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What is RC?



Radio control (often abbreviated to R/C or simply RC) is the use of radio signals to remotely control a device. The term is used frequently to refer to the control of model vehicles from a hand-held radio transmitter. Industrial, military, and scientific research organizations make [traffic] use of radio-controlled vehicles as well.


In 1898 at an exhibition at Madison Square Garden Nikola Tesla demonstrated a small boat which could apparently obey commands from the audience but was in fact controlled by Tesla interpreting the verbal requests and sending appropriate frequencies to tuned circuits in the boat. He was granted a US patent on this invention on November 8, 1898.


The first general use of radio control systems in models started in the early 1950s with single-channel self-built equipment; commercial equipment came later. The advent of transistors greatly reduced the battery requirements, since the current requirements at low voltage were greatly reduced and the high voltage battery was eliminated. In both tube and early transistor sets the model's control surfaces were usually operated by an electromagnetic escapement controlling the stored energy in a rubber-band loop, allowing simple on/off rudder control (right, left, and neutral) and sometimes other functions such as motor speed.


In the early 21st century, 2.4 gigahertz transmissions have become increasingly utilized in high-end control of model vehicles and aircraft. Now, these 2.4 gigahertz systems are being made by most radio manufacturers. The radios range from a couple thousand dollars, all the way down to under $30 for some import systems. Some manufacturers even offer conversion kits for older digital 72Mhz band radios.



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