Archive for the ‘RC as a hobby’ Category

The Radio Control car hobby is great fun! You get the feel of driving a car or truck like you could never drive your real car. Beginners usually begin with an electric RC truck or car and they love being totally in control of a fully functional scale model that is just waiting for your next command. Fast RC cars are available all over the world!
RTR Rising Storm 4wd Buggy

To enjoy this hobby, it is important to know the various type of options available to pursue your hobby. The most popular type of R/C car is the Off-Road Buggy. Big tires with “knobby” spikes, full-travel suspension parts and a high ground clearance allow the off-roader to go almost anywhere. They come with either two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD), and reach speeds of 15-30 mph.

On-Road cars usually have lower ground clearances, slicks tires, aerodynamic bodies, and are capable of a bit higher speeds. The Mazda RX-7 E10 Drift RTR is the perfect example of an on-road car.

Mazda RX-7 E10 Drift RTR rc car

Fast RC Cars use two different kinds of energy sources to make them go. The source can be either electric or fuel. Cars that run on battery packs are electric cars. They use a rechargeable NiCad battery pack for power. They can run up to 10 minutes and can be recharged in about 15 minutes. Nitro cars are actually powered by a small engine that burns a special glow fuel. Some can reach speeds of over 50 mph. You can choose to make your own car or to buy one that is ready for get – set – go. These cars are identified as RTR (ready – to – run) which come with installed radio system or ATR (Almost – ready – to – run). ATR models need to have the radio systems etc installed into them.

If you are new to the hobby, you will probably want to select from models that are RTR. This helps you enjoy the hobby more than getting into the technical details. Such pre-built models are also preferred by “backyard” drivers. Kits that need building up are suggested for older hands who have been into the hobby for
sometime. The advantage to building a kit yourself is that you will know how to repair any possible damage. These kits are opted by racers bent upon winning organized competitions and showing off their models on the tracks and hitting the tracks hard. Although building a kit rather than buying prebuilt does require extra time, there are advantages. You’ll gain a expert understanding of how your machine works, which comes in handy when performing maintenance and tuning.

A 2-channel Radio system is also required to control your RC Car. If you chose an electric car, you will also need a battery pack, preferably NiCad, and a charger. Buying the car, radio, battery and charger together is preferable as you get all the compatible parts and save money too. The speed of the model depends upon the energy source it uses. Although nitro (gas) cars have more power and speed, electric models are the best choice for beginners who want to get the “feel” of operating an RC Car before moving up to the faster gas cars. After mastering the skills of the hobby you can always upgrade to a faster electric model or gas model.

Some other requirements to pursue the hobby are to have a well – equipped tool box with ordinary tools such as screwdrivers, nut drivers, pliers and the like.

stanley toolbox

Here are some related posts you might like:
Tips On Buying Your first RC Car
Nitro (Gas) Car or Electric Car? – Making The Choice
Buying A Nitro RC Car
Buying An Electric RC Car
All about Micro RC cars!

Going back to the big question:

Every RC enthusiast at one time or another faces the task of choosing whether to go for a Nitro gas rc car or an Electric rc car. To get a frank opinion on this it is always better to ask people with various demographic backgrounds who essentially have different taste and choices. This makes it easier to know the real pros and cons of any choice. Those who feel passionately may have prejudices over their opinion and may not tell the cons too frankly. Similarly those who prefer not to agree may prefer to overlook the pros of a model. In the end you should have all sorts fr opinions about each category or model and the final choice should always be your own, that makes your feel comfortable, suits your budget, is easier for you to handle and costs you less maintenance. You should not make your choices just because someone else prefers to choose it and then maybe you are not comfortable with it later on.

The foremost criteria for anyone is the investment in a hobby or the cost. The budget needs to be fixed. As such electric rc car kits come fall in the less expensive category for initial investment. Although they can give much enjoyment, you end up paying more for the battery packs, battery chargers, accessories, etc. This in the long run means that you have more stuff for maintenance later on and it also means that the recurring costs for these are substantial. Over time, the total investment in parts ends up being equivalent to a Nitro car or even Nitro RC trucks. Care must be taken when choosing an electric set up. The important thing is to buy a quality set up. A cheap set up would require sooner replacement and more repairs. Packs of quality batteries and a quality charger will bring down your recurring costs in the long run. Nitro rc kits come in expensive with the initial investment. Even though you can buy inexpensive engines or accessories, their initial costs would be more than the electric ones.

Another criteria that affects the cost is the maintenance and operation. As discussed earlier recurring costs for an electric model can in the end compare to the initial cost of a Nitro pack/Nitro rc kits. Another factor that greatly influences the recurring cost is the frequency of use and tracks. If you are using your model on rough tracks then it would obviously require more maintenance and regular use of your tool kit or cleaning equipment.

Both the types of models have their own typical power systems that require regular maintenance. Frequency of operation or frequency of use of your model would cause faster wear and tear and would mean regular maintenance. If your model does not meet any mishap, crash or breakdown even the nitro rc trucks require much more maintenance than electric ones. For an electric kit their batteries need to be taken care of properly, conditioned properly and stored at proper temperatures, etc to maintain their charge.

In a nut shell, the over all cost difference between the two is not much but the only difference lies between the initial investments of both. Therefore if cost is not as much a determining factor you can choose any model, but if you are short of dimes then it is safe to go in for an electric rc car setup. These would not only require much maintenance and if taken care properly would give great enjoyment to an RC car enthusiast. There’s more to running nitro rc trucks than the vehicles itself. Usually all models come with all necessary equipment and accessories required for running of the car. Electric rc cars require a two channel radio, motor(s), speed control and battery. Gas rc cars and nitro rc trucks require a radio, engine, fuel and muffler. Some or all of these items may be included with the vehicle but additional purchases may be required for some as well. It is important to read the read the product description carefully for details.

Most RC cars have a retail price, which is the suggested selling price. But note that most hobby shops sell rc kits for 20 – 40% less than the retail price, which is called the street price. To get the best deal on RC cars, when shopping, always pay the street price and not the retail price.

You can get RC sale from a local hobby shop (LHS) or order it from online hobby shops. If the shop owner is helpful, you get a lot of advice and useful tips to help you get started. Local hobby shops also usually keep spare parts which you can easily buy. It’s also nice to support your local hobby shop, they help set up racing tracks, organize races, and keep the RC hobby alive in your area. But if you live in an area where such local hobby shops are non-existent or not up to the mark or you are not happy with the person on the sales counter, you can also opt to purchase from the online hobby stores.

To get the best deals on Remote Control cars form online stores, look for special offers and rc sale, clearance sales and discount coupons. Remember to factor in the shipping cost. Payment is easily done via credit cards. Some models may also require items such as pinion, tires, wheels and body. If one has purchased the model from online hobby shop, then details of all such requirements may be obtained from accessories required links for the model on their website. One can choose from the list to see the items needed. If you order by phone, ask for help from the friendly Sales and Service representatives who should tell you exactly what you’ll need for each specific car or truck. Most R/C vehicles use 2-channel radio systems. They will usually not include batteries, so you’ll need to buy alkaline cells or rechargeable NiCad to power the transmitter and the receiver. If you drive an electric model and have a BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuitry) equipped radio system, you can power the receiver from your motor’s battery pack.

Another consideration when choosing an R/C car or truck is making sure that you’ll be able to get replacement parts quickly and easily—that way, if anything breaks, you won’t be stuck in neutral for very long.

Manufacturers also make “aftermarket” parts available along with direct replacement parts. These parts may be wheels, tires, bodies, suspension and steering components, decals, etc. These can be used to improve your model’s performance and customize its looks.

Trust me, rc cars can go very fast. RC gas cars can accelerate from 0 – 60 mph in less than 2 seconds. But the hall of fame cars are all electric cars. So the best guess can be that electric RC Cars seem to dominate. On the other hand talking of racing over 30 to 60 minutes long, gas cars can consistently post the fastest lap speeds. R/C cars started in 1/8th Scale On-Road Gas class. And when it comes to pure performance, nothing beats the speed and realism of 1/8th scale on-road gas cars. They give speeds from Zero – to – sixty miles per hour (mph) in 1.5 seconds, at racing speeds of over 70 mph. And these are real speeds as captured by radar guns. For power, these cars use 3.5cc 2-stroke engines capable of producing 2 horsepower. Power is delivered via a 2-speed or 3-speed automatic transmission to a 2WD or 4WD full suspension chassis. Wide, low profile foam tires produce the grip needed to propel these machines to incredible speeds.

Traxxas Revo 3.3 Nitro RC trucks

Traxxas Revo 3.3 Nitro RTR truck

1/10th Scale Off-Road RC Electric rc Trucks are probably the most popular class. These cars (i.e. buggies, racing trucks, monster trucks) can be run on almost any type of surface. Dirt, dust, water, and jumps add to the fun. These cars also make use of the standard 540 electric motor. The main difference to on-road is the suspension system.

Long shock absorbers keep RC electric trucks stable over bumpy surfaces.

Spring Shock Absorbers

front shock absorbers

nitro rc car tires

Tires are also bigger, have deeper threads or spikes, and are made of rubber. 2WD is still the most popular class for off-road, although there are plenty of 4WD cars to choose from. Early electric rc cars and trucks were 1/12th scale run on-road. Today’s cars are run indoors and outdoors, on asphalt or on smooth carpet. These cars make use of 540 size electric motors, powered by 4 or 7 cell batteries. Pan chassis with direct drive transmission are the norm. Foam tires are used and lightweight Lexan bodies are used.

Because of its small size, 1/12th scale cars are lightweight, and have good power-to-weight ratio. 30+ mph speeds are achievable even with the basic Mabuchi stock motor. 1/10th Scale Gas Touring Cars are similar to electric touring cars, but with more power and 2-speed transmission. At 190mm, these cars are slightly narrower and smaller than the 200mm models. These cars are tamer in performance as compared to 1/8th scale on-road gas, but still capable of speeds in excess of 50mph.

Nitro gas RC car TC3 Plus RTR

nitro tc3 plus rtr

Performance at the track is similar to their electric counterparts. At twisty turns, electrics are usually faster. However, the 2-speed transmission allows gas touring cars to achieve higher top speeds. Some of these cars are Team Associated Nitro gas car TC3 and OFNA Nitro gas car LD3 RTR. These cars have an engine of Force .12 that gives a speed of 40 mph. 1/8th Scale Off-Road Nitro RC Trucks combine the speed and power of a 3.5cc engine with the fun of running in off-road conditions. These buggies need and use 4WD to transfer the power of the 3.5cc engines to the track. Sticky rubber tires provide the much-needed grip. HPI Savage 25 Nitro RC Monster Truck, Associated RC Monster GT Truck, HPI Nitro Savage 21 RTR RC Monster Truck, Tamiya Terra Crusher Nitro Gas RC Truck, 1/10 Traxxas Tmaxx , T-Maxx Nitro RC Truck and Traxxas Rustler are some of the 1/8th scale off road nitro rc gas trucks.