Wireless Buddy Box

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Wireless Buddy Box or Co-op Training is a colloquialism referring to two RC aircraft radio systems used simultaneously for pilot training purposes where the two pilots on the ground are not connected to each other. This training system is developed by Second in Command RC - 2icrc and is compatible with all RC radio manufacturers (Futaba, JR, Hitec, Airtronics and KO Propo).

The short description is that it is a replacement for the conventional buddy box system of linking two transmitters, with the difference that it does it in the airplane! The advantages may not seem immediately obvious, but what this allows is for two completely different TX/RX systems to be used to control the plane. For example, the instructor can be on 2.4Ghz Futaba, and the student on a Spektrum system (or use any other brand name and transmission technology for either instructor or trainee). With the wireless buddy box system, the pilots are neither bound by the cable nor limited by its capabilities.

The wireless buddy box manages all this by allowing two receivers to plug into the in-flight switch box. Therefore, the aircraft now carries two receivers (one for the instructor and the other for the trainee) and the wireless buddy box. The in-flight buddy box is connected to both receivers, the servos being toggled between the two pilots and a battery.

Any switch / toggle or dial on the instructor's transmitter can be set to operate the unit to allow switching between the receivers; in contrast, the cable buddy box uses fixed toggles / slider / button, depending on brand, that cannot be reassigned and have to be pressed at all times to give control to the trainee - this can be very wearing on the finger!

Advanced training is also possible, for instance, this setup allows the instructor to switch any number of channels to the trainee. By giving flight access to the trainee fewer channels at a time, the complex maneuvers or vehicles are easier to learn / master. For example, in 3D flying, this enables someone to learn how to hover and torque roll one channel at a time, as some flight simulators allow. Similarly, the trainee can learn how to fly a helicopter one channel at a time (just like real pilots in flight school) while the instructor manages the rest of the controls. In other uses, when flying a high priced model, the pilot could use it as insurance against link issues / interference by having a secondary transmitter / receiver on hand on standby (redundancy).

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