In the last week, the main topic of conversation between my oldest son and I has been rc cars. Since I’ve turned him loose with the Smash, he’s been “all in” on learning about these cars. Alas, he learned quickly that these can be fickle machines.
A few minutes into a family bashing session this weekend, he walked up to me, holding the Smash in his hands and said “it just stopped moving”. Aside from the twinge of frustration I felt (as I had just put the body pins in my Slash and was about to join the fun), I was hopeful that whatever the issue was, it would be a quick fix. After a few minutes of troubleshooting and a fresh set of batteries in the radio…we were still no further ahead than we had been. As it turns out there was an issue with the motor, at least that’s where I think the issue lies.
That whole process got me thinking. How can you be better-prepared for issues and parts failures when you’re away from your workshop or r/c garage? Having been on the wrong end of that scenario, here are some tips.
While it may be your first instinct to toss the user manual for your radio-controlled vehicle to the side (or away completely) as soon as you get it, you may want to think twice before doing so. I’ve kept all of the original manuals from my machines (whether I’ve read them or not is another story) and also have PDF copies on my iPhone and iPad, so I was able to refer to that electronic version while “in the field”, troubleshooting the situation.
Gotta have juice
You can never have too many batteries or too much power. Keep in mind that this also applies to your radios and transmitters. In this case, the batteries on the radio had died or were on there way out the door.
Pack a bag
If you have a bag or toolbox that stores most of your hobby gear, bring it with you, even if you’re bashing a block from your home. I keep a basic set of tools in my bag along with spare batteries, chargers, tools, and anything else you can think of that may come in handy. Although you won’t have your full arsenal at your fingertips, it’s better than nothing. I’ve done a shock rebuild, an ESC reset, and a handful of other maintenance tasks while out bashing. If not for a bag with tools to get the job done, the fun would have been cut short. Way short.
I’m still puzzled as to the issue that the Smash is having, but hopefully in a day or two (when the new motor arrives) I’ll have a better idea of what’s going on.