Whilst the first ever RC vehicle was made to run on nitro, the future of RC is definitely electric. And although some would argue that nitro-powered RC trucks are closer to the authentic RC experience, the advantages electric trucks offer far outweigh that. First of all, electric trucks are extremely quiet and easier to operate and maintain than nitro vehicles. They can be used both indoors and on all kinds of RC tracks and they have reverse standard. While this is all easy to understand, a big roadblock for most beginners are the different types of electric motors and I myself was no different back when I was just starting with electric RC vehicles.
Brushless or Brushed
First off, let’s get things clear on what makes these two so different from each other. Let’s take RC electric trucks for example – no matter what type of motor they use in order for them to move, a magentic field needs to be generated as a result of repulsion and attraction forces. These forces make the rotor in the motor turn which then passes the current through a rotating electromagnet which has a series of coils. These coils then generate the magnetic field which is repelled and then attracted by the fixed magnets/ brushes depending on the type of motor.
Brushed motors are made of silver, graphite and copper in order to convert electricity into movement. They make use of windings located on the rotor which make it turn. Over the years I’ve found that brushed motors are best for tactical and tight driving rather than a smooth drive on the tarmac. This is mainly because they don’t have as much external parts as brushless motors.
For complete beginners I recommend going for brushed RC electric trucks as they are more affordable, unless you have a bigger budget. I had a blast when I was exploring the electric RC world as it was easier and more affordable to replace a brushed motor or sometimes even rebuild it which taught me a lot of things about electrical motors.
When I moved to brushless RC electric trucks I got a lot more more fun out of them for a lot longer. A brushless motor gave me no headaches as there were hardly any issues or maintenance whilst the vehicle was able to go faster and without any problems at inclines. This was because of the way a brushless motor works. These motors have the winndings on the stator instead of the rotor like brushed motors do and the magnets are on the rotor. This type of motor uses three phases of driving coil and a sensor to detect the position of the rotor and drive electronics. While they are a more expensive option than brushed motors, brushless motors turn out to be a great investment in the long run. I’ve experienced this first-hand.
The Games You Can Play With Them
This is similar to good old truck bashing it is far more interesting since it features bowling pins. Get some rocks, a rope or whatever makes it easier to make a lane long enough to gain some speed and wide enough to fit the bowling pins. The bowling pins don’t have to actually be bowling pins, you can use milk jugs or bottles filled with water.
The scoring system and the main rules are similar to real bowling, except here you have to drive your RC truck into the pins and knock down as much as you can. You have to drive your truck in a straight line and you are not allowed to cross or go on the edges of the lane. This is usually called a gutter ball and it’s up to you if one tire over the lane will be declared as a gutter ball or when multiple tires run over it.
If this seems boring, you can make it even more challenging by adding a ramp in the middle of the lane or add some mandatory stunts (wheelie or driving backwards, for instance).
This is a more versatile activity me and my friends used to play almost every day as you can either 1v1 your mate or play in a group setting. The same way you play football, try to score a goal with your truck but instead use a smaller ball, one that will be easy to move around. You can use a tennis ball if you have smaller scale trucks. Mark your field with spray paint, strings, rocks or anything your imagination can come up with.
You can use child sized-goals or even boxes and plastic cones to make the goals. Follow the rules of regular football and make the half time break to change the batteries of your electric RC trucks and do minor maintenance.
Make your own course consisting of ramps and a rocks or cones for the lanes. You can really put your imagination to the test here as there are no rules or limitations regarding what you can do. You can write down stunts and assign a number to each one then roll six sided dice and the number will determine what stunt the person will perform (they pick the piece of paper with that number to reveal the stunt). Everyone rolls the dice until they have six stunts. You can assign a scoring system depending on the difficulty of the stunt or have a more fixed one – one point for each successful stunt.