RcTek : Information & Resources for the Model Car Racer

RC Model Car Glosssary of Terms - A

Below we have a glossary of terms that is a general one that relates to all scales of radio controlled model cars. It is far from complete yet as it is a rather time consuming process.

The below entries only cover terms beginning with the letter A.

Related articles and content may be found in the index to this section.


An alternative name for Wishbones. Named after their resemblance to the letter A.


Anti-Lock Braking System. Some higher end radios have a feature that moves the brake servo(s) backward and forward to apply and release the brakes. This gives effective stopping power, that reduces brake lock-up, but at the cost of reducing the life of the servos.
This term can also refer to a type of plastic.


Alternating Current. Electrical current that reverses its polarity at regular intervals. It's frequency is measured by Hertz and the best known example is household current, which usually between 110-240VAC.


The extent to which anything (a model car, for example) is accelerated; the rate of change of velocity per unit of time.

Ackerman Angle

The Ackerman Steering Principle. A principle defined by its namesake, which defines the correct angle that the steering arms should be set at to turn the inside and outside wheels at a different rate to compensate for the different arc the wheels travel though when negotiating a corner.

Please see our article about the Ackerman Steering Principle for further information.


Usually refers to compounds that are applied to tyres to increase grip on a particular surface. Many exotic and unusual substances are used, but many classes specifically ban the use of any kind of tyre additive.

Air Filter

A device that filters dust and other contaminates, which would otherwise quickly damage and/or wear the engine out, from the air before it enters the carburettor.


When referred to in model car terms, it is alternative term for Methanol.


A proprietary name for a fixing which has a hexagonal (six sided) recess in its head that can be turned by means of an Allen key. Please see the Fixings and Fasteners section for further details. Sometimes referred to simply as socket head/cap, etc.

Allen Wrench/Key

A hexagonally (six sided) shaped tool that is used to turn Allen Screws. Please see the Fixings and Fasteners section for further details.


Amplitude Modulation. A type of radio transmission where the signal is carried by the amplitude (height) of the wave. See also FM (when it's done!).

A Main

An alternative term for the final races of an event.


See Amperes


A unit of electric current equal to a flow of one coulomb per second. Generally referred to as Amps and abbreviated to: A

Ampere Hour

The means of ascertaining the capacity of a battery pack. Technically defined as a quantity of electricity equivalent to a current of one ampere flowing for one hour. Usually abbreciated to Ah or MAh (milliamp hours).


Also known as an aerial, an antenna is metal wire, rod, or other structure used to transmit or receive radio waves. Radio control transmitters usually use a retractable type and the receivers antenna is normally a thin wire which is passed through an Antenna Tube.

Antenna Tube

A hollow, plastic and flexible tube through which the antenna wire passes (usually vertically mounted) to gain better radio wave reception.


Horizontal angling of the front wishbones so that the front part is slightly higher than the rear part. This helps to prevent the front of the vehicle from being forced downward (diving) under braking/deceleration.


Horizontal angling the rear wishbones so that the front part is slightly higher than the rear part. This helps to prevent the rear of the vehicle from being forced downward (squatting) under acceleration.

Aspect Ratio

The relationship between the section height and section width of a tyre. It is expressed as a percentage of section width. An example is that if the section height is one half the section width, the aspect ratio is 50%.


Adjustable Throttle Limiter. An adjustment feature of high-end radio equipment where full servo movement can brought within the limits of usable servo travel. Ideal for throttle control and especially effective for more control over braking in gas racing.


Adjustable Travel Volume/End Point Adjustment. A feature of high-end radio equipment that allows separate adjustments of maximum servo travel to both sides of the neutral point.

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© 2001, 2009 by Darren Burnhill