ISL Bit Char-G League

Four of us at the Beckman Institute Integrated Systems Lab have the Tomy Bit Char-G micro RC cars.

1MB inline photos of our first meet, 11 July 2002.

400KB inline photos of our second meet, 18 July 2002.

Our discoveries and confirmations of others' findings:


220-grit sandpaper applied to the stock rear tires makes them stickier, so the front end grabs less, which reduces spinouts. Stock tires are the best (for the "Special Ed." cars which three of us have; love that Pacific Rim English). Hard tires up front and textured soft tires the back, same effect.

Compressed air or tweezers clean the axles. To clean the tires, the best thing we've found is a 5 cm loop of packing tape stuck to a table, over which you roll the car sideways. Do this often! Maybe not as often as you'd chalk a pool cue, but that's the idea. You want your tires to stick to the table, not to random crud.

Inside the body where the spoiler mounts, two large dots of cyanoacrylate glue prevent the spoiler from coming loose in a fall.

Teflon lube (Tri-Flo) or dry lube might reduce drivetrain friction.

Don't bother with Tomy's own pylons and whatnot unless you're a total fashion slave. Structures made of thin cardboard and lego are fine.

Keep some scotch tape sticky side up on your desk, to hold the gears when taking the car apart. Losing them is a pain.


Disabling the "cripple capacitor" in the transmitter increases range to 5 meters stutter-free, 7 meters with stuttering (on fresh batteries). Side effect: transmitter controls cars on other frequencies when within 50 cm of the antenna. But this doesn't matter since all drivers can now stand more than 50 cm away from the driving area.

If while examining the car's electronics you snap the two ultra-thin wires leading to the steering coils, you can carefully solder them back on. The last half millimeter will be silvery uninsulated, rather than the coppery insulation.


Figure-eights are a great drill for improving your driving.

Don't drive on the street. You will shred your tires.
Don't drive on the floor unless you're a dust-allergic vacuuming fanatic. Your car will become filthy.
Drive on a table. Surrounded by carpet. You will fly off the edge, by inattention or by kinetic energy imparted from another car.

Aesthetics and Miscellany

If your wheels are black and you want shiny chrome, then pop off the rear axle, dip it in well-stirred aluminum paint, and blow and scrape off the excess. The rear gear will still work fine if you're careful to keep the coat of paint thin (which you need to do anyways to avoid globs between the spokes).
Since the front wheels can't come off their hubs, painting their spokes risks gumming up the axle. But you can paint the rims with a scrap of styrofoam or paper.

If your car has black paint, color the corresponding inner parts of the shell with a black Sharpie permanent marker to make the black noticeably deeper. Silver paint similarly behind silver exterior is only marginally brighter.

If you display the car on your computer monitor, the steering solenoid-coils buzz and rattle when you degauss.