Articles

NEW Team Losi XXX-T Brushless

Posted:  Friday, May 12, 2006
Written By:  Gary Katzer
Copyright:© 2006 Horizon Hobby, Inc.

It's been said before that if you "Win on Sunday, you sell on Monday." From all-out race cars to RTR's, Team Losi vehicles have always pushed the envelope when it comes to design and innovation. The same race-inspired vehicles that top drivers race around the world provide the concepts for some of the most popular RTR vehicles as well. Keeping up their tradition of providing the best performing RTR's out there, Team Losi is once again combining a National Championship-winning vehicle, in this case the XXX-T, with one of the hottest new pieces of electronics to hit the market, a Novak Brushless system. This combination of performance and speed delivers a terrific one-two punch to the competition.

The Truck

The XXX-T platform has been a winner since its initial release. The basic platform remains unchanged, which is a good thing. Team Losi set the standard in the use of molded chassis and suspension components, and the XXX-T Brushless continues that tradition of excellence. All of the molded components have been well proven to meet the needs and demands of the beginning driver. These parts have been molded to be rigid enough to allow the suspension to do its job, yet not so rigid as to be brittle. Speaking of the suspension, the XXX-T Brushless features the same championship-winning suspension design and geometry as the original XXX-T. Team Losi's genuine hard-anodized aluminum shock bodies come as standard equipment on the XXX-T Brushless.  These super-smooth shocks provide the truck with a plush ride over a variety of obstacles and give it a sure-footed feeling. All in all, the XXX-T Brushless has everything it needs under the body to be an awesome handling truck on the track or in the yard.

The Powerplant

The buzz about brushless technology really started with Novak Electronics. Sure, there were other systems available before the Novak System, but those were generally airplane-based motors that had been retrofitted for RC car use and were generally cost prohibitive. Novak Electronics broke through with a system that was both affordably priced and specifically designed for land-based RC cars and trucks. As time has progressed, Novak has made some tweaks and refinements to their brushless motors that appeal to a variety of different users. From racing to bashing, Novak Electronics has definitely established themselves as the leader in brushless motor technology. Their dedication to excellence and innovation made Novak Electronics the perfect partner for the XXX-T Brushless. When compared to a brushed motor, the performance of a vehicle is considerably improved with the use of a brushless motor. Brushless motors require significantly less maintenance than a brushed motor, providing extended runtimes at a higher speed. Additionally, brushed motors begin to degrade almost immediately from the first run due to brush wear, the hardening of the commutator from heat cycles, and the reduction of the magnetic field. There are many positive reasons to consider going brushless.

Both the motor and speed controller have been tailored specifically for the XXX-T platform. While it has similar characteristics to the standard Novak 4300 Brushless Motor (low maintenance, performance as good as or better than the best stock motor available, etc), there have been some minor enhancements made to the motor specifically for this application. The solder tabs have been redesigned from the original 4300. Gone is the PCB-style mounting system, replaced with a new tab system that provides a larger contact area for soldering to. If soldering isn't your thing, there's nothing to worry about; the speed controller and motor both feature bullet connectors preinstalled for you. If there ever comes a time where you need to remove the motor from the truck, you'll be able to in a snap. One other change to the 4300 that is included with the XXX-T Brushless is purely cosmetic: the motor's can has been anodized black.

The speed controller may look familiar to fans of the original Novak Super Sport ESC, but this speed controller has been designed specifically for the XXX-T Brushless. The software on the Super Sport 10.5 has been tweaked to make it as easy to use as possible for newcomers while still providing exceptional performance. While there were 6-drive profiles on the original unit, the software has been simplified and the two most common profiles have been loaded into the unit. The first profile provides you with proportional throttle response in both forward and reverse. To prevent damage to the drivetrain, Novak's proprietary Smart Braking II software allows you to nail the brakes without having reverse engage at an inopportune time. The second profile is designed with those who may end up at a race track with their truck in mind, as it is set up for forward-only operation with brakes. This simplified programming eliminates the need for newcomers to understand drive profile, drag brake, or other more advanced tuning options.

Completing the Package

When you combine the excellent handling characteristics of the XXX-T with the performance and ease of use of the Novak 4300 Brushless system, you have an excellent foundation. But without the right radio system the other items don't mean as much. On other RTR's, the included radio system is often the weakest link and doesn't live up to the rest of the package. Team Losi continues its tradition of providing an exceptional computerized radio system with their RTR's with the XXX-T Brushless. A genuine JR XR2i computerized radio system is included with the XXX-T Brushless as standard equipment. The XR2i features 2-channel operation and allows you to store profiles for two different models, as well as other advanced features not normally found on RTR radios. To keep the XXX- T Brushless going in the right direction, a JR Z590M is included as standard equipment. The Z590M has plenty of torque and speed, plus the metal gears help to improve durability and prevent you from stripping a gear.

An all-new paint scheme has also been designed for the XXX-T Brushless. It comes painted in a wonderful combination of yellow, blues, and black. This scheme is very easy to see on the track, and a sheet of decals is included to personalize the body as well. Multi-rib front tires and step-pin rear tires come pre-glued to yellow dish wheels. The XXX-T rolls out of the box equipped to cover a variety of needs, from the back yard to the cul-de-sac or the racetrack.

Innovation doesn't just happen; it takes the right people implementing new and fresh ideas to be innovative. The XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless breaks new ground in providing enthusiasts with the first brushless motor-equipped RTR available anywhere. Along with the exceptional performance and reduced maintenance provided by the Novak 4300 Brushless system and 10.5 Super Sport ESC, users will also have improved run time, further increasing the overall value and "fun factor" of the XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless. There's never been a better time than now to step up and take advantage of the performance offered by brushless motor technology, especially when it's been mated with an exceptional truck like the XXX-T.

Fast-FAQ's

Can I use other brushless motors with the included Super Sport Speed Controller?

The 10.5 Super Sport was designed specifically for the included Novak 4300 Brushless motor only. Unlike the Novak Super Sport Plus or GTB, the 10.5 Super Sport is not compatible with brushed motors either. Use of any other motor with the Super Sport ESC could potentially damage the ESC and will void your warranty.

How much assembly is needed before I run my truck for the first time?

The XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless comes out of the box completely assembled, tires glued, with all the electrical connections made for you at the factory. All you will need to do is install 8 AA batteries into the transmitter, charge a 6-cell battery, install the battery pack and connect it to the plug on the ESC. There's no building required, no painting, and no gluing. It doesn't get much easier.

Can I use hop-ups for the XXX-T on my XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless?

Absolutely! One of the benefits to using the XXX-T's winning platform on the XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless is that any parts designed for the XXX-T* are compatible.

Can I race the XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless at sanctioned races?

A lot depends on the type of event. If you are a beginner and racing in a "Sportsman" or entry-level class, most tracks have fairly loose rules regarding motors. Most clubs have also allowed Brushless motors in the "modified" classes. In the event you'd like to enter a National or Regional ROAR event, ROAR has stated at this time that you may only use brushless motors in the modified class.

I've heard that brushless motors shut down a lot or go into some sort of thermal shutdown. Is there any truth to this?

Most speed controllers have some sort of thermal-protection circuitry to protect the ESC from damage. More times than not, however, the thermal shutdown doesn't kick in to protect the ESC until after you've damaged or ruined your motor. The Novak Super Sport 10.5 does have a built-in thermal shutdown circuit. The thermal shutdown circuitry protects both the motor and speed controller from damage from excessive heat.. If the ESC detects that either the motor or speed controller are running too hot, the ESC will shut down until temperatures are within safe operating limits. The gearing has been preset at the factory and optimized for use in the XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless. A gear ratio has been selected to provide the best balance possible between acceleration, top speed, run time, and operating temperatures. If the motor is over-geared (too large of a pinion or too small of a spur gear), it will place an excessive load on the motor, causing it to overheat. Unless something is wrong (such as a rock jammed in the gears) or you've changed the gearing, you should not go into thermal shutdown.

What battery packs can I use with my XXX-T Sport RTR II Brushless?

The Novak Super Sport 10.5 Brushless Speed Controller is compatible with 4- to 6-cell Sub-C Ni-Cd or Ni-MH battery packs. It is not recommended that you exceed these voltage recommendations or you could possibly damage your speed controller.

What sort of maintenance is required on the motor?

Novak Electronics does not recommend using any solvent on the circuitry that makes up either the motor or speed controller. To clean out the bearings in your Novak 4300 motor, Novak Electronics recommends you use compressed air to blow any dirt away from the ball bearing at the bottom of the motor's can. Once this is done, simply use a drop or two of quality ball bearing oil on the bearing and reinstall the motor in your truck.

*Optional Gen II and VLA components from the XXX-T Matt Francis II are not direct-fit components.


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