Using Correct Frequencies In Multiple RC Toys

There is a wide range of mass market and toy-grade radio controlled toys available in the U.S. However, when it comes to frequencies for toys, there are two frequencies that are mainly used, namely the 27 megahertz (MHz) and 49 megahertz (MHz). It is because of these specific radio frequencies that the controller is able to communicate with the toy. Therefore it would be wise to be aware of rc toy channels and radio frequencies if multiple toys are to run alongside each other.

Shark Off Road RC Buggy

Off Road Shark Buggy

The FCC allocated the 27 MHz and 49 MHz frequencies, not just for rc toys, but also for other basic things like two way radios and openers for garage doors. However, 72 MHz and even 75 MHz frequencies are used by some advanced models like sophisticated rc airplanes. The frequency range is generally labeled on the toys themselves. For instance, the bottom of a rc truck may have a label that specifies whether it is a 27 MHz or 49 MHz model.

27 MHZ receiver

A 27 MHz receiver for a Syma RC helicopter

Toy-grade toys have an effective operating range between 75 feet and 100 feet, though the range can be greater too. Generally, radio frequency interference can be minimized if two or more models are kept outside of the operating range of the others using the same frequency.

Similarly, if separate radio frequencies are chosen for each toy, this can also help at least two models run alongside each other without any problems. This is why some knowledge of RC toy channels and radio frequencies can come in handy.

Band Selectable Frequencies Of RC Toys

The specific frequency that is used by a majority of 27 MHz fixed frequency radio controlled toys is 27.145 MHz – Channel 4. However, there are also band selectable frequencies in certain toy-grade toys. Typically, both the controller and the toy may have a channel switch, if the toy is band selectable, which means that the channel can be changed anywhere between 2 and 6 bands or channels. This can make it possible to operate two 27 MHz toys in the area if a different band is set for each toy and its corresponding controller.

Often, remote controlled toys are labeled as 27 MHz or 49 MHz, but there is also another label that states “Play with up to 3 vehicles at once.” This means that the toy has selectable channels within the 27 MHz or 49 MHz range. It is rarely specified by the manufacturer what those particular channels are, but if standard color coding is used, then the channels can be figured out:

— Channel 1 (Brown) – 26.995 MHz– Channel 2 (Red) – 27.045 MHz– Channel 3 (Orange) – 27.095 MHz– Channel 4 (Yellow) – 27.145 MHz– Channel 5 (Green) – 27.195 MHz– Channel 6 (Blue) – 27.255 MHz

49 mhz Receiver For A Double Horse Helicopter

Double Horse 49 MHz receiver

Hobby-Grade Radio Controlled Toys

When it comes to hobby-grade radio controlled toys, such as the more expensive RC aircraft, boats, cars, and trucks that are assembled from kits or sold in specialty hobby stores, a wide variety of radio frequencies tend to be available. There are usually removable crystal sets in these vehicles, so channels within frequencies and the frequencies themselves can be easily changed. For instance, the 27 MHz range has 6 channels, the 50 MHz range has 10 channels, the 72 MHz range has 50 channels, and the 75 MHz range has 30 channels. These ranges are available in the United States, but only for hobby-grade remote control toys.

With this category, radio frequency interference rarely becomes a problem. Usually, there also happens to be a fail-safe device on certain models, and if not, it is also possible to buy one separately. With this device, frequency interference problems can be detected and the RC toy is either slowed down or stopped so that potential problems can be avoided.


Thus, the bottom line is that knowing RC toy channels and radio frequencies can come in handy to prevent radio frequency interference. Usually, the package displays the radio frequency while it also labeled at the bottom of the toy as well.

  • Therese

    Is there a simple way of changing a toy from 27.145MHz to another frequency? We got two cars of the same frequency for Christmas and the box is open and batteries charged.

    • boyhie

      I find that Instructables is a great resource for technical stuff. Here is a link to a solution:

      I hope that this helps.

      • Therese

        Thank you so much. I am ever so grateful and the site is great!

        • boyhie

          Thanks Therese. I’m glad that things worked out for you. All the best for the New year!

      • Therese

        Thank you for your assistance. I am ever so grateful !!!!! This is great technical advice and easy to understand. :)