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Modes 1 or 2


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Richard Ashworth13/02/2020 19:42:15
91 forum posts
69 photos

Personally I think that if you think you are likely to fly 4 channel you should not ever move the rudder to the right hand stick but fly 3 channel with both sticks, Throttle and rudder left, elevator right, mode 2.

I started with a 2 channel glider, rudder elevator both on the right stick. It very nearly cost me my first 4 channel plane.

Rudder you can leave on and continue a turn, ailerons if you move the stick in the same way, spins the plane upside down and aims it at the ground. The damage was repairable.

It took a good hour on Realflight and quite a few resets before my brain was fully reprogrammed.

I have never experienced mode 1 but suspect that its not an issue.

kc13/02/2020 19:47:51
6224 forum posts
169 photos

The primary steering controls - rudder or ailerons - is usually on the right stick so if flying rudder only thats on the right stick, if ailerons as well then thats on the right instead. Really you don't use the rudder much when flying 4 channel just for steering on the ground at take off and for certain manouvres. Exception may be certain biplanes etc which need coordinated rudder and ailerons.

Each instructor has their own preference but probably most (?) prefer to teach 4 channel and not bother starting with 3 channel. Depends what model you use of course, but most seem to start with 4 channel. You might prefer a vintage model which is often 3 channel and might be better for some people as it migh t be slower and maybe bigger. = easier to see and more time to react.

Find a club and see what the instructors prefer, especially what radio they use so you can have a buddy lead to their Tx.

Malcolm Fisher13/02/2020 20:07:24
627 forum posts
7 photos

I fly mode 2, but started with a single channel push button system followed by a two channel where rudder was on the right stick and elevator on the left. When I graduated to multifunction my first transmitter was mode one, and I struggled with it and changed the Tx to mode 2.

I fly both gliders and power models - some of which need to be hand launched. If they are properly set up I don't have any difficulty in launching with my right hand while holding the Tx in my left. I have never had any difficulty with getting my right hand onto the control stick whether the model is a pure glider, an electric foam model or a power model with two, three or four channels.


Don Fry13/02/2020 20:23:39
4413 forum posts
52 photos

I fly mode two. I am right handed. In my club, there is one other mode two flier. He is right handed. We are both British. We were taught this way.

All the rest of the club are French. They are mode one. They were, left or right handed, taught to fly that way.

Ray Wood 413/02/2020 20:46:37
144 forum posts
26 photos

Hi All back in the early days of affordable proportional radio sets I learned to fly On the slope with rudder right stick and elevator left on a Sanwa Mini 2 function set £49.99 in 1977, progressing to 4 function in 1981 kept the turning/ailerons on the right, hence mode 1 😀😀

Regards Ray


Edited By Ray Wood 4 on 13/02/2020 20:47:17

kc13/02/2020 21:31:01
6224 forum posts
169 photos

You'r confusing the situation, the recent question was about where rudder and ailerons are placed and why. Ailerons and Rudder are the same on Mode 1 or Mode 2.

wingcoax13/02/2020 23:23:49
68 forum posts

I know this is slightly off track, But, I was taught on mode 1 as that was the primary mode in the club. I have also flown on mode 2 without problem. As I am primarily left handed is this why?. Technically I am ambidextrous as i can use either hand.

Tony Richardson14/02/2020 04:30:14
615 forum posts
25 photos
Posted by thomas salisbury on 28/12/2009 17:19:49:
Which mode do people prefer 1 or 2 ?
Silly question but Is the elevator supposed to be setup as to where you pull the stick down for elevation and push up for dowm elevation... ?
Just trying to check I have them setup to what they should be many thanks Tom..

Thomas if you think about it you are not pulling down for up nor pushing up for down, you are pulling back for up and pushing forward for down, unless of course you hold your transmitter in a vertical position unlike most flyers I know who have their transmitter in the horizontal position..

gangster14/02/2020 09:05:44
985 forum posts
17 photos

This has been a hot debating point for decades. I was taught in mode 1 and it has worked for me for over 40 years although I am only one of two in the club.

if you are just starting out go with the teacher. Certainly whichever mode you use stick it. If you start with a rudder and no aeleron model put the rudder on the right stick ie keep your primary turn/bank control in the same place. Also go with stick to top of box to increase engine revs and stick to top to dive.

From what is available I would suggest mode 2 is the main one in this country. Virtually every new and second hand tx I have bought has been on mode 2 and I have had to convert, usually not a problem and try and find a cheap indoor helicopter in mode 1. I do fly my Lidl Jamara heli on mode 2 but that flies itself anyway

As for the hand launch issue we’ll after a particularly scruff launch I commenter to my mate “ it’s a problem on mode 1 I had to find me aelerons a bit quick” Hi answer which made me feel a prat was. “ well on mode 1 you ain’t got the Ele either”. Good point

Ss for the old chestnut about full size practice. Come off it what has that got to do with standing in a field holding a box

Edited By gangster on 14/02/2020 09:07:53

Jeff Langley14/02/2020 10:44:17
32 forum posts

I rather fancy I'll throw my hat in with Richard, as this seems to me to be the logical progression(?) to 4 channel with minimal disruption.

I'm also reminded of the fact that during my current efforts to re-learn to fly (muscle memory MIGHT apply to golf!), led to the destruction of my first two "trainers" (?), both highly recommended, & a 54 four stroke (brand Harry Spankers as Tim would say), which I found somewhat galling in that I was not flying the model on either occasion!

fly boy314/02/2020 17:25:41
3602 forum posts
21 photos

Years ago there was a poll on the forum regarding modes,IIRC mode 1 was only 14%, most probably if we had a poll now it would be much lower. Cheers

John Stainforth14/02/2020 23:45:16
324 forum posts
39 photos

I am in the US at the moment, and rest assured Mode 2 absolutely dominates - virtually no one flies Mode 1. I think this is because there is more cross-over with full-size aviation: there are for more modelers who also fly full-size planes in the US compared with the UK.

Jason Channing15/02/2020 07:36:30
108 forum posts

I fly in the left and right seat of commercial airliners and it makes no difference where the throttle and Ailerons are, One day the ailerons and elevators are operated by the left and the next there operated by the right hand, Sol ong as their free of binding and they work.

Personally I dont see the relevance between Mode 2 and light aircraft as most throttles are on the centre pedestral, now if your into xbox the elevator control is reversed

Peter Christy15/02/2020 09:34:55
1677 forum posts

I'm sure I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Have you ever wondered just *why* we have mode 1 and mode 2? Well, it dates back to the days before we had proportional control at all (late 50s / early 60s).

Back then we had a system called "reeds" (for reasons that don't matter for this argument). This was a non-proportional system, and a transmitter typically looked like this:

Picture from RC Hall of Fame: **LINK**

The switches on the left moved up and down and operated the elevator and throttle. The switches on the right moved sideways, and operated aileron and rudder. Pressing a switch moved the control surface to its full deflection, and releasing it brought it back to the center. The servos were quite slow, so a reduced travel of the control surface could be achieved by "blipping" the relevant switch. The throttle was progressive rather than self-centering, and would move in the desired direction until the switch was released or maximum travel was reached.

Systems like this were "simultaneous" in that you could operate any left switch at the same time as a right switch. However, you could not operate two right or two left switches together. The switches were arranged to make this almost impossible, physically.

Systems like the one illustrated were high end systems - expensive, and usually only flown by experts. Note that to allow simultaneous operation of elevator and aileron (or rudder), the elevator had to be on the left, and the aileron (or rudder) on the right.

When proportional came along, many manufacturers eventually settled on the "two stick" arrangement that we still use today. However, most of the expert flyers - who were the early adopters - had got so use to having their elevator under their left thumb that they found switching to a more conventional layout difficult, if not impossible. Hence mode 1!

Those of us who hadn't been flying "reeds" that long before switching to proportional had less trouble switching, and adopted mode 2.

Areas of the country where multi-channel "reeds" had been popular and had resident experts to teach newcomers (Geoff Franklin in Leicester, Ed Johnson in Bristol, Peter Waters in Wales to name but a few) taught them mode 1, which is why it has hung on for so long.

Before "twin-stick" became adopted as the norm, a lot of early proportional systems used a single stick for all the aerodynamic controls. Indeed the system regarded as the very first fully proportional set used this, and was initially copied by most others:

Picture from RC Hall of Fame: **LINK**

Ailerons and elevator were controlled by the stick in mode 2 fashion, rudder controlled by twisting the knob on the end, and throttle by the two push buttons at the top right (or on later systems, by a separate slider on the side).

I was lucky enough to get hold of a "single-stick" transmitter some years ago:

I converted it to 2.4 GHz, and now fly all my aerobatic models with it. And I much prefer it to either mode 1 or 2!




Jeff Langley15/02/2020 11:35:50
32 forum posts

My word! Taken the lid off the veritable Can Of Worms, haven't I? Thanks to all respondents thus far, it's been most educational, but still rather befuddled!

My club is predominantly Mode 2, with very few Mode 1 ers, but ironically, one of them is my instructor, but fortunately rather good & even more patient! It's rather fascinating though.

Gary Manuel15/02/2020 12:48:25
2090 forum posts
1530 photos

Interesting bit of history there Peter.

Sort of explains the general migration from Mode 1 towards Mode 2.

gangster15/02/2020 14:30:54
985 forum posts
17 photos

Jeff don’t worry about taking the lid off this can of worms. I don’t think it has ever had a lid. I have just realised how old this thread is as well. It was surprisingly short for this particular subject

MAD Dave15/02/2020 15:43:02
91 forum posts
9 photos

I don't understand why you guys are ignoring Mode 3 - the mirror of Mode 2. I am left handed and it has always worked for me. It was my initial set up way back with my 27MHz Fleet gear and, being LH'd, seemed the most logical to me. Still does!

Martin Harris15/02/2020 19:41:11
9108 forum posts
225 photos

While it's important to accept that there's no right or wrong control layout - if you're happy with yours, that's fine and there are plusses and minuses to any mode, there's a perennial argument about the relationship of modes 2 and 3 to full size.

Perhaps we should ask the question why full size has universally adopted the ailerons and elevator on a shared control and separated the other main functions? My belief is that this stems from the logic that the general "pointing"of the aircraft is achieved as an integrated movement rather than two separated actions which might be easier for the human brain to process. That logic could extend to the relationship between throttle and rudder in RC models although not in full size hand/foot control application.

However, this logic is largely countered by the human brain's capacity to learn to compensate and relate hand movement to desired results as born out by the many successful competition and display pilots who show a random preference to modes, whether they are right or left handed.

Edited By Martin Harris on 15/02/2020 19:43:21

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