› Hobao DC-1
Scale detail, lots of features, and unique construction set the DC-1 apart from the pack
“Strongest gears in the industry,” proclaims Hobao, and the machined-steel gears certainly look stout. They’re packed into a separate transmission and transfer case, which are joined by a very thick aluminum shaft. The transmission shifts between High and Low by sliding a servo-actuated drive dog between the 18T and 21T output gears for a 15% change in gear ratio. Steel Cv-style joints link telescoping plastic shafts to the axles, and everything operates smoothly out of the box.
Easy-access Adjustable Axles
The DC-1 gets solid front and rear axles, of course, each with a steel ring gear mounted to a steel spool—tough stuff. The diff covers are held in place by six screws that install from the front, so it’s easy to get into the axles and slide out the ring gears if needed. The C-hubs slide onto splines, allowing the caster angle to be set from 0 to 30 degrees in 10-degree increments, and the kingpins are angled to improve steering geometry. Also notable are the axles’ angle outputs for the center driveshafts, which is a no-no on a full-size truck (any difference in the shaft angles at the transmission and axle will cause vibration), but since the DC-1 is operating at low speeds and you’re not sitting inside of it, the extra clearance afforded by the design should outweigh any vibe issues.
27-Turn Brushed Power
Hobao specs a little more spin for the DC-1 than most other RTR crawlers. Instead of a 35-turn
(or higher) brushed motor, the truck has a 27-turn powerplant. There’s no speed boost, though; the truck appears well geared to turn the extra rpm into torque. Hobao’s waterproof speed control is nonadjustable, other than NIMH and Lipo modes and three throttle profiles: forward/brake/reverse with proportional brake, forward/ reverse with brake lockout, and forward/reverse with full brake at neutral (which is the factory setting).
Detailed Body & Interior
The DC-1 isn’t modeled after any specific 4X4, but it definitely has strong Mercedes G-wagen vibes. And construction-wise, it’s safe to say Hobao took a long look at the way Traxxas does the TRX-4’S fender wells and flares. Hobao adds a nice interior to the mix with an injection-molded dash and vacu-formed seats. Outside, you’ll find a snorkel, mirrors, grille, headlight surrounds, wipers, door handles, and even door trim all installed as separate plastic parts. There are even functional headlight and taillight lenses ready for LEDS.
Versatile Steering & Suspension Setup
The DC-1 rolls out of the box with a chassis-mounted servo, but it can also be mounted on the axle, per a picture on the box—the manual doesn’t address it. Hobao uses a Panhard bar setup like other models with the servo on the chassis, and the truck’s links are attractive lathe-turned aluminum parts. The geometry isn’t quite as refined as other trucks, though; the axle “walks” right of center about 5mm at full suspension compression with a couple of degrees of bump-steer—we’ll see if it matters on the trail. The shocks are also spun out of aluminum and have a bit of air in them from the factory since they’re bladderless— just give them a few pumps and they smooth right out. The scale-diameter aluminum shocks look good with their gunmetal and blue anodizing.
AT A GLANCE TYPETrail truckSCALE 1/10DRIVETRAIN 4WDPOWER ElectricBUILD RTRPRICE $430 Even with a spare tire, the DC-1 carries more than half its weight over the front axle.
The transmission and transfer case are plastic but molded to look like cast alloy. Hobao isn’t taking any chances with that shaft!
The axles are beefy, but the screws and nuts that secure the link mounts are low-hanging catch points.
The DC-1’S bodymounted fender flares and wheel wells combine with the chassis’ side plates to fully enclose the body when mounted.
The interior is well detailed, but the seat backs fall off easily. I just left them off.
The transmitter has adjustable steering rate and throttle endpoints, with digital switches for trims and channel reversing. The silver button on the grip operates the High/low shift servo.
10 in. (255mm) 9.5 in. (240mm)
12.3 in. (313mm) 22.1 in. (560mm)
The Hobao tires have broad tread blocks and feel like a “medium” compound.