A Guide to Radio Control Systems: Best RC Receiver and Transmitters

Man holding RC Transmitter in his hands

Radio control systems are essential to controlling your RC vehicles, no matter whether it’s a race car, aeroplane or monster truck. They can help you get the most out of your hobby. The basic components of radio control systems are transmitters, receivers and servos, and buying the right one can make a huge difference in how you experience RCing. There are thousands of different transmitters to choose from, such as Flysky, Radiolink, HOBBYMATE, etc., making it difficult for beginners to choose the best one. As someone who’s spent hundreds of hours using and testing multiple radio control systems, I’ve compiled a list of the best ones.

Flysky GT3B

This radio control system has a working frequency between 2.4Ghz and 2.4835Ghz, divided into 160 frequency points. Each system uses 16 points and 160 hopping frequencies in order to avoid jamming. The Flysky GT3B system comes with a radio transmitter and remote controller for RC cars, trucks, crawlers and boats. Further, it features reverse steering trim, memory servos normal, throttle trim, ABS settings, dual rate, and EXPO settings. Last but not least, it features 10 models memory and a unique ID for each transmitter. The receiver automatically checks ID after pairing, reducing the chances of jamming dramatically.

2 types of flysky gt3b transmitter
source: rctech.net

Flysky FS-i6

This system is meant for aeroplanes. It features a reliable, interference-free 2.4Ghz AFHDS 2A signal operation. It uses low-power electronic components and a very sensitive receiver chip. Moreover, it features an RF modulation that uses an intermittent signal to reduce power consumption even further. This system works in the frequency range of 2.405Ghz to 2.475Ghz, divided into 142 different independent channels. Just like in the GT3B, each radio system uses 16 different channels and 160 types of frequency hopping algorithms. On top of all this, it uses a high gain and high-quality multi-directional antenna that covers the entire frequency band. It also has a high sensitivity receiver to guarantee jam-free, long-range radio transmission.

FlySky FS-i6 Transmitter
source: getfpv.com

Spektrum DX8

This is a high-end transmitter with a model memory of 250. This means that you’ll almost never have to juggle models between transmitter memory and SD card. It features extensive helicopter and aeroplane programming. It comes with impressive features that you won’t find in any other handheld model. It comes with ten flight modes, five wing types, two swashplate types, three tail types, and so on. You can even adjust its servo characteristics such as end points, centre, travel and so on for all eight channels. The quality construction is also superb, including the antenna.

Spektrum DX8 transmitter and helicopter
source: flickr.com

Futaba 14SGH

This 14-channel 24Ghz radio system features FASSTest technology, making it one of the best flight radios available. It’s also compatible with S-FHSS and FASST protocols, meaning you can fly with any 2.4Ghz Futaba air receiver. It features bidirectional communications and can receive telemetry data for alerts, flight monitoring, etc. It’s an excellent choice for a multirotor, as it has all the features and functions a pilot may demand in FPV racing. The software can be upgraded online, and it features rubber grips on the back and sides for ergonomic holding.

Radio Futaba 14SGH 14-channel
source: rboclassificados.com.br

Radiolink AT 10II

This transmitter/receiver combo can be used for all kinds of aircraft, including fixed wing, rotary wing, FPV racking drones, gliders, multirotors, hybrids, boats and RC cars. The receiver features 12 channels and supports signal outputs from SBUS and PWN ports. It also comes with built-in telemetry that allows you to receive crucial data about your systems. It uses a DSSS/FHSS spread spectrum to reduce interference.

Radiolink AT10II
source: tkvco.com

Futaba 10JA

This is a fully-programmable, 10-channel, telemetry-capable transmitter that can be used for a wide range of applications, including helicopter, aeroplane, glider and multi-rotor programming. It’s easy to handle, lightweight and features 30 model memory. Moreover, it comes with a voice synthesis feature that allows you to hear the telemetry updates through headphones, allowing you to keep your eyes on the sky when flying your RC plane. Additionally, it has wireless data transfer with other transmitters of its kind.

Futaba 10JA transmitter
source: worthpoint.com

The Conclusion

Most of the time, RTF planes come with a radio system, so you won’t need to buy one. However, knowing the basics of radio systems and knowing what the channels are for can help you get further in the RC hobby. Most basic radio control transmitters feature 2 or 3 channels, but having 4 channels will unlock the full acrobatic capabilities of your plane. For that reason, buying one of the aforementioned radio systems can be worth it, especially considering you can use the same radio system for multiple aeroplanes, cars and even helicopters.

Hobby stores will generally have an employee who can talk you through the buying process, and help you find the best radio control system for your skill level and needs. Doing your due diligence can go a long way in identifying which radio system is best for you. High-end radio control systems can cost up to a few hundred dollars, but there are also more affordable models.