'v5' Receivers Explained...

Receivers that have 'v5' in the name have great flexibility in how they can be used. Each receiver comes with a default configuration so they can be used as supplied without changing anything. But people with different needs have many options to choose from. v5 receivers can be used on aircraft but are mainly intended for surface vehicles. So they have many steering options, forward/reverse options, and on/off switching options.


Rx100 shown above is a fairly standard 'AR6100' type receiver with 7 sets of plugs and an 8th pad on the side. The 'signal' pin of each of these is referred to as a 'P' output. P outputs are mainly intended for 'signalling'. They can control servos, external ESCs and low current things like Leds.


F outputs are brushed ESCs for 'single polarity'/one-way control. They have an electronic switch called a Fet. This allows fairly high current switching (up to 2A). They have 64 step PWM which can be used to change the speed of a brushed motor, vary the intensity of a light, or do on/off switching. They also have special mixing to allow two F outputs to be used together for muscle wire steering and other things.


H outputs are two-way brushed ESCs. They have H-Bridges which allow polarity to be reversed to make a brushed motor or actuator change direction. They also have 64 step PWM each way which can be used to vary speed and intensity. Two H outputs can be mixed to provide differential thrust steering for tanks, diggers, boats, etc.


v5 receivers are likely to be used for things that normal receivers cannot do. So providing a mechanism to change how outputs work is core to their design. These receivers are very small so changes are made over radio link. There is a special way of getting receivers into programming mode and then the Ch3 stick is used to make yes/no choices.

This is done in 'levels'. So Level 1 requires you to select whether you want to program H, F or P outputs (1 to 4 flashes). So you keep saying 'no' with the Ch3 stick (down if not reversed) until the correct number of flashes are displayed. You then say 'yes' (push stick up) to move onto the next level.

Level 2 requires you to select the output number. For example Rx100 has eight P outputs. So you keep saying 'no' with the Ch3 stick until you see the appropriate number of flashes then say 'yes'. So to change output 'P5' you need 3 flashes in Level 1 (=P) and 5 flashes in Level 2 (=P5).

Levels 3-5 are then dependant on the output type and selections you make. The Led will come on solid when complete. Changes are saved automatically. Switch the receiver off at any time before that to abandon changes. One output is changed at a time. Switch the receiver off and back on again to change another output.


It is common for reversable speed controllers to be off at the center position using the self-centering Ch3 stick. v5 receivers allow this. To go forwards the stick is pushed towards the top of the transmitter. To reverse it is pulled down to the bottom. 'Half stick' movements are used for each direction.

v5 receivers also allow 'full stick' throttle control for each direction. Throttle is off when the stick is pulled down to the bottom of the transmitter and full power is at the top regardless of direction. A separate channel is used to select direction. This feature is most useful for vehicles that do not change direction very often such as trains. It is usually used with the Ch1 stick. This usually has a friction movement (no spring) so the throttle stays where you leave it and provides a visual indication of power setting and of course much greater control over power.

This 'full stick' feature is availabe in two forms. It can be selected with an H output to control a motor with the on-board brushed ESC. This is the default for H1 on Rx41d-v5. It can also be selected with a P output to control a normal external reversable ESC in the same way. This is the default for P1 on Rx100-T-v5.


For safety, outputs are not active until the receiver has a connection with the transmitter and the system is 'armed'. Arming occurs automatically when the 'throttle is off'. In v5 terms, this means you have to configure which channel is used for throttle/arming and whether off is at the low or mid stick position.


The receiver has an Led. It flashes once every 2 seconds when Scanning for a signal, it indicates when Bind mode has been entered and for Programming. Because receivers are often hidden in surface vehicles, an output can be configured to act as a remote LED which mirrors the activity of receiver's Led up until the point it comes on solid. This feature is called 'LED2'. That output can also be used for another Led function (once armed).


The PWM frequency can be changed. Lower speeds make a more pleasant sound and give more torque and higher speeds are smoother for delicate controls like actuators in planes. 12Hz makes a motor in a boat sounds like a 'pop-pop' steam engine, 60 and 130Hz are in the range used by many commercial train controllers, 700Hz closer to brushed motor ESCs used in receivers like the AR6400.


v5 receivers with built-in reversable speed controllers are intended for use with one lipo (1S). They can be used with up to 6v but the low voltage cutoff and the way in which outputs are switched for leds make single cell lipos a perfect match.

Please note that lipos are charged to 4.2v per cell, LiFe cells to around 3.6v and Nicads/NiMHs to around 1.5v. So do not be mislead by their lower 'nominal' ratings which are misleading when considering maximum voltages.

ADD2 is rated for 10v so it can be used to drive a motor with say a 2S lipo for higher speeds. However, the receiver must still be operated from 3-6v. This either needs a separate regulator (eg: 3.3 or 5v) or the receiver can be run from the lower cell of a 2S pack. The lower cell is the one connected to the black wire. This is easiest to tap into if the pack has a balancing lead. The advantage of tapping into the lipo pack is that the receiver will monitor the voltage of that one cell and the LVC circuit in the receiver will cut power to the motor at the appropriate time as the pack become flat. In order to correct any imbalance between the two cells it will be important to charge the pack with a 'balancing' charger.

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