Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grass Roots Racing Series Finals, Thunder Alley R/C raceway.

Hello Everyone! Last week I attended the final round of the Grass Roots Racing Series and it turned out to be a very exciting race! I ended up pulling off a 4th place finish in Expert 2wd Short Course and 5th in Short Course Buggy. The Short Course Buggy class was full and a lot of fun. In 2wd Short Course, I was able to make a pass on the last lap of the 8 minute A main and I secured my 4th place finish. This was the funnest race I have been too in a while and I cannot wait until next year! 

My Venom Powered, Pro-Line Pro2 truck and buggy were certainly up to the task of the long main events and extreme track obstacles. I ended up using Pro-Line F11 wheels and Tazers in the rear and Hole Shots int he front. Holeshots : Product ID : 1180-02, Tazer : Product ID : 1185-02, F11 Wheels : Product ID : 2740-03

There was a large curved high speed straight away that lead into a very large double. The straight away really tested both the handling and the speed of all the vehicles racing. Not gearing the vehicle correctly didnt allow one to go fast enough down the straight, but too much gearing would make handling the curve very difficult. The turn at the end of the straight away was sharp and many people would slide into the corner, losing the needed momentum to clear the double.

Here is a closer shot of the double at the end of the straight. The gap was about 6~8 feet and landed right into another turn. The extra power provided by my Venom batteries allowed me to clear this jump without too much effort, but during the race I found myself unable to consistently clear the double with other trucks next to me. I ended up partially rolling this obstacle.

Immediately after the huge double, there was a corkscrew level change down into a Banzai step up. The obstacle was extremely challenging because of how easily a vehicle could flip while trying to make the turn. You may not see it in the picture, but that turn has large divots, making the turn even more challenging. Many people fell victim to this tough portion of the track. The step up jump after the turn was easy, but if  you were a little too soft on the throttle and cased the jump, your vehicle was upside down and the closest marshal was several yards away. 

After the tricky step up, there was a large triple that proved to be quite challenging. Mostly the 4wd vehicles tripled this jump. I chose the safer double single out.
These are two different shots of the jump.

After the triple, there was an off camber double that was also massive.

This obstacle proved to be a challenge for a lot of people. many people got this jump wrong and ended up on the pipe, or upside down.  Here is two different shots of this jump.
After clearing the off camber jump, there was a massive step up that would send vehicles high into the air.
After the step up, one had to face the washboard section. Getting the right rhythm on this part of the track was crucial. I saw many people lose positions by getting this obstacle wrong. 
The washboard led into a simple S turn. This part of the track was not too challenging.

The S turn did lead into another step up jump that took some finesse and power to clear. The step up jump led into a hairpin turn and then down onto the straightaway.

Here is a shot of the Short Course buggy class A main. As you can see, this race was stacked.

Overall, I was very happy with the performance of my vehicles and I would like to thank Venom Batteries  and Pro-Line for the support and for producing such amazing products. Now it is time to start getting ready for the Surf City classic!

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the Venom powered Pro-Line vehicles and the KLA logo at the track.

                                                                  -Matthew Garcia

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Venom Medion LiPO Charger and PS350 Power Supply Review

Hello Everyone! Recently, I purchased the Venom Medion LiPO Charger and PS350 Power Supply combo, Part#: K0019. I wanted to share my experience an thoughts about this product. First off, the charger comes in very premium packaging, and the contents inside certainly do not disappoint.

Here is a shot of the charger after pulling it out of the packaging. I must note that the anodized red aluminum casing and all the accessories that accompany it all have a premium feel and look. 

After un-packaging everything, I plugged in the charger and started to play around with the different settings and features. The charger comes jammed packed with all sorts of charging options. You can cycle your batteries, prepare them for storage, balance them, and much more. 

After playing with the charger for a while, I noticed that the button on the power supply had stopped functioning properly. To be honest, I was  bummed that the Power Supply had such a flaw, but I will say that it did perform flawlessly otherwise. I quickly contacted Venom and I was promptly sent a replacement Power Supply. The customer service was top notch! My confidence in Venom products was strengthened and I am more than happy to further invest in their products. As many enthusiasts know, batteries and chargers are a huge investment and knowing that the company fully backs up their products is a very good feeling. 

My first test of the charger was conducted at the JBRL OC/RC race. With 200+ entries, the track was a cacophony and the perfect place to test the speakers that are built into the charger. The speakers had plenty of power and I was able to pump up the jams and enjoy my music despite all the ambient noise. 

In addition to looking awesome and playing my tunes, I wanted to figure out if the charger provided any noticeable advantage over my old charger.

Here is a shot of both chargers, side by side. Using the same Venom 3800 60c shorty pack, I first charged it with old charger. 

When the charge was complete I took note of the battery voltage. After charging was completed, I ran the battery until the car shut off. I would not recommend running your RC vehicles until the battery runs out, but for the sake of this test, I ran the battery dry. I noticed a lot of power and a good amount of punch when running. As I got closer to the end of the battery, I noticed that the power and punch had diminished a bit. 

I was able to run 47 laps, with my fastest lap being a 23.38. I was practicing running the fastest laps I possibly could. 

After I was done with the first test, I recharged the Battery using my Venom Medion  charger and again I took note of the final battery voltage. As you may see, there is a .05v difference in the charge. I then ran the battery again until it was completely dry. I noticed right away that the battery had more punch and more power off the line. I will mention that the increase in punch and power was not a massive one, but it was a perceivable difference. I also noticed that the power and punch of the battery did not diminish as much as I reached the end of the run. In other words, the charge from the Medion charger had slightly better performance than my old charger. 

Looking at the run, it can be seen that I got another 47 laps, but my fast lap was 22.98, which was .4 seconds faster than the first test. I know that the average lap time is what is most important for racing, but for this test, I wanted to focus on the fast lap. 

In conclusion, I am very happy with my upgraded charger. With the good looks, good jams, amazing customer service, numerous charging options and the slight increase in battery performance, the Medion charger was a great purchase! I give the Venom Medion LiPO Charger and PS350 Power Supply combo an overall rating of 9/10 and I would highly recommend this product to a friend. I did not get to test many of the other functionalities that the Medion charger offers, but I am sure that the other functions will perform brilliantly. 

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the Venom powered Pro-Line vehicles and the KLA logo at the track.

                                                                  -Matthew Garcia