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1/12 Scale Electric Truck/Truggy:

HPI Mini-Trophy - # 103034 / # 103035 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the HPI Mini-Trophy:


  Introduced by HPI (Hobby Products International) in 2010, the 4WD Mini Trophy Desert Truck - # 103034 / # 103035 - came with a 15T motor, ESC and radio system.

  The HPI Racing model is shaft driven, on a molded plastic chassis, with roll cage, gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, slipper-clutch, dogbone drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

HPI Mini-Trophy
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  To race the HPI Mini-Trophy, it calls for fine tuning to attain better steering response and improve grip when cornering so you don't slide off the side of the track. Minute changes can make huge advancements. Our easy to understand list will show you how and lead you to the optimum Set-up to put you in front of the rest on the track.

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★ HPI Racing Mini Trophy Chassis ★
HPI Racing Mini Trophy Chassis

★ HPI Racing Mini Trophy Chassis ★
HPI Racing Mini Trophy Chassis


Buying a Used HPI Mini-Trophy Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used HPI Mini-Trophy Electric Truck, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the HPI website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used HPI Truck, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those HPI models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your HPI Mini-Trophy is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your Mini-Trophy model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your Mini-Trophy Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Truck should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Truck at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Truck RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric Motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Truck racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The Mini-Trophy steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your HPI Mini-Trophy is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used HPI Truck comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your Mini-Trophy model and good racing.


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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide


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Manufacturers and Brands Catalogued and Listed by RC-Scrapyard.


   At present, the RC Model Manufacturers, Brands and Distributors covered by us are: ABC Hobby, Academy, Acme Racing, Agama Racing, Amewi, Ansmann Racing, ARRMA, Team Associated, Atomic RC, Axial, AYK, Bolink, BSD Racing, Capricorn, Carisma, Carson, Caster Racing, Cen, Corally, Custom Works, Durango, Duratrax, ECX - Electrix, Exceed RC, FG Modellsport, FS-Racing, FTX, Fujimi, Gmade, GS-Racing, Harm, HBX, Helion, Heng Long, Himoto Racing, Hirobo, Hitari, Hobao, Hong-Nor, Hot Bodies, HPI, HSP, Intech, Integy, Jamara, JQ Products, Kawada, Kyosho, Losi, LRP, Maisto, Mardave, Marui, Maverick, MCD Racing, Megatech, Mugen, New Bright, Nichimo, Nikko, Nkok, Ofna, Pro-Pulse, Protech, PTI, RC4WD, Redcat Racing, RJ-Speed, Robitronic, Schumacher, Seben, Serpent, Smartech, Sportwerks, Step-Up, Tamiya, Team-C Racing, Team Magic, Thunder Tiger, Tomy, Top Racing, Traxxas, Trinity, Tyco, Vaterra RC, Venom, VRX Racing, WLToys, X-Factory, Xmods, Xpress, Xray, XTM, Yankee RC, Yokomo, ZD Racing and Zipzaps.

   This is an ongoing project, with new and "lost in time" RC Model Brands being added as they are found and although most of those listed above have been covered in relative detail, some are still being researched and will be completed in the near future.


















Hints and Tips

Radio Gear

How to avoid Interference.


1/  The first consideration when installing your Receiver into your Electrically Powered Model is to make sure it is well away from the Negative Battery terminal and the Motor. The Magnetic field can cause stuttering type interference at times of high current draw (i.e., Fast Acceleration)

2/  Make sure the Ariel tube is long enough for the Ariel wire. The tip of this wire is highly sensitive and should be as high and as far away from the Motor as possible (yup, its that magnetic field prob again)

3/  If all else fails, a simple tip that often works for all RC Model enthusiasts is to wrap the receiver in Aluminium Foil, to shield against any magnetic and external radio interference.

4/  As a last resort, to protect against servo twitch, try ferrite beads. (available at Radio Shack or Maplins) These are threaded over the red, white (or yellow) and black wires of each servo.

5/  If you are using a FET Servo, the installation of a choke (a small electrical component) in the positive feed wire will smooth out any current spikes and reduce the possibility of "servo twitch".

6/  Another thing you might try is a "glitch buster" or "stutter stopper". Basically, this is a capacitor that simply plugs into your Radio Receiver and attempts to keep a level voltage supply to the Radio system.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.







Hints and Tips

Anti Squat

   Described as the angle at which the suspension arms pivot in relation to the chassis, Anti Squat effects traction under acceleration.

   Considered to be at its most effective from a standing start, the handling and stability of the majority of modern day On Road and an increasing number of Off Road models, can be improved with a certain amount of anti squat, normally no more than around 3 degrees.

   Basically, more anti squat gives you more traction, but after a certain point, that advantage is lost and the car will become unstable when turning into high speed corners. For Off Road models anti squat can also improve how the car handles on bumpy tracks.

   Less anti squat allows the car to drop at the rear under hard acceleration, providing less traction, but more stable when cornering. If no anti squat is present, with the lower suspension pivot shaft being parallel to the chassis, steering will be sharp and can induce some over-steer.

   Most manufacturers have some anti squat on their car kits provided as standard and hop-up parts are generally available to change the anti squat angle, but more often, on a wide range of models, all that is needed is a washer or two under one side of the suspension pivot block. However, if the block is held in position using self tapping screws, it may be prudent to change them for slightly longer ones.

   If you are thinking of trying a different setting on your car, not just for anti squat, always remember to only make one change at a time. Too many changes to your set-up made at one time, can make it difficult, if not impossible, to determine which change you made gave you the result you desired.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.










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