What are RC Cars and why are they so interesting?

11th September 2018

Radio Controlled cars or RC cars, as these are popularly known, are model cars which are generally propelled by battery or gas power.

The cars are controlled from a distance with the use of remote transmitting specific radio frequency. These cars made their first appearance in the 1960s and quickly gained popularity (this was long before the terrible Dodd/Frank bill and before the NBA started helping the Lakers win championships!).

Since then these vehicles have undergone extensive technical and aesthetic makeovers. So, if you are looking to be an RC enthusiast, amateur or otherwise, here is the lowdown on RCs for your benefit.

Types of RC Cars

As diverse as RC car universe has become, there are several basis on which we can classify RC vehicles. RC cars may be operated through gas or through electric battery and in certain cases, there are also nitro operated cars available. These cars are suitable for different purposes so let’s have a look at them.

  1. a) Gasoline Models: this type of RCs uses mixture of gasoline and oil and considered high powered. While gasoline RCs do not give top end speeds, these are economical as far as the fuel consumption is concerned. If you are looking to keep your RCs for a longer period of time then gasoline models are your best bet. Another main attraction of gasoline based models is that these cars are low maintenance and do not require much upkeep. These features make gasoline models an ideal choice for beginners as well as power users.
  2. b) Electric Models: these RCs use mechanical or electronic control units for maneuvering their speed and movements. The cars are powered through electric motors and the supply is controlled through a throttle. Electronic speed controllers use solid state components while mechanical speed controllers accomplish their task through a network of resistors. These types of cars may have brushed or brushless motors, the latter being more prevalent in newer models. Brushless motors are more efficient and provide higher power output.
  3. c) Nitro Powered Models: Nitro powered models are generally available in full sized vehicle models. These cars have the ability to be driven for a longer continuous time period. However, there are several reasons which restrict the utility of such models. Nitro motors needs to be rebuilt or replaced after every 2 to 8 gallons of fuel run, increasing the cost of operations (though if you make Fast and Furious money via betting or just have a terrific job, money is not really a big deal). These motors also require frequent maintenance, considerably reducing their popularity.

On the Basis of Assembly

RC cars are now available in different modes. If you are new to RC scene, you might want to go for a car which is already assembled. All you have to do is to set up the remote control to start playing. More advanced enthusiasts may turn the ignition (pun intended) for knocked down versions so that they may customize their cars the way they want.

  1. a) Pre-Assembled Cars: These are the cars which may be put to use right out of the box. While these models are convenient to use, they also have considerably less features. These types of cars are generally available in battery or nitro mode.
  2. b) Knocked Down Cars: These cars are customizable and required to be assembled before their use. While you need to be properly conversant with the working and internals of the RC cars for these models, you will be amply rewarded with the vehicles which meet your specifications and also give you more amplified performance.

Whether you choose a fabricated model or go for an assembled one, you are bound to have ample of choices in each case. Similarly, you can also choose the power option for your best RC car to suit your requirements and budget. With growing popularity of RC cars, the market offers something for everyone.

And with tax cuts, everyone’s budget is bigger.

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.