How to install 2.4GHz radio control systems in RC planes

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How to install 2.4GHz radio control systems in RC planes

hello and welcome to our C model reviews again I’m from the white board once more because I’m going to talk about something that lots of people keep asking me about and that is 2.4 gigahertz radio installations and who’da thought I could write so neatly isn’t that amazing anyway installing your radio gear and a plane I mean it lot of us take it for granted but there are actually a number of factors you have to look at and so I’m going to give you some basics and rules of thumb to help you make a successful installation of your radio gear in your favorite plane right the first thing is we need to have signal integrity as big words basically what it means is your it your aerials need to be able to work you need to be able to receive a signal and we’ve got two types of basic receivers these days we have ones that have will you serve our wires out there and then they have a little antenna might even have a little sleeve dipole on it there’s your antenna one antenna this is a single antenna receiver these are a bit more critical even than the two antenna ones because this is the only way the signals getting into your radio so if you put this in the wrong place you’re not going to get a reliable consistent signal and it’ll produce problems with range lockouts all sorts of things so you have to really keep up unfortunately it’s mainly the cheaper receivers that have a single antenna you know their or the park fly ones that have one antenna so you know it’s not so bad because you’re flying close with a part flyer but yeah those ones the same rules apply but when you have a receiver that has two antennas servo leads some of them have two antennas like so this is generally for your larger models and for your longer range setups the beauty of this is of course that you can you’ve got twice the chance of catching the signal basically and as I mentioned in one of my earlier videos on antennas if we look at if we have an antenna like this on your transmitter and here’s the antenna on your receiver then everything is fine because the signal travels across and because these antennas basically line up click maximum amount of signal but as we all know your models don’t just fly vertically all the time we like to do a bit of aerobatic we like to turn and when you turn your model the antenna can be fact if you do really tight tune the antenna might even be just laying right down like this because that the plane is banked right over your bank the plane right over in that case there’s no real area for the antenna to pick up the signal circuit a very very weak signal when you plant banks right over and the antennas pointing straight at your transmitter so what do you do that’s whether two antennas come in if you’ve got to receive with two antennas and the other antenna is like this and it’s still able to receive the signal because it’s still lined up you know one banks away the other one is coming up so that’s why you have two antennas well when you’ve got two antennas you put them at 90 degrees this angle here 90 degrees so that there’s never a situation where both antennas are pointed dirichlet your transmitter very important that is essential to get maximum reliability and range these of course the single antenna receiver well you’re pretty stuffed there’s going to be points where the antenna is pointing straight a transmitter so hopefully you still got enough signal strength that’s you know I’ve never had a real problem I think the turnigy receivers got the single antenna a lot of the free sky that little four channel free skies have one antenna they will work fine they won’t give you as much range when you’ve got the situation with the antennas pointing straight the transmitter that there’s enough Headroom and most of these radios these days to allow for their so you might lose a you might be a momentary period where the receiver doesn’t pick up the transmitter but you don’t notice it because you’re not wiggling the sticks all the time it’ll just continue flying you won’t even notice what there’s actually a momentary lock out okay so that’s your signal integrity which is basically the mounting of your antennas and they should remember the big thing 90 degrees very important that they’re 90 degrees apart now that ninety degrees can be let me just go back over here now because ninety degrees can be lots of things can’t it let’s have a look at the front of it here’s our plane here it is beautiful model it’s a t-tail here’s a here’s a front of our plane now if you’re going to mount your interns at 90 degrees let me use a different colored pen first you could have one going straight up and one going out like that so still 90 degrees it’s a cake or you could have both of them at 45 degrees like this still 90 degrees between them so it doesn’t really matter to be totally honest but there is another issue because 90 degrees can go the other way as well let’s have a look at the plan form of our plane here we go these their

tail the other thing here’s our wing and here’s the front with our propeller now should your antennas be set up this way this assume you have one going vertical there this is the one that’s at 90 degree should you lay it out that way or that way does it matter well now it doesn’t really matter at all actually it’s going to it’s not going to matter so you could have one vertical mum pointing towards the tail one vertical one pointing towards the wing wouldn’t really matter as long as you’ve got them well clear of stuff because one of the key things one of the things that can kill your signal strength that you receive is getting is that here’s your antenna say that’s your antenna going off to your receiver and here’s your battery and your transmitter is over here well batteries absorb a lot of signal so if you’ve got your antenna right close to the battery you may find there are times when height there’s no signal you can pick this up of course in a range test you’ve always got to do a range test when you install the gear in a new model don’t rely on the fact that hey I worked in the last model yeah no no problems because there may be an issue you’re not aware of it may be that in the installation you’ve just done the battery of something else is blocking the signal and certain angles you won’t notice it until you go to do a turn perhaps and then suddenly no control the other thing you’ve got to avoid is when you have your receiver like so with its antenna as soon as one this case can be – you don’t want these silver leads running around here right next to the antenna if this distance here is less than about 2 inches or that’s 54.58 millimeters in there the letters if that distance is too close if your antennas too close to your servo wise or any wise give me the battery wise the wise the ESC in you’re going to make their antenna operate less efficiently it’ll still work you’ll still be able to control but the range could be significantly reduced and that’s not good so again you may be flying around you go but feel you did yesterday and so over no more signal so you got to keep a spacing between the different bits of wiring between the antenna and the other wires so we need 90 degrees between the antennas spacing from wiring and effect spacing from anything metal it could be your under kick don’t run your antenna and tape it to you nose league that’s not going to work at all because anything metal will be absorbing the signal it should be going to your antenna so with this the copper wire and you serve our leads or whether it’s your a carbon fiber wing wing’ tube or maybe it’s a nose league all those things if they’re too close they suck the signal away from your antenna reduce your range get those antennas well out and free and clear on their own and a lot of my models people look at the antennas poking out the wind just like in the old days the 72 Meg’s I just poked a little antenna up maybe through the side of the fuselage pokes out in the air because if it’s poking out in Midea it’s not near anything and it gives you a better result so those are important things and really if you if you look at these two basic things here these are the things that will ensure that your receivers able to get a good signal but getting a good signal isn’t the only thing you need to make sure that your receiver is getting good power from the battery from the BIC from whatever you’re using to power it and of course we know that these days there are more and more models with more and more servos and you know they’re more powerful servos and generally speaking the way we have on electric models anyways we have our lipo and that goes through we have an ESC here that goes off to drive the motor and out of there comes signal goes off to our receiver that’s there this is the throttle and it also delivers power it also delivers power to the receiver because inside the ESC there is a big lessons just do this you know there’s power going in there’s a bit inside the ESC the problem is that as you add more and more servos to your let’s do some surveys over here as you add more and more servos to your receiver they start to draw more and more current more and more energy and the bacon here can only provide so much power and if you exceed the power that the bit can deliver then all sorts of bad things happen the voltage here goes down and we’ve all heard of brownouts that’s what happens when the voltage going into the receiver is not high enough for the receiver to function so it just shuts down and then it has to reboot and it can take in some cases like the spectrum you know at one stage you could take you know five ten seconds to reboot a long long time during that time you’ve got no control your planes flying on its own so this situation is fine having the onboard es onboard BEC is fine for small models little foamies and things but when you get into bigger

models for example at F Toby Viper jib here that has a separate you BEC because you couldn’t build run into an ESC that would do the job so you have a separate one in which case we have from the lipo we have you BIC which is just a fancy name for a voltage regulator and that then goes off to the receiver so this takes the lipo voltage which might be 22 volts in the case of a six cell and then puts out five volts to power your receiver and it can handle several amps these are usually only 2 or 3 amps maximum if they’re built into a ESC if you have a separate one then you can draw eight amps 10 amps you know just choose the u bit to suit so you can power many many more servos without having to worry about that receiver shutting down due to low voltage that’s really important so you need to make sure you’ve got a really concerted source of power and if worst comes to worst I mean I’ve done this myself and it’s not a bad strategy you never see a battery to power your radio gear just like you did in the days of nitro and you’d put on the glider have a separate battery that does nothing but power the receiver and the servos and then doesn’t matter what happens over here your receiver is always going to have a nice fresh supply of power we’ll always be listening through the antennas and receiving the signal or making the CFO’s move it’s pretty important so the yeah that’s basically at now there were some there are some other aspects which really don’t apply it much anymore and that is protection in the old days were seventy-two megahertz radios we just have to wrap our receivers up and phone because of a delicate little things they had crystals and coils and things if you gave them a good bang bits would break and you can use them anymore these days the 2.4 gig gear stuff is just so solid it’s done with surface mount technology which means there’s nothing hanging out in the breeze to wobble or shake and they’ll take an enormous amount of punishment so most people don’t actually recommend foam just velcro them to the side of the model and also if you have a really bad crash just throw them away because they’re now so cheap you know that you can afford to replace them if in doubt the other thing of course I couldn’t go by without mentioning is bales safe and this is something that’s so often overlooked by people when they do an installation the most good that a good sets of radio gear have programmable failsafe and what that means is should something go wrong should we have a mess up in it aerials don’t get a signal should something fail so there’s no signal getting to the receiver a fail-safe will kick in and you can have it so that it drives the servos to predefined positions for example a lot of my failsafe what I do is I set it up so that if I lose the radio signal it goes up elevator and some a lurin so if I’m flying along and for whatever reason the signal disappears I can immediately see that something’s wrong because the model will pitch up and roll and if I don’t recover control it will then go into a tight spiral and crash into the ground it won’t fly off into the distance it won’t fly far enough to hit anybody it’ll just basically corkscrew itself into the ground because I’d rather have a broken model then injure somebody and that’s the way I prefer to do with failsafe some people prefer just to have what they called last position hold so if you’re flying along and you lose the signal the server’s will stay where they were now that could mean your motor keeps going it keeps flying straight and level for who knows how long and the idea behind that is that most interruptions to signal relatively short so if you fly long and you have a loss of signal for say 2 3 seconds you might not even no sir because the mold will just keep flying and if you haven’t put any inputs and it’ll just appear as if nothing’s wrong I don’t like that situation because I like to know if my model has stopped receiving the signal and with the kick out with the elevator and I learn you’ll know immediately that a signal is no longer valid because the model will suddenly twitch and they’ll think you think oh I better lay in this because something is not right so even when you do get control back if you get control back you’ll be aware and you be able to bring it in and land it before something bad happens and that’s a part of safety so failsafe as they most good 2.4 gig systems have it if yours has it use it the turnigy the inbuilt energy radio system doesn’t have failsafe all it does is if you run out a signal it stops sending signals to the throttle control I think maybe also to the servo so it all goes limp and basically the motor will stop and the plan will just guide down and who knows where to land yeah but you can’t program the positions of the servos the fries all the free sky receivers have programmable failsafe I think boot Arbor has programmable failsafe some spectrum receivers do some don’t just depends on whatever so yeah it’s just you have to look at the manual and your radio gear and see whether yours does or not but if it does have it then use it especially on larger models I know my guest model I have it programmed for a flex a snap roll and those no no hoping the signal come back if I’ve lost the signal I don’t want that plan in the ear any longer and because I always fly over an area where if I was to crash I’m not going to cause new pods it’s over a grassy paddock or over a runway not over buildings or people if something goes wrong it’s going to piledrive itself into the ground in a safe area rather than fly around for a couple of minutes and big circles until a motor conked out and then crash into a house so those are things you’ve got to consider remember your model is replaceable

people and BMWs are not an issue in a lot of money so that’s the secret of failsafe use even on the small models in my little foamies I use because if you have that thing where it kicks the elevator up as soon as you lose a signal you know there’s something wrong even if you know it’s a it’s a tiny model it’s not we’re saving you want to know you want to know that suddenly the signal is gone so do it failsafe use it don’t or do it later once you see it your model up get your supposition set up activate your failsafe before the flight because if you’ve got problems with your installation they’re probably going to show up in the test flight anyway and if you lose if the signal is coming and going and you haven’t set your failsafe up you may not realize it because the models just flying along as normal everything’s staying in position it was but if it starts kicking and bucking you know something wrong with my installation and I’d better fix it so there you go it’s the basics of installations I’ll show you some of my installations these aren’t the best of course because one of the problems you’ve got and I’ve discussed these issues is this isn’t an ideal world but sometimes what are the models now very small you know getting this two inch separation between your antennas and the other wiring sometimes it’s just not possible you know in a tiny model there’s just not enough room to move your antennas that far away and so you got to make compromises so I’ll show you a couple of my planes and the compromises compromises I’ve had to make but they still fly perfectly fine first up let’s take a look at my ax you know everybody’s got an ax in and you’ll be able to see what I’ve done here I’ve got the little free sky receiver that’s a four channel one it’s the full range one with the two antennas nice receiver it’s got telemetry brilliant receiver it’s one of my favorite receivers for small models because it’s got all the range it’s got the telemetry to warn you if you’re having problems and it’s so small and light it’s easy to install it also has the antennas the long antenna so I can actually move my antennas right out here for example this one comes out and I’ve got it under the wings but hard to see here I took it over so you can see I’ve run it out the side of the fuselage and then along the front of the wing so it’s horizontal with the models normally flying along at normal attitude this antenna is horizontal and then of course I need one at 90 degrees so I’ve run the other antenna here through the side of the fuselage I get around so you can see he’ll look through the side of the fuselage and it runs down the side I’ve just taped it to the side so it’s running vertical so most of the time this antenna is going to be doing the work because the plane is flying level and my transmitter antennas vertical but when ice banks steeply as it might do but hardly I’m gonna be tight on the camera so when I banks tip you until like I’m really tight tune this antenna becomes vertical and that starts doing all the hard work okay it’s really simple now I’m using the standard ESC or the onedrive use it hobbyking ESC and it’s got more than enough power to drive the servos that this model has so don’t worry about power the power is just fine the fact that these antennas are floating around inside doesn’t matter because this has got a coaxial cable is this a little screen on this wire so it’s not going to pick up any noise from in here so I need the act of ends of the antennas that actually pick up the signal so these are great you get the aerials right out of the way and get them where they can get a nice clean signal perhaps the only thing wrong with this installation is that the side antenna here is a little bit close to the battery so we’ve only got an inch or so between that antenna in the battery but as I say it still works just fine and dandy so that’s a successful installation I’ve flown this thing to quite long distances I can’t tell you how far here’s my hobbyking deal g and again this isn’t really tight and stall you don’t have much room in here is to really just move this pad other way so get a bit of contrast against that disc it’s a really small pod not much room to put radio gear in there so keeping the antenna away is difficult and also it’s one of the four channel non diversity receivers from frsky again great little thing they claimed a kilometer of range not believe it actually I’ve flown these things to the limited visual range no problems but they got this antenna here what are going to do with it we want to keep it away from this other wiring of course as I said there’s no way we’re going to get 50 millimetres of separation between these wires and that antenna so we just do the best we can and as I hope you can see here I’ve just cool killed the wire up so it’s hitting away from these wires and once I’ve plugged it in I tuck these wires down there and so I’ve got maximum separation that’s all I can do but hey I’ve spit this out no problems are told with range so there’s a lot of headroom in this modern radio gear even an imperfect installation can work quite well and you know to you and I’m gonna range tested it it tested fine so I was quite confident flying it and it’s worked out really well it’s for power well in this one I probably can’t see but I’ve got a two cell lipo near 180 millimetres and a tiny little you bit down the side here and it helps bring the sin of gravity for it was a little bit tail-heavy when I tried it with a single cell and that you beat is good for two and a half amps now it’s only got two servos never going to draw two and a half amps so plenty of headroom in the power department and if it’s proven through the flight performance and the long range and

actually I get a lot of time out of this little battery as well so there you go another install that would otherwise be rather difficult made easy by some common common-sense thinking and just doing the best you can now look at my little sky angel if 16 love this little plane it’s given me a lot of pleasure and I’ve retrofitted up with that the metal EDF so it’s still going in here again not a lot of room and a model of size so what I’ve done is I’ve got one of the little free scope full channel receivers no actually just wedged it against the side you can see the wiring in here and I’ve used just a piece of EPP just to wedge it against the side like so which keeps this wiring out of the way and then the antenna I’ve just poked it outside so I’ve done just cool it around outside again keeping it as far away from this wiring as possible and as far away from the battery which fits up here as possible so even in this model I’ve actually achieved all but virtually achieved the the big spacings I wanted to give this antenna the best opportunity now when I get the lid on this antenna sits pretty much horizontal so it’s not the best but again it’s never had a problem you don’t fly mod like that’s too far away because it’s so small and even though the antennas not in the optimal position or at the optimal angle it still works just fine because we’ve got that Headroom I was speaking of so yeah it’s you do what you can with the space you’ve got and initiative something really wrong for example the worst thing I could have done with this is to think all that looks untidy let’s just put that down there like that and try to fly it like that that would be courting disaster because these wires are going to suck away the signal that should be going to that little antenna so get that antenna out in the clear where it’s not going to be affected by the wiring and make sure it stays that way a little bit of foam it’s all good so I hope that’s explained some of the basics for you and you know the things to watch out for the things that try and avoid when you’re installing a 2.4 gig gear and let me say one more time because it’s so important to arrange tests most of this modern radio gears got a little button you push it and it cuts the range right down you do your 30 40 paces whatever and walk around the model don’t just walk away from it walk around it so you can be sure that it’s getting the signal from all angles and if it passes the range test then how you’re pretty much good to go and if you’ve got the fail-safes it should something go wrong then at least you won’t risk injuring people although no the model there’s another story so thank you for watching it’s got any questions if I’ve missed anything then please leave them in the comment section on this video if you’ve got any comments leave them there too if you like the video you think it’s going to help people then give it a thumbs up so other people can find it stay tuned some more of the basics videos coming from RC model reviews really soon