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About nowinaminute

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  • Birthday 12/04/1982

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    Bridgend (formerly Southampton)
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    Photography, RC, Space exploration, Trains, Aircraft, Ships, Urbex, Industrial architecture/history/ruins, Music etc

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  1. Ok so I took my Nikko "Bobcat 99" project for a proper drive for the first time after leaving it on the back burner for years. I've only taken it for a quick spin around a car park until now. The idea was always to convert it from 390 size motors to 540 to give it a cheap and easy power boost to help it live up to it's potential. Being a relative of the Dictator, it's virtually hobby grade underneath the toyish facade. Anyways, the test run was in equal parts awesome, frustrating and confusing! Awesome because it was great fun to drive with bags of power and it was so cool seeing that chunky over the top body shell moving around at speed! But the frustration came with the motor temps. The motors were pretty hot. Especially the rear one. I know the rear motor is bound to get hotter, but even so. And it was that "too hot to keep your finger on it" kind of hot. This thing started life with a pair of 390 motors, surely 540 motors should be able to power this thing without breaking a sweat? So what gives? I battled for a long time to solve what I thought was binding in the rear transmission, going as far as to make a "dummy" motor with the magnets removed, just so I could fully assemble the gearbox and check for any kind of drag or binding so I know it's not that. I simultaneously love and hate stuff like this, trying to narrow down what the issue is. Is it because mounting 540 motors inherently means going up two teeth on the pinions compared to the standard 390s which are slightly offset and use 10t pinions? And combine that with the fact that when this car was designed, it was intended to run on a 1400mah nicad battery, rather than a 4000mah lipo? Lord knows a lipo is going to be better able to cope with the current demands of two 540 motors a lot better than a nicad, meaning back in the day, a vehicle such as this was effectively current limited by the battery. There's also the sheer weight of the thing, it tops the scales at 2.5kg with the battery installed. Not a lightweight by any means! It does leave me in a predicament, though. I thought adding 540 motors would give it a cheap power boost and the motors would barely be breaking a sweat, but that's clearly not the case. I thought this would be able to take on dirt, sand and short grass without getting hot, but it can't even manage a spirited drive around on tarmac without getting toasty. Did I overestimate the 540 motors? Did I underestimate the effect of 2 extra pinion gears? Am I using motors that are faster than appropriate for the weight/gearing? Did I underestimate the effect the weight of the buggy would have. Did I underestimate the fact that motors can pull much more current from a lipo than they can a nicad from back in the day? I keep coming back to "It used to have 390 motors, so surely 540s are better?" but again, it doesn't take into account the taller gearing plus the fact that lipo allows for much greater currents and longer run times. I'm not sure where to go from here. It was supposed to be a cheap alternative to other similar projects where I've just gone with brushless power. I can't change the gearing, so I might try a couple of slightly slower motors such as 35T Anyhoo! I absolutely loved driving it, it was an absolute hoot. great acceleration, and pretty decent top speed. Love the sound of two separate transmissions. The handling was decent too, for friction shocks. Can't wait to see the effect some cheap oil dampers have. It's just a shame about the motor temps, I'm going to be wracking my brains trying to work out the exact cause of it. It's especially confusing as one person on youutbe used two traxxas 12t motors and a 3s lipo and claimed the motors were barely warm. I guess they could have just been fibbing, though? Anyway, please enjoy these clips, as I had to walk around like a div with a gopro on my head to get them!
  2. No controversial, just seems like a baseless comparison. Sounds like OP just had trouble finding suitable areas for his vehicles. Not sure why you've decided to air your personal definition of what you consider to be a "basher" The term bashing was a thing long before brushless monster trucks came along. "Bashing" doesn't exclusively relate to massive air and 50mph+ large scale trucks. It's not a black and white distinction. I "Bash" my Traxxas and Arrma stuff in a very different way to how I bash my Tamiya stuff, but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy both equally in their own way. The OP is clearly aware of what terrain suits his vehicles, so I'm not sure whey you're telling him what he already knows. Modern brushless MTs might be a bit more versatile in terms of where you can take them and what you can do with them, but it doesn't automatically mean anything less capable should be left on a shelf. Just a matter if finding areas that are appropriate for the scale and power of the vehicle.
  3. Anywhere I can really! Unfortunately, some of the better places local to me have become inaccessible which is a pain. I love bashing on dry dirt, and fine gravel etc. Sand is good, too, I especially like the dry stuff that doesn't require loads of maintenance afterwards, it does require a decent brushless motor IMHO though for extended runs, cause it's high drag and will eventually kill brushed motors, especially with a lipo. I like grass, too, but I find over a certain length, it makes for a lot of traction rolling when turning plus the same thing about it being high drag and making brushed motors red hot. I find with loose dirt etc, it's a nice compromise between slidey fun but not being too harsh on motors. My 2 favourite places for kicking up dust local to me are no goes now, which is a shame. I keep an eye out for places here and in the main town, too, but thin on the ground at the moment. I live in a small valley in Wales, so I'm all set for training and stuff like that, but bashing is a bit trickier. Unfortunately, most of the nice patches of dry forest floor with dead leaves etc here are on the side of hills so not very practical to use.
  4. Prayed nobody walked along and saw this. When you're a "normal" person with a semblance of social skills, it's probably not that big of a deal, you'll probably just explain it light heartedly and not take it too seriously. But as someone more toward the "social anxiety" end of the scale, I live in absolute terror! I don't even know what would be worse between ridicule and someone trying to start a genuine conversation Hopefully I at least got some cool video of my recently revived Nikko project. We shall see soon.
  5. Did the same thing on an old tumble dryer once! I noticed most of them are asymmetrically shaped these days, wonder if it's to impede this "life hack"?
  6. I think with both bronze and plastic, you'll eventually get small deposits of grit etc embedded in the softer material which will start to wear on the steel whilst possibly prolonging the life of the bushing. There's also the fact that in many cases, the load on the busing is going to be mostly in one direction so the hole will elongate slightly whereas the steel part will get uniformly worn down like a groove which stands out a lot more visually.
  7. Yes they make a good option if they happen to have what you need. With the effective demise of Plaza, it's one of the few genuinely cheap options left. RC mart having long become pointless for most things.
  8. Ok so I put the stock board back in and glued the slipping tyre, much much better. Still a tendency to veer slightly to the right when you come off the throttle, but manageable. Genuinely impressed that the old circuit board can handle two 540s with a lipo. I knew they were good, but wow. So anyway, at this point, I decided the steering issue probably wasn't the fault of the old electronics, so put the hobby ESC/receiver and servo back in, and took her out for a spin. Still has the tendency to veer off under breaking, so safe to say it wasn't the stock board. There's loads of things it could be at this point including but not limited to: Still using a flimsy Tamiya style servo saver. Still using the stock linkages that are basically piano wire looped through the holes in the servo saver and knuckles (lots of slop) Still using the original tyres that are shot to bits and cracked. Still running the original plastic bushings in the knuckles which may be giving asymmetrical drag. Using a dodgy fake Towerpro MG996R which may or may not contribute. Maybe just the extra weight hanging off one side is the problem when combined with a sloppy steering setup. Could be a little bump steer when the weight shifts? I'll address one thing at a time and see how it goes. But even with the small issue, it's still 100% more drivable with that tyre glued and I could live with it even it came to it. I really enjoyed just bombing around a carpark for a little while. So good to finally drive it properly after starting on it years ago and leaving it to gather dust. The driving experience is what I have come to expect from Dictator family cars, it's kind a weird hybrid of unsophisticated but surprisingly capable. The 4wd definitely helps, as does having what is effectively an electronic centre diff on account of the gearboxes not being mechanically linked. Considering it has just the standard friction shocks, and the old falling apart tyres, it actually handles pretty nicely. It corners pretty well and it's easy to adjust the steering line by slightly altering the throttle. I love the sound these make, too. Very much like a clod or a Twin Detonator/Wild Dagger etc. Because the gearboxes aren't mechanically linked, they often aren't perfectly in sync, and you can often hear the two separate transmissions whirring away at slightly different pitches. I guess a bit like a twin engine vs single engine plane. Anyways, great to finally get it properly up and running after all this time! Now to refine it. I got a quick bit of video, but it was made after sunset so please excuse the motion blur (and of course the dodgy one handed driving)
  9. Bumping this as I could do with a few of the same kind of bits worked on again. Anyone in the UK with a lathe who can reduce some parts by a few mm for me? Basically the same work as highlighted in the original post. I did try approaching a local model engineering society but they didn't seem keen and there isn't anything like a hackspace near to me. Willing to throw in some beer tokens to show my gratitude!
  10. Oh dear. Well I finally got up to my desk at about 11PM lol. Made some decent progress. First removing the stock circuit board as (I thought) it wasn't quite up to powering twin 540 motors and there was some kind of servo brownout situation happening. While these all in one ESC/RX/Servo controller boards were always seen as toyish, they were actually quite impressive kit for the time. Fully proportional throttle (More than could be said for most hobby grades at the time) and steering and a decent amount of oomph. Being a dual motor model, this one has two Mosfets and a nice chunky heatsink. All scooped out and ready for hobby electronics. I decided to keep things simple and old school, so I I put motor wires on and added the old style bullet connectors onto them for easy connection. This pleased me as I think it's the first time I've actually used this crimp tool outside of playing around with it when I first got it! Excellent! All looking good. And the 880 esc fits under the hood fine, too. Great stuff! But then, "disaster" struck. I randomly discovered one of the rear tyres was slipping....which almost definitely caused my steering issues...not the electronics struggling with the motors and the servo browning out etc....me of all people, had made an assumption and misjudged Nikko! the horror. Now I have to put the stock board back in and try it because it will eat at me for the rest of my life if I don't find out if it would have been fine
  11. Working on a few different things as I've suddenly gotten an interest in my RC stuff again. Currently working on a Nikko "Bobcat 99" which despite the daft name is a fairly capable twin motor buggy based on the classic Dictator family chassis. When I've modded these in the past, I've usually just put brushless 380 motors in place of the stock 380 or 390, but with this one I decided to put 540 motors on it just as a cheap upgrade and something to do. It's a fairly easy conversion in principle, as it's one of the models nikko made where the screw spacing for the cradles the stock motors sit in happen to be exactly the same as the screw spacing for a 540 motor, possibly intentionally, as some models were available with either motor size. Anywhoo, I started working on it several years ago, solved an issue with binding in the driveline, but lost interest. So fast forward to today, and I have the motors all fitted and decided to use the stock electronics just to do a few test drives but while the stock board is making an admirable attempt to power twin 540s, it seems to be causing a brown out on the BEC side of things, as the servo will randomly pull to one side going on and off throttle. It's uses a sloppy old tamya style servo saver so not the tightest steering at the best of times plus having two motors hanging off the same side always made for some interesting weight distribution, so I've decided it's time to swap the electronics out for hobby stuff so I can at least go in a relatively straight line. This evening, my plan is to remove the stock servo and circuit board and put in a Hobbywing 880 esc which already has twin motor outputs. At the same time, I'll switch over to a cheap metal gear servo and make some slightly better steering links from m3 rod. I should at least be able to take it out for some proper testing then without the neighbours possibly hearing me curse under my breath when it randomly veers toward one of their cars.
  12. It's definitely been a rollercoaster, and I tend to get overly anxious and fixated on things, too, so there have been some really gruelling times and some unpleasant, unreasonable people with a misplaced sense of entitlement. But on the other hand, there have been great experiences and it's so rewarding when someone acknowledges your efforts and says a few kind word of appreciation and acknowledgement. With ebay in particular, it took long time to get used to how unpredictable sales patterns etc can be. Some very strange patterns emerge that seem to be more to do with algorithms than chance. And yet things always seem to even out in the long run. I've had months that started abysmally but have been perfectly normal by month end and vice versa. After 2 years, I'm just about starting to get used to it and not worry too much when it goes quiet. I'm slowly starting to appreciate the quiet times and make the most of it while I can, before things inevitably go through a crazy phase from one extreme to the other. And yes, going back to a 9-5 at this point would not be pleasant! Especially now that I'm learning to have a better work/life balance. It has been similar for me. Not a rich many by any stretch of the definition, but I do have a little bit of disposable income that never existed before. But until recently I haven't had the time or inclination to do anything RC related. Slowly learning to have a better balance between work and life, and realising that some of what I classed as work was really just needlessly obsessing and worrying "a watched pot never boils" as they say.
  13. It absolutely can. I believe I may have some autistic tendencies which doesn't help in that regard. Not all change bothers me, but some things definitely do. Even silly things like my kid changing schools or a local shop I've been going to for years closing, certain changes in routine can really unsettle me. Plus of course the whole unemployment thing hah. This is the problem with me, when I go over a certain stress/anxiety level, stuff I usually enjoy or retreat to just goes out the window. I was a shell for a couple of months, didn't even enjoy music or watching tv any more. Just existing rather than living. But even after getting started on the new career, I was just way too stressed and anxious to even think about doing anything RC related. Like a constant feeling of unease and anxiety that just saps the colour out of everything. I've managed a couple of little dabbles here and there, but something more significant has taken hold the last few weeks for sure. Hopefully it lasts! I know exactly what you mean, though. It does take the fun out of it sometimes. And I feel the same way about associated. I waited years for an RC10 classic, but there's no way on earth I'm paying that much because I'll never want to use and enjoy it. Not only is the price high, but the availability is terrible, as well, which will no doubt lead to scalpers. The strangest thing is it's currently easier AND cheaper to buy the ltd edition clear one, but again, you daren't drive the thing let alone really let loose and enjoy it.
  14. Unfortunately it just seems to be a big part of who I am. Not sure if I heard too many knock backs and put downs as a kid or what, but I can never quite seem to accept when I've achieved something. I always tell myself that my situation is a fluke or chance or just not quite the same as anyone else doing the exact same thing. All the while I see what I can only describe as idiots with the confidence of geniuses
  15. I know what you mean. I'm like it with photography. I enjoy doing it for me and if I mess up, no big deal. People try and pester me to do wedding photography etc but I think I'd be a nervous wreck with that much riding on my shoulders. It would really kill my enjoyment of it, I think. I'd begin to associate it with stress and expectations and pressure etc.
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