When is the RC Industry going to get Standardized?

Hey RC Enthusiasts! I recently got done building a couple of vehicles and doing a ton of soldering and it got me wondering a couple of things. Why are there so many “standards” or lack thereof in RC? When is the RC Industry going to get Standardized?

Motors – Turn’s vs. Kv

Air Age Media, better known as Car Action Magazine just produced a video titled “Motor Turns and Kv Ratings explained” The video was well produced and scripted but honestly, as a 21st century RC Enthusiast, why is it sooooooo complicated? When I first got into RC and modifying vehicles, it was so difficult to tell the difference or why people labeled certain motors as “turns” and others as “Kv” ratings. Then there was the daunting task of converting one brands labeling of kv to another’s turn rating. Novak had a chart out but it was a ballpark estimate because not everyone’s using the same components.

RC_standardized_motors-proc

Servo Horns

I recently swapped some electronics from one vehicle to another, but was missing a servo horn. Now, it’s not rocket science to know that there are 3 different splined servo horns on the market. 23t, which is Airtronics/Sanwa, 24t which is Hitec (older versions) and 25t which is the rest of the planet, including Savox, Futaba and the newer Hitec’s. WHY??? I had a perfectly good clamping servo horn, but it was the wrong tooth count for the servo I wanted to run. Think about if there were only one spline available, or a Standard, maybe those manufacturers would just include that $15 retail ($3 cost) aluminum servo horn!

RC_Standardized_servo_horns

Battery Plugs

I can’t tell you how many battery plugs I have had to cut off and solder my preference on, but it’s into the hundreds considering every vehicle and battery over the years. There’s Traxxas (TRX), Deans, Fake Deans, XT60, XT90, EC3, EC5, Star, Reversed Polarity Bananas, Castle Creations and that dreaded Tamiya plug! I probably forgot a few, but I know everyone has they’re favorite and so do the companies that spend the time to install those plugs on batteries and vehicles. Have I mentioned the giant “octopus” for the charge lead that I saw recently??? The one that can charge “any” battery, at least till the new fangled reverse osmosis plug comes out?

RC_Standardized_battery_plugs-proc

SAE/Metric Hardware

Alright, I know this is a sore subject for some, but living in the United States, I guess I’ve been raised on fractions and it is painful. Metric is just better! I think one of my subscribers on YouTube, said it best (in a shortened version) SAE just doesn’t make any sense! Think about it….half the hex drivers, half the nut drivers, etc. One of my last SAE vehicles was the B44.3 from Team Associated, which they have kept SAE for many years. But I still have SAE items pop up, like Vanquish wheels use 3/32, 5/64 and 1/16. Robinson Racing pinions (48p) use 1/16th for the set screws. HAs anyone ran 11/32 wheel nuts vs the standard 7mm? Yeah, painful!

RC_standardized_drivers-proc

Wheel Hexes

This issue has almost gone extinct, but there are still some lingering hexes out there that really give grief when getting the right wheel set fitted. 1/10th scale should use 12mm. 1/8th scale should use 17mm. Is there enough said? 10mm and 14mm should not exist. I had a vehicle that used 14mm wheels and it was a serious pain to find compatible wheels, as I wanted to run it on a different surface (the vehicle came with RTR tires and I wanted to run it on clay) I still have a set of 10mm front hexed wheels (with tires mounted) for my old B44.2. Like new, needs a new home!

RC_standardized_wheel_hexes-proc

Receivers

I know this is a long way off and there are some inexpensive “grey market” receivers out there, but why can’t one receiver be bound to different radios? I currently own a Futaba 4PX, Airtronics MT-4 and my old Spektrum DX3r-Pro. They all use different receivers and they very in price. The least expensive Futaba’s go for about $35-$40, the Spektrum are about the same. Airtronics top off at about $90 for the least expensive. It would be great to just bind any receiver to any radio and call it a day. I know it’s like running Microsoft Software on a Mac……but my Mac runs Windows now…..

RC_standardized_receiver-proc

I know this Blog may sound negative, but it’s in a positive way! Think about world RC peace here. If we had all of the RC Industry standards mentioned here wishlist above, it would be a Win/Win/Win situation. The manufacturers/vendors would have to produce less products, less SKUs and lower costs. The Hobby Shops/Online Shops would have to order and keep fewer SKUs on the peghook/shelf and potentially have a lower cost. The consumer (yeah, that’s you!) would benefit by having the items in stock more regularly and potentially a lower cost (think large qty sales of 25t servo horns vs producing 23, 24 and 25).

Did I miss something you would like to see regulated/standardized in the RC Industry? If so, please leave your comments below!

3 Comments:

  1. I agree with all your points. I do not work for any RC company or aftermarket companies, so i have no inside knowledge. But the RC company’s get to sell that much more stuff. The end game for them is money. My money would stretch a lot longer if it was standardized, meaning less toys/scale vehicles on the bench waiting for parts and money.

  2. I like your post a lot and I feel the same as you. Standardizing things is not an idea of the industry, they like to be the pure monopoly on their RC stuff. But why we are able to drive cars in the same category or motors with the same size? Because there are rules from organizations like IFMAR or other local organizations.
    From my point of view drivers should work together with such organizations to have more standards in the RC scene. And 12mm hex wheels are standard for the upcoming session. I think 1/10 cars will have all 12mm next session, and this is because of a new IFMAR clause.

    ifmar.org/pdf/rules/ifmar_wc_electric_offroad_2015.pdf

    The above dimensions and the drawing below are applicable for 2015 WC. From 2016 onwards, a standard Hex. mounting and standard ‘wheel offset’ will be adopted for all wheels (front and rear will have different offset). The final dimensions and a new drawing will be included in this rule later in 2015 after investigation of suitable dimensions are completed.

    Wheel mounting. 12.00 mm. hexagon.
    Wheel centre hole. 5.00mm. diam.
    Wheel off-set from mounting face. Rear 11.00mm.
    4WD Front 2.00mm.

    Wheel off-set is measured from the hex. mounting face to the outside of the outer rim at the wheel circumference (see drawing).

  3. AMEN !!!! As a newbie when I first started in the hobby, my first upgrade was servo. I knew I needed to match the teeth on the horn to the teeth on the servo. But, the tooth count on the servo was not listed anywhere!! So.. if the dam servo spline count where “standardized” then I would not have had to buy 3 different servo horns before finally getting the correct one!! So many other things would make this hobby much more enjoyable for everyone. And would likely keep newcomers interested longer!! Ask anyone who got out of the hobby, why they gave it up and sold all there stuff. I guarantee that all of them will say at least in part… “it’s too expensive” When a fully built race rig can cost $1,200 or more. It would be nice to at least save on “standardized” wheel hexes, servo horns, wheel sizes 2.2 or 60mm or 2.4 , and battery connectors. We play with plastic toy cars that are highly engineered for performance and durability. I’m certain there is a way to standardize certain things and also curb some of the high cost of building operating and maintaining them.

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