Kraton Wow! talk about shifting over to electrics...

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Calabash

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Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Outcast 4s
I was browsing through RC Planet website looking at what they offer and if they had any good articles. I then started looking at their offering of RC cars and on the left hand column where the filters were, one filter stood out to me, the one with powerplants. When I first started with RC cars back in the 90's there were not a lot of electric RC cars, now the overwhelming amount of RC cars are electric. When looking at the nirtros almost all started at around 300 bucks or more. Electrics are offering both more variety as well as better price.

As an older person this reminds me of when digital cameras came around. Before them, you had to by a roll of film, load it in the camera, take pictures, take the roll of film to the local pharmacy where they usually had a film department that would develop the film and get it back to you in a few days. Watching how that changed over the years was amazing. Even our phones now, pay phones used to be everywhere to make phone calls, they are no where to be found now. Seeing the switch over to electric RC reminds me how technology changes our choices and our lives. Enough of the history lesson...


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Wow, yeah, that's dramatic!

I just got back into ground RC. My last RC trucks (and my first hobby-grade ones) were Associated 1:10 2WD stadium trucks, which at this point would be old enough to drink, if I still had them. A NiCad one, then a .12 nitro. Both were loads of fun, and the nitro gave lots of things to fiddle with, tweak, etc, which was part of the fun. Plus it was faster, and I could play as long as I wanted, just refilling the tank.

But wow, LiPos and brushless have changed the game! My 1/8 4WD truck is a monster by comparison, maybe twice the weight (?), and far faster. It's pulled wheelies when already going maybe 25+, while I never got my previous ones to wheelie at all.

The difference is remarkable. It's FAST, quiet, doesn't require re-tuning, and doesn't make an oily mess. And the batteries run for a while, plus I can charge at the field if I want.

I completely respect folks who choose to run nitro or gas. But for me, that has become much less compelling. Nothing's perfect, of course, but LiPos offer a lot of power, and don't require the tweaking and maintenance of nitro. I'm impressed.
 
Back in the day (90s) I had a RC10T2/3 and an RC10GT (nitro). The nitros were considered superior because the fuel tank lasted longer and they were slightly faster, but nowadays it's not even close. I got back into the hobby a few months again and was deciding between nitro and electric. I decided against nitro because you have to have a glow starter (with battery, and starter box (with battery) and a battery for the servos. In other words, a nitro needs more batteries than a battery-powered electric....
 
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Back in the day (90s) I had a RC10T2/3 and an RC10GT (nitro). The nitros were considered superior because they fuel tank lasted longer and they were slightly faster, but nowadays it's not even close. I got back into the hobby a few months again and was deciding between nitro and electric. I decided against nitro because you have to have a glow starter (with battery, and starter box (with battery) and a battery for the servos. In other words, a nitro needs more batteries than a battery-powered electric....
Ha, that's a funny perspective, on the # of batteries. I don't remember the exact model # of my NiCad truck, but my nitro was the sibling, RC10GT. Like you said, faster, and longer run times.

I'm sure nitro has gotten somewhat more-refined since then, squeezing more power out, etc. But nothing like the transition from NiCad + brushed, to LiPo + brushless. I don't have data logging to show me my actual current draw. But if your 6S ESC saw a 150A load, that's about 3300W, or 4.5hp. Wow. And the speed-running people seem to mention spikes much higher than that.
 
I was browsing through RC Planet website looking at what they offer and if they had any good articles. I then started looking at their offering of RC cars and on the left hand column where the filters were, one filter stood out to me, the one with powerplants. When I first started with RC cars back in the 90's there were not a lot of electric RC cars, now the overwhelming amount of RC cars are electric. When looking at the nirtros almost all started at around 300 bucks or more. Electrics are offering both more variety as well as better price.

As an older person this reminds me of when digital cameras came around. Before them, you had to by a roll of film, load it in the camera, take pictures, take the roll of film to the local pharmacy where they usually had a film department that would develop the film and get it back to you in a few days. Watching how that changed over the years was amazing. Even our phones now, pay phones used to be everywhere to make phone calls, they are no where to be found now. Seeing the switch over to electric RC reminds me how technology changes our choices and our lives. Enough of the history lesson...


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Yeah. I am relatively new to rc cars in general. I have observed that many people who do not know a lot or did back in the day tend to assume my rc vehicles are nitro or petrol. I say no electric is the thing these day.s Faster, quitier, more powerful, less maintenance and more customizable.
 
As an older person this reminds me of when digital cameras came around. Before them, you had to by a roll of film, load it in the camera, take pictures, take the roll of film to the local pharmacy where they usually had a film department that would develop the film and get it back to you in a few days.
I took Photography in high school and in college, I had a camera set-up for color and one for B&W both were Cannon Rebels had to develop my own film in a dark room. One of my kids took photography in HS and with just one camera took pictures and could change everything about them on his laptop.
Even our phones now, pay phones used to be everywhere to make phone calls, they are no where to be found now.
I remember waiting in line at the phone centers/phone booths on the piers NOB Norfolk and some foriegn ports just to check in with my family.

I got my first real RC last year, so can't say much on the changes, but technology as a whole has changed so much in my 48 years. I remember when I was the remote for the TV. 😂
 
Yeah. I am relatively new to rc cars in general. I have observed that many people who do not know a lot or did back in the day tend to assume my rc vehicles are nitro or petrol. I say no electric is the thing these day.s Faster, quitier, more powerful, less maintenance and more customizable.
I would differ with you on the less maintenance, I am still breaking parts like I did back in the 90's but that is more a comment on my driving skills than anything else...
 
I would differ with you on the less maintenance, I am still breaking parts like I did back in the 90's but that is more a comment on my driving skills than anything else...
Probably break more parts these days with the speed and power comes the carnage..ahh..Evolution!! 😏😁🤣🍻
 
As far as electric has come since the junk offerings of the 90s/00s, I still find it less reliable and in some ways more convoluted than the peak days of nitro. I guess this is in part because I had figured out nitro almost completely and developed a high skill level wrt building, tuning and maintenance, and current battery technology doesn't offer the same kind of grab a jug of fuel and drive for hours convenience. Charging and storing batteries remains a ritualistic and fairly dangerous process that can exceed the risk of handling flammable and toxic nitro fuel, and this annoys me.

Most people who were into nitro back in the day didn't really learn it well, so tuning and constant maintenance (wrecking glow plugs with a bad tune etc.) were a chore that really impeded enjoyment, and performance in practice was a fraction of what it could be. Electric flattened the learning curve and turned it into a stepwise plug-and-play process that doesn't require one to grudgingly develop an intuition or feel for how an engine should be running, and it therefore opened the hobby up to new people and made it easier, more convenient and more fun for a majority of existing enthusiasts.

One huge benefit of electric is the ability to run in parks, backyards etc. without irritating nearby people. Increasing urbanisation and higher population densities mean that nitro is decreasingly viable for many unless they drive a large distance out of town. This unfortunately now includes me, and I have switched entirely to electric. I miss nitro, but my life has changed and the world has changed and electric has outpaced it in versatility.
 
You're right that charging LiPos is not trivial, and if you're parallel-charging, you need to be very careful. I bought a nice charger, and a small inverter generator, so I could fly my aircraft as long as I wanted. But it's definitely not just a simple as bringing a slightly-larger bottle of fuel.

I tried to learn to properly tune my nitro, from reading online, etc. But this was before YouTube, and there weren't videos to help. I had a thermometer mounted to the engine, to try and use temperature as an indicator, but I'm sure I didn't have it quite right. And I was nervous about blowing the expensive engine, so I probably erred on the side of too-rich (and too slow).

I was going to say it's nice to not have to fret about which fuel to use, but then I remembered how many threads there are about selecting a LiPo ;)

But it sure is nice that it's quiet. Now I can play in my back yard if I want, but I would not have been comfortable doing with my nitro, in our suburban neighborhood. No need to irritate the neighbors.
 
As far as electric has come since the junk offerings of the 90s/00s, I still find it less reliable and in some ways more convoluted than the peak days of nitro. I guess this is in part because I had figured out nitro almost completely and developed a high skill level wrt building, tuning and maintenance, and current battery technology doesn't offer the same kind of grab a jug of fuel and drive for hours convenience. Charging and storing batteries remains a ritualistic and fairly dangerous process that can exceed the risk of handling flammable and toxic nitro fuel, and this annoys me.

Most people who were into nitro back in the day didn't really learn it well, so tuning and constant maintenance (wrecking glow plugs with a bad tune etc.) were a chore that really impeded enjoyment, and performance in practice was a fraction of what it could be. Electric flattened the learning curve and turned it into a stepwise plug-and-play process that doesn't require one to grudgingly develop an intuition or feel for how an engine should be running, and it therefore opened the hobby up to new people and made it easier, more convenient and more fun for a majority of existing enthusiasts.

One huge benefit of electric is the ability to run in parks, backyards etc. without irritating nearby people. Increasing urbanisation and higher population densities mean that nitro is decreasingly viable for many unless they drive a large distance out of town. This unfortunately now includes me, and I have switched entirely to electric. I miss nitro, but my life has changed and the world has changed and electric has outpaced it in versatility.
I do wonder, what advancements have there really been in nitro rc motors or fuel since the 90's or 00's? I bet none, I do understand that tuning a nitro rc is the most critical part though.
What's a gallon of fuel run these days? I'm seeing $50-60 a gallon online.
No disrespect to nitro lovers but, no thanks. I'm more than happy to take the "risk" with lipos.
Regardless, I do love all things rc!!🍻😎
 
Fuel is very expensive, and that's one of the reasons I didn't get back into it. As I understand, this is due to an increase in the cost of raw materials used to produce nitromethane. At one time 30% nitro fuel was only about $30CAD/gallon, and now this has more than doubled.

I'd say nitro plateaued in the early 2010s as people figured out how to extract the last bits of performance out of the engines by modifying the sleeve and crankshaft timing, optimising tuned pipes, and finding the ideal fuel blend. Significant R&D on factory engines probably stopped in the mid 00s. Picco and Novarossi had figured out how to build a car engine about as well as possible, and all that was left was to squeeze out an extra 10-20%.

They were always fundamentally limited by physics in a way that electrics aren't, and it was inevitable that electric would surpass nitro in power and speed once electronics were up to the task of surviving huge current flow and batteries capable of supplying it. That said, having a decent amount of experience with electric now, I'm still not convinced that 1/8 or 1/10 platforms benefit much from the extra power if you're like me and your primary interest is track bashing. For stunts and speed runs electric trounces no question.

Even on a 1/8 track with long straights, a strong nitro engine is quite constrained:

 
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I'm gonna date myself here 🤦🏻.
But before Arrma, I've been in the hobby grade RCs for a couple years now. I have a Talion 6s EXB, Typhon 6s v5 and a Kraton 6s v5. But before these my last rc car I believe came from Kmart 😁.
Take it out of the box, add a few AA batteries and play. If you broke it.. Game over, throw it away and play with something else.
 
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