View Full Version : Getting Started

2010.11.15, 04:16 PM
So I guess I'm ready to take the plunge pretty soon, I'd like to be able to join you guys with a car of my own next time you meet up. I had most of my questions answered Saturday night, but just wanted to clear up a few more things and figured how best/most conveniently to go about getting set up and supporting the shop.

I've pretty much decided on a MR-02 (more than likely picking one up new), but out of curiosity how much more would it cost me to go 2.4? What kind of price would I be looking at for a low end, yet capable (definitely going to need expo) radio? If I do go AM/FM, what are my best options? Rensuchan suggested his radio as a good starting point, though I can't remember what model it was exactly.

The body I would really like to go with, the 2002 Takata Dome NSX, is currently out of print it seems. Would the shop be able to get ahold of one for me somehow (or maybe they have one packed away somewhere?) or am I basically left to fend for myself here?

Any other general advice will be appreciated as well.

2010.11.15, 09:58 PM
D, welcome to the madness! We sold our last Takata NSX last week! :eek: I think it was a 2007 though. As far as fending for yourself - we have the largest selection of AutoScales in the known universe - when people call Kyosho looking for something rear, they send them to us! If you don't see what you need, let us know and we'l see what we can do! :) Honestly the best thing w/b for us to just browse the shop together at the next race so we can make real-time recommendations etc. and get you set up w/ the perfect rig. I understand the attraction of the NSX, but you'll likely want to go MM, not RM (not sure how far you are in your research - let me know if you need me to explain). One of the best MR-02 values right now is the Xanavi Nismo 2008 Nissan GT-R R35 MR-02 MM ReadySet - that's everything you need in one box short of batteries. RE 2.4 - min. Tx is the Perfex KT-18, which is $80; next w/b the Perfex EX-5UR which is a really excellent deal and has all the features you're likely to need, and then some. Anyway, let's just hook up at the beginning of the next race and get you sorted - though don't hesitate to ask any add'l questions in the meantime; btw, email me your cell # and I'll add you to the Dojo txt alert list! :)

2010.11.15, 10:30 PM
Will do :)

I was looking into the differences between the MM and RM and wheel offsets and all that, and got a chance to drive Will's NSX during practice last Saturday. I actually really preferred the feel of it to the MMs I drove, I felt like it worked better with the way I was handling the corners and just felt a bit more in control. I really liked the way you could get the back end to step out a little and just push all the way through the corners as well.

Honestly, when I first started looking into mini Zs, the car I was set on was the Europa. I've heard they don't do so well though, I could see them being a lot more finicky/spinny in the turns with such a small light body on the RM.

I'm definitely all ears and look forward to the next race day! (just hoping it won't be thanksgiving weekend while I'm out of town)

2010.11.15, 11:38 PM
I am not local, but wanted to welcome you to the forums and offer a little insight...

The biggest issues with the Europa is that it leaves the front wheels pretty exposed. Any brush against the boards, and the car will ride up on the boards and rip your tire off (even when glued onto the wheel). When I was driving it, I added a little bumper to prevent it (glued some lexan to the front of the body). It helped, while it still held onto the body, which wasnt very long. I think that I drove the body 5 times before I decided to go to something else.

I personally feel that RM cars are easier to drive, since they have more rear grip. Although, they do have a pendulum effect off throttle/on brakes as you steer into the corner where the rear end wants to lead. MM in general has more speed into the corner, but RM can get on the throttle harder and exit with more speed. RM you have to slow down a little more before the turn, but MM can decelerate a little more in the turn.

What I recommend, since you said you liked the feel of RM, is that you get a 94mm RM car that you like the body of, and eventually get a 94mm MM mount for it if you feel you want to go that route. RM works very well on low grip tracks, since the center of mass is rear biased. High grip tracks usually favor MM, but I have seen some very fast RM cars as well.

In general with RM, I like bodies with more front mass. MM I like neutral bodies or more rear mass. I like the car to rotate more when I come off throttle in a corner. In general, a car with more front mass will push off throttle in a corner, and more rear mass will rotate. The opposite is true for acceleration effect.

I would also recommend that you get an ASF car whatever you decide to get. I like the MR03, but the MR02 is still a great car and is a better bang for the buck. Keep the front end simple to start with either car. And focus a on getting the rear end sorted first(t-plates, bearings, dampening/suspension) then move onto the front once the rear is working well (unless there is a problem with the front). This is the general approach that I take with all of my 2wd cars.

I personally prefer the tri-damper setups, but it can be a little tricky to fit into smaller bodies. A Disc damper setup is the standard right now, while it works well to dampen the suspension movement, it actually prevents the rear from centering well. The tri-damper allows it to center well each time, allowing a more consistant car exiting the corners.

Whatever you decide to get welcome to the hobby.

2010.11.16, 05:11 AM
Personally, I liked Europa and raced one for a good half a year. It teaches you to stay off the walls, but is also somewhat forgiving when you run into them. What I like about Europa is that it doesn't have a crazy tendency to flip like plenty of narrow bodies out there and the wheel clerance is rather good even if you lower the front by playing with the front clip.



2010.11.16, 10:04 AM
The Europa is such a pretty little car, I love the things to death...I think I may wait to try and pick one of them up though. Just based on what I've heard I think I'd prefer to go with something a little more forgiving on the walls to get started. I also really liked the weight of the NSX I got to drive..I think I'd like a chance to drive a Europa before deciding to make it my starter/only car.

I'm really conflicted on the whole 2.4ghz issue. It's a lot more money than an old radio...but I did notice the downsides of older radios in the little time I got to drive (lots of glitching issues in one corner, didn't play well with the lap counter either). Also I personally dislike the huge antennae poking out of these otherwise very realistic scale bodies.

One concern of mine is that if it can be helped I would like to purchase a Tx that can grow with me/ be used to operate other cars if I do go with a 2.4. By that I mean potentially running non Kyosho cars in the future, maybe some larger stuff. It would just make me feel better about spending the additional money if I knew I could use it for other things down the line. I don't know if this is possible, however. Does Kyosho use a completely proprietary Rx that only binds to certain Txs? Or if it is possible to run, say, a Spektrum Tx with a Mini Z, is it a great deal more expensive and tedious to get it set up?

Oh and one final question for mini-z. I think I found a site that has the 2002 Takata Dome NSX body in stock...is there any way you'd be able to order one? I would definitely prefer to give you the business/ support the local shop. I'm still open to other body suggestions as well...it's just that big old black/white/yellow NSX and those GREEN WHEELS get me all excited :p I've always preferred the older NSX style to the newer one.

2010.11.16, 10:09 AM

Most of the higher end radios have modules that you can switch in and out that let them work with other cars, so you should be set as long as you buy a solid radio from the start.

And yeah, the glitching I get in certain corners makes me want to upgrade all of my cars to 2.4 lol. Maybe next year if I get some extra cash :)

2010.11.16, 10:48 AM
Ahh, good to know :3

I guess I'll just make sure whatever I get can be made compatible with other things later on and bite the bullet for a 2.4 setup. I...guess I can afford to drop the extra 100 or so...I'm sure I won't regret it a year from now.

2010.11.16, 11:26 AM
D, did you get my email? I have a bunch of input on all of the above, but wanted to give you a quick Tx overview first:

Perfex KT-18 - this is the least expensive but most basic option. It is best suited to cost-conscious users who don't anticipate the need for the more advanced functionality, muiltiple profiles, etc. that you get from the higher-end devices.

Perfex EX-5UR - this recent release sits perfectly between the KT-18 and the higher-end module-based radios. If you were serious about racing Mini-Zs, didn't want to go all out on an EX-10, and didn't intend to use it w/ any non-Mini-Z chassis then I'd say this is the way to go.

The next step up is to module-based radios. Because you want to use it w/ other RCs, this is where you need to be looking. It's an investment, but most of us use ours for all of our RC stuff, from dNaNos up to 5th scale stuff. The KO PROPO Mini-Z EX-1 UR 2.4GHz ASF SS is a great choice, if you recall Derrick's radio, he uses an older version of this. The grand daddy of them all is the KO PROPO Mini-Z EX-10 Eurus 2.4GHz ASF SS; most of us use EX-10s, and find it to be the best choice for serious racing.

RE Spektrum, it is not in any way compatible w/ Mini-Zs, short of gutting and replacing the electronics, which makes no sense, unless you were running a pan chassis or something and building from scratch. Each of the different 2.4 GHz systems out there is different and not cross-compatible. Even KO's own 2.4 system isn't compatible w/ Mini-Zs. That's where the modules come in though - when we want to run 10th scale stuff, we just pop out our Mini-Z module and pop in the Spektrum.

And, just to complicate things there is a PN KO Module Adapter available that lets you run the KO module (15502), which ordinarily w/b limited to KO transmitters, in a 3PK/M8/M11 Transmitter, etc.

I hope the above gives you a good overview - LMK if any specific questions etc.! :)

2010.11.16, 12:02 PM
The 5UR would be stretching my current budget...don't think I can afford to do anything beyond that to be sure...I suppose if I wanted to move up later I could always sell whatever I have at the time. I wish the 2.4 stuff was just a hair less pricey.

I'd like to keep the whole initial setup...hopefully under 300 dollars (I'm guessing that's about what a car and passable Tx would run me if I go 2.4). I feel like it might be a good idea for me to check secondary market for a Tx...though that's not near as convenient as just being able to come out and pick stuff up. I don't suppose you could work any sort of bundle discount or anything? :p

2010.11.16, 12:05 PM
In all seriousness, we absolutely do do bundle discounts - just saw your email, so will follow up w/ you there on this. :)

2010.11.16, 12:06 PM
And yes, btw, there's a strong secondary market even w/in the group - most of those EX-10-toting guys' old M8s etc. are now in the hands of other Dojo members. :) :cool:

2010.11.16, 01:18 PM
Keep in mind that with say, something like PN 90 milimeter Mid Mount, you can easily switch between 90mm and 94mm wheelbase, so having different cars would be a matter of having 2 bodies and matching wheel sets. Not much hassle at all to switch between the 2 lengths when one motor mount supports both + 98mm quite easily.

I'd say go ahead and get a NSX and a Europa and play around with both.

2010.11.16, 06:02 PM
OK so I believe I have settled on an MR03 with the Arta NSX body to start...and am spending a bit more than I expected to when I first thought "hey I'm gonna buy a mini z" a few weeks ago :P

2010.11.16, 09:34 PM
Hey Deca,

Things I never regretted paying a slight premium for with Mini-Zs:

2.4Ghz over 27Mhz AM (I hate glitches during a race and don't have to worry about crystal conflicts)
Quality Transmitter (started with used M8, moved up to used Helios - loved both)
Generally accepted good race bodies: McLaren F1 (98mm), Enzo (98mm), NSX (94mm)
Good Ball Diff
Good AAA Race Batteries
Quality Race Tires (although you typically don't pay a big premium for these...just have to know which ones to get)
Good metal/carbon fiber parts for plastic parts that typically break


2010.11.16, 09:56 PM
And yes, btw, there's a strong secondary market even w/in the group - most of those EX-10-toting guys' old M8s etc. are now in the hands of other Dojo members. :) :cool:

I'd definitely recommend doing the new bundle with D and the Shop if you can. He may still also have the new MR-03 chassis set with damaged packaging to sell at a discount.

If you have your mind set on an NSX body and D doesn't have one in the shop, I do have an NSX GT500 2007 White Body (Kyosho MZN88) I've been sitting on for awhile that I'll sell you (only thing I've done is race prepped/sanded the front diffuser/spoiler so it won't get caught on the RCP Rails). Or if you want something even cheaper to start out I'll sell you my used (also race prepped) NSX body (it's not very pretty but very functional). Let me know and I'll send you pics and/or bring them next time (the 27th right?).


2010.11.17, 09:43 AM
Thanks for the offer :) I'm fairly certain I did see at least one Arta NSX body at the shop on Saturday. I think a couple Epsons as well, though I don't want to just run the same body as Will.

2010.11.25, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the offer :) I'm fairly certain I did see at least one Arta NSX body at the shop on Saturday. I think a couple Epsons as well, though I don't want to just run the same body as Will.

One last thing, GET YOUR OWN TRANSPONDER. The newest units that TinyRC has are smaller, lighter, more efficient (less drain on batteries) and generally work better than the rental ones (no missed laps, even with my craptastic broken windshield).

EDIT: The newest transponders are also cheaper by a few bucks, so that helps. You'll regret paying the rental fee and dealing with transponder number conflicts anyway, so just do yourself a favor and get your own straight away.

You'll also want a good charger...most people (including me) agree that the PowerEx (Maha) MH-C9000 (" Wizard One") is the best, but it can be picky about cells with high internal resistance. I can show you a workaround for this if it ever happens, you basically just start charging a good cell that the Wizard "likes", then listen for the on/off hum of it cycling between charging / not charging...you get into the rhythm, then as soon as it stops humming, you quickly swap the "good" cell for one it doesn't like, and it'll continue charging it.

Another good charger is the LaCrosse BC-700. Lawrence just picked one of these up, so you can play with it and ask him how he likes it. It's generally considered to be at about the same level as the C9000, but it's usually $30 instead of $50. Both can do discharge / analyze / charge / selectable current / refresh, but the Powerex gives you a bit more control over this. It's also usually good to have a second cheapie charger for your TX and practice cells. The older Duracell chargers are usually pretty good for this, if you really want I can sell you one that I have sitting around at home. The difference is that the cheaper chargers will only have one or two (usually two) charging circuits, so they charge batteries as "pairs" instead of individually like the Powerex / Lacrosse.

Once you get set up with a charger and batteries, you'll want to match some pairs up and form them into sets...I usually keep my best two sets of 4 for endurance races, and my single best set of 4 for shorter races. NiMH batteries don't have memory like NiCd cells did, so you can run them down half-way and charge them back up without any ill effects. This is probably basic RC stuff that you already know, but never store your TX or Mini-Z with batteries installed -- always remove them if storing for more than a few hours, since NiMh batteries have a tendency to leak. Also, make sure you charge them within 8 hours before the race, they tend to self-discharge over time. Newer cells like Sanyo Eneloops are supposed to self-discharge less, but the low-self-discharge cell chemsitry is designed with lower current-draw stuff like remotes and clocks in mind, so I probably wouldn't recommend them for Mini-Z (but I'm going to try a set out just for funsies, and because Candle Power Forums likes them so much, albeit on flashlights that kill them in an hour at min. whereas Mini-Zs can kill a set in 15 if you're a mad man driver).

After you get all that set up, your tires will basically make or break your setup. Most people run PN #6 RCP slicks on our track, and I run the PN Type-X 15* in front and I my car pushes a bit, but I'm on my 3rd set of rears and the fronts still have some tread left on them. Lawrence runs Kyosho 20* slicks in the front IIRC (the manufacturers' ratings differ so a PN 20* isn't at all the same as a Kyosho 20*) and really likes them, I basically wish I could get a PN Type-X 10* tire set for the front, seems like it'd be ideal for me. As previously suggested, ask around to borrow a set of wheels / tires to test out for a lap or two, or buy a few different sets and see what works for you. Plastic wheels are light, Delrin wheels are durable and lightish, and Aluminum wheels look cool but are kind of heavy.

Lastly, if you only upgrade a few things, they'd be: Tires, Ball Bearings, nice motor for your class (with silicone wire set so it doesn't bind), pinion set (might want to go 64-pitch delrin), Ball Diff, Damper Plate (or other rear suspension). After that things start to have less pronounced effects on handling, but I'd recommend a carbon-fiber or carbon-steel T-Plate set, front spring set / shim set for lowering ride height, aluminium knuckles that won't break / are more stable / precise, then a tie-bar if you want to adjust toe in / out. I think it's different for the MR-03s...those A-Arms look a bit fragile to me, might want to go Alum or CF. Titanium screws save a few grams, and stuff like Al. T-plate mounts, Al. caster bars, smoke / clear bodies, different battery clips, etc never really seemed like a worth-while upgrade to me, but YMMV.

A nice case to tote everything around and keep stuff organised is pretty much essential. Harbor Freight and Lowes both have reasonably-priced aluminium briefcases (~$30) with cut-to-fit foam, and I highly recommend a few Plano plastic fishing tackle cases (you can get these are Walmart or Meijer) to organise all the small parts and batteries. If you don't already have precision screwdrivers, small needle-nose pliers, and superglue, those come in super handy. Some silicone lube (even "personal lubricant" works well, so long as it's silicone-based) for the gears and maybe rim-tape, and you should be all set.

Damn, </rant> but there you go.

2010.12.06, 09:37 PM
OT: D, I keep meaing to send you this:



2010.12.07, 02:11 PM
Holy crap wow lmao

That is amazing :D

2010.12.08, 07:46 PM
There have been a couple of other funny ones - main one I remember was F.Castro! :D