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NEW PRODUCT: FXR Rock Crawler Systems, HotWire PC Interface

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  • NEW PRODUCT: FXR Rock Crawler Systems, HotWire PC Interface

    [attachment=0:dl2pnr3e]TekinFXrock_2.jpg[/attachment:dl2pnr3e]

    RC Rock Crawling has grown from a fringe activity into a stand-alone competitive event with a devoted and talented following. As Rock Crawling competition has become more highly contested the caliber of driver has improved, prompting many crawling enthusiasts to search for competitive advantages. Tekin was one of the first in the RC industry to recognize the unusually demanding conditions that Rock Crawling imposed upon RC electronics and several years ago answered the challenge with the first High-Performance Rock Crawler speed control—the Rebel 2. The Rebel 2 exceeded all expectations and went on to set a new standard for Rock Crawling, earning by word-of-mouth the reputation as the workhorse of speed controls. Now Tekin is stepping up to meet the evolved demands of Rock Crawling with the Tekin FXR Crawler and FXR Crawler Pro Rock Crawler Systems.

    With performance foremost in mind, Tekin’s goal was to create the most efficient and compact Brushed Electronic Speed Control ever made for competition level Rock Crawling. The chassis size of most crawlers often imposed strict size requirements on the components contained within it. Lack of space could cause drivers to sacrifice the Center Of Gravity (COG) as they were forced to place large footprint components and speed controls in less-than ideal locations. The larger size of components was a seemingly unavoidable result of the heavy demands that rock crawler setups placed upon the them. Tekin’s initial design approach was to use the latest technology available in the form of a flash-programmable microcontroller with extensive on-board support circuitry. Eliminating unnecessary external support circuitry had the effect of minimizing the size of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) which established the minimum possible footprint. The next design objective was to now deliver high power and performance in this small package by exploiting recent late-breaking advances in semiconductor production and fabrication. The principal goal here was to reduce parasitic power losses in the MOSFET transistors, which would then translate to eliminating the power bottleneck that other speed controls introduced between the battery and the motor. An added side effect was that the heat generated in the speed control was now substantially diminished, improving the speed control’s ability to handle higher demand motors. The end result was a micro-sized heavy-duty speed control measuring just 1.15 x 0.75 x 0.4 inches.

    While many RC racers want drop-and-go capability with their setup, the constantly increasing variety of Rock Crawler designs and components brings a particular challenge to the table; how best to provide versatility without creating overwhelming complexity. The Tekin QuickTune programming system provides a seamless solution, giving users an easy interface to a variety of features and settings. It works like this: One button, the MODE button, selects a feature such as Drag Brake, a second button, the INC (Increment) button adjusts the value of that feature. Not much more to it than that. The feature list is printed on the housing sticker (DB for Drag Brake, VC for Voltage Cutoff, etc.) and an LED indicates which feature is currently selected. What the QuickTune system has done is to provide the user with a huge number of easily adjustable options without confusing just what is being adjusted. Even if the user finds that the adjustments have created unsatisfactory driving characteristics, just pressing and holding both buttons resets the features to factory defaults.

    To further facilitate user-friendly adjustment, the FXR has the ability to interface with a USB controller to allow easy connection to a PC or laptop. With the Tekin Hotwire PC interface, the user can choose to perform adjustments and even software upgrades from a visually descriptive graphical interface. The Hotwire is sold separately but is an inexpensive and powerful addition to the FXR. The Hotwire lets the user access and fine tune performance enhancing features with pinpoint accuracy, and even employ some hidden features which are not available using the On-Board QuickTune programming. The Hotwire also gives users a direct portal between the speed control and the greatest information resource ever created, the Internet. Hotwire users can download and install new speed control software as it is released, and even exchange profiles that other drivers and pro-level racers have successfully used to win at a specific competition or with a particular crawler setup.

    Some other unique features that Tekin has provided on the FXR are such innovations as the On-Board Temperature Monitor. In all RC, heat is the enemy. With batteries delivering much longer runtimes and performance motors demanding much higher power, the need to keep heat under control has become a matter of necessity. The On-Board Temperature Monitor give the user real-time feedback as to what the operating temperature of the speed control is. Racers can use the information to make gearing changes and to tune their setup to operate at peak performance and efficiency without crossing the line. As an extra safety feature the FXR has a thermal shutdown feature that serves to protect against irreparable heat damage.

    Another important design feature is the FXR’s high power internal Battery Eliminator Circuit (BEC). Many, if not most Rock Crawlers use dual servos to allow articulation of both the front and rear, providing more precise control of movement. Dual servos, especially digital servos, can overtax a weaker BEC and cause catastrophic failure of the BEC electronics, often rendering the speed control inoperative and leaving the user completely out of commission. Add in a winch or other support devices and the BEC quickly becomes the weak link in the chain. The FXR addresses this failure mechanism by providing a BEC that detects any overcurrent demands and regulates the power back to a safe level (amping out). The effect is to prevent any permanent damage with what can best be described as a thermal shutdown for all components that rely on the BEC.

    There are really just to many features on the FXR to easily cover, but more specifics and details can be found on the web at http://www.teamtekin.com/fx.html. Also available there are online instructional videos that detail installation, radio calibration, and feature adjustment.

    The FXR Rock Crawler Systems are Tekin’s proud contribution to Competitive Rock Crawling and the team at Tekin has pledged to continue to produce robust and innovative designs in the future. We firmly refuse to release anything but first-rate and flawless products. Coming soon, Tekin’s next generation performance 10th Scale speed controls, the RS Series Sensored Brushless Systems and the Tekin Power Cell Lithium Polymer Batteries.

    #TT1091 - FX-R

    Specifications:

    Controls: Forward / Brake / Reverse
    ON Resistance: 0.0012 Ohm
    Input Voltage: 4-9 Cells / 2S Lipo (3S with 35T or higher motor)
    BEC: 6.0V / 3.0A
    Motor Limit: 14 Turn
    Rev Type: 3 Choices
    Rev Strength: 11 Steps
    Dimensions: 1.1 x 0.80 x 0.40 " (28 x 20 x 10mm)

    #TT1093 - FX-R Pro

    Specifications:

    Controls: Forward / Brake / Reverse
    ON Resistance: 0.0006 Ohm
    Input Voltage: 4-9 Cells / 2S Lipo (3S with 35T or higher motor)
    BEC: 6.0V / 3.0A
    Motor Limit: No Motor Limit
    Rev Type: 3 Choices
    Rev Strength: 11 Steps
    Dimensions: 1.1 x 0.80 x 0.60 " (28 x 20 x 15.24mm)


    [attachment=1:dl2pnr3e]hotwire.jpg[/attachment:dl2pnr3e]


    The Tekin HotWire PC Interface is an inexpensive performance enhancement for the Tekin speed control lineup; drivers can easily connect their speed control to their computer or laptop without having to remove the speed control from the car. Once connected, the HotWire lets drivers accurately adjust their speed controls with a level of ease and precision that would be impossible with the on-board QuickTune programming. Drivers can even download and install new Tekin Speed Control software from the Internet as performance modifications are discovered or new features are added.

    Tekin has always tried to make onboard adjustments easy to use and set through a straightforward system of pushbuttons and LEDs, the QuickTune setup. What good are any adjustments if they are not easy to change and put to use, right? Because the new generation of Tekin speed controls occupy as little space as possible the buttons and LEDs have also become very small, leaving little room to display all the expanded features. The HotWire makes adjusting the features much easier and also provides some extra benefits--things like pinpoint precision on most adjustments and helpful explanations of what the user can expect to see when changing settings.

    The HotWire also provides access to hidden features and custom settings that could not be made accessible through the on-board programming, such as user-defined Custom Throttle Profiles, Custom Voltage Cutoffs, and Timing Advance. Users can even network with other drivers via the Internet, sharing tweaks and tuning tricks to gain the competitive edge that can make the difference between the A-main and the BQ. If they choose to, users can download and experiment with complete profiles that other drivers and pro-level racers have used to win at a particular track or with a specific setup.

    The Hotwire comes with everything needed to quickly and painlessly connect to any PC or laptop running Windows XP or Windows Vista—the HotWire unit, a USB cable, and the HotWire software installation CD. The latest software version can also be downloaded for free at
    http://www.teamtekin.com/hotwire.html.

    Of all the benefits that the HotWire provides the most significant is this; HotWire users get unrestricted free access to upgrade their speed controls to Tekin’s newest software with the latest performance modifications. HotWire users can download and easily install new speed control software as it is released--new functionality, new user settings, new features, expanded capabilities. Simply put, drivers that use the HotWire with their Tekin speed controls get products that keep getting better and better without having to purchase a completely new speed control.

    #TT1450 - HotWire
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