DIY Backyard R/C track update

As you may already be aware, I have been attempting to turn my backyard into what radio controlled dreams are made of.  I shared with you the trials and tribulations of attempting to build an affordable, practical, useable, and portable off-road course.  With the way certain obstacles turned out, I was not too hopeful of their ruggedness and dependability. 

Backyard R/C Monster Jam track (partial)

After a couple of test runs, it turns out I may have been dead wrong.  The first run over my presumed pop bottle obstacle failure ended in a (somewhat) predictable equipment failure.  The UN-predictable part was in what actually failed…my truck!  I blasted over the plastic mounds at near full-speed, made a turn, hit a ramp at an angle, landed on 2 wheels, rode that throughout another turn, then realized my right front tire was dangling by a thread!  I couldn’t believe it…the only destruction to the track caused by my truck was chipping off some of the spray paint that I had applied to the bottles to make them look a little better and more realistic.  Even with my run being cut severely short, I couldn’t wipe the biggest grin off of my face.  It was so…AWESOME!! 

Destruction from first test run

Luckily, the repair was a quick fix – just a slipped screw pin that held the wheel onto the A-arm.  A few twists of a screwdriver and I was back in business.  Test run #2 started out with my wife and I both putting the track to the test.  She finally got some good use of her very own RC monster truck that was purchased for her Easter and VERY early birthday present.  (Lucky her, I know!)  And wouldn’t you know it, after a few short minutes I was staring at an equipment failure.  And again, wouldn’t you know it, I lost a wheel off my truck!  Only difference this time is that the “lug nut” came loose and the rear drive wheel went rolling across my backyard with the rest of my truck, a wrecked mess, left in its dust. 

Luckily after a couple of minutes of combing the ground, I found the nut, grabbed my wrench and had my truck back up and running in no time.  From there, my wife and I hit the ground running, and we didn’t stop until we drained every battery pack we could find. 

ECX Ruckus coming at you!

The pop bottles held up surprisingly well, since I honestly expected them to be ripped off the first time they were torn across by my truck.  After a (very) short test run and an afternoon beating from two separate trucks, I can report that the damage consists of the paint chipping from the bottles and one bottle being a little crushed…which is what monster trucks are supposed to do!  They have stayed attached much better than I anticipated.

Traxxas Stampede monster bashing!

The reinforced cardboard that I taped together held up nicely, but are effectively useless.  They are too light, and once contact is made with the truck, they just go flying before the truck can bound over top of them.  I’ll have to figure out a good way to fasten them to one of the boards with other obstacles. 

The pre-made ramps that I ordered from the intrawebz worked out great.  My only complaint is that I ordered the mini-ramps instead of the full-sized ones, thinking that they might not be as tall but they’re a little cheaper and I would have more than one.  What I didn’t realize is that the mini-ramps are more narrow, so I have to line them up together to make sure the jump is wide enough for the wheels to launch off of.  So essentially, I still only have one ramp.  Oh well, they still serve their purpose.

Airborne Traxxas Stampede

I still need to test my store-bought whoops for durability assurance (time will tell), but so far they make it very difficult to hold a straight line, which I guess is their purpose.  That leaves me with more than enough obstacles to know what to do with.  I certainly don’t have adequate space for all of them to be layed out at once, which means I have options.  Lots and lots of options.  Which is perfect!  On top of that, I still need to build a (much) larger wooden ramp in order to get dizzying air under my tires!  For now, I will leave you with one more action shot from my wife’s last run:

ECX Ruckus reverse jump

Jealous much?

Thank you, that is all.

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