Father & Son feelings about Escape RC
We have been busy testing our prototype cars with various customers segments and here is one of the reports we received back from a father & son duo. Its a great read and its great to see that we are doing the right things and they are getting the right results.
People tend to think of RC cars as a hobby for fathers and sons, and that is how many people get started with the RC hobby. That’s how it got started with me and my son as well. Our first car was a radio-controlled toy car and a year ago it was time to upgrade to a slightly faster one with adjustable features. We picked up a 4WD car with accessories included for a little over 500 € at a department store.
The fun didn’t last long. The drive shaft broke during the first run. Other components broke on almost every subsequent run. Since getting spare parts wasn’t easy, we decided to get a secondary car from which we’d get the spare parts as the original ones kept breaking.
Over time the constant fixing and total amount of money spent on it started annoying me more and more. Of course, we were beginners, and everything comes at a price, but the amount of money and the amount of trouble we went through started to seem unreasonable.
Niko at EuroRC had helped us solve some of the problems, but he also suggested we get a whole new car before we give up with the hobby - like so many people have who got their first vehicle from a department store.
Time for a new car
One day we dropped by at EuroRC to check out the place and greet the staff. We marveled at the cars and car parts while complaining about the poor technical quality of our car. Niko suggested we got a new car, and the time felt right for us too.
So we left home with a huge box filled with smaller boxes and plastic bags. The box contained a partly assembled Escape Buchanan, a car body, a battery with a charger and a controller. The box also contained a set of tools and a manual with assembly instructions.
We felt slightly doubtful about the assembly, but we’d gotten tons of experience from fixing the old car. The chassis had some of the components already mounted on it, but some we got to mount ourselves.
One of the pros of getting a ready-to-run (RTR) car is that it’s literally ready to run once out of the box. The cons are the poor mechanics and tunability. With an RTR vehicle you miss out on learning about how the car functions, which will later show in driving performance as well as driving experience.
Part by part
Assembling the car with the help of the manual is like building a complicated Lego model. The initial confusion about the amount of stuff will fade once you organize all the bags and packages in the order in which you need them along the assembly.
While assembling, it was impossible not to compare our new car with the old one. The car we bought at the department store mainly had cross-head screws. Flat-headed screws would’ve been even worse, but cross-head screws are a bad choice for something that needs to be taken apart and reassembled regularly. The new car has socket cap screws, which is perfect. One particularly good thing about socket cap screws is that they’re easy to handle for a 7-year-old, which added moments of success in the assembly process.
The materials used in the cars also differed to an extent. For example, the rear shocks in the old car and the back wing were both mounted on the same plastic part, which broke easily and was difficult to replace. The same part in the new car was made of aluminum, which raises hopes for better durability.
The best part for learning about the functioning of the car was assembling the shocks and mounting the steering equipment and adjusting them. Both caused certain uncertainty, though the only mishap during the assembly was spilling the shock oil on the floor. Luckily there was so much oil in the bottle that we were able to assemble the shocks despite the spillage.
We did the first test run indoors and once we saw everything was working like it should, we put the green painted body on the car and headed outside. The car moved snappily and driving it was fun. Though that was partly because we’d assembled the car ourselves and it felt great to see it working. And that was not all.
The throttle, break and steering response was very precise. Driving the old car was similar to drifting on the first snow on a tuned moped, controllability being pretty much the same in both vehicles, though neither provide long-lasting joy nor feeling of success. The precise response brings a whole new dimension to the driving experience. The car obeys all your commands, which made it feel like my own driving skills were on a whole new level.
The durability of the car seems decent and so far, there’s been no need for spare parts. However, it’s clear that the car will need repairs sooner or later. It should be easy now that we’re already familiar with the structure of the car.