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(Airplane Pilot) What are good radio systems to fly with?

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Old 07-13-2018, 07:46 AM
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Default (Airplane Pilot) What are good radio systems to fly with?

I have some old radios that still work. However I think at some point I will need to buy something new. Currently my old systems are 72 Mhz. I may not ever need to make the switch to 2.4 GHz for where I fly my planes (I fly by myself) However old things do wear out.

I've been looking at some of the new 2.4 GHz radios and started scratching my head! There seems to be a huge price jump. Take Hitec for an example. The cheapest on towerhobbies is a 5-Channel Radio System for $89.99 the next one up is Hitec Aurora 9X 9-Channel SLT Tx/9-Channel Optima Rx for $389.99. In the past I paid around 200.00 for a complete radio system.

I'm not into the fancy mixing, and thus far I haven't flown a plane that required me to use anymore then 4 channels. (I currently own two 72 Mhz 6 channel radios, and I have two planes that require 6 channels, but I never flew those models)

All my other radios take battery packs which are welded together inside. When I was at the local hobby shop He showed me a radio that took just 4 AA batteries! I have experience with battery terminals. These things can corrode easily, and once they do it's really hard to clean them up! Once you clean them you can not to be guaranteed perfect battery contact. (That is fine for things that don't fly)

I want to know what you guys think. 1) What is a good radio for a beginner to buy? 2) What is a good radio system for an intermediate pilot to buy? My price range would be between a 100 to 300 dollars for a system.

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Old 07-13-2018, 07:58 AM
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If your happy with your older radios just continue to fly with them. I have some old Futaba Conquest radios both AM and FM that still work fine today and they were old when I ended up with them. If you travel to different fields/clubs you may be required to use 2.4 but if you fly on your own who cares. Things and prices change so fast that sometime in the future when you really need the new radio you can buy the latest and greatest at that time.

Dennis
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
If your happy with your older radios just continue to fly with them. I have some old Futaba Conquest radios both AM and FM that still work fine today and they were old when I ended up with them. If you travel to different fields/clubs you may be required to use 2.4 but if you fly on your own who cares. Things and prices change so fast that sometime in the future when you really need the new radio you can buy the latest and greatest at that time.

Dennis
I'm glad to meet you! I also have some really old Conquest Radios.

Do you fly any of your models with Expo? I'm asking because I recently bought a model that told me how much expo to have with the throws. I have an old computerized radio that allowed me to set the Expos. I've never flown anything with Expo. I'm concerned that the change could mess me up.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:03 PM
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Expo works both ways. Most common is to soften up the center (less movement for the amount the stick is moved). Or it can be the opposite. Some radios expo in the negative slows the movement others it’s positive I don't know why it’s not standardized. Expo is great when using large control surfaces along with great movement it can be set up at centre to reduce the action of the control surfaces for general flying while keeping exaggerated control throws for wild aerobatics.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:58 PM
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Exponential allows you to create a more linear movement with your servos when you move your transmitter stick. Yes it "softens" the feel around center, but that is because the servo arm moves the fastest at center, versus at the end of its travel. When you add in an exponential curve to the transmitters signal output, you're slowing the servo down at center and letting it return to full speed at the end of the stick. Expo is very handy in helping out sensitive models, and if an airplane suggest it then it's best to use it.

We actually have a few different transmitters in our lineup. The Optic 5 is as bare bones basic as it gets with no programmability. The next step up is the Flash 7 which is a entry level computer transmitter with a wide range of programability. The next up from there is the Flash 8 which adds more programmable options, better gimbals, and an additional channel. At the top of our lineup is the Aurora 9X which offers the most programability in our entire transmitter range, and features an easy to use touch screen. It also has a very intuitive model setup function that walks you right through setting up your new model, leaving you to only need to program a few minor things such as rates/expo, and/or switch assignments.

My suggestion for you is the Flash 8. It's not overly expensive, it's easy to program, and it will allow you to grow into different models. We actually have one on scratch n dent special right now. There's nothing wrong with it, it just has had the screen protector removed from it.

HITEC FLASH 8 / OPTIMA 9 RECEIVER COMBO (SCRATCHED AND/OR DENTED PACKAGING WITH POTENTIAL PRODUCT BLEMISH) - WEEKENDER WAREHOUSE
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:15 PM
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This is the airplane that suggests Expo. Phoenix Model 1/5 Ryan STA GP/EP/Gas ARF 70.8" it doesn't appear to me that this plane would need Expo. I fly Zlin 526 without Expo. I'm currently setting up the Phoenix Model 1/5 Ryan STA GP/EP/Gas ARF 70.8" with my old Futaba 4EX It has Expo but I don't know if it's in the positive or negative. The only thing I never liked about the Futaba 4EX transmitter was the fact that I couldn't adjust the spring tension on the sticks. That was a really bad discovery for me because I got used to doing that on all my other radios.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:19 PM
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I would run expo. It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. It takes less than 2 minutes to program it in. Bigger airplanes also tend to be more sensitive to stick inputs.

Futaba uses negative expo values to soften.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Xpress View Post
I would run expo. It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. It takes less than 2 minutes to program it in. Bigger airplanes also tend to be more sensitive to stick inputs.

Futaba uses negative expo values to soften.
I just want to let you know that I ordered your radio!
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:46 PM
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I've used Hitec for years couldn't be happier. Have two Auroras now one for electric one for internal combustion simple to buddy box back and fourth and I always have a backup radio that I am familiar with. I'm a big fan of the servos as well. I also have two Eclipse 7QPCM's that have been converted to 2.4 and use these as well.

In the early days even before the Prism series I spent more that a few calls/emails with Mike Maybarry and I must say the support from Hitec has always been top notch.

Dennis

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Old 07-19-2018, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
I've used Hitec for years couldn't be happier. Have two Auroras now one for electric one for internal combustion simple to buddy box back and fourth and I always have a backup radio that I am familiar with. I'm a big fan of the servos as well. I also have two Eclipse 7QPCM's that have been converted to 2.4 and use these as well.

In the early days even before the Prism series I spent more that a few calls/emails with Mike Maybarry and I must say the support from Hitec has always been top notch.

Dennis
I have four Futaba's (two Conquests 4 channels, one 4EX 4 channel and one Skysport 6 - 6 channel) I have three Hitec's (two laser 4 channels and one laser 6 channel) One of my Hitec's receiver went bad. One day I turned it on and everything just went crazy. I'm fortunate that it didn't do that while in flight!
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:46 AM
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This spring had a rudder servo not responding until I unplugged and plugged it back in a few times. Thought I might be a receiver issue but it turned out to be the extension wire for the rudder servo. Tarnished contacts sprayed them with contact cleaner and it cleared up but I replaced the extension anyway. Not taking any chances. Been working fine every since. Started using an electronic lube after the application of electronic cleaner and at least once a year in the spring I try and do all the plug ends in each plane before I use them. No issues so far.

I have a few float planes that get a fair amount of use and I have been doing this to them as a way to fight off the intrusion of moisture. I now have extended it to cover all the planes in my hanger.

I have a futaba and airtronics system that was won as part of a draw and have had no problems with any of they're receivers like wise hitec the problems I have seen crop up even with others seem to be centered around the connections. I have seen instances of black wire that seem to start with the crimps at these connections and migrate further along the strands. While troubleshooting a friends plane last year I actually found a hint of green like you might find on a battery lug yet he had been flying fine the previous week.

Dennis

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Old 07-20-2018, 08:40 AM
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@Propworn I have some old Radio Shack contact cleaner. Too bad that Radio Shack went out of business. What contact cleaner do you use? From my understanding that black wire is caused by battery. The Black Wire Disease - What's the Cause?
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:37 AM
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Lps
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:42 PM
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Hello Aurora 9X best ban per buck and easy set up
Right now Graupner uSA has a deal on a 12channel (24mz)
With three receivers for $469... VEry good offer (got one)
https://www.graupnerusa.com/12CH-2.4...S1006.PRO.html

REgards,
Patrick
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Old 07-26-2018, 12:59 PM
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I'm currently setting up the Phoenix Model 1/5 Ryan STA GP/EP/Gas ARF 70.8" with a HITEC FLASH 8 / OPTIMA 9 RECEIVER. This will be the first time I ever installed and used a 2.4 Ghz system.

I have several questions:

How should the Antenna's be placed inside the fuselage?

This Airplane has this information about the control throws:
https://www.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXETVD&P=ML

Ailerons: 0.31" (8mm) 10% expo 0.39" (10mm) 10% expo
Elevator: 0.31" (8mm) 12% expo 0.39" (10mm) 12% expo
Rudder: 0.78" (20mm) 15% expo 1.18" (30mm) 15% expo

Transmitter: http://hitecrcd.com/products/aircraf...-radio/product

Receiver: http://hitecrcd.com/products/aircraf...ceiver/product

I was told that some radio systems use negative expo and some use positive expo.
Which expo does this Airplane call for? (Positive) or (Negative)?
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gregoryshock View Post

I was told that some radio systems use negative expo and some use positive expo.
Which expo does this Airplane call for? (Positive) or (Negative)?
Expo allows you to simply increase or decrease the movement in relation to the stick input for the areas you wish to program. Say you wish to soften or slow the tracking of the servo arm about the center. Some manufacturers refer to this as positive expo because your increasing its effect of reducing the movement of the servo to stick. Some manufacturers refer to it as negative because of the reduction of movement of the servo to stick movement. Read your instruction book for your manufacturers interpretation of positive or negative.

That aircraft most likely will require you to soften/slow down and reduce the input about center on the controls to allow smoother straight line flight.

I looked at the specs for that model and the 10% expo (notice it does not specify positive or negative) will most likely have little effect.

Dennis

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Old 07-27-2018, 11:35 AM
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I'm currently trying to figure out how to I should route the two antennas from the Optima 9 to outside of aircraft? I've never installed a 2.4 Ghz radio before! I watched this video, but I'm not sure if His kind of installation would work on a Model this size. I tried contacting some modelers who built this model but no dice.

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Old 07-27-2018, 01:40 PM
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You don't need to route them outside of the airplane, they just need to be 90* from each other in any orientation you can come up with and they will work fine.

You only need to poke the antennas outside of the fuselage if the airplane is made entirely from conductive materials.
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Old 07-27-2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gregoryshock View Post
I'm currently trying to figure out how to I should route the two antennas from the Optima 9 to outside of aircraft? I've never installed a 2.4 Ghz radio before! I watched this video, but I'm not sure if His kind of installation would work on a Model this size. I tried contacting some modelers who built this model but no dice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30lbabUkFsM

The guys name in the video is Bruce Simpson and hes got himself kicked out of his home organization for breaking the rules of his home organization not the brightest bulb in the lot. He fancies himself the professor of RC and he will tell you how great he is over and over.

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Old 07-27-2018, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Xpress View Post
You don't need to route them outside of the airplane, they just need to be 90* from each other in any orientation you can come up with and they will work fine.

You only need to poke the antennas outside of the fuselage if the airplane is made entirely from conductive materials.
Tomorrow I will be giving that a try.


Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
The guys name in the video is Bruce Simpson and hes got himself kicked out of his home organization for breaking the rules of his home organization not the brightest bulb in the lot. He fancies himself the professor of RC and he will tell you how great he is over and over.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKKNRvsduUQ
I haven't watched enough of his videos to form much of an opinion. That's very interesting, however I'm not concerned about his personal issues, or even the issues that other people have with him. You can be really smart in one area of your life and yet be really dumb in another area of your life. The only thing I cared about is if He is correct about the Antenna placement in his video. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes and sometimes even make bad choices, but that doesn't automatically mean that everything you ever said or done is wrong. I will keep in mind what you said about Him in case I ever find myself watching lots of his videos. Thank you for the heads up.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by gregoryshock View Post
Tomorrow I will be giving that a try.




I haven't watched enough of his videos to form much of an opinion. That's very interesting, however I'm not concerned about his personal issues, or even the issues that other people have with him. You can be really smart in one area of your life and yet be really dumb in another area of your life. The only thing I cared about is if He is correct about the Antenna placement in his video. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes and sometimes even make bad choices, but that doesn't automatically mean that everything you ever said or done is wrong. I will keep in mind what you said about Him in case I ever find myself watching lots of his videos. Thank you for the heads up.
Express's advice is right on I have fabric covered, hard covered (balsa and balsa/glass) and all of these have the antennas at 90 degrees inside the airframe. Its great for scale as nothing protrudes where judges can see them and they all work fine. I have a few carbon fiber airframes and I just poke a hole big enough for the antenna to make it outside. I pick two exits where at least one antenna will be open to direct line of site at all times. If a carbon fiber wing blocks one the other is still wide open.

By the way another of Bruces videos where everyone is wrong except him

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Old 07-28-2018, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
Express's advice is right on I have fabric covered, hard covered (balsa and balsa/glass) and all of these have the antennas at 90 degrees inside the airframe. Its great for scale as nothing protrudes where judges can see them and they all work fine. I have a few carbon fiber airframes and I just poke a hole big enough for the antenna to make it outside. I pick two exits where at least one antenna will be open to direct line of site at all times. If a carbon fiber wing blocks one the other is still wide open.

By the way another of Bruces videos where everyone is wrong except him

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INkSiA-gzYg
If you don't already know that a piece of material is made of carbon fiber, is there a way to tell? From my current knowledge I don't own any carbon fiber. However when I was installing a tube for the 72 mhz, I just used something I found in my scrap pile of extra things. I thought it was either nylon or plastic. Due to how the 72 mhz radio behaved in the airplane got me wondering if the tube might be made out of something that interferes with radio signals.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:08 AM
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@Xpress I'm connecting a 6V 5Cell 2000 Mah NMH battery pack to the Optima 9 receiver. I read the manual but I'm confused. Do I remove the jumper to the SPC and plug the battery in there? Since I'm flying Glow Engine?
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gregoryshock View Post
If you don't already know that a piece of material is made of carbon fiber, is there a way to tell? From my current knowledge I don't own any carbon fiber. However when I was installing a tube for the 72 mhz, I just used something I found in my scrap pile of extra things. I thought it was either nylon or plastic. Due to how the 72 mhz radio behaved in the airplane got me wondering if the tube might be made out of something that interferes with radio signals.
That's a good question I've used carbon fiber in construction and things I have purchased have noted they were made with carbon fiber. Other than being able to see the black carbon weave I am not sure how one would detect if something were made from carbon fiber. Painted or gel coated parts might be inspected on the inside other than that I am not sure. Electrical conductivity not necessarily as the carbon may be insulated by a layer of resin or paint/gel coat. Anyone out there know the answer to this??????

Dennis
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:13 AM
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I started another thread: Hitec Flash 8 Binding and Charging Questions and I wrote Hitec directly. I'm hoping to get an answer to my concerns soon.

I noticed in this video that blue light never came on for Him either, and yet He said the binding worked. What is that blue light on the Optima 9 receiver for? My current theory is it for Telemetry like the HPP-22 manual says doesn't work right unless you update it to firmware 2.0. Then I think that is awful that they send out systems that doesn't have the latest firmware already on it, making you the user order the HPP-22. Right now according to towerhobbies I can't get the HPP-22 In time for me to fly. My flying season ends August the 9th.


I think my last question is does the receiver need to wrapped in foam for using in a glow engine plane?

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