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Spend my money.... Transmitter??

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Old 08-18-2010, 12:51 PM
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CGCINC
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Default Spend my money.... Transmitter??

I am just starting out in this hobby. I just purchased a cheap electric plane to train on, along with some simulator software.
Once I figure out the basics of flying I'm going to jump to a gas trainer.
As far now, I'm planing ahead a little and just trying to schuffle through the many, many transmitters out there and figure out what I need.

Need your Input:
I want to buy a transmitter that will work with simulator software, be able to fly multiple planes,have enough channels to grow with me and do anything else that I do not realize I need yet.
What type/brand would you buy and why? (up to $350or so)
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:13 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

Just my opinion here but when I first began flying, I was using a Futaba 4 channel tx that came with the plane I purchased. Never had a problem with it.

When I decided to upgrade, I choose a DX6i 6 channel. Main reason I suppose is because I could afford it to begin with and the owner of my LHS recommended it as an entry level 2.4 radio that would do what I needed for quite a while. I was, and still am, happy with that radio.

I've recently gotten a JR 9503. The reason I made that move is because I recently put my first 50cc plane in the air and although the DX6i is capable of working just fine with it, I wanted something that was more capable and would serve me better in giant scale. I still have the DX6i, don't plan on getting rid of it and I have my other planes still bound to it for the time being.

Now, instead of looking at the 6 channel, you might be served better by looking at the DX7. It will take you farther in the hobby although 6 channels can get most jobs done with a little assistance from things like Y harnesses. You'll hear that a Y harness is just another failure point, and by all means it is since it is electrical, but I have a few in my planes and haven't had any issues with them.

The other part of your question about the tx involves a ton of personal preference based on brands. Me, I like the Spektrum and/or JR radios. A number of people I know have gone to the Aurora 9 and I know others that prefer.........well what ever they are flying with. In other words everyone has their own opinion on what tx is better and why. Best advise I could give would be to take a look at what is available in the number of channels you can afford, then go to the LHS or club that you're a member of (or thinking about joining) and talk with them. Put a couple different radios in your hands and see what just feels right to you. Each will have it's own "feel" and if it doesn't feel right, you won't like it.

Oh, did I mention that if you're starting out, you might want to consider looking into a club? You'll find instructors that will be happy to help you out, both with learning to fly but also with advise as to what type of equipment you might look at. It also helps to hook up with an instructor before you purchase items that you'll use to learn with. If you choose to use that particular instructor to learn how to fly, he may have good advise that you can use to make better choices when making those purchases.

Other than that, I wouldn't want to try to steer you towards one over the other simply because what I find works best in my hands may not in yours. Get a grip on a couple of different radios and go from there.

Most importantly, have fun!
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:27 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

Futaba 6EX or 7C

Much less hassle binding or placing receivers.

Do a search for radio problems and you'll find there are very few Futaba compared to Jr or Spektrum.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: pdm52956

Wow, that was a small book!! Thanks for all the advice!
I am planning on going to a big RC store this weekend so I will do a little hands on research.

Minnflyer...I actually was looking at the Futaba 7c with FASST (Futaba Advanced Spread Spectrum Technology)
Sounded like a better way to stop any signal loss.

My main thing is Channels? Will 6 work or will I need7-8 in the future?
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

6 will work in most applications though I have models with more. Its not only the number of channels but the depth of programming, ball bearing gimbals etc that you get with the higher end radios.

As for the Spektrum-JR/Futaba debate, I fly both and don't have any problems with either one.

Go to the toy shop, hold the radios in your hands, play around with the programming, and find out what works and feels best for you.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

6 channels will get you by for a very long time. Even most .60 size warbirds can be flown on 6 channels. It is when you get into the large scale, more complex airplanes that you need more. My main radio has 8 channels but they go unused in most of my airplanes.

I second the Futaba's. I have owned the other brand and I went back to Futaba. They are reliable, easy to program, simple to bind and I like the receivers much better. That's not to say JR/Spektrum is bad; they are good radios, just not my preference. You may also want to take a look at some of the offerings from Airtronics. There are a few at the field and I am impressed with the radio they provide for the money.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: BarracudaHockey

Its not only the number of channels but the depth of programming, ball bearing gimbals etc that you get with the higher end radios.

Thats the stuff I need to hear..! Does higher end mean very expensive or does the Futaba 7c fall in that catagory?

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Old 08-18-2010, 02:37 PM
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ORIGINAL: ChuckW

6 channels will get you by for a very long time. Even most .60 size warbirds can be flown on 6 channels. It is when you get into the large scale, more complex airplanes that you need more. My main radio has 8 channels but they go unused in most of my airplanes.

OK...Does it make the transmitter harder to use or more cluttered to have channels you don't use?
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:53 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

I have a 7C that I bought last year and I love it. It is easy to program and the switches are laid out very well. As far as channels go the more the better. I would recommend you buy as many as you can afford. If you want to get into scale warbirds or other types of planes that do more than fly you will want the additional channels.
The standrd plane needs 4 channels - Ailerons, Elevator, Throttle, and Rudder. Then you start adding things like flaps, retracts, lights, bomb drops, etc... All of theses require a seperate channel. If you decide to get into 3D or other styles or aerobatic planes you will need the extra channels for setting up the mixes in the computer radio. To do this you need each aileron will need to be plugged into its own channel, you may need a kill switch for gas engine ignition. I could go on.

Ultimately get as many channels as you can afford. Go talk to the guys at your local field and see what they are using. There are benefits to using what everyone else has because they can help you if you get stumped programming something.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: Flyin Beagle

I have a 7C that I bought last year and I love it. It is easy to program and the switches are laid out very well. As far as channels go the more the better. I would recommend you buy as many as you can afford. If you want to get into scale warbirds or other types of planes that do more than fly you will want the additional channels.
The standrd plane needs 4 channels - Ailerons, Elevator, Throttle, and Rudder. Then you start adding things like flaps, retracts, lights, bomb drops, etc... All of theses require a seperate channel. If you decide to get into 3D or other styles or aerobatic planes you will need the extra channels for setting up the mixes in the computer radio. To do this you need each aileron will need to be plugged into its own channel, you may need a kill switch for gas engine ignition. I could go on.

Ultimately get as many channels as you can afford. Go talk to the guys at your local field and see what they are using. There are benefits to using what everyone else has because they can help you if you get stumped programming something.
My problem right now is I don't know what I will need later on. I think I might go with the 7c and then if I ever need more I will just buy a new Trans.
I'm sure the 7c will work for years to come!
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

One thing I do know is I ABsolutely love the large scale planes...Warbirds and Bipes. I also am very interested in the 3D planes but thats down the road.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:06 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

Don't buy another radio until you actually need it.

Why?  Because you don't yet know what you really need, or what features are important to you.  The advice from guys on the Internet about their favorite brand or model gives you insight into just one thing:  what they themselves prefer.  Better to discover what you prefer, and purchase whatever that might be.

It's a lot like shopping for shoes.  One pair that your buddy loves probably won't fit your feet just because they fit the other guy.  (Bad example.  Been spending too much time with the Boss.  Think beer instead.)

Take the time to find out what is important to you.  Take the time to try different transmitters at the hobby shop or at the field.  Things like ball-bearings may or may not mean a thing to you after you've actually held the transmitter and tried the sticks.

And if you don't need a radio right now, better things always come to those who wait.  Hitec has a nice telemetry feature that shows your receiver pack voltage on your transmitter.  Spektrum just came out with that, too.  Those sorts of things will filter into other companies product lines pretty quickly.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:10 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

Very true...

One little problem I have is that my simulator software is on its way and I got the software only with no controller.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:12 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

My advice, if you think you're going to be around for a while, get the best radio you can reasonably afford.

7C is a mid level radio, on par with a DX7

The 8 and 10 series radios are a step up on par with the 9303/9503 from JR and the new Spektrum 8 channel.

Then you get into the expensive +600 dollar stuff like the 699 JR 11x and the 12 and 14's from Futaba.

As for reported problems, there's a lot more people flying DSM2 (Spektrum/JR stuff) hence you get more reported issues. However remember the following things.

1. You should use proper equipment selection and installation and operation practices no matter what radio you install.
2. Any electronic equipment can fail though on the whole, most of our mainstream equipment is remarkably reliable.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:21 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

Pick up a used 72mhz radio for it.  They're dirt cheap.  If you can't find someone locally to just give you one, you could probably buy one here or at RCG for $30 or less, shipped.  All you need for a sim is a 4-channel, mainline brand that's compatible with whatever software you purchased.  Alternatively, they sell USB transmitter-like boxes that are just for sims.

Getting involved with a local club makes a lot of these things so, so much easier.  Most guys that have been in the hobby for more than a few years have one certain thing in common.  Too much stuff that we'll never use again.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:35 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: MikeL

Pick up a used 72mhz radio for it. They're dirt cheap. If you can't find someone locally to just give you one, you could probably buy one here or at RCG for $30 or less, shipped. All you need for a sim is a 4-channel, mainline brand that's compatible with whatever software you purchased. Alternatively, they sell USB transmitter-like boxes that are just for sims.

Getting involved with a local club makes a lot of these things so, so much easier. Most guys that have been in the hobby for more than a few years have one certain thing in common. Too much stuff that we'll never use again.
Ok. Thanks.. So I have $30 if you have a transmitter?
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:44 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

Futaba 6EX or 7C

Much less hassle binding or placing receivers.

Do a search for radio problems and you'll find there are very few Futaba compared to Jr or Spektrum.
Yes...if it were me - I would go with the Futaba 7C or something comparable. I dont see myself having to upgrade from a 7C anytime soon. Ive been using a 7 channel futaba for 4 years now.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:48 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

Sure, why not?  I've got an Airtronics RD6000 that I'll never use again.  I've got the manual and charger for it, too.  PM if it'll work with your sim and you'd like it.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: ro347


ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

Futaba 6EX or 7C

Much less hassle binding or placing receivers.

Do a search for radio problems and you'll find there are very few Futaba compared to Jr or Spektrum.
Yes...if it were me - I would go with the Futaba 7C or something comparable. I dont see myself having to upgrade from a 7C anytime soon. Ive been using a 7 channel futaba for 4 years now.
Thats what I'm thinking. I've got Big plans but realistically I'm sure the 7c is more than enough for many years
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:56 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

For $350, the Hitec Aurora 9 is the hands down winner.

9 channels
30 model memory
Assignable channels
Back lit touch screen....................

Aw heck, just look here: http://shop.tomsrc.com/product_info....oducts_id=2639




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Old 08-18-2010, 04:00 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

just my 2 cents , i dont think you have to spend alot of money, but i would own 2 transmitters , one cheep one, mabey just a 4 channel,
and a good 7 channel , because if one is down on the charge , you got a fully charged backup on the other one
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:08 PM
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ORIGINAL: MikeL

Sure, why not? I've got an Airtronics RD6000 that I'll never use again. I've got the manual and charger for it, too. PM if it'll work with your sim and you'd like it.
Here is the Compatible list...... Phoenixsoftware
I don't see it on there unless its called something else. That sux!!

All JR MC/MX (no adaptor required) - ** MC-series requires "DSC Interface" Accessory **

• Spektrum DX6 / DX6i / DX7 / DSX9 (no adaptor required) - ** NOT new DX7 Special Edition "SE" version **

• Spektrum DX5e older-style with SIDE training port ("DX5e adaptor" required)

• Spektrum DX5e new-style with REAR training port (no adaptor required)

• All Futaba ("Futaba/Hitec round" or "Futaba square" adaptor required)

• Futaba FX-18 with 2.5mm stereo training port ("Futaba FX-18" adaptor required)

• Hitec Aurora (no adaptor required)

• All Hitec except "Aurora" ("Futaba/Hitec adaptor" required - "Aurora" requires no adaptor)

• All Multiplex ("Multiplex" adaptor required)

• All Sanwa RD and RDS series ("Sanwa adaptor" required)

• E-sky ETB41 2.4 ghz (no adaptor required)

• Other E-sky ("Mini-DIN adaptor" required)

• Co-Pilot ("Mini-DIN adaptor" required)

• Blade CX, CX-2, CX-3, CP, CP+, CP Pro, CP Pro 2 and Blade SR (no adaptor required)

• Parkzone Transmitters with training jack ("DX5e adaptor" required)

• Art-tech 100B (no adaptor required)

• Art-tech 100C ("Art-tech 100C adaptor" required)

• Walkera 2401, 2601 (Using "MINI-DIN adaptor" supplied with transmitter)

• Walkera 2402, 2602("Walkera 2801 adaptor" required)

• Walkera 2801 ("Walkera 2801 adaptor" required)


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Old 08-18-2010, 05:11 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??


ORIGINAL: 42etus

For $350, the Hitec Aurora 9 is the hands down winner.

9 channels
30 model memory
Assignable channels
Back lit touch screen....................

Aw heck, just look here: http://shop.tomsrc.com/product_info....oducts_id=2639
WOW, looks like it does everything but make you coffee!
And 9 channels...
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:23 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

I have the Futaba 7CAP and love it.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: Spend my money.... Transmitter??

IF, that's a big IF, I had the cash i would buy the new Hitec 9, if I didn't then it would be the Futaba 7C. I still have my original Hitec 7 and loved it, did everything I needed but back then they only would program three planes. New pilots can surpass three planes in a hart beat. There next model handled 7 planes but instead of that about the same time Futaba came out with one of the best radios made for sport pilots, the Futaba 9-C. I'm still using my old 9-C but i did just buy a 2.4 Hitec module for it. What I tell my students is to buy the best radio they can afford, it's the one piece of equipment that will be with them for decades. The more channels the better but a 7 will do some people just fine for years to come. Your already thinking bigger 3-D planes so think about a bigger radio too. At least 7-10 channels depending on how deep your pockets are. It's a big choice!!!
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