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Getting Started With Electric Powered RC Trucks

When you've decided on the sort of kit you'd like to build, you'll have to buy the other objects you'll need to get your project up and running. Here's what's required to build, control and operate most electric powered kits:

RADIO SYSTEM

When you've constructed your dream truck, you'll need to be able to control it. Think of the radio as your connection to the RC truck gas pedal! A radio system consists of three major parts: the transmitter, receiver, and servos.

Transmitter: The unit that you hold in your hands is called the transmitter, and sends steering and throttle information to the truck. The transmitter is usually shaped as a pistol grip with a wheel on one side and a trigger in the traditional position. The trigger controls the throttle, and a wheel handles the steering.

Receiver: The second part of the arrangement is called the receiver, and it is set up inside the R/C truck. The receiver's job is to seize the signal from the transmitter and convert your commands into action, by sending the signals to the final part of the radio system: the servos.

Servos: These are also mounted inside the RC truck, and are plugged into the receiver. Signals from the receiver tell the servo in which direction it should move and for how far. The servos move the steering and throttle linkages to control speed and direction, as you command with the transmitter. Electric trucks may use a servo and a mechanical speed control for throttle control, or may substitute the assembly for an electronic speed control, better known as an ESC.

RC BATTERY PACK AND BATTERY CHARGER

The rc battery pack is an electric truck's "fuel tank"; when it's empty, you'll have to "re-fill" it by charging it with a battery charger. Battery packs are available with varying capacities, measured in milliamp hours. A "2000" pack has can store 2000 milliamps of energy, and will allow a truck to operate for a longer duration than a "1500" pack with 1500 milliamps. But just as a full-size truck does not go slower because there is less fuel in the tank, an electric truck does not go slower if the battery has reduced capacity (or faster if it has increased capacity). It is best to have a fully charged spare rc battery pack in your arsenal. That way if one battery pack fails, you can continue to drive with the spare, whilst the original is re-charging.


BASIC HAND TOOLS

With few exceptions, electric-powered remote control kits can be easily put together using the simplest tools. In general, you'll need a slotted screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver, a sharp hobby knife and a pair of needle-nose pliers. Most manufacturers include various Allen-head wrenches and the lubricants needed to complete their kits.

For more information on specific RTR RC Monster Trucks, check out our reviews section.

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