Two point four gigahertz radio systems are now becoming far more affordable, as well as the tech generally improving in terms of reliability. With the pro’s seemingly out weighing the cons, can you enjoy the benefits for the same price as the latest console game? After the jump read our full review of the Ansmann Racing W3.1 3 Channel wheel radio system.
On opening the box, you are greeted by the standard fair of polystyrene (anyone else hate the noise of polystyrene?!) moulds with holes for each item. The box contains the handset, the receiver, a 4x AA battery harness and a on/off switch. No servos are included.
In the hand, the handset feels like most budget radio transmitters, very plasticky yet quite weighty. You shouldn’t really expect anything more from a complete 2.4GHz system which costs so little, but is nice when manufactures use materials which are more tactile to touch.
The receiver is incredibly small and lightweight, we mean really really diddy. It measures a mere 26mm x 30mm x 16mm and feels pretty sturdy for such a small Rx.
Transmitter Turn on
Once you have fitted 8 AA batteries into the handset, you are ready to power on. The blue power LED is bright and you will never forget to turn your handset off. The LCD has battery voltage and model memory visible on load up.
The handset features the 3rd channel switch on the front nose which great to have, but of course it’s not 3 position so no good for crawlers and their digs.
The buttons for the digital trims are placed along the top edge of the steering wheel and are usable without taking your hand from the wheel when in use.
The steering wheel does have slight play in it at each end of its rotation, however it isn’t a deal breaker. The trigger is a 70/30 ratio for throttle and brake and unfortunately you can not switch to 50/50, we would prefer this option to be available on all handsets which default to 70/30.
When you’ve got your receiver all plugged in you simply press and hold the bind button on the top to bind the handset with your specific receiver.
Once that’s complete, it only takes a few seconds, it all just works. In the past even the higher end 2.4GHz systems could be quite flakey, but it seems the tech has moved on and even though the band has become a lot busier the Ansmann hasn’t glitched on us once. We are impressed to say the least.
The W3.1 also features memory for upto 10 model presets. We decided to set a few up and the handset is nice and quick to switch between the saved settings.
We’ve been using the W3.1 with our Ansmann Macnum which we are currently reviewing and the performance of this radio system has been totally adequate. It won’t get your heart racing, but at the same time it works without your blood boiling.
As someone who started out with the classic Acoms 27MHz 2 Channel stick radio systems, the W3.1 is a true bargain. You get features and modes which a few years ago were solely on higher priced radio systems from the established big names, and you get crystal free 2.4 gig reliable fun.
Would we recommend the Ansmann W3.1? Yes we would, it’s a fantastic alternative to the standard brands and you have the ability to explore the decent feature list as your experience grows.
It’s the perfect radio system for those starting out with real hobby class radio control models. The fact that Ansmann somehow manage to sell it quite so cheaply , means it is a great choice.