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Old 2002.12.01, 11:10 PM   #1
herman
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r/c heaven

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here’s the long overdue report on my trip to h.k. that i promised mr. mini-z…

if you are all wondering where r/c heavean is… here’s a little glimpse of what i saw there… hope you enjoy the article…

i got to the hobby shops in mongkok (along kwong wah st.) on thursday nov. 14... since mini-z is my first hand at any r/c stuff, i was completely overwhelmed by all the hobby shops in that area… i was like in r/c heaven, you name it they have it… remote controlled planes, helicopters, sailboats, cars, tanks, robots and motorcycles… ranging anywhere from 1/5 scale cars (they were a lot bigger than i expected) to the smallest (that i’ve actually seen, but i just know that there’s something smaller out there) 1/60 scale – yokomo petit maru… all concentrated in an area i estimate to be more or less a mile in radius…

picture: mini-z stuff at a hobby shop
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Last edited by herman; 2010.09.20 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 2002.12.01, 11:31 PM   #2
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can you tell me how much they were selling readysets (china and japan made ones) in HKD$? and what about how much were they selling bodies? what about parts?

thanx
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Old 2002.12.02, 01:50 AM   #3
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i got to finally meet alan (president) and mryung (immediate past president) of the hong kong mini-z club… i remember sometime last july, i told them i would be going to h.k. in august, but things got busy… i also got to meet the webmaster of their forums as well chris (http://miniz.hk.st/phpBB/ - nice site if i may add, registration is free – mostly chinese forum, but if you ask any questions in english, they will most likely answer in english)… among the other characters i got to meet were mr leung (m’z track owner) who handwound me a really mean motor (wind while you wait… hehehe talk about customer service)… no car (that’s what they called him on their forums anyway) he lent me his car - while i was waiting for my motor… and tango… they are a really cool bunch of people…

picture: (l-r) kieth, tango, alan, cris and to all those who wonder what i look like,
that’s me in the honda jordan f-1 pit crew shirt.

update 8/4/2009:
http://miniz.hk.st/phpBB is now http://www.hk-minirc.org/forum/
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File Type: jpg kieth tango alan cris me.jpg (73.0 KB, 390 views)

Last edited by herman; 2009.08.04 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 01:55 AM   #4
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with the limited time, i was very fortunate to go to 2 tracks… egr and m’z… both tracks used thin carpet for their tracks… as for the retaining walls, both tracks use some sort of high density foam, which can be easily bent and re-shaped to make any type of layout, by way of screwing and unscrewing the foam directly onto the track…. the sidewalls (foam facing the cars) are then covered in velcro tape (the hook side of the velcro and not the bushy/hairy side) this helps cushion impact…. unfortunately though, i had time to try out one track, the m’z track….

being accustom to a high speed track which allows both hpi micro rs4’s and mini-z’s, i suddenly found myself driving on a monaco-esque like f-1 circuit - quite narrow, with lots of curves with a substantial up ramp that leads to a banked back straight away, leading into a 90 degree down ramp and a hairpin at the bottom…

overtaking would be on tight and unforgiving turns, since most cars are almost equally fast through the back straight… needless to say, some level of driving skill is required to pass at the right time and at the right point, mess up and you’re likely to put yourself and another driver into a retaining wall and out of contention…

of course set up and tire selection are primary concerns as well…although the track was not as quick as i’m used to, it was still fun none the less… the norm for h.k. cars were internal turbo’s, specialized hand wound motors and weight reduction, as i have seen some holes in some chassis… controller of choice at m’z was the m8… i saw at least three… and after trying out one, i figured it is a must have…

pic.: egr track, egr was the bigger of the two tracks, if my information serves me right egr is the biggest mini-z track in h.k. …sorry wasn’t able to take a picture of the m’z track… the m’z track was smaller, but quite challenging…

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Last edited by herman; 2010.09.20 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 01:57 AM   #5
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4 of 8


most hobby shops carry the mini-z since it is quite affordable compared to their bigger counterparts. apart from kyosho, there are other third party companies that offer parts for the mini-z…

picture: hobby shop

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Last edited by herman; 2010.09.20 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 02:00 AM   #6
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5 of 8

the scene is that there are lots of tracks to support the hobby, and racers meet and often go around to other tracks from week to week. luckily while i was there, they had the new nsx takata and mugen body…

picture: new nsx mugen

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Last edited by herman; 2010.09.20 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 02:16 AM   #7
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i think the new nsx bodies are a real improvement over the previous loctite and castrol version…they have more detail in them, and compared to their predecessor, the rear spoiler isn’t that high any more… also available is the 2002 f-1’s ferrari, bmw and toyota…

haven’t seen the mclaren and jordan (sigh) yet… i just can’t wait for the supra and new skyline japan gt bodies… not to mention the overland mini-z…

picture: new nsx takata... note 5 point safety belt design on top...

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File Type: jpg takata 5.jpg (110.9 KB, 352 views)

Last edited by herman; 2010.09.20 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 02:27 AM   #8
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alan and mryung also mentioned that yokomo’s top driver masami, dropped by the egr track to test the prototype sonic racer, unfortunately my schedule was tight and i wasn’t able to see him… as for the car, the sonic racer design was ok, but it still needed more refinements in the speed department… again still no definite date for release…

i also got to see a really cool abc dtm-x4… imagine a mini-z hpi micro (4wd in almost a mini-z scale), equipped with 6-cells and an orion elite… (man this thing must fly)…

picture : one mean modded abc x-4

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File Type: jpg abc x-4 pic2.jpg (47.5 KB, 691 views)

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Old 2002.12.02, 02:31 AM   #9
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to sum it all up, i really had a fantastic time, wish i just had more of it though… if you plan to go there bring along lots of mullah (cash , you can bring your money tree too hehehe), some stores charge extra if you use your credit card… I’m sure that your wallet will shrink in no time when your in that area…

oh yeah here’s a tip… if you’re with your wife or girlfriend or anybody not at all interested in r/c's... you can distract them by pointing out tung choi st. which is a street market (that sells interesting stuff) while you do your r/c shopping hehehe…

for electronic stuff go to sai yeung choi st… for sporting goods (mostly rubber shoes) go to fa yuen st…. all the streets mentioned run parallel to each other… so it’s quite easy getting around… and while your wallet is shrinking don't forget to have a good time…

actually i'm going to file for bankruptcy when my credit card bill comes in next month...

picture: map to r/c heaven - this shows the general vicinity of where all the r/c stuff is... i got it off one of the shops calling cards...

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File Type: jpg map to rc heaven.jpg (42.1 KB, 353 views)

Last edited by herman; 2010.09.20 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 12:04 PM   #10
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Herman,
What were the hot set ups over there? Any hop ups that we haven't seen here yet?
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Old 2002.12.02, 07:44 PM   #11
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that egr track is nice, i like the big poster/mural/huge picture of cars in the background, sets the scene nicely so you like the m8?
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Old 2002.12.02, 10:34 PM   #12
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can you tell me how much they were selling readysets (china and japan made ones) in HKD$? and what about how much were they selling bodies? what about parts? - baseline.

hi baseline...

i did get a china readykit... i really wasn't particularly keen on china and japan made readysets, since i feel they run practically the same (got them both and i just can't tell the difference)... got the ready kit at around h.k.$ 490 which is roughly u.s.$ 65...

at this price, most readysets come with unpopular bodies that the shop want's to get rid of (mine was a mini-cooper - which is noted for busting servo gears as fast as you can put them in)... the more popular bodies can go anywhere from 500-700... you'll just have to know where you can get good bargains, and along kwong wah st., monkok there are a lot...

the autoscale bodies can range anywhere from h.k.$ 78 (nissan skyline gtr kpgc10 - i really like that car... for two reasons, one - from afar it almost looks like an old bmw... although i must admit, with all the newly designed cars around, it does take some time getting used to the looks of the car... and second - is a bit sentimental since the my first kit was given to me by my brother, it was my first ever r/c car... now i want an hpi micro rs4, wish i got one while i was there... but i digress) - to about hk$200 (for some initial d versions)...

you can get a body only for 80-100, and wheels too for 20-30 per set of four... some shops have this misc. kyoshos parts box where you can pick up the stuff you like... pinion gears, spare chasis, knuckles, motor mounts etc. etc.

parts are aplenty and you can feast your eyes on lots of them... i was like a kid in a candy store for the first time... not knowing what to get... and as i mentioned they are quite affordable... a good list of parts to get : ball diff, bearings, tie rod, steering knuckles, turbo, alloy motor mount, carbon fiber h-plates, rear shock, roll shock, springs (front, roll and rear), a couple of servo gears, alloy rims... actually go for the whole package... it is pretty affordable at a fraction of kyosho's prices, with change to spare...
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Old 2002.12.02, 10:38 PM   #13
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What were the hot set ups over there? Any hop ups that we haven't seen here yet? - ken mifune

hi ken...

hot set ups... hmm... none out of the ordinary i guess we saw it all... they are more into weight reduction... i even saw one chassis with holes in it... there are very little alloy parts on their cars now... my mistake was i forgot to take pictures of their cars (kid in a candy store remember?)... but i do remember seeing one car with a big capacitor on it (didn't take picture again... aurgh, now that i think about it, it's becoming very frustrating)... if memory serves me right, it was soldered onto the positive and negative side of the battery terminals (like the external turbo)... this gives you a little extra juice (power) once your battery drops... can anybody familiar with electronics please explain the technical side of this to me?

while on the topic of the external turbo...another hot set up would be the internal turbo... this is more of the norm now... no messy external turbo to deal with, more power at the fraction of the weight...

this leads to another hot set up... special motors... hand wound or otherwise... seldom do you see an x-speed motor around...

from what i understand, tires used on most tracks are regulated, and limited to rubber only... most use 25 front & 18 rear... the egr track has a tire truer that puts grooves on your tires for a small fee...

oh yeah there's this graphite plate substitute for the roll shock suspension... by using this you can set up the angle of the roll shocks in at least 6 positions... will post it when i put it on...

Last edited by herman; 2002.12.02 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 2002.12.02, 10:39 PM   #14
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...so you like the m8? - wrcracer

you betcha... looked pretty intimidating at first... but the instructions are pretty straight forward, and easy to remember...
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Old 2002.12.03, 05:36 AM   #15
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Herman,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us It sounds like you had fun.
It really is interesting to see how serious they take the Mini-Z in the Far East, as here in the UK, the 'Z is just something to show your friends and annoy the cats.

Good catch on that little DTM4x4 with the Orion Elite Coreless motor. I'd love to know how that must go.
The Micro RS4 (at twice the size and weight) goes like hell with the Elite Coreless, so that DTM must be a projectile.

Herman, is the Mini-Z the most popular flavour of small-scale RC car in H.K.?
I know you mentioned the Yokomo and took a pic of the ABC, but does anyone race the ABC DTMs? If so, do they race them against the 'Z?

Herman, once again, thanks for an excellent review, that is an eye-opener on just how serious a hobby could be if the market dictates the need.
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