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Old 2008.10.27, 08:47 AM   #1
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Miniz Beginner/Common Q&A

Here is a Q&A that I have complied for my RC blog, and probably it will continue to be a work in progress. Please feel free to let me know what you think, or feel free to point out any faults or mistakes. So answer might be a little bias, based on personal taste/experience; but by and large, hopefully it will be of use to new comers.

General Question
Battery and Charging
FET related
Setup/On-car problem
AWD drifting

General question
Why Miniz? What's so fun about?
There are one too many reasons why people felt for this scale of RC racing. One of the main reasons I like it so much is because the setup for the car is rather easy, and requires less maintenance/setup time, and I get a lot of track time as a result. Another reason being the whole setting of chassis/body/track allows people to learn and train driving skill with less worry about collision.

What are the differences between 90mm, 94mm and 98mm chassis length?
By setting up the car in different car length, not only can you use a body in a different car length; but the driving characteristic will be different as well. Longer car usually(also depending on the car body/weight distribution)bring more stability to the chassis, while the car may become a little more understeer. The vice versa holds true.

Why is my car running or steering is in reverse?
1)check your remote to see whether the "TH-reverse" or "ST-reverse" is set normally(on EX1UR or EX10), or to see whether your throttle or steering is in 'reverse' mode on your radio. 2) Check the motor wires connection

What are offsets?
Offsets may mean different thing in MR02 vs MR010(AWD), and all you need to remember is with more offset, even the tires' width stay the same, the wheel will stick out more(wider track width)

Can I use MR02 wheels on MA010(AWD)?

What is the difference between clear plastic bodies vs. the grey/blue chassis?
Clear plastic body uses a harder material, yet it is more brittle; while the grey/blue material uses a slightly more flexible material, yet more durable in general.

I am using the stock motor, and the car will stop dead in the track after some driving and will restart in a few minutes...why is that?
You may see a square mud-yellow components attached to your motor wire, that is a sensor that you might have triggered during your run, and it will cut all power to the motor. Simply remove that should solve the problem.

I turn "on" my car, but it won't move at all?
Couple of possibilities
-Dead/low car/radio battery
-Poor car battery contact to battery terminal
-Battery power wires are not hooked up well with the board
-Radio is off
-'On/Off' switch wires are broken or loosen
-Antenna wire is broken/loosen
-Wrong 'profile' selected on your radio

I turn "on" my car, but only the steering works?
Possible reasons, but whatever the reason, don't keep pressing for the throttle and you might ended up with burnt fets(if it is not already burnt)
-low battery
-motor wires are not hooked up well or loosen
-Throttle FETs were burnt
-Damaged board
-Mechanical issue(wrong motor spacer, stuck drivetrain)

My car will automatically glide forward/backward when I turn it "on"?
Possibly too much trim, either forward or backward

My AWD/miniz cannot go straight?
-Try trimming on your remote(on board, if AM board)
-Check whether you have overtighten the wheel nuts
-Check tire wears
-If the problem is not 'consistent', then it might be a radio problem.

Why does my car make a lot of noise?
Many reasons cause this, some may include meshing of the gears might be wrong, broken bearing in motor(yes, that does happen), gear/differential scraping parts of the car.

My car won't reverse?
If you are using 2.4G, then play with the trim and find the proper setting. When the car is trimmed too much forward or backward, it may cause the car not willing to go reverse.

How can I make my car go faster?
There are many factors that will affect the car speed. To begin with, I recommend trying the following:
-Full bearing for car
-Use rechargeable batteries
-If you are using stock motor, remove the circuit breaker(the mud yellow component on your motor wire)
-Install faster motor/Fets upgrade(beware some faster motor is mandatory to have Fets upgraded)
-Use aftermarket radio (EX1UR, EX10, etc)
-Keep on Driving/Evaluating/Tuning/Improving

If I want to race my miniz, what are the essential parts I need?
Full set of bearing, ball differential(s), proper tires, suspension springs, motor, fet upgrades(if running a powerful motor), proper shell, possibly a better radio than stock radio.

Why is my car moving so slow compared to others' cars?
Slow and fast are relative terms, and sometimes the 'fastest' car on a straight road may not be the winning car in a race. Purely from academic purpose, to go fast on straight, you may need to consider the following:
-using good/matched RC rechargeable battery(faster) vs household rechargable battery(fast) vs alkaline(slow)
-gear ratio
-motor used
-fet upgrades
-body used
-driver's skill

Battery and charging
What kind of batteries will you recommend to use/more punch for race?
Got to be rechargeable if u want least bit of performance. As for Miniz racing oriented, any well-known matched batteries will do good, more commonly found rechargeable AAA RC batteries will include Orion, Muchmore, Intellect; some well known rechargeable batteries(but less performance) are duracell, enegizer

How much Amp should I charge my battery with?
I do strongly recommend to charge only 1C or below(meaning the capacity of your battery, if 900mah, charge it with 900ma), unless it is otherwise instructed. Though higher charging amp will result in more punchy battery, it also might reduce battery lifespan and may even cause leaking or exposion in extreme cases.

Can I use alkaline battery in my car?
Sure, but the car will go slow...and DO remember to remove the batteries once you are done.

Can I recharge my alkaline battery?
NO, period. Do that and you may burn your house down...

I hear hissing noise from the battery when charging, is that normal?
No again. It meant the battery is leaking gas(rapidly)and on a verge of potential explosion...immediately disconnect the power to the charger(from a distance), and wait a short while until the battery is cooled down and remove them from charger(do touch by hands if chemical is leaked and covering the battery)

My rechargeables are leaking during charge...can I continue to use it?
Better not. It probably mean something is wrong with that battery, and continue using it may damage your charger or car. You may ended up losing more than you save.

What will you recommend for charger?
High-end RC charger are probably good for matched batteries, such as ICE, LRP pulsar; since they are less prone for false peaking. Other chargers I do use is the Powerizer Maha or BC900

FET related
What is fet?
I'm not an EE person, but according to, FET is defined as The field-effect transistor (FET) is a type of transistor that relies on an electric field to control the shape and hence the conductivity of a 'channel' of one type of charge carrier in a semiconductor material. Kinda jibberish to me, but I understand it as the electrical components that will control your servo motor and throttle motor. Generally speaking, FETs that have higher current capacity with lesser resistance will allow a 'faster' motor to draw more current from battery to power it.

Should I upgrade my fets? Why do I need it?
Only if you need to install faster and 'hotter' motors will you really need fets upgrade, also if the original fets are not as 'linear' or they are damaged. If you are doing fine with your current motor and already find it a handful to drive, I'd recommend to hold back this decision.

I smell something burnt on my car, what's happening?
Very likely you have burnt your fets on car, time to change it.

Where could I get fet upgraded?
Many local tracks or online shop will provide this service to you, generally speaking, they will charge you for the labor and the parts.

Can I do it on my own?
Yes, but you have to be decent with your solder iron and have all parts ready.

Autoscale or body
What body will fit the AWD chassis?
Usually, all shells that will fit the AWD chassis will always fit, the shells that fit MA015 are also pretty easy to fit onto an AWD...but some MR02 shells will need refitting.

Where do people get those outlandish body? Do they paint it themselves?
Online or local hobby shops. Yes, many white shells to select from and paint/decorate by oneself.

What body is good for racing?
There are a few off top my head--350Z, NSX, any Ferrari, any Lamborghini, etc
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Last edited by Aurora; 2008.10.27 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 2008.10.27, 08:48 AM   #2
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What's the difference between AM/AD band/2.4G board?
As time advances, so does the RC technology. These boards mentioned are different use different frequency to control the car. Some of the difference are listed as below:

AM board
-Fully proportional steering and throttle
-User can change crystal on board/controller to avoid interference
-User can change FETs on board for installing faster motors
-the control is not as finite as Ad band board
-No ICS linkup for adjusting/fine-tuning the ESC settings

AD band
-2x2 FETs installed for installing faster motor
-Finer control/feel than AM board
-ICS linkup capable
-Everything that AM board offers
-still prone to interference

-2.4G has way less interference
-New ICS linkup to fine tune ESC settings
-Everything AD band offers
-delay for going reverse
-some complains the throttle control becomes more punchy

Should I buy 2.4G car or AD band or AM car?
That will greatly depends on your budget and how much you will like to invest on this hobby. Generally speaking, a stock AM car with a stock remote is the least expensive way to get into this hobby. Another good startup point is to buy the 2.4G stock car with stock remote.

Any recommendation for less expensive remote, but more feature than the stock AM radio?
If you are planning to continue to use AM board/car, then a Futaba 2PL is a pretty decent upgraded remote I do recommend

Why does my car keep on losing control?
Many possible reasons, and I will divide them into two area:
1) On car
-Receiver wire is too close to the crystal
-Receiver wire is too close to the motor wires
-Loosen receiver wire
-Car battery is low and/or remote controller is low on battery
-Crystal on car does not match the remote crystal
-Damaged crystal
-Burnt Fets
2) Surrounding
-Room is too small
-track is close to wall and power outlets/electric appliances
-Exposed pipes/metal surface close to track
-Interference with other radio

What radio should I get? EX1UR or EX10?
The EX1UR is the latest KO radio(as of 2008), and it will take the full advantage of the new 2.4G module/board. I do recommend this if you are getting a new remote. For those who has already owed an EX10 and been using the AD band boards/module, unless you plan to change all the boards/module to 2.4G, otherwise, the benefit of switching to EX1UR is marginal.

Can I use my non-KO radio?
Sure, but you will need appropriate module to go with that, and for some module(such as AD band or 2.4G KO module), you may even need to mod it yourself to make it work with the non-KO Tx.

Is the Miniz 2.4G module compatible with my other 2.4G system?
No, exclusively miniz.

What rechargeable radio battery do you recommend?
I'd recommend to use reputable Li-poly battery, for its weight and long lasting property. If it can be balanced charge, all the better.

My on car antenna broke, what should I do?
You could use piano wire to replace that, or buy a new one, or solder a new wire from the board directly.

I just install the AD band on my awd, but the steering will turn either full right or full left once the car is powered on? Why's that?
Try solder the steering motor wires backwards, it should help solve this.

Motor and drivetrain
What is the most powerful motor to run without fet upgrades?
There are a few. But all depending whether you are using (stock) AM board or AD band/2.4G board.
For stock AM board, I recommend Kyosho X-speed, PN speedy05, speedy07,
For stock AD band/2.4G board, I recommend all the above and PN AWD, AWD II, Speedy AD; Atomic Standard, Stock, AD stock

What are the basic maintenances for motor?
Change of brushes, depending how often you run your motor. And clean the motor with specialized motor cleaner after a day or two on track.

How often and when do I need to replace my brushes?
That solely depends on wear. Usually, after 20-30 packs, you should start considering it, if you are using strong motor with hard spring.

Why does my car make a lot of noise?
Many reasons cause this, some may include meshing of the gears might be wrong, broken bearing in motor(yes, that does happen), gear/differential scraping parts of the car.

Why does my car make this weird noise only when accelerating or braking fast?
If the differential is way too loose, you will experience a delay when accelerating and may even hear whining of the differential(s). Otherwise, it could also be slack at the differential/gear meshing.

My motor is really hot after run, is that normal?
If it is not caused by drag in drive train or wrong gear mesh(say you put in the wrong motor spacers for your AWD), yes, it probably is normal. But not so hot that you cannot even place a thumb on it for 1-2 seconds right after run.

What tires should I use for my local track?
For best result, you should ask your friends at local track

How do I tell whether the tires is hard or soft?
Besides using tools to do that, usually you could feel it by hand by compressing the tire.

How do I choose my tires?
Usually by performance of car. Depending on track and how you like the car to perform on track(oversteer/understeer).

Do I need to glue my tires?
Yes, if you are competing, and maybe if you are using really good double sided tapes and just practicing.

What tires are good for drifting?
There are few makers for AWD drifting, usually Atomic/Kyosho/Tagu all makes decent drift tires.

Setup/On car problem
What is the 'best' setup for my racing AWD or drifting AWD?
Err...there is no 'best' setup for any particular car, since it always depend on how you drive and the track. But for obtaining a better setup, I'd recommend to 1) Try changing one variable at a time and learn how each setup change will affect your car before making that change.
2) Always remember if you change one aspect by one change, you may trigger other side effect. Record your change on a setup sheet is a great practice.

My car keep on rolling/tipping over when I make a turn, what should I do?
That is call the traction rolling, couple of things to do to combat that--
-lower your car to the ground
-use car shell that has lower center-of-gravity, some example such as any Ferrari, NSX, 350Z, Mclaren, Lamborghini
-Avoid using high COG shell, such as Mini cooper, Beetle, Odessey, Subaru, etc
-Use appropriate tires, if too much grip--it will slow your car down and may even cause traction rolling
-Dial down your turning radius on your radio
-Change your driving habbit, you can't expect a car running in 300km/h and suddenly making a 180 deg turn without any handling problem.

My car is not turning enough in a corner?
It is generally refer to as 'understeer', a few things one could try to combat that, depending on whether it is corner entry/mid/exit:
-Check your front tire wear, if threads are worn out, it might cause understeer
-softer front spring
-harder rear spring
-more front toe-out
-softer front tire
-harder rear tire

My AWD/miniz cannot go straight?
-Try trimming on your remote(on board, if AM board)
-Check whether you have overtighten the wheel nuts
-Check tire wears
-If the problem is not 'consistent', then it might be a radio problem.

The turning radius of my AWD is not equal on both side?
-Check your L/R turning balance on your remote
-Overtighten wheel nuts(also the car might not go straight)
-Ride height(with battery/shell installed), if too low, it will scrap the track
-Debris or binding on the servo motor/gears
-Tire wears
-CVD shaft condition
-Slack on wheels

My car spin out in a tight circle immediately after accleration?
-Try loosen the rear differential a bit to see whether it will improve
-Use harder tires at front
-Use softer tires at rear

AWD Drifting
If I want to drift my AWD, what are the essential parts I need?
A set of drift tires, full set of bearing and possibly a set of kyosho spring.

What motor should I use for drifting?
Stock motor is decent, and if I want more speed, go for a xspeed; but anything more probably is not all necessary

What body is best for drifting?
There are couple of choices, and usually the 90mm is a common length/body for drifting chassis. My personal favorites are the Subaru/Evo shell.

What setup is good for drifting?
As answered in later section, there is no one universal setup that is great for everyone. But for drifting on RCP/carpet, as a starter, I'd recommend not to make sustainial changes to chassis. Stock car with drift tires and stock(or x-speed) motor is a good starting point to work from.
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Old 2008.10.27, 08:49 AM   #3
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Old 2012.09.09, 09:51 AM   #4
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I was just doing research on rebuilding motors. I'm a newb to mini-z's, but i like to learn and be a DIY'r like many in here already are
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