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Old 11-29-2003, 06:04 PM
  #1  
hercules
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Default Radios?

How many radios? I'm basically new to rc (been a few years) I have a Hitec 3 channel I thought I could just pull the guts out of my low wing skimmer and put it into the super cub I'm building, after finally getting the servos in place in the skimmer there's no way I'm taking them back out, should I buy more servos? Or a new radio system, that eventually I will want more out of like at least 4-5 channels, I can't see (or afford) a radio system for each acft... any help would be appreciated thanks, Hercules
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Old 12-01-2003, 08:06 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Radios?

How many radios you have will depend on how much work you want to do, your budget, and your personal preferences. If you only want to fly one plane in a day, and don't mind moving the gear from plane to plane, one set of gear is fine. Some people buy a set of servos for each plane, and move the receiver from plane to plane.

Normally, I buy a flight pack for each plane, that is, receiver, servos and battery. My main radio is a computer radio with 8 model memories that remembers the trims and throws and mixing settings for each plane. It can be expanded to hold as many models as I want through removable memory modules. This way, I can bring several planes to the field and move from plane to plane very quickly as my mood suits.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with trying to economize. Here's a tip to help you with flying many planes from one non-computer transmitter: The first few times you fly a new plane, adjust the linkages after you land so that the trim tabs are centered. This way, you don't have to fuddle with the trim tabs when you switch planes, and you don't have to remember where they were. When you do go to a different plane, ALWAYS check servo reversing.
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:17 PM
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Riceroni
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Default RE: Radios?

What radios (by mfg and model) are for electric planes? Disabled vet just getting into hobby.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:53 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Radios?

That's easy: All of 'em

Frankly, I can't think of a brand or model of transmitter that can't be used with an electric plane. The onboard gear you choose will depend on the size and weight of the plane you want to fly.

For the budget-minded, GWS gear is a good choice.
For the bang-for-the-buck crowd, Hitec.
For the black sheep, Airtronics.
For the follow-the-crowd sort, Futaba.
For the Cadillac set, JR.
For the champagne wishes and caviar dreams type, Multiplex.

This list is semi-tongue-in-cheek, but it does list the various brands of radios in order of price. However, it says nothing about their quality. I'd put them all on a pretty even playing field as far as quality, except for GWS. While GWS is fine stuff for the money, it's not quite up there as far as fit and finish.
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:30 PM
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barelias
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Default RE: Radios?

I got a question plz. I bought a futaba radio, i realized that there is a battery for the transmitter and one for the reciever.
the question is the battery for the reciever goes in the plane right ? Does it mean one battery is used for the reciever and the electric motor??thanks in advance
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Old 12-10-2003, 03:13 PM
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Dr Kiwi
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Default RE: Radios?

Most ESC's are fitted with a gizmo called a BEC (battery eliminator circuit) which allows the one battery to supply the power (7.2-8.4-9.6-11.1V....) to the motor, through the throttle channel speed control, AND, at a lower voltage (4-5V), to supply power to the receiver and servos. You don't need that 4-cell Rx battery if your ESC has BEC!!! All you need to buy is an appropriate sized flight battery [size measured by number of cells and capacity in mAh] to run whatever motor you have chosen for your aircraft [typically 7-8 cell NiCd or NiMh, or 2s or 3s Lipoly, of 350...700...950...1200mAh..whatever].

Cheers, Phil
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:52 PM
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Default RE: Radios?

Which radio should I buy. All new flyers ask this question. I happen to like the Hitec series, but Futaba, JR and Airtronics all have good reputations.

How many channels do I need? You will get many opinions.

And, you will get a debate on whether you need a standard radio or a computer
radio and what mixes come with each. What does that mean?

First it is important to realize that you should be able to fly any plane on 4
channels. That is enough to control rudder, elevator, ailerons and throttle.
With that you can fly an indoor plane, an electric park flyer or a giant high
powered plane.

However, with more channels you gain flexibility. For example, you can put
two servos on the ailerons and control them individually. You can operate
moveable landing gear. And, when it comes to gliders/sailplanes you are
likely to do more surface mixing than on power planes, so if you into
sailplanes and plan to fly full house sailplanes, you typically want more than
4 channels so you can do that fancy surface mixing. The club wizards
recommended at least 7 channels for full houuse sailplanes.

Here is a typical channel breakdown. These apply to electrics, glo and
gliders.

Rudder - 1
Elevator - 1
Ailerons - 1 or 2
Spoilers/Flaps - 1 or 2
Motor/tow hook/landing gear - 1

That makes 5 or 7.

Could you use 9? Sure, if you have the money?
How about 12? Sure, if you have the money?

I am not pushing a given number of channels, just trying to help establish
what they are used for. In my opinion, most sport flyers will be well served
with a 5 channel computer radio and be able to do what they need to do for
years. A good example would be the Hitec Flash5X

Bump it up to 7 channels and you have about all you need to fly almost
any sport plane without feeling you are short channels. 7 will even fly a full house glider. A good example would be the Hitec Eclipse 7.

If your plane has bomb doors, fires rockets, ejects pilots, and stuff like that, 12 might not be
enough.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:56 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: Radios?

Price performance is one measure of value. The difference in price between a typial Hitec Laser 4 standard radio and a Flash 5X computer radio is about $50

So what do you get for the $50 difference between the two.

Channel 5, the retract channel. Now you can fly a plane with retracts.

That's cool, but not all that exciting.

Mixing is the real value here. OK, let's do a targeted discussion on mixing.
Let's focus on aileron mixing only.

You are flying your 4 channel glo or electric plane. You use R/E/T/A - rudder, elevator,
throttle and ailerons.

Standard 4 channel flies that fine. No issues at all.

Now, put it on a Flash 5X.
Put in two servos for the Ailerons and assign them to different channels, in this case, channel one and 5.

Under normal flight conditions the ailerons work exactly as before, but using
two servos. No difference.

You are coming in for a landing. You turn on final approach to the runway.
If you had flaps, here is where you would use them, but your plane does not
have flaps.

You level up the wings. At this point, you flip a switch on the flash 5X and
your ailerons just became flaps. You can still use the same stick and you can
still use the ailerons to steer the plane, but they are both turned down now.
In fact you are less likely to accidentially roll the plane in this
configuration.

This is the flapperon mix. You now have the ability to come in much slower
which gives you a much softer more controlled landing. Flaps lower the stall
speed so you can fly at much slower speeds without stalling. Very useful!

That is surface mixing and that is what a computer radio can do for you.

Getting the idea?

Gliders. same idea - focus on ailerons.

Your next glider has ailerons. You can do the flaps as above, but you can
also flip that switch and make them spoilers.

Spoilers spoil the lift of the wing and help you bring the plane down in a
level flight path for a slide in on the belly landing. Without spoilers, you
have to put the nose down which can result in a hard laning.

Gliders have such efficent high lift wings and such light wing loading it can
be hard to get them down, especially in gusty conditions. Really! You have
to see it and feel it to understand. It is amazing!

I have one glider that has ailerons but no flaps or spoilers. I will be
setting up flapperons AND spoilerons on that plane and will use which ever is
most appropriate for that landing situation.

That is what you get for your $45. You get flaps and spoilers on planes that
don't have them and you can turn them on and off at will.

There are a lot more mixes. If you want I can provide examples. However, hopefully you can relate to this example.
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Old 12-12-2003, 01:35 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Radios?

I just bought a Servo City Hitec Flash 5 radio with a glider flight package(3 hs81 metal gear servos, 555 rec) to use with the Unicorn wing I'm building. Buying a radio with a flight pack usually yeilds big discounts.

An expert flyer told me to get the top of the line Futaba, but he looked at the Flash 5 and felt it would be an acceptable alternative. The Flash 5 upgrade over the 3 ch focus radios seems to be a good enough jump for me now.

One big thing is the Flash 5 has dual rate switches and the Flash 4 does not. Dual rates are helpful in that you can instantly "tame" a highly acrobatic Wing/Terry Graupner for landing or switch to gentle controls for a new flyer.

I figured out how everything works on my Flash 5. It's well designed, easy to use, and real slick.

Tad
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Old 12-12-2003, 01:47 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: Radios?

Another thing the flash 5 will do over the 4 is allow you to have two servos on the ailerons so you can do the kind of stuff I posted above.

The Flash5X is a big jump over the Focus. Congratulations and good luck with it!
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Radios?

Aeajr,

I can't wait to try it in the field. With all the bad weather on the way this weekend there may not be a chance.

I'm ready to go. I've programmed in my rudder/elevator planes as plane "1" and my Combat Wings XE2 (elevons-mix) as plane "2" on the Flash 5.

Thanks for the good luck.

Tad
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:09 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: Radios?

Here is an idea.

Program plane three the same as plane two but incorporate exponental. I think the flash does that. Say 40%. It will soften the response in the center and make the response faster as you move the sticks out. If you have a twitchy plane, this will ease it.

Plane 4 should be the same as plane 1, but put dual rates on a switch so you can see how the behavior of the plane changes as you flip the rates.

You will need a plane with ailerons and two aileron servos to do the fancy aileron mixes.

All of this should be done at home and tested on the ground to make sure all teh surfaces go the right way and that the switch positions are well understoond.

Boy are you going to have fun!
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