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RC 4x4 models (EN)
Huina 1570
2017-01-30: Huina 1570 excavator

After a longer period of time, we've received another toy from GearBest. It is the Huina 1570 Excavator, or shall I call it a Log Grabber? Basically, its house, boom and dipper arm are the same as on Huina 1550, which has a backhoe shovel. Huina 1570 has a log grabber attached to its dipper arm. So much for the differences.
At the first look this thing surely looks very realistic. It comes in a fancy box equipped just with an RC controller, battery pack and a battery charger. Nothing more, nothing less.
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The whole bodywork is made of plastic and contains many cool details. It shall definitely mimic the look of a Caterpillar 320, but of course due to licensing issues the stickers just say "HUINA". On our presentation table it's colors even go very well with the surrounding environment :) . Only the log grabber is made of some metal alloy, in fact there are very few metal parts on the excavator.
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The whole undercarriage is made of black plastic. The tracks are made of some black flexible plastic which looks like Flexfill 98A from Fillamentum , so I can easily 3D print wider tracks if I want :) .
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The battery is located in the back of the excavator and is accessible from the top (clearly shown in the video). The charger is a small thing with a USB-A plug on one side and a cable with a connector for the battery on the other one. You can stick it into a computer or a cell phone charger or anything else producing 5V and 1A (which, according to the USB standard, means you can only safely use USB3 or higher, because USB1.1 and USB2 are limited to 500mA per port). When I first saw the charger I really didn't believe it too much and looked for a compatible charging cable for my big trusty RC fast charger. But the charger seems to understand the behaviour of the 400mAh NiCd battery pack - it does not over-charge it and stops charging when the battery looks full. There is quite a large amount of space around the battery in the upper compartment of the excavator. It should be possible to fit some 8xAA-cell holder and fill it with higher capacity cells.
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The RC transmitter is a simple plastic "toy" with many buttons. Every couple of buttons controls one servo of the excavator. The transmitter is powered by two AA-cells, which are not included in the package. Interestingly, the authors of the design didn't think too much about simultaneous usage of several functions - especially lifting the boom together with the dipper arm. Assuming both functions are to be operated by the right thumb ... it looks like I'm lacking one more right thumb :) . But again - Huina 1570 is just a toy, not a professional tool.
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So it is any good? It it worth the money?
The first moves of the excavator made one thing clear - Huina 1570 is just a toy with very limited power:
  • On one hand, do not expect a fully proportional control or even a hydraulic system for this amount of money. Huina 1570 just uses on/off servo-like gears to move its tracks, move its body around, move the boom, dipper arm and the log grabber. The gears do not have any end-stops. I hope there is some kind of clutch that prevent the arms from ripping off the servos' gearings. When there is too much resistance, the servos start to make crackling noise. This is especially funny with the tracks' drive train.
  • On the other hand - this makes the toy safe to use by children from 6 years of age. The excavator simply does not have the power to cause any harm.
As usually I've prepared a video - this time the video contains two parts - unboxing and a real test run. The test run was made shortly after the unboxing and this time the outdoor weather played an important role - we had a beautiful icy day with lots of snow and sunshine. So I decided to send Huina 1570 right onto a tough mission - drive through deep snow to harvest some firewood ;) .
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You can hear a lot of the crackling noise in the second part of the video. The cause is the same as with many other tracked models - if anything gets into the tracks (like sand or ice), the track stops. Lifting the wooden stick from the ground and transporting it back to base was fun. Almost the whole video has been recorded in one piece without recharging the battery. Only the last scene needed some more "juice from the battery", the excavator simply couldn't climb up the concrete block ;) .
Result
The excavator doesn't have the power of the real thing, so it is safe to children. Even though it has all the functions one would expect from an excavator while looking surprisingly detailed and realistic, it isn't probably meant to be used in any serious model building site. However, it is fun to play with and hopefully it would hold for some more time - I admit, driving it through freezing snow was a very tough test. When something breaks I'll definitely disassemble the whole thing to show you the damage and possibly give advice what to avoid.
Until then - have fun digging and harvesting firewood :) ! Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions on my social media networks.

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