A yellow 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Front View.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Are you struggling when it comes to measuring the speed of your RC car or drone? Well, it’s quite important to learn the speed of your model if you’re going to get the best performance from it. I love speed, and I live by the saying that, ‘the fastest is the best.’ But how can you quickly find the speed of your model?

You’ll not see many RC cars or drones with a speedometer or a needle that shows how fast it’s moving. My RC car didn’t so I had to look for a way to do this. Here are some of the three fantastic methods you could use to measure speed:

The Radar Gun

What is a radar gun? To explain what it is, I’ll use a simple example. Now, you’ve probably watched those movies where the police pull over speeding cars. You may also have seen them using a device to prove that the driver was speeding. Ever wondered what it is? Well, this is the radar gun, and it’s used by holding down the trigger as you point at the moving object whose speed you want to know. You can use this to measure the speed of your RC drone or car.

I love this technique because it does not occupy any space on the remote control model. However, as you cannot monitor the vehicle and still hold the gun, the gun should be held by a different person.

In many instances, it is probably better to have the car pass where you’re located. Such reduces the chances of you getting incorrect readings. I also found it difficult when trying to measure the speed of my RC drone. Getting the model to fly close to the person holding the gun was a huge challenge, but maybe it’s because I’m not a pilot. All in all, you should remember that a radar gun can only measure the speeds of devices moving away or towards you!

The GPS Receiver

Unlike the Radar gun, this is a more traditional method of measuring the speed of your device. RC Rank’s quality reviews show that the Garmin Etrex is one of the smallest hand-operated units that does a fantastic job. It can record maximum speeds across the whole run as compared to the radar gun which only measures one pass. The GPS also includes other information such as path and trip data as well as any other additional speed details.

However, the unit’s size makes it a little bit more challenging while fitting it into smaller models. I have still managed to use this 1/8 scale on trucks and some few larger planes. You’ll only need to fix it safely into the RC model.

The Data Logger

Okay, I would say that this device has close similarities to the Eagle Tree systems as it provides a unit of expendable GPS add-on. It can log the RC models speed in actual time. Also, unlike the other two devices I’ve mentioned, the Data Logger is more visual. It records statistics in graph form, helping you to see where the model performed best and worst.

However, I discovered that because it does not have a hard case, mounting it can be a rather complicated process. Despite this, its light nature makes it perfect for both RC drones and cars!

Using the above devices to measure the speed of your model not only saves you on time, but also allows you to keep track of its speed more efficiently. You can even decide to make the necessary speed adjustments if you feel like it’s moving slowly. It’s just like handling a standard car!