There’s something about rc cars that makes a kid feel like a grown-up and grown men feel like they are re-capturing their childhood. Despite the increasing sophistication of toys on offer, the RC car remains a hot favorite on Christmas lists for boys of all ages.
If assembly is not your forte, all you need to do is load up the batteries on the toy-grade RC car and you’re ready to go. The major drawback is that if your car is damaged in a crash or something goes wrong, you can’t undertake repairs. However toy-grade rc cars are relatively inexpensive while still incorporating cool options like working windows, mp3 players and flashing lights.
The toy-grade RC vehicles essentially require no assembly, with the draw back being that if something goes wrong, you will have to junk the entire vehicle and start again. The main advantage is their low cost and easy set-up. Some of the more nifty models come with working windows, mp3 players and lights, and can offer hours of fun on the race-track or if you are just messing around on your own.
Hobby-class vehicles offer more control over the set up of the vehicle. Hobby-grade vehicles allow for standardized motor and separate electronic components that are individually replaceable if they break down. This means that you do need to be mechanically minded to get the best from your vehicle.
When deciding what’s right for you, first consider the kind of vehicle you would like. Some people love replica vehicles, which are all about design and aesthetic appeal. For others there’s nothing better than a monster off-road truck or rock climber that lives up to the challenge of the toughest terrain. Almost all manufacturers offer hobby-grade, ready-to-run vehicles though the more hi-end racing- spec vehicles are still sold in kit form requiring assembly from scratch. Hobby-grade RC vehicles can be powered by electric motors. Nitromethane, or gasoline. You can decide what works best for you depending on the kind of vehicle you choose and your operating requirements.
Mechanical or electronic controls allow you to operate and control you battery or electric powered autos. Triggers are used to control the speed of your vehicle and some come with braking options. If cost is a factor you may have to settle for mechanical controls. These have a slower response time and don’t come with braking capabilities. As more people opt for electronic controls, mechanical controls are being phased out.
Nitromethane-powered or nitro vehicles operate on the same principles as actual vehicles, running on two-stoke engine. They also sound a lot more like real cars, which is appealing to RC car enthusiasts. However, because they give off actual exhaust fumes, they do require rigorous maintenance including cleaning of the oil filters and chassis and replacement of clutch-parts. Nitro engines are subject to size restrictions at competition level.
Petrol or gas powered engines are more durable than their nitro counterparts and do not require as much cleaning or maintenance. Gas engines don’t deliver the top speeds of nitro or electric engines and cost more, but they do not need to be replaced as often. Gas engines are usually used for larger vehicles. Being part of the RC car community is more than just about winning. It also offers fellowship and sharing. As the appeal of RC cars continues to grow around the world, the engines are going to be purring for a long time to come.
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