For Bashers, By Bashers!

ASK Cub Reporter- Readers Write, I Respond Rudely- 02.24.2011


hi i have been looking around for a new transmitter/receiver for my slash. i bought it when it first came out so it doesn’t have the 2.4ghz. i was wondering if the transmitter or the receiver makes the range?
Tyler S.

Cubby– Yo Tyler, what’s up? Btw, great question, one that generated much discussion around the office.

So what “makes” the effective range of a radio system? The general answer is- it’s a combo between Both the transmitter and receiver. You can have the best transmitter in the world operating at the maximum legal power, but if you pair it with a crap receiver you’ll get bad range. Take the best receiver in the world and pair it with a poor transmitter and same thing applies. It takes two to tango, and both a good transmitter and receiver for good range. Oh and lets not forget optimal antenna placement!

From the testing we’ve done at BigSquid, we feel the current “King of the Hill” for range in 2.4 ghz systems come from Futaba. Even the affordably priced Futaba 3PL 2.4 ghz system ($115 street) tested out to over 1000 feet, and that’s the one I recommend for those on a budget. As an option, the Traxxas TQ 2.4 ghz (around $85 street) tested out to over 800 feet. While 800 feet might not sound like that long of a distance, when driving an rc car, it’s a veryyyy long way. In fact it’s quite difficult to even see your car at that range. Check our the range of all the units we tested HERE.

Hey There Brian

Bought a Losi micro Sct for my son a month ago, returned it three times, on the third occasion I tried soldering the anteena (which kept on falling off), finally I had to replace the board and we’ve just had the model back a week and now it only drives in spurts and about three foot in range before it cuts out and then won’t go again unless the car is turned off and then on again; then it runs for approximately 20-30 seconds. Its an absolute disgrace that a so called reputable company can get away with selling rubbish like this. I would be extremely grateful if you could recommend a budget way of going 2ghz or a home-grown solution.
Judd R.

Cubby– Hey ya Judd, I dig your question so I stole it from Brian. I hope you like seeing it on our front page.

We like the Horizon/Losi micro trucks here at BigSquid. They are small enough we can race’em inside the office, and typically they are quite durable. With that said, life is not all fun and games with the Losi Micro’s. We have 3 of them that we bash, and one of them came out of the box with a major range issue, so we feel your pain.

So what can be done? Currently there is not a truly “cheap” way of converting a micro over to 2.4. “Sigh”, but something that I’m certain the Horizon guys are working on. Horizon takes their micro line-up very seriously and are always looking to improve them, so IMO, a Losi micro 2.4 ghz radio system can’t be that far away.

Back to your immediate problem Judd, we have done an article on how to convert a Micro SCT to 2.4 already, but it wasn’t cheap. We used a Castle Micro Sidewinder speed controller ($60 street) because- it is affordable, has a moderate footprint for the scale, runs brushless and brushed, and is super thin leaving more room for the receiver. The receiver we used for our conversion was one of the smallest available, a Spektrum Micro SR3500 ($100 street). When converting over you’ll have install a new 3 wire servo, and we used the one from Losi ($15). We dumped $175 clams into our conversion, and to us it was worth every penny. The Castle speedo is worlds better than the stocker, and the Spektrum SR3500 has worked flawlessly. Click HERE to look at how we did ours.

The conversion can be done much cheaper, essentially you’ll still need the Losi 3 wire servo, plus a small speedo and receiver of your choice. Luckily for you the Micro SCT gives a bit more room to install electronics than some of the other micro sized trucks on the market. Best of luck and shoot us pics when you get yours done.

That’s it for this week, I dig getting your emails so shoot them to me- Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

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Posted by in Ask Cubby on Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 8:16 am