I ordered an iA6 receiver for a flying wing I picked up at the local R/C swap meet. It took 30 days to get here from China. 😒 How have I not learned not to order stuff during the Chinese New Year? Once I got it, there were a few tricks and troubles I went through, so here’s the rundown.

I specifically purchased the Turnigy iA6 (same as FS-iA6) instead of the iA6B for a few reasons. It has leads coming off of the top instead of the end, so it’s effectively shorter when servo connectors a plugged in. Perfect for the Techone Mini-Popwing which has a small receiver cut-out. It also has a rudimentary telemetry system built in, and the first version (non-B) can be hacked very easily to provide battery voltage telemetry to the transmitter.

The telemetry hack is well covered in the RCGroups link above, so I won’t go into it, but will outline a couple other issues I encountered.

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I did this mod to my TC6.1 because it’s a dedicated VTA racer. To be honest, 99% of the people out there racing VTA are using 190mm touring car chassis’. However they’re all also running 200mm bodies on them, which can sometimes look a little weird with the wheels tucked way up underneath.

Many of the 200mm VTA bodies that we use today were created by HPI in the early 2000s before the USVTA series existed. They were originally intended to be used with their RS4 chassis which included settings for both 190mm touring car bodies (The chassis actually measured 180mm), and 200mm for their wider bodies. The rear vintage wheels and tires have an offset so the 200mm bodies don’t look too bad on a 190mm chassis. But a select few bodies like the ’70 Charger and ’68 Camaro have an extra-wide 210mm rear. This is when the wheels tucked under look a little silly. Let’s fix that…

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After having some troubles playing VRC, I started to look at my hardware to see if there was some gains to be had there because while I’m not a great racer in real life, I’m also not terrible 😎 I wound up doing a lot of research regarding the relative speed and latency of various tx/rx brands and models. The most concrete measurement I could come up with is the PWM frequency sent from the receiver to the ESC & servo(s). PWM signals are often must faster than PPM signals that are used by buddy-box or direct servo control systems. This is important in regards to playing VRC.

I gathered results measured by myself and others using the SkyRC Program Box. It is not a foolproof measurement of end-to-end latency – the delay from when you give a controller input and the ESC reacts to it. But it’s a clear metric, and part of the overall latency we can measure easily.

Much of this may not even matter to you. The average human reaction time is on the order of hundreds of milliseconds. For transmitter latency we’re talking about tens of milliseconds or less. Also, the transit time even the fastest servos are around 50 milliseconds, so that is another part of the equation that is difficult to reduce. But just because the measured latency is less than what we as humans can react to, it doesn’t mean these delays can’t be perceived, even if it’s just in the way something feels.

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I can’t always get to the track to actually race, so the next best thing is playing Virtual RC Pro. I can practice or race at anytime, no matter what my family’s schedule is or what the weather is like. I initially had some trouble playing VRC, so I put this together to document how I was able to improve gameplay, and my driving. The first part of this is about getting VRC set up and working well. The second part is about racing electric on-road cars in VRC (that’s what I drive at our local tracks). But there may be a buggy in my future so subscribe to get those updates as well!

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What’s the point of switching to bigger bore springs on a standard bore shock? Some say the wider springs provide a different feel, but mostly I did it to be able to run a spring rate softer than the softest Team Associated Green (12lb./in.) springs. Softer springs are especially helpful for tight (read: small) high-traction indoor carpet track racing like we have here in Minnesota. Most of the guys that do this mod switch to Yokomo springs, so that’s what we’ll cover.

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