The RC world is changing almost daily, with new innovations popping out the woodwork left right and center, but one of the most significant developments of recent years has been the advent of 2.4Ghz radio. These offer significant benefits over the older FM & AM based radios, so lets take a look at what the key differences and benefits are…
The difference between all three types of radio gear is that they transmit signals from your Transmitter or Radio to the receiver in your car via different frequency bands. AM radios work in the 27Mhz & 40Mhz frequency ranges, FM radios tend to operate around 75Mhz and the new Spread Spectrum type 2.4Ghz radios operate in the 2.4Ghz frequency band as the name suggests. There are around 40 different frequency bands that are allocated for the RC Hobby for AM and FM radios.
AM radios require the use of Crystals to set the Band or Channel, in the case of AM radios, there are 6 bands, meaning up to 6 cars can be used in the same vicinity simultaneously. Each car requires a different pair of crystals; one in the transmitter and one in the cars receiver.
2.4Ghz radio systems operate more like a wireless internet connection, they transmit at a much higher frequency and are designed to automatically search for a free channel in the 2.4Ghz range, making running multiple cars on the same track a breeze, preventing interference and accidents.
AM, FM and 2.4Ghz components cannot be interchanged, so if you’re looking to upgrade your radio system(s) you’ll need to buy matching pairs of 2.4Ghz transmitters and receivers. Some 2.4Ghz transmitters have the ability to store settings for several models, such as the Ansmann w6, which has a 10 model memory. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to buy a transmitter and receiver that are designed to work together. One manufacturers equipment may not be interchangeable with another either, so it’s best to stick to one brand for all your models, or at least one brand for each car in your fleet!
The exception to the rule, and there is always one, is that servos from both older AM and FM systems will more than likely work with 2.4Ghz radio systems.
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