This Christmas I'm buying a couple people remote controlled quadcopters. Then it hits me. Is there a possibility that the different remote controllers will crosstalk and wind up controlling a robot that it is not meant to control?

How do electronic engineers ensure that electronic toys will be controlled over via one remote controller and not the other?

Some thoughts:

  1. each RF circuit is only tuned to listen to a single frequency, but how to create so many variants of the circuits?

  2. each quadcopter has a unique identifier and is sent through the wireless controller before each instruction so that the receiver can identify signal through only one set of controller

Any ideas?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I can't vouch for remote control toys, but I have a remote AC switch that comes with at least 4 different controllers to avoid interference. The number of the controller is printed on the box. Check the box carefully for such information. \$\endgroup\$ – Barry Dec 26 '14 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are various different schemes. Many controllers for cheap toys come with two different channels. There is a switch on the toy and on the controller, and they have to be set to the same channel. By the way, many cheaper toys use IR LED's for control rather than narrow band RF. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Dec 26 '14 at 0:32

The original solution for the 27MHz band was different crystals (matched sender and receiver): http://www.ukrcc.org/27mhz.html

The ISM bands (433 / 915MHz) tend to use digital code switching, your option 2. The number of codes is usually small and may be selectable by a switch somewhere. This makes it straightforward to buy replacement remotes.

The 2.4GHz band is used by all kinds of protocols. Some of the pricier quadcopters define their own WiFi hotspot for control and telemetry; WiFi has both 13 different sub-bands and a coding system (SSID).


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