This is an anecdote addendum to my story arc as an RC driver. I’m still not great, but I’m getting better, and in the last month I earned three 2nd place spots at club races 🏆 I’m going to be honest about how I wound up there, but it’s really a commentary on consistency.
After having some troubles playing VRC, I started to look at my hardware to see if there was some gains to be had there because while I’m not a great racer in real life, I’m also not terrible 😎 I wound up doing a lot of research regarding the relative speed and latency of various tx/rx brands and models. The most concrete measurement I could come up with is the PWM frequency sent from the receiver to the ESC & servo(s). PWM signals are often much faster than PPM signals that are used by buddy-box or direct servo control systems. This is important in regards to playing VRC.
I gathered results measured by myself and others using the SkyRC Program Box. It is not a foolproof measurement of end-to-end latency – the delay from when you give a controller input and the ESC reacts to it. But it’s a clear metric, and part of the overall latency we can measure easily.
Much of this may not even matter to you. The average human reaction time is on the order of hundreds of milliseconds. For transmitter latency we’re talking about tens of milliseconds or less. Also, the transit time on the fastest servos are around 50 milliseconds, so that is another part of the equation that is difficult to reduce. But just because the measured latency is less than what we as humans can react to, it doesn’t mean these delays can’t be perceived, even if it’s just in the way something feels.
I can’t always get to the track to actually race, so the next best thing is playing Virtual RC Pro. I can practice or race at anytime, no matter what my family’s schedule is or what the weather is like. I initially had some trouble playing VRC, so I put this together to document how I was able to improve gameplay, and my driving. The first part of this is about getting VRC set up and working well. The second part is about racing electric on-road cars in VRC (that’s what I drive at our local tracks). But there may be a buggy in my future so subscribe to get those updates as well!