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RC Servo

Choosing a Transmitter

   When you first started in RC, you may have purchased a package that came with the car kit, motor, battery, charger, ESC and radio system complete. The transmitter was probably just a basic steer wheel, or stick type, with nothing more than forward, reverse, left, right and simple trim settings to centralise the servo and ESC.

My Local Club    After a while, as your enthusiasm grows and your experience increases, you will want to move on to a better radio system, with more setting options, but where do you begin?

   Choosing the right transmitter is a personal thing. It has to feel right, have the balance you like, not be too bulky for your hand size and have all the features you might need to set up your car to your driving style.

Transmitter Instruction Book    Transmitters these days are highly sophisticated pieces of engineering and once you choose your transmitter you will probably stick with it for the rest of your competitive career.

   Don't just go for the one you see in a review that looks and sounds like the best thing there could ever be and comes at a bargain price. Then when it arrives through the post and you get it in your hands it just doesn't have the feel you thought it would have. Sits awkwardly in your hands and is so complicated to set up you need a university degree to understand it.

   Talk to the experienced racers at your local track, ask them their opinion, see what their transmitter is like and if they will allow you to, hold it in your hands and see how it feels. All the best buys in life are made by recommendation. Then, once you have some idea what you are looking for, look on the internet for that model to get the best price, or go to a dealer and check out the latest models.

40Mhz Module    Frequency choice depends on where in the world you live and what form of RC you are into. Fortunately, most of the top end transmitters can change to different frequency ranges by simply fitting a different module, so if you ever move up to an international level, you don't have to buy a new transmitter, just a module and receiver.

Stick or Steer Wheel

   When I first started in RC, the transmitter I used was a basic Futaba stick transmitter. I stuck with that for around three years until one of my friends allowed me to test drive his car, using his Steer Wheel transmitter. I took to it straight away and was soon pestering my dad to get me one. Eventually he managed to talk my mom into letting me have one for Christmas and from then on I never used anything else.

My Old Futaba    So what's the difference between Stick and Steer Wheel?

   It's all about feel. We all have different driving styles When I started touring car track racing, my style was what they term "rounding", keeping the car under control and using the full width of the track to smoothly guide the car around the corners. At that time I was using the Stick transmitter and the feel of the car seemed solid and precise, just what you need for that style.

My Ko Propo Precious    My friend used a drifting style and when he allowed me to drive his car, it was set up for that style and the Steer Wheel transmitter made drifting so simple. I loved it from that moment and when I moved over to the Steer Wheel, I developed my own drifting style, that slowly evolved to the one I use today, using the same "KO Precious" Steer Wheel transmitter my dad bought me all those years ago.

   So there you have it. Stick or Steer Wheel, the choice is yours, depending on how it feels for you and what driving style you are looking to emulate. Good luck and good racing.

How to avoid Interference.

1/  The first consideration when installing your Receiver into your Electrically Powered Model is to make sure it is well away from the Negative Battery terminal and the Motor. The Magnetic field can cause stuttering type interference at times of high current draw (i.e., Fast Acceleration)

2/  Make sure the Ariel tube is long enough for the Ariel wire. The tip of this wire is highly sensitive and should be as high and as far away from the Motor as possible (yup, its that magnetic field prob again)

Aluminum Foil Around the Receiver 3/  If all else fails, a simple tip that often works for all RC Model enthusiasts is to wrap the receiver in Aluminium Foil, to shield against any magnetic and external radio interference.

Ferrite Beads and Servo Choke 4/  As a last resort, to protect against servo twitch, try ferrite beads. (available at Radio Shack or Maplins) These are threaded over the red, white (or yellow) and black wires of each servo.

5/  If you are using a FET Servo, the installation of a choke (a small electrical component) in the positive feed wire will smooth out any current spikes and reduce the possibility of "servo twitch".

Glitch Buster 6/  Another thing you might try is a "glitch buster" or "stutter stopper". Basically, this is a capacitor that simply plugs into your Radio Receiver and attempts to keep a level voltage supply to the Radio system.

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