Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Electric RC Car Upgrade

Whether you are a top-notch racer wanting a complete refit or just an adolescent who want to upgrade his toy grade Electric RC Car for better performance, there are options to exercise for all budgets.

The following are some common upgrades to consider, if you find it suitable to you and your Electric RC Car. In most cases, unless you are an accomplished expert, it pays to seek a professional's help.

Motor: It is the most obvious upgrade to make for increased acceleration, more speed and better power. A lower number of turns on a motor armature give you more power but less than 6 turns will drain or burn your battery! Go for a modifiable motor or even a superior quality brushless motor. Check the upgrade needs exclusive heat sink to keep it cool.

Electronic Speed Control (ESC): Control of speed and steering is essential for off road, 1/10 and smaller RC cars as well as the need have brake facility, more than two speeds, reverse mode and a discernible neutral mode in between for better manoeuvrability and control. Unlike their servo/ mechanical counterparts, ECS give rather smooth, efficient control while being light and silent.

Body: Change of body changes the looks of your RC car. Right! But it also affects other performance parameters. You can chose a body type that gives you more manoeuvrability, less wind resistance, more traction on the rear, better balance of car and also the kind of looks you want.

Bearings: Ball bearings are the most important upgrades you can make to your Electric RC Car. It's common sense that they improve engine and drive traction performance by offering less friction. Your RC car, if on the high-end side, may already have ball bearings on the engine and transmission but you need them on axles, wheels and every other moving part for better performance.

Radio Control Electronics: The new FM (Frequency Modulation) radio based control is better than old AM (Amplitude Modulation) based control, due to less interference or disturbance in waves.

Tires: If you are a racer, sets of high friction racing tyres are needed for frequent changes just like Indy races. Even for an enthusiast or home player a tyre refit gives improved performance.

There are other upgrades like universal axles, titanium alloy tie-rods, micro-processor based, LCD equipped radio controls for better functionality, as well, depending on your budget. Happy Upgrade!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Kyosho Mini RC Cars

Kyosho Corporation of Japan is one of the pioneers in the field of Radio / Remote Controlled Toys. Now its mini micro RC cars have become a phenomenon due to the rising prices and other expenses involved with large RC cars.

Kyosho manufactures a wide range of RC cars like Kyosho's Mini Inferno, Kyosho's Lazer ZX-5, Kyosho's V ONE RRR etc., among others. Its most popular cars are, of course, the dominating 'Kyosho Mini Z RC Cars'. Many argue that the Kyosho's Mini Z RC is the best Mini RC car today. It has numerous fan clubs, Internet discussion forums, blogs, groups, etc that testify to the fact, besides the vast network of sellers in shops and Internet as well as the sales statistics.

Many people have hidden suppressed passions to race cars but life's twists and turns make it impossible to fulfill that passion, except only for a privileged and fortunate few. If you are person with a passio, but lack the resources to race a full-sized car, unleashing an RC model of your favorite car or even the model of the car of your favorite racer, would help you fulfill your desire, at least partially. No car other than a Kyosho's Mini (Z) RC car will aid you in your dream.

Small they are, they can adorn your drawing room cupboard or your office desk or even hidden in your jeans pocket. For all its tiny looks, it may zap at some 30 kmph on average across models.

Kyosho began production on the 'Dash 1', its first RC car, in 1970s. In the early 90's, Kyosho launched the BAJA bugs and recently the much more successful Mini Z RC cars series.

While earlier models lost sheen over the years due to many reasons, the latest advancements in technology made possible significant improvements to the RC car market with the Mini RC car segment. The Kyosho Mini RC Cars of 1/24 scale are ruling the roost.

While one is open to choices when selecting his Mini RC car, Kyosho is the choice of many. Do a good study of markets and facts, take advice of experts or experienced RC racers, and work on your budget and other aspects before making your selection. Perhaps, you would zero in on a "Kyosho Mini RC Car"!

CannonBall Mini RC Car

This tiny 2.3 inch long car in a clear bubble package, from Japan, the land of techno wonders, is on sale for as little as $12 in shops and for an unbelievable $9 in internet sites. It is quite an eye catcher.

The CannonBall Mini RC Car is available in two frequencies of 27 and 49 MHz with a fully functional remote radio control. This micro scale RC car from the CannonBall brand comes with a radio controller and battery charger for 12 or so dollars. The package also contains a few obstacles, traffic cones, and road signs.

It functions with a 2.2 size motor, and 4 AA size batteries loaded into charger not the car itself, as usual with Minis. Like others, it recharges in about 45 seconds and gives approximately 5 minutes of run time.

Like other good mini RC cars, it has high friction rubber tires that are good for racing, compared to less friction plastic tires.

It is packaged in a transparent dome with attractive body colors. The CannonBall range does not have many models - only different colors to choose from. Multiple frequencies allow simultaneous playing of more than one car, without any interference.

Apart from scarce range of models, another down side of the CannonBall Mini RC Car is the separate battery charger and radio controller. You may need up to 3 AA batteries for controller alone. This is an unnecessary waste of batteries.

The clumsy looking controller base is very easy to use, though. Racing the car is very fun, as it drives smooth and fast. It comes with a tiny dial on its underside to adjust the alignment of wheels.

Tiny as it is, it is quite fast, given its size. It could easily make your cat or dog scared, or spur it into a play, depending on your pet's mood and disposition.

There is also a micro or Mini Camouflaged War Hummer RC Car that uses a 2.6 motor and 2 AAA batteries in the charger and 3 AA batteries in the remote, to give more power. The additional power is not proportional, though.

For around 12 bucks, it's worth giving a try. Go, fire your CannonBall!

Build A Mini RC Cars

Why build a mini RC car? Besides building can be interesting and fun, it gives RC car users better understanding of what is inside the mini RC cars and the nuances of its technology. Through this knowledge, one learns how to handle the car better.

However, one can learn everything without building mini RC cars on one's own. An enthusiast can even build a mini RC car just for the fun of it.

"So, how hard is it to build?", you might ask. It is not that difficult. With well organized and liberally supplied kits and elaborate and easy to read manuals, assembling RC cars is easy. As with any technical task other than mundane chores, building a mini RC car is not a breeze if you are hasty or don't read the manual or instructions given.

First, make a realistic assessment of your needs, budget, time and skills and then decide on a model. Go and buy a kit of the chosen car at a reputed shop or website which has good service and support. Go through the entire manual before touching the kit and mark noteworthy points.

The kits are generally put up in bags: bag A, bag B and so on. Each bag is cleverly organized, so that one need not open another bag, until one bag is complete. Should you open them for any reason, take care not to mix them up otherwise you may lose your step in the building process.

A few tools are provided in kit itself, like Allen's wrenches, a few clips, nuts, screws and wires. You will also need your own hex driver, regular pliers, needle nose pliers, Philips screw driver, screw thread glue, resin core solder and other tools as specified in the directions.

The kit's manual will guide you through everything but please take note of the following: don't tighten screws too much as they may break plastic parts or break themselves in the hole and$ try to solder the leads to the motor, instead of just pushing the prongs in.

When assembling the servos and electronic parts, make sure to seat them properly. The differential must not be left loose. It also needs to be checked after breaking in for possible loosening, which may cause damage to the differential. If the assembly is for upgrading and tweaking, it is necessary to choose the right parts and accessories by paying attention to every small detail. When in trouble, seek expert advice on the Internet or off line.

When proper precautions are taken and after much practice, you can build a mini RC car and run it too!

Nitro Fuel Used in Nitro RC Monster Trucks

Nitro is a popular fuel source not only for large racing vehicles, but for RC monster trucks too. Nitro RC monster trucks offer a higher speed than regular gasoline RC monster trucks or electric RC monster trucks. Additionally, nitro RC monster trucks can awe the spectators at a sporting event with their flames and speed and add realism to the racing seen.

Nitro fuel used in nitro RC monster trucks is a combination of nitromethane, oil and methanol. The highest percentage of nitromethane used for model nitro RC monster trucks is 65%. The standard percentage of nitromethane used is usually around 20-30%. The nitro fuel generally contains 11% oil and the rest is the methanol.

The reason many racers use nitro fuel for their nitro RC monster trucks is to get more speed, power and a longer running time that an electric RC monster truck doesn't provide. Additionally, nitro fuel provides about 2.4 times more power than regular gasoline, which can give a competitor the added advantage they are looking for to edge off their competition.

There are some drawbacks to having a nitro RC monster truck. One of them includes the maintenance that is required on the vehicle to keep it in top performance. Some RC hobbyists would not see maintenance as a drawback, but rather enjoy fine tuning their nitro RC monster trucks to perfection. However, one of the biggest drawbacks that all hobbyists will agree on is the cost of replacing parts that have deteriorated due to the wear and tears the dirt created by the nitro smoke produces. One other drawback on having a nitro RC monster truck is the time it takes to clean parts after each use to keep the parts in working order and increase the time before having to purchase more parts.

Even with the drawbacks nitro RC monster trucks are a favorite among racers and other serious hobbyists, because they provide a more realistic miniature version of the full size monster trucks. The noise, the smells and the speed they produce are something anyone who likes car racing can soak in and enjoy.

Electric RC Monster Trucks Are Clean And Mean

There are two power sources currently being used for RC monster trucks. The first is electric (or battery) powered and the second is fuel powered. There are benefits and drawbacks to each power source, but to decide which source to use depends on the use of the RC monster truck.

The electric RC monster truck can be powered by rechargeable batteries. The standard life of a set of batteries in an electric RC monster truck is 6-8 minutes. Some hobbyists have gotten up to a 15 minute usage, but for the serious RC monster truck racer the time is a lot less. The speed of an electric RC monster truck is not as fast as a gas RC monster truck, but the speeds are generally around 25-40 mph. An electric RC car has reached over 100 mph breaking the speed record for RC vehicles.

Batteries used for electric RC monster trucks are usually Ni-cad or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. For electric RC monster truck racing hobbyists Ni-MH batteries are able to be charged in as quickly as 15 minutes using a quick charger. A quick charger is designed to control the circuitry inside of the battery cells to ensure the batteries are not over charged and usually have a fan to keep the batteries cooled down. An electric RC monster truck racer will have many sets of batteries for a race and will change them out in a truck pit the same as full size race cars have for their tire changes and fuel ups.

The biggest disadvantage to using an electric RC monster truck is the frequency of battery changes, but overall the electric RC monster truck runs cleaner and needs less maintenance than the gas RC monster truck. An amateur hobbyist is able to enjoy the sport quicker by purchasing an RTR (ready to run) electric RC monster truck and learn more about the maintenance and care required before deciding to purchase a gas RC monster truck.

Electric RC monster trucks are a fun way to get into the sport of RC monster truck racing or they can provide endless fun for the backyard racer. Anyway you look at it electric RC monster trucks are a clean and mean machine.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gas RC Car Chassis

The stunning realistic features achieved by model Gas RC Cars brings forth many models of cars that look exactly like real Subaru Imprezas, Ferraris, Peugeots, Porsches, BMWs, Formula 1 racecars, or even Arnold Schwarzenegger's Hummers! They actually use scale replicas licensed from the original makers.

Like real cars, you will be amazed by the sheer variety of beautiful, fancy and stunning looking Gas RC cars on display in shops and on e-commerce sites. But inside the body, the engine and its systems are uniquely designed for Gas RC Cars. A Gas RC car's chassis is key to the type of car you get.

The chassis has to be tough and strong to handle the top speeds and maintain system integrity. While an off-road Gas RC Car's chassis needs to be extra sturdy to cope with rough handling, a Gas Sprint RC Car's chassis needs to be extra light. Using different body shells of various models on a basic chassis, many different types of Gas RC Cars can be made.

A Gas RC Car chassis houses its engine, radio control receiver, subsystems, suspension, and wheels, and it comes readily made even in kits. To make your dream car, all you need to do is to fix the parts on it and cap it with the body shell.  Many firms take special care to make a basic chassis suitable for assembling an electric or Nitro/ Gas RC car on it. It may be made either of high-strength carbon composites  (as in Gas sprint RC cars and mini Gas RC Cars) for lightweight or with high-strength and very tough titanium alloy (as in off-road versions) for rough handling and blazing speeds.

While a chassis in general only provides the basic frame, when the Ready to Run kits are sold, companies may refer to the chassis frame equipped with all the parts, wheels and engine suitable for the particular type as the chassis. So, a Gas RC Car chassis may mean the basic metal / carbon fiber chassis frame or the car without the body shell, depending on the context.

If you assemble a car yourself, you will choose the suitable basic Gas RC car chassis frame or use the one supplied to you. But if you buy the RTR chassis (complete car without the body shell) you will need to make sure all of the components suit your requirements. Your dream RC car has to be housed on a good Gas RC car chassis.

Gas RC Buggy

Not everyone loves to do things simply and easily. Some people need rough and tough action. So, the RC toys too chipped in with the off-road RC Cars. A Gas RC Buggy is a Nitro gas-powered off-road buggy.

It is typically powered by a .21 to .26 size Nitro gas RC engine that delivers about 2 to 3 hp and races the buggy at around an unbelievable 40 mph. It comes equipped with a bunch features specific to its rough, tough, and dirty racing conditions.

As it needs to handle slippery and sandy tracks, the Gas RC Buggy comes equipped with four-wheel drive and spiked rubber tires for easy grip on loose soils. As it is expected to jump off small cliffs and sand dunes, it is built with sturdy, bulky, oil-filled shock absorbers. 

Usually, the Gas RC Buggy is available in scales of 1/8 or 1/10.  It can face tough action as it nears 40 mph on rough terrains. So, even its chassis is made of aircraft grade 4 mm aluminum alloy or tough titanium alloy, and many of its parts are also specially made with titanium alloy.

The Gas RC Buggy may sometimes have a roll protection cage made of steel or aluminum like a sprint car and a rear wing like the formula 1 racecar. Kyosho, Traxxas, Mugen, HP I and OFNA are a few popular brands for Gas RC Buggies.

With the constant innovation and competition among manufacturers of RC toys, these Gas RC Buggies are getting some sophisticated subsystems and radical designs. Silicone-filled differentials, large shocks, dirt covers for the engines, anti-spill tanks, rubber-sealed ball bearings for many parts, performance enhancing tuned exhaust pipes, a low center of design for more stability, CNC machined and laminated parts, and a multi-channel radio control are a few of the features to be mentioned.

Also available are rather large 1/5 scale Gas RC Buggies that have a huge 23 cc two-stroke engine that can run on regular gasoline! These Gas RC Buggies are easily available in hobby stores or online with reliable after-market support.

Gas Powered RC Jump Cars

Any gas powered RC car that jumps can be called a Gas Powered RC Jump Car. Similarly, one can make mini RC Gas Cars jump over obstacles. But, the smaller they are, the smaller the jumps are. So, the on-road street cars can also be made to jump over obstacles by using a jump ramp or just by driving it off of small cliffs. Everyone must have seen what a jump apron looks like from circuses, movies, and television. The catch here is that the on-road versions of Gas RC cars are not designed for rough handling such as jumps. It is possible that this may cause the on-road Gas RC cars to just break.

Off-road Buggies, off-road Trucks, off-road Monster Trucks, and stadium trucks are designed to jump with force over obstacles and off cliffs. Their rugged design, from the extra strong and tough titanium alloy based chassis frames, oil-filled super active suspension systems, and carefully designed sub-systems can help them jump without damage. While assembling a Gas Powered RC Jump Car, take care to use company kits or authentic parts and fix them strictly according to the manual. Bad assembling, loose fixtures, incorrect parts may lead to failures of the Gas Powered RC Jump Car from the impact of the jumps.

Their large wheels with sticky, rubber tires with knobbed or grooved treads can really help the off-road trucks and buggies withstand jumps. They help easily handle steep inclines, overcome obstacles, and jump over them with speed. Four-wheel drive, which is typical for these Gas Powered RC Jump Cars, also helps a great deal. Besides extravagant jumps, it can traverse virtually any terrain from smooth roads and carpeted racetracks to dirt tracks, beaches, dirty fields, mud, grassy lands, fields with short vegetation, or rocky grounds.

Gas Powered RC Jump Cars make excellent radio controlled dune buggies. It's a delight to watch them throwing dust a few feet into air, shooting past at speeds of more than 30 mph and jumping over dunes, rocks, small cliffs, and every obstacle that comes in its determined path with little difficulty or wear and tear.

Designs For Gas Powered RC Cars

"We sell all the latest designs of all famous brands like Tamiya, Kyosho. Traxxas, Team Associated, HP I etc. of Gas Powered RC cars", says an RC Cars selling site. What they are referring to are the looks of body shells of the cars and the designs and graphics that are painted on. But by 'Designs For Gas-Powered RC Car', we mean the engineering design of the gas-powered RC Car and its components.

There are many types of RC cars so they all have many different design considerations. On-road cars of all types such as sedans, SUVs, and convertibles can share a common design basis with the body shell and the only changes are some of the specifications. Touring Cars can also share the same basic structural design but they need to withstand long distance runs over extended periods as well as pumping in more power at blazing speeds.

Formula 1 racecars need much higher speeds on the racetracks but not as much endurance as Touring type cars. Hummers and other army trucks can do away with a little bit of the power and speeds over common on-road versions.

The off-road Buggies, Trucks and Monster trucks have drastically different designs of all the car's systems to withstand the impacts, vibrations, obstacles, and falls without causing wear and tear. Many components including the chassis and drive train are made with titanium alloy that is sturdy, durable, and strong. A variety of special designs are considered for these cars' subsystems.

Sprint Cars are stranger than other types because of their emphasis on very light designs, powerful engines, and subsystems to cope with short fast sprints on dirt tracks. They need an adjustable main top wing and side wings for sticking to the ground and turning maneuvers, and a strong cage for roll protection. This all needs to be strong and lightweight.

Drag cars, on the other hand, have the most radical design with the single most important attribute being their brute speeds in short distances without any consideration for speed controls or steering systems because they don't race in laps and don't need to take turns!

Besides these structural differences in designs and specifications of car components, there are some common design philosophies for all the basic components of the car like the drive train, engine, radio receiver, fuel system, and steering system. The amateur racers and even the hard-core racers don't need to bother with those engineering design details. They should instead be concerned about what to expect from a particular type of design of a particular make and come to a decision accordingly!

Electric RC Car Subsystems

In any complex system like an Electric RC Car, as it is, there bound to be many subsystems. The life and performance of an Electric RC Car as a whole depends on, among others, the life, performance and efficiency of the subsystems, besides the usage conditions and the driver's skills. More over, if you are a mechanical enthusiast who assembles an Electric RC Car oneself, you are bound to know the subsystems well.

Similarly, if you want to upgrade your existing Electric RC Car all by yourself, you also need the know-how of subsystems for correct upgrade decisions. Because, not often it is the motor power that when increased can give improved performance, to the extent you expect. May be, a faulty steering system reducing the traction, an improper connection to the battery failing to drain it well or even just the tyres need to be changed or you need to learn that swaying the car on to dirtier parts of track may attract dust, reducing the friction and affecting the performance.

In an Electric RC Car there are mainly the following subsystems:

Drive Motor System of an Electric RC Car consists of a motor, cooling arrangements in the form of a heat sink with a little fan, ESC and Battery tray.

Battery system consisting of a battery tray to receive a battery pack of four or six cells of Ni-Cd type or Ni-mH type or one or two Lithium cells etc., of suitable range of voltage and current.

Electronic Speed Control System offers more advantages than Servo based mechanical speed control system.

Micro Controller System consisting of a circuit board that interfaces the microprocessor/ microcontroller with the optical sensors, the speed control systems and the drive motor and other systems. It also performs any other smart functions an Electric RC Car is designed to do.

Radio Controller System using Frequency Modulation (FM) with at least two to three channels.

In addition to the above, there are Steering subsystem, Transmission subsystem, suspension systems, wheels and axles, internal electrical systems etc. as well. So, have an Electric RC Car, know its subsystems well, care for it and enjoy it for long!

Electric RC Car Maintenance

Every moving gadget needs maintenance. Great appliances often do not give their worth due to faulty handling or scant maintenance. A well-maintained Electric RC Car does give you years of pleasure, unless you are a racer. The maintenance of Electric RC Cars requires attention to the moving parts, their bearings and electronics.

Motor: It needs regular cleaning with motor cleaning solution and oiling. If it is brushed motor, the brushes (at the commutator) need periodic checking, cleaning and occasional replacement.

Large modifiable motors and brushless motors often come with heat radiating fins (like those on a PC chip heat sink - resembling motor bike engine fins) and even a little fan to cool them off. Whenever you service such a motor or remove your car parts around it, check that the heat sink sits properly on the motor, as it originally came or is advised by the manufacturer.

An overheated motor's permanent may be destroyed by heat due to demagnetisation.

Bearings: Replacement of all metal / plastic bushes or cylindrical bearings is necessary, as they wear out easily in heavy-duty use. In case ball bearings, their life and performance depends on proper alignment in bearing cap and frequent greasing.

Electronics: The only thing you need to take care of is to see that connections are not loosened after races and that no dust and dirt accumulates on it. If you see any, gently brush it off. Keep the car away from climatic extremes.

Battery: Always use correct battery or pack with the correct number of batteries, with the right recommended voltage. Higher voltages may burn the car parts. It is always necessary to keep a spare set of batteries, as they take some 20 minutes to charge on even the fastest charger. Always recharge the battery after fully discharging it, for long life of battery.

Tires: The race tires, which have higher friction but lower life, are recommended for races, versus the conventional tyres, which have less friction and long life. Never allow the car to sway into dust as it affects tire friction, crucial for races. Always keep clean tires.

If your advanced Electric RC Car has microchip-based controller for speed, keep it safe from heavy magnetic fields, to prevent malfunction.

Gas RC Cars