How RC Models Work?

The systems for operating an RC model basically consists of a radio transmitter, a receiver, and servos. The transmitter usually has a box made of plastic and some metal, with the levers and buttons, and is powered by batteries.

It can be said that the servos are the mechanical arms that execute the movements that act on the rudder model and allow to accelerate or make the model stop. The receiver is also powered by a battery that normally has a larger capacity than the transmitter.

For a basic RC boat model, only two channels are needed. One to operate the rudder and the other to control the engine. Even if it is a simple sailboat, only one channel is needed to control the rudder. But if one wishes to turn on lights, another channel is needed; if we want to have a rotating antenna, an operating crane or siren, a new channel is required to operate each of them.

In the case of having a BEC system as a Viper Mariner 15, it is not necessary to use a battery to power the receiver, it can work with the same battery that powers the engine. In RC airplanes it is usual to have at least three or four channels to operate the engine, rudder, and ailerons.

In the case of rail modeling, radio control transmitters are not used to operate the trains. Generally, the line receives electric current coming from a transformer, and as the intensity of it is regulated, it is possible to start the march, reverse the direction of it, accelerate or stop.

To achieve several trains running in a model, the electrical system of the same one is divided into blocks that allow the isolation of different parts of the system, and in this way, we can have a locomotive stopped and another one working.

Nowadays, digitization has reached railway modeling. Through the use of different electronic control systems, the track is always energized, but a decoder located inside each locomotive allows operations that were previously almost impossible, such as stopping and keeping the lights on, beeping, and other features.

To begin operating first the transmitter is turned on and then the model system is turned on. Before operating the model, check that the connections are correct and the servos and the engine work properly. For example, the rudder should be in neutral point.

The Trim

The trim allows a small adjustment if there is any variation so that the sticks of the transmitter placed in neutral point matches the rudder in this position. We must ensure that we have another modeler with radio control equipment nearby, that we are not flying or navigating on the same frequency because for this reason you can lose control of your model and even destroy it.


Before the batteries run out of charge or the fuel ends (in the case of combustion engines) we must return it to our hands. Then we turn off the model switch first and then the transmitter. This routine should not be forgotten.

These indications are generally found in the manual of any Radio Control equipment, which is necessary to study it previously in order to know its characteristics, but when acquiring your first radio equipment be careful that in the case of a second hand one, because most people throw away its manual. For those who want to start, these explanations are valid.