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14 Things You Didn’t Know About RC

14 Things You Didn’t Know About RC
We are lucky enough to have a lot of RC vehicles come across our desks and we’ve each been in this great hobby for a long time. One of our frequent office conversations is about where things got started. For example, what company came out with the first ball differential or where did CA glue come from. Sometimes we know the answer and sometimes we think we know and find out later that we were wrong. Check out this list of some of our hobby’s history and oddball facts.
1. 2.4GHz

Many inventors have claimed 2.4GHz, but the most famous claim of it was by actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil. Their “secret communications system” used a piano-roll (a self playing piano) to change between 88 frequencies. It was intended to make to make radio-guided torpedoes hard for the enemy to detect or jam. The Nomadio Sensor was the first RC radio to use the technology.
2. Ball Differential

The ball differential was invented in the 1980’s by Cecil Schumacher of Schumacher Racing. It was first used in 1/12-scale cars.
3. Three-Gear Transmission

Tamiya was the first to have a car with a three gear transmission. It was in the Rough Rider which was released in 1979.

MIP was the first company to release a rebuildable universal driveshaft. They were included in car kits from many different companies through the years.
5. First Nitro Vehicle With Reverse

Kyosho gets the nod for the having the first nitro vehicle to have reverse. The Kyosho QRC line of vehicles were released with a twin stacked gear transmission. A two-channel radio and a special cam was used to operate it.
6. CA Glue

Cyanoacrylate, or CA Glue as we know it, was invented in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover and Fred Joyner. It was invented in attempts to make a transparent plastic suitable for gun sights.
7. Yokomo Dogfighter First World Champ

The Yokomo Dogfighter has the honor of being the first IFMAR 4WD world champ with Gil Losi Jr. behind the wheel. The race was held at the famous Ranch Pit Shop in Del Mar, CA.
8. What is Silicone?

Our RC vehicles are equipped with many silicone based products such as shock fluid and covering on the electrical wires. Silicones are inert, synthetic compounds with a wide variety of forms and uses. Frederick S. Kipping is credited for laying the foundation for the commercialization of silicone.
9. First production model engine

The first ever el engine model engine was the Brown Jr. .60 model b.
10. First wheel type radio

Futaba gets credit for inventing the first wheel type radio and it was designed specifically for car use. Not only was it the first radio of its kind but it was very reliable. It was called the Futaba 2F.
11. Big wheeled monster truck

Marui Big Bear fist monster truck to have oversized tires. This two-wheel drive 1/12-scale truck had an injection molded body and 2WD.
12. First electronic speed control

Novak was the first to market a reliable and affordable electronic speed control. It was called the Novak NESC-1 and they had a built in BEC circuit, were full proportional and were “Electronic”.
13. First front wheel drive buggy

Kyosho Maxxum FF was the first off-road buggy to use front wheel drive.
14. First Tamiya kit

The first RC kit ever produced by Tamiya was its Porsche 934 RSR.

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Eaglemoss Jeep willys 600x120
Updated: July 20, 2015 — 4:39 PM


Add a Comment
  1. One more correction needed. Serpent had a reverse clutch for nitro cars in 84/85 already, in their Jeep. Way before Kyosho’s QRC. To be added on top of Darryn’s comments to make the article right. That’s 4 things wrong out of 12… 😉

    1. There’s actually 14 things… NOW WHO’S WRONG?! 🙂

  2. wasn’t the kyosho maxxum made in 1988? the NICHIMO spirrit FF was made in 1986..and that was front wheel drive..

  3. yeah, there was an oval in Del Mar,
    only two classes back then 1/10 pancar stock and mod.
    I still have one of the original rc motorcycles, I forget the name but the company is now Kyosho.

    1. I did a little research and the original rc motorcycle was produced by Kraft RC Systems by one of the rc aircraft radio pioneers Phil Kraft and did not precede Kyosho as I previously mentioned

  4. I remember The Ranch Pit Stop being in Pomona, Ca. was there another in Del Mar

  5. Dates!! WHEN did all these things come out, ESC, etcetera?

  6. My first ride was a Maxxum FF! Traded it for an original JRX-2. That brings back some memories!

  7. Sorry guys,

    A few minor issues with the facts here:

    1) The Nichimo Spirit FF was the first production front wheel drive buggy.

    2) The first R/C model by Tamiya was NOT a car – the 1/16th Sherman tank was released in late 1974!! The 934 was released in 1976.

    3) Cecil Schumacher actually started making the ball differentials in 1979 or so – they were so popular – he started making them for others ….. giving birth to the Schumacher company as we know it today. You are right though – he was the first to produce the ball differential for R/C use.


    Darryn Johnson

  8. The ball differential was an adaptation from an industrial differential. It wasn’t invented for RC use.

  9. Interesting! Good job guys.

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