Last night I decided to upgrade my battery charger to the ThunderPower TP-610 http://www.nexusracing.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=&products_id=2658. For the past few weekends, the car has been slowing half way into the run. I thought it was due to a bad battery but later found out it was really the charger I was using. Apparently when LiPo compatible chargers first came out, they did not charge at a constant rate up to 8.4 volts and would instead drop off around 7.8. I didn’t realize it at the time but this makes a huge difference in the performance of the lipo. I’m excited to finally have the right power from my SMC lipo. My setup will likely need to change slightly as the car will drive into corners much harder from the increased battery power.
The growing horsepower in electric racing has really changed the way all electric classes are run and how the cars drive. Brushless/lipo was a great way in terms of low maintenance and consistent running but the new ESCs have really began to optimize brushless motors in terms of timing and tuning. No longer are we concerned about brush X or cutting comms every other run but having the latest firmware on the newest ESCs. It’s a wonderful advancement, don’t get me wrong, but I hope this does not start a trend of “buy this equipment and be as fast as the veteran racers”. I think that no matter how deep someone’s pockets are, R/C will always be based on the driver’s skills, both on the track and in the pits. In my case, most of my equipment is used and my car is going on four years old but I’m most concerned with improving myself rather than spending $500 on a new kit or $300 on a new speedo. It makes it all the better when I can walk away from T3’s and the like with a fiberglass car.
Another big issue facing all racers and promoters alike is this new found speed – what do we do with it? Cars are simply becoming too fast and it’s killing the hobby. Granted, starting in R/C can seem like a huge learning/spending curve but unless the industry, including local tracks which are the soul of the hobby, agree, we can’t expect a newcomer to remain involved when all classes are terrible for beginners. The definitions of “stock” and “mod” must be addressed soon as we can’t rely on simply converting brushless motors into their brushed equivalents. The game has changed forever.