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All about the wonderful world of R/C Vehicles!   Updated: Apr 1, 2013 @ 12:18 pm
For those not in the know, R/C is short for "Radio Controlled", and not "Remote Controlled", as most people tend to think. Yes, the distinction is slight, at best. I'm a stickler for distinction.

Actually, that doesn't really matter. I just needed a way to start the page off...

Well anyways, R/C vehicles is a hobby of mine. I think everyone finds these sorts of things fascinationing at some point in their lives. Most tend to grow out of it, though pretty much anyone, if offered, will take the controls and drive fro and to. Some of us are just too impatient to wait for someone with an R/C to come along and offer up the controls.

I'll point out here that when I say R/C, I'm talking about hobby-grade R/C, and not the sort of thing you buy from Radio Shack at christmas time. There are differences between the two.. like say, the ability to drive 30 mph (real, not scale) or have an actual engine instead of just an electric motor.

There's 4 things that are cool about the R/C hobby (as far as I'm concerned). These would be:

  1. You have to build the thing yourself. Same concept as building scale models, except you don't get to drive your models around when you're done. I guess I should mention that for people who don't want to do building, don't think they could do it, etc, you can buy RTR (Ready To Run) kits that are factory preassembled. Of course, you could have trouble...

  2. Maintaing your vehicle. The mechanical stuff doesn't stop at the building stage. Parts wear out or break with use (well, abuse) and need to be replaced. There is a ton of after-market products, so you can replace the original parts with ones that are more colorful, for show, or made of different materials to improve performance and durability.

  3. Tweaking your vehicle. Like I said, these babies aren't toy's. They're fairly complicated mechanical... things. If you're into it, you can spend a lot of time fiddling with how things are set up in order to improve speed, handling, and other things.

  4. They're fun to drive! Or fly. You know, whatever. Want to be a pilot but afraid to fly? Get an R/C plane. Like the thrill of auto racing but afraid of accidents at that speed? Get an R/C car.

None of these things is actually required. Some people just want to do the driving, but don't want to have to wrench on the thing. Some people prefer tweaks and modifications to the driving. There are those who just want to go out into the back yard and have some fun, so they do the minimal amount of mechanical work they can get away with. It's all good.

Personally, I find all 4 of these things interesting and exciting. I went out of my way (and spent more cash) to get a car I'd have to put together myself. I went out of my way to do things like buy extra gears so I could change the gear ratio of the car and alter it's speed/acceleration characteristics. And I just love to drive the things.

I currently (Jun 2001) have 3 R/C cars: A 1/10 scale 4 wheel drive touring car (TC3) with a Dodge Stratus body, and 2 1/24 scale 2 wheel drive cars with BMW Z8 bodies (Mini-Z). Eventually, I want to branch out into some off-road cars, like a buggy or truck, and then investigate the world of Nitro Powered (rather than electric) cars. Once I get enough experience, I want to branch out into flying R/C vehicles, like helicopters! Joy!

I have a couple of uninteresting pictures here, for your perusal. Just click on the thumbnail to view the full size image and get some info about the cars.

Tomy BitChar-G Kyosho Mini-Z's Associated TC3
Tomy BitChar-G Kyosho Mini-Z's Associated TC3

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