T.O.P. Photon EX

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Contents

[edit] Overview


The Photon EX was launched in mid-April 2012. The kit comes with the standard chassis and top deck currently. An optional stiff chassis and top deck is available for purchase separately.

The Photon EX builds upon the already successful Photon design. Changes within the Photon EX include:

  1. Suspension arms mounts independent of bulkheads
  2. Servo mounted west-east and uses a dual bellcrank design
  3. Includes new front and rear shock mounts
  4. Features an integrated battery mount system that doesn't require strapping tape on the bottom of the chassis
  5. Includes steel spool outdrives and hard foam bumper
  6. Top deck now uses 3mm screws
  7. Designed with easier to replace center pulley
  8. Top deck and bulkhead designs to easily change and use large pinions


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Manufacture Web Pages


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Distributors


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Manual


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Discussion Boards


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Build Hints

Note: Since the Photon EX carries of a bunch of same parts please refer to the existing T.O.P. Photon wiki thread while new build hints are discovered for this new car.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Chassis

The steering servo mounting nub just has to go. Draw in silver sharpie a straight line through the nub and using a Dremel with a cut off wheel remove the nub. Sand the chassis flat/flush. The nub causes an unnecessary contact point for the otherwise narrow chassis, that especially causes the car to drag in the sweeper.

Mount the servo using the inner stock servo hole, and apply a liberal amount of Shoe Goo to the bottom of the servo. Let the servo + chassis reset for 2+ hours.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Steering Rack

Use quantity=2 3x5x0.3mm and quantity=1 3x5x0.1mm to eat the slop within the steering rack

In order to get full steering lock (16 degrees both ways) you need to grind the lower side of the steering rack cross connector so it won't rub on the bearings at full lock. I've only been able to get the car to 16 degrees and 15.8 degrees the other way.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Battery Retainer

Make sure to adjust the carbon front to back spacer and then the carbon hook. I'm mounting my battery as far forward as possible.

Don't forget to round off the edges of the carbon where the tape is used, otherwise it will break easily.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Shocks

[edit] Build Instructions

Current there are two popular methods of building Photon shocks. The major differences here are in the number of holes drilled in the shock top, the placement of piston when putting the shock top on. When racing on indoor carpet I use the Larry method, but it is overall known to get some air and requires refilling to provide the optimal performance. For outdoor asphalt we've been using EJ's method as it last longer between the need to refill/rebuild shocks and hasn't proven to have a performance difference outdoors.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Shock Shaft Length

Cut the 'nub' of the bottom of the shock shaft right after where the threads end (as mentioned in Larry's Method). Our preferred shock length remains 49.5mm measured from the bottom of the shock end to the top of the shock body (this is done prior to filling them with oil).

Earlier there was some confusion about a higher/lower shock tower on the Photon EX. This appears to be wrong.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Cleaning Instructions

"NEVER SPRAY ANYTHING ON SHOCKS. Just dump the oil out and let them sit upside down for like 10 minutes and refill with something else. If you spray anything on the shock replace take the oring out or replace it."

[edit] Preventing Front Wheel Chatter

One of the biggest problems I saw with the TOP Photon platform when I started racing it in late 2010 on carpet at Horsham RC Carpet Racing was the use (and failure) of second rate double joint front drive axles or the associated drive shaft blades that would break, bend, fail, etc. usually the worst time possible. My prior experience running XRay touring cars for 3 years had spoiled me being able to leverage their rock solid XRay ECS drive shafts to remove chatter from the front wheels when using a spool with a lot of steering throw. Based upon these experiences in 2010 we formed our own Option Parts company named Side Piece Racing and our first product was the Mira Outdrive that allowed the easy use of XRay ECS drive shafts within the TOP Photon plastic spool.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Front C-Hubs

Any solution today requires the replacement of the front C-Hubs with XRay C-Hubs. The stock TOP c-hubs are not wide enough to allow for free movement of the larger lcd/ecs/c.v. axles. The XRay C-Hubs only require a brief sanding on both sides of the C-Hub to free up the suspension movement. XRay C-Hubs require their steel steering bushings and offer alternative Caster degrees -- 2, 4 (stock) or 6.

When using XRay c-hubs a small 3mm shim is required on top of the steering block to remove any vertical slop.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Front Axles

The XRay ECS are the gold standard in all double joint/lcd/ecs/c.v. axles made on earth. Yes - they are expensive, but if you threat them right, they can last for years. One note of caution, they can be scarce to find, especially in the weeks leading up to large/big/important races. So I highly recommend buying them whenever you see them available.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Front Spool

The Side Piece Racing Mira Outdrives where designed to fit the TOP Photon 40T plastic spool so that XRay ECS Drive Shafts could be run within the TOP Photon series of cars.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Spur Gears

Initially I had issues with stripping spur gears. I finally determined that I was not getting a perfect gear mesh due to the differences in cheap spur gears and the reaming of spurs to fit the 20T plastic pulley. So now when I set my gear mesh I make sure to test at multiple spots and adjusting accordingly.

When thinking about gearing/etc you might want to know that a pinion as large as 49t 64p can be removed from a motor without touching the top deck screws.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] 13.5/17.5 Stock Non-Timing/SPEC ESC Class

My new opinion is that running the smallest possible spur gear is best within the Photon in order to move the motor closer to the rear of the chassis, and generate a greater amount of weight change during steering actions when you are anything but full throttle.

For 64 pitch gears I run either a 80T or 82T spur

For 48 pitch gears I've been running a 66T spur. I started looking into 48 pitch gears due to outdoors racing, and just getting tired of destroying my 64 pitch gears due to small rocks and sand.


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Gear Diff


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


The instruction manual says there is a 5x9x0.1mm shim to be used between the outdrives and plastic housing. I left these shims out.

The steel outdrive appear to drag on the Gear Diff Case (but there isn't the same drag on the 40T side of the diff). Using a hobby knife just remove a very little bit of plastic from the inner diameter where the outdrive is inserted. Please see the picture to see how little material was removed.

The TOP blades can be a bit weak. I'd highly recommend replacing them with a modified Associated Blade from the TC5/TC6. All you must do is:

  1. drill the pin hole out, I use a 3/32" drill bit within a dremel
  2. sand the width of the blade a bit on each side to reduce the overall thickness so they fit easily into the outdrive


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Hop-ups

[edit] Shocks

  • TOP PA-100305 Shim Set M3x5mm 0.1,0.2,0.3mm (10 each)
  • Kyosho KYOORG03X Grooved O-Ring (P3/For Oil Shock) (8)


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Drive Train

[edit] Chatter Free Drive Axles

[edit] Front C-Hubs

  • XRay C-hubs
    • Note: All XRay C-Hubs require the use of Steel Steering Bushings
    • XRay 30 2363 COMPOSITE C-HUB RIGHT - 4 DEG. - MEDIUM
    • XRay 30 2364 COMPOSITE C-HUB LEFT - 4 DEG. - MEDIUM
    • XRay 30 2291 STEEL STEERING BUSHING (2+2)
    • XRay 30 2365 COMPOSITE C-HUB RIGHT - 6 DEG. - MEDIUM
    • XRay 30 2366 COMPOSITE C-HUB LEFT - 6 DEG. - MEDIUM


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Front Axles

  • XRay Drive Shafts (ECS style to be specific - should support the following combinations)
    • XRay 305325 Equalized Corner Speed (ECS) Drive Shaft - Hudy Spring Steel (1) - 50mm
    • XRay 305327 Equalized Corner Speed (ECS) Drive Shaft - Hudy Spring Steel (1) - 52mm
    • Spec-R SPR001-T2 Universal Swing Shaft Set for XRAY T2/T3 (2)
  • XRay 30 5241 DRIVE SHAFT REPLACEMENT PLASTIC CAP 3.5 MM (4)
  • McMaster-Carr 7132K76 Chemical-resistant Pvc Heat-shrink Tubing, 1/2" Id Before, 1/4" Id After, 6" Length, Black


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Front Spool


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Gear Diff

  • Associated 31238 Factory Team CVA Bone Blade TC5 / TC6


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX


[edit] Setups

Don't forget about the great archive of setups at Petit RC


Source(s): T.O.P. Photon EX

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