Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tamiya XV-01 Pro Camera car


When I first saw the XV-01 Pro I thought “camera car”. The drivetrain and electronics are nicely protected so you could drive it without a body if you wanted.



The manual suggested that the speed controller be placed all the way in the back, but the sensor wire is not long enough for that. So I put it in the front and left the top cover off to let the heat from the Novak Edge ESC out. Overall the wiring was a bit tricky. I ran my wires underneath the front damper stay. And inside the battery compartment things are a bit tight as well. I used the Spektrum SR3520 micro receiver which is underneath the camera mount.


For this build I got a 21.5 Brushless Novak Ballistic motor, I removed portion of the motor tabs for easier soldering (tabs were L shaped and I made them I shaped). The gearing had to be changed to bring it up to speed, the manual gear ratio is for offroad. So much so that I had to dremel the gear cover to keep my 54T pinion from rubbing.

After a driving a few laps with it you could really feel the lack of aerodynamics. So I set out to find a body that would cover the camera.

The answer, a Parma 2003 Saturn VUE (SUV) body for just $18. I painted the rear half bright green so other cars on track would see me, but left the front half clear so that the camera could see out.


I could go much faster with the body on and as an added benefit I could start using “the frame” from GoPro meaning better sound and picture.

A few laps around the Tamiya track in Aliso Viejo, CA with the Saturn body on.



The GoPro can see quite a wide field of view, in this picture the camera can see the vice and the can of WD40! There are three settings for this on the camera itself. I prefer wide for RC racing.

The camera can do 1080p @ 60fps but also 720p @ 120fps. However for 120fps to look ok you need bright sunlight. I tried this at West Coast RC Raceway (indoor) and it came out very grainy.


  1. Awesome! I want to do the same thing. where did you get the Parma body?

  2. Got lucky and found it at ultimatehobbies for $18 looks like rcmart has one left

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Another good onroad car for camera is Tamiya TA06 chassis. I have a see through Audi R8 body. Much lower profile. I'll make a new post soon. The motor tab challenges will remain, but you can film forward or backwards.