted the top of the cage yet as the driver needs to be painted and fitted. JConcepts Tribute wheels on the medium setting with Firestorm tyres - I didn't want to go full wide but they catch the links on full lock, so I've added the wider spacer. I hope the servo saver can handle the turning torque I have also flipped the headers so they face forwards as they looked like they were a bit hidden behind the wheels. I also noticed a fairly obvious tight spot in the transmission when rolling it over on the workbench, so I guess I'll have to pull it apart to see what the deal is there. It could be pinion mesh, could even be a bent motor shaft - that motor is a pretty old one - but I won't know until I have time to get in there and start stripping it down.
  14. More updates I don't usually do NIB builds in my workshop - I tend to prefer the messier stuff like custom builds and body hacks and save the NIBs for those lazy days on the sofa - but I was almost at the end of chassis assembly and it was getting a bit tricky to do in the house with limited table space available. Plus I knew once it was complete I'd still have a lot of going-over and tidying up to do which would definitely be easier with all the space and tools to hand. My intention was to build this chassis in racing trim, with the shocks mounted higher to keep the lower links parallel. I've seen a Trigger Kings video where they use the body post screw mounts, but there's not really a lot of meat to screw into. I started with some M3 screws and spacers cut from parts sprues but the screws immediately sagged under the weight. I figured the best solution was to use a length of M3 allthread and some sleeve - this is sturdy enough but I worry about the potential stress transfer during a crash, as the rest of the chassis is plastic this length of metal could be unforgiving. @87lc2 you're an SMT fan - what's your method of securing the shocks here? Also I found I had to make the spacer wide enough that the shock body clears the chassis, but this seemed to put an outward angle on it. That might be due to the RH Designs lower links I'm using. Front shock mount - M3 allthread, spacer and sleeve
  15. So first thing was a new body. Last year I bought a JConcepts Ford body for a monster truck project, but it was way too big - if the rest of their bodies are 1:10 then this was 1:8. It sat around unused for half a year before I realised it would fit the E-Maxx quite well. Here it is laid over the chassis. And here it is with the holes drilled I might want to change the front bumper, as that round one doesn't really look right under the Ford body, but otherwise it's a perfect fit. I have a colour scheme and a name in mind. After that I decided to strip down and inspect the transmission. It's always been noisy as badword - the friend who sold it to me assured me that was normal, but I wanted to pull it apart just to check. First thing I noticed was how convenient it was to strip down. Say what you like about Traxxas style, marketing or aggressive lawsuit action, they know how to make a convenient car. So many times with Tamiya I've been frustrated at the amount of screws that have to be removed just to do a simple operation. How bout a pinion swap on a TB-01? Half the car must come apart. The chassis is made of that plastic which strips really easily, so every pinion swap is a risk and one screw turn closer to ruining the chassis. I'm sure the CF variants were better but that's just one example. Check the pinion on the E-Maxx? One screw on top of the pinion cover and it comes off. And - the pinion was loose! It actually came off in my hand. The grub was tight enough to stop the motor shaft from spinning within, but it was flopping back and forth. Definitely that needed fixing. Even with the motor removed, there was still a fair bit of noise from inside, so I decided to pull of the transmission completely and open it up. Again, Traxxas surprises me with its convenience. Turn the truck upside down and I can see a nice hole in the bottom guard to access the propshaft grubs - lo and behold, one of them is loose. I really should check the truck more often before and after running but it looks like it didn't get much maintenance before it came to me. There's not a lot to remove to get the transmission out. Bottom guard, propshafts, a few screws and out it comes. Likewise, opening the transmission is easy and it's surprisingly simple. Nothing inside was broken or worn - some play in the idler gear bearing but nothing serious. However, it was bone dry - there was evidence that there had been some grease in there once, but none of the gears felt even slightly greasy. So, with the addition of a bit of GP grease, everything quietened right down. Then I looked at the slipper clutch. The downside of having the pinion and spur under a solid cover is it's not visible without getting the hex driver out - which means it's easily forgotten. As an oldskool Tamiya enthusiast, slippers are not really on the list of things I think about. I didn't even realise the E-Maxx had one. I thought it was a bent shaft causing the spur to run all wibbly wobbly, but it wasn't, it was a worn slipper. Clutch plate and pads clearly worn But also the inside of the pressure plate is worn. It's not beyond use, but evidence that the pads are below minimum thickness because it's started grinding away at parts that should never touch. Fortunately replacement parts are cheap - as soon as I get around to ordering new parts, I'll grab new slipper parts and a new shock shaft. Watch this space
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