Do your parts of an RC car have stopped working effectively? Or have you pass through some unfortunate accident and want to replace the parts with the new ones, for doing that you must have a vast knowledge about these components.
This article is helpful for you and for the ones who want to build their RC car. It is also for the ones who are curious to get to know about the parts deeply and what makes them useful.
Main Parts of RC Cars/Remote-Control Cars
A lot of varieties of RC cars are available in the market, but majorly main parts remain the same. Let’s dive into the river of components of RC and see how it works. Being an RC lover, you must know about every part of the car. Also, you can make a homemade RC car. Let’s dive into the parts.
The transmitter is an integral part of remote control cars, and no RC cannot run without it. As RC car works on radio frequency and transmitter enables control through radio waves, the receiver helps activates the motor. Radio transmitter operates on a particular frequency that the receiver receives, which then identify signals and send it to the circuit. Transmitter has a button on that that helps to move RC forward and backwards. Mainly two types of the transmitter are there, that are pistol grip and stick transmitter, both of these have their features and specifications.
a. Pistol Grip Transmitter
As the name indicates, these mostly used transmitters have a gun style layout. The wheel in it is mounted on the side and is in charge of steering. Usually, the batteries are placed in the butt of the handle that balances weight. While it is operated from one hand and is not suited for left-handed persons. Because of its compact, self-centered rotating steering input and ergonomic profile, the trend has moved towards this type of transmitter.
b. Stick Transmitter
Conventional RC enthusiasts look more for the stick transmitters. These highly adjustable controllers feature two input thumbsticks which provide two-dimensional input. More frequently used in RC planes and drones, they are expensive and are not suitable to use for novices.
The transmitter is nothing without a receiver; the receiver is fixed within the car on the circuit board. The receiver keeps on receiving radio signals from a radio transmitter, and this process is done wirelessly. When the transmission is done, the number of electrical pulses are translated into action that moves the required parts.
3. Circuit Board
It is commonly known as Brain of RC car. The radio signals are received by the receiver that is on the circuit board, and it turns signals into actionable commands, as per the instructions of those commands the motor rotates and moves the car in the forward and backward direction.
The motor is responsible for turning all the motions, moving all the necessary parts and for performing essential functions that includes turning the steering, wheels and applying brake or acceleration. Front DC motor and rare DC motors are present in the RC car. The front one is responsible for moving the front two wheels of the vehicle while rare motor moves back two wheels. If you move your vehicle in forwarding direction, then both motors are involved, but if you are moving it in the reverse direction, then the only rare motor is involved.
Types of Motor
Mainly, there are two main kinds of motors in RC cars, that are brushed motors and brushless motors. The motor must have the right size and specifications that prevent it from burning out or wrecking the drive-train from being extra power that could be dangerous. Both of these motors have their specification and significantly affects different parts.
- Brushless Motor
A brushless motor though is expensive but is more efficient. In an RC car, if you want to run a brushless motor, you will need a particular speed controller also known as ESC. A bidirectional ESC helps to move the vehicle forward or backwards. A suitable combination of ESC and motor is perfect for an RC car, and you can easily find it in the hobby shop.
Brushless motors are expensive but efficient, and they don’t have any expiry date. It is completely sealed with three wires in it.
Pro Tip: If you are looking to buy a brushless motor for your RC car, then look for a motor having a large number of kv. Kv is the number of rotations per minute per volt. The bigger the number of kv, the faster your car will run.
- Brushed Motor
The other type is brushed motor; you must pick up the motor that can power your car appropriately. Find the approximate current, then choose a motor drive that can handle current or the one that knows how to limit the current. Brushed motors are cheap but are inefficient and have less power. They last for only six months after that you have to change the motor. The brushed motor has ventilation holes in it and has two wires.
5. Electronic Speed Controller
The two different types of RC motors that are brushed and brushless both have their kind of ESC (Electronic Speed Controller). If there is no ESC attached with the motor, then the motor would stop functioning appropriately, or when you start driving, it will go full throttle. ESC is cheap, and it comes without any expiry date.ESC takes the power of the battery and low current signal, which then sends the right voltage to the motor. It means that two input which is signal and power gives one output that is the motor wires.
6. Power Source
The power source is essential to supply power to the whole operation; this makes it one of the essential parts of RC because the vehicle can’t operate without this. In a remote control car, power source enables all parts to do their work. Typically, rechargeable batteries are the primary source but with variations.
As the battery is the leading source of power, it further has two types.
Types of Batteries
The essential two types of batteries are Li-Po(Lithium Polymer) and Ni-MH(Nickel-Metal Hydride). Each of these batteries have their pros and cons, let’s discuss both of these separately.
LiPo battery is lighter in weight than NiMH while having a similar voltage and capacity, which makes the vehicle more powerful. Packs of LiPo are made with layers of multiple cells. The LiPo has one of the advantages that it maintains the voltage for a more extended period. It keeps on holding constant voltage while delivering less voltage throughout your run, and then at the end of a charge, it falls off quickly. Although it has excellent features, it requires special care for the most extended life and is also expensive as compared to NiMH.
LiPo batteries are the battery packs of the future that gives more power, and these batteries are rated with ‘c’ which indicated that how fast it will deliver the power. Look for the batteries with high c value, although they are expensive but its worth buying.
If you have chosen a ready to run model of RC car, there is a larger possibility that the battery added in it is NiMH. NiMH is heavier in weight while having the same battery and voltage as LiPo. These metal packs are rugged, inexpensive and the best thing is that it doesn’t require any special care. NiMH is usually constructed with 6-8 cylindrical cells. Once you start running the vehicle, as time passes, your car goes on getting slow steadily.
Battery packs are usually measured in mAh, which stands for the capacity of batteries. The larger the mAh of the batteries, the better is the battery.
As we discussed earlier that RC cars mainly work on wireless transmissions, they need an antenna that helps is transmitting and receiving signals more efficiently. The transmitter’s antenna and receiver’s antenna both have different functions. The former helps to transmit signals within a more extended range while the latter one helps the receiver in receiving those signals. The range of RC cars will be badly affected without antennas.
GPS is expensive and does not work perfectly on the ground as obstacles are everywhere. With ultrasound or touch switches, options are line following and dumb obstacle avoidance.
Every one of us knows how important and prominent this part is for running an RC car. Vehicle may be two-wheel driven, or the four-wheel driven, both of these have separate specifications. The wheels are connected to DC motors, and they move on the commands send by the transmitter.
The platform over which the RC car is built in the chassis, and it makes this important part of RC as it is the base on which the remaining parts are adjusted. Usually, the chassis is of plastic or metal; it depends on the price of the vehicle. Toy RC cars that are inexpensive are made with plastic while the RC designed for experts are expensive and are made with metal. The chassis may be waterproof or not, and the waterproof electronics as best as it can withstand all weather conditions.
The body of the RC vehicle is made with rigid material and is ideal for absorbing the abuse. By vacuum-forming a sheet of Lexan over a mold, bodies are formed. You can also customize the body of RC, paint them as you like, and make it your dream RC car.
So, the above discussed was an essential part of remote control cars. The details of all components will be helpful for you if you are planning to build your RC from scratch or if you want to make some changes in your ideal RC car. We hope that this article was helpful for you and provided you with all the information you wanted to know.