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NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:53 AM
  #26
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

I've owned Futaba and Airtronics over the years and both have been great for me so I'm not going to get into that "Ford vs Chevy" argument. Go to your hobby shop and try them out and see which fits you and is easiest for you to program and is comfortable. Lately, I've been using Airtronics RDS8000 and little older VG6000. I love both and they are easy and intuitive to program for me and I've never had a problem. I guess the other brands like JR are Spectrum are great, but I never owned one to know what they're like.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:07 AM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

i do have 10 futaba 6 ch. radios they have everything i need all on 72>>but i have one aroura hitect 9 ch> very east to work> so go for futaba or hitec 9 good luck
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Just a few more points on the slimmed selections:

Ihave never held or seen a newer Airtronics radio in action, so Ican't really comment on it. However, when the brand is brought up in discussion Ialways hear good things. The model you listed does not offer telemetry if that bothers you.

The DX8 is one of the most comfortable radios Ihave ever held. Idon't care for their switch layout, but the ergonomics are some of the best my hands have ever seen. Spectrum also offers their ModelMatch technology that no one else offers. Its a good way to keep the wrong program from crashing a plane. AIgood preflight check can avoid this all together, but everyone gets distracted as some point. Inever cared for the satalite usage in Spektrum receivers. Its just one more connection that can cause issues. Keep it simple in my opinion. Using the Spektrum system, you are open to all of the BNF options out on the market that Horizon offers. Istill have my DX6i around just to use with these smaller but very fun planes.

The Aurora 9 has built in battery voltage telemetry on their 7 and 9 channel receivers. No other TX/Rx offers that option until you get into the pricier options. Both DX8 and A9 have separate telemetry modules if you go down that road, but having the Rx battery voltage available right from the Rx without a separate module is fantastic and one of the selling points for me. All of the switches on the A9 are changable which really makes your radio feel custom to the way you want to fly. The large backlit touchscreen is a very nice touch when setting up your model. If you fly helis, you will be hard pressed to find anyone that uses a A9. They are not looked very highly upon in the heli scene, even though the A9 offers heli programming. The biggest item that had me concerned about the A9 was the open wire on the back of the radio connecting the Tx module to the radio antenna. Iwas worried about it being a weak point for failure, but Icould not find any complaints where that was a problem. For reference, Hitec designed the A9 to be used as both a 2.4 GHz and a 72 MHz radio, so they left the antenna integration aside for the versatility.

Besides these basic differences, all the radios offer many of the same options so I'm sure you will be happy wherever you land.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Just use the Conquest for now. You'll have plenty of time to decide later.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:55 PM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Nobody has mentioned the Futaba T8J. It's an excellent radio that has 8 channels, 20 model memory and all the features one could ever ask for! It cost $279 and receivers are $45 (6ch), $50 (8ch). Plus you get $30 off at Tower if you are a member and free shipping. I highly suggest you at least take the time to look at it and consider it, you will like it!

Best regards,
Ed
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rlundy90

Thanks for all the quick replies. Thanks to you guys, I nowknow what I need and howmuch it will cost me.I hadn't looked around too much at radios before, because I already had one, but now that I have seen what is available, I am amazed. I can't believe what you can get for under $200.00. I've pretty much decided on the Spektrum DX6i. It has everything I will ever need unless I live long enough to grow out of it. And the price is great. After checking around I found it with 4 servos and reciver for $185.00 shipped toCanada . Can't beat that kind of price. The RDS 8000 looks like a great radio as well. Ifound these (transmitter only) for 170.00 shipped. The only real benefit I could see was the fact that it was 8 channel. Everything else seemed to be the same, but not knowing a whole lot about radio, I could be missing something really important. The servos from the spectrum radio will be perfect for the Cessna so I will just need 2 more recievers and large servos for the Cub and Mustang. Can you guys recommend good heavy duty servos for these planes. I know nothing about these new digital servos. Do the regular servos work with these units as well?
When you say that these radios can save more than 1 model, does it save all trim settings as well, or does it just save the address of the reciever so that it can communicate with it? If it saves all settings to me that would be reason enough to get all the planes working with the 1 remote. Thanks again, Ron.
While this is not your first radio, effectively you are entering into a new era of radios. This article might be helpful.



How to select your first radio
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11303696/tm.htm

Yes, computer radios, radios with model memories, can save the settings for each plane. The Spektrum line has a unique feature in that it will not let you accidentially fly a plane with the wrong model selcted in the radio. The other brands lack this feature. While not absolutely necessary it can help avoid crashes due to having the wrong model selected in your radio.

Since you mentioned the DX6i, let me suggest that maynot be your bestchoice.Not because it is not a good radio but because Ithink it isnot as good a value when compared to the DX7s.

Now, I am looking at standard packages. Your dealer may have discounts or other packages.

Also be sure that the receivers in the packages are appropriate for your planes. Spektrum makes a range of receivers. They have receivers that are primarilysuitable for indoor flying.Then they have short range receivers that are good for about 1000 feet, sometimes called parkflyer receivers.And they make full range receivers thatare good for over a mile. If that DX6i you looked at is a "micro lite" package, that is a short range receiver system.


DX6i - includes 1 full range receiver - $209
http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...vo-md2-SPM6610

DX7s packaged with 3 receivers - $299
1 eightchannel full range, 1 four channel full range, and one 6 channel short range receiver (good for about 1000 feet)http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...s-md2-SPM7800C


So, you wll notice that the DX6i package is cheaper.But if you look at thevalue of the include receiver, $80, the net price of the radio is $129.

The Spektrum DX7s comes with 3 receivers, totalvalue is about$200. That makes this much more capable radio about $100, or about $30 cheaperthan the DX6i.And it isloaded with feature. You might not careabout them today,however youcould easily find you want them tomorrow. If you get the DX6i, you will bebuyinganother radio. With the DX7s that is less likely to happen.

The Spektrum 7s provides more channels, more features, more model memories and a telemetry option. It also provides for on-line software/firmware updates.

If the DX6i needs a software/firmware update you have to mail it back to Horizon Hobby. The DX7s can be mailed in too, or you can just download the updates from your home computer.

If you arefocused on basic aircraft, parkflyers, .40 to .60 class 4 channel glow planes and not likely to get into large or complex birds, that DX6i may be adequate. However the DX7s will broaden the range of models open to you and it does it at an attractive price.


You have to judge for yourself but I think theDX7s is a MUCHbetter buy!


If you want to talkabout servos, this thread might be helpful.

Let’s Talk about Servos
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10787414/tm.htm

We discuss digital servos, analog servos and how to size servos among other topics.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:12 PM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

I had $160 to spend, I didn't have $300. I guess I suck.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:19 PM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

No, you were just constrained to buy on price rather than on value.   Sometimes we have no choice. 

But our original poster was considering radios as high as $500 in his first post so this would fit into his original budget.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Thank you to everyone for your input and great advice. After narrowing my selection down to the RDS 8000, the DX8 and the Aurora 9 I went to the hobby shop today to see what they had. They didn't have a DX8 in stock but had a DX7 so I was able to give that a look. I have to say Ithink I am sold on the Aurora 9. I really like the large touch screen and that telemetry feature, now that I know what it is. All of these systems have great reviews and all feel better to hold than my old Futaba. As recommended by one of the other fellows, Ichecked on the type of battery it uses andchecked out the programing. I think I should be able to do it pretty easily.
Thanks for the link to the servo thread, aeajr. That will be my next purchase. Just have to figure out what I need. The Pica Cessna 182is next on the build list, but that on is easy. It just takes regular servos.
Can anyone point me in the right direction as to how to install and setup the dual servo elevators. All of my planes are pretty old school and don't discuss this in the plans. I would like to see some typical setups so I can figure out how everything goes together. Is this something Ishould be considering for the 1/4 scale Cub or the 1/5 scale Mustang? Will all brands of servos and recievers be compatible with the transmitter I have chosen? Thanks once again for everyones help, Ron.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:40 PM
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Wow!  The Aurora 9 is a REALLY nice radio. A LONG way from a DX6i.   I know you will be very happy with the Aurora 9.  Definately has reputation as being one of the easiest radios to set-up and use.

And their receivers are much more reasonably priced than Spektrum, JR, Futaba or Airtronics.

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:06 PM
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I feel so lousy I have a DX6i
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:53 PM
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Are you kidding me? I havedone a ton of research in the last few days and there are a ton of people very impressed and happy with that radio. I would buy one in a heartbeat except I need more channels. When I was looking at that radio Ithought 6 channels was enough but Iwas soon corrected. I started looking at 7and 8 channel stuff and almost bought an RDS 8000. Then I seen the 9 Channel Aurora and almost had my mind made up right there. Thought I could never use 9 channels but was corrected again. I could go really nuts with my old warbird, apparently.
Glad to hear the recievers are cheaper. I have now found out that most recievers have to be the same brand as the transmitters. Is it the same with the servos?
Yikes!!! I took a look at that servo chart. Do you need to be a physics major to understand it or am I just dumb. I have no idea how to calculate anything from those tables. Would the company be able to give me some recommendations if I give them the size and weight of the plane? Thanks, Ron.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:02 AM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Warwix since you are strongly attracted to the A9 I would like to point out some features very few know anything about and this was even true of Hitec customer service when I first started using my first one (I have and use two of them now) when they were introduced.

These features as far as I can tell only avalible on certain other high dollor futaba units. First and most important is the buddy cord system. Now that may seem not a big deal to you but indeed it could and especially so when you need a mentor and some buddy time on the P-51 or similar (make no mistake you will).

The buddy cord system gives the instructor the ability to completely trim the airplane while the student actually has control and the student never even knows it. People scowl at this but it is very important and usefull. There are many other unheard of features in the buddy system also such as the instructor has the ability to add control imput without ever releasing the trigger and the student never knows. The instructor also has the ability to delagate just one control axis of his choice at a time to the student. The list goes on

Now the listing for the A9 state that the radio has 30 model storage well not really so. By using the simple computer interface device that is avalible for anywhere from free to about thirty bucks and leaving some space avaliable for transferring model memory I your model memory become unlimited and infinate. You simply use this device to store model memory on you home computer or laptop.

Also for example since I need to send one of mine in for new switchs (a student dropped the tranny) broke it simply only takes a few minutes to transfer any airplanes that were on that radio in case I wish to fly one.

This compurter interface device will also allow you to update you transmitter and all you 7channel or more receivers. This is a great feature and is usedl. The 6 channel receivers are only updateable by sending them in and thats why I normally only buy the 7 channel or up.

All of this stuff is blue sky to you now but it will all come into play as you progress and you will be glad your system had the capabilitys. The very worst advice you received in this thread is to just fly the old Conquest. And the reason is you need to start learning now not later. Don,t be one of those fellows who refuse to learn there new systems. There are many that I have to acturally switch their models for them in the tranny when they want to fly a different one and will never learn that simple step to all computer radios. Start learning now.

Street prices are around 350 bucks and thats the reason I first suggested the Hitec Eclipse Pro which is just over 200.

What we do at our field is I take on the students using the Hitec current systems or on some I give them a loaner Rx so we can use the full system with my two A9's. Another instructor takes on most with Futaba systems. Futaba and Hitec are predominate at our field currently and while early on there were a number of the other modern system but they have faded away.

The A9 can and will serve you well, good luck.

John





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Old 01-08-2013, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rlundy90
Thanks for the link to the servo thread, aeajr. That will be my next purchase. Just have to figure out what I need. The Pica Cessna 182 is next on the build list, but that on eis easy. It just takes regular servos.
Can anyone point me in the right direction as to how to install and setup the dual servo elevators. All of my planes are pretty old school and don't discuss this in the plans. I would like to see some typical setups so I can figure out how everything goes together. Is this something I should be considering for the 1/4 scale Cub or the 1/5 scale Mustang? Will all brands of servos and recievers be compatible with the transmitter I have chosen? Thanks once again for everyones help, Ron.
The plans or manual for your planes should tell you which servo setup and how much torque you need. Many warbirds use a dual elevator servo because they have two elevator halves and with the bigger planes it's harder to get them hooked up to a single split pushrod with having a lot of slop in the system. Dual pushrod setups using a single servo are possible, as are dual pull-pulls. But for most of us, bolting on an extra servo is a lot easier. The setup is just a simple permanent mix. If your elevator is ch 2, you might put the second elevator servo on ch 7 and do a 100% mix that stays on all the time. That way the second servo does everything the first one does all the time.

On the mixing brands question, you can't mix brands of receivers in 2.4ghz radios because every manufacturer uses a different frequency hopping scheme and signal coding for control. I keep waiting to see a universal receiver that can be programmed for any of them but so far it hasn't happened. But servos are universal. Everything currently being made has the same plugs and same control coding, so you can buy any servo brand you want for any radio brand. As for choosing which one from the smorgasbord of choices, all that really matters is getting the right torque that your manual calls for in the right size to fit in your mounts. The tougher metal gear sets are good for planes that will be flown hard with lots of changing loads on the servos. None of the plane you listed will be that rough so don't spend your money on the fancy stuff. Digital holds its position better under load and gives you a more secure feel on the plane, but again with the birds you're planning to fly you won't likely notice the difference. So get the right torque servos (more power won't hurt a thing if you find a good buy) in analog with nylon or the first upgraded gears in one of the well-established brands and you'll do fine.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rlundy90

Are you kidding me? I havedone a ton of research in the last few days and there are a ton of people very impressed and happy with that radio. I would buy one in a heartbeat except I need more channels. When I was looking at that radio Ithought 6 channels was enough but Iwas soon corrected. I started looking at 7and 8 channel stuff and almost bought an RDS 8000. Then I seen the 9 Channel Aurora and almost had my mind made up right there. Thought I could never use 9 channels but was corrected again. I could go really nuts with my old warbird, apparently.
Glad to hear the recievers are cheaper. I have now found out that most recievers have to be the same brand as the transmitters. Is it the same with the servos?
Yikes!!! I took a look at that servo chart. Do you need to be a physics major to understand it or am I just dumb. I have no idea how to calculate anything from those tables. Would the company be able to give me some recommendations if I give them the size and weight of the plane? Thanks, Ron.
If you go to the discussion thread Igave you about servos, all of your questions will be answered, but let's touch the basics here.

The size of the servo is not related to the wing span or the weight of the plane. It is based on the surface area of the control surfaces, the angle of deflection and the air speed. In that thread is a calculator that allows you to run the calculation very easily.

But, to be honest with you, few do it that way. Here is how this is normaly done.

1) You read the instructions and look for servo recommendations
2) you ask yoru buddy who has a similar size and style plane and ask him what he is using and you use that
3) You start a discussion thread. The title says, " Setting up a name of your plane and would like some advice. All the people who have that plane, or something similar will join in and tell you what they use.

But the servo calculator tells you what you really need as far as torque and torque, ounce/inches is how you measure the strength of servos.

If you have a 5 pound sailplane that is going to loaf along, you might only need 20 ounce/inch servos.
If you have a 5 pound highly aerobatic jet that will hit 200 MPH you might need 80 ounce/inch servos.

Start the thread and ask you questions. Or go to the servo thread and ask there.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:35 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice guys. I emailed all the clubs in my area. There are 3 clubs I know of in my area and 2 have responded saying none of their instructors use Hitec radios. One club told me to go ahead and get the Aurora 9. He said there should be an adapter cord available to connect it to Futaba or Spektrum. Any one know if this is true and if so where I can get one? I really would like to get the Hitec, but if it can't be hooked up to the other radios, I will have to go with the DX8, but that would be alright as well. I talked to the guys at 2 different shops today and they both said in the area I live in there are about 50% Futaba, with about 40% being Spektrum and JR. I looked at a 12 channel JR and was really impressed with it. It was by far the best feeling radio but when he told me the price I almost had the big one. Almost $1300.00. Yikes! All the best, Ron.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:59 PM
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Aurora trainer cord is here:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXZRJ1&P=7

JR trainer cord looks like this:
http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...r-spm-7JRPA130

So the aurora cord may work with a JR radio, or it may not.

If matching to an instructor is a key consideration then you better identify your instructor first.  That could influence your choice of radio.  I discuss this in the article on selecting your first radio.


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Old 01-10-2013, 03:03 PM
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Aurora trainer cord is here:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXZRJ1&P=7

JR trainer cord looks like this:
http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...r-spm-7JRPA130

So the aurora cord may work with a JR radio, or it may not.

If matching to an instructor is a key consideration then you better identify your instructor first. That could influence your choice of radio. I discuss this in the article on selecting your first radio.


As long as you don't plan to seriously get into full youse gliders the DX8 will be great!


If you do want to look at Futaba radios, take a look at these.

Futaba 8J - one of their newer radios.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXBWGR&P=ML


Futaba 8FG - 14 channels.
if you want more than 8 channels or if you want to get into full house gliders
If I was upgrading from my Futaba 9C Super, this is the radio I would likely get
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXAVCN&P=ML

Or the newer Futaba 14 SGA, the other radio I would consider for myself.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXCVPZ&P=7
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Or here's what I did when I was learning. I bought two similar radios Hitec Flash 4 and a Flash 5 with a training cable that matched those Hitecs. When approaching the instructor, I had everything needed.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Tom Nied

Or here's what I did when I was learning. I bought two similar radios Hitec Flash 4 and a Flash 5 with a training cable that matched those Hitecs. When approaching the instructor, I had everything needed.
In this case that would be two Aurora 9s
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

Any Hitec radio that offers a buddy box option will work with the A9, but yea another A9 would work greak. Unfortunately, anywhere Ifly Itend to notice Hitec users are in the minority of pilots out there. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:12 PM
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That's right aeajr, have two radios. Be ready with the correct cable, and approaching an instructor says you're absolutley ready.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:09 PM
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I have been doing some searches for adapter cords and some places are saying Futaba will work with Hitec if you use the Hitec cord. You can use the Futaba cord but the batteries and chrystal has to come out of the Hitec. But when Ilooked at the models listed, that the cord was supposed to work with, the newer models weren't on there.I ended up Emailing Hitec service to see what they have to say about it, but haven't heard back from them.I did hear from the head instructor of one of the local clubs. Here's what he said
"Hi Ron,

Thanks for your interest in our club. I am aware of one member using hitek radios in our club. I would not let the training aspect get in the way of your desire to use hitek equipment. There may be adapter cords to allow 2 different brands of radios to be used. I learned to fly without a buddy cord and have also taught people to fly without a cord. Its a little more cumbersome but does not worry me. I would advise to buy the equipment you want to use as training is a very short duration."
One of the hobby shop owners told me the same thing. He was also telling me that he had the chance to teach a student using an Aurora 9. He said it was the best radio he had ever used for training a student. That's good to know if I ever decide to teach my grandkids how to fly. Ron.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:23 AM
  #49
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

The A9 will not work with any futaba. The A9 is compatatble on the cord with the The low voltage Optic 6 or the Eclipse 7 Pro, not the original Eclipse Or another A9. Only the Hitec low voltage systems will work.

I choose to purchase my second A9 in order to access the increditable and heretofor unheard of buddy cord functions which has been a long time coming. Not avalible on any other system except on just certain combinations of expensive Futaba.

The only thing lacking with Hitec is a cordless buddy system such as the superb cordless buddy system avaliable for certain combinations of futaba.

The so called good old days (which were indeed awful and lost flying time due to bad combinations or dirty trim pots) of buddy cords that would fit multiple radio brands for whatever reasons does seem to be going away.

John
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:11 AM
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Default RE: NEED HELP WITH RADIO SELECTION

You might consider calculating the cost and seeing if buying a lower end Spektrum radio to start off with makes sense. I see DX6i's going for about $100 used and receivers around $35. So it's not to hard to figure you can get that back out of one. If that's less of a loss than buying a buddy box for the A9 then it makes sense to buy a Spektrum radio and use the club's buddy boxes. One thing to note though is that not all Spektrums are compatible with each other (yet another reason I despise the brand). I'm not terribly experienced with them, but a trainee pilot at my club tried connecting a DX7 with a DX6 (I don't know if it was a 6 or a 6i) and they wouldn't work. So you may need to get verification from your instructor on exactly which buddy boxes they have and make sure you buy a radio that can work with them.
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