Last updated: 2002.11.11

Tomy BitChar-G Micro Remote Control Car Review

BitCharG_measure.jpg
*NEW* Check out the competing digiQ review!
Japan has always been big on remote control toys. Introduced sometime in the 2001, there are now two different types of micro remote control cars available in Japan. This review describe the radio controlled BitChar-G from Tomy. (The other one is DigiQ, a Infra Red controlled car from a different manufacturer). This car measures just 6 cm long and it runs for several minutes on a charge. Imagine racing these micro cars around your kitchen table or your conference room table at the office? BitCharG_racing_1.jpg
BitCharG_package.jpg

The car comes as a kit. It is a simple 10 minutes no-tools required snap together assembly process. It came with some very nice feature to help you assemble the car.

This kit is not yet available in the United States. I bought mine in Tokyo a few months ago. They are now selling them at the airport as well shops as well. There are four distinct frequencies. So you can race four cars together. The frequency is marked on the box. There are several car body types and colors available. In October there were limited car types, now in January there are a few more body types. I have also seen additional tune-up parts available now. There were not available back in October.

BitCharG_parts.jpg
BitCharG_Motor.jpg

Putting the car together is quite simple, even if the instructions are in Japanese. The only thing that you should be careful about is the size of the wheels are different front and back. The antenna is a simple wire that will stick out from the car's rear once the body shell is snapped onto the body. The orange gear is the gearing control. You can swap this with different size wheel.

This picture on the right shows the control circuit board on the car, and the drivetrain and the rear wheel assembly.

BitCharG_wheels.jpg
BitCharG_tool.jpg This bring us to a cool design in this product. To install the gear you have to push the wheel into the motor shaft directly. The shaft is quite tiny. To help you do this without bending the shaft, on the back of the remote control unit is a little hole that is sized just right. You put the gear in the hold and push the motor shaft thru it using this hole. It works ! BitCharG_compare.jpg
     
BitCharG_charge.jpg: Car charging on the remote

How do you charge the batteries in this micro car? The car has built in rechargable battery cells. You charge it using contacts on the remote control unit (using power from the remote control unit). There are special contacts that are under cover. You simple open the cover, and dock the car onto the remote control unit. Look at the pictures will show you the details. This is a very clever design.

There is a chargine LED on the remote control unit. So you can tell if you have docked the car correctly on the unit. The LED will change color when the charging is finished.

BitCharG_contacts.jpg
 

Links:

  • Modify the BitChar-G to use digiQ's IR controller !
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