If you thought radio controlled (RC) cars, trucks, and boats were just for kids, then you’re about to get a wake-up call. Traxxas RC vehicles give novices and pros alike the chance to burn rubber, throw some dirt, and rip the waves without any assembly. These super-fast scale models of real racing vehicles are designed with innovative technology and high-quality parts that let you soar off massive jumps, swerve through any course and even reach speeds over 160Kph! Traxxas vehicles use top quality components that are completely replaceable and upgradable, so even if a part is damaged, you don’t have to toss out the whole vehicle like other RCs, you just replace the damaged part.
Choosing the right vehicle can be tough, especially with all the options you can add. This guide was written to give you some background info on the key features of these crazy powerful machines, and to help you choose the best vehicle for you.
What is RC?
The term RC has been used to refer to both “radio-controlled” and “remote-controlled” vehicles, but the remote-controlled category also includes vehicles that have a wire that connects the remote to the vehicle, so the most common use of R/C stands for vehicles that operate by way of radio frequency link.
Types of Vehicle
Traxxas makes lots of different vehicles in three scaled sizes; 1/16, 1/10, and 1/7. From launch-controlled drag racers, to monster trucks, and on to high-powered supercars, there’s a vehicle for every level of interest and skill. Cars and trucks come in either 2-wheel drive or 4X4 depending on the model. If you’re more into aqua sport, there are also R/C boats that come fully waterproofed and ready to shred some wake. Different vehicles require more skill to handle, but each one comes with a recommended skill level badge that should help you pick the right one.
No previous experience with R/C cars is required. Level 1 models are ready-to-race and require minimum setup, maintenance, and support equipment.
Level 2 models require a higher level of setup, maintenance, and support equipment, so some previous experience with R/C cars is recommended.
These models are capable of higher speeds and need more detailed setup and maintenance with required support equipment, which makes previous driving experience and control mandatory for these R/C vehicles.
Higher levels of skilled driving control are mandatory in order to properly operate these models, which can go up to very high speeds. These R/C cars also need more detailed setup and maintenance with required support equipment.
For expert drivers as these vehicles are capable of extreme speeds and acceleration.
Most R/C vehicles run on rechargeable battery packs, and there are two main types to choose from. NiMH (Nickel-Metal hydride) batteries offer good power and run times as well as good performance, but if you want to take it to the next level, you should check out the LiPo (Lithium Polymer) packs. These lighter, more powerful, and longer lasting batteries are at the top of the R/C pyramid, but are pricier and demand a bit more care when charging.
- Capacity – This is the amount of charge your battery can hold. The higher the capacity, the longer you can run.
- Voltage – This is the amount of power your battery can put out. The higher the voltage, the more ‘get up and go’ your vehicle will have.
The type of battery you have will dictate which charger you should use. Some charge NiMH batteries, some charge LiPo batteries, and there are even models that will charge both. Certain chargers are equipped with “Peak Detection” software which senses when the battery is fully charged and will stop charging automatically to avoid damage. This helps prolong the life of your battery while still ensuring that you get a full charge. The amount of current your charger puts out will determine the amount of time it will take to fully charge your batteries. The higher the current, the faster it will charge. Times can range from overnight to under 50 minutes depending on the model you choose. For your safety, remember to never leave your batteries unattended while charging.
Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
An ESC manages the speed of your motor, letting you control how much power gets to the wheels or propeller of your vehicle; giving you smoother performance. Some are even equipped with ‘Training Mode’ which can cut your vehicle’s power output by 50% until you’ve mastered the controls. The ESC you choose will depend on a few factors like whether your motor is “brushed” or “brushless”, how much power your motor puts out at full throttle, and your battery’s voltage.
Motors are what make your electric R/C vehicle go, and come in two different categories; brushed and brushless. Brushed motors are relatively inexpensive and durable, yet are prone to wear due to friction and heat within the motor. Brushless motors eliminate this wear, and so are ideal for maximizing the power, speed and efficiency of your vehicle. Their higher quality means there’s virtually no maintenance, making them a bit more expensive at first, but have the potential to provide better value over time.
Servos are the muscle of your R/C vehicle. They receive the signal from the controller and steer the wheels of your car or truck, or turn the rudder of your boat. Some are more powerful and can react faster than others, so if you want to improve your vehicle’s maneuverability, upgrade the servos.
Traxxas’ wheel options give your vehicle style and performance in one beautiful package. With durable nylon construction, natural finish glue bead for fast tire gluing, and a mirrored chrome finish, any wheel you choose for your R/C car or truck will let you take corners with confidence and leap over obstacles with ease.
The tires you choose for your car or truck depend on what kind of terrain you’ll be tackling. If you’re tearing up the roads, slicks give you the most surface contact and help put that power to the pavement. Heading off-road? You may want some big knobby tires to help dig into the softer ground and give you the grip to climb over rocks and roots.
Also called controllers, these babies are what translate your driving desires into signals your vehicle can receive. Traxxas makes two main types of transmitter, TQ and TQi, which operate on either AM or 2.4GHz frequencies.
TQ Transmitters operate on the AM band at the frequency of 27MHz, and offer six unique channels. These standard transmitters still provide high-power output and trim control for the throttle and steering, but may operate at shorter ranges depending on your surroundings. The frequency limitations of the AM band also only allow a maximum of six separate transmitters to be used close to each other before the signals start to interfere.
TQi Transmitters use some of the most sophisticated features to give you tuneable, long-range, high-output 2.4GHz signal that actually connects to the receiver onboard your vehicle, allowing any number of vehicles to operate close to each other. Select models can also be equipped with an accessory Docking Base for your iPhone or iPod touch, giving you access to real-time telemetry and stats to help fine tune your vehicle’s performance. The TQi transmitters can store info for up to 30 separate vehicles, so you don’t need to switch transmitters or fiddle with settings each time.
“Ready to Run” (RTR)
Traxxas makes hobby-class R/C vehicles that bring the excitement and rush you get from ripping a real high-performance vehicle, right into the palm of your hand. Normally these types of models have to be assembled from a complicated kit, but Traxxas RTR vehicles come fully assembled out of the box, and are ready to rip after the battery is charged and installed.
Whether you’re ripping through the rain, snow or any other wet conditions, Traxxas offers lots of models that come equipped with water-tight electronics to make sure you can keep the fun going in any condition. Every R/C boat is also set up with water-proof electronics to make sure every run is a dry one.
Each model comes equipped with standard parts that will give you great results, but if want to soar to new heights or beat your best lap time, you may want to up your game. Traxxas makes upgrading easy by providing parts that connect and install with ease, giving you even more freedom to tune your ride just the way you want it. This chart shows how making various changes to the Slash 4X4 vehicle will bump up its performance. Note that changes you make to other models may have different effects on performance:
What Else Should you Consider?
A wheelie bar is a great call if you plan on punching it off the line, and especially if you opt for the more powerful brushless motor. When installed on supporting models, the wheelie bar helps prevent the vehicle from flipping over backwards when you hit the accelerator hard.
Race replica body kits
To complete the realistic package, adding a race replica body kit with officially-licenced racing graphics will transform your R/C car or truck into a sweet ride that looks just like the real thing.
Traxxas Link Telemetry Sensors
Once installed, these onboard sensors transmit real-time telemetry and data about your vehicle back to your remote for viewing on your iOS device. Just connect your iPhone or iPod touch to the Docking Base to view live stats about speed, RPM, temperature and battery voltage.
What you could find in rcMart?
Traxxas vehicles are the number one selling RTR models on the market and bring the fun and excitement of hobby-class RC vehicles to anyone who feels the need for speed. Whether in the dirt, on the road, in the water, or in the snow, the high quality and high speed action you’ll get with any model you choose will blow you away. rcMart is the exclusive dealer in the region and it carries the whole selection of Traxxas RC vehicles, parts and accessories, so no matter what your inner speed demon desires, we’ve got the right ride for you.