Tech

Mini RC cars in your pocket: tiny models with remote control from 9 euros

The tiny remote-controlled car fits easily in your pocket. That makes transport easy. Inexpensive RC models are particularly suitable for a child, but are also fun for adults. With its compact dimensions, it is even possible to take a joyride in the house when the weather does not cooperate.

RC cars come in all possible sizes. We limit ourselves here to the smallest vehicles available on the market. A vehicle from Revell Control or Amewi is approximately 7 centimeters long. However, the model cars from Revell are not true to scale, while the Amewi Mini Rally Sport Car M has a scale of 1:67. Scales of 1:58 are also common, for example at HSP Himoto, Demiawaking and S-Idea. The smallest RC car tested was 1:76. There are also mini cars with a scale of 1:87.

The small vehicles are almost without exception remote-controlled via radio. Revell, Awemi and S-Idee prefer to use the analog frequencies 27 MHz or 40 MHz. The remote control transmits on two channels. A separate channel is required for each axis of movement – which is usually only two on four-wheelers. This allows you to accelerate and steer at the same time. The range of the MHz remote control is only about 5 meters.

But since many cars use these frequencies remotely, they quickly get in each other’s way: the vehicle goes on strike. High-priced models therefore rely on digital signals with 2.4 GHz. This allows the simultaneous operation of several vehicles in a confined space without any problems. The range here is at least 30 meters or more. We explain more about this in the guide to wacky RC toys up to 50 euros.

The question of how to control the steering axis is also interesting. The cheap cars can only swing fully to the left or right. That makes steering imprecise. High-quality variants have a proportional control. If the driver only presses the remote control wheel lightly, the wheels turn only slightly. This allows a much more precise control, as known from high-quality RC models.

Tiny brushed electric motors and batteries are used in the small and light RC cars. The disadvantage of these motors compared to the brushless variant is their lower power and the fact that they wear out over time. Some of the mini racing cars are fast in relation to their size, with the Awemi model reaching 7 km / h. The drive takes place via the rear axle. Inexpensive vehicles only last a few minutes, while more expensive cars can last up to 40 minutes.

We have that in the entry-level class Revell Control Mini RC Car Racing Car I for a price starting at 9 euros. The manufacturer delivers this tiny thing packed in a can. This contains the remote control, an antenna that can be screwed on, the car itself and four traffic cones for slalom drivers.

The MHz remote control technology transmits on two channels with a frequency of 40 MHz. It needs two 1.5-volt AA batteries for power supply, which are not included in the scope of delivery. Before starting, the car’s NiMH battery is charged using the remote control. This only takes a few minutes, but the Mini-Racer from Revell doesn’t drive much longer than 6 to 8 minutes. The tiny racing car also has LED lights for the front and rear lights.

The Revell Mini RC Car starts very quickly – which is not surprising considering the light weight of 20 grams. However, it is challenging to control the small racing car precisely. This is due to the high speed and the poorly precise steering, with which the wheels only turn completely or not at all. Occasionally the remote control hangs, which is a real annoyance when slalom. With a radio range of 5 meters, you always have to follow the car wherever you go. With the enclosed pylons you can put your skills to the test in the slalom. The simple handling and the low price make the mini RC car the ideal toy for children. Revell gives an age recommendation from 8 years for the speedster.

Revell Control also has a Bugatti Veyron (Mini RC Car Racing Car II), a police car (Mini RC Car Police), a fire truck and a station wagon. The mini-speedsters from Awemi, S-Idea and Toogoo are similar in size. The Revell Control Mini RC Monster Truck Outcast and the Revell Control Mini Winter Service Truck are a bit bigger. Fans of the Nintendo game Mario Kart should also take a look at the mini RC runabouts from Carrera.

If you are looking for a professional driving experience, like with a large RC car, you need proportional control. However, this technology is by no means reserved for large and expensive RC vehicles. They are also available in tiny sizes – on a scale of 1:76.

That Turbo Racing 1:76 RC Car has such a control. It is just 5 centimeters long and weighs 13 grams, which is twice the diameter of a 1 euro coin. For the power supply, the micro vehicle has a lithium-ion battery with 75mAh. So it lasts for about 30 minutes – a really good number. Instead of a proprietary solution, the manufacturer relies on a USB-C connection to charge the battery. The GHz remote control requires four AAA batteries for operation, which are not included in the scope of delivery.

Banggood is currently demanding for that Turbo Racing 1:76 RC Car for just under 50 euros. The delivery takes place through stocks in Poland, the Czech Republic or Spain in a few days. Other providers charge at least 70 euros for such a remote-controlled car.

The tiny Mini is not quite as fast as the Mini RC Car from Revell: The top speed is around 2 km / h. The proportional control is as precise as a Swiss watch. Driving around is a lot of fun and is reminiscent of high-quality RC cars of larger dimensions. Even the colleague who otherwise drives expensive RC cars or drones was completely enthusiastic. This means that you can reliably drive the Mini on a coffee table. There are even functioning taillights and headlights in the form of tiny LEDs on the automobile.

The sensitive and small car is less suitable as a toy for children – especially since it is at least five times as expensive as the inexpensive RC mini-cars. The versions with proportional control cost up to 100 euros – but the additional costs are worthwhile. If the Mini is too unsporting for you, you can opt for the 1:76 scale Honda NSX.

If you want to have fun with an RC vehicle, you don’t need a lot of space. The little racing cars do their laps in the apartment without any problems. You can get a tiny remote-controlled model car from Revell, Awemi and other providers for as little as 9 euros. This is great fun for a child or a young at heart adult. If you want to take the whole thing to the next level, you can use the RC car with proportional control. This is up to six times more expensive, but it is much more enjoyable and longer.