Advice Request RC Equipment

Although I am not new to sailing and modeling, I am quite new to Radio Control.
I would like advice as to ‘good’ brands and models for 2 and 4 channel transmitters, receivers etc. I hope to use the receiver in a footy or larger size sailing boat. I searched this forum for specific advice but was unsuccessful (probably blind - sorry!).
Are there restrictions on equipment that I can legally use in Australia, I wonder?
Thanks heaps for advice!
Keith Richardson:cool:

Futaba and Hitec are the big brand names which can supply stuff for (beginners)
, but I’m sure people will suuggest you buy a 2.4 GHz radio system ( $200+) You can get a basic 2-chanel 75 MHz radio system for about 50 bux. :slight_smile:

Keith, here are a couple of links for you to visit in Australia.

Malcolm at Radio Yacht Supplies is the man to talk to for all your inquiries regarding radio control in OZ.
Give him a call and tell him I sent you.
Best wishes. IanHB.

a hobby shop in Hong Kong
they are selling a 2.4GZ TX & RX for $29.99 and RX’s for $14.56
I think this would make a great starter radio

Regarding the $29 Hobby King 2.4 GHz (Hong Kong) radio - I bought one for a ABS hulled 1 meter boat and have had bad luck with range. I get 200 feet at best, and I have tried two of their receivers, one with short antennas and one with longer (supposedly coaxial wires) antennas. No luck. I get good range checks on dry land, but on water i have trouble. Both antennas are above the water line (you actually get dual receivers for your $29.9, or 14.99 respectively).
Right now I’m sailing with an illegal Hitec Optic six - I am waiting for Hitec to release their Spectra 2.4 Module in June so I can be legal again (unlike our friends the Mythbusters who seem to have no qualms using aircraft radios for ground purposes…).
I do like the programmable features like endpoint to make setting up the sail controls so much easier, hence I am voiding a cheap 2 channel 2 stick radio. The Hobby King doesn’t have thse features, but I thought the price was worth a try (I was wrong!).

Thank you very much Tomohawk, IanHB, tbarjohn & HHK for your most appreciated advice.
My apologies for the delay in replying - we have been somewhat preoccupied here, but my delay was not good!
I am feeling that 4 channel might be more widely useful to me - any warnings about 4 versus 2 channel?
Any suggestions will be most appreciated.
Cheers, Keith. :cool:

My advice would be the same as I posted in #3 above.
Ask the experts and receive the best advise.
Good luck.:stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Keith. I have been looking at the new cheap FlySky Chinese 2.4gHz radios through the Net. Have not ordered one yet but can point you to the following: manufacturer site for a full discussion of their technical possibilities. independant review

These are mass manufactured and sold under many brand names and bundled with RTF models.
There are three models that would suit you, starting with the 4 channel as recommended below; a 6 channel programmable model; and a 9 channel.
Not all are available from the same outlet, though maybe soon through

A good set for you would be the 6 channel programmable as it allows expansion in your hobby interests and is right up to the mark on features and technology, at a very low price. I see no point in buying older technology at higher prices. Of course if someone will give you an old 2 channel AM radio for nothing, it would do the job!
This company has a presence in Australia through Ebay (with higher prices than their site!) and a local bank account for payments.
Additionally they stock a wide range of servos (and carbon tubes etc) at similar prices to HobbyKing in two ranges - the economy Turborix and better Eurgle brands. You may need to search the forums for advice on servos - this will depend on the type of rig and size of boat you sail. For Footy something slow response beginning at 5gms for rudder and 12 for a una or swing rig. You will also need to consider batteries. These radios do not come with transmitter or receiver batteries, holders and leads. Starting out, a 4 cell AAA NiMh is a good starting point. Ultimatley you will be looking at minimum weight gear, especially for a Footy. These receivers can be as low as 5gms (single receiver without case) and LiPo batteries less than 20gms. Ideal too for indoor planes, parkflyers, hand launch gliders, choppers etc.

As the reviews all state very large ranges (including in boats), HHK you may have an installation problem or bad transmitter batteries? AndyT on the footy forum promotes these radios - he may well have some advice.

Thank you IanHB and RustyNail - advice most appreciated.
RN - your thoughts are most valuable - what sort of range over water did you read? You said "As the reviews all state very large ranges (including in boats), " so I wonder where you found the reviews - I have looked for such reviews on RC equipment without success - obviously looked in the wrong places!
4 channel;, 6 channel programmable, and 9 channels sound most exciting! I can’t wait…
Cheers, Keith. :cool:

Oops, silly question re Reviews - I see one of your links is exactly that!
Sorry, Keith

The buyer reviews at
include those successfully using these in boats.
NB the rf sections of all these three transmitters are identical and the receivers are interchangable. They are so cheap you might as well buy several receivers. This helps mitigate the postage costs. The receivers are cheaper at HobbyKing, but only Revolution Shop currently sells the 6 channel. HobbyKing is supposed to be releasing the 9 channel soon at around US$80 with an 8 channel receiver. (The 6channel receiver will work on it too). The review set at is branded ‘IMax 9.’
The reports on RCGroups state ground - air ranges of over 1000metres, well out of sight! The ground to water ranges may be half to a third of this? It is important to separate and orientate the two receivers aerials at 90 degrees to each other, and keep them away from conductive elements like carbon fibre hulls or masts.
The reviewer said -
"The first time I flew the system I pretended I was a total novice and simply stuffed both receivers in without any regard for their spacing or orientation.
Sure enough, the model started glitching badly at just 100 yards or so."

You also need to consider the ‘mode’ of the transmitter when ordering - whether the sail winch is on the left or right stick. It can be user changed too. This information is on the very long RCGroups link including better software for programming the transmitter.