The Remote Control Cars Guide

Chapter 1: Getting Started In The RC Car Hobby

The Radio Control car hobby can be 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.

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.

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.

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(Next Lesson) Chapter 2: Nitro Car or Electric Car? Making The Choice
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