Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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!!

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