Radio Controlled Vehicles: Most Popular Articles
Nitro RCs are fun to have but are also a serious hobby. If you are considering buying a nitro-powered RC vehicle you need to know that there are significant differences between electric and nitro RCs.
RC toys are suitable for almost anyone, but an entry level RC car or truck has features suitable for those new to radio controlled vehicles.
These free RC airplane plans are generally more suitable for intermediate to advanced RC modelers. The aircraft often require more individual components and complex construction, for more realistic scale models.
Avoid radio frequency interference problems with toy grade RC cars and trucks. Learn how to choose toy RC cars and trucks based on their frequency.
What to do when your RC won't respond to the transmitter.
If you want to hone your RC airplane or glider skills, flight simulation software lets you do it in any kind of weather and you can even fly outdoor planes in the house -- virtually, that is. Don't risk hurting your RC airplane by learning to fly it on your PC first. These RC airplane flight simulators feature either RC airplane models only, or both airplanes and helicopters.
Learn to master the intricate flight controls of an RC helicopter without risking your very expensive RC helicopter in your inexperienced hands. These RC helicopter flight simulator software programs feature either RC helicopter models only, or both helicopters and airplanes.
A look at different venues that a racer may find a used RC vehicle for purchase, including auctions, online classifieds, and race events.
Download a demo or get some free flight simulators to help you learn how to master RC flight. Find free versions and demo or trial editions of RC flight simulators for airplanes and helicopters.
Sometimes it's something simple that's keeping your RC from running. When troubleshooting an RC that's not running, look for the simple, obvious problems before tearing it completely apart.
These free RC airplane plans feature fairly simple construction techniques. Good for beginning modelers. The plans are not necessarily beginner planes for flying, but the construction process is less complicated than some RC airplanes.
Nitro or glow engines use nitro fuel but it's actually a mixture of fuel and air that goes into the engine. The right fuel/air mixture keeps the engine running at its best. The wrong mixture can cause overheating, excessive wear, or cause the engine to stall. This fuel/air mixing takes place in the carburetor.
There are two speeds associated with radio controlled vehicles: scale speed and actual speed. Some manufacturers, in a bid to capitalize on the perceived superiority of really fast cars, will list the scale speed rather than the actual speed of the RC. It can make a normal car seem faster than it really is.
Many RC racers rely entirely on their own backyard tracks or simply racing their friends at local parks. But to prepare for and participate in serious competitions you may want to use a more official race track.
A gas RC may use gasoline or it might use nitro fuel. You need to know what kind of engine is in the RC vehicle to know what kind of fuel to use. The non-electric RCs sold in hobby shops are usually nitro RCs that use nitro fuel, not gasoline.
The type and amount of oil in the nitro fuel is what determines whether it is better suited to RC cars and trucks or aircraft.
A listing of free foam planes that have their plans available for download.
Tired of looking at the same old paint job? Before you pick up just any old kind of spray paint or can of paint and slap it on your RC, make sure it's the right kind.
When looking at an electric RC next to a nitro RC, they may look very different. But there are quite a few similarities. The key differences come, not from appearances, but from actual operation. Compare two hobby-grade stadium trucks -- one electric and one nitro -- side-by-side. Page 3.
There's nothing like the glow of a nitro. Strictly hobby-grade, nitro-powered RCs cost more and require a larger commitment of time and skill but many hobbiests would have nothing less. Learn all about buying, running, and maintaining nitro RC cars, trucks, and other radio controlled vehicles.
Electric motors with little brushes inside...
Send unsuspecting visitors or co-workers scampering with one of these radio controlled toys, perfect for Halloween or anytime you want to pull a prank.
Wood, plastic, foam... there are many different materials that RC airplanes are constructed from.
Produced and distributed by RadioShack, XMODS RC Cars are 1:28th scale electric radio controlled cars.
To start a nitro RC you need to turn on the transmitter switch then receiver switch, add fuel, prime the engine (get fuel to the carburetor), ignite the glow plug, then start the engine by rotating the flywheel. There are three main ways to start the nitro engine: pull start, bump start, electric start.
Proper nitro engine break-in is critical for long-lasting performance of your RC. Every new nitro engine should undergo a break-in procedure. If you do nitro engine break-in properly, the up-keep on your RC vehicle is less costly than if the procedure is done hastly and incorrectly. Be patient.
RC engine size or displacement is measured in cubic centimeters (cc) or cubic inches (ci). In terms of RC engines, displacement is the volume of space a piston travels through during a single stroke.
If you buy a Ready-to-Run kit or toy-grade RC submarine chances are you will have everything you need in the box, already assembled. Some kits even include the batteries. To build an RC submarine model, you can either purchase a kit that contains most (but rarely all) of the parts or purchase everything separately and start from scratch.
A listing of free airplane plans for download from the About.com Radio Controlled Vehicles site.
New Bright produces radio control and remote control vehicles, train sets, and electric toys and accessories. Ranging in size from a big 1:5 to a hand-size 1:43 scale, in addition to cars, trucks, and jeeps there are several boats and motorcycles. New Bright Toys include officially licensed Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, and Chevrolet products.
The aileron moves up and down and controls the direction of a rolling turn on an RC airplane. Page 4.
Toy-grade RCs are generally not as durable or long-lasting as hobby-grade models. What can you do when a sentimental favorite toy RC goes on the fritz?
The Axial AX10 Scorpion 1:10 scale RC Rock Crawler kit is both a challenging and a rewarding experience. Although I wouldn't call this a beginner RC kit, with a little help from an experienced builder a beginner could learn a lot and get a great deal of enjoyment from this kit. And once completed, you'll have an awesome rock crawlling beast that is great as-is or can be further modified with several aluminum upgrade parts.
L-shaped tool... Radio Controlled Vehicles.
Bind-N-Fly or BNF is an Horizon Hobby trademark for a specific kind of Ready-to-Fly (RTF) RC aircraft that uses DSM technology. Learn more about Bind-N-Fly -- how it works and what RC airplanes and RC helicopters come in BNF versions.
Rod connected to wheels... Radio Controlled Vehicles.
Your RC car or truck is a bowling ball on 4 wheels. Page 2.
When using spray paint in cans to paint your RC body, follow these tips to help improve your painting.
Radio frequency used in RC vehicles
Modding a nitro engine means that you are making a modification that is or seems to make the engine better than factory specs. Modding goes beyond simply tuning your nitro engine. It involves making physical changes the engine itself.
Can an RC car really drive on walls and even on the ceiling? Find out in this review of the Air Hogs R/C Zero Gravity Mini Car.
Foamy plans for building RC airplanes out of Depron or other types of foam construction.
Scale is a common term in the hobby and sport of RC vehicles.
The Tamiya Tractor Truck series of radio controlled big rigs are available as unassembled kits. You have to build them yourself.
You could just pick the coolest looking RC toy sitting on the shelf. But will it be the right toy? Find out how to go about choosing a radio control toy.
The ICC comes to the UK for their first annual on-road carpet event. One class limit per racer, and a limit of 50 entries per class.
Consider getting one of these RCFOs -- radio controlled flying objects -- for all your skywatching friends.
The market for radio controlled toys these days is huge. But before you go out and buy a toy RC car or truck for the “underage” driver in your home, make sure that it’s one they can handle and will also hold their attention.
Creep, crawl, and climb those rocks with an RC rock crawler. RC rock crawling isn't a fast-paced sport but is fast growing in popularity. Learn the basics of what to look for in an RC rock crawler vehicle.
Build Jurassic Park in your backyard with remote controlled robotic dinosaurs. These RC dinosaurs can walk and run and respond to sights and sounds they encounter. Some varieties can interact with each other or with other robots in the same family. Use the remote control to have the RC dinosaur perform a variety of actions, go on the hunt, explore, or stand guard.
Whether gliding gracefully across the pond or kicking up plumes of water in their wake as they shoot from shore to shore, RC boats provide hours of outdoor RC entertainment. Learn the basics of types of RC boats, power options, hull designs, and the best RC powerboats for beginners.
In RC vehicles, frequency is the specific radio signal sent from the transmitter to the receiver to control the vehicle. In toy-grade RCs, the frequency is normally a set channel within the 27MHz or 49MHz frequency range. There is a greater variety of channels and additional frequencies available in hobby-grade vehicles. These are the most common frequencies used in both toy and hobby RC vehicles in the United States. Frequencies may vary in other countries.
You turn it on but it won't go anywhere. Perhaps you can turn left and right but the RC just won't move. What can you do?
It's always fun when you can combine radio controlled vehicles with another activity that kids love -- and make it educational too. LEGOS, those plastic building blocks that provide endless hours of entertainment make building your own RC a snap. Elenco and Learning Resources also have cool construction sets that allow novice mechanics from 4 to 16 to experience the fun of building their own car without any automotive expertise.
A look at some of the top places you can browse in 2014 to get free rc airplane plans, including foam planes and balsa planes.
As I view these videos on what seems to me how to crash a jet and look good doing it a new RC business
Combine model building with electronics and mechanics by building a radio controlled or infrared remote controlled vehicle. Kits from Revell, Elenco, and LEGO Systems help teens learn about radio systems, motors, circuitry, robotics, and even soldering while building their own RC vehicle.
RCs have two types of antennas. There's an antenna on the transmitter or controller that sends messages to the RC and one on the receiver (in the RC vehicles) that receives those messages. Learn the basics of installing and using those radio antennas with your RC.
In the RC hobby, flying RC helicopters is often considered the hardest RC skill to master. This might make the marketing claims for easy-to-fly toy RC helicopters hard to understand. The difference is in the design of the helicopters, the controls used for flying, and the range of movement and aerobatics that the helicopter is capable of performing.
Getting Your Gear Ratios and Slipper Just Right on your Radio Controlled Vehicle.
From airplanes and helicopters that fit in your hand to tiny desktop racers that make your stapler look like a giant, here are a selection of some the smallest radio controlled and remote controlled toy vehicles.
Trim isn't about taking scissors and snipping off part of the plane -- well not usually. It's about making adjustments so your RC airplane flies right.
Not all nitro fuel is created equal. Switching fuels improve performance or mess up your nitro engine. Find out how to do it right.
When you buy an RC car or truck kit the body is often unpainted. You can also purchase new unpainted bodies to replace the one that came with your kit or your ready-to-run RC. Before you whip out the spraypaint cans or the airbrush, you have to get those bodies ready to accept the paint. Poor prep can ruin an otherwise fantastic paint scheme.
Since I started the RC hobby I bought RCs both toy-grade and hobby-grade to see if they go as fast as advertised. If the RCs didn't go fast enough for my liking, I modified them to do just that, go fast. An RC dragster is a fast RC. Find out what it takes to build an RC dragster.
A look at simple questions that the beginning RCer should know the answers to prior to getting into the hobby.
FMS from Roman and Michael Mõller allows you to virtually learn to fly RC models. Browse a gallery of screenshots from this flight simulation software.
Dates, schedule, and classes for the Wicked Weekend 2014 RC offroad race are discussed in this thorough overview.
Joining an RC club in your area is not a prerequisite for enjoying the RC hobby but it is a great way to meet other radio control enthusiasts.
DSM or 'Digital Spectrum Modulation' is a new radio technology recently adapted to the RC vehicles world.
Free RC Jet plane plans that are available for download.
If you have a pull-start nitro RC and the cord is stuck, here's what you can do...
Airbrushing is a painting technique using a special tool called an airbrush which sprays a mixture of air and paint. RC vehicle bodies are often airbrushed. Single-action or double-action airbrush refers to what type of triggering system is used for the airbrush tool.
Infrared RC toy vehicles are fun and popular little toys, often small enough to enclose in your fist. Cars, trucks, helicopters, and even tanks may come in infrared versions. There are both benefits and drawbacks to infrared technology applied to RC toys.
Oil-filled shock absorbers give RC cars and RC trucks more stability over rough terrain. When you feel that your shock absorbers aren't performing properly you can check the fluid level and add more shock oil to the shocks.
Various biplanes that are available for free download to builders wishing to create their own RC flight plane.
There are many names for a glow plug igniter: glow plug warmer, starter, heater, or driver as well as different types of glow plug igniters used to start nitro RC engines. Find out how they differ.
RC aerodynamics work much like full scale aircraft. Learn the basics of RC aerodynamics here.
As its name suggests, the receiver receives instructions from the transmitter...
The Grasshopper has been around for many years. The latest kit version is a good kit for kids and for first-time RC builders of any age. Not only is the kit easy to build, it creates a fast, fun radio controlled off-road racer.
With all the new ways to make RC toys innovative and exciting Air Hogs has come up with a redesign of the old kid favorite, the Vectron UFO RC, now called the Vectron Wave.
Radio controlled toys are controlled by a hand-held transmitter. Look inside several typical RC toy transmitters and see what they contain. Examine the circuit board, find the crystal, see how the switches, toggles, or buttons operate. Page 4.
Tyco RC, part of the Mattel family of toys, is a major producer of RC toys. Terrain Twister, Shell Shocker, Street Beat Ready to Run RCs, a variety of Batman RCs, Stuntsters, and RC motorcycles are among the many RC toys from Tyco R/C.
Some people may think of moving up from RC toys to hobby-grade RCs as a chance to step up to the speed and power of nitro. But there's plenty of speed and power in a hobby-grade electric. They may run on batteries just like toy RCs, but most of the similarities end there.
Anything fullsize trucks can do, RC trucks can do too. That includes RC truck and tractor pulling competitions.
Compare prices and compare features on these different RC construction vehicles aimed at different age groups. The simplest are typically wired and have very basic movements and fanciful colors or features. Others are radio control and have more complex movements and more realistic detailing. Page 2.
Although silicone tubing used in nitro engines has many auxiliary uses, it's primary use is to deliver fuel. A typical nitro engine has two lengths of tubing. One runs from the fuel tank to the carburetor (sometimes with an inline fuel filter in between). Another piece of tubing, called the air pressure line, runs from the fuel tank to the exhaust or tuned pipe. It helps to pressurize the fuel tank so that the fuel flows better through the fuel line to the carburetor.
Toy RC frequency. Radio Controlled Vehicles.
The hull is about more than just good looks. The shape of the hull affects the speed, stability, and maneuverability of the RC boat. Flat-bottom, monoplane or monohull and hydroplane are hull designs for RC boats. Page 3.
There are a few track designing programs that are very helpful when it comes to designing your own track layouts.
A few of the free military plane plans available for download.
RC Submarines range in size from little bathtub or aquarium toys for in-home exploration to subs that are as big as your bathtub designed for deep sea (or at least deep lake) exploration. Learn the basics of radio controlled submarines.
Most RC cars and trucks have three-part tires: wheel or rim, foam inserts, rubber tires. Although the parts all fit together nicely, glue helps keep the inserts inside and the tires on the rim.
A long time frontrunner in the manufacture of radio controlled toys, NIKKO has dozens of RC cars and trucks and a few boats and aircraft as well. They produce everything from tough and colorful RCs with basic controls for preschool and elementary age children to highly detailed, officially licensed cars with more options for the older kids. Most NIKKO RCs are in the 1:10 to 1:32 range and are high quality RC toys.
Masking is a technique used to cover areas of an RC body that you don't want painted a certain color or that are to be left clear. There are several different masking materials that can be used to accomplish this task.
After running your nitro RC for a while you have to perform after-run maintenance. Part of that after-run maintenance includes lubricating the pistons and all the internal parts by adding after-burn oil to the nitro engine cylinder head.
Tyco R/C, part of the Mattel family of toys, is a major producer of RC toys. In the RC car category, some of the major Tyco RC product lines include Drift King, 6V Auto Show, Dropstars, and West Coast Customs.
For a toy-grade RC truck, the 1:6 Scale RC International CXT is a pretty good buy. Simple enough for children ages 7 and up to operate, it's still a step or two above the basic toy truck.
Modifying New Bright toy RCs is a popular pasttime. The New Bright RC snowmobile seems to be a very mod-friendly vehicle.
RC cars on the gaming console or computer screen won't replace real RC racing. But they're fun and allow you to drive in places you can't go in real life.
A water-cooled system, as the name implies, is a way to cool down an engine using water (or other coolant). It's sometimes used on nitro-powered RC boats. But is it possible or even desirable to do so with a nitro RC car or truck?
Just like a real car, RC cars and trucks require regular maintenance. After running your RC for a while you have to perform after-run maintenance. All radio controlled vehicles -- electric and nitro -- need after-run maintenance but some of the steps here apply only to nitro engines.
rc toys, modifications, mods, upgrades, broken rc toys, radio controlled vehicles
If your nitro engine isn't getting a sufficient supply of fuel or the fuel has become contaminated it affects engine performance. Try some of these fuel system checks, replacing parts of the fuel system as necessary.
Nitro is a common term in the hobby and sport of RC vehicles.
Water + electricity + dirt = big mess if you don't properly prepare your RC for water, snow, and mud.
If you are seriously interested in building scale RC helicopters but don't know where to start or how to proceed, the book Building Scale Helicopters takes you through the entire process quite nicely.
From 1:24 scale to tiny HO scale, there is a size of slot car to fit all needs.
For something a little different... here are some off-the-wall ways to recycle old broken radio controlled toys.
Soldering has many applications including the building and repair of radio controlled vehicles. For radio controlled vehicle hobbyists soldering is mostly used in making repairs and modifications to electric RCs.
Monster trucks excel in rough off-road terrain but can handle most any surface. Spewing dirt, climbing rocks, and doing jumps off ramps and hills make monster trucks an RC favorite. Of all the 1:8 and 1:10 scale Ready-to-Run nitro monster trucks on the market, About.com readers favor these few by a wide margin.
Want to see what's inside a typical radio controlled toy truck? Follow along as I do a teardown of a New Bright Radio Controlled Jeep. Learn where to look if you want do repairs to an RC toy or find out what you can salvage from an old RC. Page 8.
Most hobby-grade RC helicopters take a lot of skill to fly. They are not really geared towards beginners. But there are some less fancy, moderately-priced alternatives that let kids and novice RC pilots experience the thrill of flying without requiring a great deal of dexterity or knowledge of the mechanics of flight. These models usually combine small size with simple 2 or 3 channel controls. Many have ringed rotary blades for added safety. Some, however, can be quite challenging.
This is no wimpy, slower version of its bigger 1:10 scale brother. The 1:16 Scale Traxxas E-Revo is a speedy little off-road truck.
Authentic details on a smaller scale...
Cleaning the air filter is part of the after-run maintenance needed to keep your nitro RC at optimal performance. Here's how to clean the air filter and add air filter oil.
The Air Hogs Sharp Shooter has proven to be a durable, easy to control, indoor helicopter that provides a little extra challenge with its missles and target-shooting capabilities.
Fail safe units are a way to avoid the problems associated with frequency interference.
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This international toy manufacturer (that has since filed for Bankruptcy) produced a range of indoor and outdoor toys for preschoolers to teens and even adults. Teaming up with brands like Little Tikes and General Motors, Planet Toys produced radio control cars for all ages including the colorful Little Tikes Radio Control Cars for preschoolers and full function RCs for slightly older kids.
One of the hottest sort of radio controlled gadget is the robot and there are some pretty cool RC robots just waiting to strut their stuff and take your commands. From robotic animals to sci-fi characters and superheroes, there's a robot toy for everyone.
This 2-wheel drive gas-powered buggy is an almost perfect example of a ready-to-run 1:5 scale big boy toy. It's big, easy to maintain, and comes with everything you need to get started racing -- except for batteries and fuel.
The crystal in an RC isn't a diamond or emerald. It sets the frequency of the radio signal that the RC uses to communicate.
First released in 1984, The Grasshopper was a popular kit for young modelers and first-time RC owners before ready-to-run became the norm. The re-release is still a great entry-level kit for new modelers and RC enthusiasts of all ages. With only a few hitches along the way I (a first time RC kit builder) built the car in one day, painted it the next. It looks good, runs perfectly.
Changing out the motor on an electric RC is fairly simple. You might want to change the motor because the old one is dead, you want more power, or you need more torque. Whatever your reason, learn how to replace the motor on a hobby-grade electric RC.
While it has its flaws, my overall opinion of the Team Losi Micro-T is that on the fun factor alone it warrants a 5-star rating. Here's what I've noticed -- good and bad -- so far about this cool little 1:36 scale hobby-grade RC truck.
Put on the brakes without stalling with a few needle adjustments.
One of the key features that sets RC submarines apart is the method of diving. The two types of RC submarines are dynamic divers and static divers. The best RC submarine diving system depends, in part, on what you expect to get out of your RC sub and how much you are willing to spend.
A look at five great RC boat choices for 2014.
Don't like the look of your RC? Change it. From easy to more complicated, find ways to change the appearance of your RC.
Learn RC vehicle terminology, including RTR.
The government, business, and scientists use cameras and RC airplanes and helicopters for aerial photography, surveillance, and other noble pursuits. But there are ways for individuals to combine cameras and RC vehicles for both practical and entertaining uses around the home.
Getting into the RC hobby requires a time and money commitment as well as a passion for radio controlled vehicles. Find out what it takes to buy and own RC vehicles.
The Stampede, one of the many off-road RC trucks from Traxxas, is an electric RC monster truck that lives up to the Traxxas reputation for quality.
There are many ways to keep rims and tired together, what are they and which is better? It all depends on what type of racing you are doing. Some types of tires and rims are better than others depending on the application.
RC toys help develop physical and mental skills. Before you buy another toy for your toddler or preschooler, consider the educational benefits of radio control and remote control cars and trucks. But, as with any toy for this age, there are certain safety features and operational features you'll want to consider.
Thread lock or thread locking compound is a (usually) non-permanent adhesive used on metal fasteners such as set screws and motor mounts. Thread lock is especially useful on nitro RCs and RC helicopters because there is a lot of screw-loosening vibration.
This 2-wheel drive gas-powered buggy is an almost perfect example of a ready-to-run 1:5 scale big boy toy. It's big, easy to maintain, and comes with everything you need to get started racing -- except for batteries and fuel.
You don't have to participate in official races to benefit from a well-tuned suspension. Tuning your RC suspension can increase speed, improve handling, and prolong the life of your RC when properly done.
When radio signals between RC vehicles get crossed there's crosstalk.
The Mud Slinger series are 1:10 scale, 9.6v vehicles and 1:14/1:15 scale, 6v vehicles that include the Land Rover, Hummer, Ford F-150, and Jeep. They feature simulated mud splattering on tires and body.
A comparison of the Scalextric and the Carrera slot car tracks for RC racers.
While Transcendental Technologies offers multiple RC helicopter editions, the standard edition of PRE-Flight features several kinds of aircraft. Browse a gallery of screenshots from the demo download of PRE-Flight fight simulators.
Racing without rules... Radio Controlled Vehicles.
This is Reality Craft's more expensive professional flight simulation software for some serious training in flying RC airplanes and gliders as well as helicopters. Browse a gallery of screenshots from the demo version of the RC Flight Master software.
Lithium Polymer or LiPo battery packs are frequently used in radio controlled vehicles. They generally charge faster and store more energy than a comparable Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) battery pack. However, LiPo batteries do require special handling. Misuse -- including improper charging, handling, and storage -- can cause LiPo batteries to burn or explode.
: How Do You Build An RC Drag Strip? Depending on what you want to do you can go the easy route, which
The demo offers easy and expert versions of one airplane and two helicopters. Or, purchase the full version for even more electric and nitro-powered RC aircraft. Browse this gallery of screenshots from ClearView RC Flight Simulator.
Explore the inside of a nitro RC. Page 3.
You can turn almost any yard, parking lot, basketball court, driveway, or open field into a temporary RC track. Choose the surface you want to use then lay out a course using chalk, paint, tape, or flexible hosing.