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Extra Channels in Radios


Old 08-01-2004, 07:09 PM
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Default Extra Channels in Radios

I have a 4 channel radio and I am about to buy a new plane. I was wondering if someone could tell me what all I would need more channels for. (What are other things that you can use more channels for besides the basic rudder, aileron, elevator, and throttle) Thanks. ~Mike
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Extra Channels in Radios

Typically you don't need the higher end radio's for the additional channels, but for the features and ability to mix various channels to perform different functions.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: Extra Channels in Radios

Check this thread:

or do a Search for "channels" in the Radios forum and read several more

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Old 08-03-2004, 10:15 PM
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Default RE: Extra Channels in Radios

How many channels do I need? You will get many opinions.

First it is important to realize that you should be able to fly any plane on 4
channels. That is enough to control rudder, elevator, ailerons and throttle.
It the plane is a sailplane then four channels will allow you to handle R/E/A
and flaps or spoilers to help with precision landings. With for channels you
can fly an indoor plane, an electric park flyer a sailplane or a giant high
powered plane.

However, with more channels you gain flexibility. For example, you can put
two servos on the ailerons and control them individually. You can operate
moveable landing gear. And, when it comes to gliders/sailplanes you are
likely to do more surface mixing using a computer radio than perhaps on power planes. If you into sailplanes and plan to fly full house sailplanes, you typically want more than
4 channels so you can do that fancy surface mixing. The club wizards
recommended at least 7 channels for full house sailplanes.

Here is a typical channel breakdown. These apply to electrics, glo and

Rudder - 1
Elevator - 1
Ailerons - 1 or 2
Spoilers/Flaps - 1 or 2
Motor/tow hook/landing gear - 1

That makes 5 or 7.

Could you use 9? Sure, if you have the money?
How about 12? Sure, if you have the money?

I am not pushing a given number of channels, just trying to help establish
what they are used for. In my opinion, most sport flyers will be well served
with a 5 channel computer radio and be able to do what they need to do for
years. Bump it up to 7 channels and you have about all you need to fly almost
any sport plane without feeling you are short channels. If your plane has
bomb doors, fires rockets, ejects pilots, and stuff like that, 12 might not be

For the rest of us, why would 7 be enough. You typically don't have spoilers
and flaps on the same plane. A motor and a
tow hook would not likely reside on the same plane either. While landing gear
is very rare on sailplanes it is common on power planes, but then you really
don't need two flap servos because power planes don't usually do the kind of
complex flap mixing that sailplanes use. So 7 will still usually do it unless
you are into really complex planes or really advanced competition.

After that it becomes a question of the mixing functions in the computer radio.

BTW, don't by a standard radio of any kind. Get a computer radio.
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