Progress has been a little slow on developing more track terrain, so here is a quick video I made of my Losi Micro Desert Truck going over some cardboard jumps on my track. You can see how the truck handles in slow motion.
Here is a closer view of my Losi Micro Desert Truck running over the plaster terrain I have made for the modular micro RC track. As you can see there are a variety of molds I have used and a few of the castings have been further worked to ensure the micro RC cars could get over them and add some interest. From the slow motion you can really see how the vehicle works over the terrain.
Here is another view of my Losi Micro Desert Truck running on a 6 module layout that was the same as the onboard video from the previous post (with some minor adjustments).
You can see the terrain elements that I made with Plaster Of Paris on the left hand side. I will show you more on those features and how I made them in a later post.
It has been a little slow going making terrain so far but I have managed to make some moldings out of Plaster Of Paris. I have shaped a few of these moldings and left some in an as molded state to use as terrain on the track. There will be a separate post with details of how I made the terrain but, for now, I have made a video using my HobbyKing Wingcam onboard my Losi Micro Desert Truck. You can see the plaster terrain flashing by on one of the straights.
After seeing some videos of Tamiya Mini 4WD cars with onboard footage I wondered where I could get a camera small enough to run on Losi Micro and Kyosho Mini-Z cars. I figure it could be cool to see the cars running on my track with a first person/race cam type view.
It took me a while but it turned out the answer was in the first place I looked, I just didn’t see it the first time around. HobbyKing actually sells very small cameras that are aimed at the RC plane market they call wing cameras. The camera I got was the smallest version of ‘wing cam’ that runs at 1280 x 720p HD resolution.
Here is a quick video test of the camera on my Losi Micro Desert Truck:
I used four 500W halogen work lamps to provide plenty of light in the room for this video. I had tried it with just the room lights and the video did work with the low level of light but the camera turned the gain right up making the image quite grainy.
As you can hear the sound is not great but it is a tiny car with a tiny motor and tiny gears all adding up to a shrill sound. I actually dropped the volume quite a bit in the video because it was very annoying.
Here is how I mounted it temporarily to the Losi Micro DT without the body on.
Want to try it for yourself? The version of Wing Camera I got is available from HobbyKing on this link.
There is also a larger cousin to this camera which is a little longer and fatter but does full HD 1080p video and has HDMI out. I am not sure on how it would go on a micro RC car but it might work. You can get that one on this link.
As I have discussed in the last couple of posts my intent is to use magnets and dowels to pin the terrain to the modules of my micro RC race track. The initial inspiration for this system came from user ‘Healzonu’ on the Ultimate RC Forums and I have developed the concept further for use on my track. For those playing along at home, this is how you make the hole array for the first time in four easy steps.
Tools And Equipment
To do this you will need:
- Two B1 sized plots/prints of the hole pattern template (see the printables page). You can do this with only one print if you want as the B1 layout only covers half of a module. You will have to flip it around to do the second half if you only use one print.
- A drill.
- A drill bit corresponding the the size dowels/magnets you are intending to use. I actually used a 1/4″ bit for 6mm magnets to make the hole just slightly oversized.
- Tape. Masking tape is best but almost any will do.
Now I have the idea for a magnetic dowel system to position the terrain the base modules need to have holes drilled in them. This array of holes is used to pin the terrain into the plywood with the dowels.
I intend on using 6mm diameter magnets and wood dowels for the job as a starting point. It is prudent to start with small holes and make them bigger if stronger magnets are required. I am also starting with a 50mm array of holes and the module will fit a 23 rows and 11 columns with this array size making a total of 253 holes.
Rather than mark out the array on the module using a pencil and a straight edge I have decided a little more accuracy is required, so back into the CAD system and a quick layout was generated for half the hole array that can be printed to a B1 sized layout. If you want to follow along at home a PDF of the hole pattern layout will be available on the printables page. You can get this printed anywhere that does roll size plan plots. I had mine done at Officeworks here in Australia but there are many place around the world that do it such as ‘Fed-Ex Office ‘ (Kinkos).
When I first started planning my modular track for micro RC cars I was going to affix terrain to each module directly so each module was set. I really wanted to have the terrain as modular but I hadn’t come up with a way of doing that other than wood dowels which I didn’t think was robust.
In presenting the first video of the completed modules on a forum one user had a suggestion…rare earth magnets. That was the inspiration I needed. I was concerned that rare earth magnets still wouldn’t quite work through the module’s plywood unless the were very strong and a few small test magnets proved that. My ‘Design For Six Sigma’ ideation kicked in and I Pughed in my brain (in joke for my work colleagues). Hybridising dowels and magnets was the way to go.
Here is a quick sketch of the intent of the system.
The base modules that are to carry terrain will be drilled with an array of holes while the terrain will have steel inserts. The rare earth magnets can then be used as repositionable dowels attached to the terrain pieces, whatever they may be.
Now that I have fixed the tie rod on my Losi Micro DT I have had a chance to test more layouts of the modular micro RC race track I am building. Here is a video of a number of track layouts using 5 or 6 modules. These layouts include:
- Small Oval (5 modules)
- b-Shape (5 modules)
- L-Shape (5 modules)
- C-Shape (6 modules)
- Brickyard (6 modules)
It also shows the process for changing between two layouts and adding a module to the layout.
Things break on RC cars and Micro RC cars are no different to their bigger brothers despite their lower speeds and lighter weight (meaning less energy to deal with when hitting something). In testing a layout of my modular, micro RC race track I managed to break one of the Lexan tie rods on my Losi Micro Desert Truck.
I toyed with the idea of making some replacements out of zip ties or steel from a feeler gauge. That was going to take some time that I really don’t have so the better option was to buy some. I picked up three sets of Delrin tie rods (neutral, toe-in and toe-out) from The Toyz for under US$8 plus shipping to Australia and they arrived here in about a week. This is how you install them: