Spektrum 2.4 GHz DSM technology has been absolutely revolutionary to both the surface and air markets since its initial release. There are so many benefits to Spektrum that wrapping your head around all the information out there can get overwhelming. While Spektrum modules were initially targeted squarely at the racing crowd, the DX3, and now DX2, appeals to a different type of user—the recreational hobbyist. With so many new and diverse users, how do you answer questions from a variety of perspectives? Well, never fear, as we have gone through many of the most common questions and gathered the answers for you in one location. We also spoke with Ken “Scarecrow” Holmes, race director for the largest RC race in the world, The Snowbird Nationals.
No worries, just power on and go!
Oftentimes, someone will enter your store to purchase a car, truck, or plane because someone they know just bought one and they thought it was too cool. A problem can arise when these two individuals try to drive or fly with each other, if they are on the same frequency and can interfere with each other. With Spektrum modules—DX2, DX3, or DX6 radios—that concern is a thing of the past. With Spektrum DSM technology, interference from other radios or surrounding electrical noise (such as nearby electric transformers or lighting in parking lots) is also no longer a problem. Users do not have to worry about interference when flying or driving.
More information, faster
Hobbyists from around the country travel to different venues to participate in events all the time. However, they may not have a track nearby for practice beforehand, yet they still need to get valuable practice time on the track. With the new Spektrum telemetry system, racers can now get valuable lap time, temperature, and voltage information all in real time. Additionally, the Spektrum telemetry system eliminates any need for a costly timing and scoring program to receive lap-by-lap times to gauge whether chassis changes do translate to lower lap times. Any open piece of asphalt can now truly become a test bed or racetrack thanks to Spektrum.
Improving upon the original
Spektrum technology has been well received by users across the country since its initial release in early 2005. As wonderful as the original systems were, users of the Futaba 3PK radio were not able to make use of the HRS capabilities of the radio. Spektrum engineers have answered the call and are proud to introduce the first 2.4GHz HRS compatible module and receiver s . With the new system (SPM1015), the latency has been reduced from 5.6ms to a miniscule 2ms! Now that’s fast. The HRS modules also introduce a new 2-channel SR3000HRS receiver to the Spektrum family.
Ken “Scarecrow” Holmes helps to organize the largest RC race in the world, the Snowbird Nationals. We recently had a chance to speak with Ken and ask for his input.
On Spektrum making his job as race director easier:
What it does for me more than anything else is to cut down or eliminate frequency conflicts. In the case of the Snowbirds, there were still a number of conflicts, but Spektrum definitely reduced the number that we had to worry about. When I set up the first round, I can somewhat manipulate the heats to make sure there aren’t any conflicts. When it comes to the second or third rounds of qualifying and there’s been a re-sort, having Spektrum available helps out even more at that point, as frequency conflicts have pretty well been eliminated.
Having people stepping on each other by being on the same frequency can be downright dangerous. If and when a frequency conflict happens in a 1/8-scale car and the car goes bolting across the track as a runaway, that can be a scary and dangerous thing. I get very concerned with runaways, especially 1/8-scale nitro runaways, because of the weight and speed of the cars. If someone gets hit with one of those cars, it could cause some very serious injuries because of how fast they can go. Spektrum helps out quite a bit as far as safety is concerned. The Spektrum system works perfectly in many different venues.
On helping organize an event:
It always seems like throughout an event that we’re chasing down someone during practice that walked off with a frequency clip or clips have disappeared. With Spektrum, that issue has been eliminated. We don’t need to call out for clips over the PA system and we don’t need to hold up practice because of a missing clip. Things have gotten a lot simpler thanks to Spektrum, since we don’t have to worry about keeping track of 30 frequency clips on 61–90, six 27MHz clips, or any other frequency conflicts as much . In addition to running the races here at the Snowbirds, I also run the Florida Off-Road State Series. I’d say 90 to 95% of the racers use Spektrum in their 1/8-scale cars. When they walk in the door to register to race and they say, “I’m on Spektrum,” I grin because I know I won’t have to worry about conflicts. Drivers simply don’t have to wait for frequency clips and we don’t have to wait for racers to change crystals.