“Weird, I changed the batteries yesterday, so why isn’t my RC toy working?”. Well, it’s probably because of your RC receiver acting out.
Even if your transmitter is working fine, it’s fruitless if the signal isn’t received properly. The receiver is responsible for passing on the information to the servos. The servos carry out specific actions when a signal is received.
This is how pulling on a lever causes your RC toy to change direction. But a break in the communication chain may result in operating failure.
So, how do you choose a reliable receiver that won’t die on you? That’s where we come in. Our post on the best RC receiver was designed for this purpose.
Our research team left no stone unturned in writing this post. This post is the result of their blood, sweat, and tears. The point of our strenuous work is so that you don’t have to.
To make things even easier we’ve shortlisted our RC receivers to 5 champions. We’ve even added a buying guide for RC receivers in the end. This will show you what to watch out for before buying a receiver.
Now, if you are ready we can get things started-
Spektrum’s AR620 is the first name on our list. This specific receiver has a lot of features that earned it the top spot on our list.
One of the key features the AR620 has is that it’s antenna-less. Instead, it has an internal antenna. This allows for an easier fit and makes it much more durable. The added durability works at increasing the lifespan of the product.
The Spektrum AR620 has an operable range of over 800 feet in the air! This allows it to have a higher range compared to other aircraft receivers.
Unlike most receivers, the AR620 doesn’t have a bind plug. The plug normally binds the receiver to the specific transmitter. This ensures that only that transmitter can control it.
Spektrum replaced it with a switch which cuts a lot of weight making it less of a burden. Its two bind-sequence options make it convenient for the user to bind the transmitter to the receiver. All of this adds up to the easy use of the product.
It’s compatible with a wide range of aircraft including indoor sports models too! This is due to its 6-Channel ports with DSMX/DSM2 compatibility.
The cherry on top for this receiver is its state-of-the-art telemetry system. This built-in system allows the AR620 to deliver vital data to the transmitter. It allows for the fly-by range to record flight logs.
Also, the fly-by range allows for the retrieval of flight logs and displays receiver voltage fluctuations in real-time.
- Compact and easier to fit
- Automatic Binding makes it easier to bind the transmitter
- Durable and long-lasting
- Works only for RC airplanes and aircraft
Next in line is Radiolink’s R7FG. This is our second choice, and rightfully so. Let’s look at the reason why it’s ranked so high, shall we?
For starters, the R7FG has a built-in gyro system that stabilizes the RC model. This comes in handy for high-speed performances and prevents unnecessary drifting.
Its anti-polarity system allows for the user to have a safety net when installing the receiver. This way even if you insert the wrong polarity, you won’t damage the receiver.
Along with this it also has an anti-interference system which allows for less noise to disrupt the radio signals. This allows it to have a surface range of up to 1900 feet!
It also has a higher number of channels (7) compared to Spektrum’s (6). This means, it has a higher potential for functions compared to the Spektrum AR620.
Besides, it is the lightest of the bunch which makes it less of a burden on the vehicle. This allows for higher maneuverability for the RC car/boat.
However, unlike the Spektrum AR620, it has a bind plug which means it has to be plugged in manually. It also has an advanced telemetry system that displays the battery’s voltage along with its RSSI Signal.
- In-built Gyro system stabilizes the vehicle
- Offers an excellent radio range
- The lightweight feature allows you to maneuver the RC cars easily
- Has to be plugged in manually
Coming in third on our list is the Globact Flysky receiver. The FS-BS6 has some features which are similar to Radiolink’s R7FG.
It also has a standard number of channels (6) like the Spektrum AR620. Like the Radiolink R7FG, it has a gyroscope system built for stabilization purposes. This again helps the FS-BS6 be a great choice for high-speed performances.
It has a wide range of compatibility, with a lot of models. Here, it’s mainly compatible with transmitters with the communication protocol AFHDS 2A. This includes the Flysky GT5, GT2E, GT2G, FS-i4X, FS-i6, FS-i6X, FS-i6S, FS-TH9A, & the FS-TM10.
However, it is incompatible with a lot of models too. These are FS-GT2 FS-GT2B FS-GT3B FS-GT3C and other transmitters with the AFHDS communication protocol.
When linking for the first time with the transmitter you have to follow meticulous steps to do so. This might make the user experience a bit cumbersome and complicated.
- Gyroscope stabilizes erratic movements
- Has a stable performance
- Having a standard number of channels allows it to have more functions
- A complicated linking process makes it less user-friendly
- The antenna is long, which makes it harder to fit
Next, we have the Futaba R203GF. This is an FHSS receiver which stands for Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. The FHSS system allows for “superior” noise cancellation.
This is due to the 2.4 GHz frequency which it allows. It even makes for a more secure and reliable experience for the user. The FHSS lowers interference from other sources of the same frequency.
Then again, it also has a high level of operable voltage. This means it can operate at a higher voltage and not damage the receiver in the process. Also, this makes it extremely durable in the long run.
Furthermore, it is the heaviest of the bunch and has the lowest number of channels, only 3. This reduces its potential for the different number of functions it can accommodate.
- Secure and interference-resistant
- Can support high voltage
- It’s durable enough
- Heaviest of the bunch
- Doesn’t have a lot of channels
Last but not least we have the LICHIFIT AR8000. It’s important to note that the AR8000 did beat a number of receivers for the 5th spot. So, don’t write it off just yet.
The LICHIFIT has a wide compatibility for aircraft transmitters. These include the JR, Spektrum Dx7s, Dx8, Dx9 and the Dx18. This makes it one of the more versatile ones on the list.
What’s more convenient is that it doesn’t require an additional satellite and it can be sold off for its parts. The aftermarket parts have a high quality too. So, here’s an option too (Just saying).
It is a DMSX module receiver and has the highest number of channels on the list. This means it can be catered to a lot more functions besides the primary ones (throttle and steering).
However, unlike the rest, it doesn’t come with an installation guide. This makes it the most complex of the bunch when it comes to fitting. This is why professional installation is recommended.
- Has a lot of channels that provide more functions
- Compatible with a lot of models
- Made of high-quality parts that ensure the durability
- Cumbersome to fit
We’ve given you our top 5 recommendations when it comes to receivers for your RC. Even though we’ve shown you the top 5 receivers in the market, you might not be sold. This is where our buying guide comes in.
There are certain things you need to consider before buying a receiver. These are just the things you should factor in before the purchase.
Compatibility of Your Receivers: How Important Is It?
One of the key determinants of choosing your receivers is based on its transmitter. This begs the question; Can you mix receiver and transmitter’s brands? Simply put, it is a Futaba Transmitter compatible with a Spektrum Receiver.
The answer is no, you cannot mix two different brands. This is because Spektrum receivers follow a different protocol from Futaba Transmitters.
All of these brand protocols are proprietary. Ergo, there isn’t any room for cross-compatibility.
However, there are certain exceptions. 3rd party receivers are designed to work with a variety of transmitters. For example, HK Orange RX and some FrSky RX that are made in multiple protocols)
Depending on the manufacturer, certain transmitters may work with a variety of protocols. For instance, late-model Spektrums are backward compatible to DSM2, DSM. Futaba transmitters generally support multiple Futaba protocols like FASST, FASSTest, T-FHSS, etc.
Range: What Determines Your Domain of Control?
Six factors determine the range of your RC communication systems. These are the transmitter’s power, receiver’s sensitivity, attenuation, reflection, absorption, and the antenna gain factor.
The higher the transmitter’s power and the receiver’s signal, the greater the range will be. This is because Radio frequencies lose their intensity over long distances.
Attenuation speaks about the loss of signal power through the medium. A humid atmosphere would have a higher attenuation than a dry one.
Moreover, the reflection and absorption of radio waves also play a role. Metals reflect radio waves and some obstacles absorb radio waves. This reduces the range of your RC communication system.
Next is the antenna gain factor. The ability of an antenna to emit more or less in any direction is referred to as antenna gain. If you could make an antenna into a perfect sphere, it would radiate evenly in all directions.
However, that’s impossible, and contrary to popular belief increasing the length has no effect. The range of the radio transmission is dependent on the antenna’s proper and uninterrupted operation.
Corrosion of the wire or connector, cable breakage, or improper antenna location all has an immediate detrimental impact on range.
Number Of Channels: What Does It Entail?
In the world of RC components, the number of channels has a meaning. A channel is defined by a separate controllable function of an RC.
For example, let’s use an RC car. Now the steering has one joystick and there’s another one for the forward/reverse. These use different channels, one channel is for the steering and the other is for propulsion.
The more channels a receiver has the more functions it has. In general, a higher channel number defines the complexity of the toy.
Sophisticated models with 6 to 8 channels operate the primary controls along with additional functions. These may be retractable landing gear, landing lights, camera operation, flap control, etc.
2.4 GigaHertz: The Optimum Range
The majority of RC toys operate between 27 to 49 MHz, with some complex models using 72-75 MHz.
That being said, nowadays most RC toys are shifting to the 2.4 GHz range. This is due to its numerous merits.
Operating at 2.4 GHz improves the reliability, security, and power consumption of the RC model.
This range allows the RC to operate “noise” free and reduces the chances of interference from other RC models. This reduction of interference means two different RC models can operate at close proximities. That’s a great thing to have.
Now, operating at this level also reduces the amount of power consumption of the RC model. This is because using this frequency the radio waves have a shorter wavelength. It even makes it less prone to reflection and attenuation, improving performance.
Question: How do I differentiate between a servo motor and a stepper motor?
Answer: The overall pole count is the key difference between these motors. The pole count of stepper motors is typically between 50 and 100. Servo motors have a low pole count, ranging from four to twelve.
Question: Are my RC receivers and transmitters interchangeable?
Answer: Yes, if the receiver and transmitter are both made by the same company then there shouldn’t be a problem. Although compatible receivers or transmitters are available on the market, using them is not a wise decision.
Question: What does “dual-rate RC” mean?
Answer: Changing the rate of servo motion for a control surface of an R/C aircraft (e.g. Ailerons, Elevator, and sometimes Rudder) is referred to as “Dual Rates.” A toggle switch on an R/C transmitter is often used to regulate dual rates. Dual Rates can be set up on the airplane control surfaces in RealFlight.
We couldn’t discover anything else on the best RC receiver. You must have completed your research and made your selection by now. We truly hope you choose one of the recommended RC radios.
In any case, you now know how to tell what’s great from what’s terrible. As usual, be safe, and good luck selecting the correct receiver.