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Tamiya Asterion - #58552 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Truck - XV-01T Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on November 20, 2012, the Asterion Truck is based on the XV-01T Chassis (Crossover Vehicle) that was developed by Tamiya for Off Road, On Road Rally (WRC) Cars and Pick-up Trucks.

Tamiya Asterion - XV-01T #58552
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  The XV-01T Chassis incorporates Mud Guards and covered compartments to protect the drive mechanism, battery, ESC and Radio Receiver from dirt and gravel and the Suspension gives a ground clearance of over 10mm.

  The Front positioned Motor on the XV-01T powers a belt type four wheel drive configuration, with gear and spool differentials and coil spring over oil filled dampers.

  To get the best from the Tamiya Asterion, it needs to be fine tuned to handle jumps under control and has enough grip to hug the corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our simple to understand, step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your driving style.


      Rating: 44 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Asterion #58552 XV-01T - Chassis
Tamiya Asterion #58552 XV-01T Chassis
Tamiya Asterion #58552 XV-01T
Tamiya Asterion #58552 XV-01T Body Shell

Buying a Used Tamiya Asterion
Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Asterion 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 Tamiya 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 Tamiya 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 Tamiya 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 Tamiya Asterion 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 Asterion 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 Asterion Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   On Belt driven models, the Drive Belts need checking at regular intervals for wear, tension and damage. If deemed necessary, adjust the tensioning pulley until the belt can be depressed in the centre by no more than around 5mm. If the belt was slack, also examine the drive pulleys for wear. The teeth should provide a well seated fit for the belt teeth and not be rounded on the corners. If the belt teeth do not fit snugly, change the pulleys as soon as possible. For top level racing it may be prudent to replace all belts and pulleys after each race meeting.

   For Gear driven models, 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 Asterion 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 Tamiya Asterion 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 Tamiya 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 Asterion model and good racing.




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★ Tamiya Asterion ★
Tamiya Asterion - XV-01T #58552


General Information and Advice

   RC is one of those sports that can be simply bashing around the back yard, or taken to the extreme of National and International Racing: For those who would like to enter this world of miniature Models, here are a few basic Hints: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. Then, if something does break on your model, the experience you gain by building the kit will give you some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are easily broken. Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers etc are prone to damage, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and never run your car without its Body Shell in place.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness, so if your kit does not have one, get yourself a good quality Servo Saver. I would also recommend you replace the soft steel Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts with Titanium versions and if you get serious about your racing, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel ones bend far too easily.

   Gears in RC model cars often cause problems. Head on collision accidents can damage gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and sometimes even the Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Hard impacts may also slacken the nuts and self taping screws that fix the Motor in Position, making it possible for the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh a little and damage the teeth on your Spur Gear. To try and prevent this, you should always fit locking (Nyloc) nuts and if your mount uses self tapping screws, change the plastic motor mount occasionally to ensure a tight fit.

   Plastic Ball Connectors can cause problems. For top level Radio Controlled model car racing, they need to be checked for tightness and if considered necessary changed after every race meeting. Something like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily lose you the race, so always err on the side of caution.

   Quite a number of New car kits come with Plastic and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. These can cause problems if at some time in the future you want to fit a full set of ball bearings so I recommend you discard the brass and plastic types before installation and get yourself a Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings.

   Finally, try to keep the Centre of Gravity of your model as low as you can. This can vastly improve the handling of your car when cornering at high speed. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be around 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as practical for the track conditions. Body Roll can be reduced by using Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars. Tuning Springs may also help with thicker, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Shock Absorbers. Also look towards mounting the Transponder as low as you can in the Chassis.

For Car Setup Information check out our Hints and Tips page.

Information and Advice

Electronic Speed Controllers

History:

   ESC were originally developed to be used in conjunction with brushed 27T stock and modified motors in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Compared to modern day Controllers, they were Bulky and heavy, constructed using basic resistors, rheostats, capacitors and transistors, crammed together on a simple circuit board, to provide stepped but smooth acceleration when compared to the old mechanical, servo operated sweeper Speed Controllers. An Electronic Switch to change the direction of current flow was used on some of these early ESC to give reverse operation. Although they were a vast improvement on the old mechanical speedos of the time, they were expensive, jerky to control and prone to burn out if not carefully looked after.

   As new technology became available, improvements were slowly made and with the introduction of the new FET (Field Effect Transistors) and some basic mass produced silicon chips, ESC were made smaller and their reliability gradually improved.

   By the mid 1990s, "regenerative breaking" was developed. This meant that energy that would have been lost slowing down the car by effectively turning the motor into a generator, was harvested and put back into the battery. This of course was long before F1 had KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and adjustable anti lock breaking was introduced.

   Brushless Motors came to RC in the late 1990s early 2000s, which required a new breed of ESC to be developed to fully utilise the new technology. Ni-Cad Rechargeable Batteries were superseded by Ni-Mh and more recently Li-Po Batteries which provided higher Current output for the ESC to regulate. The latest ESC now use sensors to manage the motor and can be adjusted remotely to suit varying conditions.


Brushed Motor ESC.

   The "Silver Can" Stock Motors that come in a wide number of RC model kits are often accompanied by a 5 Amps to 20 Amps ESC. However, if you want to upgrade to a more powerful Modified Brushed Motor, 20 Amps may not be enough, so you will have to buy a something well over 20 Amps depending on the number of turns of your motor. As a rough guide, a 9 Single has a much higher current requirement than 20 Single.

Brushless Motor ESC.

   ESC for Brushless Motors are in no way compatible with brushed motors. The DC (Direct Current) input from the battery, on brushless ESC is transformed into three phase AC (Alternating Current). Each "phase" connecting three wires on the Brushless motor. By changing the frequency of the output wave the motor will spin faster for acceleration or slower for breaking. Reverse is simply achieved by changing over any two of the three "phases".
   At the time this article was written, Brushless ESC range from 3 Amps to around 300 Amps.
   For beginners I recommended you buy an ESC and Motor Combo, that way you can be sure the ESC Current rating is correct for the Motor.


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









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