bill_delong's blog View Details
Posted by bill_delong | Mar 09, 2019 @ 12:23 PM | 2,479 Views
This will be an evolving thread as I build and review a PR Racing SB401-LW. Look for regular updates to this post as I plan to race this buggy in the 13.5T Latemodel Oval class at Thornhill Racing Circuit. Full disclosure, I recently picked up a sponsorship through PR Racing so be prepared to expect some bias, but I will do my best to identify potential areas to consider making upgrades to improve the quality of this kit where applicable.

A quick background on me: I started club racing around 2010 and have slowly improved my skills to where I'm one of the slowest of the fast guys at the club in my area, ha! I typically average between 96% -98% consistency and will occasionally pick up a win for club racing and often make the A Main for regional events in 13.5 stock. My first wheeler was an InTech ER-14 (clay), then I switched to a Schumacher CAT-K2 (clay+turf) and spent the last 16+ months running a TEKNO EB410 mostly on turf. Expect to see me try different things, I'm sure some ideas will fail, but that's where I always try to learn from my mistakes and I welcome you to share these experiences with me here on this thread.

Hits: TBD

Misses: TBD

Summary: TBD

Build Tips: TBD
Resolve Bump-Steer Issue
Long shock ends on front to increase front droop
Rear bias mounting option
How to adjust center slipper
Ackermann adjustment explained
Add shims as directed in the manual on bell cranks
VRP Piston Compatibility?
All big bore springs are compatible with PR shock collars
Lunsford Turnbuckles
Associted Spurs compatible with minor boring of hole

Check out more stuff on My Bookmarks page!
Posted by bill_delong | Jan 06, 2019 @ 06:29 PM | 3,914 Views
One of the most important part part of vehicle maintenance (next to cleaning and/or replacing worn bearings) is replacing worn pins on your drive shafts. It's very easy to over look this item and if not addressed (at the first hint of any flat spots forming on the pins) then you risk causing premature wear on the out drives. Once the out drives start to wear, you'll see "cups"form where the flat spots of the pins start to cut into the metal like a knife into warm butter which can cause very inconsistent cornering as the diffs can lock up and you risk snapping a drive shaft. It can be VERY expensive to replace drive shafts and out drives, but it is dirt cheap to replace the pins when you use a pin replacement tool which can pay for itself on the very first use!

Here's an example of worn pins that are so far gone from a very poorly maintained vehicle:

If you only race 1/8 cars which typically use 3mm thick pins, then I would highly recommend the Mugen Pin Replacement Tool because it comes with a ratchet wrench to help keep costs down. High quality "hardened steel" pins are available from Hudy as a great source XRay also sells some pins but they are not listed "hardened" so they may not be as durable. Another option is to buy in bulk off eBay, this has worked for me, but I have noticed they tend to wear a little more frequently.

If you race a 1/10 cars, then chances are you will need to replace 2.5mm pins and RC Renew sells a pin tool ...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Dec 30, 2018 @ 01:21 PM | 4,641 Views
Tire warmers have been around for a long time, but they are mostly designed for on-road racing classes. I have found that when temps drop below 70F, it's best to break out the warmers if you want to get an advantage in racing. I no longer race on-road anymore, but the off-road club in my area installed a turf track just over a year ago. As cooler weather has settled in this season, I've noticed some of the faster drivers have been showing up to the track with tire warmers. What I've found is that with a set of warm tires that my lap times are right on par with warm summer days!

There are many different brands to choose from, but I will show you how I've modified a set of GT Power Tire Warmers to be used with 1/10 Buggy wheels. For smaller diameter tires like Schumacher Cactus and ProLine Pyramids, there is no modification necessary, but most traditional tires will need the velcro belt extended about 3.5". I simply cut a couple 3.5" strips of "One-Wrap" straps, if you want to get fancy, you can get a 1" wide roll of this material here. I am using the (1/2" doubled up) red strapping to make it easier to see in the photos.

One particular thing about these warmers that I don't like, is that the temperature sensor is "free floating" and there have been times where the sensor fell out of place which will not shut off the warmers when they get to the desired temp setting. *** There are newer versions of this warmer where the senor...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Nov 09, 2018 @ 04:45 PM | 6,658 Views
The purpose of this thread is to help folks make an educated decision on what is the best 1/10 4WD SCT (ROAR Spec) for their specific needs. Before we take a look at any specific brands, I would like to share how my Evaluation Index works:

I am not going to go into great depth for each car but will do my best to collectively gather key pieces of information to help me evaluate and compare between each choice to help you take some of my preferred variables into consideration. By all means, I would encourage you to add some of your own personal variables and adjust your own weighted index to suit your personal needs as well. I don't intend to cover everything here, but just hit what I perceive as the most important points of consideration (to me) and help you use my guide as a starting point for you to make your own decision on which brand might be the best for your needs.

Keep in mind that at the time of this writing, prices and availability may be subject to change. Please feel free to post up new vehicles or new releases/pricing, and I will do my best to update the thread accordingly.

Race Grade vs Basher Grade?

For obvious reasons, if you will be doing any club level racing on a track, then I would encourage you to only consider a race grade truck with proper team driver support. Industry standard support to be considered "Race Grade" are setups posted on Petit RC:
...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Oct 24, 2018 @ 10:32 PM | 5,475 Views
So I recently bought a TEKNO ET410 and ran into thermal issues with a generic 2-Pole 5.5T motor in the truck, after swapping out a spare 7.5T motor, I just wasn't impressed with the torque and decided that I wanted to try a 4-Pole motor, however I did not want to use a HobbyWing motor because they come with a 5mm shaft and are designed for 4WD SCT's. I have spoken with a TEKNO team driver in my area and he cautioned that 4WD SCT motors would tend to generate too much torque and cause on-power push in the corners. I first tried a 2WD SCT motor (SC211-4400KV) from TenShock, but would later discover that TenShock motors are not compatible with HobbyWing ESC's, doh!

In my quest to find a 4-Pole 2WD SCT motor to help hit the sweet spot of slightly more torque than traditional 2-Pole motors but not as much torque as 4WD SCT motors, I came across a batch of discontinued Novak NX4-3900KV 4-Pole 540 motors on eBay for $35 shipped:

There were 10 of these motors available at the time I made the purchase 3 days ago (talk about fast shipping!), but only 5 available now at the time of this writing. Who knows if any more of these motors will pop up elsewhere on the net because Novak went out of business a couple of year ago:

With no warranty support or spare parts, I'm only looking at this as a disposable motor, and for $35, I'm willing to take the risk!

Full specs of the...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Oct 08, 2018 @ 02:23 PM | 5,780 Views
In preparation to review some vehicles (subjectively), I feel that I need to first explain what my "Evaluation Index" is and how I have come up with these numbers, also allowing those to use my index as an example to prioritize custom rankings based on personal preference. The key point here is that nobody can definitively say brand "x" is better than brand "y" without first giving examples for how they have based their opinion and that's my goal here in explaining how my rankings are adjusted.

To me, there are 4 key areas that I like to score for my evaluations, feel free to add more to suit your personal preference but this is how I roll up my evaluations to keep things as relatively simple as possible:

1) Value - This is a combination of overall price and quality of components that you get for a given price. Generally, the lower the cost the higher the score, however there is an exception to this rule if upgrades are included which would offset the price where bundled upgrades will typically cost far less than if you bought them separately which in turn can increase the score.

2) Durability - This is really hard and almost impossible to measure with any definitive precision. In most cases, I have either owned or seen these cars crash/break first hand at various tracks in my area. I have taken into account the various conditions such as speed, ambient temperature etc with estimating on what I perceive to be a realistic score. In some...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Oct 04, 2018 @ 01:55 PM | 5,987 Views
Having a battery discharger can be very useful in creating battery discharge graphs if you have a charger that exports discharge data. You can also use a discharger to quickly get your packs into storage mode.

I will be discussing how I made a 30A discharger using mostly random materials around my house.

*** CAUTION ***
There are no safety features with this discharger, you must monitor the voltage yourself, preferably by connecting your charger in parallel and manually disconnect the bulb discharger when you hit your target voltage reading.

First I ordered some "12v 10w halogen bulbs" off eBay, I think I paid around $15 to get about 40 bulbs shipped:

Then used some scrap plastic and drilled some holes to get all the bulbs lined up in a grid pattern:

Then I used some scrap lamp wiring to route all my connections:
...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Aug 21, 2018 @ 07:31 AM | 5,367 Views
I have had internal solder tabs break on me in the past, I simply splice soldered a new bridge of wire across the tabs to fix it. You can see the broken tab across the blue wire here:

I used some electrical tape to prevent any shorted circuits while soldering:

Fresh bridge of tinned braided wire:

...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Aug 12, 2018 @ 12:41 PM | 5,806 Views
RC Car Action Top 10 Tools

As a club racer, I try to find ways to be efficient with the tools in my collection and ways to tote my gear from home to the track with the least hassle and ease of use.

The single most important tool in my collection is the Metabo HPT DB3DL2 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver (formerly Hitachi) with a lifetime warranty and soft clutch that won't strip diffs.

My favorite brand of bits are EDS Power Tool Tips which use spring steel and they tend to last a couple years before they need to be replaced.

One of my favorite items is the Bucket Boss Tool Roll

Here is my current inventory of tools:
  • Mini Channel Locks
  • Tekno Multi Tool
  • Ball Link Pliers
  • 17mm tire wrench
  • Assorted pliers
  • Black/Silver Sharpies
  • Pencil
  • Hobby Knife
  • Curved Lexan Scissors
  • Needle Pick
  • Micro scew driver set
  • Liquid/Gel Thread Lock
  • Metric ball end hex wrenches
  • Metric socket wrenches
  • Toothbrush
  • Standard and Phillips screw drivers

Check out more stuff on My Bookmarks page!
Posted by bill_delong | Aug 10, 2018 @ 07:48 AM | 5,810 Views
Be sure your wiring to the servo is such that only the +8.4v positive lead is the only wire coming from your LiPo into the servo... you want the signal lead and true negative to come from the ESC like this:

I sell these wiring harnesses for $5 each + $3 shipping for folks who don't want to mess with soldering.

Here's an example of what happens if you use both the negative and positive lead from the LiPo to servo:

Demo HV Servo off 2x2S LiPo in Series (2 min 49 sec)

Here's an example of the wiring which is wrong, do not use this method which is what I used the video example above that was prone to glitching at full throttle:

Check out more stuff on My Bookmarks page!
Posted by bill_delong | May 12, 2018 @ 07:49 AM | 6,059 Views
I like to use CF printed vinyl like this:
eBay-Carbon Fiber Wrap

I will clean the chassis with alcohol swabs to degrease it before applying the film and then cut the holes with a fresh blade on my hobby knife to get something like this:

...Continue Reading

Boycott Traxxas

Posted by bill_delong | Apr 18, 2018 @ 01:29 PM | 10,775 Views
wait... what... why on earth would anyone ever want to boycott one of the largest most influential R/C companies on the planet???

Let's take a step back in time to see where Traxxas was founded back in 1986 by Jim Jenkins and David Katz. Traxxas is credited for introducing the concept of a RTR and bringing the Short Course class into R/C among many other cool concepts.

In contrast of amazing contributions that Traxxas has made in growing the industry, they have grown into a completely different company from what they once were and have morphed into a "Patent Troll" who is focused on destroying their competition which is now killing the industry as we know it. So what is the definition of a patent troll and what sorts of things has Traxxas done to categorize them this way, I've highlighted key actions that Traxxas is guilty of doing here:

1) Baseless Claims - I need to do more research because Traxxas has filed too many baseless claims to keep track of them all, but I will point out 2 key events that have dramatically impacted the industry. First was around 2014 when Traxxas sued HPI for patent infringement by using a rubber seal to copy their idea for a "waterproof Rx box". Keep in mind that HPI legally reverse engineered the design and came up with a new shape/geometry with no direct copy molds. In theory this case should've been thrown...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Jan 13, 2018 @ 09:53 AM | 7,742 Views
If your car comes with cheap plastic bushings, some have asked if it's worth it to upgrade to bearings, and if so, which ones?

For casual bashing where performance isn't important then upgrading to shielded bearings isn't really important, but if you would like slightly faster acceleration, smoother/quiet operation and increased efficiency with slightly longer run times, the consider upgrading to bearings.

There are tons of cheap bearings available on eBay and they will do fine, I agree that rubber sealed bearings are nice and also a huge fan of AVID bearings. They have tons of kits available for most cars on the market, if you don't see your car listed, simply send them an email and chances are they will make a kit available very shortly:

If you want to take performance to the next level, then consider the Revolution series through AVID, they have a non removable metal shield on one side and rubber seal on the opposite side. Metal shields offer less drag/weight which improve performance but are more difficult to clean. If you don't plan to clean your bearings then I would just buy double metal shielded bearings and toss them out when they get crunchy for the best performance. If longevity is more important, then go with Revolution bearings for a good balance. You can also leave the rubber shield permanently removed leaving one side exposed to help reduce drag, simply place the exposed side of the bearing toward the inside of...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Dec 14, 2017 @ 04:11 PM | 8,057 Views

Tekno EB410.1 Kit
RCTech Thread


  • Shaft drive (tapered AL for light weight and straightness)
  • Gear differentials (all 3)
  • Low Angle CVAs (with captured pins so no ejecting them!)
  • Durable stub axles with 12mm hexes and optional offset adjustments
  • Reverse bellcrank steering system
  • Quick access bulkheads (for easy diff maintenance and tuning)
  • Split center diff holder (for easy diff maintenance and tuning)
  • 8th scale style motor mount (for easy mesh adjustment)
  • 13mm big bore shocks
  • 3.5mm shock shafts
  • Droop screws
  • Tekno RC is the only company in the industry that will give 50% off of parts if returned to them using the General Warranty return policy found on their website. The parts can be lightly used or completely abused, as long as the part is still being produced it's covered!
  • Plastic shock caps are difficult to install, highly recommend upgrading to aluminum caps
  • No front sway bars included, optional upgrade recommended
  • Turnbuckles and shock standoffs should be upgraded with Lunsford aftermarket parts (Lifetime Warranty)
This car has spent 5 years in development with completely new geometry concepts using forward weight bias to take extreme advantage of modern high traction surface conditions. Tekno has set a new standard in terms of performance matched with durability and gobs of support with a sea of team drivers and unparalleled following of aftermarket support. This car does not disappoint, for a competitive racer in either mod or stock, I
...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Dec 14, 2017 @ 09:12 AM | 7,544 Views

YouTube Channels
General Tips
Review Threads

Posted by bill_delong | Jan 21, 2016 @ 10:01 AM | 15,040 Views
*** I am no longer managing this page, I have sold my Slash and choose to no longer support Traxxas

This is arguably the car that made the SCT class popular when it was first introduced in 2008:

Although the 2WD SCT Class has evolved significantly with far superior designs using modern technology from dozens of manufactures across the globe, there is still a relatively strong cultural following for those dedicated specifically to the "Spec Slash Class" and that's what this thread will be dedicated to supporting in regards to the rules observed by my local race track:!specslash/c16to

Here we are, nearly 8 years later (at the time of this writing) and there is still a strong interest in offering a "gateway class" to merge novice in with intermediate (sportsman) drivers. I will expand on the information shared in the following link which I feel is an excellent starting point in preparing a Slash for the race track:*** I'm far from the best driver in my area, but every now and then I have a particularly good race day and have had really good results with this setup

Additional Tuning Tips:
  • Apply comm drops on motor break in and when needed to keep comm clean, this will help keep your commutator clean and soften your brushes to help
...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Jan 12, 2016 @ 08:59 AM | 14,184 Views
All quoted prices below include free shipping from China, most of my orders from Banggood typically arrive in 1-2 weeks, there are other distributors for SkyRC products but this is the least expensive distributor that I am currently aware of as I write this post:

$80 - 150A ESC (2-6S) + TurboTiming - USER MANUAL
$68 - 120A ESC (2-3S) + TurboTiming/Boost) - USER MANUAL
$35 - 50A ESC (2S) + Blinky Only - USER MANUAL
$29 - Wifi Programming Module - Replaces Blue Tooth Programmer
$17 - Programming Box
$9 - USB Programming Adapter (PC Required)

Normally I would review a single product, but in this case, I feel that it makes more sense for folks to see all the different options available which is why I posted so many links above so that folks can pick and choose what makes the most sense for their needs.

For example, if someone wanted to race a 1/10 class which requires a Blinky ESC, then they should consider the 50A ESC, and take special note that ESC has no advanced programming features available because it is permanently locked in "Blinky Mode". The Bluetooth module doesn't appear to be compatible, but the Programming Box and USB Link are listed in the manual.

If someone wanted to run in an open modified 1/10 class, then they should consider the 120A ESC which offers Timing and Boost, but you will be required to purchase one of the 3 different programming tools. There is no way to get the ESC to enter into "programming mode&...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Mar 19, 2015 @ 09:08 AM | 18,785 Views
I see this question asked a lot, and figured I would share my thoughts here.

I feel that the best place to start is 1/8 Buggy. They are gonna be the most durable class which is important when first learning to race. You're gonna crash a lot and it would be much better to spend more of your time learning how to drive than learning how to make repairs which will be an issue with just about any other class... especially 2WD Buggy which is by far the weakest design that is prone to breaking easily. Many folks recommend 2WD racing as a first starter class and I couldn't disagree further. People say that racing 2WD makes you a better driver but I feel that it only adds more frustration because 2WD cars are more prone to spinning out of control. 4WD on the other hand is pretty much point a shoot, and that's what a beginner needs to get started with. Only exception I have for 2WD is if you're racing on a high traction indoor surface such as clay or carpet/turf.

I used to recommend the 4WD SCT class as they are equally durable with 1/8 Buggy, assuming you select a truck that is based on a corresponding 1/8 Buggy design. Only problem is that class typically uses 2S LiPo which places too much strain on the batteries so they typically need to be replaced every 6 months making it one of the most expensive classes to maintain. Clubs in my area are opening up battery restrictions and allowing folks to run 4S with the same electronics that are in 1/8 Buggies so that fixes the problem;...Continue Reading
Posted by bill_delong | Feb 09, 2015 @ 08:33 AM | 13,569 Views
Posted by bill_delong | Dec 15, 2014 @ 04:44 PM | 40,329 Views
This will be an evolving thread as I explore many surface radio systems on the current market. As new systems become available, I invite you to share your experiences and thoughts of those systems and I will gladly update this OP where appropriate.

Note that there is no single radio system that is going to be "The Best" for everyone, but I will do my best to break down the features of each system to help you decide which has the potential to be the best system "For You" based on your own requirements.

Before you even begin selecting a system, I feel that it's very important to understand the technologies/features that are available and then you can begin ruling on which points are the most important as you begin your search. I've ordered each option by level of personal importance to me:

Which Spread Spectrum Modulation?
If you will be driving all by yourself, then this consideration is probably irrelevant, however, if you will be using your system in a large group with other radio systems present then there is a risk of overlapping frequencies and/or limited range issues with your system which can cause severe delays in the input/response, this is called "Glitching". I have experienced varying levels of glitching with every single system that I have personally tested which use DSSS or "Direct Sequencing Spread Spectrum". Basically any system that has the letter "D" anywhere in the identification of the...Continue Reading