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RC remote control: which one’s the right one?

Ramon Schneider
Zurich, on 09.05.2019
Support: Tino Kälin
Translation: Patrik Stainbrook
The world or RC’s is one of cars, boats and airplanes. Each of these models requires a corresponding remote control. But which one to choose?

As a newcomer to the world of remote controlled vehicles, some aspects can be confusing. A good example is the search for the right controller. In essence, these can be divided into three different types: Pistol transmitters for vehicles and boats, handheld transmitters for drones and aircraft and console transmitters for complex model aircraft.

Pistol transmitter

Like the name says, you've got some kind of gun in your hand. You accelerate with your index finger by pulling the «trigger». If you loosen your grip, you apply the brakes. You steer by using your other hand to turn a small wheel on the side of the remote. Pistol transmitters are mainly used with remote-controlled cars. You can only accelerate and steer with no further functions. You can also use one to remote control boats. However, they are not suitable for aircraft.

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Handheld transmitter

When in use, handheld transmitters resemble a gamepad and are used for flying models. These can be drones of any kind, helicopters or model airplanes. The main feature of this remote control are the two joysticks. You control the acceleration and rudder with the left stick, while the right steers the aileron and elevator. These transmitters require some getting used to if you’re a beginner. With a little practice, however, you'll quickly get the hang of it. In most cases you can also completely individualise how you assign the controls.

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Console transmitter

The console transmitter is a modified handheld transmitter. It’s built the same, but it possesses more configuration options and more precise controls. Due to their higher weight, console transmitters also sit better in the hand. The higher quality materials and improved workmanship are reflected in the price. These things aren’t exactly cheap and less intended for beginners. Console transmitters are mostly used for rather expensive and complex model airplanes.

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Ramon Schneider
Ramon Schneider
Junior Editor, Zurich
Riding my motorbike makes me feel free, fishing brings out my inner hunter, using my camera gets me creative. I make my money messing around with toys all day.

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