Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Traveling to Other Tracks

This past weekend, I got to travel to my first "non-local" track to race touring.  It was challenging and exciting!  Living in North Carolina gives me access to all types of race tracks, but not many of them are in the outdoor asphalt touring category.  (I'm lucky enough to have one of those within 15 miles.)  So when it came time to travel, we looked to Virginia.  Debbie's RC World in Chesepeake, VA is located about 3 hours from where I live.  The locals at DRCW use the RCTech.net forum to collaborate and converse about RC, much like other clubs.

First of all, the local racers were very hospitable and friendly.  Secondly, the facility was great.  The track was prepped well (purple soda) and looked great!  The racing went down in the normal format.  Three rounds of qualifying and then the mains.  When I went out on the track the first time to practice and learn the layout, I realized how good this was for me to grow as an RC racer.  A whole new track! A whole new layout! A whole new group of competition (aside from the friends that came with me)!  After running a few slow laps to get the layout down, I did a few hot laps to get my timing and braking down.  I was pretty satisfied and decided I'd go with my original setup for the first round.  I won my heat and landed the fastest lap!!  A few of the locals caught up to me later in qualifying and I ended up starting third in the A Main.  Not bad for my first time racing on a whole new track.  After starting third, I quickly found myself in first before the end of the first lap!!  My car was glued to the track.  Although it wasn't the fastest, I was certainly consistent.  I think a gearing change would have helped greatly as the second place racer would catch me and then make a mistake over and over until he finally got into a groove and drove off into the sunset.  So, I finished second out of 11 racers and had a good run at first.

I really liked the facility and racing at DRCW and plan to return in the near future.  I would like to travel to some other facilities and see what I can throw down there.  What a blast!!

Enjoy this video my buddy Bryan took and you can see the A Main!! Like I said, I start third (yellow, green, black body).


Monday, April 2, 2012

Dusting off the RCs

So, it's been far too long since I've held a radio.  I just returned from a 6 and 1/2 month deployment to the dust bucket called Afghanistan.  I'm so excited to get back and start racing just as the outdoor asphalt and off-road seasons begin.  I couldn't have come back at a better time!!

As it turns out, I forgot where I was with all my projects and had to realize the hard way that I still had some work to do before I could hit the track.  That didn't stop me from trying though... and I almost tore my Jammin SCRT10 4WD to pieces before I realized I needed to get some parts and some diff fluid.  WHOOPS!!  I really need some new tires too....

Let's just hope it's like riding a bike and you never really forget what you're doing.

Expect more blogging now that I'm back and I plan on doing a bit of traveling this year.  Good stuff coming this way!!!

In case anybody was wondering what the heck I was doing over there in the dirty ole desert, here's some pics for you viewing pleasure.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Practice with VRC Pro

Practice it the only way to get better at RC racing and hone in on the necessary skills (reaction time, setup, testing, putting laps down, etc). I know... try telling that to the guy that buys all the equipment and doesn't know what to do with it. I'm telling you now; it doesn't matter what you have, how much it costs, or how flashy it is. The sure way to get better is to practice and learn the ins and outs. With that said, some of us (me included) do not have the time to go to the track as frequently as we'd like. Some of us only have time for the points races and can't get that much practice in. Others, are not afforded the facilities to do so and might have to travel hours to get to the nearest track. I will be deploying soon and need some way to get my R/C fix (and better my skills).... so, I would like to thank those at virtualrc.com for their soon to be released VRC Pro simulation.

VRC Pro is set to release on September 1, 2011 according to VRCs Website.  The newest installment of this includes a lot of really neat features.  You can race indoor, outdoor, nitro, or electric! And, there are talks of an off-road aspect soon to come.  One of the best features is the multiplayer format.  You can practice, qualify, and race with anybody from anywhere with an internet connection.  VRC Pro simulates over 40 tracks worldwide, with more developing all the time.  You can test drive VRC for free using your keyboard, but I am sure you'll want to get the USB adapter to use your radio or get one from the VRC store.  If you already have a different controller, you can probably figure out how to make it work too.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Let me upgrade!!

To upgrade, or not to upgrade?  That is the question.  And when it comes to upgrading, it all depends on what your interest in the hobby is.  There are bashers, drifters, racers, crawlers, scale creationists, and even people who like to pimp their RC out.  Depending on your preference and what you want to do with you RC ride, you're going to want to explore the options sooner or later.  You might want to spruce the ride up a little or maybe you broke a part and now you are replacing it with an upgrade.

I consider myself an RC racer and occasional basher.  When I make an upgrade, it is usually on one of my race models and it is in the hopes of higher performance and quicker lap times.  When it comes to racing, one of the easiest and most important upgradable parts is the tires.  A simple change from the stock tires to a respectable tire manufacturer, such as Team Sorex for asphalt or AKA and Proline on dirt), will result in excellent hook up on the track.  When people think that they need to go faster, they often turn to changing the motor and that sometimes leaves them with too much power and not enough handling to keep the wheels on the ground. 

When it comes to toughening up a vehicle, one of the best options is aluminum upgrades.  Many RC manufacturers offer the most vulnerable parts as optional aluminum upgrades.  Team Integy is another company, aside from the manufacturers, that offers aluminum parts for many different RC vehicles.  If aluminum is not the way you want to go, you can always choose tougher plastic or composite parts, such as RPM RC Products or T-Bone Racing

Basically, I look at it this way, you always have something to do with your RCs.  You could be happy with your setup, but want it to look better - get a new body and paint it up, or put some rims on it that look nice (I recommend anything black because I was told that it'll add .5 secs onto my lap time just by being black - LOL).  You could be happy with the looks and want to change the performance - upgrade the motor, turnbuckles, ESC, suspension arms, shock oil, shock springs, etc.  There is always something waiting to be done to your RC.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Returning from Vacation

I'm just getting back to normalcy after a long 5 weeks away.  It feels like an eternity since I've held a radio.  Now I have a little more than a month to get all the RC in that I can before I head out of town for 6 months.  I'm not looking forward to that one... a lot can happen in 6 months.  Technology is changing things so fast that I'm hoping my electronics and equipment don't go out of date.  Chances are good that they won't, but I've learned to never say never.  I can't wait for this weekend.  I'm looking forward to chatting it up with my buddies and hanging out on a hot Saturday trying to figure out how the heck I can go faster... I hope it's like riding a bike, where you don't forget all the right things to do.  Now it's time to hit the forums and find out what and where I'll be racing this weekend.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

On-Road Asphalt Racing

Saturday, Apr 30 kicked off the official start to the Down East Championship Series between Rosewood R/C Speedway and Fayetteville Model Racing Club.  There was a great turn out and the racing was spectacular as always at Glenn's facility.  It was a nice, bright, warm, and (most importantly) dry day.  Pretty much the perfect day to race.  Congratulations go out to Timmie Harrington (1st in 12th scale and Touring Mod), Jimbo "I won GT" Dove (1st in Touring GT), and Justin Lessard (1st in 17.5 Touring).  The Fayettenam crew ran great... but with Rosewood taking wins in all four classes... well.. we'll just have to wait and see how the points are distributed.   There are many more months of racing ahead of us and with the next round going down in Fayetteville (Sunday May 29th), who knows what's going to happen.

Here's a few pics from the days racing... enjoy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hobby Within A Hobby

I couldn't be more happy to finally have a something to do.  I used to spend a lot of time being bored and looking for things to do.  The RC hobby is so much more than just buying a car, charging a battery, and running laps at full speed.  One of the most time consuming and sometimes therapeutic aspects of the hobby is painting.  Although you can see with my first paint job (Lotus Elise pic) I went with the good old one color wonder and put the decals that came with the body on it.  I have to say, I think it looks awesome regardless of being one color... at least it did before I decided to learn how to race with it.  So after painting my first body, I was so proud that I decided to post it up on RCTech.net and get some feedback.  What I was surprised to find was a whole new sub-hobby.  Some of the top painters in RC show off their painting skills here and they inspired me to put a little more into my own paintings.  Although I'm not very good at it... I do like to at least give it an honest effort and attempt to add my own touch to painting.  The second body I painted was a Dodge Viper that I added a some flames and a maltese cross to and it was soon dubbed "The Batmobile" at the track.  Since then, I have tried other techniques... some that have worked, some not so much.  I aspire to get better at it and the one thing that I constantly have to tell myself it to take my time.... here are a few bodies I have painted so far...