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    R/C Cars for kids

    Okay, so I'm looking to get my son a nicer r/c car this Christmas. What I don't want is the cheapo Target/Radio Shack types. I'd like to get him a decent (but not crazy high $$) r/c car that uses gas or a rechargeable battery.

    Any recommendations? I started looking at towerhobbies.com but there's a lot of options on that site.


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    Re: R/C Cars for kids

    If you get him a gas powered R/C car, you might be spending a lot of money on repairs. I've heard they break down a lot and are costly to fix.
    Not sure if there's much truth to that or not, but its worth looking into before you buy.



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    Re: R/C Cars for kids

    Thanks, that's kinda what I was looking for. Right now he's burning thru AA batteries in his cheapo one non stop. I figured a r/c with a ni/cad or lithium battery would be good.


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    Re: R/C Cars for kids

    Go with electric, and stop in at Hobby Haven since you're in Urbandale anyway. They have all kinds of cool stuff in there. They have different cars, planes, and a track outside. Basically everything you would need.

    I'm more into small parkflier airplanes. The best batteries for them are LiPOs, I don't know about cars. You will need to buy a car, controller, and probably a battery charger.



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    Re: R/C Cars for kids

    I would checkout Traxxas models at a local hobby shop (DSM area: Hobby Haven or Bluegroove Hobbies). Often rc cars are same price locally, and they both sell parts.



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    Re: R/C Cars for kids

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBake View Post
    Okay, so I'm looking to get my son a nicer r/c car this Christmas. What I don't want is the cheapo Target/Radio Shack types. I'd like to get him a decent (but not crazy high $$) r/c car that uses gas or a rechargeable battery.

    Any recommendations? I started looking at towerhobbies.com but there's a lot of options on that site.

    I would highly recommend the TRAXXAS slash 2wd for your son. Specifically because this car is designed using more flexible plastics than many of the other RC cars in it's category. This means more time having fun and less time making repairs.

    Here is a link to one of the 2WD slashes. It is Ready to Run (RTR) which is perfect if you just want to take it out and play immediately.

    Traxxas - Slash (#5803) - Details | traxxas.com

    Now a few unsolicited comments.

    While LiPO batteries are the best. NiMH is much easier to work with and not bad in terms of battery life and quick charging. I can't speak to costs these days since I haven't bought a new car in a couple years.

    Dangers with LiPO include. 1) spontaneous combustion which causes some usersto store batteries in a fireproof bag or firesafe and in a location that isn't going to burn down. 2) The batteries literally swell up like a balloon if left in a charged state for too long. 3) The batteries need to be stored at a storage level charge for safe keeping.

    Advantages of LiPO are: 1) Fast charging (NiMH is pretty fast too). 2) Largest possible power storage. (LiPO batteries for RC cars easily available at 4500 and 5000 mAH). Last time I looked NiMH topped off at ~3000mAH but could be higher these days.

    Bottom line: for a boy with his first car. I'd safe LiPO isn't safe.
    Understanding Lipo Fires

    Now, be aware. Every RC car breaks. Often they break A LOT. The slash is better in terms of durability than most, but is still susceptible to breakage. So that leads to the question:

    Are you or your son mechanically minded? If yes, then this is the hobby for you. A lot of us long time RC ppl enjoy building the car and repairing the car as much (sometimes more) than running the cars.

    Also, how much is this really going to cost you? The investment into RC cars is pretty large. The car itself, the transmitters, the multiple batteries (and you will want 2 or 3 to maximize fun), the battery chargers (yes plural), tool kits, spare parts etc.

    I'd recommend going to the local Hobby store and having a long conversation with the owner. If he's any good, he'll be happy to answer any questions you have. Please shop locally for RC. They struggle to stay afloat and are a valuable resource when you don't want to wait 3 days to get back up and running. Also, if you have more questions, I'll happily answer them if you PM me.

    It really is a great hobby and a good way to turn little boys into future motor heads and engineers... which the world needs more of.



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