* Article extracted from RC Speed dated December 1999
* We are authourized by Mr C.Y. Ning to use the above copies.
* Translated by Jennifer (Dinball Limited)
My Old Neighborhood – Sun Sun Model Company
When I was a student, I almost visited Sun Sun Model company everyday and I bought AYK brand model car. As remembered, after the phase out of TAMIYA Grasshopper and of when the model of OPTIMA racing car was not available in the market, I changed to play on-road racer AYK 101 with scale 1:12 which was very popular at that time. It was a 100% imitation racer from DELTA of Japan and it was inexpensive and easy to control that was suitable for new players.
Before the craze of TOURING CAR, a unique culture of on-road racer – BUGGY was established in Hong Kong. After the closure of AYK, the first remote control model producer TOMY became Sun Sun’s major sales channel. Its sales of INTRUDER competed highly with the similar product of LAZER. Subsequent to the growth phase of product life cycle, TOMY closed the production line and sold all components and accessories to Sun Sun that nourished a new life – GTO. Because of GTO, Sun Sun started to produce spare parts and accumulate experiences on design of car base frames, hence to allow Sun Sun to move forward to manufacturer of remote control cars.
XPRESS brand is very popular to everyone. What about 962 and 968? Mr. Mok recalls “we felt that TOURING CAR must be in vogue in 1995 and a new trend of MINI car would be the next drift. Therefore, we commenced to design a high performance and efficiency mini racer. Until February 1996, a new racer was launched and named as 962. This type of racer was a real breakthrough by adding in lots of value added elements such as front upper link with turnbuckle structure and center-aligned motor placement”.
Since GTO had already launched three generations, stock of former components and parts became less and less. Mr. Mok added “based on our experiences with 962, we enlarged it to a larger scale TOURING CAR SIZE, named 968. We enhanced 968 by using aluminum alloy materials to improve the stiffness of the car structure and heat discharging issue, then became XPRESS in red look – XPRESS image and also attained a foreign name of METAL RACER”.
More Cost Effective
The design of XPRESS is new and creative, simple but efficiency which is designed by Mr. Mok. He keeps improving the XPRESS by taking players’ comments and suggestions e.g. 3-deck structure to increase the stiffness of the back, increase the ratio of graphite materials, etc.. XPRESS gives hurtles and great competition to many experienced RC manufacturers.
XPRESS 2000 model will be launched soon. The stiffness and regulated suspension system of the racer will be even improved and upgraded and it’s absolutely different from PRO 99 in the market. XPRESS 2000 will be launched at 80% finished product condition and also some enhancement that will suitable for both experienced and professional as well as new players. Price will be more economical i.e. approx. US$167.
Mr. Mok realizes, at present, many manufacturers are striving for selling new ideas on car structure and driven system. He thinks that since the launch of STREET WEAPON OF TEAM LOSI, there are 2 trends : mixture of graphite and plastic materials car structure and centered-motor alignment placement. These are the opposite of the design of XPRESS.
Mr. Mok understands that the car structure is pulled great lower with a mixture of graphite and plastic materials made that attracts more new players. In fact, Mr. Mok said “we well comprehend the technique, however, we still insist high-cost graphite car structure because of the importance of car structure stiffness. When the car is new, the mixture of graphite and plastic materials will be stiff enough and anti-shape distortion, however, the car structure will become fatigue and disfigure, hence to reduce car reaction and accuracy of control”. As to the centered-motor alignment placement design, I believe this design is for outstanding than practical usage. Move the centroid forward, the car will slip and lose traction during deceleration. Whereas, the more focus of the centroid in the mid-rear position, the more powerful and efficient driven system as a driven force of a car is mainly from rear axle while motor, battery and tail spoiler can all increase the lower pressure, short operating distance of belt, low crinkle rate and hence strengthen driven power.
New model of XPRESS, two separated 3.6V battery sets on parallel sides, the centroid moves a bit forward but it achieves the benefit of centered-motor alignment placement and also greatly reduce inertia of over bending car structure, to easily straighten the car body.
Mr. Mok mentions that “many people recently concern about the efficiency and powerful of Associate TC3 which equips with gear differential system, however, we continue to use 2-belt driven system. According to my experiences, gear driven is much better than belt driven under a specific spur gear ratio, however, the efficiency becomes diminishing after the peak. On the other hand, if 2 cars have changed to high speed motor and high gear ratio, belt driven system will obviously achieve higher acceleration in contrast to that of gear driven system. Mr. Mok adds “the design of TC3 is based on 2000mAh battery capacity, but there’s product based on 3000mAh battery capacity on the market”.
The sales version of XPRESS in Hong Kong and Europe is completely the same except Japan. There are 2 versions in Japan. One is the same as for Hong Kong market except for silver purple aluminum components and delrin arm. Many components are provided from Hong Kong which is more economical! The other version is XPRESS SPEED MAX which is a joint production with Speed Max.
At last, Mr. Mok pointed out that Product Manual is required to improve for XPRESS.
History of XPRESS
1. XPRESS 95 PROTO TYPE
There were 2 versions and the difference is face plate and joint positions. It is principally the enlargement of 962 MINI and its design is focused on centered-motor alignment placement.
2. XPRESS 96
Launched in the market, XPRESS was equipped with lighter but very stiffness aluminum gear box on front and rear, applied direct steering system with upright servo system.
3. XPRESS PRO 98
According to end users’ comments and suggestions, we changed aluminum motor mount from 2 chunks to 5 chunks of which allowed the efficiency of heat releasing and convenience of maintenance. Furthermore, the previous Y shape front upper hinge mount was divided into 2 parts to moderate CASTER ANGLE of front suspension system in order to increase steering angles.
4. XPRESS PRO 99
It actually was a trail version of 2000 PRO. Its design was exactly the same as 98 XPRESS PRO except for the replacement of 2000 PRO MARK II base plate.
5. XPRESS 2000 PRO
2000 PRO will be launched around the World RC Competition this year. There will be 2 versions i.e. MARK I and MARK II. The former is adopted brand new concept of two 3.6V battery sets on both sides fixed in mid-motor position. The latter is adopted traditional two 3.6V battery sets fixed on front and rear motor position. MARK I is even used very thick 3.2mm graphite plate to raise its stiffness of car structure as well as a special feature of rear suspension system design.