Why Does My Radio Keep Disconnecting?

Have you ever been driving your RC when all of a sudden, the vehicle won’t respond to the RC Radio? If this has happened to you keep reading. This has happened to me a number of times and there is nothing more annoying when you are enjoying some RC time, then to have your RC vehicle just stop. In this article, I am going to explain a way to help prevent the Radio from disconnecting.

Every radio, a cheap Ready-to-run radio as well as that high-tech high-priced radio have one similarity, a receiver that is mounted somewhere in the RC chassis. Do you know what the most important part of every receiver is? Well, It is the antenna!
Those long-term racers amongst you don’t need an introduction into how to route an antenna wire to minimize the possibility of damaging it during operation. You also know how to avoid glitches with a clever routing of that delicate wire. 

RC Radio Reciever

Prevent RC Radio Disconnect Issues

Most of today’s RC cars have antenna mounts that are given due to the design of the whole chassis. But sometimes it is necessary to relocate the antenna wire or the whole receiver for example, due to a very long antenna wire or the fact that other parts of the chassis or electronics create issues (signal drop-out) during operation. 
The easiest way to relocate an antenna wire is to make use of aftermarket plastic or metal antenna mounts that directly attach to existing holes in the chassis plate or top deck. Alternatively, you can drill and countersink a new hole where you need it. When drilling a new hole, you need to make sure you locate the antenna as far away from other wires (especially the ones to the battery pack), the speed controller and the motor. This will help to eliminate any electrical interference.

 

Re-Route The Antenna Away

Heat and high current through other electrical parts like motors etc. may damage the antenna wire and/or cause severe glitches. Same applies to carbon fiber and rotating parts just like belts, axle dog bones, and metal gears. While carbon fiber has the ability to shield radio signals from the transmitter, rotating parts like axles, drive shafts and gears can cut into the insulation of the antenna wire and also the metal antenna wire itself. You can imagine that a shortened antenna is everything but ideal for problem-free operation.

2.4GHz RC Radios like the ones from Traxxas, Spektrum-RC, Futaba, and many more are less prone to signal drop-outs due to the transmitter technology used, but you still have to address some details. One of which is to make sure that you try to minimize the way the antenna wire is mounted horizontally. Always try to mount the antenna wire vertically straight from the receiver. Also, you want to be sure to secure the receiver with a good amount of foam to prevent the receiver from being shaken from the vibrations created by nitro and gas engines. If you are using Futaba receivers, They do not like heat! So please make sure to keep it away from nitro and gas engines, exhaust and other parts that may heat up during operation.

RC Radio antenna tubes

Be Sure To Protect It

The antenna wire needs to be protected at all times. Given the design of the chassis, it is not always possible to let the antenna wire go into the antenna tube straight out of the receiver box. To protect the exposed wire from rotating belts, pulley, gears or carbon fiber it is a good idea to cut a section of fuel tube and put it over the wire between the receiver and the antenna mount. This keeps the antenna from touching the carbon fiber parts as well as prevents rotating parts from cutting into the delicate isolation of the antenna wire.

If you follow these steps and tips, you will have greater chance of having worry free RC Radio signal operation.

2 thoughts on “RC Radio Disconnecting
  1. Jonny says:

    This is some good information. I have had my cars radio disconnect on me several times. Seems more so when I am 50+ feet away from the car. It is a pain when your running and it loses signal. I will be sure to check my anntena wire before I take my car out again.

    1. Tim says:

      Hello Jonny,
      Just make sure the anntena wire is not too close to any other electrical wires and that it is protected and shielded.
      Thank you,
      Tim

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