Whether you are just getting started in RC helicopter flying, or are already a seasoned flyer, you may be considering purchasing a new radio. If you are, you may want to consider purchasing a radio that is 2.4 GHz, as there are many advantages to these particular radios. Even if you are very fond of the radio you currently own, but want the benefits of 2.4 technology, you can look into purchasing an upgrade program for your current radio, that will allow it to convert to a 2.4 GHz.
The 2.4 GHz radio uses spread spectrum technology. Where other radio systems may use pulse position modulation (PPM) or pulse code modulation (PCM) which cause them to operate on their own distinct frequencies, a radio using spread spectrum technology broadcasts it’s signal over a range of frequencies simultaneously.
So what does this mean for the RC heli pilot? This means that when you use a 2.4GHz radio, you removed from all of the interfering frequencies that are caused by other electronic communication devices. Unlike other RC radios which can be affected by non-radio system interference, the 2.4 GHz radio is immune to this interference, which helps to improve flying.
One of the best advantages of using a 2.4 GHz radio however, is not only that it works to prevent non-radio system interference, but also prevents RC radio system interference as well. You no longer have to worry about radio interference from other pilots, or annoying flying pins at your flying club. Your radio will work perfectly without interference from any other electronic device, which is something that all pilots can enjoy.
Futaba has long been experimenting with 2.4 GHz technology, and now offers a radio that meets almost any pilots expectations. Their radio is available for a full-range aircraft system, and is well worth the price for those looking for a radio that offers the latest innovations and quality. JR also offers pilots a 2.4 GHz radio, in both a 9-channel and 12-channel radio.
There are of course differences between Futaba and Spektrum technology that make their radios different from one another. One popular difference between the two is that the Spektrum radio offers their “ModelMatch” program, which prevents mishaps by not allowing the receiver to respond unless the memory settings that you have selected match the model that you are going to fly.
Another difference is that the Futaba radio offers their “Easy Link” system, which gives the 6EX transmitter a permanent and unique ID code, that once linked with the receiver will only recognize and respond to that specific transmitter. Determining which radio offers the most advantages is difficult, as the type of radio you choose is a truly personal choice. Some people prefer one brand over the other, and would never consider using a different brand, regardless of the features that are offered.
Though the pricing of a 2.4 GHz radio is often more expensive than that of more commonly used radio’s such as a 72 MHz, you certainly get what you pay for. Not only will you get a radio that is practically immune to any interference possible, but you also get a radio that works more efficiently. With a 2.4 GHz, you experience very little lag time in signals like you can experience from a module based system. Your entire response time between your radio and your heli increases, which makes for a better and more efficient flying experience.
One thing that heli pilots may have to adjust to, is the placement of the dual antenna system that a 2.4 GHz radio often has. Some 2.4 radios use two antennas, which help to improve the performance of the radio. There is never a loss of signal, because the antenna system continuously seeks out the best reception between the two antennas looking for the sharpest signal. If the antenna receiving the signal should encounter a problem, the signal will switch to the other antenna, which will immediately seek out the strongest signal. If the thought of having a duel antenna radio seems to bother you, you do have the option of looking for a 2.4 radio that offers a second receiver module in lieu of the second antenna.
The 2.4 GHz radio system is one of the latest innovations in RC helicopter technology that has many helicopter pilots jumping for joy. There are so many benefits to using this type of system, that many pilots feel they are the radio of the future, and soon all other radios will be obsolete. Whether you are looking for your first RC helicopter radio, or are looking to upgrade and purchase a new one, the 2.4 GHz radio is something to consider if you are looking for the best that money can buy.Have a question about this article or anything else RC Heli related? Ask it in our brand new RC Helicopter Forum and you'll get expert answers quick.
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