Intro to FPV - Radio Control
The control link to your quad is crucial - without one you’re going no where and with a bad one you’re going down!
There are two main types in use today differentiated by the radio frequency they use. There’s “2.4” and “UHF”
2.4GHz control is the most common and works on the same band as Wi-Fi. It rapidly jumps between many frequencies within that band so even if you have dozens of pilots in the air the system can cope. Video channels are the limiting factor here still, your 2.4 RC link takes care of itself. The Flite Test guys hold the World Record for 179 RC planes in the air at the same time!
There are plenty of brands out there running on the 2.4 system but the most popular (and the one we recommend) is FrSky. It’s tried, tested and good value. You can save a few pounds by starting with FlySky but to be honest you’ll find yourself upgrading before long. Another plus point of FrSky radios is that you can connect them to a PC with a USB cable and use them with a simulator of your choice to get some practice in.
UHF systems run on a much lower frequency and because of that offer greater range at a similar power output. Systems such as Team Blacksheep’s CrossFire system also offer lower latency so are favoured by racers even tough they never stray far from the flight line.
These are an add-on to your existing radio as opposed to a system in their own right. There’s a module that slots into the bay on your radio (another reason to go FrSky and not a cheaper option) that adds the UHF radio. You then set up and model in your radio to bypass the internal transmitter and pass everything to the UHF module. And of course you need a matching receiver on your quad.
Do I really need UHF?
If you are asking yourself that question, I’d say no, you don’t. If you aren’t finding yourself limited in range by your 2.4 system you don’t need to throw money at a long range setup. Even if you are being limited, there’s a good chance you can get the range you need by better antenna placement on your quad.
But what about the reduced latency? Most people won’t notice it and even fewer people need it. It certainly won’t make you a faster pilot overnight. Save that money for crash repairs after all the stick time you are putting in!
We carry receivers from the Frsky and Team BlackSheep Crossfire ranges. We also stock replace antennas for when your props get the munchies!