AMA with Chris Unseen

As part of launching the site and introducing myself, I figured I’d post a short AMA and tell you a little more about myself and my history with RC cars and trucks. (I’d love to hear your responses to the questions as well, so please leave your thoughts in the comments at the end of the article.)

How did you get started in RC?

I first started with RCs all the way back in 1979, when I was introduced to slot-cars and toy-grade RCs by my father. I had a strange curiosity about learning how things work, so, RCs were a natural fit for me, I suppose. I was also obsessed with cars and trucks from a very young age since my Dad was an auto mechanic. He was always repairing or customizing either his car or someone else’s. I spent nearly every weekend at the garage with my dad, working with him on the cars and helping around the shop. It was a great way for us to bond and I learned a lot from him, the short time we had together. (My father passed when I was 14.)

What kind of RC do you specialize in?

When I decided to start the website, CrowCityRC.com, I wanted to focus on the fact that you can enter the hobby, and have a great time, without breaking the bank and spending all of your money. I focus on budget-friendly builds and vehicles that anyone can afford. I, myself, live on a fixed income and I need to be smart when making buying decisions. Every penny counts and I try to maximize what I get out of every dollar I spend on my RCs.

What was your first RC kit?

My first kit was a Tamiya Sand Scorcher. The kit was given to me second-hand by my father’s friend and, even though I wasn’t quite old enough to build it entirely on my own, it was a blast to slowly assemble it over the course of a few months with some help from my dad. The Sand Scorcher ignited the passion I have for RCs to this day. My family owned a sky-blue VW Bug in the late 70s and I loved that car! Having a Baja Bug of my own was something of a dream.

What’s been your favorite RC kit?

Far from a “budget” pick, my most memorable kit and build has to be the 1/8th-scale HPI Proceed I owned for a little while. Far from the favorite RC I’ve owned, the Proceed stands out due to how complex and difficult the build was for me. I spend a solid two months working on it, only to give up and trade it in towards a kit that I could actually handle finishing. It was a hard lesson learned. I was way over my head and I’m glad I eventually realized that you don’t need the most advanced RC on the planet to have a blast in this hobby.

What are two must-have upgrades you would recommend for any RC?

1. Get a stronger servo! Many companies generally use the servo as a method of cost-cutting, so a higher quality servo will wake up your RTR. The steering servo has a tough job, especially on vehicles with heavy wheels. A higher-quality servo can provide more torque, faster transit speeds, and even offer better resolution and centering performance. The result is you will not have that delay when you input steering into your transmitter. You also will notice that a higher quality servo will not struggle when turning the wheels from side to side. Couple a nice digital servo with an appropriate radio upgrade and you will have a top-notch performer ready for the track!

2. Buy a Better Battery & Charger. Today’s RTR vehicles are looking to get the user up and running as quickly as possible, but this often results in small capacity packs and wall chargers only suitable to them. Ditch that 1800 mAh NiMH pack for your new car and grab yourself a high quality 5000 mAh NiMH or LiPo pack and upgraded charger. You will see the performance of the vehicle come alive as the motor is now provided with more current. With the charger upgrade, you can expect to charge your packs in less than an hour, since most of them are customizable to your need. This is, by far, the best bang for your buck upgrade that will show immediate, and noticeable, improvements across the board.

What projects are you currently working on and what are your plans for the future?

Right now, a lot of my focus is on building the website and connecting with other hobbyists through social media and YouTube.

Besides that, I have one project that I’m working on, based on the WL Toys 124019 12th-scale buggy. I’m calling my 124019, Project Mauve Marauder. (doesn’t everyone name their vehicles?) The WLtoys 124019 is an amazing RTR 4wd buggy that offers a TON of bang for the buck! In my opinion, it’s the best RC available for under $100.

As for future projects, I have a build planned that will be perfect for the rocky terrain of New England, which is where I live.

Is there anything else you want to let our readers know?

You can reach out to me on social media anytime on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Anyone interested in helping support the site in small can buy me a coffee. Your donation will help keep Crow City RC ad-free. And, if you have any suggestions on how I can improve the site, let me know in the comments or leave some feedback on our ImproveLoop page. Take care and please stay safe out there!

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ChrisUnseen
I’ve been involved in the RC hobby since the late 1970s. The focus of Crow City RC is the budget-minded hobbyist. Everything mentioned has your wallet in mind as I strive to find the best quality parts, tools, and accessories available at reasonable prices. It is possible to have a blast with RC vehicles without also going bankrupt.
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