The following information on kits, motors, battery packs, chargers and speed controllers should provide answers to the questions we are most frequently asked.
RTR, ARTR, BnD, Kit – What does it all mean?
RTR is Ready to Run. These are assembled cars and are pretty much ready to go out of the box. You may still need to add fuel, batteries, starter kits and other small items. The individual car details will tell you what’s required.
ARTR is Almost Ready to Run. Usually very close to assembled, and often requireing the addition of radio gear to complete the car. Again, the product details will tell you what you need.
BnD – Bind and Drive – Just add a compatible radio set, and you are ready to go. May need starter items (charger/battery/fuel) sames as the RTR.
Kit – Build it yourself. Will probably need lots of items adding.
ELECTRIC OR NITRO?
Electric vehicles have always been the most popular choice for beginners as after construction you can just plug in a battery and go. With the newer style batteries and motors available offering extreme speeds and run times, electric has become the more popular type of vehicle.
Nitro versions generally involve more set up and maintenance. They use a special Nitro fuel available from model shops. The engine will initially require setting up and running in – in addition to this the mixture settings will need to be adjusted as the temperature changes. Run times per tank of fuel varies from 5 minutes upwards, and they can be re-fueled in seconds whilst the engine is running. Several tankfulls can be run through before a pause is required for cooling and checks. More detailed maintenance is required to keep the engine in good condition, and due to the extra vibration frequent checks of screws and fastenings is required. Most are fitted with a pull-start unit for easy operation. As a reward you get the awesome sound of a high-revving nitro engine.
2 stroke petrol engines are now available in the larger 1/5 scale models. Similar to the engines that you get in a strimmer. Awesome sound (like a 2-stroke bike), low maintenance. And they run on normal unleaded petrol mixed with 2-stroke.
HOW FAST DO THEY GO?
Electric cars generally have a much quicker acceleration than the nitro cars. Nitro cars accelerate slower as they have a centrifugal clutch. Top speeds can be anywhere up to 80mph+. It all depends on the exact car you buy.
ON ROAD OR OFF ROAD?
On road cars are suited to any flat road surface due to the low bodyshell and limited suspension. Just like a real racing car this provides good handling and stability. A wide range of tyres & compounds are available for different surfaces. Off road cars are suited to grass or dirt surfaces and come into their own on purpose built off road tracks. They are not as good on road surfaces due to the large amount of suspension movement and tyre choice, but you can at least still use them on the road.
Brushed or Brushless?
Brushless motors are the newer technology in electric cars. They require virtually zero maintenance, are more efficient and generally produce higher top speeds. Brushed motors are a lot cheaper, so they are found usually in the lower priced models.
The turn rating gives you an idea of how fast the motor is (comparitively). The lower the T number, the faster the motor. Brushless motors sometimes use kV instead. Higher kV = faster motor.
NiMH, LiPo, LiFe – what does it all mean?
NiMh packs are the older style battery packs. They are still in wide use, and provide pretty good performance. They need to be discharged and re-charged to get maximum performance.
LiPO is the way to go if you want faster speeds and longer run times. LiPo batteries are lithium batteries, and lithium batteries are used in all sorts of things now, even your mobile phone. These batteries are also lighter than NiMH batteries. They don’t need discharging, and shouldn;t ever be discharged below a certain voltage (if you want them to work again). Many speed controllers come with a LiPo safety cut-off to prevent this sort of problem.
LiFe batteries have a slightly lower voltage than an equivalent LiPo. They are considered safer than LiPos and will run to a lower voltage.
What are the different types of chargers available?
Get a charger that says it can charge your battery. That’s the main thing. 12V chargers run off a 12V source (like a car battery). Mains chargers plug in to the wall. Some do both.
The amp rate (A) is a measure of how fast the cahrger can charge your battery. Their are safety limits as to how fast you can charge depending on your battery.
All of these FAQ’s are intended to give a brief guide to the most commonly asked questions and are for guidance only. Please contact our sales team if specific information is required on any product or it’s application.