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Polarised Lenses – Can You Read Your Tx?

Now, when we started up the RC Modelglasses business all those years ago (nine years, to be precise!) there was concern about the possibility of customers not being able to read digital Tx screens (even in those days, we had them). For that reason, I hedged my bets a bit and decided to develop both non-polarised and polarised versions of both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses. Within the first year of trading, it quickly became apparent that modellers were going for the polarized option, despite the well-known potential problems associated with that.

So, this raises tow questions: firstly, why did modellers ignore the warnings and go for polarised, and secondly, in use, does it actually matter? Just to complicate things a little I am going to answer the second of those questions first because the answer to that leads into the answer to the first one… if you know what I mean.

Glare is caused by sunlight bouncing off horizontal surfaces, with naturally reflective areas being the worst hit. This makes glare target tarmac roadways, clouds, car windscreens and, important for modellers, shiny RC aircraft wings. Polarised sunglasses remove this glare by filtering out horizontal blue light; it’s as simple as that. So, what is the issue with a Tx? In filtering horizontal light, polarized lenses can also remove parts of an LCD or digital display, potentially rendering it unreadable. Oops.

This subject is often discussed on RC forums, at shows etc. and I also know from the high numbers of modellers who have asked me about it over the years that the awareness levels of this potential issue are very high. However, there is one very important aspect of all this which needs to be considered. After you’ve placed your model out on the patch, done your pre-flight checks and trimmed the surfaces, how often are you going to look at your transmitter screen once you start taxiing (or hovering) for your flight? Hopefully the answer is never, because let’s face it, nobody likes to bin-bag their models. And that’s the main point – wear the specs on your head for all pre-flight activities, then slip them down when you’re ready to take off. Simples. you shouldn’t be looking at the screen during a flight, and that is when you need the sunglasses.

So, we’ve answered the second question above, now for the first one – why do modellers prefer polarised Modelglasses? because on the whole you’re an intelligent bunch and you know that you don’t need to read that screen during a flight. It is therefore pretty easy to see that the benefits of having polarised lenses far outweigh the downsides.

The truth is, we stopped making non-polarised RC Modelglasses a long time ago because the sales were so poor! That said, if you do want non-polarised lenses, you can buy some glasses from our Mile High range of sunglasses for full-size pilots (they do need to look at their displays whilst flying and so polarised lenses are a no-no for them) or, if you have the Nimbus or prescription Innovation Plus models, you can buy additional non-polarised lenses in the spares section of the Rapid Eyewear website. TTFN

John Clark