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Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service

The Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service is in the 72.0 – 73.0 and 75.4 – 76.0 MHz range. The most common use of R/C spectrum is short-distance, one-way communications for operating devices with an on/off switch at places distant from the operator such as model aircrafts.

Similar services include Part 15 unlicensed radio frequency devices.


The Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service dates back to 1955 when it was known as the Class C Citizens Radio Service. Frequencies in the 72-76 MHz band were added in 1966. It was renamed the Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service in 1976.


The Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service is licensed by rule. Licensed by rule means an individual license is not required to operate an R/C device. You can operate an R/C device regardless of your age so long as you are not a representative of a foreign government.

The FCC service rules for the Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service are located in 47 C.F.R. Part 95.


There are 80 Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service channels.  The authorized bandwidth for any emission type transmitted by an R/C transmitter is 8 kHz.

50 channels (72.0 – 73.0 MHz) are available for model aircraft devices.

30 channels (75.4 – 76.0 MHz) are available for model surface craft devices. These devices include any small imitation of a boat, car or vehicle for carrying people or objects, except aircraft.

Additional channels at 26.995, 27.045, 27.095, 27.145, and 27.255 MHz are also available for devices, including model aircraft and surface craft devices.

Operating a Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service Device

You can operate a Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service device in any place where the FCC regulates radio communications. An R/C device must be certified by the FCC. A certified R/C device has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer.

None of the R/C channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any entity. You must stop operating an R/C device if the device causes interference.


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