Models & Hobbies

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2428 days ago

[The Brand]
For starters, if you have never been interested in hobby grade RC vehicles than you need to learn a bit about Losi. Losi is a top of the line RC designer co. with a history of making amazing, race ready vehicles. Why is that important? Before you ever open the box of your future Mini Desert truck (DT for short) you can know that it will be a quality product and backed by amazing customer support!

[The Truck}
The mini DT is RTR (ready to run) kit, and the truck itself looks great! The truck itself has a slightly extended chassis which adds stability to the truck. Although this truck is not built as a scale model of a real vehicle, there is a great amount of detail and realism in it. The sharp body design, realistic rollcage and chrome finished wheels bring this mini to another level.

This is also one of the few RTR mini RCs that comes with oil filled shocks and ball bearing pre-installed, which is a $40 value. Other than that, this is a standard hobby grade RC set-up. The adjustable shock mounts and gearing option allow for tons of customization.

[Radio]
The included radio is a standard 27MHz, which is unfortunate since the industry as a whole is moving towards 2.4 GHz radios. Not the radio does not do its job, it's just a bit outdated.

[My Experience]
Well the first thing I had to do was get a new charger. The one included can take up to 4 hours to charge it up once! After I had the battery ready to go it was tome to hit the dirt! I tried the Mini DT on 3 different surfaces to ge the best opinion possible, so I'll go through those one by one.

---Dirt Track---
On a standard dirt RC track the DT was right at home. Although the speed is not groundbreaing, it got around the track fast enough and had plenty of power on command (I might have judged the remote too harshly!). The suspension system soaks up bumps like a dream and I had full control while doing larger ramps and jumps.

---Carpet---
My local track also has an indoor carpet track. I thought trying it out here would be a good idea since little kids would most likely be driving one of these indoors on a similar surface. The truck performed well, since there are not many obstacles on a flat track. However one thing I want to mention; if you run this truck on a carpet surface, do not change the stoc gearing! If you have it set for speed runs and place on such a high traction surface like carpet you risk over heating the motor.

---Grass/Dirt---
I had to get this truck messy! Losi advertises this as a Desert type of road vehicle, so how well did it do? Ok. Yea, just OK. Size was the biggest limiting factor here, not power or quality. When driving it on grass the truck had difficulty keeping the rear end down, and therefore had trouble keeping power to the wheels. On dirt the truck did bettter, however it's light weight often made it bounce off dirt mounds rather than tackle them.


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2428 days ago

This is the latest design from Duratrax aimed at theentry level RC hobbiest. This truck is based on the same chassis as evey vehicle in the Evader series, but Duratrax keeps chaning it little by little. The EXT2 edition features a well built battery case which can hold any modern Nimh or LiPo battery (A big change from previous models). The kit includes the Truck, a radio system, Decal sheets and reading material. I'll go down the list, explaining the contents and finish up with my thoughts on the track as it performs on different surfaces.

[Decal Sheet/ Reading Material]
Every hobby grade RC has novel of warnings and copyright information to accompany it. Nothing different here. What is of note though, is the Duratrax Stress-Tech Garantee. Essentially if any part breaks during the first year, Duratrax takes care of it! Hold on to that part.
Also in this section is a set of decals which allow you to add some personality to your truck. I always love when RC designers leave a little room for me do my own thing.

[Radio]
The included remote is the Tactic 2-channel radio set. Honestly I'm not sure what frequency the radio operates on but having the two channels prevents your signal from crossing with another RC, and really, thats all it comes down to. The radio feels good in the hand and responds well to commands. One thing to note is that this radio takes a full 8 batteries to power.... yikes! However the batteries do last quite a long while, so they dont need replacing often.

[The Truck]
First I'll look over the truck in the shop then take it out to the track for some more info on how it runs!

[Electronics]
Duratrax has this baby equipped with a Sprint motor controller and Photon 2 motor. Honestly I dont really know what sets these components apart from the competition, but we will see how they perform in a bit.

[Suspension]
The plastic, oil filled shock keep this truck right on the ground. I had to add a little shock oil to mine but that might have just been a manufacturer mistake. The shocks soak up bumps well and the spring seem to be of fitting strength to bring the truck upright again.

**** TEST TIME******
I tried this truck on my usual three surfaces, Dirt Track, Asphault and Off-Road to see where it's most at home. I'll wrap thngs up at the end with my final thoughts.

[Dirt Track]
On a standard 1/10th scale track the EXT2 is nearly a smooth drive. One problem I did have was the tires. There just does not seem to be enough tread to dig in and really get good traction on the track. I found myself sliding around and oversteering a lot (please note, driving crazy is a lot of fun :) )

[Asphault]
While the tires gave me trouble on the dirt, they were right at home on the street. Those flat, nearly treadless tires had great traction on the open road. The ride was smooth since there was not much stress on the suspension. Turning was great and I had full control at all times.

[Off Road]
Running in the grass and mud the EXT2 fared much better than I had thought it would. The tread of the tires didnt do much but thier overall size helped the truck to navigate these rough surfaces. This thing hit dirt piles nearly twice its height and just tackled them! The suspension left something to be desired as the truck was a little tough to drive. I just felt a little out of control and found myself letting off the power to try and get my bearing on where it was headed.

[Final Thoughts]
The Evader EXT2 is based on a proven chassis which is known for being user friendly and a ton of fun. Since it's been around a while, you will never have to worry about finding replacement parts as they break.

There are a few things to know when you buy this truck though. First off, the shocks need some work. Put a little more oil in the shocks and try some different spring strength so see what really works best.

The tires are going to be your first real investment into the truck. The supplied tires are built to last, but down perform greatly on any particlar surface. Ask your local hobby shop about tires that are a better match for the terrain you will be driving around. Since these are standard size wheels, finding a matching tire set will not be a hassle.

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2818 days ago

I love how the company offers unique toys, particularly the train tables! My kid has had his train table for a few months now but it's still fun and durable as ever! I've also spent hours playing with him and I have to admit, I'm having a lot of fun as well!

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2865 days ago

there are so many now that getting one that is ever going to amount to anything in your lifetime is like finding a needle in a haystack but it can be fun for a sports fan

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3060 days ago

Where's comic books on this list?

Thanos would slaughter Star Wars.

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3060 days ago

Kids fascinated with helicopters, trains and robotics scare the hell out of me. 'Model train kid', a friend of mine growing up, makes killer drones for the army now.

I saw that one coming.

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3060 days ago

Why is this a hobby? Oh, bother.

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3060 days ago

Well, I once put a few tablets of benzadrine in Kate Moss's purse and then called the police and told them that she tried to sell me drugs. They picked her up an hour later and threw her in jail.

Or is that not what you meant by 'model railroading'?

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3174 days ago

I still rock out my portable CD player when I go walking. I like to watch people stair at me and laugh.

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3174 days ago

I used to have quite a collection of these when I was a teenager and younger, but I'm kind of glad that's behind me now. Good memories, but life goes on.

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