PPM Vs SBUS [A Common Dilemma]


Choosing the right radio protocol is imperative for your RC. You’ll need to buy one that speaks the same language as your device. Many users get confused while making this decision. We’re here to make your life a bit easier.

The real question is, which one should you get between PPM vs SBUS?

There are quite a few differences between PPM and SBUS. PPM provides analog signals while SBUS is digital. SBUS is faster and they have a better resolution. You’ll get telemetry and a lower range with PPM. If you choose SBUS, you’ll get more channels. However, it’s more expensive. 

This information is very little to go on. You’ll need to have more in-depth knowledge to know which one to buy. 

Would you like to know more? Keep reading!

PPM vs SBUS: Key Differences

Let’s get all of the key differences out of the way before we get into specifics. We’ve put them in a table below for your convenience- 

Feature PPM SBUS
Type Analog Digital
Speed Slower Faster
Channels Up to 8 Up to 18
Telemetry  Yes No
Price Less Expensive More expensive
Range Up to 1.5 km Up to 2.5 km

Were we able to pique your interest? We’ll now go over the specifics that will help you decide between the two.

PPM vs SBUS: Detailed Differences

Many of these words may be foreign to you if you are a novice. But we’ll attempt to explain things as simple as possible. Hopefully, this guide will be able to paint the picture a little clearer. 

Here, we are going to compare the best features of the two RC receiver protocols-


For any good quality RC floatplane, the speed of its receiver protocols is quite important. The less lag there is, the better it’s for the RC.

PPM has a delay of 27ms while SBUS has a delay of only 9ms. To prevent signal frame glitching, 3-point averaging is utilized in Cleanflight. This triples the signal latency. So the exact delay for PPM is 81ms, whereas SBUS is just 27ms.

Although a 50ms gain over PPM may not seem like much, it’s still significant. Each control loop takes 1ms to complete for a loop time of 1000. 

While with SBUS, your RC will be able to reply to your command 50 loops earlier.

Error Handling

PPM is an older analog transmission with no built-in error checking. The receiver will apply a moving average to smooth out any interference spikes in the signal.

On the other hand, SBUS  is a digital transmission. This means it transmits control signals between your receiver and servos. This is done by using digital serial data connection technology. Calculations such as parity bits 52 can be included with the signal to mitigate possible interference. This decreases latency.

You can test your servo with quality servo testers to see if they’re functioning properly. If not, any receiver protocol you use will have difficulties. 

Speaking of servos, are you looking to replace yours? Here are the two best servos that we recommend- 

Product 1 Product 2

Are you satisfied with the servos you’ve chosen? Let’s carry on with the differences. 


Telemetry is a built-in function of radio controllers. You’ll need a telemetry-compatible receiver to get it to work.

PPM offers telemetry compatibility whereas SBUS doesn’t. 

Telemetry gives you the ability to receive flight data from your flight controller. And transmit it to your radio. If you opt for PPM, you can use telemetry to check battery voltage. If you have a GPS chip, you can track GPS location. However, if you use SBUS, you won’t get this feature.


PPM values can be a little jittery when there are signal issues. Even with 3 frames of smoothing. This is why you’ll not be able to see the picture clearly in your receivers.

A lot of times signals get disrupted due to interference. If you learn how to fight radio interference, you’ll be able to prevent that issue.

Meanwhile, SBUS uses a serial communication protocol. They can communicate 3 times faster than an analog signal. This is why their resolution is crystal clear. The picture quality will be perfect in receivers. You’ll have a better command of your RC. 


Your RCs need RC receivers that are good in quality. One of the most important features of receivers is their range. If you use PPM, the vehicle will only run 1.5 km. And on the other hand, using SBUS will allow you to drive up to 2.5 km.

Greater range is a huge advantage. Especially if you’re planning to enter any race.


Price is another factor RC enthusiasts take into account. This factor even helps you determine which grease is best for RC. 

Since SBUS are newer, they are more expensive than PPM. You’ll be able to buy SBUS for around $17.99. While for PPM you’ll have to spend around $10 to $15. Remember to check various shops as prices may vary. 

That’s all the differences you’ll need to consider when choosing between PPM and SBUS.

PPM vs SBUS: Final Verdict

Both PPM and SBUS are worthy RC radio receiver protocols. It all comes down to your motive. If you’re planning to enter a race, then you should go for SBUS. PPM is a good option only if you want something affordable and just want to have fun. 

You can’t go wrong with either of these.


Question: What are RC radio protocols?

Answer: Remote-controlled vehicles like cars and helicopters use radio protocols to communicate with different components. They do this by sending signals. Your transmitter has to be compatible in order for it to work.

Question: Which receivers use PPM and SBUS?

Answer: Frsky, Futaba and Spektrum use PPM and SBUS technology. FrSky D4R-II uses PPm and Spektrum AR7700 uses SBUS. If you own Futaba R3006SB, it uses SBUS technology. 

Question: Where does latency take place in radio-controlled devices?

Answer: There is a latency between your sticks and the RF module on the TX. As well as between transmitter and receiver. Then finally between the receiver and your flight controller.


That’s all we have for today when it comes to the debate of PPM vs SBUS. Your thoughts should be a little less jumbled now. We hope we helped you come to a decision. 

We hope to see you again. Until next time, take care and good luck.

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