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Old 08-10-2008, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default Need Help picking a Car for 10 year old beginner

I want to get an RC Car for my son's birthday but don't even know where to begin. Can you suggest a good make a model to start with.

Everything I've read so far says I should probably start him with an Electric Car. However, I know he really wants a gas one.

I think he would prefer a truck or dune buggy to a car?

Thank you for you help
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:03 AM   #2
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you can run gas or electric. Gas is a little more fun straight out of the box due to speed and sound. Electric also has some more startup costs involved...over time however the nitro will end up costing you more in engine rebuilds/replacement, fuel, and generally nitro's are harder on parts due to the extra weight they carry
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:05 AM   #3
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Since you're asking I'm guessing that you're new to RC too and as a result I'd just suggest that a nitro truck is way outside the parameters of what either of you will be able to work on, gas trucks require a lot of tuning and fiddling and maintenance, or afford to keep running as a starter truck. And while some think gas is easy to get into, the startup costs of electric is way less. So I'd recommend electric as a staring point, and I'd also recommend one of the major brands (associated, losi, traxxas) for replacement parts availability because every rc rookie spends more time crashing and breaking things than they do driving initially. From that line of thinking I'd also recommend checking out your local track and hobby shop to see what everyone's running and what the shop carries because it's easier to get answers when you have problems, and everyone does, if you have something they're familiar with or have parts for than something they aren't. And finally, don't settle on something as a means to save a buck. While this can be a relatively inexpensive hobby, the more money you spend on quality items to begin with the less chance you'll have on needing to replace them in the near future.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:25 AM   #4
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Rather B racin is right about quite a few things.Gas is WAY more involved and with the price of nitromethane going sky high the r/c world is about to see a drastic increase in fuel costs. If your son is 10 I dont think I would be spending enough to set-up a competition level set-up. so beginner oriented components will work. I suggest you go to www.towerhobbies.com and look into a duratrax evader BXT buggy or EXT truck. The whole RTR set runs around 120.00. They are quite durable , and will be a great platform for your boy to get familiar with true hobby grade r/c components. Plus all the parts are available through tower, so for the price of a toys are us break it once and throw it in the garbage car you can get him a car that can be repaired and upgraded as his skill level increases.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:17 AM   #5
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Traxxas makes probably some of the toughest r/c cars available. This truck will do 35 mph out of the box which will keep your boy smiling from ear to ear.

plus, with the brushless technology already equiped, you dont have to worry about rebuilding electric motors. brushless = maintanence free.

This might be a little more expensive than a Duratrax Evader, but This truck will last 5 times longer.

Traxxas has excellent customer support and thier cars are top notch for beginners.

Good Luck in whichever you decide.

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Old 08-10-2008, 10:38 AM   #6
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A few questions to ask yourself, and your son...

Where and what type of surface will he be able to run this car on?

What type of 'mechanical' ability do YOU and HE have? (How technical of a car do you want to get into...and have to FIX when they get damaged)

How BIG will the area be he can run in (35mph cars in a 50 ft by 50 ft area are hard to control sometimes...FASTER is worse, and FASTER cars need LOTS of ROOM w/o obsticles to CRASH IN To.)

NITRO for a 10yr Old NEWBIE - bad idea, unless you will be On Hand EVERY TIME he plays with the car. They are temperamental, and can be very frustrating for NEWBIES.

There are several fairly 'inexpensive' RTR (Ready to RUN) types of cars that are great for a NEWBIE, except most of the parts on those types of cars break a little easier than a "RACE" type R/C Vehicle.

Do some research, visit a local hobby store and see what THEY carry..and also have SUPPORT PARTS for. See if they also do "In House" repairs, or can help YOU if the need arises.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:43 AM   #7
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i'd go for the Duratrax evader tough as nails and pretty fast,stay away from the ext or base model and get the st
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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A bone stock Traxxas Slash will cost $300 once you purchase batteries and a charger.

It is an extremely durable truck and a lot of fun.

One nice feature is a training mode which reduces power to %50.

I can't say enough about how great this RC truck is for a beginner or otherwise.
If you son sticks with RC and wants more he will be able to add a faster motor esc and batteries to this truck or step up to a more sophisticated rig and still enjoy bashing the slash around.

My 2c

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Old 08-10-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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I highly recommend electric for a beginner. regardless of the power source, you still control it the same way. It will determine if your son will commit to the hobby at a relatively cheap(and clean) cost. Does he like to wrench on stuff?
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:13 AM   #10
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I would look at a good brand electric truck. The key is good parts support, availability and a local HS that supports the parts that your son will break, which can happen on the 1st run.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:22 AM   #11
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Like most of the other replies I too would recomend electric over gas, gas is cool due to the sound and all but a royal pita to keep in tune. I'd also recomend a truck over a car, thay are cheaper to buy and at his age he'll want to be able to run whatever you buy in the street with his freinds. You can do that with a TC but its easier with a truck. Good luck either way you go.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:23 AM   #12
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Stay away from Nitro for a beginner. Too many things to adjust, tweak, or mess up for a rookie. Electric vehicles are basically just charge and go. A truck of some sort is probably preferable, since they can be run on the street, in the backyard, in sand, mud, etc. Kids like jumping things, which you can't do with a car.

As mentioned before, the Traxxas Slash is hugely popular right now, all for $199 (comes with truck Ready to Run, radio, assembled). You only need to add a battery and a charger. The speed controller (ESC) has a training mode that limits the throttle to 50% of max speed. Good for rookies. As he progresses, you can set it for 100% throttle.

As far as batteries, LiPo is the rage now, since you can just charge and go, and re-use them multiple times in one day. They require a LiPo compatible charger. You have to be careful not to over-discharge them, or you will kill them. NiMH batteries are a little more tolerant of abuse, but should only be used couple times a day. To maximize the life of a NiMH, they need specific care as well. They tend to be cheaper than LiPo, but you would need to have more than one pack to run a bunch of times a day. So even though a LiPo is a little more expensive, you only need 1 pack to run a bunch of times a day. Just don't over discharge them. If the pack swells up, it's done.

That said, the Slash doesn't have a LiPo cutoff built in (the ESC will stop when the battery voltage gets to the safety cutoff level in order to prevent over discharging). You can add one (Novak makes one).

Go to your Local Hobby Shop and see what vehicles they carry, and see what parts they carry for them. Pick something that has local parts availability.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #13
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My son is 6 and I got him a Slash- he loves it.

The thing is almost indestructible. We had it at a skate park, went off a 12 ft quarter pipe and didn't break.

The other thing he runs my old mini that is FWD to make it easier to drive.

So it depends on what kind of driving he wants to do, on road or off.
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:59 PM   #14
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Just to add my two cents ....

Try to buy from a local store that has stock of spare parts. They will (should) also help you out when you encounter problems.

He will break things and the worst thing would be not to be able to make repairs.

Choose a well known high profile brand (not an internet no name) eg. Traxxas HPI or Tamiya and you wont go far wrong.

Have fun... Oh and we all know it not just for your son!!!
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:28 PM   #15
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I get the support your local hobby store stuff guys , but some of us dont have a local hobby store, and keep in mind if this is their first R/C experience they probally dont want to go dump 3-5 hundred on a beginners car.There fore I stick with my suggestion of an evader exb or ext for 2 reasons;
1. you can get the RTR set a battery and charger for 175.00
2. they have a 1 year stress tech. warantee on all the plastics.So if things do get broke you will only be spending a couple dollars for postage to send a part in to be replaced.
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