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  #21  
Old 07-02-2013
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surely if batteries are ROAR approved why cant they be used for BRCA meetings, as the last post goes if it's ROAR or EFRA then they should be legal??
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Old 07-02-2013
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Companies aren't in the habit of making things to blow up - and if we're talking about lipo safety, who says which lipo is going to blow. Expensive, cheaper, cheapest. Probably all the same. I've never seen one blow. I've killed a couple of packs by driving past their low voltage - never mind, no drama.
I've bought cheap lipo batteries for laptops - they didn't blow my knee off yet. I am not sure what all the aspects of lipo homologation is - but I am fairly certain they aren't taken to a bomb range and rated for their explosiveness!

I saw super expensive team nimh cells injure people - so how was that safe due to homologation. Wasn't.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Am i right in thinking to change things
1,needs to be proposed then seconded for brca agm
2,people need to turn up and vote.
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  #24  
Old 07-02-2013
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I assumed that they were checked for dimensions, charged at a set rate, discharged at a set rate then taken apart to check quality of internals for homologation?

If cheaper lipos were homologated then it may wake the more expensive 'manufacturers' question how much value their sticker adds in order to sell them.

Would be interesting to see a reliable test done with the cheaper stuff compared to the brand names we pay for.

Maybe we need an oOple Stig, a tamed race driver that can do comparison tests on the track with consistant driving to compare performance!
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Old 07-02-2013
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If you ask me a lipo sack is a complete waste of time and money, purely because the Velcro "seal" cannot close properly when your charging wires are going through it! All you would get if the lipo went up is a space shuttle sized flame shooting out the side of the bag, probably straight into your crotch

I would rather be able to see the battery charging and give it a quick feel every now and again to make sure it's not getting warm
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  #26  
Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicky14 View Post
surely if batteries are ROAR approved why cant they be used for BRCA meetings, as the last post goes if it's ROAR or EFRA then they should be legal??
What does roar and EFRA approved even mean - it's not for safety, it's only for fair competition surely? But in off road there's no advantage by having your lipo 0.1mm oversize and overcooking lipo's on purpose to get an edge? Really? I don't believe it.

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Hard cased
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  #27  
Old 07-02-2013
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I saw a lipo fail in a branded lipo sack. It just melted it.

The lipo sack saved nothing.
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2013
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I shall reply to this when i get home, put on my tin hat and bullshit deflectors.....
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2013
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From the perspective of someone who last raced 'properly' in the days of brushed motors and 'Intellect Bang' nimh and who is considering a (slight) return:

In the labour intensive days of handwound, hand dyno'd motors and carefully matched packs of cells, homologation served as a useful cost cap for high end equipment though (as Jimmy points out) it still didn't ensure any kind of equality between clubman and team driver.

Now we actually have that parity, in as much as we can all enjoy more power 'off the shelf' than we can feasibly use, it appears that homologation is quite the opposite. If you're one of the limited approved range then anyone wanting to do more than club level racing has to come to you. Having a captive market means you can charge more for your rebadged Chinese kit than otherwise identical, non-approved stuff.

It does remind me a little of the racketeering you see in mob movies, but the BRCA will only test the items they're sent. Perhaps there should be more onus on distributors to submit more of their applicable gear, not just the fancy brands with bigger margins?

The requirement for products to be 'commercially available' is sensible, after all the BRCA has a vested interest in protecting UK hobby shops where possible. In this internet age of overseas wholesale operations and their UK warehouses, defining 'commercially available' could get interesting though!

With tens of thousands of club racers and bashers using 'off brand' equipment without issues then the 'safety' argument of homologation is pretty weak. Put it this way, any racing I do in 2013 will likely be at club level only with kit that costs way less than the national driver on the next table, yet with no discernible performance penalty.
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  #30  
Old 07-02-2013
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Jeez, do people really have no idea how the BRCA is run and how the rules are formed? I will no doubt repeat this time and agin, but there is now 'us' and 'them', the BRCA is run entirely by racers just like you and me, except they are prepared to put their free time into helping the hobby instead of moaning about it online.
If you want to change anything at all in the rules then all you have to do is put in a proposal and vote on it at the AGM. If you can argue your case and the majority agree then your proposal will get passed. If you can't be bothered to do that then you can't really complain because others have made a different decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
8th buggies have their tanks checked for capacity - but the only national I've ever been to, I was shocked to see that it ultimately came down to a divide between people who could run 10 minutes and those that couldn't - and therefore had to pit more often.
Just like the old days of 1/10th buggies. Limited battery capacity meant you either fitted a lower wind and drove steady for five minutes, or you put a softer wind in there, geared up and drove harder. In 1/8th limited tank capacity means you either tune the engine to run leaner and driver more carefully or you run hard to make up the extra stop. It's not whether they could or couldn't, it's their choice whether to stretch out fuel stops or not.

Quote:
I have to question why they aren't forced to run actual touring car bodies but instead streamlined bathtubs that look nothing like a car I'd want to be seen in!
Because the rules have limited what they can do with the bodies. If you think they look bad now just think what they would look like without an restrictions on body design.
If your complaint is that they don't look realistic, why aren't you also complaining that buggies look even further from the real thing. If touring cars should be running scale replica shells then buggies should have live axles and a cage like the Axial Wraith, not something that bears no resemblance to the real thing.

Quote:
When it comes to electric racing - and particularly off-road where my personal interest mainly lays with (hey, I like it all tho), there's a limiting factor called skill.
10th buggy racers are more equal than ever before - despite, not because of, the scrutineering, rules and homologation. When you can always have more power and duration than you could possibly ever use, why homologate?
Because the drivers in the class decided amongst themselves at the BRCA AGM to only use parts on the BRCA Electric Board list. No class is forced to use BRCA homologated motors and batteries, several classes don't use the homologation lists. The lists are to ensure relative equality between all the various brands. Yes there are minor differences, but it stops someone sticking a 17.5T label on a 15.5T motor and then it being the only motor to run in the 17.5 class.

If you want a free for all just propose it and vote on it at the AGM.

Quote:
These days the cells are checked for voltage above the norm - it was explained to me that people have been known to cheat by over-cooking their lipo's in some way, but clearly in off road, no one is ever going to do that, because it won't make a difference.
I think now they might claim it to be a safety issue - but standing there revving the car until the voltage drops would have been the same if the car had done a warmup lap anyway.
You are assuming that a small increase in battery voltage won't make a difference in all other classes. If you run a spec touring car class then that little extra voltage will make your car go a little bit faster. When qualifying results are measured in tenths or hundredths of a second every little counts. If there isn't a limit where do you stop overcharging? 8.45v, 8.6v? We have all seen the videos on youtube of what happens when you overcharge a lipo, it just reduces the chance of accidents.


Quote:
Lipo bags - are there guidelines for these? My lipo bag I can't see possibly stopping the devastating power of a lipo going off. Maybe that's something that actually should be homologated, and properly tested.

The most dangerous batteries in the entire universe as far as I'm concerned were the last generation of NiMh cells. I'd say these were less predictable and possibly more dangerous than a lipo cell - but there were no charging-in-sac rules for those. I personally witnessed a pack explode in a car that was being carried - it blew the car apart. I also saw a pack explode on someones table - luckly they weren't there, but some people got hit far away by metal from the huge explosion. Some how these were homologated!
I would ask around the 1/12th racers then. They have seen several lipo fires in their pits.

A nimh cell will go bang and make a loud noise. Nimh have always been fairly safe until Intellect really took the piss with the rules, designing cells that the process of soldering a pack together usually meant you melted the safety vent. All the cells I have seen that were pretty destructive were Intellects. Most will just pop the cap off, some will throw their contents across the room, but that's it, done. it might be a bit warm but nothing more is going to happen.

With lipos they are self sustaining, once started it will keep on burning at very high temperatures until it has expended all its energy. The point of a lipo sack isn't to control an explosion or to be left burning on your pit table, it buys you some time when the pack ignites. For most lipos in planes and helicopters the standard lipo sack is easily able to contain the fire. We tend to use somewhat more powerful batteries.

The 1/12th section does require buckets of sand to be in the pits at every meeting. Being indoors there is considerably more danger than most off road tracks. If a lipo catches fire it is covered in the sand to smother it then left until it burns itself out, so keeping the toxic smoke contained as well.

Quote:
Why are motors homologated - what is the advantage in off road?
Because the Electric Board was asked to homologate motors by the BRCAs members, so the motors should be more or less equal in performance. Just because off road doesn't need motor limits doesn't mean other section don't either.

As off road have more power than grip, unlike most other classes, there isn't an advantage apart from making sure the motors are commercially available. If you don't think there's a need for it propose it and vote on it at the AGM.

Quote:
Batteries - why are they homologated? For sure spec them in a hard case and 7.4v etc - but why do they need homologation.
To ensure we have a level playing field and to ensure the batteries meet international safety standards. Lipos submitted for homologation have to include proof they have passed safety tests. It also ensures they are commercially available, a free for all could mean we go back to manufacturer 'specials' for team drivers that you can't buy in the shops.

Quote:
Why are lipo cells which are well known to sometimes swell slightly with normal use, I mean, fractions of a mm, homologated but still illegal?
Because there is a maximum size and the manufacturers should take that into consideration. Lets say a pack that swells 2mm is allowed this 'tolerance'. So, the manufacturer makes a new pack which includes this 2mm oversize tolerance in their pack. They get extra capacity in there, which means a higher average voltage for many on road classes. Then everyone else follows suit and we end up back where we started, just with packs now 2mm too big to fit in most cars.

Quote:
Surely if you homologate something, it's legal - but it doesn't work that way.
That's Trinitys current defence over their D3.5 17.5T motors. ROAR has found it uses oversize wire which explains why it's the fastest motor in the class. Trinity is complaining because they managed to get it through homologation months ago but now it has been retested it's found to be illegal.

Same with lipos. Lets say you are running a class with a 4200mah capacity limit, and a manufacturer has a pack homologated. If the manufacturer then increases the size slightly while keeping the same label on it, you now have a pack that is going to outperform all other lipos in that class.

The manufacturers have a maximum size allowed and they should take that into consideration when designing the packs. The old nimh cells had a maximum size and they would still be within that size after swelling, until Intellect built their cells deliberately oversize and all the racers went out and bought them because they had a very slightly higher average voltage.

Quote:
One of the few advantages some sponsored drivers may have these days is in the software on their ESC's. They will get the latest developments before anyone but this isn't regulated at all. One area that you could argue should be homologated but isn't - I wouldn't argue for it, but it shows how behind the times some of these things are.
Technically ESC software is regulated, there are very strict requirements on what ESCs can and cannot do in blinky mode. Orca were caught out with dodgy software and were given a blanket ban of ROAR races for six months.

Quote:
I think there's a lot of daft things personally that need modernising. How can you possibly have a rule that states your 'open cage' buggy should be a realistic representation and have a driver figure..
Because the rule was written when we had the Hirobo Zerda, Mugen Bulldog and AYK Viper. An open cage buggy has no body at all, just an open cage.
Quote:
but then you allow a cab forward shell? Yes - you can run a shell no possible scale humanoid would ever fit in that looks nothing like a buggy but more like a spaceship - and you can have painted opaque windows if you like.
That choice is down to the drivers creating the rules, every other class actually specifies clear windows. If you want to go scale then you would end up banning every buggy body available. It would be nicer if buggies looked more like the real thing, but you aren't going to get the drivers to vote for it.

Quote:
Body shell holes - how can you say they need to be defined by the manufacturer -
At the AGM last year the rules were changed, there are now specific maximum sizes for holes for cooling. The manufacturer can make as big a cut line as you would want but the drivers voted to change it this year.

Quote:
I'm in it for the love - rules, control tyres and fair racing are all good. I think things are well behind the times though. Having your wheel nuts slightly interfere with a size checking box makes ab-so-lutely no difference on the track but you win the worlds with that and you'd be disqualified. Silly.
Okay, lets allow a car with slightly longer axles to pass scrutineering. Then what is to stop another manufacturer making their buggy wider, because you can't argue that it's not allowed while allowing someone else to run with a slightly oversize car. If you want cars with wheel nuts catching in the box then propose and vote to increase the maximum width at the AGM. Then everyone will be shimming their wheels out to the new width.
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  #31  
Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfroP View Post
I'd have to agree with Jimmy.
Why do we need motors to adhere to a certain list? I'm on a fairly tight budget as a racer, I dont run nationals and will be the first to stick my hand up and say I'm not the best driver in the world. So why should I be forced to buy a motor off the Homologation list for £60-£100 when it makes more sense to my pocket to get one thats not on the list for £25
You don't. Nothing in the rules state that off road must use the EB lists. It's the off road racers who decided to do so when they voted to use the EB lists. If you want to allow everything then, again, propose to drop the use the EB lists at the AGM and vote on it.

F1 allows any 21.5T motor as long as the manufacturer had homologated the same can in any other class. 1/12th and GT12 allow any cheap lipo as long as it is commercially available and it does not need homologating. Bikes allow just about anything motor and battery wise.

And if you aren't running nationals or regionals then what motor and lipo you are allowed is entirely down to the club and has nothing to do with the BRCA. there is nothing in the rules that state that clubs must follow BRCA rules, that is their individual choice.
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  #32  
Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgydiy View Post
i agree about the homologation issues. the demon cells i use were listed when i bought them, but reading the rules are now no longer legal as they are not on the list. yes they are five years old, but have been looked after, all work perfectly, have no swelling etc. and still have plenty of punch. why should an average club driver be forced to buy new gear to do a national..
Because they are no longer commercially available. To allow your pack creates a loophole for manufacturers to create 'special' team packs for those classes where batteries do make a difference. In on road you will be nowhere with a 5 year old pack in your car.

Quote:
i use the cheap ezrun motors at club, why not allow people to use them at national level, they give no advantage, just work perfectly well enough for an average driver, they just lack a sticker with a make on that adds £50 to the price.
Because they aren't commercially available in the UK. I know they are cheap and lots of us have them, but none of us have walked into a UK shop and bought it over the counter. Every motor and battery needs a UK distributor to submit it, so they can prove they are genuine with customer backup in case anything goes wrong.

As an example, what if a lipo caught fire when at home, like what happened with Gil Losi. Your insurance company will pay up and then chase the UK distributor for the money they have paid out. If there is no official UK distributor then the importer is you and you would end up picking up the bill.
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  #33  
Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cigbunt View Post
unless these cells under take extra safety tests such as a drop test or puncture test, which i don't believe they do?
from the BRCA rules:

Quote:
Each individual battery must be supplied with:- Safety test certification in accordance with; UN Manual of Test and Criteria ST/SG/AC.10/11/Rev.5, Part 3, Sub-Section 38.3, Tests T1 to T8.
Don't ask me what that means, but I'm sure there will be a physical damage test in there.
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  #34  
Old 07-02-2013
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and just about all the 12th lipo fires have been user error, chargers defaulting to nimh after a power out, so why are chargers not regulated? i asked for the brca to list the "unsafe" chargers, but they declined!
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Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgydiy View Post
nearly forgot, a lipo bag is nowhere near as safe as a metal ammunition box for containing a fire, so why are charging containers superior to a lipo bag not allowed??
Actually any container designed for holding lipos while charging is allowed, it doesn't have to be a sack.

It does mean an ammo box isn't allowed though as it wasn't designed for battery charging, but you can always get a Turnigy battery bunker

It must be designed for charging lipos otherwise there would be nothing preventing someone deciding a Tupperware box is good enough, unfortunately you've always got to legislate for idiots.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TARTMAN View Post
The "LIST" thats approved, is for the BRCA etc to decide what they put in or dont, and if no one sends it to them and pays for it to be approved etc, then its out.
what goes on the lists are decided by the importers, not the bRCA. Anything that meets the rules that is submitted by the distributor will go on the list. If the distributor decides not to submit it then it doesn't go on the list. Nothing the BRCA can do about that.

Quote:
Does this make it unsafe? nope, not at all. I usedsome nanotech cells for 9 months, cheaper than the branded "listed" ones and performed great, no swelling bla bla and still not on the list. they were not unsafe. just not listed.
So, which shop in the UK can I walk into and buy Turnigy cells in? Up until the last few months you could only order them from Hong Kong. Should we allow anything as long as you can buy it in one shop anywhere in the world? If Hobbyking submit them and show they are commercially available in the UK then they will get approved, in fact recently they have got some Gens Ace cells approved.

Quote:
Its all a bit to "the establishment" to me.
You do know that both you and I control what you call 'the establishment'. The BRCA committee are just a bunch of racers who have decided to help support the hobby and their sole purpose is to do what we the members tell them to do.

Quote:
It says somewhere that all buggies are to have quick release lipo/battery straps, in the BRCA rules. hmmmm, I know of many many cars that do NOT have this. so, they should NOT be allowed on a brca insured track, and thats just about all clubs i think. BUT, No one says a word about that.

Seems that only when it suits them are things looked into.
Then you know what to do, bring it up at the AGM and get the rules changed or clarified.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neallewis View Post
In fairness, if you look at any other organised body, like a sporting association, national group of clubs with a common interest, or annual subscription "club" , they have formulated a set of rules and regs to follow, mostly for insurance or liability purposes. I'll correct myself then, the homologation list(s) are essentially for liability shift, rather than an individuals safety.
Bang on.

If something is on the list then you know the importer has proven they are responsible for any liability from any accidents with the products they sell. The 'tax' on the importers from covering the costs of homologation is very quickly recouped in sales.
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  #38  
Old 07-02-2013
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as you can probably tell, I've got some free time today.
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  #39  
Old 07-02-2013
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Mark,
What do you mean Orion is the biggest moan regarding swollen packs?

Orion Batteries are not made by Kokham since the 45c packs was introduced. They are in a new factory that Oscar manages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8i9TfubcSE
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Old 07-02-2013
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Seen many posts saying that the Orion high c ratings have swollen, and after I advised em to contact you at Orion uk, they were told basically not interested. One was in fb page Louth model car club
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