Playing around with iMovie!

I have the latest version of iMovie, but never bothered to use it. I figured it would be a good time to see what it can do…it’s pretty damn good for a consumer video editor!

15 minutes with Apple iMovie + Nikon V1 + Joby GorillaPod Hybrid + Tamiya TA06 Pro + Tamiya F104 =

Don’t hate LOL.

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Tamiya TA06 Pro Shakedown and Programming

I spent a day getting the suspension set up for asphalt and parking lots. Right out the gates, the initial setup was a bit too low while the camber and toe combination was giving me a bit too much oversteer for my liking. I suppose the initial setup was designed around a prepared track. So I raised the chassis about 1.5mm and ended up with the front at 0 toe and 0 camber and the rear at +1 toe in and -1.5 camber. With these settings, I was able to track nice and straight and the car was well balanced at both low and high speeds. The location of the battery along the centerline of the car (along the length of the chassis) was something I had never felt before on an RC car and I definitely prefer it over all the previous RC cars I’ve owned in the past. I like it because it makes tuning the suspension much easier since there is perfect left to right and front to back weight balance. Previous chassis I’ve owned had the battery on one side or the other, or in one case, perpendicular to the long axis of the chassis.

While tuning the suspension, I was able to work out a couple of problems in my build. Oil was leaking out of the front differential. This was entirely my fault – the screws keeping the differential together was not tight enough. I also noticed the servo saver screw kept coming loose. I fixed it with a dab of Loctite on the screw. I had to jimmy jack around with the ESC location so that the cables didn’t touch the drive belt. I also ran into a meshing problem with the spur gear and pinion gear. This was not my fault – the machining on the pinion was pretty poor. I had to remove some flashing off the pinion to get a good mesh with the spur gear. After a few runs, the spur and pinion “broke-in” pretty nicely.

After a day of tuning and shaking the car down, it was time to tune the ESC and motor. I bought the PC interface for the ESC which allows me to do deeper programming of the ESC. I can set throttle profiles, braking profiles, boost, response, etc. In the end, I left the throttle profile linear. I also set braking to be a little softer. This interface allows me to store two custom profiles in the ESC. So I programmed one of them to be mildly aggressive with a little motor boost and another to be ultra aggressive with maximum motor boost. Why don’t I just keep it at ultra aggressive? Well, those settings are well beyond the maximum spec of the motor – so I can use it, but it can potentially destroy the motor!

Here is the PC interface that attaches to the ESC on one end and to a PC via USB on the other end:

Some screen shots of the software:

Unfortunately, the software doesn’t work on OSX nor does it seem to work on Windows 7 (even though they claim it to work on Windows 7). So I had to install a Windows XP virtualized on my iMac – the software worked perfectly with Windows XP.

So why did I go with a 21.5T motor when I could have spent the same exact amount of money on a 10.5T or 13.5T motor? Well, I’ve been down that path before and found that being able to achieve straight line top speed was absolutely boring. I hated having ultra quick motors only to flip the car every time I made a high speed turn. Suspension settings were almost pointless once the car was hitting 50+ mph. I wanted to build a car where I could actually feel the differences from making an adjustment of half a degree here or a quarter of a millimeter there. I want to feel like I am in complete control over the grip of the car. I like being able to make these minor adjustments and see the impact on the street. I may get a more powerful motor down the road, but probably not on this chassis.

…now it’s time to play!

Tamiya TA06 Pro Build – Electronics and Final Touches

Electronics!

I hate soldering, but it’s required. I don’t like it because I’m not very good at it. I made sure to shrink tube everything because I think solder jobs look like garbage on such a cool car setup.

I went with a sensored brushless system, which is why you see a ribbon cable going into the motor can. Here is also another pic of my solder job covered up with shrink tubing!

And lastly, gluing the tires and applying the last decals!

Progress Pictures of my Tamiya TA06 Pro Build

Parts have been trickling in so I thought I’d start posting progress pictures of my build.

Parts, parts, parts:

Laying the parts bags out:

Building the rear differential:

The tub:

Assembling turnbuckles is the least favorite part of any build for me. Twisting a smooth shaft into molded plastic is no joke.

Rear differential and spur gear installed:

Getting the front end ready to house the front differential:

I like how Tamiya redesigned the swing shafts and axles. A spring clip holds them in place. In the past you would have to use loctite and a screw.

Front end suspension links:

Front and rear suspension arms fully assembled:

The second least favorite part of assembling any RC car is putting together the shocks. I find no pleasure in shock oil getting all over the place. Putting these together also requires twisting a smooth shaft into molded plastic. What a painful process!

Rear suspension complete:

Inboard front suspension complete:

I opted for Type A tires with soft inserts:

Front and rear ends complete! The electronics will be arriving this week. In the meantime, I will be working on getting the suspension straightened up. I will also start working on the lexan body.

So far, the build up to this point has been a lot of fun! I’d say I’ve spent about 4-5 hours so far, most of which was spent building 8 turnbuckles. There are at least 4 more to build 😦 for the steering system. You never get used to the raw feeling in your fingertips while building these cars. My fingers were so swollen from working all the small, tightly fit parts that I had to ice them before going to bed!

More progress pics to come…

Plans for my new RC build! (#58492 Tamiya TA06 Pro)

Well, after seven long years, Tamiya finally decided to release their next generation belt drive on road RC, the TA06 Pro! Last year, I mentioned my interest in this chassis, but decided that I would hold off on any RC purchases since I was into so many other hobbies at the time: PC builds, photography, etc. Well, we are well into 2012 and I decided to take the plunge!

I always loved Tamiya’s chassis and bodies. In fact with this build, I plan to continue the progression of using a Honda Super GT body. I built two Honda Raybrig NSX Super GT cars in the past. You might recall…

Here is the nitro powered TG10-Mk1 I built over a decade ago:

And here is the TA05-IFS I built back in 2008:

It just seems natural that I go with the latest Raybrig Honda Super GT car for this new build!

The Honda HSV-010 Super GT car is the replacement for the NSX Super GT cars of the past. Something about the styling and the paint jobs of these Honda GT cars has me hooked! Here is a video of the real Super GT car in action:

In any case, I plan on going all out with this build. I plan on making this a race legal runner with shelf queen appointments, although I probably won’t be racing because I stink. LOL But I will put the latest brushless and LiPo technology into it. Here is what I’m planning…

The chassis (Tamiya TA06 Pro):

I love the Inboard Front Suspension! They started this trend in the TA05-IFS and I’m glad they improved it for this chassis. This “Pro” kit already contains many of the hop ups that most racers want to utilize. The kit doesn’t come with tires nor did it include a body which I was totally OK with – this allowed me to pick the specific tire compounds (Type A sticky) and tire inserts (Soft) that I wanted. I’m going to set this chassis up for smooth pavement parking lots/asphalt.

The brushless motor system (Tekin RS ESC and with Tekin Redline 21.5T brushless sensored system, with programmable Hotwire interface):


I decided to stick with 21.5T after watching a bunch of youtube videos. 21.5T sounds slow if you are familiar with brushed systems…but on a brushless system, whoa!

The control system (Airtronics MX Sport):

Airtronics is tried and true. I used their systems with all my nitro RC trucks. No more crystals! Yay!

Hopefully my finished product will look something like this!

Most of my parts will be trickling in this next week. I hope to be in the mood to document my build. As I get older, I find that I am losing my patience with documenting (journaling) stuff. I am trying hard to keep at it because it’s always fun to look back. We’ll see how I feel! LOL