Sunday, November 11, 2012

R/C Toys

We have a hobby that began as a way to keep us active and busy. It started with a remote control Jeep from WalMart that proved woefully inadequate for the terrain in South Texas. A trip to the World Wide Web revealed a slew of alternatives. As is my custom I began an investigation to uncover the best choice of remote control vehicle at the best price. I found a 1/10 scale Traxxas Short Course truck that works off of powerful motors and rechargeable batteries. They are borderline child’s toys that require adult supervision. They are also programmable to limit the top speed, which can easily exceed thirty miles an hour. Short course trucks are an actual form of racing and the Traxxas models are faithful to their inspiration. There is a touring series for both the models and the actual race trucks. There are both two and four wheel drive models. They come with working shocks and springs, driveshafts, gear boxes-most everything that a real vehicle would have. It quickly became apparent that four wheel drive is the way to go on the caliche surface that surrounds us. There are professionals and fanatics out there that modify the machines/models in every way imaginable. For us simply bashing (that’s what it’s called) around the gate area is a load of fun. Now we have discovered helicopters! I was extremely leery of any flying model. Lord knows I have destroyed my share. As a kid, frustration set in and the models would often meet an untimely death after sustaining damage inflicted from my inability to control them. Like the cars, you should do some thorough research before making the plunge. Our final choice had a retail price of over $130 and we paid a third of that. My leeriness helped cause my search to last well over a year. The reviews were more confusing than helpful. Gyros or not, how many channels, what company, what style, what size, etc. Once I finally committed, I found myself terrified that I would damage this marvel of engineering. It is beautiful and much larger than I expected. After several failed attempts to get the thing airborne, I got the idea to purchase a small indoor helicopter. Voila! I was soon flying the little helo around the motorhome. I’m not an expert or anything, but at least I could get airborne. The next trial was to apply what I had learned outside with the big copter. Wind is your enemy-little or no wind is a requirement to safely fly a model helicopter. Anyway, I am happy to report that I was able to get the thing off the ground-and land with no damage. For less than an hour’s practice, I am happy with my progress. What a load of fun and what a mental challenge. I highly recommend remote control cars, trucks and helicopters to while away the hours.

1 comment:

  1. What kind of indoor copter do you have? I've been thinking about getting one but not sure which one would be best. I'm thinking about a nice kite too for those windy days