Monthly Archives: November 2009

Achieving Perfect Carbon Fibre Edges

While building my second TRF416X (this one my own) chassis I accidently discovered a new way of achieving the finish finish to the edges of the carbon fibre parts.

Now I’m sure someone has discovered this before me, but I have not seen or heard it mentioned. The way I have done this before is to sand the edges first, then place a drop of CA on the edge of the cf part while holding the it vertically, and letting the drop carefully find it’s way along the edge.

This is a good way to get a really beautiful finish but it’s very difficult to achieve consistently. So when this did not work out I usually, after CA’ing the edge, wet sanded it with 600 grit paper to acheieve a smooth finish. This however obviously results in a slightly matte finish.

I also did this yesterday but was not happy with the matte finish. I then discovered that spraying some CA activator on a rag and wiping the edge with this gives me the shiny finish I was looking for with the “drop method” anyway! This way the edge will also always be perfectly smooth, something extremely difficult to achieve with the drop method. Happy πŸ™‚

So to sum it up:

– sand parts with 240 grit paper rounding the edges as much as you like
– glue edges with CA, either by the drop method or with a cotton swob
– wetsand with 600 grit paper
– use CA activator on a rag to wipe edges

For a much better explanation click the link below, then just finish it off with the activator trick πŸ™‚

http://www.teamcrc.com/crc/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=16&mode=&order=0&thold=0

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New Muchmore Stuff

A couple of interesting new products coming from Muchmore.

Hybrid balance charger

tentative specs:
– 220/12V
– 140Γ—100Γ—85mm
– Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Li-Po, Li-Fe, Pbγ€€
– max charge 5.0Aγ€€
– discharge 1.0A
– JST-XH balancer connector
– available in black, blue, silver?Β¨

The second new product is is a new light that looks like a copy of the Factory H products used by many factory drivers for about a year now. Available in different colors.

Summer Racing Summary

The TRF416WE was excellent on carpet from the first time I put it on the track, by far the best car I have ever run.

As regular readers of this blog would know though, I have always liked asphalt many times more than any carpet racing. So with a great car I looked forward to this summer season more than for a few years now.

Until now, my favourite car on asphalt had been the TRF415MSX, a car I got setup in a way that it worked on every track and I could just drive it anyway I wanted – always the best sign of a good setup.

The cars following it I had not got this same perfect feeling with. The MSX MRE was good but more difficult. The original 416 was again good but not perfect. Of course it was still the fastest car I had ever run, but it did not feel as perfect as the MSX had felt. Sure this could have been different had I had more time to work on it but I didn’t.

Come the 416WE then, and I still remember the first time I run it on asphalt in early May. This car was amazing – it did not feel as comfortable as the MSX back in ’06 – but I could still drive it very much the way I wanted and the corner speed of this car was just unreal to start with. Kind of like you could not understand how it could carry that much speed through a corner.

Needless to say the results were also quite good and I just enjoyed running this car so much! The setup was nothing special – I will post the setup later.

So I have found a new favourite car!

end-of-season

After the last national race of the season I still went to the local track to test a few things on the TRF416WE, as well as just enjoy running on asphalt before the way too long winter arrive here in Finland.

In early September I finished the outdoor season with an annual club race on the small asphalt track here in Vasa, running both the TRF416WE and the M03M.

This track is perfect for the M-Chassis class and I really got my car working well with a few nice upgrades. This class is so much fun with lipo and brushless, you can just run and run until the tyres wear out!

With the 416 I set a new track record of 23/5.01. This is significantly quicker than ever before and came effortlessly, still it left me thinking I would have got 24 laps easily with a freshly rebuilt car. Well, something to shoot for next summer!

This was also the last time I run the 416WE as I have now sold the car and have yet to start running indoors.

oldies class

In August I did a bit of large scale 1/5 racing, doing the last 2 rounds of the Finnish Championship. In addition I had also done the first round in May with a H.A.R.M. sport chassis.

For the 2 races in August I run the full racing version SX-3, which my boss kindly let me drive πŸ˜‰

This in itself was interesting as it gave me the chance to compare a full race car and a hobby car, in this class as well. And the difference was just the same as in a smaller scale – the race car actually felt like a car made for racing.

The first race was on a track I always liked in 1/10 TC – Hyvinge. As I expected I also liked it a lot with these cars and the race started well. This was actually a race I believe I had a good shot at winning but numerous technical issues saw me visit the pits at least 4 times at the start of the final. This left me dead last and lapped by everyone. But with 20 minutes of the 30 minute final still ahead of me I set a target of making the podium, and with 1 lap to go I managed to overtake the 3rd place guy πŸ™‚

The next race was at another favourite track of mine at Kouvola. This is a track which is very rarely used – though it should definitely be used for other classes as well. In testing at the track on Friday I got a 5th scale car for the first time working so I could drive it like I want. This was great and so much fun to drive!

On race day this feeling went away though, and I still don’t know why. It was back to normal where I could not push as I would’ve liked meaning I was missing 1-2 tenths of lap time and ahead of the final I knew it was too much in a 30 minute final. Because of some first corner incidents involving the other frontrunners I got a bit of a head start but after 1/3 I had the TQ right behind me. So my job was try to keep him behind for 20 minutes πŸ˜‰ I managed it for 10 πŸ™‚ And that was A LOT OF FUN!

To sum it up I really really enjoy the 30 minute finals and the racing with these cars. With their weight, size and handling/braking characteristics you can really race. Reminds a lot of full size TC racing.

Just need a lot of money and a mechanic – then I can just drive… πŸ˜‰

Last National

The last national of 09 was on the small track at Laukaa middle of August. This track is too small for 1:10 TC but still normally racing is decent fun. This year for some unreasonable reason they however decided to run the track counter-clockwise insteas of clockwise and it took away the fun quite a bit.

This was another another race just like the previous national where I put myself in the position that if I wanted to start on pole, I had to win the last 2 qualifying rounds and at the same time do a new FTD time in the afternoon heat on well used tyres… One could, and probably should make it easier for oneself… πŸ˜‰

But then again, challenges are fun!
So I tried hard and made it. Then won 2 of the finals as well.

Next up – edit NOT

My memory is playing tricks on me! Actually the weekend before the ETS final we run a national on one of the better tracks in Finland @ Kuusankoski.

This was actually a quite enjoyable race as it did not really start out as good as I had hoped meaning I had to try a bit! I improved the car, improved my driving and dominated 😳 in the end – but as I said I had to work a bit for it and definitely enjoyed it!

What was becoming clear in the pro stock class was as the race day went on and track temperature went up I continued to run at the same pace as in the morning while drivers running other cars than the TRF416 slowed noticeably with the track temperature. This was repeated at every race and can be attributed to the car being quite gentle with its tyres.

Update finally, on ETS and why it sucks living so far up north

Hey, 4 months without any update! Guess I’ve been busy!

So here’s some short update on the RC side…

My last post was of a couple of sets of worn out Sweep tyres, so let’s start from there! That picture was taken during the first week of my summer holiday, when I spent a couple of days testing for the Andernach ETS final on a very hot track. Turned our the Sweep tyres lasted only a few packs (around 4 I think) in the heat on the abrasive track.

Still it meant I felt quite well prepared for the ETS final. Arriving Thursday I got to do some practice on the difficult track and everything seemed quite ok. Then as lots of sugar water was applied later it became quite difficult to be consistent since the new higher kerbs became extremely grippy and you had to stay off them.

Still Friday ended surprisingly well with me setting top 5 laptimes in the pro stock class. First qualifying saw me do a decent run getting 10th for the round. After that things went bad though which was a bit of a disappointment as I had the speed and had prepared well. I had some problems with the drivers and traffic in the top heat and then the weather started playing some tricks. Anyway it always comes down to own mistakes in the end, so just gotta take in what you learned and try to avoid the same mistakes next time.

The trip was still though great as always and for sure I will return sometime.

On the ETS series I gotta say that this is about the best thing that has happened to RC racing in Europe during my 15 years of racing! Scotty, Uwe and also the Red RC guys deserve a lot of cred for the work they have done and I can only hope they will continue for many years to come!

As I often say, I’d be happy to not run a single event here in Finland if I could do the whole ETS series…because it’s just so much more enjoyable! Too bad one lives so far up north.