RC Reliability Update

Maximizing RC reliability

What causes RC control failures and crashes? How many crashes are due to RC or technical failures and could they have been prevented? What can be done to reduce the chances of a failure?

This ignores model type and construction, and the type or brand of RC gear used. These general guidelines apply to RC in general.

Conclusion – the short version

Is 2.4GHz RC OK to use – YES

What’s the point ? – To make the RC as reliable as possible.

At the transmitter (TX):

  • Keep it clean and tidy
  • Maintain the batteries
  • Put the TX antenna Horizontal (across the TX)
  • Always face the model (side of antenna towards the model)
  • Never point the antenna at the model

In the model:

  • Use 2.4G receivers with diversity antennas (more than one antenna)
  • Don’t modify the antennas
  • Install them at right angles to each other
  • Make sure they are straight and don’t move around
  • Keep them clear of all metal wiring and carbon-fibre (50mm +)

How important is this really ?

It’s up to you but I think it’s the least I can do to protect the model and the people and property around me.

A few things to think about:

  • How well is it really working
  • Where is the point at which it stops working
  • What happens when it stops working
  • How difficult is it to follow these simple guidelines
  • If it adds 20% to the reliable range it could prevent an accident

2.4GHz and Long-Wire

RC: frequency, typical range, failure mode.

Radio: signals, polarization, antenna size and number.


condition: clean, dust, gimbols

battery: voltage, capacity, internal resistance, not too big, NiMh, LiPo

antenna: orientation, condition, connectors, SMA, bending

In the Model


Battery: voltage, internal resistance, flight or receiver

BEC – SBEC: rating, ventilation, noise, wiring. Watts, in-out = losses = heat

filters: inductors, capacitors


location, vibration, temperature


Types, gain, size, smaller/coiled not better.

Radiation pattern, TX vs RX, position, proximity, push-rods and wiring, fuselage- CF-FG-foam-balsa, securing, bending


ESC, rating, mounting, cooling, internal BEC

Servos, number, size, gears, voltage, load, heat, mounting, failure modes

leads, connectors



people, cars, buildings, trees


Wifi, bluetooth, phone, TV extenders, toys


Not such a problem for 2.4G at the moment. An issue for 433MHz and lower frequencies. Cameras.

Additional Equipment

Cameras, vario, ALES, FPV, stability