View Full Version : Microsoft MIX 2011 - Mini-Z racing

2011.01.24, 10:16 PM
Hi everyone -

As some of you have read about in this forum, I work at Microsoft and I'm coordinating a Mini-Z racing event at our upcoming web developer conference in Las Vegas, NV on April 10-14 (Microsoft MIX (http://live.visitmix.com/)). If you're a web developer/designer or enthusiast and would like to take part in five days of Mini-Z racing send me an email and I'll try to get you a discount code to attend.

I'm an avid RC hobbyist and was asked to chair the pre-conference workshops for this year's conference. During one of our planning sessions our events director asked if anyone had ideas for fun activities for the attendees. I saw a golden opportunity to finally dive into Mini-Z (something I had been wanting to do for a while). Knowing that we would have to Microsoft-ize such an activity by geeking out the track and the cars as much as possible, I started the planning back in November so we'd have plenty of time to get everything prepared.

Our plan is to have plenty of vehicles for attendees take turns racing with. Kyosho America has enthusiastically agreed to help us out and even be on-site to help maintain the cars and oversee the racing. We will have at least a dozen MR-03 US Spec kits in the rotation, all slowed down and trimmed up as well as possible to make them easier to drive. We opted for the higher-end models because we had a secondary goal of using the equipment to kick off an employee Mini-Z racing club and figured we may as well get the good stuff.

Mini-Z Racer/TinyRC, PN Racing, and RCP (Kittrich) have all offered us their support in getting all of the equipment that we need and answering all of our (my) questions.

I have to say this has been one of the most enjoyable business AND hobby experiences I have ever had. The Mini-Z community is OUTSTANDING in how helpful and friendly they are. I've raced all scales of off-road, on-road, and rock crawling for years and no community comes close to this one. I spent a week in San Jose recently getting as much track time as I could at Fast Pace Racing and Inside Line Racing and had more fun than I've had in a really long time. I think I'll be hooked on Mini-Z for a long time. Now I just have to turn down the volume on that little entrepreneurial voice in my head that keeps telling me how much opportunity there is in this space... :)

In any case, I will try to keep posting info on this thread as the event develops. If you want to participate or learn more about what we're doing feel free to PM me or email me at work: miked --at-- microsoft --dot-- com.

2011.01.25, 07:29 AM
thank you for sharing your experiences and joining our community :) it's now 10 years young, 9 of which i've been a part of, and i look forward to keeping it going for a very long time.
i'm not so much a web developer as a site(s) administrator;) but i really enjoy the tie in concept your going for and really look forward to seeing and reading more about the event as it unfolds.

don't hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance with the site or have suggestions for improvements. if you ever in the area for a conference, etc. look me up. we have several local racing clubs in the area.

2011.01.27, 05:38 PM
Hey Mike,

I was talking to Ryan about this event, we may take you up on the offer of going down there. I'll shoot you an email to discuss.


2011.01.27, 06:24 PM
I had the oppurtunity to meet Mike this week at FPR. Great guy, he has a ton of passion for mini-z and rc racing in general. Even brought out his mom and dad to come check us out. Looking foward to attending this Microsoft MIX event!

2011.01.27, 07:45 PM
Awesome - hope to have you guys there. It's going to be a great event. I'm working out the details and I'll shoot you guys an email next week. I had so much fun racing all week at FPR. Great, friendly people!

I'm glad the parents were able to stop by. My dad really needs a hobby (and my Mom wants to get him out of the house!). I'm not sure if he has the patience for Mini-Z racing though. I'll loan him one of my cars and we'll see what happens.

Now if I could just get my wife to be as interested in my hobby as my parents seem to be. :D

2011.01.30, 10:05 AM
Mini-Z Racer/TinyRC, PN Racing, and RCP (Kittrich) have all offered us their support in getting all of the equipment that we need and answering all of our (my) questions.

And, I plan on attending - looking forward to meeting Mike and the FPR guys in person, and hope to see other community members there too! :)

2011.02.16, 12:24 AM
Private Message sent.

2011.03.11, 09:07 AM
ok philip and i will be attending this event it looks like it will be fun ! see you all there!:D

2011.03.11, 09:50 AM
Mike, I travel to Vegas on business a couple of times a year. Are the dates for your event 4/10-14, or 4/12-14 as the site you linked to in your first post states?

Also, any info on size of layout and race schedule? Will the track be available the entire time over the 3 or 5 day period?


2011.03.12, 01:54 AM
Setup is on 4/10, light racing on 4/11 during pre-conference workshops, then structured racing for attendees on 4/12-14. Prizes on 4/14 for paid attendees. We'll have some sort of multi-round system to earn your way to the finals and the chance at the prizes.

Prizes will include some Mini-Z kits, larger scale RTRs courtesy of Kyosho, some third party parts, and some Xbox stuff.

2011.03.12, 06:50 AM
Wish I could make it the 11th is my birthday couldn't think of a better way to spend the day.

Maybe my wife will buy me a ticket for my birthday:cool:. Pobably not but it would be super cool.

Sounds like you guys are going to have a blast!, Hopefully you will gain some interest from attendees.

Everyone that isn't racing Mini-z's should! Or at least give it a try anyway :p.

Are you guys going to have a demo track or demo cars for people to try? They did this at the Necokon it was fun watch totally new people get into racin!

2011.03.12, 10:57 AM
Yeah we'll have a fleet of cars optimized for noob drivers. We'll also put on a few exhibition races with the fast guys so attendees can see how fast these cars can go. Should be a blast!

2011.03.18, 11:22 AM
Man... I used to do the Lab Info Tech Summit every year and usually am in town overlapping with that.

Now my con merged with another and now it travels, so I'm not going to be in town. Vegas races would be sweet.


2011.03.19, 08:28 PM
Do you have a more detailed itinerary. Im really trying to make this but I would have to fly in the day racing starts and out the day it ends. Just a bad time to request weekdays off work.

2011.03.19, 09:35 PM
Mike is at RCX this weekend. I will mention your post to him tomorrow, in case he isn't online tonight.


2011.03.19, 09:43 PM
Thanks John. Hope all is going well at rcx.

2011.03.19, 09:45 PM
Thanks John. Hope all is going well at rcx.

Yes, going great. The bridge was a blast to see the cars going up, over and under. The crowds loved that part of the track. I will post some pictures from today's action later tonight.

2011.03.31, 10:22 PM
Alright - looks like all of the big guns have confirmed. Attending MIX and helping us run the races will be (in no particular order):

- Philip (PN Racing), Grant (yasugi) and Ryan (sagisi) from PN Racing
- Cliff (Kyosho VP), Efrain, and Futoshi from Kyosho America
- David (Mini-Z) and Raymond (arch2b) from MZR/TinyRC
- Joe (ruf) from Reflex Racing

All are donating prizes for the racers. Robert from KO Propo America is also donating some prizes. And I haven't followed up with him yet but Sai Tam from Atomic also offered to provide some prizes.

This event is going to be awesome. Two more weeks!

2011.04.12, 06:59 PM
I am attempting to post updates to http://twitter.com/minizracer from the event - follow us for updates, though will try to post pics here too etc.! :)

2011.04.13, 12:59 PM
popping in for a quick update, i have Tuesday semifinal and final video uploaded to youtube. i have some pictures of the track and some of the interesting demonstrations of techology being implemented with this event as well. i'll try my best to get as much detail on those as i can, they are pretty cool. 1 is xbox control racing! 2nd is motion tracking video with auto video feed switching to follow a selected car!

Kyosho USA is here in force holding down the fort of attendee cars, product education and information and trackside managemenr of the cars, etc.

PN Racing is also here in force managing the racing to include format, timing, attendee tutoring as needed and ofcourse professional demonstrations ;)

Reflex Racing is here and the event simply would not be what it is without Joe's commentary. 6 hours of constant talk, amazing he can keep it up and lively for so long.

Mini-zRacer is present with David and myself. the errand boy of sorts:p Keeper of the clipboard, master of the sign-up sheet:cool:

2011.04.13, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the update Arch! Keep us posted ;)

2011.04.13, 06:10 PM
here are video's from yesterday.

format: attendee open qualifing every 30 minutes. each qualifier winner moved to semifinal at the end of the day. top 3 semifinal winners from each race moved on to final.

semifinal #1, Tuesday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeZBcfGfCuc)

semifinal #2, Tuesday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNWLa88eXxo)

Final, Tuesday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1y3tGz8HpU)

it was amazing that the qualifiers were global. we have attendee's from all over the world represent in the races. i'll hunt for the racing list so i fcan get names and countries of origin.

2011.04.13, 06:21 PM
pictures from Tuesday are uploaded to the gallery (http://mini-zracer.com/mini-zgallery/showgallery.php?cat=1389).

2011.04.13, 06:54 PM
there was some cool technology being shown here today, built by developers using various microsoft tools. i'm not a developer myself so i'm not able to explain the details but you may find some information on the developer website coding4fun. these are the guys whom worked the magic.

Video tracking system (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA_NBQWPLzk) using color recognition and auto camera selection for nascar style video coverage.

i think you guys can understand whats going on with this one. David himself built these controls.


2011.04.13, 08:39 PM
Thanks for updates, Ray!:)

2011.04.14, 11:16 AM
today is a short day to round out Mix11. Today staffing will consist of Kyosho USA, David and myself. The PN Racing team and Joe/RR are on the way back home. They were instrumental in making Tuesday and Wednesday entertaining events and a well oiled machine. the crowds should be smaller today as the '72 hour conversation' winds down.

for those of you whom are immersed in the developer world/environment, the last couple days offered some very interesting demonstrations, instructions, etc. the key note speeches were very good and entertaining, even for someone like myself that has a rudimentary developer understanding. i particularly liked what i saw with the new windows phone software. i have an iphone myself but the ease with which you transition to tasks in the demonstration was very appealing. it eliminated so much tapping you currently have to do to go between apps.

i have yet to catch up with the coding4fun guys to get a detailed explanation of the xbox controller setup and have not seen the video tracking developers since Tuesday to get an interview of sorts on how their system works, what it's comprised, of etc.

2011.04.14, 11:19 AM
Event Staff:

Kyosho USA

PN Racing

Reflex Racing

Mini-Z Racer
Raymond (myself)

2011.04.14, 11:29 AM
all the demo cars are are using the new EX-5UR transmitters. i got the chance to pilot the attendee cars a bit and i do like the feel of the transmitter. it weighs much less than my helios which would make long events much more comfortable. i would recommend the 5UR to anyone looking for a step up from the KT-18:p


no new autoscales (undocumented in the 2011 thread) were shown, but the collection on display rounds out some of the latest racing autoscales nicely.

2011.04.14, 11:52 AM
wanted to mention this here as well but talked with KYO USA about the new mr-02EX as they have a product demo here at the event (not sure it's a functional unit). the packaging is similar to the previous rtr kits with round display windows to the included KT-18.

NO change to reverse, same mr-02 2.4 ASF board. i'll see if i can't talk them into opening up the box and getting a peak at the pcb label.





2011.04.14, 11:54 AM
display case contents




2011.04.14, 12:01 PM
here are the video's from Wednesday

Semifinal #1, Wednesday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOGJVw_WprM)

Semifinal #2, Wednesday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-yAO8dqJp4)

Final, Wednesday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQjyxdiu0w)

unfortunately, i was not able to record the ProAm Joe setup. i was hoping to participate in that myself but i had a scheduled conflict with the misses and had to leave after the main to see the Blue Man Group. I can't got to Vegas and not spend time with the misses:p

2011.04.14, 04:41 PM
Great pics Arch2b! Ask Mike Downey to show you his special one off "chrome blue" MR03 from Kyosho ;) Im sure tons of people would love to see that thing.

2011.04.14, 05:30 PM
Great pics Arch2b! Ask Mike Downey to show you his special one off "chrome blue" MR03 from Kyosho ;) Im sure tons of people would love to see that thing.

I do, please show :p

2011.04.14, 06:19 PM
Raymond - wish you could have jumped in on that with us! Tons of fun!

We invited the winners from Tuesday and Wednesday to run against Grant, Philip and myself in a throwback "R/C pro/am" race! Awesome time!

2011.04.14, 07:11 PM
I was hoping someone got it on video at least. How did they do against you guys?

Mix wrapped up early today with attendance drop off. Helped pack up and headed to the airport with David. The kyo guys are driving back and the pn guys left wednesday.

At the airport now. Won't get home until noon tomorrow local time. It's going to be a ruff night...

Mike did show us the custom made chassis. Mike said he would post pictures :) . For a mini-z fan, it's a huge honor and gift.
Ill let the pictures speak for me but it's really any Awsome gift.

FYI, David has grants bushing oil and transponder and pn banner.

2011.04.14, 07:15 PM
Oh, first time for me seeing Kyosho die cast in person. They are beautiful die cast models. Th Enzo was stunning.

2011.04.14, 07:41 PM
Grant and Philip finished within 1s of each other with 52 laps, I was right behind on 51 laps, Ross from day 1 was at 49? laps, and Tory at 47? laps.

2011.04.14, 07:46 PM
Wow, thats pretty fast... are they new to the hobby?

2011.04.14, 09:18 PM
Were you all running the attendee cars? Joe and the pn guys detuned all the attendee cars to about 50% power to make them All more even, consistent and reduce damages.

Those car ran qualifiers every 30 minutes from 11:30am to 5:00pm with open practice in-between. They got some serious mileage on them this week.

2011.04.14, 09:20 PM
We nearly burnt through some motors. By Wednesday they were smelling like burnt fets and some squealing. I oiled them all mid day Wednesday and they bounced back pretty well till Thursday afternoon. I think those stock motors are all about done by now.

2011.04.14, 11:41 PM
Yup, we just grabbed some random demo cars. Some of them were better than others by that time of the day, but obviously not that different. Ross had raced R/C, and Tory has R/C cars, but never raced. Very good performances from both of them.

2011.04.15, 01:23 AM
istarted last on the grid and when the race sarted i was in dead last.... a few laps in and i was still in last....i was like uhoh.... im gonna finish dead last..... and started to push harder and as i started to push the front pack made a few mistakes and i just plowed my way thru....awesome race and tons of fun!
big props to all who made this event possible!
mike d! thank you for all that you did!
reflex racing
and all of the attendees
cant wait till the next one!:D

2011.04.15, 03:26 PM
finally got home about 3pm:eek: what a day of traveling... worth every minute though.

thank you to microsoft and kyosho for making this happen and i look forward to attending future events:p i can only hope that pn racing, reflex racing and tinyrc/mini-zracer can continue to be apart of the experience.

2011.04.15, 04:32 PM
also can't forget to thank the PN Racing team and Joe/Reflex Racing. i was glad to have the opportunity to hang out with and racing with some of the fastest guys around, and in my favor, all for fun. Cliff, Efrain and Futoshi also, for putting up with all my questions:p

has anyone caught up with an attendee post event? i'd love to see some of them join up.

2011.04.15, 07:09 PM
Hey guys! I am EXHAUSTED!!! This week was insane. So incredibly greatful that you all volunteered your time to manage the track and the racing. The attendees went absolutely nuts over this activity. I think we were all surprised. If I were an RC company I'd think seriously about sponsoring more tech events because people were seriously digging the RC car action.

Now for the part you've all been waiting for. :D

This was sent to me as a gift by Ishikawa-san, the designer of the Mini-Z. It has a blue chrome-plated chassis. I will be finding a nice display case for this baby.

Bad cell phone pic. I'll get some better shots later.


2011.04.16, 01:07 AM
Big thanks to Mike for inviting me to join the party! The enthusiasm of the attendees made it easy to work the crowd. Definitely a great opportunity that we should continue to build on in the future.

As everyone else has mentioned, it was a group effort. Kyosho guys working the pits and products, MZR and PN on the race organization, and yours truly on the mic. Sagisi and I pulling some late nights on Microsoft's VERY nicely equipped demo cars. Wish I coulda ran it to the end, but had to get back to the office. I had a great time on my Z-cation, and managed to sort out my F1 while I was at it! Look forward to seeing you all again soon!

2011.04.16, 10:02 AM
joe, can you go into the how you guys detuned the cars using the 5UR? i think this approach worked very well.

2011.04.16, 02:46 PM
I want to say we just dialed down the throttle EPA from 70 down to 50 and the brake down to 25 so they wouldn't reverse at full speed. Funny thing is at that slow speed, you don't have any weight transfer to help rotate the car, so you have to dial up the steering. Still fun!

unearthed name
2011.04.23, 05:10 AM

Got reported in the rccaraction website, wish I can attend

2011.04.23, 09:08 AM
awsome coverage. i was trying to get this info myself but the coding4fun guys were there, then gone.

david, of mzr, worked with coding4fun on the controlling netduino projects ;) been waiting for him to contribute information.

the .net info on the video tracking was explained as well by mike as well which, you can see why it has a lot of potential for shops and clubs:p

great interview efrain and mike.

the camera car trick may be interesting with hud display.

2011.04.23, 02:04 PM
david, of mzr, worked with coding4fun on the controlling netduino projects ;) been waiting for him to contribute information.

I think we're going to do a full write-up on how to make your own etc. We minimized the # of components/skill required to wire them up with the idea that others could easily repro what we've done and connect it to all kinds of things in future. I wasn't allowed to talk about it until the event, and there were some other planned features etc. so I'm not sure what it's OK to talk about now, but, once we have all of that figured out, I assure you there will be a lot more info released on it. :)

2011.04.25, 08:30 PM
looks like you guys are famous...

they mentioned kyosho involvement on a japanese blog (http://gihyo.jp/news/report/01/mix11/0006?page=2)...