Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tool Tip - Spray can handle

Pushing on a spray can valve with your index finger can get tiring quickly. A spray gun handle with built-in trigger makes painting a RC body much more enjoyable.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tamiya TBLE-02S mod for LiPo cut-off

In 2014 Tamiya changed their kit ESC to the TBLE-02S model. The speed controller features a low-voltage cut-off function, but it is set to 4.9V -- much too low for LiPo batteries that most RC enthusiasts use nowadays.

However, by adding a single resistor we can modify the cut-off voltage to a LiPo-safe 6.0V or 6.3V.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Friday, 14 August 2015

Eye decals for RC scale figures

A few weeks back we were discussing with fellow RC enthusiasts how difficult it is to paint the eyes on the plastic driver figures, like the Wild Willy or the Rally Cockpit. Turns out help is at hand:


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Tamiya LiPo holder for CC01 TA02 TA03

Companies like LRP make rounded LiPo batteries which fit into the round cavity found in older Tamiya bathtub chassis like the TA01, TA02, TA03, CC01, DF01 or FF01. However, compared to NiMH stick packs the LiPo cases are about 5 mm longer. This means that the battery is sticking out too much and the battery holder that comes with the car no longer fits.

We designed a 3D printable holder that solves that issue. For good measure we included a case for the popular 1-8S LiPo monitor -- often those old cars run speed controllers without LiPo cut-off.

A LRP LiPo stick pack in a CC01 chassis with our new holder with included LiPo monitor.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Bed-mobile - 3D printed RC bed on TT02 chassis

The LANE Boys recently acquired a 3D printer. Beside printing spare parts and accessories, why not print a body shell?

A few years ago we were amused by the motorized furniture creations of Edd China. So we decided to build this:

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Using Tamiya TS paint on polycarbonate

Tamiya has a good range of colours for polycarbonate named PS. But sometimes a RC project demands a specific tone that is not available. What to do?

Using our favourite search engine revealed that it is possible to spray other types of paint over PS-55 Flat Clear. We gave it a try and the results was excellent.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Tamiya M01 3D printed battery holder

Last year we bought second hand Tamiya M01 and M02 cars. Both cars were in excellent condition. However, on both car the plate that secures the battery was missing.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Starting on 3D printed light buckets for RC cars

After long consideration, the LANE Boys finally got a 3D printer. One of the applications we had in mind is printing custom light buckets for RC cars. The first results are very promising.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Bug-eyed Subaru

Recently we tried to sell a newly built Tamiya TT02 Lexus RC F Eneos Sustina. That did not go as well as planned; it took quite some time and we had to sell the car in pieces.

However, the photos I posted along with the ad led to someone contacting me, asking whether I'd be interested in painting a body shell and installing lights. My first client <smile>.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Value-for-money - SG5010 servo

If you are looking for a low-cost standard size servo on Aliexpress, eBay, Banggood and such, you will stumble over the SG5010 servo. Four of these servos can be bought for USD 17.40 including shipping, which makes it an astonishing low USD 4.35 per servo. And that includes worldwide shipping!

But are those servos any good? Lets find out...

Value-for-money - Team Powers Cup Racer brushed motor

We are cheap. And therefore we like stuff that delivers a lot of value for little money. One of those items is the Team Powers Cup Racer TP-540B-94F "black can" motor.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Build your own RC receiver

Its always fun learning something new. Ever since we got a 2.4 GHz RC system a few years ago, I wanted to understand how these things actually work. How do they send data over the air? What components are used?
Well, in the last months we finally got around digging into it. And it turned out that it is a rather simple affair. So we built our own RC receivers.

RX DIY with HKR3000 and XR3100
The HobbyKing HKR3000 and XR3100 receivers along with two different versions of compatible, home-brew receivers.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

DIY RC Light Controller with WS2812B

In recent years LEDs are appearing on the market that contain a controller chip. Currently the WS2812B is highly popular. It is a RGB LED that contains a simple chip inside. The LED is controlled through a single pin using a serial shift-register-like protocol. Multiple LEDs can be chained together; like a Christmas light.

The WS2812B LED on a breakout-board for convenient mounting.
The WS2812B is an RGB LED with a built-in shift register like controller. It has 4 pins: GND, Vdd, Data-in and Data-out. With only three wires going from LED to LED, one can control each LEDs color and brigtness individually.

Using such LEDs makes wiring up a vehicle very easy: one only needs to run 3 wires from one LED to the next.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

WS2812 and PL9823 LED power consumption

We are currently evaluating the popular shift-register programmable LEDs of type WS2812B and PL9823 for use in our DIY RC car light controller.

The PL9823 is of particular interest to us as they are in the traditional 5mm dome type LED package and therefore can be installed easily in the light buckets that come with many 1/10 scale RC car body shells.

From a software point of view the PL9823 is compatible with the widely popular WS2812B, with the exception that the data format of the PL9823 is red-green-blue while the WS2812B requires green-red-blue.

The brightness of the PL9823 and the WS2812B seems comparable. However, a downside of the PL9823 is that even if it is not lighting up, it already consumes 7-8mA of current. In comparison, a WS2812B LED consumes less than 1mA when it is off. The 7-8mA is still acceptable for use in an RC car and won't hurt your run time much, but one still needs to take this into account when desiging a system around those LEDs.

The chart below shows the current used by the LEDs when set to white with different brightness values from 0 to 255 on the red, green and blue channels. The PL9823 current usage is ~8mA higher than the WS2812B at every level.

Happy RC-ing!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Shorten your servo wires

Most servos and speed controllers come with a wire that is too long for the average RC car. The usual way to deal with this is to either make a spiral by tightly wrapping the wire around a pencil, or by carefully bundling the wire up and securing it with a zip-tie.

A better way, albeit requiring more effort, is to shorten the servo wire to the exact length needed. The unused length of wire is just ballast, and also restricts current flow.

This post shows you how to shorten servo wires.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

HobbyKing HK310 AUX channel hacking

It turned out that modifying the HobbyKing HK310 transmitter in order to change the behavior of the AUX (CH3) channel is quite easy:

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Robbe FLF 1618 Part 1 - Unboxing

One type of vehicle that was still missing from our RC fleet was a truck. Tamiya has very nice models; we liked the Globe Liner a lot, but the Mercedes delivery truck would have made more sense for us.

One day we were looking at the offers on eBay and found an old kit from the German manufacturer Robbe. A week later the auction ended and we had the pleasure to win it. Another two weeks went by until we could hold our latest wheeled toy in our hands:

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tamiya FF02 Alfa Romeo 156 Racing

A few weeks ago we bought a cheap second hand TT-01 because LANE Boys Snr. wanted to have a 10th scale touring car for relaxing in the local park. Along with the TT-01 came another box: A semi-vintage FF02 Alfa Romeo 156. The body shell had been used quite a bit and was heavily damaged. The chassis was incomplete, but in excellent condition. The front uprights were stripped where the king pin screws go in; turn buckles, servo mounts and a drive shaft were missing, but the rest of the vehicle looked like the car was never run before.

So we've set out to rebuild the car to its former glory.

Tamiya FF02 01

Monday, 16 September 2013

Make your own RC Winch Controller

Want to control you 1/10 scale winch from your 3-channel RC system? Below you can find instructions to build the necessary controller!

First, check out the video to see how to operate the winch:

DIY RC Light Controller update

It has been a while since be blogged about our Light controller. In the meantime we have equipped more than ten cars with our custom electronics.

In this post we describe the changes we did along the way to the electronics and the firmware.