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Standard for switch positions in RC?

Old 04-16-2015, 08:11 PM
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Default Standard for switch positions in RC?

Does anyone know if and what the standard is for switch positions in RC
ie on Transmitter is the Norm all switches forward or back ?

2 examples
I normally fly low rates so I have rate switches forward for norm back for high
Flight mode norm or 1 is forward FM2 etc is switch back
power switch forward on plane for on etc
Old 04-16-2015, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by flyoz
Does anyone know if and what the standard is for switch positions in RC
ie on Transmitter is the Norm all switches forward or back ?

2 examples
I normally fly low rates so I have rate switches forward for norm back for high
Flight mode norm or 1 is forward FM2 etc is switch back
power switch forward on plane for on etc
As far as I know there's no "norm" for switches. However, in my experience, it's best for "Power On/Off" on the plane to be positioned so "On" is toward the rear. This goes back to (and here's where I show just how old I really am) the days of hand-launching - you COULD turn the switch off during hand launch if "On" was toward the front. The history is there, a lot of lost planes too.

As far as high/low goes, IMHO it's only right for high to be up (forward) and low to be down (back). Just kinda makes sense to me that way, and it's how I've got my own planes set - however, once again, I don't think there's any "right" way to do it. It's pretty much what works for you.
Old 04-17-2015, 03:12 AM
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I'm with Dave on this. To me, it's the logical way to set up the switches.

For the TX, it probably makes no difference, as long as you are consistant, model to model.
Old 04-17-2015, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by skylark-flier
As far as I know there's no "norm" for switches. However, in my experience, it's best for "Power On/Off" on the plane to be positioned so "On" is toward the rear. This goes back to (and here's where I show just how old I really am) the days of hand-launching - you COULD turn the switch off during hand launch if "On" was toward the front. The history is there, a lot of lost planes too.

As far as high/low goes, IMHO it's only right for high to be up (forward) and low to be down (back). Just kinda makes sense to me that way, and it's how I've got my own planes set - however, once again, I don't think there's any "right" way to do it. It's pretty much what works for you.
If "ON" is toward the rear, how is it possible to turn the radio "OFF" on a hand launch? As you push the aircraft forward wouldn't your hand tend to slide forward, especially on a recently flown glow powered plane? If your hand slid forward past the switch wouldn't it be better if you were sliding the switch "ON"?

Because I frequently hand launch, and because I HAVE inadvertently turned a receiver "OFF" on a hand launch as my hand slid forward on the fuselage when the forward position was "OFF", I always arrange the switch so that "ON" is always forward. Easy to remember, forward is GO, aft is STOP. Kind of like the throttle stick on your transmitter, your lawn mower, a full scale boat or full scale airplane.

The lamest explanation I have ever heard on this issue was when a local "expert" was explaining to a beginner that the "ON" position should always be aft. His "reasoning" was that a blade of grass could strike the switch on take off and turn the receiver "OFF" if the "ON" position was forward.

Last edited by 049flyer; 04-17-2015 at 11:49 AM.
Old 04-17-2015, 12:04 PM
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I don't claim to be any kind of "expert", I've only been flying since 1955. The man asked a question I passed on my experience and thoughts. Like Tom said, as long as you're consistent you should be good.
Old 04-17-2015, 12:14 PM
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When I started in RC some of the old guys said "on" should be toward the front. Their reasons didn't seem sound, and I've always done it the other way. I did once turn a receiver off by hand launching the plane, which I think you can do with the switch either way. What really matters there is placing the switch so it won't be near your hand when you toss the plane. And, most of all, be consistent.
Old 04-17-2015, 12:59 PM
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Sorry gents, I didn't intend to be snarky.

The lame part I was referring to was the part about the blade of grass, NOT the persons opinion as to which switch position was better.

I agree that you should do whatever you think is best and make sure all of your planes are the same way.

I once had a Midwest Lil T glider with a Cox .049 on the snout and the receiver switch arranged such that "OFF" was the forward position. I started the engine, checked the controls to make sure everything was good and gave her a firm push into the air with my right hand. A split second before releasing the plane, my hand slipped forward over the switch and turned the receiver off. I knew immediately what happened and watched my Lil T which was now a "Free Flight" Lil T climb out smartly in a right hand climb. About 3 minutes later the plane was barely in sight when the engine quit. She glided down in large circles and landed about 100 yards from where she was launched, one of the best landings I never made! The great part was it was a flight that I could really enjoy without thinking too much about anything, all I could do was watch!

From that day until now, all my planes have been switched on by sliding the switch forward. 40 years later I am still hand launching and have not had another similar free flight experience.

Last edited by 049flyer; 04-17-2015 at 01:05 PM.
Old 04-17-2015, 01:21 PM
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Interesting to see how a question about the "normal" positions of switches on the radio turned into a discussion on how to mount the switch on the aircraft. I find it great the amount of experience shown, but that is the fastest way to derail a topic.

To re-iterate, there is no "normal" position for the radio switches. you do what you think is logical and works for you. As already stated, consistency across models is the key. For example, ALL my models are programmed so my switches are all to the REAR for engine start-up and potentially take off if they are not equipped with flaps. I move the switches after the plane has left the ground or at least is taxing to the runway. Also prevents the surfaces / servos from moving when you turn on the radio equipment.

Rafael
Old 04-17-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by skylark-flier
I don't claim to be any kind of "expert", I've only been flying since 1955. The man asked a question I passed on my experience and thoughts. Like Tom said, as long as you're consistent you should be good.
Certainly do appreciate you passing on your advise and experience. I believe that is still the purpose of this forum.

As for my advise and experience is concerned, my ON/OFF aircraft switch is always and will always be OFF towards the nose of the aircraft and ON towards the tail of the aircraft. My " personal " reasoning is " air flow " over the surfaces of the aircraft. Never do I want air flow pushing a switch towards the OFF position. Granted, it may take a lot of air to push a switch to the off position, but stranger things have happened in this hobby.
Old 04-17-2015, 03:19 PM
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Top Gunn - When I started flying RC in the 60;s, our local club field was a hilltop with lots of tall trees around. The club standard was "ON" at the front - the reasoning was that when you strained the plane thru the treetops, there was at least a small chance that the switch would be switch would be thrown to the "off"position.
Old 04-17-2015, 03:59 PM
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just listen to what the old times tell you i used to hand launch all my planes for a long time
Old 04-17-2015, 08:52 PM
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I always "reasoned" that on should be toward the rear in case you hit a bird it wouldn't turn the switch off. "Reasoned" ?? Like after hitting a bird with a model airplane you would still have something left to fly. I once saw a guy hit a turkey vulture with a small 20 size low wing sport plane, nothing but balsa pieces floating to the ground and the turkey vulture flew over to a nearby tree to lick his wounds. Score....bird 1, plane 0. I do agree with doing all of your planes the same so you don't mess up turning the plane on before and off after a flight.
Old 04-17-2015, 09:01 PM
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Hmm thanks Guys,
I think I personally prefer all forward as Norm then if I want anything else I consciously move it.
I after all fly cack handed Mode 2 as this feels right to me ( most of our club fly Mode 1) .
(although some codgers in the club insist Switches forward or up should equal High rates but I guess thats because they mostly fly in high rate).
Funny i was a goofy footer in surfing, use a rifle left handed a bow right handed and am right handed generally.
I think Im just a miscreant hahahah

The battery switch in the Fuse could never be moved by airflow (but an errant bug could) but I assume if the plane went through scrub or grass it would likely switch off (desirable I guess)
I dont hand launch.
Old 04-17-2015, 09:20 PM
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flyoz, I have to disagree with your theory that turning the switch off if you get into tall grass or scrub is "desirable". If the engine were still running when you entered the scrub/grass, then when the power is turned off the engine would go to full speed and you would have a very poor flying free flight airplane...no working RX, servos moving the control surface to who knows where, and of course that full throttle running engine. Look quick as it will be a short and exciting free flight. But then, I was the one who "reasoned" that you might hit a bird with a model airplane and still keep flying.
Old 04-17-2015, 10:44 PM
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Granpooba, your thought about air over the switch turning it off in flight is not at all far fetched. I've seen switches so used on planes that you could not feel the ident, so I, like you prefer my switch on towards the rear of the aircraft. As far as the transmitter is concerned, consistency is the only norm that I'm aware of.
Old 04-17-2015, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 049flyer
If "ON" is toward the rear, how is it possible to turn the radio "OFF" on a hand launch? As you push the aircraft forward wouldn't your hand tend to slide forward, especially on a recently flown glow powered plane? If your hand slid forward past the switch wouldn't it be better if you were sliding the switch "ON"?

Because I frequently hand launch, and because I HAVE inadvertently turned a receiver "OFF" on a hand launch as my hand slid forward on the fuselage when the forward position was "OFF", I always arrange the switch so that "ON" is always forward. Easy to remember, forward is GO, aft is STOP. Kind of like the throttle stick on your transmitter, your lawn mower, a full scale boat or full scale airplane.

The lamest explanation I have ever heard on this issue was when a local "expert" was explaining to a beginner that the "ON" position should always be aft. His "reasoning" was that a blade of grass could strike the switch on take off and turn the receiver "OFF" if the "ON" position was forward.
The ON position should be toward the rear, because as you launch the plane the switch will slide past your hand as the plane accelerates away. If your hand is near the switch it will turn it off if the ON position is toward the front. I've seen it done.

Blade of grass. Seriously??
Old 04-18-2015, 05:09 AM
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Ow 52 larry I didnt think of that ! a VERY valid point indeed sw back for on it is.
Old 04-18-2015, 05:54 AM
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When I fly all the switches on my transmitter are 'away' from me. That generally means all controls are in rate 1, normal flying, and gear down. I use flight modes, so rate 2 generally means more travel on all surfaces, and rate 3 even more travel and/or special function, like landing setup or 3d setup, etc. the flight modes are on one three position switch. Landing gear, upper left corner away is gear down, up, or toward me, is gear up. It's all habit over the years. All switches in one fixed position on takeoff is the key.
Old 04-18-2015, 06:42 AM
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I think an argument for either position could be made. At one time I was on a race team and we had several people handling our planes. All a little different but we adopted a standard so all planes were the same and that was.
All switches on the left side. Up or aft for ON.
I saw a well know Jet flyer back in the days of Ducted fans . he was doing low flybys and if you get too low you do a wheels up touch and go and about 9 times out of ten it looks cool and the plane flys away missing a little paint....
Unless you have the switches just in front of the nose gear on the bottom of the plane and aft is OFF it then became a obvious that the plane was flying itself to a very large hole in the ground
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:58 AM
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Concering the switches on the TX.
As a lifelong modeler and full scale pilot I try to use words that can't be misunderstood by anyone in reference to the switch position.
I don't say "dual rates on or off' or flight mode 1 or Flight mode 2. In reference to my dual rates I say High rate or low rate. Now direction of switches, Assuming they are oriented the same way as the main sticks, for High rate I use toward the top of the TX and low rate toword the bottom of the TX. If I am test flying some one else plane I always make sure I understand the switch location and their configuration. Then during the flight if I am not sure of switch selection I will tell the planes owner to standby and move the switches if I get busy doing other things.
NEVER take your eyes off the plane especially to look at the TX to move switches. I have seen several planes out of control following that stunt as the pilot tries to visually require the plane, and some crashed before that is done.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 52larry52
I always "reasoned" that on should be toward the rear in case you hit a bird it wouldn't turn the switch off. "Reasoned" ?? Like after hitting a bird with a model airplane you would still have something left to fly. I once saw a guy hit a turkey vulture with a small 20 size low wing sport plane, nothing but balsa pieces floating to the ground and the turkey vulture flew over to a nearby tree to lick his wounds. Score....bird 1, plane 0. I do agree with doing all of your planes the same so you don't mess up turning the plane on before and off after a flight.
Well, years ago while flying my Senior Kadet and coming in for a landing, while on short final, I had a bird strike. Bird struck the right wing. Actually their was not that much damage and only a small hole in the covering on the bottom of the wing. All was easily repairable. Can not say the same for the bird.
Old 04-18-2015, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Duncman
Granpooba, your thought about air over the switch turning it off in flight is not at all far fetched. I've seen switches so used on planes that you could not feel the ident, so I, like you prefer my switch on towards the rear of the aircraft. As far as the transmitter is concerned, consistency is the only norm that I'm aware of.
Consistency is the only norm ? Then that must be me as every model that I have ever built / assembled, I always configured the switch to be ON towards the tail of the aircraft.
Old 04-18-2015, 02:16 PM
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Grandpooba, You didn't say what kind of bird your Kadet Sr. hit on final, but I'll bet it wasn't a large one. Turkey vultures in addition to being very ugly are rather large birds and this guys plane was small, probably 50' W.S. or so. No contest, it was a sumo wrestler against a ballet dancer and it was a direct hit. I think the plane was a Tequila ARF.
Old 04-18-2015, 03:18 PM
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Jeti has this cool RX switch now that is turned on by the TX. That is right, essentially no rx switch. It is electronic. Nothing mechanical to fail. It is a very slick idea.

And yes, I have bumped an RX switch back and turned my plane off during a hand launch. Being a high performance combat model, it was destroyed on impact.

I also have my low rates back, high rates forward. I have my ignition, throttle kill switch on in the back position, and forward off. Back just always seemed like the default position to me, so that is how I went from the beginning once I could afford a radio with switches.
Old 04-18-2015, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by skylark-flier
As far as I know there's no "norm" for switches. However, in my experience, it's best for "Power On/Off" on the plane to be positioned so "On" is toward the rear. This goes back to (and here's where I show just how old I really am) the days of hand-launching - you COULD turn the switch off during hand launch if "On" was toward the front. The history is there, a lot of lost planes too.

As far as high/low goes, IMHO it's only right for high to be up (forward) and low to be down (back). Just kinda makes sense to me that way, and it's how I've got my own planes set - however, once again, I don't think there's any "right" way to do it. It's pretty much what works for you.
Mostly agree except on those rate switches on the top of the transmitter I use forward/low and back/high My thought process is the natural moverment in an emergency is down or forward.
As for the main power swtich I agree with rearward/inward for ON. The thought process is you do not want a mid-air, even with a bird, to turn theplane off.

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