RC & Me
To most folks, the term "radio controlled car" brings to mind images of plastic-built toys that you would buy for a child at Toys R Us, Wal Mart, or maybe Radio Shack. You can see a ton of them reviewed in detail here. As it turns out, that's an accurate mental image, as most RCs are just that, kids' toys. However, there's a far more serious (and more expensive) side to RC. Consider these interesting little facts:
- As of this writing, the world RC speed record is over 160 mph
- There are full-time professional RC drivers
- Local, regional, national, and international RC car & truck championship races are held around the world
- There are normal-sized (foot & a half long) RC cars that cost $750 US just for the vehicle with no radio, and require over $400 more to actually get running
Surprised yet? Here's one of my more recent creations. It tops out at a modest 45 mph or so, but what it really excels at is flying:
My serious interest in RC started around age 7, but it wasn't until the year 2000 that I purchased my first "hobby-level" machine, a 1/10th scale truck called a Traxxas Rustler. Success with that truck on the local racing scene led me to start my first RC website, and as I got more vehicles and my popularity in the hobby grew, I ended up with over a dozen sites and an RC forum with over 750,000 posts.
I've owned and operated over 170 RC to date including over 20 highly custom projects, have finished 1st through 3rd in more than 40 races, and have even been in a couple RC magazines. Many of my vehicle modifications have been duplicated by fans around the world, and a quick Google search shows that I've even been verbified in some circles -- people say "Jangify" or "Jangified," referring to the practice of cutting material out of an RC car chassis to lighten it as I did with my Rustler.
One room in my house is a dedicated RC workshop outfitted with two rotary tools (one on a configurable base, one with a flexible shaft), a scroll saw, soldering station, heat gun, charging station, an acetone bath, three open workspaces, countless hand tools, and shelves & compartmentalized storage caddies everywhere you turn. I modify or make from scratch chassis & suspension components from carbon fiber, Delrin, Lexan, aluminum, nylon, and other raw materials.
So there you have it! That's how I fit into the RC hobby, summarized in as in the most intensely condensed form I could muster. Want to see more? Visit one of my sites:
- Ultimate RC
- Ultimate Traxxas
- Beginning RC
- Ultimate Tamiya
- Mini Off-Roaders
- Kyosho Monster
- RC Mania
- Nitro XRC World
- Unbelievable RC (humor)
- RC Toy Reviews