Thanksgiving and the Black Friday Frenzy!

Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a good holiday and break.

We had a great lunch with great food at my Uncle’s place in SF. It was quite a warm to hot day! Lots of sunshine! Because all my brothers were going to be there and because we were getting into RC Cars again or at least motivating my older brother to get back into it, I brought up my Neo Scorcher and the good old Hornet. There were some parts that I needed to give to Alan to get his car into running shape.

After lunch we took our cars into the street. Alan put my old motor from my old Hornet and his ran so much better. In the beginning it seemed like the motor would shut down due to overheating or something, but with my old motor, it kept running. The Neo Scorcher took some bumps and did a flip unintentionally, but kept on running until I lost a wheel lock nut and the tire rolled off the axel. It seems lately I am plagued by wheels falling off issues! Needless to say, I’ve been to OSH and bought some better lock nuts that will stay tight.

Leaving my Uncle’s house in the early afternoon, I had the plan to head down to Walmart to see if I could get a new Xbox 360 4GB console. I saw the ad earlier in the week and didn’t think much of it until our only obligation on Thanksgiving was lunch. The sale began at 6pm. I mentioned that I had no expectations of getting anything. The only thing I would be wasting is just 2-3 hours of time. I dragged the family with me to the Mountain View Walmart. Upon arriving around 3:30pm, I found parking fairly easily. There were no lines outside the Walmart. People were going in and out as if it was just a regular day. I went inside to discover a few lines here and there. Most of the lines were for the TV’s that were on sale. After wandering through the store looking for the Xbox 360 line, I found out the Xbox line was for both the 360 and for the One. I lined up around 4:00pm and I was about 8-9th person in line. It seems as if I would be guaranteed an Xbox 360!

About 5pm, people in line were getting tired waiting and asked the sales associates helping to manage the lines to pass out the wrist bands so people can shop or leave and come back. These wrist bands guarantee the people in line to whatever they were waiting for. The sales associate started going down the line asking who wanted an Xbox One. A few people before me wanted the Xbox 360, but the sales associate didn’t have a wrist band for those units, only the One. This meant all of us that wanted a 360 had to wait in line. Oh well. I sat comfortably on the floor and surfed the internet on my phone.

Finally about 5:50pm, they started to roll out the stack of xbox 360’s and they were heading down to the electronics department. For a moment, all of us that remained in line almost saw our efforts go down the drain, and/or there was another line in the electronics department we didn’t know about or couldn’t see! I yelled out, in excitement of course, that this was the Xbox 360 Line. The sales associate that was helping manage the line confirmed what I was saying. Phew. I think I might have saved the day! 6pm chimmed and I got my 360. I then made a dash for the line. Thinking ahead, I told Julie to head to the front of the store and wait in line so by the time I get there, we wouldn’t have to wait too long. It worked.

This Xbox 360 doesn’t have a hard drive to store games. I remember reading online that a specific Western Digital notebook HD will work. There are instructions online that show one how to flash the HD with xbox 360 firmware. I did this with Tej’s computer because I don’t have a pc laying around anymore. Unfortunately, his virus detector detected some suspicious files. I did manage to flash the drive and install it into my new Xbox 360. The Xbox costed me $99 and the drive and case costed me $50. Not too bad when my new Xbox retails for $179 (Microsoft had it on sale for $130) and the HD versions are much more expensive. I didn’t want to get the One because I would have to buy several new games, several controllers, where in the end it probably would have costed me $600-700! No thanks.


Neo’s Full Run with New Shoes

Today, the women Mah Jong game was going on at the house and I had to take the kids and entertain them for a couple of hours. Noah was over as well so I took all 3 kids out.

We headed to Abbott Middle School to run the cars, the Neo Scorcher and the Hornet. I gave the kids a try at the Neo Scorcher. The Hornet unfortunately is falling apart. The other front shock snapped at the plastic base. The thing had negative 20 camber and has no front end support. Furthermore, it lost the bottom screws to the steering knuckles which made the front end worse. We had to turn her off.

I did bring the kids’ bikes and they took turns riding. Hayley actually balanced on the Strider bike! She is almost ready to loose the training wheels on her little red bike.

Because Matthew was driving the Neo Scorcher, I managed to snap some action photos of the car. It gave me a chance to practice my panning shots and try to be creative.

Later, we went over to Foster City and tried to drive it where there is a dirt track for bikes, but people do drive their RC cars out there too. While I was tending to Hayley, Matthew drove the Neo Scorcher into a mud puddle and tried to get out. Needless to say, it took me over 30 minutes to clean it up, and even so, it was still dirty. Oh well. My clean car is no longer.

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The Tamiya Neo Scorcher RC Car

Not being satisfied with the old Hornet’s condition, I decided to buy a new one for myself. I knew I wanted to stick with the Tamiya brand, so I looked at their website and looked through their catalog of cars to determine which one to buy.

neoscorcherI’ve always loved the RC cars that resembled real cars to day or race cars of today, however because they were low to the ground, any rocks would possibly make it flip. I decided to stick with the 1/10th scale off road buggies. Looking at the various chassis and body designs, I settled on the Neo Scorcher. I did some research on the various chassis and found this TT-02B was a good one. I read through all the forum posts here to get some idea about how good the car was. This guy did a lot of research and modified his car right out of the box. Some things worked other things didn’t. I took his advice and bought some key hop up parts that were a good bang for the buck.

Once I received word that the kit had been delivered, I just couldn’t wait to get home from work and start building it. It took me several hours, but I managed to get it made. There was only one problem when I tried to do a test run. The car wouldn’t move. Turns out I reversed one of the gear boxes. This resulted in the front wheels turning backwards and the rear wheels turning forward at the same time–the car is 4WD. Being late in the night, I decided to go to bed. The next morning, I woke a little early so I could reverse the gear box and do a little test run. It worked just fine. Phew!

Some initial modifications that I’ve made so far: I bought the ball bearing kit. A must. I bought an upgraded ESC and a new motor with a 19T sprocket. I want metal gears and gear shaft, but I don’t think they make metal gears for these cars. I think it would be more robust in the end with better power transfer. As for the battery, it is a Tenergy 5000mAh capacity. The car can run for over an hour. I have yet to test it out that long.

I couldn’t decide on what color to paint the body. After searching a bunch of images on Google, I decided on a rich and vibrant Ferrari Red Metallic Paint. For the big spoiler, I painted it a medium Blue Metallic. Without the stickers, it looked like a Captain America theme or Julie put it: Optimus Prime! After putting on the stickers I felt would make it look nice and clean, the look came together. I do like it a lot. Maybe I need an autobot sticker!

I’ve run the car and it is nice and fast. It could be faster, but I”m happy with the results. The car ran smooth and sounded good. Because it is 4WD, because it has 4 independent suspension, and because it was not too high off the ground, the car never flipped or rolled when taking turns at full speed. This is good because I now know that the plastic body parts including the vulnerable spoiler will not get damaged like my old Hornet used to do.

I am looking forward to driving it and having fun with Matthew. Hop up parts as needed. I am going to resist the temptation to keep modifying it.

Here she is:

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