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What Components Are In An RC Car? (Guide/Tips)

If you are researching RC cars you may be keen to understand what components an RC car has inside of it and exactly what they are.

What Exactly Is an RC Car Component?

RC cars, also known as radio-controlled cars, have a common set of components. These components are mainly used for car control and its operation. For example, some of these components include a transmitter.

The transmitter, then, has some other components such as joysticks for control, the trigger for throttle,  wheel for turning the car, receiver for signal-based work, etc. But, what other components are in an RC car? Keep reading and learn this, and so much more.


What Is an RC Car?

Today, there are plenty of radio-controlled models available. However, the most popular one of them is the RC car. But, what exactly is an RC car?

As the name suggests, an RC or radio-controlled car or remote-control car is a type of miniature model car that you can control using radio control. Keep in mind that these cars can also be controlled with the help of infrared or physical wires. However, they are not as common as radio-controlled ones.

These cars can either be off-road or on-road ones depending on their strength, robustness and other factors. Thus, they are available in different models such as trucks, cars, monster trucks, street trucks, etc.

What Components Are in an RC Car?

What components are in an RC car?
Electric component.

Each and every RC car has some common components that help the car to function properly and efficiently. For example, you can have a transmitter, receiver, motor, and many more.

Let’s discuss some of the common components and see what they are useful for, in an RC car.

01. Transmitter

The transmitter is one of the most important components of an RC car. The reason? Well, as the RC car or radio-control car uses radio signals for its functioning, it requires something to transmit the signals.

Thus, a transmitter, in the RC car, helps to transmit the signals.

Now, if you want to know about transmitters, you definitely need to know about the two different types of transmitters used in an RC car. These transmitters are:

Pistol Grip Transmitter

Pistol grip transmitters are a widely-used transmitter for controlling RC cars.

It is quite clear from the name that these transmitters have a specific layout in the shape of a ‘hand-gun’. It consists of two parts such as a trigger for operating the throttle and a wheel (on the side) used for steering.

Here, the batteries are located near the butt of the handle. This helps in weight balance.

These types of transmitters aren’t the best for left-hand operators. Yet, they are becoming quite popular these days due to their advanced design and functionality.

Stick Transmitter

Unlike pistol grip transmitters, stick transmitters do not have a unique design and are quite common to a video gaming console. They are also more expensive compared to the former one.

These transmitters contain very adjustable and configurable joy or thumbsticks that help in controlling the car.

Most of the time, transmitters are connected to the receivers. However, in certain cases (like replacing components), you may have to rebind them.

02. Receiver

Another important component of an RC car is the receiver.

Now, imagine that the controller is transmitting the signals, yet the car isn’t receiving them. This will kill the whole point of a radio-controlled car, right? So, this is where a receiver comes in.

Again, just as the name suggests, a receiver is known to receive the transmitted radio waves.

You may also note that for proper communication, without any interference, both the receiver and transmitter need to have the same frequency of waves. Only then they’ll be able to coordinate the functioning of the car properly.

Additionally, whenever you use the antenna, ensure that you don’t cut it as it will definitely affect the receiver’s reliability and range. This is because the length of the antenna wire is in proper tuning with the receiver.

03. Motor

To get started with your RC car, you cannot forget a motor! The motor helps in the functioning and movement of the RC car. For this, there are usually two DC motors available in the car – the front DC motor and the rear DC motor.

Two different types

You will also find two different types of RC motors – brush and brushless motors. In brush motors, the wire is wrapped around an armature whereas, in a brushless motor, the wire is wrapped around a stator.

Moreover, no matter whichever motor it is, the lower the number of wire turns, the faster is the motor.

During the functioning of the motor, the front DC motor helps in the movement of the front two wheels of the car. On the other hand, the rear DC motor helps in the movement of the back wheels.

Keep in mind that when the car moves forward, both the motors are rotating. When it moves backward or is in a reverse position, only the rear motor is rotating.

04. Batteries

RC cars can mainly run in two ways – either with the help of gas or electricity. Electricity-based RC cars use batteries as a source of power. Now, there are gas-based cars available too. However, many people today are using batteries as the source of power instead of gas as batteries are quite low-maintenance and low on cost too.

There are batteries present in both the car and the transmitter controller. The batters in the transmitter help in generating power for the transmission whereas, in RC cars, they help to power the motor.

05. Servo

In an RC car, there are also servos present (Click here to see the difference between analog & digital). These servos are more like small motors that help in the swift movement of the RC car.

The reason is that the RC servos are quite efficient in picking up the transmitter signals and understanding the instructions. Due to this, the car movements are quite precise and accurate.

Servos come in two types – analog servos and digital servos. Their structure and design are almost quite similar. Yet, the difference lies in the response and reaction time. In this, digital servos are way quicker and more efficient than analog ones.

06. Wheels

Just like any other cars, RC cars consist of mainly four wheels – two front and two rear. Both the pair of wheels are connected to the respected DC motor – front motor and rear motor. Once, the transmitter sends the requests, the wheels start moving accordingly.

07. Chassis

Chassis usually means the structure or platform on which all the other components and the overall car is built. For example, you can have a plastic or a metal chassis. On this chassis, the entire car, along with its components, are built.

Plastic chassis is less expensive compared to metal ones. However, the metal chassis is definitely quite stronger and more durable.

08. Body

Even if the entire internal structure is well-built and strong, we still need a covering for the car. This particular covering is known as the body of the car. It has mainly two functions such as:

  1. Protects the internal components from any damage
  2. Covers the overall internal framework of the car

09. ESC: Electronic Speed Controller

The last main component of an RC car is an ESC or an electronic speed controller. As the name suggests, the ESC helps the user in controlling the speed and power of an electric motor. This, in turn, helps in managing the overall power of the RC car. Thus, an ESC can also be known as a power manager.

The ESC may also help in providing some amount of energy required for powering the RC-servo.