RC Basics Guides Radio Control Modelers

Radio Control Transmitter

If you put it all together Radio Control, R/C is the largest single segment of scale modeling worldwide and is booming in the U.S. and Canada. Covering every mode of transportation, land, sea and in the air.

Logically, that’s the order you’d think that radio control of models came about. Try reverse.

Walter A. Good, considered the father of RC model airplanes and his twin brother designed and build their first RC aircraft, the Big Guff, and their own radio equipment in 1937.

Small, nitromethane-powered engines originally entered the market in the 1940s. At the time, there was insufficient technology to control an engine-powered model car other than on a tether. "Tether cars", or "spin dizzies", were capable of speeds upwards of 70 mph.

But to truly get back to the origins, you must look at radio. Before 1900 tinkerers were looking at what they could do with this new radio invention and remote control was born. The first public use of radio to control a boat was in 1898 at an exhibition at Madison Square Garden Nikola Tesla demonstrated a small boat which could apparently obey commands from the audience but was in fact controlled by Tesla interpreting the verbal requests and sending appropriate frequencies to tuned circuits in the boat. He was granted a US patent on this invention on November 8th, 1898.

RC Robots In The News

True, Nikola wasn’t working with a model but the concept was there.

A hundred years later, radio control, or RC means commanding your own fleet of ships or boats, piloting your own squadron of model planes and helicopters or putting the pedal to the metal (figuratively speaking) with one of literally 1,000s of different model cars or trucks.

R/C Cars and Trucks

Most scale modelers get there R/C start with a car or truck. That tends to be good thinking, Getting the hang of a model that stays on the ground — most of the time! — is a little easier than controlling one that also challenges you to beat the law of gravity.

It's A Small World...

R/C cars are easier to control than their flying counterparts, but some are still high-performance machines that are loaded with powerful, sophisticated engineering. That brings up one of the most exciting things to do with R/C cars — race them!

Proponents of R/C vehicles get further splintered into Off Road and On road factions, Electric vs Nitro and origination as a kit, pre-built or Ready-To-Run.

Radio Controlled Planes

Nothing quite matches the excitement of your first take-off with your own flying machine getting off the ground with you as the pilot. Of course getting that first flight back on the ground can be kind of spine tingling also.

Again segmentation: Stationary wing or movable wing (helicopter); kit built, almost ready to fly (ARF) or ready to fly (RTF)

Begin your own flying with good instruction from a qualified instructor. You find these through a myriad of R/C flying clubs across the country and around the world.

Navigate Your Own Ship or Boat

Whether it is high speed action or coasting to a mild breeze, you can find an alternative in R/C boating.

All can be skippered under R/C control-- from sailboats to racing boats, from airboats to warring battleships. These can be further refined into kit-built, ARF (almost ready to float and RTR (ready to run).

Once you decide on what floats your R/C hobby, then pick how you’ll power it.

Boating Smooth or Fast

You can use an electric motor (or motors) and battery packs. Because boats have adequate interior space to accommodate two batteries, running times of 1-2 hours can be achieved with some models. Electric racing boats can go 20-25 mph and run for 4-8 minutes.

Or pick gas power for superior performance and realism in terms of speed, sound and smoke! An outboard engine is easy to install: just bolt it on, hook it up and it's ready to go. Inboard engines require running hardware, a flywheel and water-cooled cylinder head. Newer inboards are now coming with integrated pull-start units which makes firing them up a snap!

You will find Radio Control is a major part of www.scale-modelers-handbook.com so visit us often.

You'll Find A Lot More on RC
RC Racing Glossary RC-Basics RC-Planes
RC-Flight-Challenge Remote Control Drifting RC-boating
RC-Boat-Fishing RC Basics-Guide Radio-Control
Model-Airplane-Secrets Weight-and-Balance Small-Flying-Models

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