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Protecting the Receiver in Your RC

Ways to Prevent RC Receiver Damage From Moisture and Vibration

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If you experience erratic behavior that seems like a radio glitch, it could be from receiver damage.

Fuel, oil, water, snow, mud, and even a spilled soda can seep into the receiver and create malfunctions that cause erratic behavior or permanent damage. Vibration from normal operation or, especially, a sudden jolt (such as from a crash, a hard landing after a jump, or being dropped) can dislodge the crystal or knock antenna wires loose causing erratic behavior or make the RC stop working entirely.

Here are some specific ways to protect your receiver from both moisture and the effects of vibration.

Use a Receiver Cover or Balloon

A fitted receiver cover helps protect the receiver from moisture and may provide a small amount of vibration protection. If your RC didn't come with a cover you can purchase one, or just use a balloon. A simple balloon (yes, like you blow up for parties or use as water balloons) over the receiver is an inexpensive way to protect the receiver from damage. Use a zip tie to seal the open end of the balloon.

Seal the Receiver Box

Some RCs come with a protective box that encloses the receiver. It may or may not be well-sealed. If not sealed, you can do this yourself using silicone tape around the lid and around the hole where any wires come out. An alternative to tape is to run a thin layer of petroleum jelly or grease around the open edge of the receiver that will help seal the lid when closed or seal the edges with silicone caulk. Stuff some foam or cotton around the hole to keep the wires tight and apply a little petroleum jelly over that as well. Each time you open up the receiver case you'll need to re-apply the tape, grease, or caulk.

Cushion the Receiver

For vibration protection, put a piece of foam under the receiver before wrapping it in a balloon or receiver cover. Or, stuff bits of foam around the receiver if it is in its own protective box.

Keep Receiver Away from Motors or Engines

If you have the option, try to move the receiver as far as possible from the motor or the engine to help reduce vibration.

Secure Your Receiver Batteries

A little extra tape around the receiver batteries in their holder can keep them from vibrating loose.

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