|Contributed by: Nathan Maat | Published: September 2003 | Views: 26470 | Email this Article
Polk's Hobby Tracker II
by Nathan Maat | Plane
Hobby has been innovating in the
Hobby field since 1935.
They have in house engineers
design most of their products
and find experienced
industrial companies to
produce them to their
approach is from an OEM
Manufacturer) point of view
as they have been a
for most of the past 60+
They also don't use other's
sub assemblies, but make
their own. They
believe this allows
them the only way to assure
top quality with affordable
makes this transmitter stand
out from the rest is the
amazing features. With
three years of development and
an issued patent, you can bet
this is the latest being
offered in the r/c
world. It's an 8 channel
radio with many of the same
features and functions found
on other 8 channel radios, but the
technology behind this one is
much more advanced.
The Tracker II Tx has a built in scanner
coupled with a synthesized frequency
generator to check the environment before
the frequency is allowed to be active.
This means you can scan the surroundings for
an available frequency while maintaining the
safety of the other pilots in the air.
This is important because with the Tracker
II you have the option to use the frequency
of your choice. Here's the amazing
part. The Tracker II system does not
use crystals! For a quick
demonstration on how the scanner works CLICK
is as good as any other 8 Channel radio on
the market today. While the looks are
a generation behind its competitors, its
technology is second to none. Check
out some of the features below and I think you'll be
hard pressed to find another 8 channel radio
that has more. To see a demonstration
on how the receiver works with the
transmitter CLICK HERE.
The Tracker II utilizes a modern P.L.L.
(Phase Lock Loop) circuit that gives the
Tracker the capability to work on any legal
channel frequencies available in any country
to remote control a model. You will
never be restricted from flying due to
overcrowding of one channel or suffer the
elimination of one channel due to local
The Tracker II has the channel
flexibility and capacity to allow you
to operate virtually any model you can
build. After you assign the
basic four channels (aileron,
elevator, rudder, and throttle), you
still have four more channels for
flaps, retractable landing gear,
spoilers, brakes and other
To detect interference at any model site
to determine which channels are safe for you
and your fellow modelers. Use the
scanner to look for channels that are
affected by 3IM (third order imaging), while
other radios are in use. Perfect for
club fields to scan the transmitter impound
for radios left on or interference on a
channel about to be used by a flier.
The radio features a permanent memory
chip that retains all settings indefinitely
even if the batteries are totally removed by
re-charging or replacement. Even if
you radio is turned off or back on your
radio will immediately recover all of the
I often fly using dual rates.
Generally I'll start with low rates being
set to the manufacturer recommendations
until I get comfortable with an
airplane. I'll then switch to high
rates for all out performance. The
Tracker II allows for dual rates.
This radio has the ability to mix any
channel to any other channel. You can
have flaps that automatically couple to the
elevator at the flip of a switch, mix your
ailerons with your rudder to give you scale
flight characteristics, or have spoilers
that automatically deploy at reduced
This mode allows for the selection of a
POS or NEG shift. Futaba/Hitec =
NEG. JR/Airtronics = POS.
The Tracker II is capable of keeping 99
different model settings in memory and the
ability to remember all the settings for
Copy one models settings to another model
The Tracker II can electronically change the
direction of any servo using the Tx control
panel. This becomes important as it
allows you to install your servos based on
function instead of necessity. If it's
easier to install your servo a
certain way but would cause it
to move in the wrong direction
this function will switch the
direction of the servo.
Decide between mode 1 and mode 2 based
on personal preference. All
compensations are automatically handled by
the computer and the only mechanical
consideration is that the spring for the
throttle stick and metal ratchet piece need
to be moved according to the mode selected.
A 60 minute countdown timer is built in
to the programming of the radio. The
screen comes up with the most common 15
minute display first, but is adjustable up
to 60 minutes.
The Seeker receiver seeks the frequency
you have assigned to your transmitter and
locks on to that frequency. The
frequency must be an F.M. frequency and on
the band pre-set by the factory, such as 72,
75, 35, and 40. Even when powered off
the computer will retain the setting
permanently until changed by the user.
The Tracker II allows for servo
reversing, sub trim adjustment, trim rates,
and trim memory.
Adjust your servo linkages using the
computer radio rather than adjusting the
hardware. This allows for absolute
precision in your servo positioning.
Adjust the sensitivity around neutral
for smooth flying.
you ever wished you could change frequencies
at the field? Have you ever wished you
could scan the area for interference?
Ever desire an easy to use 8 channel
transmitter? With more than 60 years
experience Polk's Hobby seems to have what
you're looking for if that's the case.
case is definitely a generation removed from
other popular transmitters of today, but
after I got over that I started to really
appreciate the patented technology they are
using. The trim tabs and switches are
set to where your thumbs and fingers
naturally seem to go which make for easy
eyes off operation. It is a fairly
comfortable to hold radio but feels a bit
bulky at the same time. The good thing
is that it doesn't feel any heavier than my
other two 8 channel radios which is
definitely a plus. Overall I have to
say the technology outweighs the appearance
at a price that is more than
acceptable. I think this radio setup
will be a nice surprise for anyone wanting
an 8 channel system.
Maat - August 2003
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.
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