Category: Featured

Rescue 17 Fireboat

Elevating Action on the Water

fire1

There are those products that come to market that get you all riled up as if you were a kid again and what you see on these pages is sure to get you going. As a kid, who didn’t want a sailboat that set off for unexplored lands while you played on the beach? And who didn’t want a plastic boat that braved the rapids of that stream behind your house? Well for big kids into boats, there is a new release that will blow away the wildest inner child’s imagination. The new Aquacraft Rescue 17 Fireboat is the first model boat I’ve ever reviewed with an “interactive” feature, a rotating water cannon capable of shooting a stream of water 10 to 12 feet. It also has lights and a powerful brushless system to propel it to other boats in peril. This boat is sure to get that inner kid in you excited to brave the water as a scaled-down fireboat captain.   Let’s Get the Rescue 17 out of the Box
The Rescue 17 arrived in a big shipping box. With an overall length of 38 inches, a large shipping box is required to protect the model. I was impressed by the packaging technique utilized to secure and protect the hull and cabin structure. There’s a considerable amount of packaging engineering required to create the foam padding encasing the hull to prevent damage during shipping. Although I had seen photos of the Rescue 17 on the inside cover of RC BOAT, Volume 4 and the AquaCraft website, I was still very impressed with the attention to scale detail on the hull and cabin structure. The Rescue 17’s amazing amount of detail adds to the realism. The old axiom, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” will provide a visual listing of the scale detailing.                                                                                                                              fire2

Getting Ready to Put out the Fire
There only a couple of things that need to be done to the Rescue 17 to prepare for operation. The light mast is secured to the top of the cabin with the .15 x 16 screw provided. A dab of CA glue applied to the bottom peg of the antenna will hold it to the light mast. Two “AA” batteries, not provided, are installed in the battery holder inside the cabin to power the light mast. The plug between the battery pack and on/off switch needs connecting. The Tactic TTX 490 4-channel radio requires four “AA” batteries that are also not provided.

Propulsion for the Rescue 17 is provided by an AquaCraft 600 brushed motor powered by a 2200 – 3300 mAh 3S LiPo battery pack. There’s plenty of space in the boat to use a 3S pack with a even a higher mAh rating. The AquaCraft Multi-Controller ESC provides both forward and reverse. Reverse speed is probably around 25 percent of top speed in forward.

It is highly recommended that the pump be primed prior to using the water cannon. There is a direction sheet describing how to prime the pump. This procedure involves removing the water line from the intake tube to the pump, submerging the line in water, and then reattaching the water line. I primed the pump using a fuel bulb filled with water and connected to the intake tube. Squeeze the bulb till water shoots out of the water cannon and the pump is primed. A two-ounce Sullivan Brand fuel bulb is a common hobby shop item. It would also be possible to adapt a cooking baster bulb to shoot water into the pump.                                                                                                                                                                              fire3 Putting out the Fire and/or Candles
Before heading out to run the Rescue 17, I dropped by the local Walgreens to pick up some candles. I have run nitro, gas, electric and sail boat model models over the past 50 years, but the Rescue 17 is the first time I’ve ever operated a model boat capable of extinguishing a fire. Granted, four candles on a piece of foam don’t provide a blazing fire. The candles did, however, provide sufficient flame to test my mini firefighting skills. I quickly discovered attempting to hit the candles with the water cannon wasn’t all that easy. Hitting the candles with the stream of water involved positioning the Rescue 17 the correct distance from the candles, using rudder and speed control and rotating the water cannon to spray across the candles. Racing a 60 mph hydroplane involves less coordination of transmitter inputs than attempting to keep the stream of water from the water cannon on the candles. The slightest amount of breeze greatly influences the positioning of the boat and the direction of the stream of water.                                                  At full throttle, the Rescue 17 moves across the water on plane with a great-looking bow wake. It is capable of making tight corners in either direction. However, sweeping corners would be more in keeping with scale operation of a fire boat. Run time with a 2200 mAh 3S LiPo pack was 12 – 15 minutes, running at full speed. Longer run times would be available if the Rescue 17 was stationary or operated slowly while attempting to extinguish candles.                                                                                                                     fire4After Run Maintenance
A maintenance step not included in the instruction manual was greasing the driveshaft. After approximately one hour of running the Rescue 17, I removed the driveshaft and it needed to have grease applied. It is necessary to remove the rudder to allow removal of the prop shaft. A 1.5mm set screw wrench is required to loosen the set screws on the rudder control arm and shaft coupler. A thin coating of Grim Racer Speed Grease Drive Cable Lube was applied to both the driveshaft and rudder shaft. Wipe any excess grease from the end of the prop shaft to avoid splattering grease on the hull bottom. It was necessary to push the driveshaft slightly downward to insert the shaft back into the coupler. Make certain the flat area on the shaft matches the coupler set screw.                                                                          fire5

Aftermarket Siren from RAM Models
After numerous trips to the lake with my Rescue 17, it seemed like there was something missing from the experience. That missing something was a siren. Having spent time at hobby shows with Ralph Warner, owner of RAM Radio Control Models, I knew Ralph had a siren in his electronics products inventory. Anytime I call Ralph, I know I’m in for a well-deserved, good natured ribbing. Over the years, Ralph has been very generous, providing me with various items his company sells for the RC aircraft, boat, and car enthusiast. Just a few days after our conversation the RAM Mark II Siren arrived in the mail.

The siren kit consists of a circuit board, on/off micro switch, cardboard material for a speaker box, a 1.5-inch speaker, and directions with diagrams. The only assembly required is constructing the speaker box and gluing the speaker to the box. I painted the box black and attached Velcro to the top. Velcro was also applied to the top of the cabin in back of the middle window. The plastic window was removed to allow the sound to exit the cabin. The on/off micro switch is mounted to a separate servo with double back tape. A Y-harness plugged into the throttle section of the receiver actuates the servo when throttle is applied. I spliced a connector into the wires leading to the speaker which allowed the cabin to be removed without having to remove the speaker.                                                                                                                      fire6

The siren definitely adds realism when the Rescue 17 is in operation. The RAM Mark II Siren is available from RAM Radio Control Models, RamRCandRamTrack.com, or you can give Ralph a call at (847) 740-8726.

The Last Word
The Rescue 17 is a model boat an entire family could enjoy operating. My wife, Maren, ran the boat for the photo shoot. Maren’s attempt to extinguish the candles proved rather challenging. Steering the boat wide open around the lake proved much easier than dousing candles 10 feet off the bow. The Rescue 17 is visually impressive as a static and operational model fire boat and it can provide a feeling of accomplishment when the only thing moving is the water cannon spraying water on candles. The Rescue 17 is proof you don’t have to be going fast to have fun with a model boat.                                                           Credits: http://www.aquacraftmodels.com/http://www.rcboatmag.com/Tony Phalen and Words & photos by Jerry Dunlap   http:// 

 

Miniature Wonders @ The Rc Drift Body Comp

Miniature Wonders @ The Rc Drift Body Comp

I’m so glad I decided to go to the Hobby Garage in Kuki the other day. Had I not, I don’t think I would have ever understood what “custom” really means to RC car enthusiasts in Japan. If you thought what you saw in yesterday’s post was impressive, well all I can say is scroll down and be further surprised…I sure was once I had the chance to go through every car entered in the contest!

Check out this S13 body. So many cool details like the ground-scarping front lip spoiler, plenty of negative camber and the model-car equivalent of rolled fenders. It’s all about the tuck!

Next to it was this camo Onevia running even more camber, “bolted on” overfenders…

…and a pink engine. Despite only having 4-ignition leads and four intake runners on the plenum it did look more like an RB than an SR!

I guess if you want to place high at these sort of competitions, you really have to push your imagination and think outside the box. This beaten up S15 reminded me of what some of those crazy drifters end up doing to their cars at events like the Drift Matsuri in Ebisu Circuit.

Looks like it took some pretty big hits and a few excursions into the mud, but at least it’s still straight enough to drift!

We saw a little teaser image of this Toyota Estima minivan yesterday. Aside from the fact that it’s already quite cool that you can get these sort of bodies for 1/10th scale chassis…

…it obviously doesn’t stop owners taking them to the next level. This is probably inspired by those vans that show up at Daikoku PA on a Saturday night and blast out ridiculously loud music.

It even had a fully decked out trunk with big subwoofers and a functioning LCD screen. There were two smaller additional screens on either side of the van too. A constant power supply kept the mini-screens functioning and the music playing.

And if you think that’s wild take a look at this Subaru BRZ. This fully functional drift car was equipped with all sorts of cool touches…

…like the custom turbo boxer engine, angel eyes in the headlights….

…but most incredible of all was the custom drop top conversion. It took the owner eight months of hard work to design and build the mechanical servo-actuated roof and trunk! A second remote control is needed to actuate the opening and closing of the roof, trunk and hood.

But no matter how simple or complex the cars may be, each have their own appeal.

This “Arctic version” 180SX is one I really liked. The idea alone was so bizarre but so cool at the same time it was probably the one that made me smile the most.

And of course the details are painstakingly realistic!

Nomuken in the house! Well not really as he’s driving an 86 nowadays, but you know what I mean…

Not sure what the inspiration for this 86 was, it certainly does share some similarities with Orido’s D1 car but is seriously beefed up in the fender department.

Our very own Mad Mike should be very happy to see this particular FD!

Any DTM fans out there? Then this Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti inspired build…

…will be right down your street.

The Volklinger S14 we saw last year at Hellaflush Kansai and Slammed Society events had inspired lots of other military-themed cars, including scaled ones too of course.

There were a good couple of hours for us all to take closer look of the cars present and submit our votes.

Towards the end of the video presentation of the cars there was one last-minute addition…from me!

In the hope that I would get some time after the event to drift, I brought my brand new RTR-X Mustang from HPI that arrived the other day from the US. I thought it would be a great chance to break her in at a pro Japanese track and once the organizers heard I had a car of my own they let me add it to the line up.

So it got its own video presentation! Some of the guys there seemed to like the eight velocity stacks sticking out of the hood as well as the color matched wheels. It was a great moment; I almost felt accepted, like I was one of them. Unfortunately they all knew it was  completely stock and I hadn’t even turned a screw on it so I dropped the act and continued taking pictures.

Not before I had time to waste one battery though…we all need breaks right!

The owner of this Countach probably thought it would be a sacrilege to have a Lambo and not have the scissor doors open. So he fixed that, and you can now open and close them at the flick of a switch. He was even drifting it with the doors up…letting all the haters hate. That’s right!

Here is another Drift Matsuri missile special. It takes some real skills to make this sort of carnage look realistic…

…all the way down to the rust sport and the shattered glass.

You kyusha fans out there will love this S30 Fairlady Z. As the owner showed me on his phone, Linhbergh’s feature on “that 240Z” was the inspiration.

Pretty damn cool right?

After having shot each entrant’s car in detail I took a wonder over to the track side of the Hobby Garage, where things were very busy with lots of drifting, charging, fine tuning.

It’s there that I spotted even more cool builds, and it seems that most of the guys that were part of the Custom Body Contest had also brought…

…one or is some cases two or more other chassis and bodies to play with.

It’s almost unheard of to see anyone use a stock controller to drift cars at the track. Everyone sports the latest and most expensive commanders, usually just as accessorized as the cars and chassis themselves with carbon-look wraps and replacement steering “wheels.”

Some other cool cars I spotted on track were this pair of Toyotas, this MotorFIX-inspired Corolla…

…and this widebody slammed KP61 Starlet.

Later on in the afternoon it was time for the prizes to be handed out. The organizers of the event at the Hobby Garage had come up with a novel way of eliminating the finalists that didn’t make it to the top spot in the three different categories. If not unanimously voted the best, it was simply flushed down and dropped through a remote-operated trap door! (don’t worry there were a couple of pillows to cushion the fall)

The camo Onevia took the win in the S-chassis group…

…while the shakotan Z grabbed the top spot in the miscellaneous category.

Long and hard work obviously paid off as the top prize in the custom category went to the drop-top BRZ.

After the award ceremony everyone was invited to the main track…

…to join in a few slow parade laps…which quickly turned into a bit of hard drift session!

What a great Sunday out this turned out to be. It was the perfect example of how many different ways enthusiasts, or otakus in this case (!), can enjoy their passion for cars. http://Remote Control Toys on Sale                                                               Credits:    http://www.speedhunters.com/  http://

The Top 10 facts about RC toys and RC vehicles!

RC-Vehicles-1  http://Red Line Remote Control

When it comes to RC toys, remote control toys, RC vehicles and remote control vehicles there are 10 really important things that everyone should know! This is especially the case if you are looking to buy a toy or vehicle for the first time or even if it’s just been a fair while since you last bought and you’re getting back into things.

The 10 things I’ve covered below are the best starting point to get a good understanding of the current state of the RC and remote control world including some of the common jargon and terminology used.

If there is anything else you think I’ve missed here that would also be great to have listed please feel free to leave me a comment below and perhaps we can later do a revised version of this post extending our list of 10 out to a top 20!

1. What is the real difference between ‘RC’ and ‘remote control’?

Now this is a very interesting one! Often when you read anything on the subject of remote controlled toys and vehicles you’ll either see the term ‘RC’ or just ‘remote control’ used. Often these terms are also used interchangeably (just like I do on this site).

So is there really a difference between what these two terms refer to?

To some degree this really comes down to who you ask. Just check out any of the forums on the internet and you’ll see there are even often some varying views within the community itself as to what the distinction really is.

Let’s start by looking at the term ‘RC‘. This is generally acknowledged to be short for ‘radio control’ and refers to the technical set up of the gadget in question which (keeping it relatively simple) is essentially:

  • A ‘transmitter’ which is the hand held controller you use to control the direction, movement etc of your gadget. When you move a joystick on push a button on your hand held controller effectively converts this movement into a message which is sent out as radio waves to your gadget.
  • A ‘receiver’ which sits inside your gadget to be controlled and receives the radio wave instructions sent from the transmitter.
  • A ‘servo’ (or even more than one servo) which is passed the instructions from the receiver and in response to these instructions will send an appropriate message to the motor (or motors) in your gadget.
  • A ‘motor’ (or even more than one motor) which once it receives is instructions from the servo takes action to put those instructions into effect e.g. makes your car race forward or backwards or turn left or right etc.

If you’re after a more in depth explanation of all these different components and how they interact on a more technical article then check this out

So in comparison to this very clear technical based understanding, what does ‘remote control’ actually mean? Now this is where a bit more disagreement often arises.

Unlike the very clear technical basis we have to define the term ‘RC’ when it comes to remote control we are much more looking at a descriptive term which on its most widely accepted meaning refers to any method of controlling a toy, vehicle or other gadget from a distance.

So this could refer to methods of control such as by wires, by infrared (as a lot of the cheaper models today use very effectively) or even arguable by RC as of course when you use an RC transmitter to operate a car you are still operating it from a distance.

So while all RC gadgets could be seen to be ‘remote control’ not all ‘remote control’ gadgets have the necessary technical make up to be considered ‘RC’ gadgets.

BUT increasingly people use the terms interchangeably (even I tend to on this site) and in all honesty it doesn’t really matter unless of course you are looking at buying and are really specifically after some of the advantages radio control may have over some of the other forms of remote control. In these cases make sure you do spend some time looking at the detail behind the name used to make sure you are really getting what you want.

2. Are RC Toys and RC Vehicles expensive?

Yes and no! The answer here really depends on what you are after.

The great thing we are seeing about some of the developments in new technology in the space (as I talk about further below) is that the range of toys, vehicles and gadgets is increasing not only in terms of the overall number available but also the previously existing boundaries are being pushed in terms of what is available to high end buyers as well as at a much more affordable entry level.

For example you can pick up a pretty impressive and fun little indoor RC helicopter for less than $30.        RC-Helicopter1 http://Red Line Remote Control

But at the very high end of things you can also spend into the thousands on a top of line nitro powered remote control car for competitive racing, particularly once you invest in the replacement parts and upgrades most people who get involved in competitive racing would consider necessary.

3. Are they just for kids?

In some cases definitely yes but in some cases definitely no!

You can of course get some great looking and very reasonably priced cars for kids of all ages that are great for safe indoor use. However at the other end of spectrum some of the high end modern nitro powered cars can hit 100 mph (and come with a price tag to match)! Definitely not a toy!

Similarly planes and other vehicles that can also achieve significant altitudes and velocity (such as some helicopters and drones) need to be used responsibility at all times and definitely wouldn’t fall into the toy category.

4. Is it a solo hobby?

Although when many people think of remote control vehicles they often associate it as a fairly solo pursuit there are in fact a number ways that is becoming more of a community focused pass time if you want to get involved in that way.

The internet has of course introduced a wide number of forums and social networking sites on which you can discuss all aspects of remote control toys and vehicles from maintenance, to new technology and even ‘vintage’ collectables. However there has also always been a strong club culture for real enthusiasts who want to get involved in competitive racing or just want to enjoy and show off their vehicles with others.

Today clubs for all types of vehicles are still strong and if anything recent years have seen resurgence in some areas, particularly as some of the more high performance and competition focused vehicles also come down in price.

5. Are remote toys and remote control vehicles easy to break?

Overall the higher end remote control toys and remote control vehicles are generally more robust these days than they have ever been, but the true answer to this really falls into parts.

Firstly all vehicles are of course generally designed for a specific purpose.

For example a remote control sailing boat is not going to go well in rougher waters and waves and also anRC car designed for on track racing will not cope well on a rough dirt track.

Using a remote control vehicle outside of its intended areas of use is not only going to increase the chances for breakages or permanent incapacitation but – let’s face it – it’s just not going to be as much fun if the performance of your vehicle will be hampered by the environment you’re trying to use it in.

Secondly, no matter how robust something is you need to be aware of its inherent limitations and also what maintenance it requires to keep it in the best condition. A higher end RC vehicle may be sturdier in the short term but its optimum performance and overall state of repair may deteriorate more noticeably overtime than a lower end vehicle if it’s not properly maintained.

So when choosing an RC vehicle think about how committed you really want to be to maintenance of the vehicle and also just how respectfully you are likely to treat it and tailor your purchase accordingly. This is a particularly important consideration when buying for kids!

6. Is the technology improving?

Definitely! The speed of motors, the robustness of the vehicles manufactured and of course the size and expense of the other component parts are also decreasing meaning that there are a lot more possibilities theses days when it comes to the purchase of (or building your own) RC vehicles in all price ranges.

At the lower end of the spectrum some of these technological advances have been especially seen in the greater quality of infrared and non ‘radio controlled’ RC vehicles (and most particularly those that fall into the ‘remote control toy’ category) that we’ve seen come onto the market in recent years.

The other really interesting development (I think!) in the space has also been the increasing emergence of iPhone and all the mobile phone and tablet controlled vehicles. These use a range of technologies from infrared ‘dongles’ that connect to your mobile device (like these ones do) to even blue tooth (like this one does) to control your vehicle.

7. Are there more to RC vehicles and RC toys than just cars, planes, boats and helicopters?

Yes! Yes! Yes! These days you can pretty much pick up any time of RC vehicle you can wish for. From tanks, jets, and submarines to even more exotic models like this one: http://Red Line Remote Control

8. Do all RC toys and RC vehicles run on batteries?

Although controllers will always use some form of batteries (whether standard off the shelf or more specific rechargeable ones), vehicles themselves can run on either batteries (in varying forms once again) or what is referred to as ‘nitro‘.

Nitro fuel is essentially just a methanol-based product that has had varying amounts of oil and nitromethane added. The type of nitro fuel you want to use depends on the type of vehicle your running (and also of course your budget!). Speciality nitro fuel can be purchased from all hobby shops and for the more intrepid amongst us you can in fact mix up your own!

Although less common than Nitro powered vehicles it is also possible to get vehicles which run on variations of more traditional gasoline.

Nitro and gas powered engines are generally only found in the more highline or competitive focused models. Definitely not something you want running inside your house!

9. Are old RC toys and RC vehicles able to be refurbished or updated?

This really depends on the model you have but for the ones which were more expensive when purchased generally you can update and up-spec them.

To some degree this will also depend on just how old the vehicle in question is and whether any newer parts can be substituted for the older materials.

There are however some fantastic examples out there of the refurbishment of older vehicles – check this out from the guys at IconicRC featuring a refurbished and modified Tamiya Hot Shot II 4WD Buggy (also actually the first car I had when I was 11!). http://Red Line Remote Control

10. Are the best ones only for use outdoors?

Although you can get some amazing RC toys and RC vehicles intended to be primarily used outdoors some of the developments in the whole RC space in recent times have most definitely benefitted what types of vehicles and toys you can run indoors.

From really fun and robust helicopters and drones to mini cars, iPhone controlled vehicles and even robots.

Whether you want something for indoors or outdoors these days you can be guaranteed to have a wide range of options to choose from!                                                                                                                                 Credits: http://www.myrctopia.com/

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Take to the skies with Telemaster RC Airplane!

Flying remote control airplanes is an amazing hobby that is enjoyed by many people around the world. There is nothing quite like the freedom of the open skies, the adrenaline rush of your first take off, and the satisfaction of having a skillset that many people do not have. This is a hobby that requires patience and offers many challenges but it is also very rewarding and enjoyable.

The first step will be to build your airplane. It’s a rather amazing experience to slowly see your plane come together and then sitting back after you have finished your project and admiring your creation. If your new or just starting out with RC planes it’s important to research and gain some knowledge on how aerodynamics relate to RC planes as flying can take a bit more skill than most people realize which has resulted in some rather undesirable but avoidable outcomes.

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Ready to fly(RTF) Remote Control Airplane

RTF rc airplanes will be the very best strategy to get started in radio management flying if you happen to be not whatsoever bothered about building a model airplane, and just desire to fly one.

The abbreviation ‘RTF’ stands for Ready To Fly which suggests that you just, the consumer, will not need to do something to the design to get ready it for flight aside from set up the gear batteries that manage the radio and do some extremely standard last assembly function, like attaching the wing and tailplane for the fuselage. There may be no development involved in putting collectively an RTF plane.

RTF rc airplanes have launched a huge number of people towards the pastime of radio control flying, but it is only in much more recent a long time that they have become so widely available and have been priced reasonably. Immediately before the creation of RTFs these kinds of kitshad been the way in which to go but these deterred potential modelers who just wanted to fly and weren’t also thinking about the building facet of your hobby.

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Features of Brushless Speed Control

Electronic Speed control (ESC) systems for brushed motors are often very different by design. This explains the fact that brushed ESCs aren’t compatible with brushless motors. Brushless speed control systems are basically for driving tri-phase brushless motors. It does this by sending a series of signals for rotation. The correct phase often varies with rotation of the motor. This rotation is take into account by ESC. The controller generates the signal depending on the back EMF signal it receives from the motor. The EMF signal guides the controller on the position of the rotor and what fets to switch on.

Brushless motors, also known as inrunners or outrunners, have become very common with radio-controlled airplane hobbyists because of their high level of efficiency, longevity, power and light weight compared to traditional brushed motors. Brushless motor controllers are however much more complex than their brushed counterparts.

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RC Helicopters with Wifi Cameras

The radio controlled helicopters which are popularly called RC Helicopters aircraft. There those that are prototypical available for greater maneuverability while these types have a reduction or decrease in the aerobatic control. These are RC helicopters with wifi cameras.

These aircrafts are operated by users using the remote control due to the tiny servos that have been placed on a particular part of the plane. Most people who operate RC helicopters do so for entertainment purposes.

These aircrafts are generally made by experts and there are three categories available for purchase by enthusiasts and people in professions that require the use of RC helicopters. cameracopter

 

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Remote Controlled Electric Boats

Remote control watercraft can be split into a number of types: electrical, breeze, gasoline, along with nitro. Remote controlled power fishing boats include the least difficult to take care of and they are relatively low-cost when compared to the other selections.

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