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THE SCIENCE OF SETUP: Episode 1 - Setup Physics and Terminology

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By Aaron Waldron

This bi-weekly column by RC Crew Chief founder Bob Wright delves deep into how and why particular adjustments alter the handling of your RC car or truck. You can download a trial version of RC Crew Chief for free and follow along to learn more about how to get the most out of your vehicle by tuning it the right way to suit track conditions:

The Science of Setup
By Bob Wright
The goal of this series of articles is to develop your skills to make smart decisions when making setup changes. We will be delving into things like roll moment, weight transfer balance, roll stiffness, roll centers, roll sensitivity, camber and camber Gain andd damping ratio. Some of these terms may seem strange now but if you stick with this series you will gain a better understanding of the effect setup changes have on each of these properties and what each means to handling. 
Throughout this series we will be using RC Crew Chief (RC3) to graphically illustrate making setup changes. If you wish to follow along with the demos then you can download RC3 here:
The program will install in Trial Mode which means a few file management functions are disabled but otherwise it’s fully functional. All the on-road and off-road models that will be used in the demos are also preinstalled to make life easier.
The screenshot on the right shows some the key suspension properties for a 1/10-scale touring car. Get a good grasp on how these numbers relate to your particular chassis and you will be amazed at how quickly and confidently you will be making setup changes.
The other goal of this series will be to keep the written word to a minimum so you don’t nod off in class. I will also try to keep the videos short to stay focused on the goal. So let’s get started with Episode 1 – Setup Physics and Terminology.
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