Sunday, 30 October 2011

Water and Electricity are a great combination!

This is not true…

Massive ESC and LiPo failure on my Flux HP today!

Id took it out with the Savage X, just in case of a failure, which happened within 5 minutes…

Now, it had rained much earlier on, but had been dry for long enough that there were no puddles or saturated water, and the intended bashing area is mostly made of sand, which after testing by hand was only slightly damp in places, but again, not water logged..

So i went for it with the Flux HP, which was doing great… until there was a loud pop and some expensive smoke came billowing out from the truck body.

Turns out the Flux HP and primarily the Flux Blur (Mamba Monster) ESC is not waterproof in anyway shape or form! Even being susceptible to the smallest amounts of water.

I would appear that the sand i was driving through was much wetter than first anticipated, and was completely evident once i go the body off…

To also find my LiPo’s shorted and destroyed… this one being the worst…


It really looks much worse in that picture as it looks like its plastered with wet mud, but it was the “sticky” nature of the sand that i think helped the moisture to find its way in.

And the other wasn't in good shape either…


Managed to get them out very carefully!


Then stripped the ESC down when i got back home…


That’s well and truly had it!

Honestly… this is me learning a lesson, the hard (and expensive) way. This wasn’t a component failure, this was operator error. I'm sure the batteries and ESC were just fine. I should have made a better decision and not gone with running it even though it seemed ok to do so, as there where wet grains of sand in the circuit boards

So if your running brushless electric… completely dry days only! Unless you have waterproofed electronics!

I will replace the ESC and will look at improving its resistance against the elements, as the Savage being an off road machine will always expose it to potential hazards like this, otherwise what's the point in having one?!

Might have to be a shelf queen for a while as those ESC’s and new batteries are not cheap!

Metal Gear Savage

I knew it was wrong to tempt fate with the Savage X! Again, it ran so well last weekend until the tank got trashed, i couldn't wait to get it back out once it was all repaired.

But 5 minutes down and yet again it blew another spur gear!


I do have some remaining spares, but don’t think i will bother! I'm just going to go for a metal one and an upgraded clutch bell…

I just despair sometimes, i tend to check the mesh often to make sure the engine hasn't moved, and check the tension on the spring, which i seemingly had perfect, but then yet again it tears it to pieces…

I did have my Flux HP with me … but that ended up in a more serious disaster!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Project HyperFresh - First Start and Run

It needs a bit of tuning work, which mainly boils down to the air filter being in such a state when i got it (must have been tuned to compensate) and i have no idea what fuel it was running in its past life.

It idles high and runs a bit too lean, but nothing a few hours of tweaking cant sort out.

Project HyperFresh - Part 7

With the end in sight i went for a final push to get the Hyper 7 up and running.

Tank installed…


Engine mounts fitted…


Engine plate fitted…


Engine installed…


Now onto the revised electronics. When i got my hands on this Hyper 7 it had an array of various parts, including the standard fit HoBao HT-2 27mhz radio, along with an Acoms AR-2 receiver and the servos were made up of an Acoms AS-17 on the steering and a HoBao H-101 (Futaba S3003) on the throttle and brakes.

Although the radio and receiver still work, except for the usual glitch problems found with this type of setup, the steering servo wasn't really up to the job. It could turn the wheels as desired but not very quickly, and could get more lock in one direction compared to the other, meaning it was either getting tired or just wasn't powerful enough.

I had already decided that the receiver would be swapped out for a Spektrum item so it could be used with my DX3S, so made sense to do a total overhaul of the whole electronics system and get it all up to scratch.

The new units i chose are Power HD 1501MG servo’s.


Although they are considered to be in the budget bracket of servo’s they seem far from being cheap and nasty, they also (as the name suggest) have a complete set of metal gears inside. The speed and torque of these servo’s is also quite impressive with a 0.14sec and respectively. Either way they are a huge improvement over the servo’s that were there to start with.

They come with nice long and thick wires, as this is normally one thing that shows on a cheaper servo. Thin wires with less or smaller diameter cores are one of those things that are never completely obvious, but a thicker wire with substantially better ability to handle the current and signal passing through them can be a game breaker with your model.

A well stocked bag of horns and discs as well as fittings is also provided.


To fit the servo into the mounting plate, i did have to remove the bottom, this is a straight forward task and simply involves removing the four screws in the bottom of the case. do be careful though as they pass all the way through and also hold the top of the servo on!

There is a very thin blue seal around each of the end caps, which can be a bit on the fiddly side when trying to refit them.

The wire also has a good sturdy grommet attaching it to the servo case.


And the two servos mounted and ready to go…


Replaced the receiver box…


And this is the new receiver, a Spektrum SR300…


SR300 installed, wired up, bound, failsafe set and servo’s set to their zero position. I always find its worthwhile to do this, as most build manuals will have you install the servo’s and linkages on the assumption that the servo’s have not moved. Doing this will result in less manipulation required in future and by the trims.

Also added an Orion 1900 XL 6 cell stick pack to provide the power. Just need a switch with the proper connector as the original one has BEC connectors and this is normal 3pin receiver battery.


Then add the linkages…


New fuel lines…


New air filter, i went for this Schumacher item due to it being a dual stage filter…


Fitted it with the provided tube, but found it actually hit the body and then bent down a little close to all the moving parts once installed. So removed it and replaced with the standard HoBao filter pipe that positions it above the receiver box.


Finally… an O.S. No.8 plug!


Add the body, wing and some new wheels and tyres and Project HyperFresh is ready to go!


Savage X, now with armour plating

In addition to replacing the smashed fuel tank, i also went for an Integy Savage Fuel Tank Guard, to help protect against any other similar errors in the future.

So it was a nice surprise today when the post man dropped it on my door mat.


Unfortunately it wont go together with the HPI Engine Stopper…


However with a quick snip off that corner…


… and a washer under the other end, it all fits great!


Looks pretty slick too!

As an added bonus Integy actually supply a slightly longer screw to compensate for the thickness of the material, as the guard mounts on the same points as the engine plate between the TVP’s. Good thinking Integy!


Friday, 28 October 2011

Project HyperFresh - Part 6

Starting the rebuild

Stripped, cleaned and replaced the oil in the centre diff. My diff oils now consist of…

  • 1k Front
  • 5k Centre
  • 3k Rear


Built the centre diff and brake disc assembly…


New bumpers for the front and rear… Part Number 87064


Attached the front suspension, drivetrain and steering mechanism…


Then the rear…


And finally tied it together with the driveshaft's and centre unit…


Amazing how something goes from a pile of parts that seemingly have no light at the end to something that significantly looks like the end product in less than an hour or so.

I'm psyched now as id like to get it done tomorrow and out to play soon after!

HoBao Hyper 7 TQ 21 Sport Diff Oil

Another eBay bargain

Found a brand new tank on eBay with some fuel tube for a whole £9 including delivery! Meaning the Savage can be straight back out to play this weekend. Which is great, as it was running fantastic last time out until it got friendly with the 5B!



Thursday, 27 October 2011

Project HyperFresh - Part 5

Just another quick update.

Now have fully rebuilt front and rear diffs with silicone oil, 1k for the front and 3k for the rear. Ill be doing a bit of a write up on the diff build very soon.

The diff’s feel so smooth with the new oil, so they were indeed ready for it. Also have the desired effect of the heavier weight in the rear unit, can easily feel there is much less “slip” when turning the shafts buy hand.

Diff’s reinstalled to their respective locations, just need to do the centre unit and things can start coming together as a whole!

Also replaced the alloy suspension mount, a few of the screws, nuts and e-clips.






Wednesday, 26 October 2011

How To Rebuild and Re-Oil RC Shocks

My first video tutorial!

Project HyperFresh - Part 4

A few more bits done today.

There was a dud screw in one of the suspension arms, that did nothing but spin, completely preventing me from getting the strut out (the one that goes through the ball joint).


So had to make the decision to destroy the suspension arm, but thankfully came out on top with eBay and found a new part for £3, compared to nearly £10 from elsewhere, but when it arrived it turns out the ad was for BOTH rear suspension arms! So a bargain had there.


Armed with a knife, hack saw and side nippers, i managed to cut away all the material and freed the shock with no damage at all.


Next i did a complete strip down of the shock absorbers and replaced the oil. I have put 650 cSt in the fronts and 500 cSt in the rears, please see my video on how to replace and rebuild the shocks!


And last off for tonight i put the suspension frames back together…


Just need to do the diffs, then can start putting it back together!

Scale things up with the Losi 5IVE-T

After being impressed by the HPI Baja 5B over the weekend I've unsurprisingly had my thoughts on getting a 1/5th scale petrol powered model to add to my collection.

Initially i looked at what HPI had to offer, and drawn to the 5SC trucks, especially in SS variance, as i would love to build it up myself.

However i couldn't help but notice the new 5IVE-T from Losi that is due to be released very soon.


One huge advantage for me is its included Spektrum SR3300T Telemetry Receiver, which will work perfect with my DX3S radio straight out the box.

Its also 4WD which i much prefer over the HPI 2WD, unfortunately though, it is only available as RTR, and not as a self build kit. It also looks to retail at £150 more than the HPI cars being close to a £1000.

However, it looks, great, has some good press so far and the internal roll cage looks amazing!

Check it out on the Losi website

Video property of Losi

Monday, 24 October 2011

Project HyperFresh - Part 3

Starter replacement.

With the fitted pull start being a bit on the tired side, i seized the opportunity with the engine out to get it replaced.

Luckily i found a reasonably priced electric start conversion system for the engine, thankfully doing away with the pull start altogether.


The worst thing is the starting wand is different to other starters i already have! So means another tool to carry round. However I'm looking at obtaining or getting something made for either this or the HPI Rotostart unit, so carrying two motor boxes wont be necessary.

The Q-World Torque Start is a slightly odd shaped unit compared to some, with the motor and spindle in the upper grip, and a containment area at the base to hold a 7.2v regular battery back.

The battery connector is also fed out through a hole in the front and then connects to the exposed connector on the front face. A bit of a messy design, but i suppose it does allow the battery to remain in the unit while being charged.


The wand does have a convenient storage slot above the battery compartment…


Installing the adaptor to the engine is very straight forward.

The pull start is held with 4 cap screws, and the unit then pulls away from the shaft…



Apply the adaptor…


Add the gear…


And a dash of grease…


Then fit the cover, and secure it with the screws provided…


A quick blip from the starter and it spins the engine great, and as a result there will be no scraped knuckles when it comes to getting it going!