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First Computor Radio

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Old 07-30-2003, 02:54 PM
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KJG
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Default First Computor Radio

I am considering purchasing my first computer radio. Right now I have four planes with four different tx's. I have been flying for a couple of years now and have alway bought a used tx and rx from ebay or here and put in the planes (all futaba). Now I have a shelf full of tx's and chargers, etc. If I buy a new computor tx, do I have to change the crystal's in all the receivers in my planes to be on the same channel as the tx? Also, I see the Futaba 6x APS PCM/4 is very affordable (259.00 at tower). Has anyone had experience with this and would it be a good first computer radio? If not, what are some of your opinions? Thanks for your help
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:39 PM
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Default First Computor Radio

KLG,

Your questions all kind of intertwine, but i'll try to start from the beginning.

If you want all your models on the same frequency -- easiest and cheapest for transmitter care -- yes, yo uwill need to recrystal your receivers to the new transmitters channel. If they are Futaba you also need to confirm all are high or low band, or any that are changing from one band to the other need retuning.

If you do NOT want all your models on the same frequency, then go with a modular radio like the 9C, or a used older radio like an 8U. Then purchase modules on each desired frequency to safely and legally use your radio on multiple channels.

The 6X is a good entry level computer radio for someone who doesnt want to spend a lot and isn't sure they are going to do a lot more with this hobby. If you are going to go farther and want a radio you wont outgrow tomorrow, i don't recommend the 6X. It is VERY entry level and you will likely outgrow it very quickly. It is a good little radio, but not for someone who is flying more complex models or may be in the future. It is also quite limited in the heli department.

I would recommend either a 9C or finding a used 8U or 8U super. GREAT radios, reasonable price tag......
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Old 07-30-2003, 04:21 PM
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Default First Computor Radio

I would like to add something to what AM said, but, as usual, her word is gospel around here and there isn't anything to add. Go with a 9C. If you already have rx's and servos and just need the TX, I think Servo City has a good price on the 9C TX alone.
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Old 07-30-2003, 09:48 PM
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strato911
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Default First Computor Radio

I agree with AMCross and MHawker, but you haven't mentione which brands of receivers you have. Not all receivers are compatible with all transmitters.

JR and Airtronics use positive frequency shift, while Futaba and Hitec use negative frequency shift. Most newer computer radios allow you to select which shift they will transmit with, except Futaba. Therefore, if you have a mixture of receivers using both +ve & -ve shift, make sure you buy a transmitter capable of both.

I strongly recommend the Tracker II for $275 (www.polkshobby.com). It is a synthesized radio with a built in scanner and 99 model memory. This means it is compatible with all FM-PPM receivers, on any channel, and either frequency shift, and stores that info together with the model configuration. This way you don't have to re-crystal any of your receivers.

For more info on this radio, visit the website listed above, or the extensive thread There is a Tracker II and Polks Hobby Radios.

If you know a little history in this hobby, it might interest you to know that these are the same people who used to produce AristoCraft radios (well known for their quality)..
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:23 PM
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KJG
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Thanks everyone with all your input. I realize it's worth spending a few more bucks for a better radio and do it right why I'm doing it. All my radio equipment now is Futaba (have been happy with it) and my 9 year old son is learning to fly now. Can you use a buddy chord between the Tracker II and a Futaba Conquest or Skysport (Tx I have now)?
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:34 PM
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strato911
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Unfortunately the current version of the Tracker II does not support a trainer cord. However, due to customer demand, they say they plan to add it for the 2004 model.
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Old 07-30-2003, 11:20 PM
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Could somebody expand on what amcross stated about the 9c? Does this radio not use crystals in the transmitter and therefore not need retuning when "modules" are changed? Is this module different than a crystal and therefore, again, not fall under standard FCC regulations?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:26 AM
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strato911
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Modules are a small, removable circuit containing the ENTIRE radio frequency generating components which is removable from the radio, thus allowing the user to legally change channels.

Here's a couple pictures:

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