What Is Spektrum?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Radio control technology has followed that of consumer electronics for the 30-plus years I have been involved with this great sport. In the beginning we had AM radios that used modulation technology similar to the audio equipment in your house or automobile. The introduction of FM offered clearer sounds and better reception. Similarly, R/C gear using this same technology offered better, more reliable reception and operation.

Up until now all of these (AM, FM, PCM) forms of transmitting and receiving a radio signal for hobby use had three nagging limitations. These include: the fact that all pre-Spektrum R/C radios work on a single frequency at any given time (to operate on a different frequency usually requires purchasing and physically changing the crystals that determine the frequency), there are only a limited number of frequencies available for use, and these frequencies are in a band littered with hundreds of other non-R/C users and common electrical noise generated by mechanical and electrical equipment that can create disastrous interference. Welcome to the age of Spektrum.

A New Era for R/C Simply put, Spektrum's Spread Spectrum technology may be one of the most revolutionary developments to hit the R/C market�ever. The way Spektum operates addresses all four of the limitations and pitfalls of R/C we have endured for all these years. Using the same technology developed for cordless phones, Spektrum operates on 2.4GHz which offers a tremendously larger number of channels or frequencies at any given time. Better yet, the Spektrum system requires no crystals and actually finds a clear frequency from the 79 available every time you turn it on. The FCC requires all systems that operate in this band be "smart" � incorporating a feature called "collision avoidance." When your Spektrum system is turned on it scans the 2.4 GHz band and selects a channel that isn't being used. It then begins transmitting on that unused channel. Every Spektrum-equipped radio transmitter puts out its own GUID (Global Unique Identifier). There are over four billion of these � so once you train your receiver to seek only that code, you are just about guaranteed not to experience interference again. It's a four-billion-to-one shot! So there's a four billion to one chance of interference, no buying crystals, no waiting for an open frequency, and no worrying about someone accidentally turning on their radio and watching your prized R/C model take off wildly while you wonder what happened. Additionally, there is a fail-safe function in the Spektrum system that, when enabled, can be set to automatically close the throttle and move the steering to a given setting if you should lose the signal.

What Spektrum Does for You In actual usage, the Spektrum system allows the racer, as well as the hobbyist, the peace of mind that the biggest worries of radio control have been all but eliminated. The racer no longer has to wait for a frequency clip to get on the track to practice. Main events can have as many cars as you can score. With no radio impound or frequency shuffling necessary, a race director's job is cut in half! The hobbyist doesn't need to know or understand frequencies. Plus, when his neighbor or buddy buys an R/C model, he doesn't have to be concerned if they are on the same frequency. He can go to the schoolyard or to the racetrack without worry. In fact, anyone can go just about anywhere and not be concerned about outside interference or frequency conflict. Just turn on your Spektrum system and go have fun! The Benefits of DSM � No waiting for an open frequency � Ultra fast 5.6ms response time � No tuning or maintenance once system is set � Built-in fail-safe if signal is lost � Ultra precise 4096 bit resolution � Operates on international 2.4GHz ISM band so no need to change bands when traveling to international races � Short 8.5" or 3.6" receiver antenna length and 3.5" transmitter antenna length � 40% less current draw with the transmitter means 40% more battery life � Telemetry ready for rpm/speed, temperature, battery voltage, lap times and signal strength � Legal for most racing organizations including ROAR, NORRCA and IFMAR � Available for most popular 3-channel module radio systems for easy, inexpensive conversion to DSM technology - Gary Kyes Gary Kyes is the Vice President of Team Losi. He's a many time ROAR National Champion, World Champion, World Cup Champion, and now calls himself "retired" from serious racing. Like all "retired" racers, he's still active at the local track. Gary says he's been around since the "Flinstone Era" of radio gear and is quite impressed with "The Jetsons" style of the Spektrum system.

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