Thursday, June 30, 2011

New 360!!!

Today the new Xbox 360 and the Kinect showed up.

I got the 360 hooked up, and I even found an HDMI cable to use with it, which I thought I was going to have to order. I got "Bad Compay 2's" downloadable content put on the new 360, and got some play time in with the new console.

Overall, I'm really satisfied with it. It looks better on our TV stand, it's quieter, it's wireless seems to work better, and it seems to run a bit cooler. Overall, it's a definite upgrade from the old box. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my old one. There's a guy at work that wanted to buy one a few weeks ago...maybe I'll see if he's still interested in buying one and sell him my old one for a good price.

Cathy's Kinect, on the other hand...didn't end up being such a great initial experience. Apparently the Kinect needs a different type of power adapter, and the new 360 has that build into it. If you don't have the new 360, however, you have to buy a separate plug to get the thing to work. Of course, with me getting the new Xbox and Cathy getting the Kinect, we are going to need that special power cord. Cathy ordered one today, and it should show up on Friday...but until then, she can't really even try out her Kinect.

That's alright, though, she also ordered a game for it that she wanted, so they should come at the same time and give her something to play with the new camera.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Started Working On a Track...

Cathy told me that if I cleaned up a bit of the backyard, that she wouldn't have a problem with me trimming the grass pretty short in certain spots in order to make a small RC track back there.

Well, I hacked down a bunch of weeds a while back, and today I cut the grass pretty short to start making a track in the backyard.

I need to get a couple of jumps and obstacles, but for just taking a few minutes, I think it turned out pretty well.

Here's a quick video of the track with my car running on it.

I'll be making it bigger next week, basically adding to the other side of it. With a few jumps and obstacles, I think it will be a really fun track to drive around.

It's cool to drive on it, because it's VERY different from driving in the street. In the street it's just full throttle everywhere, on the track, only on that back straightaway can you get up to full speed.

I drove on it for probably about 20 minutes tonight and had a great time. I'll be looking forward to continuing to work on it.

Oh yes, the tree that is dead in the middle of the track will be coming down soon...and driving from the top of the deck is great. You can see the whole backyard easily!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great Weather...

Today was absolutely gorgeous outside. Cathy and I did some shopping and then had some brat burgers on the grill. It was a perfect day for grilling.

It's also supposed to be really nice tomorrow.

I'm glad. It seems like every time we have a day off, we have at least one day where it ends up raining really hard or something. It was definitely a change of pace to be preparing for two perfect days!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Xbox 360...

For a while now, my Xbox 360 has been acting up a bit. It makes a funny sound when discs aren't in it, almost like something is loose. Also, my 360 is old enough that it doesn't have HDMI inputs on it, which means that it's not getting the best surround sound or graphics that it could.

Oh yah, I also have needed a new controller for a little while now, and those run $50 by themselves.

In a separate story...Cathy has wanted an Xbox Kinect for a little while now, and has been waiting for it to go on sale at Amazon or anywhere for that matter.

Today, she found on Amazon that they had the 4gb Xbox 360 Kinect bundle for $299 with a $100 Amazon gift card thrown in. So basically, what we did, was buy the bundle and split the cost. So for $150 I got a new 4gb Xbox 360 console that has the new smaller design, the wireless built in, and HDMI output.

To add to that, I found a 250gb hard drive to go with the console for only $40, where Microsoft still charges $129.99 for their hard drive. The one I found has 105 or so five star reviews out of 115 total reviews on Amazon. The only downside is apparently it doesn't have the emulator software on it to play original Xbox games, but that's okay because I don't have any original Xbox games that I want to play.

So, for a total of $190 I got a brand new Xbox 360 with everything I wanted. Not that it's a big deal, but when you add the 250gb hard drive to a 4gb 360, you actually end up with 254gb of space. Seeing as it comes with a controller, and I needed a new one of those, I effectively got the console and the drive for $140. Compare that to the $299.99 that the standard 360 with the 250gb drive costs, and I would have to say that I got quite a deal!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NHL Realignment...

So, the Atlanta Thrashers have been sold and are moving back to Winnipeg this season.

That means that a team that is north and west of Minnesota will be playing in the Southeast Division in the NHL this season. That just simply can't happen. The NHL had said in the past that if a team were to move west to Winnipeg, it would be possible that the Detroit Red Wings would be moved to the Eastern Conference, as they are the Eastern most team that is still in the Western Conference.

But today, the NHL began talking about a total realignment.

Currently, there are two conferences with three divisions in each. Each division has five teams in it. They are currently set up in the Western Conference as the Central, Northwest, and Pacific divisions. In the Eastern Conference they are the Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast divisions.

Teams, for the most part, are aligned geographically. It works for the most part, but a couple of teams are pretty far east and still in the Western Conference...most notably the Red Wings.

But again, back to that total realignment. Basically, the NHL has said that instead of simply swapping teams, they are interested in completely revamping the current system. They want to stay a two conference system (obviously) but go to two divisions in each, with an eight team division and a seven team division in each conference.

Well, of course, this means that fans everywhere can start talking about how they would want to see the league aligned, and I figured that this would be a great time for me to go ahead and throw my idea in there.

For starters, I have kept the system based as best as possible on geographical region. Here are my ideas for the regions, and which teams would be in them...

First would be a simple thing...we are dropping the whole Western Conference and Eastern Conference, and going back to the Clarence Campbell Conference and the Prince of Wales Conference. Hockey is a sport that has deep roots in many of it's traditions, and it's time to bring these traditional names back. Again, because of the tradition, we are going to keep the Atlantic and Pacific division names that have been used for the past several years. No reason to get rid of everything that is new, right??

So, here's the Conference break downs.

Clarence Campbell Conference

Pacific Division(8)

San Jose
LA Kings

South Division (7)

Tampa Bay
St Louis

Prince of Wales Conference

North Division(8)


Atlantic Division(7)

NY Rangers
NY Ilsanders
NJ Devils

So, what do you think?? What ideas do you have??

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Picked Out Brushless Setup...

After going through a TON of options for the brushless motor for the truck, I have finally settled on a combo.

I was originally going for a Hobbywing 60 amp speed controller and a Tacon 3500kv brushless motor. But it's virtually impossible to find the Hobbywing controller, so I started looking elsewhere. Too bad, because it would have cost about $85 for the whole setup.

I then found a Castle Creations 4600kv combo for $99, but I would have also needed the programming card which costs nearly $30. So I would have had to spend $129 plus shipping to get that combo. It would have been a FANTASTIC setup, but that was a bit more than I was wanting to spend.

I found a Dynamite brushless combo, which is the same company that makes the motor and controller in my cars now, for $105 with EVERYTHING including the program card. It was a good combo, but the motor was significantly less potent than either of the other two options.

So last night I was browsing around the web and found this...

It's a 60 amp speed controller, with a programming box, and a 3950kv motor. It costs $85. The awesome part is that it IS a Hobbywing controller, which is what I wanted in the first place, but it's been branded by the store that's selling it. The other good part, is that it's a SENSORED motor. Sensored motors aren't quite as quick as standard brushless motors, but they run much more smoothly and give longer run times...which is what I'm actually interested in.

Overall, I think it's going to be a great combo for the Circuit. I've contacted the guy selling them, and he seems like a really good guy. He's got lots of posts on different message forums, and most of the comments about his business and products have been raving reviews...I haven't found a single negative comment about him.

Hopefully I can order it this week and get it in the truck by the end of the week. I'll nearly double the speed of the truck AND increase the run time. How's that for awesome???

Friday, June 24, 2011


I've gotten a lot of practice soldering lately.

I borrowed a gun from my dad. He said he never could really get it to work right, and I think I know why. The guns aren't very good for doing detailed soldering. I ended up ordering a nice iron, and since then I've had no issues.

I've soldered up four batteries for the trucks, both ESCs on the trucks, and connectors to the chargers.

I've actually gotten quite a bit more proficient at it. It's definitely much easier with the iron than it was with the gun.

I actually enjoy soldering. It's kind of fun, in an odd "this is work, but it's not so bad" kind of way.

Tonight I did two batteries and one of the ESCs. Went pretty quickly, and came out perfect!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

August Fifth...

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" comes to theaters.

I've been a fan of "Planet of the Apes" movies for a LOOOONG time. I'm sure he doesn't even remember this, but I fondly remember staying home from school once when I was really sick. I remember laying on the floor in the basement with my dad watching EVERY "Planet of the Apes" movie in a row in some marathon on TV. Like I said, I don't think he would remember that, but that, along with the greatness of a couple of the films, turned this franchise into one of my favorites.

So here you have one of my favorite film franchises of all time (yes, I even liked the Marky Mark one that came out in 2001) and you're taking Peter Jackson's Weta Digital, the BEST digital special effects company ever created and putting them in the driver's seat of the film, and in my opinion you've got something that's going to be AWESOME.

This may be the first movie in a LOOOONG time that I actually try to go see on opening night...yes, I'm looking forward to it that much...

New Summer Show...

I watched the series premier of "Falling Skies" on my days off.

I have to say, I came away pretty impressed. The special effects seemed pretty impressive, especially by TV standards. They may not be quite up to "LOST" standards, but overall I thought they were pretty good.

I also like that the story is different. Sure, it's a post-apocalyptic aliens have invaded story, but MOST of those types of stories occur during the invasion or very shortly after the invasion.

In "Falling Skies," we get to see the human resistance a good while after the initial invasion. The humans are fairly organized, instead of in chaos like you would normally see immediately following a disaster, and we get the impression that they are slowly turning back the aliens...but that there is still little hope because they mention that the mother ship will come back.

I really like Noah Wyle's character. He's a history professor that has a vast knowledge of military history, tactics, and warfare in general. He's not a soldier, so he lacks first hand experience, but his expertise make him a really great tactician. I like that he's not really some kind of gung-ho super soldier. He's just a regular guy, trying to stay alive in a world full of aliens.

The premier was two hours long, really just two different episodes. The two episodes had very different feelings from each other, but overall I felt that they worked together really well.

In the end, I really enjoyed the show. I'm hoping it sticks around for a while, because I think there's a lot of potential here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LEGO Heroica...

I bought a LEGO board game about a week ago. I put it together, but we didn't get a chance to play it.

But last night it was storming out and Cathy and I had already watched a movie, so we figured we'd give the game a try.

After learning how to play, we set the game up and started out.

It only takes about 20 minutes or so to play, but I had a good time. Cathy ended up beating me, which was deserved. She killed like six or seven of the monsters, and I had only killed two.

Overall, it was pretty fun. There are different ways to set up the game board, which should change the way that the game is played. There are also several other smaller versions of the game, and they can actually be connected together to make one larger game.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Trucks...

My new Circuit showed up today.

I didn't run it, because it doesn't have the right connectors for the batteries that I have, but I did take it out of the box to snap this picture!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011


We made it to our weekend.

The only problem?? It's supposed to be pretty crappy weather.

There's supposed to be pretty crazy thunderstorms the next two days.

But you know what?? That's alright. I probably won't get to mow the lawn, which is really the only down side to having a couple of bad storms.

Cathy and I will probably try to play some more "Mortal Kombat," and we have a couple of other games that we need to play, as well. We also have a new board game that maybe we'll try. We also have a couple of movies to get caught up on.

So basically, having a couple of days that aren't really great for going out will be pretty cool!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Total Failure, and Then Success...

After my dad destroyed a drive shaft on my Circuit the other day, I took it home and fixed it and then tried it out, and it turned out he'd done quite a bit more damage to it than I initially thought.

Somehow he mangled the center differential, and the truck was getting no power.

This mangled center diff caused the motor to overheat, and effectively melt it's wires to themselves.

The truck was a complete failure at that I ordered a new one.

My logic behind this was simple. The parts I needed to get mine back up and running were going to run me right around $80, and that wasn't including $40 for a set of dirt tires. So I was going to spend $120 to get all the parts I wanted to get my truck back out on the road.

Well, a new Circuit on Amazon was only $120 with free by buying the second truck, I have an entire other truck to have for when parts break. Example, break a shock mount?? Take one off of the old truck and put it on the new one.

I also figured that by having two, I could race with Cathy and have some fun, and I would have one to give to friends to use to try and get them hooked on them as well.

My plan was to order the new Circuit and build that one up to be my main truck. I was going to order the parts needed for repair after the new truck came, so that I wouldn't have to wait forever to get back on the road.

But tonight I ended up tearing the truck apart to get to the transmission. I cracked it open and the inside looked pretty good. All the gears looked fine, they were even pretty well greased. I then checked and sure enough, the diff was still locking up. So I took that apart and what do you was fine as well.

I seriously couldn't find anything inside the transmission that looked like it was damaged, so I figured that being new I was just missing something obvious.

So I put the truck back together...and guess what?? It works fine now. Diff is unlocked, tires spin the way they should, and everything seems fine.

I charged a battery and ran it through the truck...and everything was fine. I even managed to get the slipper clutch set up correctly, which is something that had been driving me nuts trying to do.

Now, the 15 turn motor was still smoked...I can't fix that, but what I can do is contact Horizon Hobby and see about getting some warranty work on it. If not, it's only $20, so it's not a huge deal.

But now I have to decide...should I keep the one that I ordered and just have two trucks?? Or should I send the new one back and use the money from that to get more parts for this one I have???

The new truck cost $120, and it comes with a new body, new tires, and a new battery...all things that I can use or sell. I can sell the battery to Alex for $10, so that brings the cost down to $110. I need a new body, and the new truck has the body I want. Those are normally $30. So that brings the price down to $80. I also wanted to get a set of dirt oriented tires. The Electrix dirt tires are $40, so that brings the effective price of the new truck down to $40. I could probably sell the radio and receiver for another $20, so that basically means the truck cost me $20 to get a second one.

So I'll probably end up keeing it and just having two. That works for me. Maybe I can let Cathy drive the old one around and we can crash into things together!!!

Overall, I'm just happy I was somehow able to get everything working again!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Broken Drive Shaft...

...but this time, it wasn't my fault.

I stopped by my parents house on my way to pick Cathy up from work to give my mom her birthday gift, and I let my dad drive my Circuit for a minute.

After several curb crashes, the truck started acting funny...and sure enough, it had thrown another drive shaft.

I've now got some very high end drive shafts on the way for the of a Traxxas Rustler VXL. They may require a couple of modifications to work, but they should work well, and they should be a LOT stronger than the ones that come on the truck.

Also, I have found out that I probably need to let my slipper clutch out a little bit. It's probably too tight, which is one of the reasons that the truck keeps having so much trouble with it's drive shafts. The slipper being too tight could cause pretty bad drive train lash, and the drive shafts being the weakest part of the drive train are the parts that take the brunt of the trauma.

Hopefully these couple of things will cause the truck to stop having these issues. I enjoy working on it, but I'd rather be driving it!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Congrats to the Bruins...

I was cheering for Vancouver, because I have an inherent dislike for all the sports teams in Boston that stems from my hatred of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots...but with that said, I feel that Boston played the MUCH better series, and they deserved to win The Cup. I guess if it had to be the team that I didn't want, at least it was an Original Six team.

Now the only Original Six team that hasn't won a Stanley Cup in the last 20 years is the Toronto Maple Leafs. They last won The Cup in 1967. The other five teams have all won since 1993.

Montreal in 1993
New York Rangers in 1994
Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 98, 02, 08
Chicago Blackhawks in 2010
Boston Bruins in 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Wheels and Tires Installed...

Just a quick picture to show what my truck looks like with the new wheels and tires.

I got to drive it for about 15 minutes before it started to rain, and the tires really do grip the pavement a lot better than the stock ones. It seems to turn quite a bit better as well. It also actually seems to go better through the grass now.

Overall, I think they were a good upgrade. I also really like the way the black wheels look.

Gorgeous Outside...

Today it was absolutely perfect outside. Mid 70s and not a cloud in the sky.

I got up and got the lawn mowed. After I mowed the lawn, I noticed a box on the front porch. My drive shafts!!!!

So I took the truck and got the new shaft in it and the rings on it. I then threw a battery into it and took it outside for a drive. Got a good 20 minutes of driving in without any issues at all. It ran like a dream!!!

After that, Cathy and I decided to head to Cracker Barrel for dinner. We both ended up getting breakfast stuff. It was pretty good.

We came home and I ran up to the baseball field to run the truck again. Unfortunately, my tires are so bald now that it won't go very well in the just wants to sit there and spin in circles!!! After I get my new all terrain tires, I'll order some dirt tires to put on the stock rims so that I can drive in the dirt easily again. So I ended up just driving it in the parking lot at the park for a while. Some kids came and talked to me about it...they were really amused by it, especially when I'd crash it.

I came back and then Cathy and I watched "Jackass 3.5." It's basically an entire movie made out of stunts that didn't make their way into "Jackass 3D." It was pretty hilarious. I especially liked the bit with an RC helicopter that had a couple of paintball guns mounted to it. Awesome.

When we got done with the movie, Cathy and I decided to play some "Mortal Kombat" together. She kicked my butt for a good long while, then we ended up playing as a team in the ladder tournament. We got all the way to the end of the "tag" portion of the tournament, and then go wiped out by the first boss. After that we called it quits, but we will definitely be playing it again.
It was originally supposed to be nice outside again on Wednesday, but that forecast has changed to 30-50% chance of rain. Oh well, I guess if it rains I'll just stay inside and keep playing "Mortal Kombat." Oh yah, my new wheels for the truck should be here tomorrow, too, so I can get those put on. That, and Cathy and I got a new board game that maybe we'll try...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tires and Wheels...

Well, I've not driven my truck a ton, but I've driven it enough that the dirt centric tires that came on it have started to wear down. I knew it was going to happen, especially since I do most of my driving with it on the street.

So it is already time to get some new, more all terrain tires.

I decided to go with the Electrix all terrain tires, and they come on different rims. What I figure I will do by having two sets of rims is have one set with dirt focused tires on it, and the other set with more steet/all terrain oriented tires on it. That way I don't have to fiddle around with taking tires on and off if I am going to be driving on the road or on the dirt.

The normal rims on the truck are chrome, but the new ones are black. I think they're going to look really good!!!

I got them on Amazon, so I got a good price for them and free shipping. They should be here on Wednesday.

Hopefully my drive shafts come on Tuesday, so that I can get them fixed. Then when the new wheels come I can just throw them on and hit the road!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Days Off...

Today is my Friday. It seems like it's been a really long week. I didn't get a ton of sleep the last couple of nights, so that made the last couple of days seem even longer.

It's supposed to be nice on Tuesday, so I'll get a chance to mow the lawn...and maybe go for a bike ride.

I'm also hoping that my new drive shafts show up so I can fix the truck and get some good driving time in.

Whatever I end up doing, though, I'm just glad it's Friday!!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

LEGO Sets...

There's a new collection of LEGO sets out right now. If you watched my video with our China Cabinet, you may have seen a couple of them.

They are the "Alien Conquest" collection. Basically, they are a collection of sets that have alien invaders and humans that are fighting them off. What's really cool about them is the retro 50s style look to the UFO sets.

It's been a long time since I "finished" a LEGO collection, but I really like this new series, and plan on getting all of them. I already have the two smallest sets and two of the three medium sets. I only have the other medium set and both of the large sets to get in order to complete the least for this year.

That's a picture of one of the medium sized sets. You can see how it's got some "classic" alien invasion stuff going on. Tripod legs, saucer shaped top, ray gun, etc.

I just really like the series a lot. I'm thinking that I may get one of the three remaining sets later this week and get it together and in the cabinet.

The only problem is the largest UFO, the Mother Ship, is too large to fit in the I'm going to have to think of something else to do with it. Maybe I could hang it up somewhere near the cabinet???

Saturday, June 11, 2011

1,100 Posts...

Don't know if this is a milestone or not, really, but I've now hit 1,100 posts on my blog.


In all honesty, this probably isn't important at all. I hit the 1,000 mark a couple months back, and that was a big one.

But that brings up a question...when IS the next big one?? 2,000?? 2,500?? 5,000??

Either way, here's to more blogging!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Stuff for the Truck...

Tonight I ordered a new servo for the steering of the truck. Cost about $10 and should help the truck turn more quickly and more reliably.

But more importantly than that, I ordered a new 2.4ghz radio to replace the AM radio that came with the truck. It's an awesome radio. It will have longer range, provide quicker response, and most importantly it uses batteries at a much lower rate than an AM system, so I will actually save money in the long run by not going through batteries as quickly.

On top of that, the radio can be set to control up to ten different vehicles, so when I get more cars and trucks I'll be able to control them with this one radio.

I also am getting another truck. A guy that works at the cafe at the airport has a couple year old truck that he doesn't use. He broke a steering link on it and it needs to be replaced, but it's only a couple of dollars worth of repairs. Other than that it's in good shape. He's selling it to me for $10. I figure for that price, even if it's beat pretty hard it is worth it.

All Parts On The Way...

All of my replacement parts and upgrades for my truck are now on their way to me.

I'm really hoping to get them by Saturday, so that I can get the truck out and running again as soon as it's nice out.

This weekend I will probably be ordering a couple of more parts. A new and faster servo for the steering. It should help the car turn quite a bit better. Then probably some new shocks or a new radio and receiver. The new receiver would be really nice, but the new shocks are a really great upgrade for the truck.

Within the next couple of weeks, I will probably end up ordering a brushless motor and speed control, to try and get the car up into the 35-40 MPH range. I would love to be able to hang with Jason's $400 truck when we finally get together to bash these things.

But of course, first things first, I need to get those replacement parts installed!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Going Back to Later Shift on Saturdays...

For the last several months, Cathy and I have worked until 8:00 PM on Friday night, then had to be back at work at 9:30 AM the next morning. It's been a pain, because when you have about a 45 minute drive, that means you aren't home and actually "around" until about 9:00PM, and then we had to leave at around 8:30 the next morning. Having less than 12 hours to have dinner, get some relaxation time in, and get a good night's sleep was really tough.

But starting this Saturday, we go back to our normally scheduled shift. We will be working 11:30 to 8:00 PM just like every other day.

I've been looking forward to it for a while. It should help with our sleep schedules quite a bit. Although I didn't mind getting out a couple of hours early on Saturday, I definitely didn't like going in early. So overall, this will be much better for us.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Called Tech Support...

I called Horizon Hobby for support with the broken drive shaft on my Circuit.

After twenty minutes of hold time, the system gave me an option to input my own phone number and have a representative call me back when it was my turn to be called. I decided to try that. I entered my number and the system kicked me off the phone.

Then I waited.

After about an hour or so, I decided that since the drive shafts were such an inexpensive component, I'd just go ahead and buy a new set. So $10 after shipping and I had a new pair of drive shafts on the way. That way I have one to replace the broken on and another one just in case something happens. I'll also have the nice metal drive shaft rings to make sure the problem doesn't occur again. I should have all of those parts by Saturday, I hope, so that I can get some good driving time in.

About an hour after placing the order, I got a call back from Horizon, finally. The guy on the phone was really friendly and apologized several times for how long it took them to get back with me, explaining that he was working overtime to get caught up on the calls. I told him it wasn't a big deal, and let him know about my broken drive shaft. I told him that I had the upgraded motor, and he told me that once I installed the optional motor some of the warranty doesn't apply, but he'd be glad to send me a new drive shaft set regardless. Cool. Now I have another pair of drive shafts coming, free of charge.

This way I will have THREE extra replacements after I repair the broken one...which should get me plenty of drive time.

I did fix the shaft again today in order to get some time with it on the road. I'm 100% sure that the car is running in the 25mph range now, if not quite a bit faster. It's awesome with the upgraded battery and motor because it flips itself over easily. I wheelied and flipped several times today before the drive shaft was thrown again. It's awesome!!!!

Got It!!!

I stopped at Radio Shack yesterday afternoon and bought some new solder and some flux. I knew I was going to need it for when the new soldering iron showed up, but since I got it I figured I'd give it another try with the iron I borrowed from my dad.

Guess what?? It worked perfectly. It must have been the solder that was bad for some reason. I didn't have any issues getting everything jointed up and put together.

I then charged my first LiPo battery on the new charger. It worked great, exactly as it was supposed to.

Then, it was off to the street to run the truck with it's new LiPo power.

I was expecting it to be faster...but what happened first was a disaster. I had put the receiver in backwards, and my throttle was controlling the steering and the steering was making it go forward and backwards. To make that worse, I have the steering on the radio trimmed, so the car was just constantly moving forward. Once I got it stopped I got it switched around.

Then it was time to try it off.

Fast?? That's an understatement. The car is easily twice as fast as it was when I first got it. In fact, when you back up then gas the throttle, it will wheelie so hard it flips itself over. Jumps in the yard are amazing. Doughnuts are effortless. The power is fantastic.

Unfortunately, with that power comes the possibility of breaking things. I have crashed my truck a couple of times...and one of those times must have done a small amount of damage to my drive when I flipped the truck into the neighbors yard the drive shaft came unhooked.

I took the truck apart and fixed it. It appears that the plastic had bent just a little bit, and the speed of the motor caused the joint to effectively spin itself off the ball that holds it in place. It took a little while to get it fixed, but I got it back together.

Back out to the street, the truck again ran like a banshee...until a few minutes later the same problem popped up.

I will be calling Horizon Hobby tomorrow to try and get them to send me a replacement drive shaft. I don't think it should have broken as easily as it did. To go with that, I have also ordered the upgraded drive shaft end links. They are metal cups that go over the end of the drive shaft, and should cause it to stay together better. Basically, they fit over the knuckle on the drive shaft and won't allow it to flex at all. Those should be here in a couple of days, and I'm actually pretty sure they will fix the issue with the current drive shaft.

If they don't fix the issue, it will be time to start looking into some Traxxas Rustler VXL drive shafts. They should work with my truck, and be quite a bit stronger.

Overall, however, the LiPo setup is a very nice improvement to the stock truck. It makes it insanely fast...which is awesome. After I get the drive shaft issue cleared up, I'll be looking into some tires that grip a bit better...with this much speed, traction is a must!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mortal Kombat!!!!

I had been looking for a copy of the new "Mortal Kombat" game for the Xbox for a few weeks now. I'm not very good at the game, but I've always had fun with them. This new one seemed pretty awesome, and with the new arcade stick that I got with "WWE All Stars," I figured "MK" would just be a natural fit.

Well, the other day I noticed that Amazon had lowered the prices on the game, so I ordered the special edition of it. It showed up today and it's AWESOME.

The game is really cool, the graphics and sound are amazing. The arcade stick I have works with it really well. I'm really enjoying it.

However, what's really cool are the extras that came with the Special Edition. It's got SubZero and Scorpion book ends. They are actually really well made and definitely cool looking. It's also got a really nicely made art book, and a bunch of downloadable extras.

Overall, it's a pretty awesome package!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

LiPo Will Have to Wait...

So the soldering iron that I borrowed from my dad to put the new batteries in the Circuit RC truck doesn't seem to want to cooperate. I'm not sure if it's the solder, the iron, or just me, but I simply can't get the solder to stay in place. Heck, most of the time it won't even melt.

I ended up just ordering a new soldering iron. It should be here on Wednesday, so hopefully I get to put the batteries in the truck then.

Until then, the new charger seems pretty awesome. It's definitely fancy looking, and the LiPo batteries look like they are made pretty well. I just wish I would've been able to get it up and running tonight.

Oh well, what's a few more days.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Upgraded Motor in Truck...

I got the upgraded motor in the truck, but unfortunately my test to determine increases in speed was flawed.

See, by doing the "100 foot dash" from a stop, I was only getting an average speed over that distance.

The upgraded motor seems quite a bit faster for a top speed...however, it has less torque than the old motor, so in a drag race from a stop, the higher torque lower speed motor has an advantage.

See, what was basically happening...the old motor would hit it's top speed in probably about 20 feet then maintain that top speed until the end of the run. The new motor takes probably about 150 feet to hit it's top speed, so it's not even going as fast as possible during the run.

So what essentially showed up in the timing?? Both motors did the EXACT same time over 100 feet. The higher torque motor was more in it's element than the higher speed motor in that type of test, so fundamentally the test was flawed.

The new motor does SEEM much faster. I was driving it on the road tonight and I was easily able to keep up with a van driving down the street, and the speed limit is 25 MPH so I'm guessing the van was going SOMEWHERE near that speed.

The LiPo batteries should be here on Monday, and everyone is telling me they should be a HUGE improvement over the stock battery in both speed and overall performance.

I'm looking forward to getting them in the truck!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Some Fun...

Tonight I took some time to clean some things up and rearrange our nice China cabinet in the formal dining room.

This is what came of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Already June???

I can't believe that is' already June.

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were in the dead of winter looking forward to the warmer months.

Time flies, I guess.

Cathy and I don't have much planned for the summer. I've been slowly working on getting some things around the house cleaned up and taken care of. Last weekend I ripped some bushes out in the backyard, and I will continue slowly doing things like that in the backyard throughout the summer. I would really like to make the backyard a lot nicer looking than it is now, but that's going to take some time, effort, and probably money.

I finally got a chance to ride my bicycle the other day. Went for a good nearly 6 mile ride and it was pretty great. Riding the single speed is definitely tough. It's a good workout. I still haven't gotten a chance to ride the new mountain bike. Heck, I'm starting to think I should've waited to purchase it...the way it keeps raining makes it seem like I probably won't get to ride it at all this summer.

Again, I can't believe it's already June. Before I know it, it'll be October, and then Christmas. Then shortly after that?? Hawaii in March.