JUST HOW DOES SPREAD SPECTRUM RC REALLY WORK?If you've got, or you've been thinking of buying, a 2.4GHz spread-spectrum RC set then you'll probably be keen to understand exactly how it works, and hopefully this article will help you do so.
First, a few words about older "narrowband" RC systems...
Traditional narrow-band RC systems on anywhere from 27MHz to 72MHz are fairly easy to understand because they work just like your regular AM or FM radio - sending out a signal that is picked up by the receiver and then sent to the servos.
Unfortunately, just like regular FM broadcast radio, these RC systems require a frequency all to themselves if they're going to avoid interference with each other. What's more, it doesn't take much to disrupt a regular narrow-band signal. A noisy thermostat or electric drill can often cause massive amounts of electrical interference when listening to an AM broadcast and FM isn't always that much better.
But manufacturers of spread spectrum (SS) radio systems are claiming that you need never worry about being shot down by other fliers and that all 2.4GHz systems can get along in harmony, despite apparently using the same frequencies.
So how can that work?
Well to explain this, I'm going to use a series of illustrations that I call "the freeway analogy". Using these diagrams and explanations, I will do my best to convey the complex world of spread spectrum in a form that most people can get their brains around. Of course in doing this I've had to take a few liberties with the details but these are not important.