Radio control systems – an overview

When it comes to your RC gear there are a variety of manufactures whom all have a large range of products for you to chose from and when you think that your RC gear will be one of the most important purchases you will make you can appreciate that choosing the right one for you is not a simple process.

The current standard is 2.4Ghz radio that supports frequency-hopping spread spectrum  (FHSS); in essence this means rather than being fixed to one channel the radio link is agile so it will constantly change and adapt which helps with avoiding interference from other devices and also means many people can fly together without the need to assign channels.

The most popular brands that use FHSS technologies are:

  • Spektrum
  • Futaba
  • FrSky

So how do I choose?

As I mentioned at the start of this article if you’re new to this hobby and you have no brand preference this can be quite a long process, your budget, what sort of models you want to fly and the ergonomics should be the biggest factors in helping you chose:

  1. Set a maximum budget (this will potentially be your most important purchase).
  2. Decide if you are going to fly multi-copters / helicopters, if you fly fixed-wing will you be considering an auto-pilot?
  3. How does the transmitter feel in your hands (You’ll need to visit a local hobby-store for this or even a local flying club, most members will be happy to help you out by letting you look at their transmitters).
  4. What are the costs of extra receivers, telemetry etc.

Expansion

One consideration is “can this transmitter grow with my needs?”

Telemetry

UHF (Long Range Modules)

  • ImmersionRC EzUHF
  • DragonLink
  • Thomas Scherrer LRS
  • OpenLRS

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