Radio controlled cars can be great fun for everyone and they’ve been huge in the hobbyist community for decades.
Many enthusiasts can’t wait to get their cars on the road (or terrain in some cases) and ride around. However, many enthusiasts are also rightfully disappointed with the limited range of their cars and want to upgrade it.
It’d be great if you could take your car a mile away (provided that you had a camera to see where you’re going), and many people wonder: how far can an RC car go?
Lower priced RC cars usually cover a distance of up to 0.062 miles. There are extreme RC cars that can cover distances of almost 125 miles. The range that most RC cars cover exceeds what the human eye can see.
The distance your remote control car is going to be able to cover depends on different factors, and that’s what we’ll be talking about today.
In this article, we will be taking a look at all the things that define how far your remote control car can go and what you can do to increase that distance.
Read on and lets take a deeper look into the world of radio control vehicles.
Let’s get started!
What Is the Range of RC Cars?
There are many things that can affect the range of your radio control car.
You can get the maximum range out of your car if you have perfect conditions. If you’re taking your car for a ride in the city or in a residential area, it’s likely that you won’t be achieving maximum range.
Firstly, it’s important where you run your radio controller car from – if you’re doing it from within a building or a metal structure and you’re surrounded by walls and metal, that’s definitely going to disturb your signal and you’re not going to be able to reach your maximum range.
Secondly, many other forms of interference may, well, interfere. Wi-Fi signal, radio signals, other shortwave radios, APs, and other things are all forms of signals that may interfere with your signal, which can definitely affect how far you can reach with your car.
Radio and controller quality – is it a cheap car or an expensive one? More expensive cars are usually higher in quality, in comparison to their cheaper counterparts.
This usually means that they have better radios and controllers. This is a very important thing that you should think about, as you’ll rarely have the opportunity to influence this.
It’s best to buy a good RC car, as you can be sure that you’re going to get a good controller with a good radio with it.
Cheaper RC cars can get to distances of 0.031 miles, or even over one hundred 0.062 miles, but at that point you’d have trouble seeing it. You can work a few upgrades into your setup to improve the range of your car.
However, radio control aeroplanes have a much larger range than radio control cars, as there’s much less interference in the air than on the ground.
The typical range of any quality RC gear is well in excess of what you can see, so you don’t have to worry about range.
The only scenario in which range should actually play a part is if you’re looking to hook your car up with a camera system so you can actually watch while you’re driving.
How Far Does a 2.4 GHz RC Car Go?
A regular 2.4 GHz RC car can usually cover a distance of about 0.62 miles, however, at that point you literally can’t even see it with the naked eye, so you’re not likely to be driving that far.
It should be noted though, that you shouldn’t observe the distance by GHz, but by checking each car’s specs. Two cars that measure 2.4 GHz might not be covering the same distance.
Take this car from Amazon for example – it says that it can only cover a distance of 0.062 miles, and it’s a 2.4 GHz remote controller.
This doesn’t make the car any worse, though. It’s likely that you won’t need it getting that far, so the 0.062 miles distance should be more than enough.
However, if you’re looking for an RC car you can hook up with a camera system and take on long trips, then you’re going to have to look at other places.
How Can I Increase the Range of My RC Car?
I would now like to give you a word of advice and say that you should just buy a car that already has the capabilities to meet the range you’re looking for.
That’s the safest bet, as it’s very likely that you’ll try to increase the range on your own and just end up breaking the controller.
See my related post for improving the range of your RC car by clicking here.
However, if you do insist on this little DIY project, then there are a few tips Iv’e gathered for you.
Firstly, you can try buying a better antenna.
Take a look at this. This is an open-source remote controller for people to play around with it.
You can modify everything on it. You can change the antenna or even use directional Antenna for maximum possible range.
The transmitter will allow you to set your preferred power limit to get the best balance between battery life and range.
Secondly, you can try installing a better antenna on your current controller, however, you might find that that’s not as easy as it sounds.
The option of putting a better antenna on your controller is definitely possible. You would need to open up the case on the remote and see if you can solder an antenna connector where the current antenna is located.
If this is possible, you will be able to add a high gain antenna. Your success will largely depend on how good you are with a solder.
The antennas are just a few dollars, so you’re not going to have to pay a lot.
There’s a third method you can try. You can try to replace either the receiver or the transmitter.
Increasing the capacity of these will dramatically increase the distance that the vehicle can be controlled from.
To do this, you need to remove the receiver that’s installed in your car. To do this, take a screwdriver and unscrew the screws attaching the receiver to the car’s body.
Unplug the wires connected to the receiver to the car’s motor or battery. When you’re doing this, you should be wearing heavy duty gloves, as you don’t want to get electrocuted by the battery.
Then, install the new, more powerful receiver in the car. You can buy your receivers from anywhere on the internet, so getting it shouldn’t be a problem.
There’s a possibility of the new receiver not fitting on the pre-drilled holes in the car’s chassis. If this is the case, simply fix it to the car with double-sided tape or a hot glue gun. After this, reconnect the wires, connecting the battery, motor wires, and the new receiver.
When you’re buying a new transmitter, make sure to purchase one that’s actually compatible with the new receiver. It would be smart to purchase the transmitter from the same manufacturer of the receiver.
It’s best for the transmitter and the receiver to be of equal power and watts to ensure proper communication. If you’re buying your parts from an electronics store, consult with the associate to make sure that the car parts are fully compatible.
You should also make sure that you can actually pull this project off, and if you’re not good enough of a handyman, then you should pay someone to do this for you.
It’d be great to combine this with replacing the antenna. If you replace the antenna with a longer and a more powerful one, something you can easily buy in an electronics store, you’ll certainly get more range on your car.
If you’re looking for RC cars with more range, you should always look into verified companies. In this scenario, more money usually means more quality, which usually means a wider range.
Most RC cars have their range already defined in their description long before you buy them, so you don’t have to buy a cat in the bag. Make sure to always buy your RC gear from verified manufacturers who offer a good customer after sale service.