What mode do you use? - RC Groups
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Jan 02, 2013, 05:37 AM
Registered User

What mode do you use?

I have always wondered what advantages Mode 1, Mode 2, Mode 3, and Mode 4 all serve?

I personally fly Mode 3, which is basically Mode 2, with the rudder and aileron reversed. I don't know why, it's just how I started. This means that I simply need to change settings on my TX, or if I can't, I plug in rudder into CH 1 and ailerons into CH 4.

What mode do all of you fly with? Why do you fly that mode? Do you see any advantages?

I have been trying to get used to Mode 2, because it's the most popular, and it makes things easier.
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Jan 02, 2013, 06:37 AM
Proud to eat Kraut ;-)
Julez's Avatar
Throttle left has the advantage, that one can change throttle while holding the plane, elevator left has the advantage that one can operate the elevator right after the launch.

Having elevator and ailerons on different sticks has the advantage for me that I can operate these most important functions seperately and thus more precise.
So for me, mode 4 works best.
Jan 02, 2013, 06:39 AM
Registered User
Hkubota's Avatar
Originally Posted by pilotavery
What mode do all of you fly with? Why do you fly that mode? Do you see any advantages?
From all I hear, whatever you started with, usually stays as there are not many compelling reasons to change.
So you start with what the people around you use. In most parts of the world that's Mode 2, in some it's Mode 1.

I totally would not mind to use a single-stick control, but that does not exist (well, not anything modern uses it), so I use the closest mode I could find: Mode 2. Although I am in Japan where Mode 1 is most popular, since I did not know anyone doing RC stuff, that did not influence me.
Jan 02, 2013, 08:05 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
freechip's Avatar
Originally Posted by pilotavery
I have always wondered what advantages Mode 1, Mode 2, Mode 3, and Mode 4 all serve? ....
The advantage is that you have options and you can use the one that works for you.

Some radios can easily be converted while others can't.
Like mentioned already many use what's more popular around them so if they need help or something they have no problems finding it.
Jan 02, 2013, 08:20 AM
Registered User
I'm still using the same mode I was the last dozen or so times this question was asked and still for the same reasons .

Jan 02, 2013, 09:14 AM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
I started with mode 1 (throttle right, elevator left) many years ago and it's what I prefer for most of my own flying. The separation of the primary controls makes it easier, for example, to control elevator precisely without aileron inputs interacting. It also makes hand launching easier.

I have also long flown mode 2 (throttle left), mainly when instructing. This is the dominant mode in North America and beginners nearly always have mode 2 transmitters. Many RTF model are only available as mode 2. I have given up trying to convert people to mode 1.

Even for an old mode 1 flyer like me, mode 2 is actually preferable for the master transmitter when instructing, as it's easier to hold the trainer switch with the left hand and be ready to take over the primary controls with the right stick, than to have the trainer switch on the right and have to find aileron in an emergency.

Bottom line: go with the dominant mode used locally. First, it makes getting equipment much easier. Second, it means you can get help when needed. Avoid oddball modes. They have no advantages (unless you have a specific physical disability) and just make for complications.

The real point is that it's not a big deal and you can learn to fly perfectly well either way.

By the way, changing modes is much easier than people sometimes claim. What you have to do is go back to a nice easy to fly trainer and stick with it till you have the new mode mastered. As I recall, it took me a couple of weeks to get comfortable on mode 2, and after that I could go back and forth with relative ease (though it took a while before I could fly inverted in mode 2).

When I learned to fly a helicopter, I chose mode 2, as it seemed more natural to have cyclical on one stick. But in retrospect, I would now do it on mode 1.

PS I flew single stick for a while and loved it. But about the only way to get SS nowadays is to do it yourself (upgrade an old radio or build a new one).
Last edited by Daedalus66; Jan 02, 2013 at 11:48 AM.
Jan 02, 2013, 11:44 AM
Bo Edström, Sweden
Mode 2 here.
Started in RC in 1973. All in our club flew mode 2 (I doubt anyone knew there was mode 1 also when we started our club back then). Most people on my country (Sweden) fly mode 2.

Just to make things clear what the different modes are and their meaning regarding a two sticks transmitter:

Mode 1
Left stick: elevator+rudder
Right stick: throttle+aileron

Mode 2
Left stick: throttle+rudder
Right stick: elevator+aileron

Mode 3 (reversed mode 2)
Left stick: elevator+aileron
Right stick: throttle+rudder

Mode 4 (reversed mode 1)
Left stick: throttle+aileron
Right stick: elevator+rudder

Mode 5
Both sticks self neutralizing (with desired functions on each stick)
I did not know of that mode until recently when I saw a Jeti DS-16 on Hacker homepage

As a little side note if You want to hear why the best RC pilot of all time, Hanno Prettner, fly mode 1 just hear him speak here:

Hanno Flying (7 min 13 sec)

4:57 min ->

No doubt many advantages with mode 1 but I would never be able to relearn from mode 2 to mode 1 since all controls from brain-fingers-sticks is there without thinking, like driving a car. At least it would be a huge effort to change mode after so many years for me.

Last edited by bossee; Jan 03, 2013 at 10:51 AM.
Jan 02, 2013, 12:25 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Re "Mode 5" - Spektrum refers to this as Mode 0, and is how we ship the DX10t.

Jan 02, 2013, 01:01 PM
Who let the dogs out?
Phil_G's Avatar
I fly both/either/neither or whatever, or bang-bang single-channel on the button.
Swapping modes isn't the big deal people think it is - honestly its not.
They say 'how will you react in an emergency?' but using bikes as an example, we've raced Brit-shift or Jap-shift bikes, either of which can be race-shift or road-shift & been in plenty of 'situations' where a mistake would have had far worse consequences than your elevator stick changing the throttle!
I think you react according to what you have.
Jan 02, 2013, 05:38 PM
Thermals, Tom
RyanNX211's Avatar
Believe it of not, Phil Kraft was a mode one flyer. Even fewer people knew he was also accomplished in FF.
Jan 02, 2013, 10:31 PM
Registered User
I fly Mode 2, but some of the people I fly with are on Mode 1. I will say that doing a rolling harrier is WAY easier in Mode 1. At least, easier to learn anyway. I doubt I will ever switch, but I do sometimes play with it on the sim. For what it's worth, I believe Chip Hyde flies Mode 1. =-D
Jan 03, 2013, 05:46 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by AndyKunz
Re "Mode 5" - Spektrum refers to this as Mode 0, and is how we ship the DX10t.


Haha I have seen! The tool on the slide out box is great, and you just turn it and it changes modes in like 10 seconds! It has some mechanical spring thing

This is useful for helicopter pilots who fly with idle-up on the whole time
Jan 03, 2013, 05:50 AM
Registered User
Mode 2 is most popular...

People say Mode 1 has the advantage because of the separate aileron and elevator...

I have the best of both worlds I guess, with Mode 3

I can use transmitters locally with the centering on the right, and throttle on left, and I have the separate aileron/elevator like Mode 1 (But reversed)

Because I am pretty new, I am going to go in the simulator for a bit and learn to fly Mode 2, which is just about everyone's mode here in the US...
Jan 03, 2013, 10:25 AM
Registered User
WimH's Avatar
I believe Rudi Freudenthaler (multiple F5B WC) once said Mode 2 is for smokers. Since I have been using mode 1 all the time I quit smoking a couple years ago....
Jan 03, 2013, 11:09 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Those F-16's that are defending your homeland are Mode 2.

Just sayin' ...


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