Radio Control Car Action brings you helpful How-To articles in every issue. In the August issue, we cover the essential RC skill of soldering. Here’s a look at the article–pick up the August issue to read it all, or sign up for a Digital Subscription and get Radio Control Car Action delivered directly to your computer, tablet, and phone! Learn more here.
Words Erich Reichert
As drivers progress within the RC hobby, there comes a time when it’s necessary to upgrade motors and speed controls to go faster, harder, and stronger. If you started off with an RTR, you’ve most likely lived a peaceful life with your RC vehicle; going day in and day out enjoying it’s pre-wired perfection without giving it a second thought. Now that you’re making the leap into upgraded electronics, you’re going to find that your newest challenge will be getting everything installed. Fear not, with just a few easy steps and the right tools, you’ll see that it’s easy to solder. It’s so easy that, with the right tools and supplies, anyone can do it. Let’s get going.
1. MEASURE UP
The best place to start is with your new motor and speed control (or other component) in place so you can measure out the wires needed. You want to make sure they’re long enough to reach, but not so long that you have a ton of wire all tangled up. Plan out the path for the wire and consider how they will be attached or held down to the chassis to stay out of the way of moving parts and the drivetrain, keeping motor and battery wires away from any belts or moving parts that can damage them. Route the wire along the path it will span in the car and allow about another 1/4 inch or so just to be on the safe side; a little extra never hurts. Measure each wire individually and cut it to the proper length with a hobby knife or pair of wire cutters before moving on to the next one.
2. STRIP THE END
Once you have all the wires cut to length, strip off enough of the insulation to produce a good solid contact. The length here will depend on the size of the surface the wire is attaching to but the goal is to strip approximately the same size as the contact area to ensure maximum coverage. To strip the insulation, many people use their wire cutters and I’ve even seen people use scissors. However, to get the cleanest strip without damaging any of the strands of wire inside, I use a hobby knife. Start at the bottom of the blade and carefully roll the wire down the blade, scoring into the insulation. Once you’ve gone all the way around, pull off the cut piece and discard it.
Read the complete article in the August issue Radio Control Car Action (on sale now!), or click below and get a Digital Subscription and view the entire issue instantly!