Or Snow Leopard - as Heng Long calls it...
No Tamiya, but I didn't feel like creating a new section for this...
I always wanted an RC tank- but could never afford it. I have looked into it, but in all, it would cost about 700 Euros at the least to get one. So when I was looking at ebay.de, I found this. It's the same scale, it's pretty accurate, and it's a toy. It comes with transmitter, battery, charger, sound unit, smoke unit, and bullets. The tank shoots 6mm BBs. I haven't tested the smoke-function yet, but the sound function is OK, and the tank movement is also pretty good. The are no ball bearings, but the wheels do have coils, so the wheels look realistic when climbing over objects.
The BB shooting works, but not all the time. About half of the bullets just fall out of the barrel, or there is no bullet at all. Sometimes, the tank shoots very powerfully, sometimes not at all. You can switch off the BB shooting function, and the 'magazine' supposedly holds about 100 BBs. There is a red LED which lights up when firing. 'Protection'. This is one of the functions I plan to disable when disassembling the tank.
I plan to one day take the tank apart, clean and paint all parts individually, possibly add bearings, disable or modify some functions, and put it all together again. When I have lots of time ;)
All in all, I can't complain about this tank - as it's great fun, and it only cost 60 EUR - all in!
The transmitter: it has 4 channels, and 3 extra buttons:
The left one is used to start / stop the tank, the middle one operates the small gun (sound and a red, flashing LED), and the right one offers a recoil effect a real tank would have when the main cannon is fired. This last one is no big success.
The right stick controls the movement, the left stick controls the turret: left and right, up and down, firing. The firing is the 'up' position, up and down is the 'down' position. The handle bar on top of this thing was loose when I got it. It was missing a bolt.
The small gun. You can see the small flashing LED below.
The rear exhaust. This is where the smoke supposedly exits. The tubes have not been perfectly cut... The white stuff is some packing material ;)
The first thing I did, was adapt the power system. The battery is held in a slot - but it's a very tight fit. Also, centre of gravity is low, but way too much to the centre and the rear. I needed to shift things to the front. I dismantled the battery and relocated the cells inside the chassis. I drilled 2 holes to connect the power plug in the original spot, and attached the cell-bars using tie-wraps.
This is what it looks like:
The CoG is more to the front, which makes the tank 'tip over' more easily when climbing steep obstacles, making it more able to scale those obstacles.
This is what the connector in the 'old' battery bay looks like:
Finally a pic of the tank loading. I also took apart the track-suspension, and re-assembled it. This resulted in smoother movement and less noise. Apparently, the drive sprues weren't assembled as they should have been.
The next thing I fixed was the noise the tank made. Apparently, one of the gearboxes was a bit bent, placing the pinion too close to the gears. A little bending solved that. After that, I used some commdrops on the motor's commutators and oiled the bushings. Finally, i greased the gears.
Next stop: the turret. I disconnected the warning LED (LED that lights up moments before firing) by simply cutting the wire.
The gun mechanism didn't work well, I blamed this on a problem with the bullet feed. I fastened the screws indicated here, holding down the feeder-ramp. But after re-assembling the tank, the problem still wasn't solved... The search continues...
Finally, I relocated the antenna by putting a new wire from the PCB to the turret. I also cut the antenna in half, and bent the end to avoid getting too sharp a tip. It looks a lot cooler this way ;) (short antenna is not visible in pic... )
The cables were neatly tied together with the other wires, and an extra connector was installed to be able to easily disconnect antenna when disassembling the tank.
Finally, I got to the smoking unit, which didn't work - and never will. I'm looking into ordering a spare one from eBay - guess I voided my warranty ;) Now the spot where this unit is supposed to go is just an empty space...