The Basics

RC Cars as a new hobby can be a bit daunting to start with, so hopefully this page will help if you fancy starting. The best thing to do is to come to the club and see what we do and chat to the club members, that way you can invest in something that’s right for you and can be run up at the club.

At ARCCC we tend to only run electric 1/10th scale radio controlled cars. We operate a combination of Touring Cars (TC), Buggies (2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive), mini’s (small, front-wheel drive car) and Drift cars. But we’re more than happy to have other scales/types of electric RC car run with us.

Currently we don;t run nitro, as we’re generally indoors (bit of a fire risk? Smelly?), but this may change in the future.

Motor / Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)

System are categorised as either Brushed or Brushless. Most modern systems are brushless, but brushed is still fine. Brushless generally has less maintenance.

How can you tell which one you have? – If the motor has only 2-wires going to the ESC, then the system is BRUSHED. If there are 3-wires, then the system is BRUSHLESS.

Battery Technology

Generally, the batteries used at the club will be either Lithium Polymer (Lipo) or Nickel Metal Hydride (Nimh). Both are fine, but Lipo’s are much better. Brushless systems tend to be best used with Lipo’s as they are designed with the correct ‘low voltage’ cutoff. Lipo’s can be used with a brushed system, but we would recommend caution or the installation of a low voltage protection product.

How can I tell what batteries I have? – Generally, Lipos comes as a hard shelled unit, fully sealed with socket connections. Nimh’s are generally made up of individual sub-C cells into a ‘pack’.

Radio Controls – Frequency (2.4GHz/40MHz/27MHz)

Generally, most ready-to-run (RTR) kits now come as standard with the 2.4GHz radio gear. This means that they should suffer very little interference and shouldn’t affect anybody else. However, there are also 40MHz and 27Mhz systems still in operation. Each of these need crystals (a pair of crystals consists of a Tx and a Rx crystal) and the frequency is recorded on each of them. If two people are using the same frequency, then there will be interference and one person MUST change their crystals.

How can I tell what radio controls I have? – 2.4GHz systems typically have very short aerials on both the transmitter (Tx) and the receiver (Rx). If you have to extend an aerial on the Tx, then it will be either 40MHz or 27MHz. Next, check for crystals and the frequency. These would look like 40.175 (in the case of 40Mhz) or be RED (colours are used in the case of 27Mhz). If in doubt, please ask!