Static Model Tethered Control (S.M.T.C.)
This page is dedicated to the new hobby of racing that only requires a rod/pole/stick, string, and a model car or truck.
The string is glued (Elmers glue not Super Glue) to the front of the model and tied off on the stick (does not have to be at any specific part of the stick and the attachment point may be moved up and down the rod at any time).
The model is moved by pulling the string towards the controller or “winching” spinning the rod and allowing the string to wrap around and slowly pull the model (this is extremely beneficial when navigating difficult terrain such as rocks).
Racing is merely a timed event. You record your start time, and then record your Finish time. To calculate the winner is based on elapsed time minus the number of penalties accrued during the course. Not all events have to be about time….some may simply be based upon accomplishment. For example: Completing a 1 mile hiking trail at the local state park. OR it could simply be a matter of finishing with the least amount of penalties (keep the count to yourself until the end of the race).
Penalties are accrued when your vehicle has fallen and needs to be “touched” to recover it. One way to reduce the amount of penalties accrued is to WINCH another fellow SMTC racer…..this allows you to subtract 2 penalty points and allows the person being assisted to not have to “touch” their vehicle and thus avoid accruing a penalty. The value of 1 penalty point can vary from race to race, but a good rule of thumb is to have 1 penalty worth 2 minute.
Scale is dependent on the type of race course you wish to use. If you don’t have much space to race, 1:64 scale Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Jada or Johnny Lightning Vehicles make a fun and exciting race. 1:64 scale is one of the more difficult scales to race on, merely due to their minute size. However if you have a nice wooded trail with lots of large rocks and grassy terrain 1:24 scale die cast or plastic model kit.
The goal of this hobby is to have fun with very little expense. There are no batteries to maintain, no fuel to buy. All that is needed is a stick, string and any model, die cast or plastic, that will roll freely.
Stick length and string length is entirely up to the club or person. I would suggest as a start a 1/4″ thick 3′ long dowel rod and some simple kite string. Elmers glue or school glue is used, purposefully to allow a breaking point if the model is pulled to hard. This too causes you to think about weight. Albeit any mods are allowed, such as adding weight to the lower portion of the model for lowering your center of gravity…you risk breaking the attachment if the model is too heavy.
Some techniques that are useful are winching your model up a steep hill climb or down a hill, by running the line under the model and out the back, then slowly unwinding the string from the rod. Additionally, you can work with a partner and they can winch your model down by simply attaching a hook to your bumper, placing the rod in front of their model unwinding slowly. Going downhill is tough, and without help you may have to simply wind up the string on the rod until it touches the bumper and then guide your model down the hill. This still posses a risk of rolling the mdoel down the hill. On nice open gravel, simply pulling on the string posses no problem (depending on scale –for example 1:64).
Recovery technique to winch up a partners fallen model can be tricky. A common way to simply run your model perpendicular to the fallen model and then place a hook onto the model with the string near the hook drawn to the rod and winched. Post your pics of your recovery skills!
The angle of your string when trying to hop onto large rocks is a skill that will take some time to learn.
Simply pull up at a 45 degree angle to get the vehicle started….sometimes a quick flick of the wrist will get the front tires onto the rock. The lower the angle, the less risk of flipping but more resistance and tension on the line. If your model starts to tip, lower the angle of the line down closest to the ground as you can and pull gently…this should stabilize the model.