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Where do I start? I need your help!

Old 01-22-2014, 07:36 PM
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no1speshal
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Question Where do I start? I need your help!

Hello my old friends

I feel like I am 100 years old trying to learn "these new fangled devices..." In a little more than a decade away from building and flying airplanes, I think I am finally going to get back into it. My problem is I don't have any idea where to start! Technology has jumped "Star Trek" years from where it was when I last had an airplane in the air. Honestly, I don't even know if my equipment will still work. Therein is my request for assistance.

I know I need to get my AMA number again. I will get that once I learn what else I missed and before I start flying...

I know I have to get new batteries for everything before I even try to fly anything. I can only imagine how much batteries have changed but do you all still use NiCd in the transmitters and receivers or have people moved into LiPoly or something else?

I still have a Futaba 9CAP that is channel 72 something or other. Do people still use the 72 Mhz channels or is everything spread spectrum or 2.4 or something else?

What else do I need to change or update before I start flying again?

Where the hell can I catch back up on everything that has changed!? Oh my god! I don't even recognize Tower Hobbies anymore. Are they still the giants or is there somewhere else that people go now? Are there brands to stay away from, as far as if people shy away from them at the field?

Can anyone give me a Cliff's Notes on this or where I can go to catch up? Thank you all for your help and patience with me. I appreciate your help.

no1speshal
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:07 AM
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SeaJay
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First off, let me welcome you back to the addiction!! Sounds like you were in recovery, and have now relapsed!!

I will try to answer your questions the best I can..

Your Futaba 9CAP is still a fine transmitter, as one of our club members uses one on a regular basis. most clubs still allow you to fly 72 mHz systems, you would just have to check with your local club for the rules at their particular field. and even if they don't allow the 72mHz systems, you can get a 2.4 gHz module for your 9CAP, that and some Rx's for your planes and you are ready to go!

As you mentioned, I would change my batteries before flight. there are still many people using NiCad, tried and true! Many have gone to NiMh, but many are a bit leery of them, as they have a slight rep as being un-reliable seems that sometimes they can fail with no warning what so ever. (I still use NiMh in some of my models and Transmitters).

Many use Lipoly or Lipo for short. these got a bad Reputation for bursting into flames with out warning, however, I believe that this has been pretty much eliminated with the use of Smart chargers. I personally don't use Lipo, because I know I am not the most attentive person, and the lipos should be monitored while charging. and, in most cases, you also have to use voltage regulators to use them as an RX pack, as their 2s voltage is too high for most Rx's and servos.

Next, many are moving to LiFe (Lithium Iron) Battery packs. a 2s LiFe battery pack can be used with most Rx's with out a Voltage regulator, as their nominal voltage is 6.6 volts. A very popular brand of this type of pack uses the A123 systems cells. I am currently converting all of my Planes to this technology! the LiFe packs are considered as safe as Nicad/Nimh.

the beauty of the LiPo and LiFe battery packs is that you can charge them at a higher rate than most Nimh and NiCad packs. Most LiPo & LiFe batteries can be safely charged at a rate of 1C (some can be charged at an even higher rate), so that means that most of your packs can be charged in one hour or less, and this appeals to me, as I never know when I will get to go flying. However, you have to have a smart charger that has the capability to charge the Lipo/LiFe/LiIon, etc type batteries!

I hope some of this helps!

Craig..

Last edited by SeaJay; 01-23-2014 at 12:13 AM. Reason: spell correction
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:04 AM
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Steve Percifield
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Use what you have and learn about the "new" technology, then make decisions. I would replace all your batteries with nicd's . nothing wrong with them, and your existing chargers will charge them. Have your tranny checked out at the factory, then fly on 72 as long as your club field allows it. You will probably be one of the few using 72, so you shouldn't have any freq conflicts. This way your existing receivers will work, again no cash outlay. Fly and get going again. While doing this, observe and learn what has changed and what you want to change to or get involved with. You can save money this way. Build on what you have, instead of replace it. Some of us "old Timers" don't think new technology is always better..

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Old 01-23-2014, 03:34 PM
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Thank you SeaJay and Steve
It is nice to be off the wagon! You cannot imagine how happy I am to be dabbling with things that go ZOOM in the sky again. I am also happy to be this close to flying again. I thought I was closer to flying than I am but my airplanes are not airworthy right now so I have some time to do my homework and brush up on stuff again. I am happy to see some things are still tried and true. LiPo's were just getting big when I was falling out. I agree with SeaJay, I am not attentive enough to watch batteries charge. I am doing good just to make sure they are charged! In the interim, I will do some checking on those LiFe batteries. Those sound cool.

On a similar note, what do you guys know about FrSky stuff for sale at HobbyKing.com? Is their stuff good? I don't recall ever hearing anything good, bad, or indifferent about them. Honestly, I don't remember even hearing about them at all! Thank you guys for your help. If you stumble across anything that would be helpful, let me know. When I went on the 'rehab wagon,' I technically had a mild stroke so I am still learning everything I forgot was a lot more than I remember knowing in the first place. I can't quite pick up where I left off because I am not sure where that was, other than through remains of broken models, projects in work, pictures, and so on. Anything I can learn is a bonus to me now and I cannot thank people like you guys enough for helping me out.

Talk to you guys later.

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Old 01-24-2014, 07:38 AM
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Jim Schwagle
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FrSky seems to have a good reputation, many people here use their equipment with good results, although I would not call them one of the "biggies" like Futaba or JR. Their equipment can be purchased in the US from Aloft Hobbies www.alofthobbies.com and other vendors. It seems to be an inexpensive alternative. Although I have never had a problem with Hobby King, your mention alone will probably result in some quick responses, good and bad.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:51 AM
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If you want customer service, buy FR-SKY equipment from Aloft. Dont get it from Hobbyking.
Almost all equipment is now made in China. FR-SKY just does not charge you $1000 to put their name on it.
I had the Futaba 9c. The operating system in it simply cannot compare to the FR-SKY Taranis I have, and the Taranis costs only $175.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:10 PM
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Hello again, No1Speshal!!

I won't be much help as far as the Frsky Taranas Radio system, as I have no first and experience with them. Heck, i have never even seen one in person.. with that said, I have done some reading up on them, and seems as if they are getting some pretty fair reviews. all I can do is recommend that you do your research, and decide for yourself if you want to go that route.. Although the price seems reasonable, I will currently stick with my Airtronics SD10G 2.4 gHz and JR9303 72mHz systems. I will however keep am open mind when the time comes for me to make a change.

Maybe I will try an Frsky 2.4 gHz module in my JR 9303, as the Frsky Rx's seem very reasonably priced. I believe that they also make a Module for your Futaba 9CAP, might want to check that out..

Good Luck, and talk to you later!!

Craig.
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