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Best RTRs at $100 or less for a beginner

Old 12-08-2014, 03:42 PM
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adrock1978
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Default Best RTRs at $100 or less for a beginner

I'd like to get my son his first above toy grade RC Car for Christmas. I really want to stay under $100. I have fairly reasonable expectations and I understand you get what you pay for. I don't mind fixing/repairing broken parts and would actually look forward to eventually upgrading certain parts. I am brand new to this world and haven't touched an RC car since the Grasshopper I owned when I was a kid. Just doing a casual search, I found these few models:

Dromida MT4.18
ECX Ruckus
Red Cat Racing Tremor

The MT4 seems to get decent reviews and sounds fairly stout. I like that it has oil filled shocks and waterproof electronics. The ability to dial down the speed sounded good too. The Tremor first caught my eye, but upon further reading had bad reviews. Again, I know I've barely scratched the surface but I'd like a few suggestions for a decent RTR under $100. I'm mostly interested in trucks and vehicles that can handle low grass, or off road/dirt fields. Thanks in advance!
Old 12-08-2014, 09:08 PM
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jamesd848
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you can get one of these brushed, for about 100. If you wait though till the sales, atomickrc will probably have the brushed version for about the same price, they did for black friday
http://www.nitrorcx.com/toptacon.html
Old 12-09-2014, 06:12 AM
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adrock1978
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Originally Posted by jamesd848 View Post
you can get one of these brushed, for about 100. If you wait though till the sales, atomickrc will probably have the brushed version for about the same price, they did for black friday
http://www.nitrorcx.com/toptacon.html
Do you mean a brushLESS version for the same price? This one already is a brushed motor.
Old 12-11-2014, 07:12 PM
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yah, sorry my bad
they might not though, so be aware
Old 12-13-2014, 07:09 PM
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not much in the 1/18 scale that will handle grass. dirt and pavement yes, but grass is hard on this scale as they have smaller tires and less ground clearance.

I have owned a redcat tremor. I generally don't care for anything smaller than 1/10 scale, but the tremor did have a few good points.
For it's cost...it is dang quick! It had a standard 380 size brushed motor....as most 1/18 models do. But instead of a heavier NIMH battery, it has a Li-ion battery. It is much smaller, lighter and puts out more amps for the motor to use.
It has decent handling for a 1/18 monster truck style model. Fair traction, decent turning ect.

Its weak point is the stub axles...which are plastic. Mine were OK, until it started to get cold (maine) and then I was snapping them often.

The only other area is with the steering servo. Many people have had them quit after a few runs. I did as well, but the issue isn't the servo...it is with the chassis. The chassis' upper plate will prevent the servo from moving 100% to the left. So, when you turn that way the servo hits the chassis and keeps trying to turn...this causes strain and heat....which will kill the servo.
But this is easily prevented by adjusting the maximum servo throw on the radio (dual rate adjustment) Just turn it down to about 90% and the servo wont hit the chassis and will be fine.

If you want a model that is good out of the box, and has more upgrade potential (like brushless ect) then the ECX torment 1/18 or ruckus 1/18 are better choices. They are more like $120....but there are more aftermarket parts and they also come with waterproof electronics.

here are vids of my tremor I had some time ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29X7oJjxMK4&list=UUvwHY0wHFW3a5QFqQRkaKGQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49vSxDRsJLU&list=UUvwHY0wHFW3a5QFqQRkaKGQ&index=75
Old 12-14-2014, 10:43 AM
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yeah, i'm in the same camp. i want to get a similar car for my own kids and have been heavily considering the dromidas because they're sold at hobby people which is local to me, availability of replacement parts, and they have several platforms that largely share the same parts

curious tho, the site shows that it comes with/takes a 6 cell nimh battery, are these the same size sticks that are used in 1/10 scale cars?
also what's the wheel compatibility? 12mm hex at this size? or is there another standard?
Old 12-14-2014, 11:42 AM
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they are sub-C sized nimh cells....so it is still a 6cell battery but the actual cells are smaller than the ones in 1/10 battery packs.

Not sure on the dromidas...but several 1/18 models these days use 12mm hex. Just depends on the brand. Im sure you can find a exploded parts view for the dromida to know if they use a 12mm hex, something smaller or just a Pin.

Buying a brand that will be easy to get parts for is always your best bet. No one wants to wait a week for replacement parts to arrive in the mail.

Id also check to see if a model you are looking into has a ESC that can use a 2s lipo. You don't have to go lipo right away, but a 2s lipo packs a lot more punch into a lighter weight battery...so both top speed and acceleration increases. You can also usually fit a pack with higher MAH capacity for more runtime than a nimh pack can provide. Ads will usually state if the ESC is lipo "ready" or lipo "capable".
Old 12-20-2014, 08:23 AM
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I was in the same boat i found a used team assocated 18mt that is stock but the last owner put on dean connectors . I like the idea as i am kinda up in the air about going brushless so the stock brushed these trucks come with will do just fine. My issue was the charger and the batteries . I see these 100.00 rtr out there come with 4-10 hour wall charger that will not get it done or less you buy a better charger . Keep in mind most of these micro esc's are set up with micro ends so you will need a micro end battery and a better charger. I like the newer rtr to be honest just for the water proof and part support . I would keep in mind of the charger/battery issue or maybe non issue

Last edited by 1mtx1; 12-20-2014 at 08:29 AM.
Old 03-24-2017, 05:48 AM
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IndianaDave
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I realize this is an old post, but have some similar questions. I got a Dromida SC4-18 truck off Ebay for my daughter because she was stealing my 1/16 Slash all the time.
It came with a tiny Lipo 7.4V battery, but the original Nimh wall charger.
I have a Tenergy charger I use with my slash Lipo batteries, but don't have the micro adaptor.
Is it safe to use the Lipo battery in the Dromida with the stock ESC?
The seller wasn't aware of the battery issue, and has offered to buy and send either a correct battery, or a different charger.
Which would you do for a beginner driver.
Just go for a stock replacement battery?
Upgrade?
Old 03-24-2017, 05:43 PM
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RustyUs
 
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If your SC4-18 is the brushless model, the ESC will allow you to set the LVC for LiPo use. I am pretty sure the 2 in 1 receiver/speed control, in the brushed SC4-18, has no LVC. If you want to deal with drumming up a low voltage alarm and connector issue, that's fine. If it were me and I thought I was getting a NiMh battery, I'd want the correct battery that was suppose to be with the Dromida SC.
Old 04-04-2017, 02:13 PM
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IndianaDave
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So the seller refunded me enough so I could buy the correct battery.
Now I have two batteries, and the stock 4 hour charger.
I have a Tenergy charger I use on my Lipo for my Traxxas, but don't have the right connector for this tiny battery.
Is there an inexpensive charger that will charger faster so I can have my Lipo batteries charging while her Nimh batteries are charging seperately?
Old 07-05-2017, 07:47 AM
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EXT2Rob
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Just go buy the parts to make the proper charge cable and use your big charger. Easier and less expensive than buying a whole new charger.

As to the main question, what to get for a beginner for a $100, I don't think you can beat the Dromida cars. An RTR for $100, who's plastics are flexible enough to withstand lots of crashes, and really inexpensive replacement parts. What more could you ask for?

Last edited by EXT2Rob; 07-05-2017 at 07:57 AM.
Old 07-11-2017, 11:30 AM
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phmaximus
 
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dont get a cheap car.... I made that mistake... I got 2 brushless HSP/redcat Xstr Pro brushless buggies for my boys and something goes wrong each time we use them. Its ridiculous , and kinda makes u loose interest.

IMO they might be ok with a super anal adult that never does jumps or crashes but not kids, If ur buying a rc cars for a child... get the strongest one u can, not the weakest.

Ive had a lot of cars over the years from 1/35 Orlandoos to 1/5 Losi 5ive and everything inbetween.
My advice, buy yourself a kick arse rc car and share it.....from a kids point of view Dads car will always be more fun.

Also have a think about ur childs personality, ive got 3 boys and 2 girls and i can say each one of them is different.... my 1/10 crawlers are really popular but fast brushless cars ar not.
sure they get a thrill from flying up and down the street but that it... its nothing like the micro and nanno scales where they play with it for hours and hours with it. sometimes with out the battery too.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:35 AM
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phmaximus
 
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if you kids still play with toys and love rollplaying with cars these are worth a look

1/35 Orlandoo hunter

they are really small and slow but are great fun to sit down on the floor with and play with. especially if u have other toy cars to add in for pretend play.
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Last edited by phmaximus; 07-11-2017 at 11:37 AM.
Old 07-11-2017, 11:40 AM
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phmaximus
 
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here we go.... action video lol, BUT They are not RTR


Old 07-11-2017, 04:31 PM
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EXT2Rob
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PHMAXIMUS said:
" My advice, buy yourself a kick arse rc car and share it.....from a kids point of view Dads car will always be more fun.
Also have a think about ur childs personality, ive got 3 boys and 2 girls and i can say each one of them is different.... my 1/10 crawlers are really popular but fast brushless cars ar not. sure they get a thrill from flying up and down the street but that's it... its nothing like the micro and nanno scales where they play with it for hours and hours with it. sometimes with out the battery too. "

I totally agree with that. Well said, max. But you don't consider the Dromida cars cheap, as in low quality, do ya?
Old 07-14-2017, 12:15 AM
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phmaximus
 
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I dont know much about Dromida, but it really does look like a entry level rc car. id be more inclined to check out things like a RC18T2 or a Losi mini 8ight.
Old 07-14-2017, 07:30 AM
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Well yeah, that's what they are, entry level, but hobby grade, RC cars for $100. And really inexpensive replacement parts. That helps. But I can tell you from experience, these cars aren't "cheap", they can take the rough and tumble a newby is gonna give it. A Losi Mini 8 is gonna cost you twice that.
Old 07-18-2017, 03:20 AM
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phmaximus
 
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ahh yep I wouldent know man, I just go by things ive got experience with and those mini 8ights are absolutely fantastic. and cheap too about 1/2 the price of a playstation 4 pro

For the additional cost its really worth considering.
points to consider
OEM part support (losi is popular with most retailers)
Aftermarket support (RPM make some nice products)
Losi's proven chassis design
spektrum dx2e controller
AVC (Active Vehicle Control)
brushless
1/2 decent servo
fully adjustable alloy shocks and towers
alloy chassis for lower COG
full suspension adjustments, from turn buckles to roll centres
good offroad tyres


IMO. if its only around another $100 bucks more i really think its better value, even if its just for the better controller and brushless combo
Old 07-18-2017, 03:38 AM
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phmaximus
 
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but yeah man, if u ever get a chance to drive one do it.... they are impressive.... no lye, they can keep up with 1/8 buggies on a track... and can destroy any 1/10 sct
Old 07-21-2017, 08:41 AM
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The best RTR for a beginner under $100.00 is the one your local hobby store sells and stocks parts for! A cheap deal on the internet from some unknown maker is going to be no good when you break a part you either can't get, or have to wait a month to see it. The kids are gonna break them (this is inevitable) , you're going to need parts to fix them right away because they are not going to want to wait to be able to play again, and that's all just part of the hobby. 1/18th scale cars are fun, affordable, and portable. However, if you want to run on grass the 1/18th cars do not do well and I would then suggest looking at a 1/14th, 1/12th, or 1/10th scale. Even if getting the larger scale means paying a little more, the enjoyment of being able to run it in more places is well worth it. I gave my daughter a 1/12th 2WD monster truck for her 6th birthday and she loves it because she can drive it around on the lawn. If it will be used on pavement, dirt, and indoors then 1/18th would be just fine.

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