A-Z of Gearing with Blinky ESC's
Frequently Asked Questions on National Rules version 1.0
Created: 28 September 2012
Last Modified: 1 October 2012
The fundamental principle of this F1 national rule set, at this early stage, is to encourage consistency at club and event level while not being too restrictive on what can be run. We all want to see the class grow and reach its maximum potential.
The version 1.0 rules may be refined over time if needed as class popularity grows.
1. Chassis Rule – explanatory notes
We allow FGX’s, F109’s, Top’s, Corrally’s and any other dedicated F1 chassis to run. Even the old 4WD F201 chassis can run if drive to the front wheels is disabled. 1:10 or 1:12 pan cars may not run, only chassis designed for F1 by the manufacturer are allowed.
In the UK on the BRCA website they state “It was felt by the organising committee that the main objective ... is to encourage participation. If you have an F1 car of any kind then we want you to come and race!” We feel that this is exactly where we are at in Australia right now.
Indy Car is the USA open wheel racing class. UK, NZ and QLD rules all specify allowing “Indy Car” chassis to run so it has been included. We can see no difference between an Indy Car and an F1 car for RC use, except the body.
The section on hop ups is designed to prevent people mixing and matching parts from F1 cars where the original manufacturer or aftermarket manufacturer does not specifically state it’s designed for it. Also prevented is using pan car parts unless the F1 manufacturer specifies it. Eg; an Exotek chassis may be used on any car that the Exotek manufacturer states it’s been designed for. Similarly Top states that the Top Rebel is designed to accept an F104 front end so that’s ok. As is using an F103 front end on an F104 as Tamiya says this is ok and makes it an F104W. Some F1 cars share parts with that manufacturers pan car range, this is ok. It is not expected that scrutineers will proactively check this rule but it exists to empower the scrutineer where a racer has taken pan car parts and installed them on an F1 chassis where it wasn’t designed by the manufacturer to take them.
Discussion around inboard front suspension / pan car front ends / scale looks:
A great deal of discussion occurred around whether cars with pan car front ends should be allowed such as the Top Rebel and the Corally New Generation and Link models.
Pan car type front ends with A-Arm’s might, or might not, provide a performance advantage.
We support the idea that F1 cars should be scale looking and having front suspension mounting points outside the body and/or using A-Arm’s violates this.
The idea of keeping the front end looking scale has significant merit but at this stage we felt rules on these aspects needed to be excluded for the sake of the Fundamental Principle of not excluding existing F1 cars and to grow the class.
The possible future rule might state “The front arm pivot points (where the front arms attach to the chassis) must be within the body”. The BRCA have a similar rule at time of writing.
It may be reasonable to grant an exception for existing F1 models that are no longer in production providing there is no significant performance advantage.
NB: cars such as the Top Rebel allow the Tamiya F103/104 front end to be used which would keep this car looking scale.
Discussion around front shock absorber:
Should shock absorbers be allowed on the front of the car ie; Tamiya F201 and planned at time of writing as an upgrade for the 3Racing FGX and as standard on the proposed 3Racing F113.
Given most cars do not have this option should they be allowed given they presumably allow additional flexibility / tuneability for front grip. Note: they may not provide any significant advantage and testing will be required.
Again the decision was to not exclude cars with front shock absorbers for the sake of the Fundamental Principle of allowing any F1 car to run in order to grow the class.
This will be revisited as the rules mature.
2. Tyre Rule – explanatory notes
There appears to be those who swear by rubber and others that love their foam. Both certainly have merits and disadvantages. We allow either. For major events the organisers may decide on a control tyre, and some clubs may decide not to allow foam, but at a national level we recommend allowing either at this stage. Ideally we don’t want any F1 car currently running in Australia to not be able to run because of a restrictive tyre rule.
Corally F1 Tyres
There was significant debate about whether to allow Corally cars with their extra wide foam tyres. After considering all of the arguments put forward we decided to allow them.
Corally’s can not run rubber tyres, they only have foam available.
Corally F1’s use tyres designed for the Corally Pan car which are wider than normal F1 tyres. Because of this some felt that the Corally has an unfair rear grip advantage.
If this turns out to be a significant issue then it was suggested by those who have Corally’s that they could cut down the width of the rear tyres to the same as those used by other F1’s. It was pointed out that if this were to be required that the part of the tyre closest to the chassis should be cut because cutting the outside of the tyre will reduce the rear track width which will adversely affect handling.
This rule will be reviewed at an appropriate time in the future once we’ve collected further data on tyre performance and club /driver preferences.
So the Corally's (original and Next Generation) are able to run. They were designed for the F1 class and there are people that own them and appear keen to run them. The wider foam tyres may well be an advantage, time will tell.
3. Body Shell Rule – explanatory notes
Part of the appeal of this class is the scale realism.
There was significant debate about the scale realism of the class and whether a minimum standard of painting should be part of the rules.
We strongly feel that it is not the place of these rules to impose painting standards on racers. However, it was clear that unlike touring car racing, F1 provides a real opportunity for modelling and either painting cars to a realistic team paint scheme or stamping your personality on your car. Many said that this is part of the attraction of F1 for them.
We all love the look of the cars. There will always be those that put more effort into their shells than others. Rather than putting it in the rules we will leave it to peer pressure to minimise any one colour paint jobs.
4. Wing Rule – explanatory notes
There was no debate on the wing rule.
5. Width Rule – explanatory notes
The proposed rule allows all known F1 cars (at time of writing) to run.
Below is our understanding of car widths. Width measured at the widest point:
F104 Pro 182mm (rubber)
F104 Pro X1 185mm (rubber)
F104 Pro v2 182mm (rubber)
3 Racing FGX 195mm
3 Racing F109 203mm on rubber with TRG rims, 200mm on foam
Corally F1 202mm
Top Rebel 200mm
FORCDA had a 210mm max
ROAR has a 213mm max
NZRCA has a 205mm max
BRCA (UK) uses 190mm for “modern” chassis and 210mm for “retro” chassis (F103 and F109)
UF1 (series in the USA) have 2 classes 190mm and 200mm
Again we want to allow any F1 car to run and the minimum width that achieves this has been adopted.
6. Minimum Weight Rule – explanatory notes
1000g was already a common weight restriction in Australia at club level, although not the only minimum weight in use. In the UK they use 1050g, ROAR uses 1020g, but 1000g is certainly common. Imposing a minimum weight prevents unforeseen issues and assists to maintain a level playing field. Box stock cars are all heavier than 1000g. It is possible, but difficult, to achieve 1000g and that feels right for a minimum weight rule.
There was no debate on the minimum weight rule.
7. Battery Rule - explanatory notes
There was no significant debate on the battery rule.
8 & 9. Motor / ESC Rules – explanatory notes
Definition of blinky
Background: As the use of brushless motors and electronic speed controllers (ESC) became widespread in Australia, around 2009-2010, the manufacturers looked for ways to make their ESC faster and therefore more popular. They developed dynamic timing software for the ESC which could advance or retard the motor timing based on motor RPM and other factors. ESC’s with dynamic timing (sometimes referred to as “boost” or “turbo”) offer a significant performance advantage but also adds another level of complication to setting up the car to be as fast as possible. It is also easy to over heat a motor which then needs replacing.
Definition: “Blinky” denotes a mode of the ESC with no dynamic timing. This is often indicated by a blinking light on the ESC – hence “Blinky”. Also referred to as “non-timing mode”.
To paraphrase some of the comments received: For many, F1 will not be the primary class and so blinky removes ESC setup from the equation. Blinky also makes it easier for new entrants to get started. Blinky was widely supported by participants in the survey.
Why have one rule at club level and another for events?
The benefit of a club and event rule is that everyone who wants to travel to an event, or who needs to buy new equipment, should buy equipment that conforms to the event rule. Therefore over time the club rule can be phased out (propose 1 Jan 2014 club rule abolished). Yes, we could go straight to the event rule and not have a club rule but that would mean a lot of club racers might need to purchase new motors / ESC’s for 2013 and that is not the best way to grow the class.
Why have a list of ESC’s for events?
- Ease of scrutineering. Referral to a list of approved ESC’s means that everyone has the same understanding and knows how Blinky is indicated on a particular ESC. At Round 1 of the Vic F1 series there were 11 different ESC’s from 15 entrants and much was taken on trust that a flashing light really did mean the ESC was set to no timing or that an ESC wasn’t capable of boost.
- Manufacturers will always attempt to push rules boundaries. If their product is perceived to be faster then they will make more sales. New ESC’s must be tested before adding to the list and this keeps the ESC’s that violate the spirit or rule of Blinky off the list, maintaining a playing field that is as fair as practical.
Why have a list of Motors for events?
The same argument that makes an ESC list a good idea applies to the motors. There are a number of motors that are not on the ROAR list and from reading the threads on RC Tech it would appear that some motors are believed to violate the spirit of blinky racing by having additional “smarts” built into the motor. It would be detrimental if we implement 21.5 Blinky only to have a motor war erupt where you need the latest motor to be competitive.
When 21.5 motors first started to become popular 2-3 years ago a Novak 21.5 had a KV of approximately 1,800 and this was widely accepted as being approximately the correct KV for a 21.5. KV = RPM per volt, so an 1,800 KV motor at 8 volts will produce 14,600 RPM flat out. While not the whole story on motor power, it is useful as a comparison as it is often published data.
Here is a list of 21.5 motors currently available along with their KV rating (taken from internet sources including manufacturers websites at time of writing):
ROAR approved 21.5 motors:
Viper R/C VST 1500 KV
Speed Passion Competition V3 “1 cell” 1700 KV
Team Orion Vortex VST Pro Stock 1750 KV
Novak Ballistic 1800 KV
Reedy Sonic Stock Spec 1851 KV
Speed Passion Competition MMM 2000 KV
Team Epic D3 “Monster Horsepower” ROAR Spec 2000 KV
Tekin Redline 2100 KV
Non-ROAR approved motors:
LRP X12 1700 KV
Team Epic REVTECH ROAR Spec 2500 KV
Trinity D3.5 2800 KV
(as a comparison the Novak Ballistic 17.5 is 2200 KV)
Thanks to rccartips for compiling parts of this list.
We couldn't locate ROAR's technical criteria for inclusion in their list but BRCA tech criteria are here (under Section 6).
But my club’s track is too big for a 21.5
This may be a valid argument for WCMRC in Perth and Logan in Queensland. This is an ongoing area of consideration.
The following measurements were taken using Google Maps on 28 Sept 2012 using the longest straight from the centre of the corner leading into the straight to the centre of the corner exiting the straight:
TFTR (Melbourne) - a track we race 21.5 blinky on every month – 42m
All tracks in Australia currently running faster than 21.5 blinky in F1:
- WCMRC (Perth) – 62m
- SMA (Sydney) – 27m
- Castle Hill (Sydney) - indoor so can’t use Google Maps however a member of their committee advised the straight is 42m
- WSRC (Sydney) – indoor so can’t use Google Maps
- Logan (Queensland) – 59m
- STMCC (Hobart) – 41m
Some track layouts allow for shortening of the track for slower classes.
There was a lot of discussion around racing format. Many would like to see race formats closer to the real thing with fastest lap qualifiers and a single long main with all cars in together. This has merit but is not the focus of the current rules. Clubs may choose any race format which fits in with their existing program.
When F1 was an AARCMCC Class
The following is included for historical interest and are the AARCMCC rules for F1 when it was a national class:
Section 8 F1 19Double Spec Class
8.1.1 Any Formula One car is allowed 4 wheels only ie: no 6 wheel Tyrrell etc.
8.1.2 Any Formula 1/Indy car body is allowed. Scale type wings must be used.
8.1.3 Chassis must not protrude from beneath the body. (Taking into account rules 8.1.8 & 8.1.15)
8.1.4 Rollover antennas are permitted.
8.1.5 Formula 1 cars are only permitted to be 2wd.
8.1.6 Motor must be a 19 turn double machine wound armature modified motor. Conforming to spec motor rules as listed in Section 10 on motors.
8.1.7 Wheel centre distance: 228mm (min) to 280mm (max)
8.1.8 Overall length 510mm (max)
8.1.9 Distance from wheel centre to outer length 115mm (max)
8.1.10 Max height including wing 150mm
8.1.11 Wing width 230mm max.
8.1.12 Wing chord 75mm max.
8.1.13 Side dam height 51mm max.
8.1.14 Side dam length: 75mm (max).
8.1.15 Overall width: 250mm (max).
8.1.16 No after market chassis allowed.
8.1.17 Graphite axles are permitted.
8.1.18 Stick or side by side batteries only, saddle packs are not allowed.
8.1.19 Tyres foam only.
8.1.20 Only single speed transmissions.
[The following are the general rules that applied to every class at the time.]
4.2 GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS
4.2.1 When starting the race, a bodyshell must be neatly finished and complete.
The bodyshell must be a reasonable, realistic, facsimile of the full-size car on which it is based, with particular attention to realistic height, cockpit area, scoops, vents, wings and aerodynamic devices.
4.2.2 All open-cockpit bodyshells must have a realistic driver figure fitted in an appropriate position in the cockpit at all times when racing.
The driver figure must consists of at least a driver's head/helmet, shoulders and arms and should be reasonable scale size.
The driver figure must be painted in a realistic appearance, colour and garb.
4.2.3 All closed cockpit cars must have transparent windshields and/or side windows and/or rear windows.
Open or painted windshields and/or side windows and/or rear windows are not allowed.
4.2.4 Tyre cleaners or traction additives must be approved by the Organiser.
4.2.5 Wheel nuts and/or axles must not protrude more than 2.0 mm beyond the wheels
4.2.6 No more than 1.5 mm of wheel outside diameter may be exposed on the outside of the wheel (ie not covered by the tyre).
4.3 DRIVERS' AIDS
4.3.1 It is the objective of this rule to ensure that sanctioned Electric Circuit Events be a test of driver skill. AARCMCC seeks to limit the type of driver aids to a minimum to achieve this objective. Traction control, active suspension and steering control by gyroscopes are not allowed. Sensors fitted to the car for the purpose of measuring suspension movement, wheel speed or tyre slip whilst the car is in motion are not allowed.
4.3.2 Unless an electronic or mechanical driver aid is listed below in rule 4.3.3 it is not allowed for use in AARCMCC Events.
4.3.3 The fixed single ratio transmission may include a mechanical device/s between the drive motor output and the gearbox input for the purpose of controlling torque (eg 'slipper' clutch/fluid clutch). This device must only be capable of setting or adjustment manually whilst the car is stationary.
A differential may include a mechanism for apportioning torque over the axle/s (eg limited slip differential). This mechanism must only be capable of setting or adjustment manually whilst the car is stationary.
A mechanical or electronic speed controller may include a mechanical or electronic device to limit the current/voltage passed from the batteries to the drive motor (eg timed delay, current limiter, keyboard programs). Setting or programming of such a device must only be possible whilst the car is stationary. Changes to the setting or program during a race are not allowed.
4.3.4 Radio control receivers carried in the car may only have two devices (normally the steering servo and speed controller) connected, plus an optional separate battery supply for powering of the radio control equipment/devices. The use of any further channels to receive electrical signals from sensors carried in the car is prohibited.
4.3.5 Any competitor found in contravention of the spirit or fact of rule 4.3 will be disqualified from event.
4.3.6 Cells may not be charged or changed during the race.
4.3.7 Reverse is not allowed - forward control only
We are told that it was officially removed from the regulations in 2005 as there had been no demand for running F1 at sanctioned events for some time.
Last time F1 was run at the Nationals was ACT in 2002.
We understand the fast 19T brushed motor used (approximately equivalent to a 10.5 blinky brushless motor) was a significant reason for the class dying out.