What Radio Choices are there today?

I would like to finish some more Footy hulls that are on the shelf and only need the radios, but you can’t get the AM 75 receivers any more. It seems that the 2.4GHz stuff is now the “in-thing” so what would you put into a new Footy? Can you still use the older micro servos? I still have 5 in the drawer.

Can you just get a 2-channel stick, or are they all aircraft-style setups? I like the single stick HItec I was using for some years. I would presume you also use the same radios in the bigger boats.

OH- and it should be a “Mode 1” transmitter, I presume.

I use Spectrum DX4 and DX5 in a couple of my Footys and RG65s.
I have also started using the FlySky brand in my RG65s.
You can still use your servos.


OK, great. Thanks.

Can you get (any) transmitter, and use the first two channels on the receiver, ignoring the rest? It looks like there aren’t any 2-channel systems with sticks, so you have to get a system with 4 or more channels ( 6 is very common) just to operate rudder and sails.

Yes, thats how it works. I assume since 2.4 radios work for surface and air, no reason for 2 channel radios anymore.
I believe they radios are “Mode 2” The left hand stick ratchets top to bottom, and controls the sails. Right hand stick self centers, and controls the rudder.
I would have to check, but I think the sails are controlled by the throttle and the rudder by rudder or alierons in the reciever.

You might look up the instructions for the radio you intend to buy. I seem to recall that some can be converted to mode 1. I use a DXe for a small glider I have. Seems to work quite well. The instructions are minimal and I don’t know if you can convert to mode 1 or not. They’re probably on line, though. Further instructions, such as for range checking, can be dug up with a search, but I don’t remember where. Still, it’s only $70 at Tower Hobbies (in the USA). It might help if you gave us a rough idea of your location. For instance, if you were in the Boston area, I could give you one of my old DX5e’s. Those are lousy for airplanes, and have left several in the woods, but they ought to be fine for a footie. My experience is that older servos are fine, but I understand that some of the digital equipment may have compatibility problems. I haven’t encountered those yet.

I notice Tower Hobbies has a two channel, two stick radio for boats, under the Pro Boat brand. I don’t know much about it, but it’s very inexpensive. I’ve seen people use cheezy little radios from Hobby King with success.

Any of the above will probably need batteries.

If you want your footy to be on the light side, you can get very light receivers and servos without breaking the bank. Like 5 or 10 grams, or even less in the case of a rudder servo. Some radios will run on a single lipo battery, which will be much lighter than the old nicads or even nimh. That’s what I have in my 100 gram (more or less) RC DLG (glider). Two lipos is too much voltage for some receivers and servos. You’d probably need a couple of diodes or something to limit it. Or a voltage regulator, which many people use, at least in model airplanes. Most radio gear will run fine on two lithium iron phosphate aka LiFe batteries, which would be my choice if I could find them in the right size. They need a charger which has an LiFe setting. Lipos do too, but that’s default these days.

If you really like your transmitter, you might be able to find a 75mHz receiver on eBay, though AM may make it a little tougher.

Keep in mind that nearly all my RC experience is with flying models, though I’m interested in RC sailboats and would probably do a lot with them if I couldn’t fly my aircraft for some reason. (probably spelled FAA)

Wel, since I’ right-handed, I need a radio with a ratcheting throttle control on the right stick, plu the rudder on te right.

You likely have a resolution by now. If not, Spectrum now sells a small, antenna-less, 4 channel receiver that I use in all my RC boats, including footy. Not sure why you prefer rudder and sail control both on the right transmitter stick, but that’s your choice. Rudder is usually on the right left-right or aileron stick. You can get the sail control on the same stick’s up-down of elevator stick simply by plugging the servo lead into the elevator port on the receiver. Also, for power, look for a small, light Life battery as suggested above,
Good luck.