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Recker RC Club

Radio Installation Tips
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Though radio installation and setup seems straight forward and easy to the seasoned modeler, to many newcomers, opening up their new radio gear for the first time can be like opening a can of worms. With a few hints and tips though, you’ll find radio systems are pretty straight forward and easy to understand.

Tip: Need to use servo extensions? Servo and extension wire connectors can come lose and separate while flying. For this reason they must be properly secured. There are several ways to do this. The quickest and easiest way I’ve found is to use 3/8" heat shrink tubing. Cut a piece long enough to fit over both connectors (servo and extension) and shrink with a lighter or heat gun. You’ll find packs of heat shrink tubing at many places like Home Depot, Lowes, and other hardware stores. Thread can also be used by threading it between the servo wires of each connector and tied off. A drop of CA on the thread knot will keep it from coming apart. Make sure not to get CA in the connector itself. You could lose signal or power contacts disabling the servo. NOT GOOD !        Submitted by Maximillion


Information Tidbit: All radio systems have the same basic functions with different bells and whistles thrown on top. Some things to know about are: all radio servos come with a 3 wire system. One wire is the signal wire, one is the positive, and one the negative. Futaba wires are white, red, and black, while JR servos use orange, red, and light brown. On Futaba the white wire is signal wire, red is positive, and black is negative. JR uses orange for the signal wire, red for the positive and brown for the negative. The signal wire carries the command inputs picked up by your receiver telling the servo when and how far to move the servo arm, while the positive and negative wires carry the power to run the tiny motor inside the servo which make the servo arm move. This is of course an extremely simplistic explanation. Submitted by Maximillion

Servo Tidbit: If you ever buy used gear or a used plane with different servos then this might help. JR and Futaba wires are setup in the same order, signal, positive and negative. This means that they can be used interchangeably with ether system. One slight modification would be needed to use a Futaba servo in a JR receiver. Futaba servos have a little fin or key tab on the connector. This allows only one possible way to insert the servo connector in to a Futaba receiver. JR connectors are shaped with one side flat and the other side with small 45% angles. To use a Futaba servo in a JR receiver, the fin must be removed and slight angles added to one side of the connector. This is easily done with a e-acto knife or a file. JR servos will plug right in to a Futaba receiver with no modification need. Submitted by Maximillion

Tip: Always wrap your receiver and batteries in a soft foam. The vibration form the motor is a killer of electronics. Also, wrap them in a plastic bag bound with rubber bands and tape. If fuel should leak form the tank, it could short out your receiver or battery rendering them useless or worse, turning your plane in to a fire ball in the sky. Submitted by Maximillion

Tip: Throwing out an old couch or chair? Foam rubber sold in hobby stores is great, but removing the cover off an old couch cushion will supply you with years of foam. Submitted by Maximillion

Tip: Sub trims on a radio are a nice convenience, they should only be used to make minor adjustments to a control surface at the field. Programming to much throw with subtrims can damage the servo when full travel control inputs are used. Always go back and make the permeate adjustments by adjusting the control clevis in or out on the control rod. Submitted by Maximillion