Getting Started in Electric RC


With Electric cars being the most user friendly, these are great cars for most people to enter the hobby with. These electric vehicles are light and small and zoom by with exceptional speed and handling. The biggest advantage of electric cars are the easy of use, lack of general maintenance required. What are the steps that you need to take? How can PCH be your racing friend and partner? Let’s take a detailed look at this side of r/c racing and get you going fast – in a quick manner!


Ready to Run?

Most manufacturers really do make an easy built type of kit that is “Ready To Run” or RTR. RTRs generally only require a battery pack, charger, and “AA” batteries, keep your initial add-ons at a minimum. We would suggest that you first determine what kind of vehicle you would like to get into first. For example, do you like 1/10 or 1/18 scale? Truck or buggy? On-road or off-road? Will you be racing this vehicle or bashing with it?

Whichever way you end up going, make sure that you know what you are getting involved in and what additional items need to be purchased. We are here to help you gather such types of information. How about tools? Make sure the kit will get you setup with the basic tools or that you acquire them separately. Contact us at PCH and we will steer you to the right direction with the tools that you will need.

Ready to Run Assembly Tips

  • When all else fails, read the instructions! Have the instruction manual handy for you in case things get complicated.
  • Check bolts and screws to make sure that they are tight. Do not over tighten them are they can occasionally strip out. Make sure suspension components travel freely without binding.
  • Make sure the speed controller is set properly, and the steering trim allows the car to travel in a straight line. When you are at neutral on the throttle trigger, the vehicle should not move.

Other things that are needed, just in case.

Extra Batteries for continuous running enjoyment

Good battery charger – enough to support your racing endeavors from playing to racing

Extra transmitter batteries

Motor Spray

Proper Tools

Extra tires for the right track

Stock or Modified motor

Different Pinions for the right gear ratio

If using a conventional radio system, extra crystals in case you need to change frequencies

Spare parts in case of breakage, instruction manual to guide you to repair/replace

Keeping it all Together and Happy

  • Set all the radio trims to neutral – make sure the front wheels are straight, the throttle is at neutral
  • Frequency conflicts – make sure that NO ONE else is on your frequency. If you become frustrated checking frequencies, try to upgrade the radio system to a 2.4 GHz system.
  • Check with local racers for a proper gearing ratio. Most RTR kits will come with gearing that is universal. If you are racing and looking for maximum performance, make sure that you are running appropriate gearing for the specific track.
  • Do not get the motor too hot. Running the motor hot will cause unnecessary stress on your motor, causing it to fail prematurely. Monitor the motor temperature after 2 minutes of hard running to make sure that it is NOT overly hot. The motor is hot- DO NOT BURN YOUR FINGERS. When you are properly geared, you should be able to hold a finger on the motor for about 10 seconds before it become too hot. If motor is over geared, you will have to remove you finger immediately because of the heat. Just be careful checking.
  • Pay attention to the speed of you car, and the charge level of your batteries. If you car starts to slow it when you are running, most likely your batteries are dying. Do not worry, all they need is a quick recharge, and they will be able to go again. Once you feel your car slow down a bit, STOP running. If you run the batteries down too far, damage to the batteries may occur. Be sure to have a charge in your batteries when they are being stored. If running Li-Po batteries, be sure to only run the batteries with a system that has an active Low Voltage Cut-off system (LVC).
  • After your run, use an old toothbrush and a soft bristle paintbrush to gently clean all the dirt away from the motor and suspension components. A clean car is a happy car!

Electric Nightmares

Your number one investment should be a hobby-grade Peak Detection type charger. Without peak detection, batteries may become overcharged, and can cause cells to become faulty. Be sure to always transport and store your batteries in a way that there is zero chance of them shorting out. While we are on the subject, be sure NOT to reverse the connection, meaning positive to negative and vice versa, as this may cause critical damage to your battery, esc, or charger.

RESISTANCE is another disaster. If you are out running and all of a sudden your vehicle stops, investigate the matter. Do not continue to pull full throttle as it may cause damage to the electronics. STOP AND LOOK, something must be causing the stoppage. There can be a rock stuck inside the gears or drive train, or a CVD pin slid out.

Whats Next?

When one gets better, they often times think of what is next in line to purchase. Three things are most sought after in upgrading your stock kit. These are:

  • Better
  • stronger
  • Faster

Better components could include graphite parts instead of composite, or hardened milled aluminum as opposed to stamped. The better parts are generally stronger and perform better, being lighter and more rigid with the biggest downside usually being a higher price.

Stronger parts are much more resistant to breaking or damage in even the most adverse conditions. Sometimes aluminum parts make a car much stronger, and sometimes they can bring out a weakness, so be sure to check with our knowledgeable staff as to what makes a vehicle stronger.

Faster often implies a faster top speed, but can also allude to quicker steering response, more traction while cornering, or quicker acceleration. A stronger or quicker steering servo will hold the wheels in place better than a weaker one. An upgrade to tires with more grip will usually increase cornering speed, allowing the car to accelerate quicker. Lastly, more power will increase not only top speed, but acceleration. If you plan to upgrade in the future, be sure to purchase items that will ease the transition. A perfect example; if you see yourself upgrading to a Li-Po battery in the future, it may be wise to invest in a battery charger capable of charging these batteries off the bat, otherwise you may end up buying two chargers. PCH is always ready to make your experience in nitro R/C a very pleasant one, filled with speed, excitement and joy for the hobby. We are one short phone call away. As if our low prices were not enough, our knowledge staff will be sure to get you the best value and products YOU WILL BE HAPPY WITH!

How about tires? Without traction, all the horsepower in the the world will just keep your tires spinning. So think about saving your RC allowance to buy some higher performance tires. Pro-Line Racing, JConcepts, AKA, Team Losi and even Panther Tires all make great tires that will keep you going fast on just about any track or surface. Tires should NOT be overlooked.


There are many different things that will make our R/C better running vehicle, so be sure to use our staff’s knowledge and expertise in getting the most of your R/C experience. PCH is always there to help you go faster and run stronger.



Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search