Can WIFI Interfere With an RC Car?

Can WIFI Interfere With An RC Car?

RC cars are awesome fun but sometimes things can go wrong with them. My son was driving his RC car the other day and the car was’nt responding quite the way it should. It made me wonder if WIFI interferes with an RC car.

As a whole, WIFI can interfere with an RC car. WIFI can interfere with toy-grade RC cars that run on 27 MHz or 49 MHz frequencies. WIFI does not interfere with hobby grade RC cars that run on 2.4GHz frequency and also high-end RC cars that run on 72 and 75 MHz.

It can be frustrating when you try to drive your RC car, but something seems to be interfering between your remote and the vehicle. In this article, we are going to cover the reasons that cause this, the effects of a WIFI signal on an RC car and how to make interference as minimal as possible.

Wifi interference with an RC Car 

A remote controller drives an RC car. For the car to drive, the remote must make a connection with the vehicle. The RC vehicle and transmitter communicate through a radio signal or frequency. When there is something that causes the radio signal not to go directly from the remote to the car, this gets seen as interference. Meaning the vehicle won’t respond to what the driver is telling it to do. Many things can cause this problem, among which a present Wifi signal. 

To be clear, there is a difference between remote and radio-controlled cars. A radio-controlled car communicates via frequencies like discussed above. Remote-controlled cars are sometimes attached by a wire. In this article, we are talking about the radio-controlled RC- cars that work via sending and receiving frequencies. 

Wifi can cause interference to the vehicle. If somebody wants to influence an RC- car through wifi, they will need to know what they are doing. Nowadays, it is more difficult for wifi signals to take over an RC- car because of the setup. If you want to reduce the risk of WIFI interfering with your RC car, driving on a specific frequency can help. 

The most used frequency in hobby grade RC Cars is 2.4 GHz and Toy grade cars. Toy-grade cars use 27 and 49MHz. Some vehicles drive on 72 and 75 MHz.

The most common frequencies used are:

2.4 GHz


Many cars are equipped with a 2.4GHz transmitter because this frequency communicates well with a vehicle and a remote. There are a few reasons for this:

This specific system has a sequence spread system, also known as DSSS. This system is built in the transmitter and receiver. The benefit of a DSSS system is that it picks up many different frequencies of 2.4 GHz.

So if in case there is wifi interference, the remote will still receive and send out enough frequencies for the vehicle to drive appropriately. Also, the frequencies that it picks up are fixed, meaning it will only pick up a 2.4GHz frequency, and it won’t be able to pick up something else that can cause interference.  

With a 2.4GHZ RC- car, there is less chance of frequency interference, making it possible to drive with multiple RC vehicles near each other without losing control of the car.

Toy Grade RC Cars



These RC cars run on a 27 MHz or a 49 MHz frequency. These frequencies are more common and get used in different kinds of technology. Therefore interference can be more significant when using this frequency. When you have two vehicles, for example, the chances of them both interfering with each other are bigger. The benefit of buying a toy RC- car is the price difference. These cars are much cheaper than cars installed with a 2.4GHZ transmitter. Being a more affordable system also means that other signals like wifi can interfere more quickly. 

72 And 75 MHz



There are not a lot of RC cars that drive on this frequency. The only vehicles that use this frequency are high-end models. The prices for these kinds of cars are way higher than the 2.4GHZ and RC- toy vehicles. The benefit of these frequencies is that interference is much lower than the two frequencies discussed above. 

WIFI interfering with an RC car is not something that most drivers are too concerned about. Other influences form a higher risk when it comes to interference between the remote and the car, which will get described further below.

Related post: How Far Can An RC Car Go?

What Else Can Interfere With My RC Car?

There are a few other things that can cause interference between the remote and the RC car. Examples are:

  1. The transmitter is not on the same frequency as the RC car.
    There are different frequencies that RC- cars can drive on and connect with. If the frequency of the transmitter and the vehicle differ, the car won’t respond.
  2. The battery is empty. 
    This might speak for itself. When the battery in the remote or the car is empty, they both won’t work. Charging your battery is key.
  3. There is a problem with the Antenna
    The Antenna picks up the frequency. When the Antenna can’t do this, again, the car won’t do what the driver is telling it to do. 
  4. The transmitter is responding to another RC car nearby.
    If the transmitter in the car picks up a frequency from another RC- car nearby, then the vehicle will respond to another driver. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that they are not driving on the same frequency when you are around other cars. 
  5. Servos have stopped working.
    Servos are small motors in an RC car that get used to operate the throttle. As you can imagine, when this doesn’t work, the car won’t work correctly either. When the servos do not work, you can often notice this because one thing doesn’t work. The car will still drive, but the wheel might not turn, making steering impossible. 

Methods To Stop RC Car Interference

As described above, there is a chance that there is an interference between the vehicle and the remote due to many different reasons. There are a few ways to stop RC- car interference in an easy way. These are:

Check the frequency



First off, it is essential to know at what frequency the car is running on. If you don’t know the frequency, you won’t know what to change it to if necessary. It is also essential to know the frequency if you are pairing your remote to the transmitter on your car. The frequency that the RC- car is driving on should be written at the bottom of the vehicle or on the package that your vehicle comes in. 

Keep Away From Other Cars Using The Same Frequency.




If you have the problem that the car is responding to a different driver, this is probably because they are both driving on the same frequency and are too close to each other. With that said when keeping a 75 to 100 feet distance between the vehicles, they shouldn’t interfere with one another even when they drive on the same frequency. If you want to make sure that you are not in the conflict zone, stay more than 100 feet away. 

Having Multiple Cars




Sometimes I get asked what can be done if you have more than one toy RC- car, and there are multiple family members, for example, that want to drive at the same time.

How can you stop interference then?

The most straightforward answer would be to buy two cars running on different frequencies. One would run on a 27 MHZ frequency and the other on a 49 MHz. If you have more than two cars, then the best is to keep at least a 100feet distance between the vehicles as described above. 

Selectable Band




Nowadays, some cars have selectable bands. The selectable band means that it is possible to change the channel or to ride with multiple vehicles on almost the same frequency. For example, the channel might be on 49MHz and 49.01MHz. These are specifically made so that various cars can drive together. These bands often get installed in professional vehicles that compete together with other vehicles in close proximity. 

How can I Increase the Range of my RC Car?

In general, most RC cars have a range of around 100 feet, with that said, there are a few simple ways to improve the range of an RC car.

As a general rule running an RC car on a high elevation, away from tall buildings, away from radio and WIFI signals. Changing the antenna on your RC car for a longer one. Changing the receiver inside the car and changing the transmitter. All these factors mentioned can greatly improve the range of an RC car.


If you would like to learn more about increasing the range of your RC car, please take a look at my related article on this subject by clicking here.

Can I use a Different Remote for my RC Car?

You may have a fault with your current remote or youre not happy with the remote that came provided with your RC car, so you consider changing it.

As a whole, it is possible to use a different remote for an RC car as long as the remote can run on the same frequency as the RC car you intend to use it for. If the remote has a different frequency, the RC car wont respond.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you will hopefully understand better why it can happen that frequencies sometimes get interfered. Many things, including WIFI, can cause this. An RC car might not respond well to the remote control when this happens, and you will need to do something to change this. I hope you enjoyed the article and that it includes all the information you were hoping to find.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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