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Getting back into RC planes

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Old 09-28-2019, 12:48 PM
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grandcanyonaz
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Default Getting back into RC planes

I use to fly RC planes back in college (mid 80s). Naturally, they didn't have electric back then as I used glow fuel. They really didn't have buddy boxes back then unless you had an expensive radio as the instructor would take the controls from your hands and try to right the plane. I busted a couple of planes up and never got back into it and never really followed the hobby again until just this week as I have time now to start flying again. I still have a Royal .40 engine but I'm not sure it works so I'll probably go electric. I don't think Royal still makes engines. Not sure who still does as all I am seeing is OS.

Futaba was the big name in the 80s. I had an AM radio before they changed the frequency. Pretty much the radio was tied with the servers but it looks different now as you bind the radio to the plane so I assume this means you can use any radio with any servers. Also, I can't tell if you still have to worry about frequency issues or do the radios change them on the fly. It looks like Spektrum is the major player now.

I emailed my local chapter and they offer flying lessons. They use the Apprentice airplane but they said they have taken out the SAFE technology. I thought the SAFE technology is a good idea but I can understand why purist wouldn't like it. How does the SAFE work? Does it help? Also, some have GPSs. Is this worth it? Does the autoland really work? Could you really by one of these planes and teach yourself or will you still probably crash them up? How easy are the foam planes to repair?

I've been using the Absolute RC app simulator on the Android to practice not sure if this really helps.
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:17 PM
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Welcome back. I would try to get that old engine fired up again. Get some old glow fuel and soak it for at least 24hrs. Maybe a gallon of diesel fuel would work too, not sure. Even if you decide to go electric you can sell it on ebay for $40 or so. I prefer glow to electric and still use 72mhz equipment. Most clubs offer lessons and I would go that route. With an instructor you don't need the training technology.
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:39 AM
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Your engine has indeed been out of production for a while now, but there's nothing wrong with it. Diesel isn't necessary, but if you have an old jug of glow fuel submerge the engine in it for a day and start working everything loose.Take the carburetor and backplate off to do this.

Futaba still makes good radios, better than spektrum, IMO. All 2.4ghz radios use a frequency hopping system with a transmitter identifier number. There is no more reserving channels or interfering with other people's planes.

Servos are universal, but receivers are not.

SAFE can be helpful if you are learning on your own, but I think anything but using it for added stability is a hindrance to learning to fly with an instructor. There will never be a better system than the one devised in the 80's- an experienced pilot buddy boxing with a student and explaining how and why to fly correctly.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:51 AM
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Definitely a good idea to start with the club. If they have the equipment than it would be very worth it to get your basic flying skills down before spending a lot of money on your own equipment. Best of luck and welcome back.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:35 PM
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grandcanyonaz
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Thanks for the info. I looked in my box and I have two Royal Engines .40. Can't remember how I got two. I soaked them in oil but that was long ago. They felt pretty tight. I had a K&S but it would conk out mid flight. Maybe I'll take them to the club and see if someone wants to see if they work since I no longer have a test bench.

I will take flying lessons hopefully end of the month or early next. I thought I read online that the hobby lost popularity over the decades Hopefully, it's making a comeback.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:21 AM
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It's in decline, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a healthy group of RC pilots around.
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:57 AM
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Hi Grand..I myself am also making a comeback to the R/c world, though my hiatus was not as long as yours. I am finding it has changed ALLOT in just the few years ((about 9)) i have been dormant. My time off started just as 2.4 started, i have 2.4 jr 9303 though it has never been used. I find myself looking at the planes thinking..hmmm...which one was the "easiest" to fly. I comes down to a great planes extra 300 40 sized, a Tavis pattern plane 60 sized or build a tower kaos 40 arf sitting in the box, all 3 I know will be pretty tame to fly. Like riding a bike you never forget, just get shaky thumbs from the nerves. It will be fun no matter what, just need to read up on batteries, and where to get nitro fuel..lol. Anyway hi everyone...happy to be back!
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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Yeah, I never got back into it. There are a couple of clubs close by but I tried to make contact and one never responded and the other gave me the run around and excuses. I could try another one but those aren't as close by making it not as convenient. Oh well, I'll probably look for a different hobby.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:02 PM
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Grandcanyonaz, Do understand that the vast majority of clubs are run by volunteers. Sometimes they get busy with life, work, whatever. They are taking some of their hobby time to answer emails, return calls, etc.
Have you tried showing up at the club field or scheduling a meeting with an instructor if you need one?
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:21 PM
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See if you can find out when/where they have club meetings, and just show up! All clubs turn out to be very welcoming to "new guys".
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:35 PM
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grandcanyonaz
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Grandcanyonaz, Do understand that the vast majority of clubs are run by volunteers. Sometimes they get busy with life, work, whatever. They are taking some of their hobby time to answer emails, return calls, etc.
Have you tried showing up at the club field or scheduling a meeting with an instructor if you need one?
I understand but it says on their website click here to schedule training/meeting. I just followed what they said to do. I wasn't expecting them to do it that day but three months later and nothing.
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by grandcanyonaz View Post
I understand but it says on their website click here to schedule training/meeting. I just followed what they said to do. I wasn't expecting them to do it that day but three months later and nothing.
Many years ago I ran a RC flight school and had a hobby shop. Most of my customers were either looking to get into the hobby or simply curious. Our flying field was only 2 miles away and offered to let anyone fly one of my trainers, whether they could afford an outfit or not.
Once I made a sale, I would guarantee that I would be on-call to train them all the way up to solo status. 10 years later, I'm still around to give anyone at least 30 minutes of stick time, whether they have a plane or not. No charge, just trying to keep the hobby going.
When I ran the flight school, most of those who came to me went through the same thing you did. Clubs in their area offered help, but seldom provided it. I don't know where you live, but if possible, I would be more than happy to help you get flying again.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:46 AM
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I hate to see people get discouraged about the hobby when it gets difficult to find help. Hang in there. Maybe there someone here who is close and may be able to help out. AZ? (guessing by your handle).
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by grandcanyonaz View Post
I understand but it says on their website click here to schedule training/meeting. I just followed what they said to do. I wasn't expecting them to do it that day but three months later and nothing.
Unfortunately, it may be a symptom of our times. My main clubs website is barely maintained anymore, primarily because there is so little traffic to it - the guy that maintains it therefore gets pretty lax about it. So functionality may be broken, and nobody noticed. Or, the guy charged with instruction may be a "senior" member, who just isn't as conversant in using the technology (email, etc.) as he should be. (While I am also a "senior" I "get" using the tech - but have to deal with many fellow club members who just don't respond to email, texts. Facebook, or any other form of current communication). But in the realm of modeling, they are serious pros. So an alternative attempt may be all that it takes - a phone call, showing up in person, etc.
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickslammer View Post
I hate to see people get discouraged about the hobby when it gets difficult to find help. Hang in there. Maybe there someone here who is close and may be able to help out. AZ? (guessing by your handle).
I live in Texas now.
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:31 AM
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Grandcanyonaz pickup the telephone, a text or Email is not going to work for what ever reason. Or how about just going to the field on a nice saturday and talk to folks face to face.

John
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:38 AM
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It depends on how badly you wish to join the hobby. I find club websites poorly maintained, the volunteers (instructors, contact people and such) come and go with no updates on the web site. I just spent the month of July vacationing in Newfoundland and attempted to contact all dozen or so clubs on the island. Even though I visited most of the clubs I was only able to make actual contact with two and flew at only one. I started attempting to contact each club a month in advance of my trip. Like has been suggested, look at the web site and find which day of the week and time they have set aside as beginners night. If they don't have one then Saturday and Sunday weather permitting would be the best chance to run into someone at the field. If there is contact phone numbers try them but they might not be up to date either. Most likely the guys you run into at the field are going to make up a small percentage of the club membership. These are the guys you need to make contact with but they might not be on the contact list visiting the club field or meeting is the most likely way to introduce yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised how friendly and welcoming this group can be.

Dennis
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:30 PM
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Even the best clubs can have communication issues. The club I'm a part of is really outstanding at welcoming newcomers. We have very few of the social problems that I hear about clubs having. Yet I recall during training sometimes not getting to fly at all because I was told they'd have a club trainer available and then the guy who was supposed to bring it didn't show up or because he committed himself to teaching kids who had come or whatever. It was frustrating and annoying, but I also kept reminding myself that these are volunteers and donating their time. I got there eventually, and you will too.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by grandcanyonaz View Post
Yeah, I never got back into it. There are a couple of clubs close by but I tried to make contact and one never responded and the other gave me the run around and excuses. I could try another one but those aren't as close by making it not as convenient. Oh well, I'll probably look for a different hobby.
That's ****ty to hear. I joined three clubs thus far and the director at each of them was always very willing to show me the ropes. I would not give up yet. Show up on a Saturday or Sunday morning as mentioned anytime the wind is less than 11mph and it's not raining. Somebody will likely be there. You live in a perfect state for R/C flying. Today was in the mid thirties here and I was out there, the only one actually. Trying to get as much flying in before the real winter sets in. This time of year it's either raining, snowing, or the wind is blowing at 15mph or more.
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