After buying a secondhand TC5 chassis for VTA racing, I had a leftover HPI RS4. Rather than letting it collect dust, I asked Jules if he’d like to invite his cousin Reese to go racing with us, of course the answer was yes. We had an extra unpainted Mini Cooper body and I was able to load up the unused chassis with super-cheap electronics like a silver-can motor for $4 and brushed ESC for $10.
Looking for an electronic speed controller (ESC) for your R/C car than can handle both 1-cell (1S) and 2-cell (2S) lithium polymer (lipo) batteries has proven to be a difficult landscape to navigate. Some of this has to do with what the market will bear. Typically if you’re running a 1/12 scale car, you’re only running 1S batteries. If you’re running a 1/10 scale car, it’s 2S.
The 1S need for me comes from the fact that here in Minnesota, the local track runs a variant of Vintage Trans-Am (VTA) that uses a 17.5 turn motor and single cell battery. It was a carry-over from 1/12 scale cars that ran on 4-cell NiCad or NiMH batteries. The idea was to keep the VTA cars relatively slow, and to keep the cost down.
Here it is, a list of how to get into on-road R/C racing in two different classes (your choice) on the cheap. I’ll update this list and go into detail about the the components I find important. Mostly I wanted to make a list of everything I’ve purchased to keep things honest.
Since Jules was so excited to get out my radio control car from the garage, he was naturally excited to drive it. I failed to explain to him how fast it goes before turning the controller over to him. It was like the first time I shot a rifle with a hair trigger. As my friend had just begun to explain how sensitive the trigger is, I had already shot it. It went something like, “Now, you’ll want to – BOOM!”