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Tamiya Ferrari F310B - #58213 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Formula One Car - F103RS Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on March 18, 1998, this self assembly Radio Controlled Formula One Model, based on the F103RS (Racing Special) Chassis, is that of the Ferrari F310B driven by Michael Schumacher in the 1997 Formula One Season in which he was disqualified.

Tamiya Ferrari F310B - #58213 F103RS
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  Basically, the F103RS chassis is a moderately upgraded F103. Upgrades include, to reduce weight, the metal damper has holed drilled in it. The best of the upgrades was the inclusion of a knurled nut adjuster for the friction plate damper, this made fine tuning much easier. A vast array of Hop-Ups were also available.

  Disappointingly, the kit comes with nylon/plastic and sintered brass bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, will abrade the metal drive shafts that spin in them. If you are building this kit to race seriously these should be replaced by steel ball bearings.

  Some considered the F103RS to be a vast improvement over the basic model, but for me, even with the upgrades it was only marginally better and not worth the extra cost. It was cheaper to upgrade my old F103 with the damper adjuster and a set of ball bearings I loved that car.


      Rating: 3.53.5 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Ferrari F310B #58213 F103RS - Chassis
Tamiya Ferrari F310B #58213 F103RS Chassis
Tamiya Ferrari F310B #58213 F103RS
Tamiya Ferrari F310B #58213 F103RS Body Shell

General Information and Advice

   For those starting in Radio Controlled Racing, here are a few Hints and Tips: Firstly, buy a Kit not an RTR. That way, if something breaks you will have some idea how to fix it.

   Radio Controlled Model Cars are very fragile and easily broken. The main parts to protect are the Front Wishbones, Suspension Shock Towers, Dampers, Hub Carriers, Kingpins, Uprights and Toe in Blocks, so make sure you have a good strong front bumper and Lexan or Hard Plastic Body Shell and if available for your model, a protective under tray, to prevent grit and dust getting into any moving parts.

   The Steering Servo is also a weakness in high speed crash situations, so get yourself some good strong Servo Mount and Servo Saver. Also I would recommend Titanium Shafts, Turnbuckles, Tie Rods and pivot/steering shafts and if available for your model, lightweight Titanium Drive shafts, dog bones and CVD (Constant Velocity Drives). The standard steel types are far too easily bent.

   Gearing is another problem area on RC model cars. Head on collisions can easily break off gear teeth on Nylon/Plastic Spur Gears and even Bevel Gears inside the Gearbox. Heavy impacts can also loosen nuts and self taping screws that hold the Motor in Position, allowing the Pinion Gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops of the teeth on your Spur Gear. To avoid this to some degree, fit locking nuts and a new motor mount from time to time, so the self taping screws that hold the motor in position have less chance to come loose.

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

   Many New car kits come with Nylon and Sintered Brass Ring type bearings. My advice is to discard these before initial installation and buy a good Hop-up set of Shielded Steel Ball Bearings. Or if you are serious about your racing, Teflon or Ceramic Bearings.

   One final piece of advice about the Setup of your Car. Keep the Centre of Gravity as low as possible. Ride Height is all important. For On Road Drift/Touring cars the Ride Height should be no more than 5mm, for Buggys, Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks, as low as possible depending on the track conditions. If Body Roll is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of Stabilizers, Anti roll or Sway Bars, stiffer Tuning Springs and, or thicker Silicon Oil in the Dampers. Also find somewhere to mount the Transponder as low in the Chassis as possible.

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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide













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Hints and Tips


How to Charge Rechargeable Batteries
for Radio Controlled Models

Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries


1/  All Ni-Cad Batteries have to be Discharged soon after use. This is to avoid the dreaded "Memory" effect that on subsequent re-charges can cause a momentary drop in performance during a race. A simple discharger can be made from a car 12v bulb.

2/  Try to time your charge to complete just before a race. This will ensure maximum punch and duration. If a Ni-Cad is left to cool after a charge this advantage dissipates.

3/  The higher the charge current the more Punch the Ni-Cad battery will have (up to around 8 amps), however, the downside to this is a reduction in duration and effective battery life.

4/  Ni-Cad Batteries should be left to cool for about an hour after use before recharging. This will increase the effective life of the battery.


Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries


1/  Never charge Ni-Mh batteries at a current higher than 4.5 amps. Although these batteries can give a higher voltage than Ni-Cad Batteries, they are much more sensitive and easy to damage if charged too quickly.

2/  Charging methods for Ni-Mh batteries can also be detrimental. The best I found was the "Slope" method. Avoid "Pulse" charging as this tends to effect crystal formation detrimentally and (it seems to kill them off) thus reduces duration over time.

3/  If using a temperature cut off charger on Ni-Mh batteries set to no more than 40 Degrees Centigrade. Any higher than this can damage the crystals.

4/  It is not necessary to discharge Ni-Mh Batteries. Unlike Ni-Cad batteries they do not develop a memory. Also, if they are totally discharged they sometimes will not charge straight after and need to be coaxed with a 10 minute trickle charge.

5/  Ni Mh Batteries can be recharged shortly after use without any discernable detrimental effects.


Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries


1/  Li-Po batteries are a huge step forward in performance compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, care has to be taken when charging. If certain procedures are not followed they could burst into flames or even explode, therefore I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.

2/  Li-Po batteries are more expensive and have a shorter effective life. Generally considered to be between 200 to 400 charge cycles compared to 1000+ for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh.

3/  Consider a Battery pack listed as "2S 5000Mah 40c 2C".
"2S" is the number of cells in the pack, in this case 2 cells. Each cell provides around 3.7 Volts, so a 2S pack is around 7.4 Volts.
"5000Mah" (Mili-Amp-Hours) is the capacity. The amount of charge the pack can hold.
"40c" is the maximum Discharge rate. Which in our example would be calculated as 5000 (Mah) x 40 = 200000Ma (200 Amps).
"2C" is the maximum Charge rate. 1C being 5 Amps, so in our example 2 x 5 = 10 Amps.

4/  To safely charge your Li-Po Battery I would recommend a good Computerised charger, preferably one that can handle a Charge current of around 25A and always place the charging battery on a fireproof surface.

5/  Finally. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po battery unattended and NEVER EVER charge it above the recommended rate. When not in use, store with around 60% charge remaining in a fireproof box.


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

Hints and Tips

Keeping Notes

   If all you will ever do is go racing at your local track every week, then this article is not for you. However, if you ever look towards travelling around to different tracks around the country, or even the world, the value of keeping notes is all too obvious.

   Every time I raced in a regional or national competition meeting, I would make detailed notes, aided by a little local knowledge initially and later fine tuned to suit my own driving style.

   My experience now means there are few, if any outdoor tarmac tracks within a 300 mile radius I haven been to and my notes on motor, gearing, camber angles, shock settings, tire choice and what inserts work best for that particular track, amongst others, allow me to save valuable time on the finer points of car setup, that can be done in the warmth of my own home on the kitchen table days before the meeting, instead of the often crippling heat, or the arduous conditions inside a wind blown tent.

   There are lots of methods for making notes on setup. The easiest perhaps is to download the blank pages often supplied by your cars manufacturer with a line drawing of your car and spaces for you to fill in as to the setting you prefer. Great if each time you go to a particular track the conditions are always constant. Notes made on a cold windy day will be little use on a hot sunny days racing on the same track.

   Manufacturers setup pages for their top drivers can also be useful as a starting point, but you should never take that setup as being the best there could ever be.

   So, the first note you should make is of the weather conditions. The wind and its direction isn't really what I am talking about, although it can have an effect on your cars handling, it is not something you can change your setup to handle. Track temperature and humidity are the main things to note. Not the average for the day, but for each round of racing. And note what tires you used and how the car handled in each race. Detail everything that might be useful in the future, no matter how trivial.

   Note the motor used and the gearing. Check the temperature of the motor after the race, how much charge is left in the batteries. You may have won the race, but there is always room for improvement your competitors will be doing just that.

   Every bit of information you compile will be useful for the next time you visit that particular venue. Weather forecasts these days are far more accurate than they used to be, so the adage "fore warned is fore armed" fits the bill. Simply search through your notes and find a day you raced with similar conditions to those forecast and set up your car to suit. But don't stop there.

   The conditions may be the same as they were when you made your notes, but that doesn't mean you can't improve your setup. Your practice laps will soon prove if your previous setup was correct, or give you a basis for more fine tuning.

   If you want to be the best, you have to work at it. Success doesn't come easy. You can be the best driver around, but if your setup isn't perfect you will never step up onto the winners rostrum. My motto if you never try anything, you never do anything. And if you never do anything wrong, you aren't trying hard enough.

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









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