The RC Laser’s Range (How far Away Can I Sail?)
There is no exact answer to this question because many factors are involved – environmental conditions, battery quality & charge state, the way the aerial is set-up, the way the transmitter (handpiece) is held etc. We recommend that before you start sailing you test the range out on dry land & familiarise yourself with it. Test out some of the suggestions we have made below to see how they influence the range.
The radio gear supplied with the RC Laser is not your common ‘toy radio’ – it is professional equipment with changeable frequencies and a long, long range.
It is unlikely you will want to sail ‘out of range’ of the transmitter as seeing where the boat is pointing is likely to become a problem before safe range is exceeded. Another rough guide is to sail no further away than your ability to read the sail numbers (size as supplied/approved by the Association).
The following are some tips that will help you maximise your range.
- Use fresh batteries in the boat each time you sail.
- Hold the transmitter (handpiece) aerial in the vertical position. This position gives you the longest range. Pointing the aerial towards the boat is an instinctive action but it does not give the best range.
- If the red light on the transmitter is illuminated or flickering on and off bring the boat ashore as soon as possible and change the batteries in the transmitter.
- If you are having communication difficulties, check the aerial on the transmitter (handpiece) to ensure it has not become unscrewed.
- Make sure antenna wires are not crossed over themselves. This may diminish the strength of the signal getting through.
We also have a couple of suggested ways to further improve the range by slightly modifying the antenna system. See under ?Modifications’
Changing Transmitter Batteries While Sailing
The transmitter (handpiece) requires 8 batteries. It is always a good idea to have a spare set on hand. If the red LED light (low battery signal) lights up on the handpiece you can (under most conditions) do a quick change over while the boat is still on the water.
To maintain some control during the changeover, put the rudder hard over and then switch the transmitter off. This puts the boat into sailing tight circles so it does not sail away into the distance while you are fumbling around with the batteries.