David Spashett currently holds 3 World Championships, 13 European Championships and 22 BRCA National Championships. He competes with a KO Propo transmitter in one tenth on-road electric, one twelfth electric, one eighth gas flat track and one tenth gas touring cars.
The KO Vantage radio has been around for a long time, but many people don’t have a complete knowledge of all the functions. I hope the following paragraphs will give you a guideline into how I use my radio to improve my driving, car control and race strategy. If all else fails please read the KO instructions - I still do!
The basic setting
So system level 1 of the radio is all that’s required to tune in a car, however the initial set-up of these functions is very important to get perfect control of the car. The “ST:TRAVE” function allows you to increase the maximum steering travel available on ET3. “ST:BLANC” To get the same steering left and right you can adjust the amount of steering each way independently, this is so important. Taking a little extra time to make this as accurate as possible will make your racing easier and more enjoyable. “TH:HiPOT” and “TH:BRAKE” are again used to increase the maximum throttle and brake travel. Brake maximum is also set by using ET4 . I use ET4 as a quick and easy way to set the brake up for a track, drive a few laps and work out how much brake you are using then adjust the dial to help you not over or under brake yourself into a corner. “SUB:TRM” again increases the range of the steering trim. Two more important functions can be found in the system level menu. The ST, TH “REVERSE” function which could be needed when setting up a car and the option to name you model numbers to each car.
There are also other options which I have found to be very useful but this means changing the system level. There are two ways of getting to this menu, one is to hold down “DOWN and UP” then turn the radio on, the other is to have the model name on the screen in the main menu and press “+,-“ together and “SELECT” simultaneously.
Upgrading to system level two gives you some additional options, in the basic menu you can now adjust: ST Curve, TH curve, TH speed, and TH SPD, P. The throttle speeds I have never used, this can be used to slow down the reaction of the throttle and the position at which it acts, almost like traction control but a fixed rate of control. In electric racing I have not yet found a use for this but in gas when you must engage the clutch I could see it being very useful to control the power. As for the Steering and throttle curves I use these all the time. The steering curve I find very useful to make the car less sensitive and so easier to drive into a corner. With the car easier to drive off centre you can enter the corner quicker and with less risk then as the car slows and you apply more lock you can react quicker to the cars movement in the corner hopefully resulting in a faster tighter line. The addition of using the throttle curve is much the same as the steering. When leaving the corner, I try and match the speed of the car with the throttle position then accelerate. This can be very difficult so to help me I use a small amount of TH Curve. Again this just allows a slight error in you thumb position so making it easier to see and control the car.
In the system level two menu you now have the options to program your radio to suit you for ease of operation. When entering the menu press “up” and the first option after the system mode screen is the chance to set-up all the trims, buttons and dials to suit you. To scroll through the options use the “select” button. For me the standard arrangement of trims and dials are fine, the only addition I make is to assign BT2 to TIM1. This allows you to set-up a race timer in the main menu, which was not there before. Going back to the main menu the first option screen is now the “UP TIMIER” To start any timer you must hold down the “+,-“ keys then the next time you push forward on the stick the timer will start, to stop the timer press “BT2”. Press “SELECT”, “LAP TIME” and you can now even time your own laps by using BT2, I find this much to difficult but I have seen some people use this feature. “SELECT” again and you can set your race “ALARM” and “PALM”, this is the time at which you want the alarm to go off in your “UP TIMER” and for how long. I set this to go off one minute before the end of the race. I just find this a good warning to help determine how to drive the last minute of the race (normally how hard I have to play catch up). The next option allows you to scroll through your lap times much like a stopwatch. The final option is the “LAP NAVI” three-second laps are the minimum you can have. Now the “UP TIMER” will beep every so many seconds so you can now set your own pace.
Also in the system level two menu is the option to reduce the “TRIMRATE” for steering and throttle. The default is set at ten but when you want to make smaller changes to your trims you can lower the amount changed by each click on the trim.
For what I use the radio for, system level 2 is more than enough but the possibilities of this radio are endless once you get up to system level 4. You can change every aspect of the radio from steering rates, speeds, returns, pot positions, ABS brakes, traction control and even re calibrate the pot positions!