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Mode 1 & Mode 2

The difference

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Paul Davage12/11/2015 20:04:39
3 forum posts

Hi all,

I am a complete novice but looking to build a boat, looking at 2.4gHz tx/rx set, have seen several Hobbyking sets mode 1 and mode 2 could someone please explain the difference between the two.

Many thanks


Peter Fitness12/11/2015 21:03:36
508 forum posts
215 photos

Mode 1, which I happen to use, has the throttle on the right stick, whereas Mode 2 has it on the left stick. In Australia Mode 1 is the predominant mode, although Mode 2 is frequently used as well. Which one to use is a matter of personal preference.


Paul Davage12/11/2015 21:08:12
3 forum posts

Many thanks for answering Peter, much appreciated


Dodgy Geezer13/11/2015 09:38:14
818 forum posts
59 photos

Modes are also usually able to be altered easily on most radios - either a switch or a software set-up.

Mode 1 used to be common in the UK, while the US is primarily Mode 2. But since radio control kit is now sourced internationally, Mode 2 seems to be taking over, as the US is the largest market.

It's really only critical for aircraft controls, where you need to train your reactions to move two sticks in coordination. For most boats, Mode 1 (with separate rudder and throttle sticks) is probably more sensible. Of course, all two-stick two-channel sets are mode 1 by definition...

Paul Davage13/11/2015 09:56:30
3 forum posts

Thanks for the info dodgy all taken onboard for future reference

Dave Milbourn13/11/2015 10:16:30
4003 forum posts
282 photos


Your last para has the modes transposed, m'duck. Peter F is correct. Battles have been fought over this, but not here. I can't remember the last time I bought a set which came as Mode 1 (not that there's any facility to specify on-line anyway). In practical terms if there's no mode switch or software tweak then you can easily change the mode by swapping over the ratchet arm and centring spring, but the failsafe won't then be on the Rx channel marked "Throttle"; it will be on the "Elevator" channel. This is arguably no bad thing!

Just to explain things, here are two pictures of the LH stick inside a Planet T5 Tx. It shows the two different mechanical arrangements for modes 1 and 2. Every Tx is a slight variation on the same theme.



Dave M

Edited By Dave Milbourn on 13/11/2015 10:47:38

Banjoman13/11/2015 12:14:49
1142 forum posts
2414 photos

When I first bought a modern tx/rx set, I too found the matter of modes rather confusing, as on my previous set,a 1970s vintage O.S. 4 channel job, there were just four channels on two sticks, and which one did what job simply depended on how one plugged the servos into the r/x. The only thing on that old t/x that was sort of mode-related was how the sticks were set up out-of-the-box with springs and/or ratchets.

In one way of looking at things, this still holds true: there is no law that says that you must connect for example the rudder servo to the r/x channel marked "rudder" or the esc to the channel marked throttle. Your are likely to want them on proportional channels, and you may well have a preference for which stick in which direction, but there is nothing to stop that preference from being non-standard. You may have to switch around springs and ratchets as already discussed, but for the rest all you need to do is to plug servos and esc into the sockets on the r/x that connects them to the sticks in the way you like.

The one area where I found that it mattered on my set (a Spectrum DX6i) which mode was selected was when it came to the default settings for the throttle in Mode 2. This is set up to fit aircraft, where there is no need for reverse throttle, and the zero throttle position thus sits at LH stick fully down. As a protection against mistakenly switching everything on with the throttle in anything but zero position (which, on a model aircraft, might indeed have nasty consequences), the t/x would therefore sound a loud alarm and refuse to turn on properly if the stick was centred, i.e. in the usual zero position for a boat or any other vehicle with reverse capabilities.

Switching the settings to Mode 1 resolved this problem by assigning the throttle to the RH stick which, apparently, does not have this safety feature. I still control the throttle using the LH stick up-down, though, and some quick testing soon revealed which socket of the r/x I now needed to plug the esc into for this to happen.


Edited By Banjoman on 13/11/2015 12:15:12

Edited By Banjoman on 13/11/2015 12:15:51

Edited By Banjoman on 13/11/2015 12:16:13

Edited By Banjoman on 13/11/2015 12:16:56

Dodgy Geezer13/11/2015 12:24:39
818 forum posts
59 photos
Posted by Dave Milbourn on 13/11/2015 10:16:30:


Your last para has the modes transposed, m'duck. Peter F is correct.....

Whoops, sorry! Just goes to show how confusing Modes can be.....!

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