Last update, December 15, 2009
The Spread Spectrum RC radio technology came upon us in 2005. After a bumpy ride hobbyist sorted out the use and the industry responded with more brands, models and with greater convenience and reliability. This is the wave for the near future.
The units shown in the left link bar are the Futaba T6EX and the Spektrum DX6i, the latest model entries for this band. Vern says it needs to be simple. Any other explanation produces a glassy look. Here is the simplicity of it.
The system searches a small portion of the 2.4GHz band provided for this use to bond a frequency lock between mated TX and RX units. It then holds this against other units coming on line. There are variations between brands and other complications but what we need to know is frequency crystal inventory and channel sharing at even the largest of regattas is no longer needed. The EC12 Class embraced this innovation and is at this writing starting 2010 about 75% converted.
The two brands are 6-channel units and chip controlled. They provide many features sailors are getting to know well. The key one is End Point Adjustment on the Dual Rate Switch.
A Dual Rate switch provides max servo use (or another variations of the below) on one side and the ability to program the servo throw range (EPA) and add exponential movement through those selected ranges.
The RX is smaller, lighter and with a much shorter antenna.
Retailers have responded also to provide purchases of the systems without all the servos we never wanted. Doing so, prices have remained at the same levels as the surface band radios and buying a TX only is far less than $200 in 2009.
So, this is the system you want to buy. If you have been around a while, you will want to upgrade to this system very soon. Many of us have a $100 worth of useless crystals that just went obsolete. All the stubby TX antennas are not needed and with smart fast NiMH chargers and high milliamp capacity batteries life will be good, simpler and cheaper. In the last seven years we have truly seen we are in a new century.