Getting back in after 20 years have radio questions - RC Groups
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May 09, 2012, 09:41 PM
Registered User

Getting back in after 20 years have radio questions

Hello Everyone,
I have been out of the RC hobby for more than 20 years. At that time the 1991 regulations were coming into effect. Well all my radios are pre 1991. I'm lost when it comes to the the radios today. I know there is now 2.4ghz systems. I was told that there are no longer air and surface frequencies. Is that true? If so why is there still "Air" and "Land" radios? I would like to be able to use one radio for both my boats and aircraft. Is that doable? I also noticed there are some REALLY inexpensive 9 channel radios and very expensive radios. What is a good entry level radio with no less than 8 channels. I want to get back in to the boat and multicopter aircraft. When I was in it I had Futaba, Airtronics and a Century 7 Heli radio. Now I see Futaba got expensive. I would appreciate any help and information I can get on where I can learn more about the new systems.

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May 09, 2012, 10:20 PM
Registered User
reacher10's Avatar
2.4g is good for surface and air.

A good inexpensive radio is this one. FlySky FS-TH9X 2.4G 9CH System: You can get it cheaper elswhere however Ryan is a great guy to deal with if you have any problems and you will get it in a week.

This radio in it's stock configuration will serve you well for some time however if you install one of the custom firmware options it becomes a power house that nothing remotely can come close to for the cost. Recievers are cheap and reliable. With custom FW it will do anthing you can think of.

It is not hard to install the custom firmware if you get this simple drop in board: Steve is also a great guy to deal with.

There is plenty of support and information here:

and here:

Welcome back!
Last edited by reacher10; May 09, 2012 at 11:47 PM.
May 10, 2012, 10:52 AM
Registered User
LesUyeda's Avatar
" I was told that there are no longer air and surface frequencies. Is that true?"

No, that is not true. 75 is STILL surface use only, and 72 is STILL air use only. 2.4 gHz can be used on either.

May 10, 2012, 12:31 PM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
You ask why there are surface and air radios. The answer is that though they all work on 2.4 (where there are no discrete "frequencies" as the radios are all spread spectrum and/or frequency hopping), there are different requirements for model control. The land transmitters typically have a wheel and trigger, while marine radios may also have special features. In some cases the various receivers and transmitters are compatible but not in others. There's nothing to stop you from using an air radio with a boat, for example, but it may not be the best choice. For example, you may want a long antenna on the receiver to get it up from the water.
May 10, 2012, 01:29 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
If he uses one of our (Spektrum) aircraft radios, they will bind with our MR (marine) receivers. The MR line has long antenna leads for exactly that purpose.

May 10, 2012, 02:24 PM
Registered User
Thank you all for the replies. That helps. I am amazed by how much the technology as advanced. Brushless motors, Lipo batteries, the micro helicopters. I had a Schluter Heliboy back then it was still a very good heli. Electric helicopters were only a fad that had poor performance. I'm looking forward to getting back into it. Thanks again.


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