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[] Newbie Guide and FAQ
Section - 0. Preliminaries and Introductions

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Next Document: 1. What car should I get first?
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
I am seriously lacking in time to give this document (and the hobby) the attention 
it deserves.  If anyone would be interested in taking over the maintenance of this, 
please contact the author <>.
0.1. What is this?

Answers to some common questions and some suggestions for people wishing to join, 
or just starting out in, the remote controlled (R/C) cars hobby. Contains 
information useful for beginners, as well as directions where to get additional 

It is an attempt at collecting / organizing / sharing some of the information (dare 
I say 'wisdom'?) that I have managed to acquire since I got involved in this hobby 
sometime in 1998. At the time I started posting this I had built two cars, raced 
three, and won zero races. This, by every definition possible, does NOT make me an 
expert in the field, but I would like to think of my self as a successful 'graduate 
from a newbie'.

0.2. What other FAQs are there?

First off, let me stress that in no way do I intend for this document to replace or 
supercede any other FAQ on this or similar subject found anywhere else. Different 
people have different experiences / opinions, and those are generally relayed 
through their FAQs. I recommend that you have a look at all that you can find, in 
order to gain as much practical information as possible.
Further, almost every single manufacturer that has a web site has some type of FAQ 
or some variant of "Getting Started in R/C" type of document; those are just way 
too numerous to list, and, unlike me, they have an actual advertising budget. 
Therefore I will not list any of those here - see the section "Links to links to 
manufacturers and stores", below.
There are, however, a few FAQs maintained by individuals, such as myself, whom I 
would consider more 'my competition'; although AFAIK mine is the only one posted to 
Usenet. Here are the ones I have been able to find so far:
FAQ for R/C electric off-road racing 
The Frequently Asked Questions archive 

0.3. What will you NOT find here?

The author of this document has never touched a gas R/C car. This is strictly a 
personal choice (actually my wife's), and should not in any way indicate that one 
is better over the other! Therefore the rest of the discussion here will be mostly 
limited to electric cars. In any case, I personally would never recommend that a 
newcomer to this hobby get a gas car anyway, so the topic would actually be outside 
of the scope of this document.
If anyone is interested in making up a "Nitro Guide and FAQ", feel free to contact 
me and I will try to help out as much as I can, including with submissions to 
*.answers groups.

I do not want to have specific car reviews and comparisons. Further, I do not 
intend to address questions of the type 'car A vs. car B, which is better?' A 
better question would perhaps be 'car A vs. car B, which is more popular?', because 
it is often a popularity contest! But the answer to this you will not find here 
either, since within a year BOTH car A and car B will be replaced by something new 
and more popular.
See "What car should I get first?", below, where to get this information.

0.4. Usenet

When I got involved in this hobby, one of the first places that I went to was the 
Usenet. Surely, no surprise, there is a newsgroup dedicated to this hobby. If your 
computer is set up properly, then you should be able to go to the URL 
<> and just start reading. Alternatively, you could go to 
<">>; this place has an 
archive of older postings, much older than what your newserver probably carries, so 
it is an excellent resource for searching past information.
If you got this document through means other than Usenet, and want to find out more 
about it, a good place to start is <>.

There are several R/C Usenet groups of similar interest; the descriptions are not 
mine, they are taken directly from the group's charter (bad formatting and spelling 
error included):
<news:rec.models.rc.air>  RC controlled air models.
<news:rec.models.rc.helicopter>  Model helicopter flying, construction, and tips.
<>  RC controlled land models.
<news:rec.models.rc.misc>  RC controlled miscellaneous items.
<news:rec.models.rc.soaring>  Building and flying radio controlled gliders.
<news:rec.models.rc.water>  RC controlled water models.
<>  Newsgroup for radio contol related binaries 
(software and pictures).
Most countries have a Usenet hierarchy of their own. There might be a group 
specifically for local discussions. For example, United Kingdom has the following 
<>  UK Radio Control Aero Modelling
<>  UK Radio Control Cars, Buggies, Trucks

Before you start posting to any of these groups, there are some things you should 
be aware of:

0.4.1. NETiquette
There are certain assumed rules when posting to Usenet. If you break these rules, 
you will be mercilessly ostracized by the rest of the group. If you are not 
familiar with this 'code of conduct' there are numerous articles on the subject. 
One good one is at <>; a second source of 
numerous articles is at <>. If you still have 
questions or doubts, then the appropriate place to ask is in 
The denizens of rmrl are willing to tolerate off-topic posts, as long as they are 
marked with "[OT]" in the Subject. Every so often someone suggests (mostly as a 
joke) starting a group. If you don't like them, create a 
filter; if you do post them, please mark them in the Subject!
The sad truth is that a lot of people have problems expressing themselves through 
the written word; I myself am certainly no expert. Further, a lot of people easily 
take offence. Please keep both of these points in mind when you are reading or 
writing posts, and take everything with a 'grain of salt'.
There are a lot of acronyms that are used throughout the Internet, especially on 
Usenet. Try here for a little help: <>.

0.4.2. Posting binary attachments
No! I will attempt to justify this, but make no mistake, the answer is a definite 
Binary attachments are normally restricted to the Usenet hierarchy alt.binary.*. 
This is done so that people who do not wish to receive binary attachments can 
easily avoid them. These people often include system administrators with limited 
diskspace, and users with a slow Internet connection such as a dial up modem. If 
people post binary attachments in a non-binary group, they will quickly get 
alienated by that group. If a lot of people post binary attachments to a non-binary 
group, then system administrators will simply stop carrying that group and the 
group will die.
If you insist on distributing binaries, the correct procedure is to find diskspace 
someplace on the Internet - there are plenty of sites that offer this sort of a 
service for free - and then post a link with an appropriate description to rmrl. 
Alternatively, you could post the binary to <>; just 
keep in mind that most servers set a very low expiration time for all binary 
groups, usually on the magnitude of a few days. This means that very few people 
will get to see your post. A private archive of binary postings can be found at 
HTML messages (almost) fall in the same category, especially if you insert pictures 
into your messages. Some systems automatically imbed pictures into the signature 
for each post! I know that the actual method of transmitting the pictures in this 
case is different from attaching binaries to a message, and I do not want to 
discuss that here. Let's just say that a significant portion of Usenet considers 
HTML messages on Usenet impolite and ignorant.

0.4.3. Posting sales / auctions
This is one of those gray areas. If you cross-post an auction or a sale to the 
entire rmr* hierarchy, then most people will probably consider that spam and will 
get upset at you. If you must post a sale or an auction, then post only to one or 
two relevant groups, and make sure that in the subject of your message you include 
an unmistakable description of what the message is. For example, the subject "rad 
buggy" would not be acceptable, but "[eBay] XXX buggy with extras" is fine. You 
could also use the acronyms "[FA]" to indicate 'for auction' and "[FS]" to indicate 
'for sale'; please do not confuse these two. People also use "[WTB]" for 'Want To 
Buy'. Not everyone is interested in buying stuff, and yes, people will use these 
indicators to make up filters. Please respect that!

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