FAQ’s for RDS8000 2.4GHz radio

Hi All,

I am trying to build a F.A.Q. file to post on the service and Airtronics.net website as well as to distribute to our dealers. (I posted this same request on the Airtronics users group on Yahoo, so sorry to those who will find this repetitive..)

I was wondering if you’d all like to give some questions?
I thought it would be easier to make an FAQ file if I had some questions from the modelers visiting my blog.

 Already, of course, we’ve had a lot of questions and I’m using that as a starting point. But, any questions or comments you all have I thought would help make this file great right from the get-go…

So, if you can think of any, please post them in a comment here!

Thanks in Advance.

Mike Greenshields
Product Manager
Global Hobby


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30 Responses to “FAQ’s for RDS8000 2.4GHz radio”

  1. Paul White Says:

    OK, it is now January 29, 2008. I want one. When can I get one?

  2. mikegoesflying Says:

    Indeed at the moment that’s the FAQ! Here’s the update… We expect to be able to ship the first small shipment on Friday. These go to dealers so you’ll have to check to see if your local dealer will be getting one for you. We’ll start seeing more shipments in later February. We expect back orders to be all caught up in March. The demand FAR exceeded anything we ever imagined. Regular plentiful supply will probably happen late March (less than 60 days from now)


  3. Walt Moore Says:

    I have been in the RC hobby for several years, but have zero experience with Airtronics equipment. Most of my friends at the flying field use Futaba or Hitec stuff. I have several JR radios and a gift Polk radio system. Your Airtronics RDS8000 FHSS sure looks good! So, I would like to know: Who is Airtronics? Who/what is SANWA? Thanks, Walt Moore

  4. Robert Wright Says:

    Will the Airtronics surface 2.4Ghz receivers function with the RDS8000 2.4Ghz transmitter ??

  5. Mike Mas Says:


    Hello – Mike Mas here from Rotory. I really like the set because the 72 MHz. worked perfect, so therefore there really was no reason to make a design change that is unless your guys decide to put a new spin on the radio attract guys from the other side.

    I’ll have a review in the next issue of Rotory for the Heli guys.

    Thanks for the set!


    Mike Mas

  6. mikegoesflying Says:

    Hi Everyone, Sorry for the Delay. I’ve been traveling for a significant amount of time since the AMA show!!!

    Mike Mas. Thanks for Visiting! We’re looking forward to the coverage in Rotary.

    Robert: The Surface 2.4GHz is NOT compatible with the Air 2.4GHz stuff. It is using different coding, channel order, and several other issues that make them not compatible. Sorry. But I promise new smaller receivers will come.

    Walt. Sanwa in Japan has been around for DECADES. In the USA, it has been marketed under the Airtronics name, but in the rest of the world it’s Sanwa. Last year, Sanwa decided to change their distribution model and put Airtronics through an exclusive Distributor. We were chosen and were honored by their faith in us. We’ve been working hard ever since to get the radios to dealers and customers. We lowered prices and have been working hard with Sanwa/Airtronics engineers to create new product.

    Global Hobby Distributors has been in business for decades as well. Over the years, we have distributed many items here in the USA. Magnum, Model Tech, ProPeak, AP Engines, SH Engines, XTM Cars, WattAge Planes, Sportsman Aviation, Vinh Quang (VQ), Phase 3, Impulse, and KMS are all exclusively distributed in North America by Global.

    Service for all of our items including Airtronics are serviced through our Service Division, Global Services. http://globalservices.globalhobby.com

    I hope that helps!


  7. Paul Fehrenbacher Says:

    Hi Mike, Just wanted to know if the Airtronics radio is compatible with Spectrum 2.4GHz receivers. Thanks

  8. mikegoesflying Says:

    Great Question. 2.4GHZ receivers are NOT compatible between brands. Spektrum, Futaba, JR, Airtronics are all NOT compatible with each other.

    Just like PCM radios in 72MHz, the encoding is proprietary and not shared between brands.


  9. Zeek Says:

    Ok so with the radios on the market in the 2.4 GHz range I know very little but I am curious what way the Airtronics radio handle channel selection. the JR/Spectrum use a system of choosing 2 channels that get locked on on the onset of communication if there is any noise there is a lengthy process it must go through to acquire new channels to communicate on. The Futaba Fasst system seems to work a lot different in that every 2 milliseconds in moves to a different channel for communication. So I guess in simple terms how does the airtronics system work? I have looked for this answer and have found no real information so is it just a black box technology or?

  10. mikegoesflying Says:

    There is nothing black box about it. FHSS stands for Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. The Airtronics radio as described in our ads as well as by our FCC certification is FHSS and thus is using a unique, random sequence, hopping all around the 2.4GHz band that all radios like this are approved to use (it is about 1/2 of the 2.4GHz band).

    Note that there are no “channels” like there are in 72MHz model airplane use radios. So, each technology/design “splits” up the band differently and then uses it differently. Some brands separate it into 80 frequencies, some into 100, some then “sit” on 1 or 2 of those frequencies, some then “hop” around those frequencies.

  11. AUPETIT JM Says:

    Excuse me for my very bad English that comes from an automatic translator.
    I live in France I bought a set SANWA RDS8000 2.4GHZ.Voici almost 15 days that I try to find a manager to tell me if my radio is in line with European standards and usable following spècifiquations French, namely 2.400GHZ issue until 2.480GHZ full puissace, in the case of SANWA 90mW.J got called SCIENTIFIC FRANCE, it does not save me, it looks SANWA information. I sent an e-mail to general@sanwa-denshi.co.jp who said he could not get information on the subject, and that I am asking this to RIPMAX which is the importer for Europe, I sent him an e-mail, I still have no answer from him.
    So I return to you, perhaps you give me information on these missing information. All is well SANWA RDS8000 label CE! which means that certain restrictions have been taken into account in Europe. It remains for me to know if France is one!.
    I hope to hear from you and I thank you in advance.
    @ + Jean Marie

  12. mikegoesflying Says:

    I think I answered this through a different forum, but perhaps you should check with LRP in Germany. They have taken delivery and sell the radio to several countries throughout Europe. I am unfamiliar with the status of CE for the radio.


  13. Alex Bong Says:

    Hi Mike,
    I bought a RDS8000 in Singapore. I really like it. but Sad thing is the dealer here not much support. Now i want to use RDS8000 with simulator and wish to deactivate the 2.4mhz HF(Radio signal). Are there any way to turn off only the HF by using the trainer port? I mean DIY a trainer socket with ‘short-circuit’ any two pin or something like that?? I opened the TX and SAW there are 4 wire soldered to the trainer port. May I know the function for these wires?? as red=’+V’, black=’-V’, orange=’signal’…etc.Really need your clarification and help. Thank you.

    Yours Truly,
    Alex Bong

  14. Keith B Says:

    Mike, state-side here. I use 72MHz radios, have been since my last HAM band died some 20 years ago. I have many – 6 Hitecs and 3 Airtronics (2 Vanguard 6ch and a one year old RD8000, which I love to fly with). I’ve also go a strong collection of 30 to 35 receivers from various major brands, mostly after-market brands that match either – or + or are auto-switching, including Airtronics. ALL were very cheap in comparison to the VERY high cost of spectrum receivers.

    And that is the crux of why I probably won’t switch to 2.4GHz, as much as I’d like to buy a RDS8000 – I have too many 72 RXes, they are dirt cheap even for high quality and 2.4 Xes are over-priced.

    Are there any after-market spectrum receivers fully compatible with Airtronics, if not will there ever be an after-market of these, and when will Airtronics (and all the other brands) start selling them at a more reasonable price??

    Till them, there is no prying my fingers from all my 72’s.

  15. mikegoesflying Says:

    channel for channel airtronics receivers are more affordable than Futaba or JR/Spektrum. As for compatibility, just like PCM 72mhz, the receivers have unique coding. In fact they actually use the 2.4ghz technology differently. Thus, the receivers are simply not going to be compatible brand for brand.

    When you consider that you can buy an RDS8000 with 2 receivers for 200 dollars, that still makes this radio price wise on par with other 8 channel 72mhz radios. And with a 7 channel 69.99 dollar receiver available, the receiver is very close in price to a regular full range dual conversion FM receiver.

    IF You compare 72mhz PCM to Airtronics 2.4GHz, Airtronics 2.4Ghz is MORE AFFORDABLE.

    No one is telling you to switch. But wouldn’t be nice to go flying and not have to worry about a noobie turning on on you?

  16. Keith B Says:

    Mike, thanks for the reply, but I most hardily disagree on price comparitivity between PCM 72 and 2.4GHz Airtronics. Lets compare – I paid $165 for my RD8000 PCM 72 with one RX from Hobby People. Now they are selling the RDS8000 with one radio for $179 normally (the $199 for 2 Rx is a once in a while sale price). So we about the same in price, the RDS is a $14 premium. But who only has one plane???

    So now I want four or six more radios, the VAST majority of us in RC only fly planes with 4 to 6 channels realistically. With the RDS8000, each additional RX is $80!. Anyone can get compatible and extremely reliable 4 – 6 ch RXes from major brands like Castle, Hitec, Corona, etc. for less than half that price. Come on, there is no comparison in COO (cost of ownership).

    Also, I have heard a number of Glider flyer report that Spectrum radios do NOT get the same range as PCM 72Mhz radios, and the Glider guys flying up to a Mile or more should know experience. One of the guys we fly with that has a RDS8000 in a 3M glider has reported this and has gone back to his PCM 72 radio.

    As for worrying about being on 72Mhz, heck I’ve got the whole band to myself more and more often now ….. and a lot more cash in my wallet after buying additional RXes. Seriously, I’ve heard from a lot of flyers these days with the Obamanation destruction of the economy and I hear others also comment that the spectrum RXes are too expensive to justify a switch; and I know that Airtonics is not alone in the high prices, so nothing personal. I love my RD8000, best recent radio I’ve bought, and I still covet my Ai Vanguard 6ch too. Most reliable radio I have ever owned. Not one single hiccup since I bought it new, more than a decade ago.

    Ps. a BIG complaint I have and have heard many other RD and RDS owners say as well …. what no Rudder dual rates!!!??? Big flaw.

  17. Keith B Says:

    Opps, sorry I meant 4 or 6 more Receivers, not more radios.

  18. mikegoesflying Says:

    Compare apples to oranges, it’s ok. In the end, you buy what you like. My guess is that some people will never buy a new radio. Considering that we still repair Championship Series AM radios made in the early 1980’s, it does not shock me that some people will never buy anything new. That’s ok, we’ll fix your old stuff.

    Range: RDS8000 is about 1.5 miles and YES some of the 3M sailplane guys need more range. Keep in mind that some 72MHz radios didn’t have enough for those guys either.

    The SD-10G is over 2.1 miles.

    Keep in mind on range that most people cannot see a 60 size plane more than 5/8 of one mile away.

    As for Spektrum, I cannot speak for them. You’ll have to ask them why their radio does not have enough range.

    No, the RDS8000 does not have rudder dual rate. The SD-10G does
    However, it is no big deal to use a mix to add dual rate to the RDS8000. In Heli mode, it does have rudder dual rate, btw.

    As I said, NO ONE is forcing you to buy 2.4GHz. If you don’t like it, don’t trust it, don’t want it, there’s law against continuing to use 72MHz just as you always have.

  19. Keith B Says:

    I have been eyeing the new SD-10G, was talking to one of managers from Global at a recent Scale Squadron contest in Chino CA, but all we could look at was pictures … they never have any in stock to touchy feely. Glad Ai added rudder dual rates.

    Oh I wasn’t talking about “SpeKtrum” in reference to a fellow glider flyer that went back to his 72MHz radio because of the range being noticeably shorter, he switch BACK from a RDS8000 to another 72M radio. I always careful to spell speCtrum as a generic term for 2.4, and not SpeKtrum as a brand.

    I’d be hesitant to buy any Spektrum anyway, as I’ve read of numerous problems with theirs on two major forums and two guys at our club had those same problems that need not be discussed here.

    I think you meant there’s NO law against continuing to use 72MHz …

    Thanks again for the debate and your insights. I don’t see it as “apple and Oranges”, more a matter of living with a tight budget and the economy of justifying an extended more expensive switch. I hope in the near future we’ll see good, cheaper and fully compatible alternative Receivers, so adding 2.4 spectrum radio systems to our flying tools is financially obtainable.

    Best wishes Mike!

    • mikegoesflying Says:

      Bottom line is that cheaper receivers will make 2.4GHz much easier to swallow. But it’s a big sharp jagged pill because these receivers are harder to develop and use fewer, but more expensive components. You’re right. I agree.

      My point is that component wise these receivers are more like 72MHz PCM receivers than FM/PPM receivers in their complication and components. Thus the comparison…

      As for range, yes, the 3 meter glider crowd has unusually big demands on range compared to most other types of R/C flying. Most people are not flying miles away. They can’t see the plane miles away.
      The RDS8000 is really made for those guys anyway. The little radio doesn’t have the functions those guys really want. The SD-10G, on the other hand, does, and has the range to support it.

      Oh, and at the time of the Scale Squadron event, there wes only 1 in our company and I had it at the Western States E-Fly which was the same weekend. They came into stock a few days later.

  20. Peter Says:


    Is it possible to change a mode 1 rds8000 to mode 2? I have one a friend was using as a mode 1 flyer. He’s given me the rds8000 and I’m used to mode 2. I guess there must be a menu setting somewhere, but also is it easy to swap over the throttle ratchet, and what about the warranty?


  21. Giancarlo Says:


    is it possible reverse the TH-HI beep to the rds 8000 2.4 ghz so i prefer fly with throttle stich up and carburator close (like a real plane)

  22. mahmood ! Says:

    hello mike and every 1

    well i bought a go fly kite from singapore. and it came with a 8 channel sanwa remote and reciever. remote is RDS 8000 , 2.4Ghz FHSS, actually im having a great difficulty in flying my kite because the transmitter is in Mode 1. i have never used mode 1 before and i am only used to mode 2. i live in pakistan, lahore and i gave my transmitter to a hobbyshop here to switch it to mode 2. they swtitch the throttle stick to left side but could not do the electronic setting between transmitter and reciever.
    i would highly appreciate if any one can help me and tell me how to change it to mode 2 on my own terms. the throttle stick is switched to left side but still when switched on it wokrs like mode 1.

    • mikegoesflying Says:

      Contact service directly. The process to convert the radio to Mode 2 is usually only completed by service staff because it requires more than just moving some springs as you are now well-aware.

  23. Brian Says:

    I eyeballed the Airtronics RDS8000 for sometime in the RC Mags. I didn’t get the kit w/2 recievers but did get a real good deal from a hobbystore online and purchased the radio. For what I want to do with future planes the 8 channels is perfect, but a lot of my flying is 3 or 4 channels. If I had one request to contribute it would be to get compatable 2.4 recievers available in lower channels. Some of my planes are small and the bigger housings on the reciever is too big. I’ve flown 2.4 with a Spektrum for a long time, I’m totally willing to switch and keep the other radio as stand-by but I need smaller reciever packs for the RDS.

    I may have to sell my transmitter and get something that has more options.

    • mikegoesflying Says:

      I’ve got good news for you, we HAVE SEVERAL receivers to choose from.

      In addition to the stock 8ch receiver, there is now a 7 and 6 channel available. All 3 are full range and the 6ch is quite small and affordable
      Click the links:

      There is also an affordable lightweight park flyer receiver. With the case off it is only 4 grams or so making it very nice for indoor planes, small helis, etc.

  24. Randy Says:

    Hi Mike,
    I have two RDS8000 transmitters and reciently bought a trainer cable in hopes to help a few friends in the area with their plane and heli flying. I was setting the perimaters on the trainee transmitter to match the main transmitter, and was unable to complete the entire process due to a time restraint. I believe I just turned the transmitter off. A short time later, I was going to complete the process and I am unable to start the transmitter due to it being in “Throttle High” mode. I was in the throttle curve process when I ran out of time therefore I am thinking I somehow set a perimater too a position that somehow makes the transmitter think the throttle stick is not set in its lowest position.

    Any idea?


    • mikegoesflying Says:

      Call the 800 number Monday and walk through it with Jack. I have not experienced what you are describing.
      800-262-1178 from noon-4PM M-F Pacific time.

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