WORDS RC CAR AC TION TEAM PHOTOS HOPE McCALL
Like every hobby, sport, and leisure pursuit, radio control has a lot of unique terminology that might sound like code until you learn what exactly the terms mean—at which point you realize it was all way simpler than you thought. ;ere’s no better place to start your
RC crash course than by learning the names and functions of RC vehicles’
most essential features.
Welcome! “Crash Course” is a new department aimed specifically
at getting new drivers up to speed (sometimes literally) with all
the essentials of radio control. Here, you’ll learn the lingo, discover
how things work, understand what-fits-what, and more. You’ll
also find “Crash Course” sections throughout the magazine
wherever we can help you better understand and enjoy RC.
Already an RC pro? Don’t be surprised if you learn a few things
along the way too.
Servos are the “muscles” of
radio control. A servo has a
motor inside of it that drives
a set of reduction gears to
amplify its torque. ;e torque
is needed to push and pull
the steering system to
direct the car.
RECEIVER As its name states, the receiver receives the signals from the transmitter. ;e signals are relayed to the steering servo and speed control to perate the model. In
this Traxxas Slash
4X4, and many other
models, the receiver is
housed in a protective
RADIO BASICS Most cars and trucks are sold ready to run, or “RTR.” ;is means that all the electronic gear is included and installed for you, including the transmitter and receiver. You’ll see that many transmitters tout “2.4GHz” technology, which is fast becoming the standard. ;ere’s no real di;erence in your driving experience with a 2.4GHz radio system versus an AM radio system, but what you do get is convenience. A 2.4GHz radio has a short or hidden plastic antenna instead of a damage- prone collapsible metal antenna, and 2.4GHz radios automatically find and lock onto an open frequency when you power up your car and transmitter. ;at means you can race with as many friends as you like without running into channel conflicts.
;e most inexpensive cars will have a brushed
motor; faster, more expensive models will have
brushless motors. Brushless power systems cost
more than brushed, but o;er higher speeds, near-zero maintenance, and far longer life.
No surprise here, all electric cars have a battery on board.
Depending on the model you choose, a battery may be
included, or you may need to purchase one separately—
check before you buy!
68 RCCar Action.com