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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:26 PM
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I'm guessing it's a current design flaw or I would try for a second return.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:58 AM
Plantraco's Avatar
Saskatoon, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razors edge 29 View Post
The Zenwheels really isn't meant for speed but more precision based maneuver on desktop.

Try re binding to see if steering is corrected

Or

Make sure there are no hard caught on axle and that no dirt is stuck to tires.

Also make sure tire is full seated in rim as they can come loose.


To the above posted yes it is a mini usb.

Actually it is a "micro" usb, not a mini USB socket.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Harv View Post

The full tilt controls are challenging for me, and would require a Lot of practice to have any sort of control. I'm guessing the Panic button is for future expansion, as I can't see that it does anything currently. I'm also not sure what the 4 second countdown that starts every time you enter this mode is for.

And regards the UI again, there is too much turning of the phone between the driving and the other screens. It would make much more sense to have all screens set to landscape from start to finish.
When you have tilt control of throttle, it's easy to have the car get in a "Runaway" condition without the panic button and the countdown functions. Try the "Alien" mode again, and until you are a perfect driver, you should be thankful for the panic and time-in functions - they protect your car from running away when you forgot to hold the iOS device in the correct orientation.

The panic button and 3 second time-in functions are not well documented, but I figured why bother, nobody reads instructions these days anyway right?

If you are having a difficult time controlling the car, use the standard controls, and remind yourself to have fun while you hone your skills - practice makes perfect!

I would suggest trying to drive a tight course around the included traffic cones (pylons), and time your laps. After a few minutes you will start taking seconds off your lap times and will prove to yourself that you are capable of doing more than driving figure 8's on the kitchen floor at full throttle. The tendancy with R/C toy cars is to use full throttle. Try driving slower and with precision and you will be pleased at how much "faster" you can "really drive" around a controlled micro autocross course.

In fact in real autocross driving, it's often the same story. Guys show up to real Autocross club thinking they are really good drivers, usually their first lap they have their elbow on the door and left hand gripping the roof and think they are going to drive the whole course with one hand! But then when they score 4 DNF's for driving off course every lap for the day of driving, they either give up the sport and never return, or learn a lesson in precision driving and try again and again until they get their skills up to a level that they can compete in their class.

The kind of excitement the ZenWheels car was designed for is, well, "Zen Excitement!" haha. Yeah, it really IS the ability to parallel park and maneuver through tight spots. Thread the needle around obstacles. You can do that in a very small area with the ZenWheels cars - enjoy that aspect and you will be satisfied I think.

Oh there is another video review on our website - click videos on http://www.zenwheels.com

http://zenwheels.com/video.html

Harv - check the HotWheels Nitro Racers - they are $49 at Toys R Us. I think they are terrible, but they are lightning fast (but basically cannot steer very well) and might satisfy your need for speed. After you have played with that for 3 minutes you'll appreciate your ZenWheels car a bit more I think, and then you will start having some fun driving the ZenWheels.

Or better yet, next time I catch up with you at the Golf Dome for micro indoor flying ( are they doing that this year?) , we can have some ZenWheels races for drinks until your skills improve. The BS Stops when the race timer Starts! haha all in good fun! I sure am thirsty!
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Last edited by Plantraco; Dec 19, 2012 at 02:33 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:37 AM
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Saskatoon, Canada
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Originally Posted by solo_clipper View Post
Thanks for the review. Is that a micro or a mini connector on the car? Is there a recommended charger size? Would have been nice if a portable battery powered charger was included.

Micro USB cord is included with the ZenWheels Micro Car.

We presume USB sockets are ubiquitous -- and they are.

Portable Battery Charger -- There are many "portable" battery powered USB sources available and that is pretty much is what you want I believe. Duracell makes one, and there are countless others. Check any drugstore or Walmart etc.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by solo_clipper View Post
I am talking about the end that plugs into the car. On your unboxing video it looks like it is a mini. All my usb wallwart chargers are micro so I would need an adapter. Also my chargers are different sizes(amp output). My tablet charger would charge faster than my phone charger. How much can the car take?
Any standard USB source will work and charge rate is the same for whatever USB source you happen to have.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by builder bob View Post
thanks for posting a pic and specs
Yes, Thanks Razors Edge! Nice review!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Akura2 View Post
I took my plantraco to the movies last week, and I ran it in the theater aisle before the movie started with all the lights on and every one was asking questions and flipping out... every body loved it... this thing is SO cool
Yeah that's awesome Jimmi!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 05:27 AM
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Many of us can not get the car to drive straight - remedies suggested above do not work
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:16 PM
Dert Farmur
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Saskatchewan
Joined Jan 2005
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Quote:
When you have tilt control of throttle, it's easy to have the car get in a "Runaway" condition without the panic button and the countdown functions. Try the "Alien" mode again, and until you are a perfect driver, you should be thankful for the panic and time-in functions - they protect your car from running away when you forgot to hold the iOS device in the correct orientation.
Isn't that what the Inactive/Active button is for? Seems terribly redundant to let go of the Active button (which stops the car) to press the Panic button (which stops the already stopped car for 4 more seconds).

Quote:
If you are having a difficult time controlling the car, use the standard controls, and remind yourself to have fun while you hone your skills - practice makes perfect!

I would suggest trying to drive a tight course around the included traffic cones (pylons), and time your laps. After a few minutes you will start taking seconds off your lap times and will prove to yourself that you are capable of doing more than driving figure 8's on the kitchen floor at full throttle. The tendancy with R/C toy cars is to use full throttle. Try driving slower and with precision and you will be pleased at how much "faster" you can "really drive" around a controlled micro autocross course.
I'm not having trouble controlling the car per se, it's that the steering simply isn't that precise. Between the slop in the axles & linkages and the drifting/changing trim it won't drive straight and can be frustrating when trying to maintain a curve. I've set the throttle at 45% travel to take the "speed" factor out, but directional control is an issue despite the vaunted rack and pinion system.

I see your point about the Zen-like aspect of these, and can appreciate them for that (much like the Carbon Butterfly in a sense). It's just that by the time you tighten the track up and slow them down enough that the steering isn't as much of an issue it becomes less like racing and more like napping.

Quote:
Or better yet, next time I catch up with you at the Golf Dome for micro indoor flying ( are they doing that this year?) , we can have some ZenWheels races for drinks until your skills improve. The BS Stops when the race timer Starts! haha all in good fun! I sure am thirsty!
Ha! I'll definitely take you up on that if they're still holding the funflys. I haven't flown much in the last couple of years so haven't kept track, but I'll drop you a line if they're still on and we make the arduous trek across the frozen wasteland.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Harv View Post
Isn't that what the Inactive/Active button is for? Seems terribly redundant to let go of the Active button (which stops the car) to press the Panic button (which stops the already stopped car for 4 more seconds).
In the use case in which the end user has one finger still on the screen, and in which they are actually looking at the screen, it's good to have the reminder of the panic button visually. I'm glad you are checking out the alien mode. Have you tried driving with joysticks? Our app has a lot of interesting control methods.

Also you can adjust the sensitivity of the steering. I think there are 255 steps in the steering, plenty of resolution.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:34 PM
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Less of a sensitivity issue for me than irregular drift
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nyccar View Post
Less of a sensitivity issue for me than irregular drift
Yes I think there is a small amount of slop in the steering. But at this scale, even a small amount of slop can give you some drift - particularly if you are demanding the car to travel 10m in a straight line.

The car can drive 2 or 3 feet in a fairly straight line - more than enough to have fun in a small area, and less than you want if you are on a long distance miniature car driving "mission" - advice - go slow and modulate your steering - I make out just fine this way.

Also try adjusting the expo curve on steering to give you more resolution around the middle.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:29 PM
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Thanks - think if you can improve on this tolerance car would be more inline wirh expectations. Years ago I had a micro car that was digital proportional about same price that was able to maintain a straight line (can't remember name but looked like a silver Honda) - this car though didn't have lights or sound and price today after considering inflation probably close to $150 which I think is ok for an enthusiast market- probably could charge more if it was very durable.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 04:25 PM
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Saskatoon, Canada
Joined Jan 2003
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If you are into climbing, or you feel like you just do not need the safety clutch mechanism, you can defeat it by drilling an access hole in the propulsion gearbox housing and glueing it up with some CA. Use kicker, or let the glue set for a while.

After the modification, you will be able to climb steep hills or pull a trailer.

It's fairly simple I think, watch the video:

Micro Car - Defeating The Safety Clutch (1 min 41 sec)
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 04:31 PM
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Saskatoon, Canada
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We have some interesting results in changing the algorithm that is used for the servo. The control loop calculates and accelerates/decelerates accordingly.

This may give some folks a little more of that "straight line" performance.

We will see if we put that into production - I think it burns up battery faster, but its interesting stuff.

We are also changing some plastics in the steering mechanism and that will go into play on the next build. Perhaps it will give you "less slop" in the steering chain.
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