Author Topic: Affordable 2.4GHz R/C units  (Read 7232 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline John Candy

Affordable 2.4GHz R/C units
« on: Oct 27 2009 20:17 »
The cost of 2.4 GHz radio control seems to have been falling dramatically of late.
When introduced a couple of years ago, the cheapest 'combo' packs were around 180GBP.

I bought a Futuba 6EX about 18 months ago and shall shortly be using it in a GRS MR Johnson 2F.
With 6 Channels (designed for aircraft/helicopter control) it is 'overkill' for a loco controller but the computerised design means it can be programmed for use with more than one loco.

It was in the course of looking for the cost of a second Rx unit that I became aware of how 'affordable' 2.4 Ghz technology has become.

Futuba and Spektrum equipment (the first two producers) are still marketing 'premium' products at high prices (Spektrum being a little cheaper than Futuba).
An additional Futuba 6 channel Rx unit is still 70GBP.

However, while 'shopping around' I came across two other brands which are highly praised in the model aircraft forums/fora and at a fraction of the cost.
The 'combo' Tx/Rx packs cost in the range 30 to 45 GBP and additional Rx units just 10GBP!
The brands are "JP Planet" and "Giant Cod", both available from UK suppliers at the aforementioned prices.

So, I shall not be buying an additional Futuba Rx at 70GBP but a complete 'combo' set at lower cost.
In fact, at those prices, I may well dump all my existing R/c AM/FM gear and re-equip with 2.4Ghz.


« Last Edit: Oct 28 2009 07:19 by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline keith Bristol

Re: Affordable 2.4GHz R/C units
« Reply #1 on: Oct 31 2009 10:13 »

I have a GRS Pannier running on 40mHz and I have just aquired a 2.4GhZ spektrum unit and can only agree with your sentiments. My Pannier is going GHz and the GRS prairie will be the same.

No how do I get a Sound card, 2.4GHz and smoke unit in a GRS peckett...ummmmm!!!!!


Offline Traininvain

Re: Affordable 2.4GHz R/C units
« Reply #2 on: Dec 11 2009 16:58 »
Some new R/C equipment has hit the market in the shape of multichannel wireless DCC (i.e wireless link from controller direct to loco, not controller to track then to loco). Check out this URL:

The device is being marketed by Aristocraft so will probably be available through GRS, although G1 supplier Peter Spoerer is currently stocking it (tel: 01603 260562)

However, I understand that Brian Jones will also be offering a system based on that offered by ESU of Germany -  which is marketed for use via track powered systems in the smaller scales by a company called South West Digital.

These systems are like that offered by Cliff Barker but offer more channels and allow control of a large number of engines by way of dialling a unique number.

For those interested in electric powered engines who want sound and smoke, then check out these:


Offline Tony Walsham

Re: Affordable 2.4 GHz R/C units
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20 2010 00:45 »
Being a new member here, please let me introduce myself.

I am the owner and one man band manufacturer of RCS R/C ESC's for battery powered operation of Large Scale model trains.

For those that might be interested in what I make, the RCS website has all sorts of information that will likely be applicable to Gauge # 3 modelers.
All of the systems I make are fully compatible with the MyLocosound made by Peter Lucas.

I have a fair bit of experience with low cost 5/6 channel 2.4 GHz R/C systems.  Although alas I am not familiar with the Giant Cod brand.
However, from what I can gather the GC is possibly a re-branded E-Sky system.
E-Sky is one brand I have tried.  It worked just fine with my R/C ESC's.
If you visit the RCS website you will see I have listed four brands.
I find the Planet Twister T5 the best all round system for both Live Steam and battery R/C.  The only real caveat is that because the servo pins come out the end of the RX, it makes plugging the RX into my decoder unit a little more awkward as the decoder was designed for RX's with r/angle pins.  Servo leads can be used of course, but that sort of defeats the purpose of simply plugging the RX into the decoder pcb. 
The Spektrum DX5e has proven to be a reliable unit but is somewhat more expensive than the Planet. 
I have also had good success with the 6 channel Hobby King brand.  This is sold under a variety of brand names but for our purposes they are all identical. The biggest drawback to the HK system is the fact you must plug the TX into a computer for fine tuning the system, such as servo reversing.

Best Wishes,

Tony Walsham (Remote Control Systems)

Offline John Candy

Re: Affordable 2.4GHz R/C units
« Reply #5 on: Oct 20 2010 07:12 »
Hello Tony and welcome to the forum.

"Giant Cod" is a supplier in Cornwall who was selling a Chinese unit made by "Radiolink" which is simply labelled "Radio Control T4U".

I see the Hobby King unit is listed at 25GBP which is very competitive.'s/

The last two units I purchased have both been Planet T5 which work very well (retailing in UK at just below 50GBP) but, as you have said, the RX packaging is inconvenient (and rather flimsy).

Peter Lucas includes the wiring diagram for the RCS ESC in his instructions for MyLocoSound and has used this controller in his GWR pannier tank.

I see that Brandbright are the UK agents for the RCS units

John Candy

« Last Edit: Oct 20 2010 07:25 by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Tony Walsham

Re: Affordable 2.4 GHz R/C units
« Reply #6 on: Oct 20 2010 12:01 »
Hello John.

Thank you for the welcome.

You may not be aware of the fact I am no longer making the older RCS ELITE series ESC's that used the small cigarette packet sized hand piece.  The rights to produce that system was acquired by a group in the USA as they wanted to keep them going.

I have chosen to focus solely on ESC's that use the now commonly available low cost 5/6 channel Digital Proportional radios.
These solve all Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) problems and simply do not require any motor "noise" suppression at all.
I am making a small range of three different models to suit various situations.

I have no particular interest in promoting one brand of R/C over another.  I have assessed them quite independently.
I guess the trick is deciding which is the best of those 2.4 GHz R/C systems for your purposes.
What I have discovered is that most of the RX's will actually work quite well inside metal boxes such as the dummy metal tanks used by small scale live steamers. 
The Planet for instance has at least 200' range in such circumstances. 
I really like the Hobby King brands but that requirement to access the TX via a computer is a No No for the average user.  Plus the early model is now being superseded (maybe even replaced) by an updated version which is of course not compatible with the early version.
The biggest bugbear with the well liked Spektrum radios is the high cost of the DSM2 RX's.  Otherwise I would choose them over other brands all the time.
I hope to be able to offer relevant advice to the forums from time to time.
Best Wishes,

Tony Walsham (Remote Control Systems)