Hey RC Enthusiasts! I recently got done building a couple of vehicles and doing a ton of soldering and it got me wondering a couple of things. Why are there so many “standards” or lack thereof in RC? When is the RC Industry going to get Standardized?
Motors – Turn’s vs. Kv
Air Age Media, better known as Car Action Magazine just produced a video titled “Motor Turns and Kv Ratings explained” The video was well produced and scripted but honestly, as a 21st century RC Enthusiast, why is it sooooooo complicated? When I first got into RC and modifying vehicles, it was so difficult to tell the difference or why people labeled certain motors as “turns” and others as “Kv” ratings. Then there was the daunting task of converting one brands labeling of kv to another’s turn rating. Novak had a chart out but it was a ballpark estimate because not everyone’s using the same components.
I recently swapped some electronics from one vehicle to another, but was missing a servo horn. Now, it’s not rocket science to know that there are 3 different splined servo horns on the market. 23t, which is Airtronics/Sanwa, 24t which is Hitec (older versions) and 25t which is the rest of the planet, including Savox, Futaba and the newer Hitec’s. WHY??? I had a perfectly good clamping servo horn, but it was the wrong tooth count for the servo I wanted to run. Think about if there were only one spline available, or a Standard, maybe those manufacturers would just include that $15 retail ($3 cost) aluminum servo horn!
I can’t tell you how many battery plugs I have had to cut off and solder my preference on, but it’s into the hundreds considering every vehicle and battery over the years. There’s Traxxas (TRX), Deans, Fake Deans, XT60, XT90, EC3, EC5, Star, Reversed Polarity Bananas, Castle Creations and that dreaded Tamiya plug! I probably forgot a few, but I know everyone has they’re favorite and so do the companies that spend the time to install those plugs on batteries and vehicles. Have I mentioned the giant “octopus” for the charge lead that I saw recently??? The one that can charge “any” battery, at least till the new fangled reverse osmosis plug comes out?
Alright, I know this is a sore subject for some, but living in the United States, I guess I’ve been raised on fractions and it is painful. Metric is just better! I think one of my subscribers on YouTube, said it best (in a shortened version) SAE just doesn’t make any sense! Think about it….half the hex drivers, half the nut drivers, etc. One of my last SAE vehicles was the B44.3 from Team Associated, which they have kept SAE for many years. But I still have SAE items pop up, like Vanquish wheels use 3/32, 5/64 and 1/16. Robinson Racing pinions (48p) use 1/16th for the set screws. HAs anyone ran 11/32 wheel nuts vs the standard 7mm? Yeah, painful!
This issue has almost gone extinct, but there are still some lingering hexes out there that really give grief when getting the right wheel set fitted. 1/10th scale should use 12mm. 1/8th scale should use 17mm. Is there enough said? 10mm and 14mm should not exist. I had a vehicle that used 14mm wheels and it was a serious pain to find compatible wheels, as I wanted to run it on a different surface (the vehicle came with RTR tires and I wanted to run it on clay) I still have a set of 10mm front hexed wheels (with tires mounted) for my old B44.2. Like new, needs a new home!
I know this is a long way off and there are some inexpensive “grey market” receivers out there, but why can’t one receiver be bound to different radios? I currently own a Futaba 4PX, Airtronics MT-4 and my old Spektrum DX3r-Pro. They all use different receivers and they very in price. The least expensive Futaba’s go for about $35-$40, the Spektrum are about the same. Airtronics top off at about $90 for the least expensive. It would be great to just bind any receiver to any radio and call it a day. I know it’s like running Microsoft Software on a Mac……but my Mac runs Windows now…..
I know this Blog may sound negative, but it’s in a positive way! Think about world RC peace here. If we had all of the RC Industry standards mentioned here wishlist above, it would be a Win/Win/Win situation. The manufacturers/vendors would have to produce less products, less SKUs and lower costs. The Hobby Shops/Online Shops would have to order and keep fewer SKUs on the peghook/shelf and potentially have a lower cost. The consumer (yeah, that’s you!) would benefit by having the items in stock more regularly and potentially a lower cost (think large qty sales of 25t servo horns vs producing 23, 24 and 25).
Did I miss something you would like to see regulated/standardized in the RC Industry? If so, please leave your comments below!