Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Programming the Tekin RS With Vegas 208

September 21st, 2010 by Trevor Coult

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A while ago I wrote an article for beginners on programming the Tekin RS using the HotWire interface and software. That was based on HotWire 4/Vegas 2/firmware 203. Now that Vegas 208/HotWire 5 has been released it is time to update the article as the interface has changed considerably. For those who want it though the original article is available here.

The majority of 12th scale drivers in the UK now run LiPo batteries and 10.5 turn brushless motors, so the article will be based on these. Most of the function descriptions apply to other classes and motors though.

Whether you are performing a new installation or upgrading, do not plug the HotWire interface into the PC yet, wait until you have installed the software. The drivers are installed along with the software and these have to be present before connecting the HotWire.

Most of the things described here are not in the Tekin RS user manual. It is still essential to read this though as it has loads of valuable information, such as calibrating the RS to your transmitter, error codes and troubleshooting etc.

Common Problems

I am putting this near the beginning as this is one of the things people will be looking for! There are several situations that give people problems when first upgrading to 208 and they are all easy to solve.

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Beginner’s HotWire Programming for the Tekin RS

February 11th, 2010 by Trevor Coult

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In the last article I showed the RS and HotWire and the installation of the RS in a car. Now it’s time to find out how to program the RS using the HotWire PC software.

Quite a few things have changed since I wrote the last article. I’m running a different 12th scale car using 1S LiPo and a booster (the RC Dynamics one), and am now using a Tekin Redline 10.5 motor. None of these affect the actual operation of the HotWire software, but they definitely alter the setups! Tekin themselves have also released HotWire version 4, otherwise known as Vegas 2. This includes firmware version 203 for the RS, which has new features and definite benefits for stock motors, in other words making them faster! The article is based on these versions.

I am going to concentrate on the use of the RS in stock 12th scale as that is what I usually run, though most of the article will also be useful to other classes and motors.

Do not plug the HotWire interface into the PC yet, wait until you have installed the software. The drivers are installed along with the software and these have to be present before connection the HotWire.

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RC Dynamics Voltage Booster from Mark Jordan

December 28th, 2009 by Trevor Coult

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I’ve been trying 1S LiPo out at club meetings recently, and I was loaned a TQ voltage booster to try out. Initially this seemed OK, but I then realised that my steering servo had started hunting around centre and my transponder also started missing laps. After much swapping of components I decided that the TQ booster was the most likely culprit. From more investigation I have found that the JR servo I have been using draws more current than most others so this may be the reason the TQ can’t handle it.

Because of this I decided to try out the RC Dynamics voltage booster designed and built by Mark Jordan. After an email or two and a quick Paypal visit I had one in my hands, which was very good considering the Christmas post.

You don’t get much in the packet, not that you need any more! The booster is supplied along with an RC Dynamics sticker and that’s it. No instructions, though it is one of those things where if you need instructions you probably shouldn’t be buying it!

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Onto the booster itself. There is a built in switch, which is a great idea and makes for a much tidier installation.

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A piece of polycarbonate is also attached to the bottom of the booster to create a flat area for the double sided tape to adhere to, making it easy to fit onto the car.

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The wires used are very stiff, which I thought may be a problem until I installed the booster. It is actually very easy to bend the wires into the required shape and position and they stay there! They are very good quality too.

There is no 1S LiPo cutoff device in this booster. This should never be a problem for me though as I’ve never come anywhere near dumping with a 10.5 motor, so it should be fine for 13.5 and 17.5 drivers too. If I want a 1S cutoff my Tekin ESC will do it for me anyway. It also means that it is specialising in the one job of boosting the voltage so in theory there can be fewer compromises in its design.

Onto installation now. All that is required is to double sided tape the booster to the chassis in a position where it is possible to reach the switch. Then the power wires need soldering to the battery connections on the ESC. Make sure the wire marked with red heatshrink is soldered to the positive connection, and the other on the negative connection. Then plug it into your receiver and that’s it! Here it is installed in the car.

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A green LED should light up when booster is turned on. The first thing I noticed was that my servo was no longer hunting around centre, which was a very good sign. Out onto the track then, and no more missed laps on the transponder. Servo speed was good and no interference either. It just worked, which is exactly what it should do.

As a result I can thoroughly recommend one of these to anyone and Mark is working on making them more generally available. More news on this soon.

Technical Specifications

Input Voltage 2.5-5.8V
Output Voltage 6.0V
Quiescent (No load) Current 3mA
Typical Efficiency 90%
Maximum Current 1.5A
Maximum PCB Size 15×20mm
Maximum Size including heatshrink 17×23mm
Weight                                 Approx 6g
Input Wire * 130mm 22AWG Aircraft Spec
Output Wire * 90mm 26AWG Aircraft Spec
Connector JST/Futaba Style

* Other wiring configurations are available.

 

Contact Mark Jordan at mark@rcdynamics.co.uk for more information or look at the RC Dynamics web site at www.rcdynamics.co.uk.

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Tekin RS Speed Control and HotWire – part 1

September 27th, 2009 by Trevor Coult

Recently I decided that I ought to start preparing myself for the move to LiPo in 12th scale, as and when I can afford the parts. the first thing I decided to get was a new speed control as I can use it with the rest of my current set up. I wanted one with 1S LiPo cut off and also was updatable as the rate of speed control development is astonishing at the moment. After looking at many posts on forums, talking to drivers and browsing web sites I decided to buy the Tekin RS speed control along with the HotWire computer interface.

Fusion Hobbies had both the RS and HotWire in stock at a really good price. I have used them previously and their service has been really good in the past so I had no hesitation in ordering from them. That and the fact you get a free packet of Starmix Sweets with every order! I had the choice between buying the RS or RS Pro version of the speed control but as I’m likely to only be using it with a 10.5 brushless motor I decided to buy the RS version saving me £40 in the process. This is good down to a 5 turn brushless so I’m not likely to going anywhere near it’s limits. Tekin are distributed by Much More Racing in the UK, so most good model shops should be able to supply them.

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Andy Griffiths’ Carpet Ripper

July 7th, 2009 by Trevor Coult

Andy Griffiths has sent me a few photos of his new V-Dezign Carpet Ripper 2.0 to put on the web site. This is the car that was the run away winner of round 2 of the CARS/AMC Summer Shoot Out. You can see them in the gallery here.

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Mini Review – CRC Super Soft Sensor Wire

May 20th, 2009 by Trevor Coult

Calandra Racing Concepts have released a set of super soft sensor wires designed specifically for pan cars. The idea is that the wire will not tweak the pod on the car as it flexes so easily. They are supplied in 100, 150, 175 and 200mm lengths.

I received mine at the first round of the CARS/AMC Summer Shoot Out (thanks Kevin!) and received plenty of interest as people came up to give it a feel!

I received a 150mm wire as below.

 

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XRay XII Pictures

January 11th, 2009 by Trevor Coult

I have just uploaded pictures of one of the first production XRay XIIs in the country to the gallery. You can see them here.

Thanks to Partnumber at Mirage Racing for the loan of the car.

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Hot Bodies 12x Article

December 10th, 2008 by Trevor Coult

I've started to write an article on building the Hot Bodies 12x that I'm going to be running as soon as I've built it. So far I've put up the first two sections showing what's in the box and what parts are new or changed from the Cyclone 12.

You can read it here.

I'll be adding more sections to this in the coming weeks.

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Corally SP12X Article

November 28th, 2008 by Trevor Coult

I've at last put up Rob Fox's article on his first impressions of the Corally SP12X. As well as talking about the car, it gives a good description of a TC driver's first experience of 12th scale. You can read it here.

Sorry it took so long to put up Rob!

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