How to Connect RC Electronics in an Electric Model Airplane

Written by larry simmons
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An electric model aeroplane is a complicated model to build, yet a simple one to wire. The electronics contained in an electric aeroplane all centre around the radio receiver, with the various control units connecting to this single receiver. While running the wires along the model's body is a simple process, it does require careful attention to detail as a mistake in setting up the electronics can doom your carefully created model to an early and disastrous landing.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • RC Radio receiver
  • Servos
  • RC Radio transmitter
  • RC aircraft battery

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  1. 1

    Take the receiver crystal that matches the crystal installed into your transmitter and place it into the radio receiver for your aircraft controls.

  2. 2

    Plug the servo controlling the rudder into Channel 1 of your receiver. The plugs are colour coded to ensure that the proper signals are sent between the receiver and the servos, and each channel is clearly labelled. The rudder is the tailpiece of your aircraft that controls flight direction.

  3. 3

    Plug the elevator servo to channel 2 of your receiver. The elevators control the rise and fall of the aeroplane, and are located on the rear of the aeroplane wings.

  4. 4

    Take the electronic speed control and plug it into channel 4 of the receiver. The electronic speed control is used to control the throttle, managing aircraft speed.

  5. 5

    Connect the 3 motor wires from your aircraft motor to the receiver in any order.

  6. 6

    Turn on your transmitter and then plug the battery into the electronic speed control to test the controls. Move the control sticks on the transmitter and watch the servos for response. The servos should move 45 degrees in each tested direction. Test the motor briefly by moving the throttle forward. If the motor runs backward, reverse two of the wires. Unplug the battery.

  7. 7

    Place the servos, electronic speed control, battery and motor onto the aeroplane according to the manufacturer's instructions and then plug all the wires in as before. Do a final test with the transmitter and make adjustments to the plugs where necessary. When all parts operate correctly, then you're ready for take-off.

Tips and warnings

  • For more controls, use a receiver and transmitter equipped with a greater number of radio channels.
  • Lift your motor off the table when connecting the battery in case it starts when the connection is made.

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