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  1. #1

    What would a radio cost?

    Hey People! This is my first post. I have found a great, new, RTF fly trainer and everything is included except for the radio. How much would a stock 4-Channel radio cost? I just need an estimate. I am so ready to get flying!

  2. #2
    Administrator Nathan's Avatar
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    What would a radio cost?

    I don't know of any radio manufacturer that sells just the Tx... I've only seen where they sell the Tx, Rx, servos, and batteries. Unless you buy used, this is close to what you can expect to pay: Futaba Tx

    You may also want to check the swap shop here to see if anyone is selling just a 4 channel Tx, as they're usually pretty inexpensive. You would have to make sure it's on the same channel as your receiver in the airplane, or expect to pay for a new Rx crystal too. You could also do a search in the radios for sale forum to help you find what you're looking for.

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  3. #3

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    What would a radio cost?

    When you say RTF plane, do you mean the receiver, batteries and servos are included, or is the plane built without any radio gear?

    If there is no radio gear at all then a decent 4-channel setup will cost around $140.

    Try looking at the Futaba 4VF.

    http://www.futabarc.com/radios/futj61.html

    Or if you are after just the transmitter then you can buy these from some of the hobby stores and you would be looking at around $50.

    Plane Insane has a good point though. Search the for sale forums and see what you come up with.

    If you are buying a transmitter only, just make sure it is on the same channel as your receiver.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4

    What would a radio cost?

    I'm not too sure about the servo's or anything like that. The auction says, and I quote "Required: 4-channel Radio" I have been noticing some other cheaper all-in-one packages so I am leaning towards them.

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    What would a radio cost?

    Originally posted by northerner2121
    The auction says, and I quote "Required: 4-channel Radio"
    It is hard to say from just that quote, but it sounds like you are going to need the whole radio. (Transmitter, receiver, servos and battery)

    Maybe if you posted a link to the auction somebody here could read it and give you some advice.

  6. #6
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    What would a radio cost?

    northerner21,

    If it is an acution on Ebay or something. Email the seller and specifically ask him whether the servos come with the plane ect...
    Also, ask whether the plane has ever been crashed If the plane has been crashed and he is selling the RX with it, don't use it unless he or you sends it back for repair and service. Even a hard(I do mean hard ) landing can damage a RX crystal.

    If you are just learning to fly, buying a used plane is a great way to get into the hobby. But, unless you know the person you get the radio from, be very cautious. (some people drop the radios or knock them over and never think about it damaging the radio)

    The thing I hate to see most, is a new person take thier plane out and loose it on the first flight with a bad radio.

    If you can afford the new radio go for it. If not, at least have some of the guys where you plan to fly help you do a range check on the radio and check the servos out.


    Have fun!!!!!!

  7. #7

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    What would a radio cost?

    Before you spend any money on a radio, visit the local clubs and see what they are using. You will be almost guaranteed to fail if you are trying to teach yourself to fly so you will benefit greatly by joining one of the local clubs and letting them give you advice and they will probably have qualified instructors to get you started on the right track. Rod

  8. #8
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    4 Channle radio

    Since no one actually gave you a price, a basic 4 channel radio with 4 servos, RX. charger, batterys ECT. as a package is $150.00 for a Futaba Skysport 4 at Tower Hobbies. Tower Hobbies has their own Futaba clone that is a little cheaper. Sorry guys, I stand corrrected. There was a price mentioned. Check out Tower Hobbies under the heading of radios to see the different models.
    Current favorites: GP RV-4 1/4, Great Planes Stuka 60, Modeltech P47 60, Seafury 60, Rascal 40

  9. #9

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    My 2 cents

    I would like to add that when I was starting R/C I bought the XF421EX package from JR. It's a 5 channel computer radio that is very simple to program and use. It has 2 model memory, flaperon, delta wing, and elevon mixing, comes with 4 ball-bearing servos(very nice, most other packages come with standard bushing servos), trainer system, charger and battery packs. At first it seemed a little too much for a first radio, but I liked the idea of being able to use it as I progressed in the hobby. JR sells airborne packs that include reciever, servos, and battery packs so you can fly different planes without switching all your radio gear from one to another.
    I think mine cost $180 which I believe was well worth the extra $$
    as I can fly a wide array of planes with the same transmitter that I'm used to the feel of. Also fifth channel for flaps, retracts, etc. when your ready.
    I guess you can tell I'm kind of fond of my radio but please remember this is just my opinion. I would recommend this package to anybody. Do some comparing before you buy, it pays to be happy with your equipment.

  10. #10

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    What would a radio cost?

    There is a lot of emotional nonsense posted about "what radio to buy"

    Here, briefly, is the cost benefit breakdown on the four channel vs six channel question as it relates to what radio a beginner should buy.

    I assume you all agree that a 3 channel is totally out of the question, and that the cheap six channels like the skysport 6 that do not have multi model memory do not give the beginner the multi airplane capability that a serious modeler's primary radio should have.

    Therefore, the debate is between:

    a basic 4 (JR Quattro, Futaba Skysport, Airtronics Vanguard...) $120-150 street,

    a mid price computer 6 (Futaba 6xa, JR XF631 etc) $220-250 street.

    I note that all basic fours are shipped with seven channel recievers that are fully compatible with the more expensive radios. Therefore, you can buy a four channel and later use it's flight pack and servos as a second flightpack if you buy a computer 6(on the same channel) at a later date.

    I also note that tower's price for a futaba flight pack, WITHOUT battery is about $110. It ships with the same reciever as both the skysports and the 6XAS.

    Given these facts, I lean toward recommending the four channel, with the expectation that if the first airplane is still flyable, the beginner will defintely want a six for his second plane.

    By doing it this way, the beginner's cost to purchase radio equipment for his first plane is about 150.

    When the beginner equips his second plane, he can get a computer 6 and use it to fly both the first and second plane, retaining the four channel tx as a spare, and using it's battery pack to extend flying time with the 6. He will also have his own buddy box system if needed. Total cost for radio equipment for 2 planes $400, 150 initial outlay, and 250 follow up expense in 6 months.

    Now, other secnario, buy a 6 channel up front for 250. Assuming again that first plane is airworthy when second plane is finished, beginner will want a second flight pack to use with his six channel. Per Tower Hobbies, $110 for seven channel reciever and 4 servos, plus $15 for an airborne battery. Total outlay for radio equipment for 2 planes, $375, 250 initial outlay, and 125 follow up expense in 6 months.

    Now, we do have to consider the convenience value of what is left out in the second scenario. The beginner will not have a second charger, which means that he will have to alternate charging of plane 1 and plane 2, or buy an aftermarket charger ($25-75), or risk an under charge on one of the planes if he flys 2 days in a row. He will also not have a spare battery pack for the TX, so he will be limited to the single battery's charge capacity, unless he buys (about $19) this seperately also.

    Therefore, buying a six channel to start actually results in a total cost that is $45 to $75 HIGHER than simply buying a four channel now and the six channel you really need if and when you need it.

    For these reasons, I consider buying a four channel to be the most economically sound choice, both in the short run and the intermediate term. (In the long run, we are all dead)

    Be that as it may, there is an emotional desire to buy the fancier radio and I wont deny it. I did the same when I bought my first radio in 1974, a World Engines EXPERT 7. Regretably, Because I spent so much on the radio, I could not afford fuel for the next year.

    It is of course a modelers choice to buy a basic 4 channel radio, or something fancier, but I believe that a basic four channel radio is the best initial bargain, and that the price difference between it and a 6 is better spent on fuel and propellers.
    When I get a little money I buy model airplanes and if there is any left over, I buy food.

  11. #11

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    What would a radio cost?

    Buying used radios can be very expensive. They can cost you a model if they do not work right and there are a thousand reasons why used electrical equipment does not work. I would never ever buy used radios or servos. If you are new I have a brand new JR F400 radio in the box and never even turned on. It comes with reciver, four servos, charger, extension lead etc. It costs $159 , I will sell it for $100. I am at Britlad2@aol.com


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