Race Report: The Dirt Nitro Challenge 2017

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TEAM HITEC HAS HISTORICAL DNC SHOWING

Event: The Dirt Nitro Challenge 2017
Date: February 22-26, 2017
Location: FEAR FARM R/C RACEWAY – Phoenix, AZ
Team Hitec Attendees: Billy Tompkins, Adam Drake, Carlos Arredondo, Casey Peck, Steve Harris, Dennis Christy, Kyle Christy, Riley Christy, John Brown, Miguel Perez, Gil Alontaga, Gene Hickerson, Louis Fernandez, Billy Easton, Bill Koch, Brian Givens, Anthony Westergaard, Felipe Martinez and more…

By: William Tompkins

Touted as THE largest off-road R/C race in the World (almost 900 race entries), The Dirt Nitro Challenge had once again invaded the Arizona desert that attracted racers from around the globe. Once a single day race held at a small R/C track in Hemet, CA in 1999,the DNC has grown into a 5 day R/C racing extravaganza. Joey Christensen and his Dirt Crew have continually set the bar higher and higher every year with this year being no exception.

DNC_Track

DNC’17 added some new venues to its already stellar 1/8th and 1/5th scale off-road racing program. For the first time, the DNC showcased a U4RC rock racing track. In case you haven’t witnessed the new phenomenon of U4RC, it’s a combination of off-road racing and rock crawling. The track was set up on, what most would consider, a standard-sized 1/10 off-road track with the difference being the addition of some gnarly rock gardens and a log section. Not only do racers have to build their rock racers to be fast, they have to be torquey enough to make it through the rock gardens and strong enough to take the abuse. Attrition plays a huge role in this form of R/C racing and it’s growing at a fast rate for racers of all ages.

Although DNC is best known for the 1/8th scale racing, the biggest spectacle this year was the 2nd Annual Phoenix Cup FPV Drone Race held on a lit FPV course. At night, the course was seen from miles away that drew spectators from outside of the RC industry and many of the off-road participants as well. The Phoenix Cup featured some of the fastest pilots in the world including DR1 & DRL TV racing series pilots as seen on ESPN.

FPV Light Trax

The impressive spectator gathering and the number of pilots in attendance was proof that drone racing has become the fastest growing R/C sport. Fast lap qualifying would set the top 32 for the finals’ day with a double elimination to set the quarter finals. The guys over at Flite Factory and FPV Light Trax put together one of the toughest FPV tracks of recent memory and proved to be quite challenging for pilots at every skill level.

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Team Hitec was in attendance this year with a booth showcasing all of our latest products and a proud DNC title sponsor. The 1/8th scale racing took place Wednesday through Sunday while the rest of the events were orchestrated Friday through Sunday. At this year’s DNC, we had over 30 of our Team Hitec drivers competing in the different events. When the dust settled at the end of the long weekend, we accumulated the following accolades:

TEAM HITEC STANDINGS
(26) A Main Appearances | 
(12) Podium Finishes | (6) Dirt Nitro Challenge Champions

DRAKE-&-PECK-PRO-LEGENDS1/8th Pro Buggy Legends
Adam Drake 1st/TQ , Casey Peck 3rd, Gil Alontaga 5th, Gene Hickerson 7th, Billy Easton 8th

Hitec’s own Adam Drake would just miss the podium taking 4th in Pro Nitro Buggy, but was able to put it together in the Legends Pro Buggy class taking the Top Qualifying position and the win.



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ARREDONDO-1ST-EXPERT-TRUCK

1/8th Expert Truggy
Carlos Arredondo 1st



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Arredondo-Expert-Buggy-2nd

1/8th Expert Buggy
Carlos Arredondo 2nd



ARREDONDO-TQ-2ND-E-BUGGY

1/8th Expert E Buggy
Carlos Arredondo TQ/2nd, Casey Peck 4th, Anthony Westergaard 12th



John Brown 3rd

1/8th Sport Buggy
John Brown 3rd, Louis Fernendez 7th,  Bill Koch 9th



CASEY PECK 1ST 40+ BUGGY-2

1/8th 40+ Buggy
Casey Peck 1st, Brian Givens 10th, Felipe Martinez 13th



Dennis-Christy-TQ-1st

1/5th Sport 2wd Buggy
Dennis Christy TQ/1st



Steve-Harris-Pro-4wd-B

1/5th Pro 4wd Buggy
Steve Harris 1st     



Steve-Harris-Pro-4wd-Truck

1/5th Pro 4wd Truck
Steve Harris TQ/1st



Kyle-Christy-3rd-Exp-2wd-TRUCK

1/5th Expert 2wd Truck
Kyle Christy3rd



Riley-Christy-3rd-Spt-2wd

1/5th Sport 2wd Buggy
Riley Christy 3rd



1/8th Sport Truggy
– Louis Fernandez 7th
1/8th Sport Electric – Bill Koch 13th
1/8th 40+ Electric – Miguel Perez 4th, Bill Koch 12th

 

All drivers were running the Hitec Lynx 4S Radio, Hitec Axion 2 RX and Hitec Servos. A great weekend for Team Hitec and congratulations to all of our podium finishers and newly crowned champions!

Flight Report: NEAT Fair 2016

Team Hitec recently made the trek from Southern California to the Peaceful Valley Campground in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of upstate New York where the 17th annual NEAT Fair is held. Each year, Tom Hunt and the NEAT crew host this prestigious event that draws modelers from all over the northeast and country. When we first arrived at the field on Thursday afternoon and had never seen it so packed! The weather was glorious and many familiar faces stopped by our tent to greet us.

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Over the course of the event we flew the new Fun Cub XL, RockStar, Dogfighter, Pilatus, Twin Star 2, Heron, eHawkeye, and Zipper. We also put some night flights on our 3 year old Fun Cub with lights. One of the most memorable moments came when under a beautiful moonlit sky, dozens of Chinese Lanterns were launched. It was the most surreal moment as these lanterns, aircraft and the moon made me think to myself, “This was a moment in time that I’ll never forget!” Thanks to Tom and the entire NEAT crew for putting on an amazing event! If you’ve never been, you owe it to yourself to go and experience what the NEAT Fair is all about!

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Hitec Support at the 2016 IFMAR World Championship

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Hitec will be on hand October 2-9, 2016 to provide technical support for all Hitec drivers attending the 2016 IFMAR World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. Surface Team Manager, Billy Tompkins and Factory Team Driver, Adam Drake will also provide servo and radio support to all attending drivers in need of assistance with their current equipment. Find Billy or Adam and see how Hitec can help you perform at the highest level of competition!

Event Details: http://rctracksoflasvegas.com/ifmar-2016-nitro-off-road-world-championship-september-30th-october-8th-2016/ 

Drone Race Report: Multi GP Regional Finals

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Jump in! The water is cold!!

Event: Multi GP Regional Finals
Date: August 2016
Location: St. John’s AMA Club Flying Site – Bakersfield, CA
Team Hitec Attendees: Billy Tompkins

By: Billy Tompkins
“Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet!” This saying has so much meaning and is often times how I approach many things in life. This would hold especially true in my new venture into RC Drone Racing. I am not a new comer to the world of RC and RC racing but when I first started looking into FPV Drones, it was like I had to learn a whole new language. After a week of research, I couldn’t help but think that only guys wearing pocket protectors were involved in this side of the hobby. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. Fast forward five months – I can’t get enough of this adrenaline filled, pocket protector wearing, Jedi mind trick hobby known as FPV Drone Racing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you know that FPV Drone Racing has quickly become one of the largest spectacles in RC. For those of you that need to get caught up on FPV racing 101, here are the basics: https://fpvracing.tv/guides/beginners

In the five months of doing this “sport”, I’ve learned how to build, tune, and fly FPV racing drones to the point of being able to get around a course with a bit of confidence. At this point, I have a few local races under my belt and quite a few “underground” races with some buds that I fly with. As challenging as the local scene is here in Southern California, I felt as though I was not progressing fast enough. At this point you must be wondering, “Where is he going with all of this?”… I’ll get to that shortly.

A friend of mine once told me, “If you want to be one of the fast guys you have to race with the fast guys.” With those words echoing in the back of my head, I decided to sign up for my first big FPV Drone Racing event hosted by the Bakersfield Multirotor Club called the Multi GP Regional Finals held in Bakersfield, California. Event qualifying consisted of finishing in the top 5 in the Multi GP regional chapter qualifiers. I, however, was absent on the day of our regional qualifier and was not able to qualify. Had I made the attempt, I probably wouldn’t have qualified due to my lack of speed. With that said, I saw some banter on the inter webs about the upcoming regional finals and thought I would comment on how I was going to show up and try to race, jokingly of course. The next day, I received a private message from the race Coordinator, Mathew Stevensen, asking if I wanted to enter the race on the waiting list. Being the “both feet in” kind of guy, I absolutely said, “yes”. Long story longer, a week later I received an email from Matthew telling me I was in and was stoked to be attending a Multi GP Regional Final.

In preparation of the event, I tried to burn as many battery packs as possible. The cool thing about Multi GP is they give you an exact map of the course layout all the way down to the measurements. They even have a CGI showing you what flying the course is going to look like. You can see the course here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YggR0zEIrp4 You would think that if I really wanted to be prepared for this event, I would set up a practice track and really try to hone in my skills. You guessed it…FAIL! However, even though I didn’t prepare for this event, I still felt confident in my abilities to perform.

I arrived in beautiful Bakersfield the night before, got a good night sleep and showed up to the field bright and early the following morning. The race day schedule consisted of going to two scheduled rounds of practice, followed by five race heats. Scoring was done by IR transponders which would keep track of how many laps each pilot accomplished in the heat and how long it took the pilot to finish each heat. The pilot with the highest total amount of laps at the end of five heats would be the winner. The tiebreaker would fall to the times.

Five minutes before the first round of practice and the butterflies in my stomach began to flutter. My group’s turn to hit the track for practice had arrived. We were all plugged in and positioned at the starting grid ready for take off. The countdown begins, and as soon as the tone sounds, it’s time to take off. Now mind you, this is supposed to be practice. It’s a chance to get a feel for the course; no scoring is taking place at this point in the day. The tone sounds, I take off from the launch pad and race towards the first gate…. WHAMO!! My first attempt comes to a screeching halt as I crash before making it through the first gate. Now for those that don’t know, once you crash on course, you cannot retrieve your drone until the entire heat is over which means practice session round 1 was a wrap. I told myself going into practice round 2, “Don’t crash before gate one, don’t crash before GATE NUMBER ONE!” So once again, I find myself on the starting grid, butterflies, sweaty hands and fingers that feel hesitant to work. Once again, the tone sounds, I take off from the launch pad, race towards gate one, and to my surprise I make it through. As I’m heading towards the first turn, I encounter another drone in midair and both of us crash out. There goes practice session number 2.

Now that practice is over without a single lap complete, my mind is all over the place thinking of how to move forward with the heat races. How do I approach the race? Do I let it all hang out in hopes that I figure out the track? Do I play it conservative and just try to fly slower than normal? At that moment, the not so “both feet in” guy in me shows up and decides to try to take it easy and learn the track slowly and progressively. Well, this is how that approach went for me. Round 1 of the five heat races, I was able to finish one lap before crashing. In round 2, I was able to finish two laps before crashing. Round 3 allowed me to finish, you guessed it, three laps before crashing. Frustrated and at a loss for a game plan, the “both feet in” guy shows up and decides to let it all hang out. I have nothing to lose. Round 4 begins and not only did I finish the heat race, I actually bettered my lap count by 2. I ran five laps crash free and was able to duplicate it again in round 5.

At the end of the day, I realized that I probably didn’t belong at the Regional Finals competing with guys that had earned the right to be there. But at the same time, I would not have had the chance to learn as much as I did, in the short amount of time that I did had I not. Will I do it again…ABSOLUTELY! You have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations if you want to learn how to deal with them. “Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet!”

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Press Release: RDX1 AC/DC Battery Charger/Discharger

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The RDX1 is an AC/DC ultra-performance microprocessor-controlled battery charger/discharger with management features suitable for all popular chemistries. Its sleek tower design allows easy front-loading plug-in convenience of balancing and temperature sensor ports, a USB link and USB 5VDC 2.1 amps and 4mm battery sockets. Deluxe features include a 3.2-inch easy-to-read LCD screen and our Charge Master software which allows the unparalleled ability to operate the RDX1 through the computer. This compact, 60-watt wonder brings integrated balancing, convenience and ease to all your charging operations.


RDX1 Features:

  • Optimized Operating Software
  • 10 Battery Memory
  • Internal Lithium Battery Balancer
  • Multiple Lithium Battery Charge Modes
  • Works with Hitec’s Charge Master Software
  • LiPo Battery Meter
  • Slim In-line Design Saves Valuable Space


Charging Specifications:

  • AC Input Voltage: 100-240V
  • DC Input: 11-18V
  • Charge Power: 60W
  • Charge Current Range: 0.1 – 6.0A
  • Max. Discharge Power: 5W
  • Discharge Current Range: 0.1 – 2.0A
  • Balancing Port Current Drain: 200MA/Cell
  • NiCd/NiMH Battery Cell Count: 1-15 Cells
  • LiPo/LiHV/LiFe/LiIon Cell Count: 1 – 6 Cells
  • Pb Battery Voltage: 2 – 20V
  • Net Weight: 470g
  • Dimensions: 159 x 72.5 x 123mm


RDX1 AC/DC Battery Charger / Discharger
| Stock# 44245

Press Release: Power Peak D7 AC/DC Charging Station

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Hitec continues to bring you exemplary power and convenience with our latest Power Peak D7 AC/DC Charging Station. Armed with two independent 200-watt output ports, producing up to 20 amps of charge current each, the PowerPeak D7 is capable of charging all battery chemistries quickly and efficiently. The D7 also features mini USB sockets, allowing you to monitor battery health using the latest Logview Software, and stay current with convenient software updates. The 5V/1A USB charge socket provides compatibility with all your Smartphones, digital cameras and other USB-powered devices. Multiplex’s integrated BID system brings unprecedented convenience and safety to the Power Peak D7, with its worry-free programming for batteries with the optional BID keys and chips. Essential pack configuration data is automatically passed to the charger, allowing you to simply plug in your battery and start charging, without any further setup effort. The PowerPeak D7 has two separate backlit, graphic screens for readability and four language choices: English, German, French or Italian.


Power Peak D7 Features:

  • Two Independent 200-watt Output Ports
  • Power Source: 110 – 240 Volts AC / 11-30 Volts DC
  • Total Maximum Output: 400W
  • Integrated Multiplex BID (Battery Identification) System
  • Logview Software Capability


Charging Specifications:

  • AC Input: 110 – 240 Volts AC
  • DC Input: 11 – 18 Volts DC
  • Charge Circuit Power: 200 Watts x 2
  • Charge Current Range: 0.1 – 20.0 Amps x 2
  • Discharge Current Power: 36 Watts x 2
  • Discharge Current Range: 0.1 – 10.0 Amps x 2
  • Current Drain for LiPo Balancing: 300mA per cell
  • NiCd/NiMH Battery Cell Count: 1 – 18 Cells
  • LiPo/LiFe/Lilon Cell Count: 1 – 7 Cells
  • Pb Battery Voltage: 2 – 24 Volts
  • Net Weight: 92 oz (2.6Kg)
  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.9 3.3 in (270 x 200 x 85mm)

 

Power Peak D7 Charger | Stock# 44249

Press Release: HFP-30 Digital Servo Programmer and Universal Servo Tester

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Our lightweight HFP-30 Field Programmer is the latest in digital servo testing and programming. Packed with advanced features and a large, easy-to-read LCD screen, it efficiently programs all Hitec digital servos, including the HS-5XXX, HS-7XXX, brushless HSB-9XXX, and the latest D-Series. Operating on a wide voltage range of 4.8~8.4, the Hitec HFP-30 is your hobby’s best, must-have accessory.

 

Servo Series
Model D-Series HSB-9XXX HS-7XXX HS-5XXX
End Point Adjustments X X X X
Direction X X X X
Fail Safe X X X X
Dead Band X X X X
Speed (Slower) X X X X
Soft Start Rate X X
Overload Protection X X
Resolution X
Data Save / Load X X X X
Program Reset X From File X X

 

HFP-30 Field Programmer | Stock# 44427

Press Release: Hitec Vektor 280

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Our swift and fearless Vektor 280 is a high performance FPV racer built with a compact, integrated circuit board system for reduced weight and a sturdy, resilient carbon fiber frame for durable flight. Completely assembled for your convenience, this speedy flier only requires a 5-channel transmitter, a 5.8GHz receiver, 3~4S LiPo battery and optional video goggles to get you joining the quad racing, adrenaline-pumping ranks in no time.


Vektor 280 Features:

  • Completely Assembled 280-class FPV Racing Quad
  • Integrated System Board with the ESC’s, Flight Controller and Video Transmitter on a Single Board for Reduced Weight
  • High Quality Carbon Fiber Frame with 3mm Arms
  • Four 20-Amp Speed Controls with SimonK OneShot Setting
  • Open Pilot CC3D Flight Controller
  • 5.8GHz 600mw* Video Transmitter
  • Bright Intelligent LED System
  • Low Battery Warning Feature
  • Drone Finder Function
  • Weight: 348 grams/12.28 ounces


Installed Power System:

  • Brushless Motors – 2204 2150KV
  • Propellers – 6 x 3
  • ESC’s – 20A w/SimonK OneShot
  • Flight Time: 9-12 minutes


Flight Control System:

  • CC3D Atom with Open Pilot
  • Powerful STM32 32-bit MCU with 128KB Flash and 20KB RAM
  • MPU6000 3 Axis Gyroscope / Accelerometer
  • Supported Software: Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Works with PWM, PPM, Spektrum® Satellite and S-Bus Receivers


FPV System:

  • Video Camera – 400K Pixels 135º Field of View
  • Video TX – 600mw 32-Channel 5.8GHz


Hitec Vektor 280
| Stock# 61131

Press Release: Hitec QuadRacer 280

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Race through the skies with our nimble QuadRacer 280. This stylistic FPV speedster delivers ready-to-fly convenience and will have you zooming about in no time, thanks to its efficient 6-channel radio and high resolution, 4.3-inch LCD video monitor. Lightweight construction and an efficient propulsion system featuring four powerful 2204 brushless motors provide flight times up to 12 minutes. The durable, clear canopy lets you customize your racer to reflect your own style and personality. Experience your Hitec ride today!

 
QuadRacer 280 Features:

  • Four 2204 – 2300KV Brushless Motors
  • 2000mAh 3S 30C LiPo Battery
  • 6-Channel 2.4GHz Transmitter
  • 300,000 Pixel 135° Field-of-View Video Camera
  • 4.3” LCD FPV Video Monitor
  • 100 – 240 Volt Battery Charger
  • Invensense 6050 3-Axis Gyro
  • Invensense 6050 3-Axis Accelerometer
  • 25/200mw 5.8GHz video, w/ 6 channels
  • Compatible with most popular FPV goggles

 
Specifications:

  • Size: 280mm
  • Weight (w/o battery): 405g / 14.29oz
  • Weight (w/ battery): 568g / 20.04oz
  • Propeller Size: 5 x 3in

 
Hitec QuadRacer 280 | Stock# 61115

Press Release: Multiplex FunCub XL

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Our Multiplex FunCub XL expands all the fun enjoyed by thousands with the original, in a new larger size! Featuring the same high-wing aerobatic performance, offset flaps for incredibly short takeoff and landing characteristics, and big, soft tundra tires, the FunCub XL lets you fly almost anywhere, from nearly any terrain. Just like its brother Cub, the FunCub XL features the same oversized control surfaces, loads of power and precise, balanced handling for unlimited aerobatic flight, including horizon-to-horizon knife edge passes, endless vertical, and thrilling torque rolls. Setting new standards in its class, with numerous innovative design solutions, the XL also incorporates Multiplex’s “M-Frame technology,” providing a remarkably high-strength fuselage with lightweight carbon tube spars, two-piece wing and quick-release strut fittings for easy field assembly. In addition to the popular aero tow release, elegant LED cover accents make it an absolute eye-catching aerial wonder. The internal cargo bay is perfect for candy drops or lofting Alfred the Parachutist! Certainly, it wouldn’t be a true FunCub without an optional float kit available! The FunCub XL is available as an airframe kit for you to assemble and equip, or as a receiver-ready version that arrives nearly complete. Its full suite of Hitec HS-225BB servos and potent brushless power system come pre-installed. Plug in your own receiver, and charge your batteries, and you will be ready for FANtastic FUN in only 25 minutes!

 
FunCub XL Features:

  • Full-on Aerobatic Performance
  • Low Minimum Airspeed
  • Easy Handling
  • Two Part Wing for Easy Transport
  • Offset Lading Flaps for Steep Descents and Short Takeoffs
  • Off-road Performance with Huge, Soft Wheels
  • High-strength Fuselage with “M-Frame Technology”
  • Strong and Lightweight Carbon Fiber Wing Tubes
  • Suitable for Aerotowing 2.5M Gliders (i.e. Multiplex Heron size)
  • Optional Float Set, Lights and Parachutist

 
Included with RR (95% Complete):

  • ELAPOR® and Wood Airframe
  • Brushless Permax BL-O 4235-0480 Motor
  • MULTIcont BL-60 ESC Controller
  • Propeller 15 x 8
  • Six Hitec HS-225BB servos
  • Self-adhesive Decals

 
Specifications RR:

  • Wingspan: 67 in. (1700 mm)
  • LOA: 47.25 in. (1200 mm)
  • Flight Weight: 6 lb, 5 oz (2850 g)
  • Channels: 7-10 required
  • RC Functions: Rudder, Elevator, Ailerons, Flaps, Engine, Optional Tow Hook, Optional Chute, Landing Lights
  • Flight time: about 8-12 min (6S ~ 3300mAh)

 


 
Plane Versions:

  • FunCub XL RR | Stock# M264331
  • FunCub XL Kit | Stock# M214331

 
Optional Accessories:

  • POWER Multi Light
  • Alfred the Parachutist
  • Float Kit