Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Idea, Old School Looks, Modern Performance...

Have you seen the Kyosho Ultima DB? Well if not, take a look at it.

I'm into old school buggies, and buggies with cages I think are really cool in particular. If you are old enough or informed enough about vintage RC to be familiar with the original Kyosho Ultima, then this is somewhat of a throwback to the Ultima's roots.

Well, it's somewhat of a throwback. I speculate that for stability reasons, Kyosho chose to use the Ultima RT5 (truck) to base the DB on, so it is overly wide. They also used the short course tire/wheel combo, I;m guessing for some sort of scale appeal. While a cool vehicle, it is not my favorite as it stands. 


Picture this now. How about a TRUE buggy with this body and cage. I'm thinking it would really improve this car to make some changes. What do you think of putting the RB5 suspension, and shorter chassis on this. How about some Buggy wheels and tires. Any current 12mm hex buggy wheel would work. I honestly think that THAT would be truely modernized Ultima. It would look SO much better. It would have vintage, retro buggy appearance (not the modern spaceship buggy look), and performance to match the B4s, XXXs, and other race cars on the track. What's not to love about that?

SIDE NOTE: I came up with this idea while thinking of putting the DB cage on my Ultima Pro, which I may still do. The cage and bumper pieces are only $27. I just wish that Kyosho didn't charge $50 for the body. Bummer. Maybe a reproduction of another older body could be cut around the cage instead....


Sunday, December 19, 2010

A lack-of-progress report.

I have not been able to work on my projects lately and that's why I haven't updated the blog. The Holiday season has brought its own challenges to my time, but the weather has played a role as well. You see, I only work on my RC stuff in the garage, and with the average temperature hovering in the mere thirties, its no place to hang out for long. I'm think that a space heater purchase may be in my future!

I have made some progress through trading, and hope to soon receive a counter gear for my Ultima Pro. I also managed to pick up a set of front shocks for it as well. I've been trying to look into whether I will be able to share wheels with my RC10 on it, but have not had a chance to mount them up and measure the offset. While I did fabricate an upper deck out of aircraft ply, I am still trying to source a factory upper deck. I'm also considering ordering some G10 fiberglass and fabricating one myself. I'm also trying to decide how I want to mount my battery pack in this car. I really don't care for the transverse mounted stick, due to excessive roll in the corners. I think that saddle packs would contribute to excess body roll as well. Ideally, I would mount inline down the center, but as you may know all Ultimas (except the longer Pro XL) posses a short wheelbase, and it is a tough fit. I'm considering building one of my packs into an old school Tamiya style "hump pack", but then I wonder if placing that sixth cell up high raises the center of gravity too much and therefore defeats the purpose of the inline mounting anyway. It may be something that I will just have to try out, and see what works best.

On the Wild One, the verdict is STILL out. The solid wood chassis that I built is NOT going to work. Hardwood ply may still be okay, but will require epoxy, and perhaps some fiberglass reinforcement. It's seeming as if a folded sheet metal tub may yet be the simplest and best solution for my lack of a chassis. I still have the option of assembling the car on the Hot Trick Frog chassis that I have laying around too...

Since this IS RC Idea Factory, I thought I'd share another idea I had recently. One of the few street cars I have is a Tamiya TT01. If your not familiar, its pretty much a bargain basement touring car....lots of plastic, little substance if you want true performance. I find it fun to drive around on occasion though. Several months ago, while letting a neighbor drive it, a collision popped off the upper suspension arm, and a dogbone was lost. I removed the other front dogbone, and ran it RWD only for a pack....horrible. So then I put both dogbones in the front. Again, not very good. Here's the deal, I don't really want to invest anything in this car, not even the $6 for another set of dogbones. SO I recently thought that if I redistribute the weight of the car, perhaps it could be a decent FWD tourer. When I have some more time, and the garage gets above freezing, maybe I'll throw that together and give it a go....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chassis update.

I took a little time to sand the wood filler down on the chassis. Since my youngest daughter (7 months) was sleeping, I didn't break out the electric sander, so I quickly tired and decided that the experiment didn't warrant a perfect finish anyway. Out came the primer, and a few moments later this is what we have:

Everything is "looking" good, but it is not all well. When I transformed the design to use wood, I had to account for the thickness of the material, with thin sheet metal this was not so much of a concern. Somehow in the translation, I missed a few measuements. For starters, the thickness of the wood, will not allow for the rear plate extension; it interferes with the transmission. Secondly, where the rear suspension mounts screw to the cage, the rear plate extension interferes with the cage. So the saw will be coming back out for some minor surgery.

While bolting on the suspension mounts, I came to realize that the solid wood is not going to hold up. Just from the installation of the mounts, there's a little too much flex in the connection. I am going to continue this chassis, to work out the kinks in the design, but will probably rebuild with 3mm aircraft ply for the actual runner. I have also decided that epoxy is a MUST. Wood glue and liquid nails is not going to cut it!! If I am feeling real ambitious with the further development, I could even fillet the joints with a strip of fiberglass....I don't know if I'm ready to deal with the fumes yet.

The folded sheet metal option is still on the table as well, and actually has become more feasible with the design simplifications that I have already decided to incorporate in prototype number two.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Progress on the Wild One chassis

I cut out the pieces for the Wild One chassis on Sunday, and glued it all up Monday night. Although it is looking like a good piece of craftsmanship, I already have thought of some things I will do differently next time. Of course, I hope that the "next time" isn't necessary and that this one will hold up, and perform well. After letting it set up over night, I used some wood filler to close up a few poor joints. Next up, sanding, primer, paint, clear coat.

  1.  A Little Chunky. Not that it's heavy, it LOOKS chunky. In fact, it is pretty lightweight. If the strength is good, this little number will be a winner. The next version will be made out of 3mm aircraft ply instead.
  2. Complexity. In hindsight, the front end could have been built as a completely enclosed tub. Then I could have mae holes where the suspension mounts need to protrude throught the front. A second advantage to this would be more room for the steering servo. The rear end probably could be further tubbed as well. 
I started looking at how this will go together, specifically looking at battery location. It ALMOST has room for a stick pack down the center, but not quite. I think a future version with a tubbed front end could fit it. I could mount the servo up between the front suspension mounts (output end facing rearward). I'm going to work with what I've got for now.

In order to save weight, which will in turn make it less likely to break (I hope!), I think I'm going to use a micro (1/18) pack. I'm also considering powering it with 380 (micro motor) as well.I feel like my 380 lunchbox has plenty of power for just playing, so I'm sure it'll be enough for the W1. I could always upgrade to 380 Brushless and or Lipo later too. In fact this is an idea I've been considering for pretty much any 1/10 car that I'm not using in organized racing. I think that there will still be plenty of power, and it will be a considerable cost savings as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Local Meetup

A couple of friends of mine from RC10Talk arranged a get together for this past Sunday. The plan was to meet up and run our old stufff together, talk about vintage equipment, and maybe even trade some things. We tried to publicize the get together through the LHS too, although just through a word-of-mouth invitation. Three of us showed up, and for three hours we ran and talked about cars. I think a good time was had by all. We are definitely going to do this again. Next time I will leave a flyer at the LHS, and try NOT to plan the event on the same day as their established fun runs.

Brendan wheeling the RC10.

I scrambled around for the last two days leading up to our planned event trying to fabricate my upper deck for the Ultima. In the end, it was together, but not finished...literally, bare wood! I wanted badly to drive it at this meet, but I'm still lacking a cluster gear. Despite my best efforts, I could not piece something together to get in running. Two fellow 10talkers have come forward offering up a gear, so now I'm just waiting...I will have one for the next event I'm sure.Maybe I'll even have the upper deck finished.

I've drawn out all the parts for my Wood Wild One chassis on the material. When I have the time, it will go into the garage for cutting, and then I'll start getting it pieced together.

This weekend while getting packed for the meet, I ran across a Hot Trick Frog chassis, that vintage88 from 10Talk had hooked me up with a few weeks back. When he first showed me the piece, it was connected to some Ultima parts, and we both thought it was an Ultima chassis. After a little research, we identified it as the Frog one. Once we had made that step, its fate was sealed, as I have always liked the look of this:

The Hot Trick Frog, looks so racy. I think that with a capable driver, this car could run with the RC10. I happened to set the chassis plate down near my collection of W1 parts, and inspiration hit. How cool would a Hot Trick Wild One be? I haven't searched it out yet, but I'm leaning towards the thought that it hasn't been done. So, If my homebrew chassis doesn't work out, (or even if it does...) I may just have to throw some W1 parts into the mix with that chassis.

Until next time... keep it shiny side up!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Project Updates

Okay, it's been a couple weeks so I should talk about what has been going on. First, the Wild One.

Wild One

 At the time of last post, I had decided to drop the plan to adapt the W1 suspension to the Hornet chassis. Eventually, I may be able to justify the expense of purchasing a rare W1 or FAV chassis, but in the mean time I've decided to fabricate my own. I carefully took measurements off the cage, and front and rear suspension mounts to determine where I would need to mount them in relation to one another. Once I had their relative locations down, Using the known wheelbase measurement (Thankfully available from TC) I started drawing. And I DO mean DRAWING. I'm not tech savvy enough to have my own CAD, and since I don't have access to a machine shop it really doesn't matter. The plan is to use sheet metal cut to the correct shape so that it may be folded into a usable and structurally sound chassis. After the design phase, I mocked one up out of chipboard (cereal box) Oh look, I do have a visual aid!!

Change number 43! I was feeling a bit hesitant to purchase sheet metal and start bending, only to mess up a bend and have to scrap the whole thing. I am no metal shop worker, so you can understand my apprehension. I thought maybe I could build this chassis from another material. I remember MANY years ago Radio Control Car Action (RCCA from here on out.) had done a project car where the fabricated a chassis out of aircraft plywood (like the RC airplane guys use). My luck, the LHS didn't have any sheets large enough so I checked the Lowe's and found a nice, flat, solid piece of Poplar sheet. Today I laid out all the parts on it, and will get to cutting soon. Stay tuned, this may get interesting yet!

Ultima Pro

The Ultima is coming along nicely. I made a trade with a fellow vintage RC enthusiast, and picked up another Kyosho Outrage, as well as a handful of Ultima parts.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but IT IS just a clean Outrage donor car.

The Ultima Pro Parts Lot. (surprise inside!)

The Outrage is in much better condition than the donor car I picked up from ebay, so I immediately started stripping parts from her. Then I started looking at the parts lot I had received. BONUS! It turns out that the lot which I took interest in for the composite shock towers, actually came from an Ultima Pro. SO, inside the transmission I found a ball differential !!

I love surprises like this!
The only bad news is that I thought that I was getting a composite upper plate in this deal and didn't. Once I looked a little closer, I realized that the trader's picture had shown that the upper deck was in fact broken. BUT, that's okay, I'll source one soon enough. In the meantime, I'm going to make one to get her running out of.... you guessed it Aircraft Plywood!!
I drew up the design for that today as well, and hope to get it cut out this weekend.

That's all for now, as always... more to come.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Change of plans.

I think it was a little too much to chew on. The Wild One on the Hornet chassis project is being reworked. I'm not sure what I'm going to do wth it now. It'll either become a long term project to be a real wild one, or I'm considering scratch-building a chassis. I know, I know, that sounds like more work than bolting the parts up to the Hornet chassis. It will be. But in the end, I want a car that I can run and enjoy. It was looking too much like the hornet W1, was going to be fragile at best, and worst case scenario, fall apart form just looking at it. By starting from a blank slate, I can place thing right where they need to be without interferrence from pre-molded structure. Its a good thing, I'm sure. Not totally, but if not, I'll just bite the bullet and get the real thing..

The bonus in this is that now I have ANOTHER project car! The Hornet. I'm thinking that a multi-link suspension may be connecting the rear end to the Hornet in a few weeks. Might even throw an independent wishbone, with upper link on the front. The original CRP hop up from back in the eighties is still available from HERE.