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Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer - # 23654 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/14 Scale Semi-Trailer -

  Released by Tamiya on March 25, 2009, the Factory Finished, Limited Edition RTR Semi Flatbed Trailer (# 23654) is made to go with the Tamiya series of 1/14 scale R/C Tractor Trucks. The original Semi Flatbed Trailer kit (# 56306) was introduced in 1996.

Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer - # 56306
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  The trailer model is based on a rigid alloy ladder frame chassis, with alloy panels, solid axle, leaf-spring suspension, friction dampers and a wood-floored platform with posts and chains.

  The kit comes with Plastic and Sintered metal bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, can actually wear into the metal drive shafts that spin in them. If you are building this kit to run seriously these should be replaced by a full set of steel shielded ball bearings.


      Rating: 45 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer - Chassis
Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer Chassis

Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer
Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer

Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer
Tamiya Semi Flatbed Trailer


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

Wings

   When you think of the Wing or the spoiler on any RC model car, you immediately think of down-force, but which wing is best for your model and what setting should it have?

   When you first build your car, most drivers will cut out the wing supplied in the kit, put it on the car and forget about it. It's only when the new kid at your local track, starts beating you that you begin thinking about changing a few things to make your car faster and one of the easiest changes you could make is to your wing.

   Choosing a wing for off-road can be confusing, so first of all you need to understand just what your wing can do for the way your car handles. Down-force equals traction and traction is what you need for controlled acceleration. The correct wing on your car can give you a good proportion of that down-force and if it has high side panels, it can also improve cornering and straight line stability.

   The first thing you need to consider when choosing your wing is the size. A small wing may not give as much down-force as a larger one, but it also weighs less and provides less speed restricting drag. So, if the track you will be racing on has good traction naturally and has nice long straights, a small wing may be an advantage. Large wings will obviously give you more down-force and on tracks with poor traction and short straights, will be the obvious choice. If rear end grip on cornering is also a problem, go for those high side panels as well.

   Tuning your wing angle can also improve the way it performs. A more acute angle will give you improved grip, but will also increase drag. If you go more flat with your wing, down-force is reduced, but drag is also reduced, so setting your wing angle is simply a matter of trial and error to suit your needs.

   The way the wing is mounted on your car must also be considered. If it uses a wire, it has a tendency to flex as it pushes down; this obviously flattens the angle as you speed along the straights, reducing drag, which could be good in some cases, but bad in others. If your wing is held by a rigid alloy or plastic support, the previous consideration is not a problem. Down-force is maintained as constant, but so is the drag.

   Changing and tuning things like your wing may seem futile if you are the big fish in a small pond and winning at your local track is not a problem. But if you ever go to the bigger ponds, its considering things like this that can keep you competitive.

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








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