• gettingstarted

Dublin Model Car Club Guide for Beginners

We have put this getting started section together to try and help you get started with model car racing in Ireland. From our experience we have had many potential members arrive along at our club with a car unsuitable to race. Mostly its because of what someone read on the internet about this or that car, but you cant beat advice you will get from local racers. We are not saying you should buy the most expensive or fastest car, on the contrary, we would like to help you choose the right car for your ability and budget, taking in some of the factors below.

The Club

The Dublin Model Car Club (DMCC) was founded in the 1980s. It has had a few homes over the years and has raced a few different classes of model car. Currently we mostly race at our indoor facility in The Naul, Co. Dublin. The class raced at both tracks is 1/10th scale off road radio controlled buggies. However if any other class of electric car wants to race, we can always try to accommodate them.

Racing is held every Sunday from 10am until approx. 5pm. We have a practise night on Wednesday evenings. We also host two multi-round championships each year.

Every Sunday there are between 20 and 35 racers, making it one of the more popular clubs in Ireland. We have racers from 7 years old to a lot older.

Our Track

track

The Race

Each race is five minutes long. With usually three rounds of qualifying and a two leg final. Timing is done with a computer, and a small device in the car. When the car crosses the finish line the computer detects the device and can work out your exact time/lap.

If you have a car and you are going to attend your first race day, it can be a little intimidating for beginners. Knowing what to do, where to stand etc. So we have put together our Newbies guide to raceday to help you know what to do

The Cars

At the DMCC we race electric cars only, at the moment only 1/10th off-road. The cars are loosely based on Baja Buggies or Sandrails. They are powered by lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries similar to what`s used in laptops. There are a number of different brands and routes you can take to get into RC car racing, but some of the main points you should consider before you buy are:

1. Can you get parts easily? You will break or wear out parts on your car, and if you cannot replace these easily, your car will become useless.

2. Can you get help and advice about your car? If you have a car that no one in the club knows about, it can be hard for experienced members to advise you or help you fix it when it breaks.

At the DMCC some well-known brands are raced and the above two points will always apply to them. These would be Associated, Durango, Schumacher and Yokomo.

There are two ways you can buy your car, either buy a kit and all the various parts required or you can buy a Ready to Run (RTR) setup. A RTR comes with everything you need except a battery and charger. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.

RTR usually don’t have top of the line electronics, and some alloy parts are replaced with plastic parts. Though these cars run perfectly well and many DMCC members use them. They also work out a cheaper route. It’s a great simple way to get up and running.

A kit means you will need to research all the extra parts you require to run your car, it works out more expensive, but it can be tailored exactly to your needs. It also means since you need to put it together yourself, you know how to fix it when it breaks. Though this is quite a steep learning curve

At the DMCC we race two wheel drive and four wheel drive. Beginners are best advised to start with two wheel drive.

There are also two classes Clubman, where there are restrictions on the type of motor and Modified where there are no restrictions. Again, beginners are advised to start with Clubman, this is also the most popular class.

The best advice we could give is to speak with members of the DMCC and ask them for help and advice before you buy. All members are very open and willing to help anyone interested in the hobby.

We get so many people showing up at our track who have bought the wrong car/equipment because of what they have read on the internet. You will learn more by dropping by and talking to racers and looking at what we have for a half hour than you will with a week on the net At the very least send us an email and we will do our best to advise you.

Anatomy of an RC buggy

car

1. Lithium polymer battery, this powers everything in the car. It would not be included with a RTR or a kit. LiPo Charging Sacks are mandatory at the DMCC Please Click here for details

2. Radio Receiver, this receives the control signals from the driver and feeds them to the ESC and Servo. This would be included in an RTR car, but not in a kit.

3. Timing Transponder, the electronic device detected by the club timing computer.

4. Servo, takes the steering signal from the receiver and moves the wheels left to right This would be included in an RTR car, but not in a kit.

5. ESC (electronic speed controller), takes motor control signals from the receiver and drives the motor. This would be included in an RTR car, but not in a kit.

6. Brushless Electric Motor, drives the wheels. This would be included in an RTR car, but not in a kit. The number of "turns" denotes the power of the motor, you should be careful of this when buying. The lower the number the more powerful the motor.

Other Equipment

Below is a battery charger and two types of Transmitter (radio control).

car

The Transmitter you choose is a personal preference. Again, this is somthing we advise to drop by to the club and have a look at each type before you buy one. Usually you can choose which type that you get with a RTR model. They do not come with a kit type model

There is a wide range of battery chargers to choose from. These dont come with a kit or a RTR model


Beginner Race Classes

All beginners and people new to 1/10th off road must start in the 2 Wheel Drive Clubman Class. This is limited to 10.5 Turn motors or greater.

There are 4WD Clubman racers at the club, but this is low in numbers. Beginners will not be allowed race in the modified classes until you can prove you can drive, as you can do damage to yourself, people on the track and other peoples cars!!

And just in case we haven`t stressed it enough, drop by and talk to us at our venue in The Naul before you buy a car!

What exactly do I need to buy if I want to race?

To simplify all of the above, if you want to get set up to race here is a list of everything you will need on your first days racing...

  • 2 Wheel Drive Car (seriously, start with 2wd)
  • Transmitter and reciver (they are bought together)
  • Lipo Battery to fit your car
  • Lipo Battery charger
  • Lipo Battery charging sack
  • Servo
  • 10.5 Turn Motor. This is for the clubman class, if its your first time racing, you WILL be in clubman
  • Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
  • Wheels to fit your car.
  • Tyres and Foam inserts. Use Schumacher Mini Spikes in Yellow compound on the rear with medium Foam inserts. Schumacher P/N U6558 and U6734. On the front use Schumacher Cut Staggers in Yellow Compound, Schumacher P/N U6770. These can be bought at the track.
  • Tools. A 1.5mm, 2mm and 2.5mm Hex driver. Also a 5.5mm and 7mm Nut driver. These can be bought in a set. You can build up tools later as you find the need for them.
  • Here is a list of manufacturers of most of what you need. Its not exhaustive, but all of them are used at the club and can be trusted. None of them have any affiliation to the club. Click Here

    Finally, in case you haven`t got it, before you buy anything..... at all... drop buy the club and have a chat with us. We may save you a fortune! (and give you tea and bickies)

    Happy racing!

    LiPo (Lithium Polymer) Charging Sacks are mandatory at the DMCC Please Click here for details

    DMCC