Well I've been an R/C enthusist since I was a kid.... unfortunately never really had the money to get into them more than at the toy level. A few years ago my wife bought me a Radio Shack R/C. It was a lot more powerful than any of the other toy remotes I had as a kid. It had some features I really liked - a rechargeable battery which made running the car affordable and it was tough ( my friend threw his off his three story building and it still drove fine!).
For some reason the R/C bug has hit me hard in the last couple of months and I've been looking into mainly R/C planes as well as the off-road stuff. Since Christmas was coming up my wife started bugging me about what I wanted for Christmas. So I mentioned the planes and the cars. Last year she really surprised me at Christmas and picked up a guitar for me. It was the weirdest thing - I taught myself to play in University years ago. I went to my kids Christmas concert last December and someone was playing the guitar and I thought I wouldn't mind picking it up again. This was totaly out of the blue and I didn't even mention it to my wife - turns out I didn't need to - she already bought it on a whim. Best Christmas present I had ever gotten - until this year
She did her homework and spent a LOT of time researching it on the net. She ended up getting me the Stampede with the XL-1 ESC, WATTage DC peak charger and 2 - 2000mAh Dynafun packs. Thanks the everyone who helped her pick it out, esp the guys at Atlanta Hobbies who really went the extra mile. She was sweating though as it didn't show up on the door step until Christmas Eve afternoon! Talk about cutting it close I really had no idea I was getting it!
Of course when I got the truck I couldn't belive it. I was pretty excited but kinda disapointed because I wanted to get out and play with it right away but the charger was a DC only. Since I'm an Electronics Eng it was only a few minutes before I was modding the charger - lopping off the alligator clips and putting on a plug for a switching computer power supply for an AC sourced 12DC supply. I have a big box of supplies so I picked the best one to source as close to 12V under load as possible. I also collect arcade and pinball machines. The arcade machines use an adjustable switching power supply that would probably work better. That may be a future upgrade. Since I have a plug to go onto the switch power supply and the alligator clips I may as well make a cigarette lighter plug for it as well. I managed to get about five runs in yesterday (Christmas) and had a blast. While the batteries were charging I did a LOT of reading and researching - most of it here or links from here. Again - thank you so much for sharing your wisdom here. Even the FAQ had a lot of helpful info to get me going. I noticed that the tires on the truck were really bad - probably didn't help that it was a little wet out. They really didn't do much more than snow plow most of the time. Of course I did try to keep it in the air as much as I could and well the steering just doesn't work all that great in the air
I went to bed last night and the gears were turning (no pun intended). I got up and spent another two hours reading. I knew the first thing I HAD to have was a set of Masher 2000 tires. I checked out Misbehavin's page and it was an awesome and informative page. Kudos to Misbehavin! I made a hit list of performance and durability upgrades I needed. Went to the local hobby shop with some fear and trepidation since the prices on their vehicals were really over inflated compared to most of the online sources. I expected the parts to be the same but was pleasantly surprised that the parts prices were very competitive. They had most of the parts in that I needed other than the bearings and king pins (e-clip based replacements for the screw in type) so those are on order. The Masher 2000 are an absolute MUST HAVE!!! My 'pede will actually turn now - and tight! Wow its 10 times more fun with the M2Ks on it - I'm on the ashpalt in the wet lifting one of the rear tires off the ground its cornering so tight. With the stock tires it was going pretty much straight. I can not rave enough about these tires - Traxxas should really consider putting something like these on the 'pede right out of the box. I picked up some gears to play with - put in a better servo saver - played with the slipper clutch quite a bit - changed the gearing and experimented. Bought a Viper Racing 3000mAh battery pack - very happy with it - definately a step up in power from the 2000mAh dynafun. I'll probably have to pick up a second tomorow - four battery packs isn't too much... never seem to have enough I also picked up the RPM bumper - a huge improvement over the microscopic stock bumper. My only disappointment was the Viper 17T double motor I picked up. I almost got a single run in before it crapped out on me. I don't think its the brushes although I've heard the stock ones are cruddy. I don't want to mess around with it since I don't know much about taking the motor apart and if the hobby shop will take it back if I've cracked it open. Besides the manufacture's web page doesn't have any info on maintaining the motors - odd I thought. I figure I just got stuck with one of the few lemons they have. It went pretty good when it was running so hopefully they will have some more in stock - I guess I'll find out tomorow.
I'm interested in the ESC myself. Anyone have a link to how exactly they work or anyone who has built their own? I suspect they are running FETs in parallel and are using PWM to run the DC motors for speed control. Anyone building tried using IGBTs? I think that's the route I would end up going. Time to bring the electronics into work and hook them up to the 'scope
Thanks again so much to everyone who contributes to this page! I'm a well informed day old Newbie!
Watch the language. If you see asterisks in your post (******), go back & edit out that word before you get warning points for it. - razer