Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ultima SC: Almost here....

Latest teaser for the new SC truck. I kind of dig a stock SC class...I think. Maybe I'll try it out.

Also: some new Peak Racing goodies are on the way :)

Also Also: boxes are arriving like crazy gearing me up for CRCRC :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

B-Fast RC Diff Ring Review Update:

So I had been running the stock rings and balls for a few races now and decided to open up the diff the see what was going on. I took everything apart and cleaned everything up. I took a close look at the stock rings for wear and could see the high and low spots on both rings. I was pretty surprised at the difference in wear marks on the rings! I was also examining how all the parts fit together and noticed some binding in the two small inner bearings (the ones in the diff gear). I found a thin Kyosho shim that fit between the bearings perfectly and prevents them from binding with each other (credit to local racer Bill Jones who mentioned this to me at last weekends race). I cleaned all the new parts with motor spray and then put the B-Fast Carbide diff balls in the diff gear and then the B-Fast rings on the outdrives with a couple of small dabs of CA on the outside to help secure them in place. I took the thrust washers and worked them with some 800 grit paper, cleaned them and installed Earls ceramic thrust bearings. The B Fast lube syringe is pretty sweet. Makes application precise, quick and easy. Re-assembled the whole gearbox and threw it back into the RB5SP. Fired up the car and ran a quick break in process on the diff and then made some final tweaks to get the tension right. Right off the bat I noticed I needed less tension on the diff to keep it from barking. Also, I really can't stop playing with the is that smooth (it is sitting on the couch with me..haha). I have never had a diff this smooth and free..seriously, this is a nice kit. I would have never had guessed this kind of prep could make this much of a difference. I can't wait to try it out on the track (especially if it is a bit loose traction wise). I am hoping to head out next weekend to Glenwood Rc to try it out. Stay tuned for the results!

Stock rings. Hard to see uneven wear in the pic (crappy camera)

BFast ring ready to go in.

BFast Carbide diff balls

"Earl's" ceramic thrust bearing balls

Lube syringes

Accurate and easy application of lube and balls

I forgot to snap a few more pics of the build (including the little washer I was talking about). I will grab those when I tear it apart next time after some racing on them. Stay Tuned!

Edit: Speaking of Bill Jones. Ummmm I was checking out his RB5 and talking with him about his diff process as his car had THE absolute smoothest diff I have ever felt in my life. I will try to get some more pics and pick his brain on his diff building process, which is pretty extreme (talking slotting the outdrives to use blade inserts, sanding the diff rings, pinning the diff rings to the outdrives etc etc).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Clubbin @ Glenwood RC

So made my first race back on dirt since the hiatus @ Glenwood RC's new place. Much nicer than the last building. The Glenwood crew has stepped it up and gave us a really cool little track to race dirt on this winter. Young gun Ryan King made the trip with me. He won the 2wd A Main last week. Chet was absent because he was celebrating Christmas early with the family and Steve's passport has not shown up yet. The track surface is the weirdest dirt you will come across. I think it is river bed silt and feels like talcum powder. When wet the traction is pretty good, but if it dries out you will be fighting for traction. I ended up using JConcept Green Goosebumps in the rear and Green Groovy Fronts. The rears were slicked out and the fronts were taken down about 3/4 of the way. In 2wd TQ changed every round. Kyosho teammate Scott Cimato took round one, Ryan took round two and I stole it in round 3. For the main we were all debating tire choice and I kept the JC's on. I lead out right from the tone and never looked back. Ryan started to gun me down near the end but I managed to squeak the extra lap in on them (just to show them who the boss is still...haha). It felt good to get back onto dirt and really needed the practice for up coming CRCRC.

Random thoughts:
- Only took us just over an hour to get there including border crossing. Sweet!
- No hassles either way from Customs. Sweet!
- I wish 2wd was more popular there. Funny how different tracks have different big classes. 4wd is big at Glenwood.

More Pics here: Facebook Page

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coming soon: 2010 CRCRC Midwest Championships coverage!

Hide your daughters.....It is getting closer to that time of year again! "Almost Live" will be on the road again to bring you the scoop from the 2010 season kick off race. A little preview for the year to see who is on their early season form. Hope to have some new features for you, but again it will depend on how good the on site internet is.

CRCRC Wishlist:

- Good internet (gonna be hard with that many people)
- Slick tire track (not having to grind tires to 5 different types of "Ghost Pins" would be nice)
- A huge ass triple (kidding, but a nice flowy fun track with good visability would be cool)
- Not insanely cold weather (or have provisions for block heaters...haha)
- No tire bucket spilling (for once please)
- Nobody forgetting a car at home (I will be all over the Jay & Fred "isms")

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peak Racing Sneak Peek (sneak peak?...haha)

Yummy new race packs coming your way soon!

4600maH, 5000maH & 5400maH 45C stick packs

4500maH & 6000maH saddle packs

Word to yo mama!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Product Review: B-Fast RC Performance Diff Kit : Part 1

So once again Hot Bodies Team Driver Scott Olenik was in touch to rave about these diff rings that all the locals have been using made by a company called B-Fast. He got me in touch with Fred at B-Fast and low and behold he sent me some kits to try out and give my opinion on them. They arrived two days after the initial build of my RB5SP (go figure) but at least this will give me a good comparison between the build and feel of the stock rings and balls over their hand finished rings and carbide balls. I know the stock Kyosho balls are soft and wear out relatively quickly and I have been using ceramic diff balls for ages now so it will be interesting to see if I can feel/see differences between them all.
I was browsing their website: and see that B-Fast comes from a 27 year background as a machinist so they know a thing or two about carbide and precision parts. Their philosophy is that perfectly flat diff rings coupled with the extreme toughness of carbide diff balls will make your car handle better, make your diff last longer and smoother in action by sharing the load on all of the diff balls equally (not possible with stock rings which have slight high and low spots). I am a firm believer in having a properly built diff for optimum performance on the track (and smooth shocks) .

Showing the difference between stock rings and B-Fast rings using a bluing agent that machinist use to see high and low spots on a metal surface:

So I have been running on the stock rings and diff balls for a little bit now and when I break it down for a rebuild I will take some pictures of how the stock parts held up and change it out with the B-Fast gear......To be continued.

Power Supply Envy....

MuchMore Power Master Legend (~$200)
So I broke down and got what I think is the coolest power supply out there. 44 amps of DC goodness. I looked at smaller cheaper ones along the way but just couldn't get away from this one. Price be damned, it is too damn sexy! Too much power is never a bad thing and all the hook up ports are sweet. I may be a fashion whore, but hey, I have to look at it on the bench all day long at a race, might as well be pretty! haha. So if you are pitting next to me, feel free to tap into the gluttony of power I now possess!

The contenders were (quick rundown):

Much More Power Master 24 Amp (~$140)
+ Powerful little package
+ Good looks
+Dual outputs
- Higher priced
- No USB port

ProTek RC 40 Amp (~$130)
+ Awesome value
+ USB Port
- Not as good looking
- Only 1 output for this much power

Competition Electronics 23 Amp (~$130)
+ Decent power for price
- Single output
- No USB

ProTek RC 20 Amp (~$65)
+ Good value
+ USB Port
- Not sure if 20 Amps is enough for me
- Single output

Integy Super Station 27 Amp (~$150)
+ Good power for value
+ Good looking
+ Multi outputs
+ Nice footprint
- No USB

Checkpoint 25 Amp (~$90) (Available Here)
+ Great power to value ratio
+ Dual outputs
+ Small footprint
- No USB

Generic 40 Amp (~$100) (Available Here)
+ 40 amps for $100!
+ Multi outputs
- A little thick in height
- Wonky terminals
- No USB

Thanks to A Main Hobbies & Robot Marketplace for the pics!

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Indoor Dirt Track!

So the new Glenwood track is almost ready to go! Those guys don't mess around and got it built fast! I think it is just outside Buffalo, so it is a short drive for us in the Greater Toronto Area. Here are some of the pics of the new place. They should be open next week I think.

Picture credit to:
More info at:

Fastcats Fall Trophy Race

Great turnout, great track, great racing. Par for the course for a race at fastcats. John, Pam and crew there always put on a professional show and the track always delivers fast tight racing. Truly one of the best racing facilities in North America.

Well, I was off for a good 6-8 month hiatus not racing at all. Had the RB5SP built up two days before the race but didn't have any time for pre race day practice. I made sure to get there first thing on Sunday though and managed to bang off two packs worth of practice. My set up was vastly different than the current crop of fast guys there (I just threw the Tebo dirt set up on there with the exception of stiffer rear springs). I wasn't too too far off the pace though (better than expected after not driving for so long). I had a few fast guys in my qualifying heat and managed a couple of third place finishes. Man, it is tough here just to make the A Main as there are so many fast guys and the pace is really tight. I managed to squeak my way into 6th place on the grid for the A Main though, bumping some pretty fast guys out of the show.

At the tone for the main we all got off pretty clean. A few laps in though there was some carnage up front and I managed to weave into 4th place. Didn't last long though as a crash dropped me back a few spots. You ABSOLUTELY cannot make a mistake here. Clean, precise driving is what it takes to win when the field is so tight. One crash can put you literally down to the bottom! TQ Justin DaSilva I think had a pretty clean go at it from the tone and took his RB5 to the win. I tried to push from the back, but a few more bobbles really costed me and I had to settle for 7th place. I am still pretty happy with that actually as most of these guys have been running here for months and have their cars dialed in pretty good. My goal was to put the car in the A Main for my first race back. I think there were some videos of all the mains and I will see if I can steal them. Results should be posted soon too for everyone. Kind of short coverage this time out as I had to duck out right after my race to go to a family dinner (good thing it was only 10 minutes from the track as I just made it on time!). Thanks to Steve for grabbing the door prize for me (I think I won a Lipo battery...sweet). I know the 4wd A main was going to be killer too as racing was crazy tight as well.

Random Thoughts:
- Fastcats "Fast Laps" computer is quite possibly the coolest piece of hardware (and software) you will encounter at any race. You can track all your laps and print out all the data. this will provide proof if your changes are working or not. I believe John programmed and built this whole thing himself (he is a computer guru). Amazing.
- I love 2wd.
- The Orion 8.5 V2 is a great motor. Not too many people know about it as shops don't seem to stock it.
- Carpet racing is soooo much different than racing on dirt. Traction is insane and the cars really rail around the track
- I think it is easier to get up to speed on this type of surface and I think that helped me make the A Main after so much time off. If it was a loose surface I probably would have been cursing. The high traction is forgiving to the trigger finger.
- I want to thank everyone again for helping me get everything built up and for the power supply use etc. Great bunch of friends!
- The Durango 4wd buggy is SUCH a work of art. Cool to see someone buy one up here. Can't wait to see it on dirt too.
- Half of the place shut down when the hot chick came in to watch her nephew race. This I would think would be par for the course at any RC
- There is lots of talk for CRCRC this year. Looks like there will be about 8 of us making the trip from these parts this year.
- Panzerotti's are soooo good.
- I love my wife. She actually set foot into an RC track to bring me some bubble tea (Asian thing) on her way to her parents house who live a few minutes away from the track. Local tracks have their advantage!
- My 2.5 year old was in tow as well and he loved watching the cars. He didn't want to leave! Watch out Tebo...he is coming.
- Lots of DSLR cameras out there now. Not in Almost Live's budget (and the wife won't let me use hers) so you guys will have to deal with my trusty pocket camera!
- I applaude Martin P's pit space. Very OCD in its cleanliness and organization!
- Anyone else ever see the Tamiya shock pump? It pumps the air out of your shocks when building for a perfect build every time. It was pretty cool even if it looked like a penis pump....

EDIT: Tools showed up today...haha typical!

- Jay had some of the worst luck today.
- I don't think he finished any of the first round quali's (and he was running 3 classes!)
- I say it is the diffs....haha
- Jay may be the new Mike Gremk. His pit was all over the place. My space shrank as the day went on.
- Jay's Pop Tart shock oil box is awesome although it made me hungry.

Pics and video are on the new "Almost Live" facebook page as it is way easier to upload stuff there: "Almost Live" facebook page

A Few pics that camera pro guy Martin Pillmajer:

Me snipping up some tires.

A Main line up

J.B. Catricala staging up.

Concourse winner

Track shot

johnnyboy working the blog

More pics by Martin here:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Almost Live is Back!

Well off to fastcats for the one day trophy race on their indoor carpet off-road track. I have been out of the game for a good 6-8 months and was up until 2 am building up a new RB5SP car. Thanks to Tamiya Canada racer Abiye Birku for loaning me some tools to build it (as my new Kyosho Kanai super bling tools are still on order). Going to be a little rusty, but no better way to shake out the cobb webs than to just jump right back in on a race day with zero practice! LOL. I forgot a bunch of set up stuff but Joe Pillars at Kyosho/Peak endured all my e-mails regarding car set up and motor settings. I know the car at least turns on and goes straight from testing it in my basement and I only had a few extra screws left over after the build...haha. The new body isn't done but my old one still has life in it. So good to go. I know a lot of the guys there have stepped it up and gotten quite fast on the super high traction surface. I guess I will have to get there early and get as much practice in as I can as I missed Saturday practice and it is really quite different than driving on dirt. Anyways, stoked to be back and can't wait to get some indoor action in!

Randon thoughts:

- The RB5SP has some great running changes. Mainly the new beefed up steering racks. No need for alloy ones anymore.
- The new turnbuckles, while not as bling as the gold ones, do not bind up on the springs and are just as strong.
- I have finally made the switch to the Kyosho hex wheels over the proline ones. The hex is where it is at! No more roll pins!!!!
- The Orion servos are really quite good. Very fast and strong.
- I am so stoked to have an Orion 8.5 V2 Vortex brushless motor. 8.5 is my favourite wind in a 2wd.
- I still need to clean up/stealthen the wiring but it was 2am and I was too tired to change wiring etc.
- The new Orion charger is also killer! up to 10 amp charge for LiPo. 2C charging finally!
- I sold my power supply to Fred and Chet then like a week later I decide to race again and have no power supply. I am a dumb ass sometimes.
- I will however sign the cheque and get the new 44A Much More power supply and be the envy of all!

.:insert photo here:.
- Jay went back to the B4
- Jay hopefully will not forget to pack his 2wd for this race
- I am willing to bet Jay's diff's need re-building
- Jay is stoked for CRCRC Miswest Champs race

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Holloween!

Thanks again to everyone who checks this blog out. 2010 should be an exciting year!

Also, thanks to all my sponsors for all the support. Great bunch of companies and people helping me out and I look forward to a great 2010 season with them all!



p.s. - My wife will think I am a huge dork for the pumpkin...haha.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gear from the Tokyo Hobby Show

Some quick pics I found from the Tokyo Hobby Show. Some of the new Kyosho and Team Orion gear including the 8th scale electric stuff, the new SC truck and some of the new packs. Nice Nice!

Friday, October 9, 2009

So the season is over!

Well 2009 is over and was pretty much a write off! I don't remember the last summer that rained this much! Lots of events cancelled. It was a good time to take a summer off from racing! Between work, the kid and my wife racing Triathlons I had a busy summer! Looking forward to 2010. Lots of new teams and people changing teams around here. 2010 should be an exciting year. As for me, well I can't say a whole lot just yet, but I have a few things in the works for sure. I will be adding a Twitter race update (I think anyways, well see how annoying it is to me) and a Facebook race page (which I think will be easier and better for uploading stuff). Click the links on the logo's above. There has been a fair amount of local e-speculation on what I am doing in 2010. The only thing I will say right now is that I have bought a nice shiny new Futaba 3PKS FASST system!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Sid's Raceway Fall Classic Cup

Well, lets see if we can get one race off without a hitch. The Fall Classic is back again to finish off the season. Hopefully the weather holds! Looking for a 3 peat Kyosho sweep!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

johnnyboy "world wide"!

I got an e-mail from Hot Bodies Team driver Scott O asking me if I was in I told him I had sold my buggy to a dude in Spain and with the European Champs on there now and with Oople's always great race coverage, it was only a matter of time before "the 'ol girl" made it to the net I guess. Wonder how he made out (forget his name now).

oOple's European Championship Coverage

Pictures from:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Long time no see!

Hi guys (and gal's?)

Sorry I have not had any reports as of late. There are a couple of reasons. First off, our "summer" up here has been nothing but rainy weekends and a lot of the racing has been canceled or miserable! Secondly, I work for the family business (shameless plug: and we have expanded quite a bit this year and I have had to put in some man hours selling and getting things organized. It has been pretty crazy there (which is good in this economy I suppose) so I have had to put racing on the back burner this season. I will be back though (I have really missed racing this year)! Might have a couple of changes in the wings too. I have been on the fence on wether to enter Nitro Buggy racing. I know nothing of nitro engines, but it is still a huge class up here and quite frankly I have some serious competitiveness issues (I thought it is supposed to wain as you get older?) and might just want to see if I can do any damage in that arena.

Thanks to everyone who checks out my little blog and you will see some more cool coverage in the future!



workin hard or hardly workin? I'm sure there is a R/C website open in the background...haha