RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

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Old 09-06-2004, 04:19 PM
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Bob-I
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Default Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

I was very active in RC flying in the late 70's and 80's, then along came the kids. Now they're grown and I'm coming back.

I have 2 1991 World Engines Tx/Rx pairs with servos. Some mice ate through the wires but otherwise they seem to be ok. Are they worth repairing? Should I scrap them?

I'm also looking at new equipment...

I've settled on the Hi-Tec Eclipse with the Spectra module. Since I plan to fly several aircraft I think this is a good choice (opinions appreciated).



After reading on this forum and others for some time I've been looking at the Berg 4DSP micro for small planes and gliders and the 5DSP for glow powered planes.



In the 80's Tx and Rx were matched and you didn't substitute. Today I've noticed that most folks substitute and use one Tx for many planes. Are my choices valid? Are there better choices? Any advise is appreciated.


Thx, Bob
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Old 09-06-2004, 04:38 PM
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ZAGNUT
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

the bergs are a great choice and the bergmeister himself hangs out over on the rcgroups forum and is always helpful. for glow power though you might want to use the new 6 channel version with programmable failsafe.

FMA also makes some great receivers with programmable failsafe. i've been using the FS8 with great results.

the spectra is nice but do you really need it? if you only fly one plane at a time (like most of us) then all planes can be on the same channel. if you plan on joining a club you can check and see what frequency is least used and go with that. most importantly, don't choose your radio based on this feature alone. things like # of memories and mixing capabilities are far more important. think about the type of planes that will interest you now and in the future and make sure the radio you choose is capable enough.


dave
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Old 09-06-2004, 04:51 PM
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Bob-I
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

Thx dave for the quick reply.

My thought on the Spectra is that it's $40 more than without and I could eat that up in a few crystals. My interests are pretty wide, 3D (if I can learn it) Pattern, sailplanes, wings, basically a wide spectrum so I'd rather not be limited.

Anyone else?

Bob
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Old 09-06-2004, 05:05 PM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

The Eclipse is a pretty good (albeit mid-range) transmitter but if you get the Spectra module then you should seriously consider upgrading the battery to something a bit better than the standard 600mAH pack that comes as standard. The standard pack is good for less than an hour once you've got a Spectra module fitted.

I got myself a 2100mAH pack from Radical RC for $34 and it lets me fly all day if I want.

The Bergs are also a great receiver. I've been flying FMA-M5s (another excellent receiver) for some time but find that the Bergs give me almost twice the range during an aerial-down range-check. Both the Berg and FMA receivers have smart decoders that do an excellent job of filtering out bursts of interference that would otherwise cause bad glitching with a "dumb" receiver such as those made by Hitec and a raft of other manufacturers.

I'd probably chose the Berg receiver over the FMA for another important reason: support. I've emailed FMA's support address on several occasions and never got a reply. Peter (Berg) on the other hand, always answers his email and really knows his stuff.
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Old 09-06-2004, 06:02 PM
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Bob-I
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

XJet,

Thanks for the reply and your time.

I know that the Eclipse is mid-range, but as a sport/fun-flyer that should be more than sufficent. I appreciate the info on Berg's support, that's good to know.

No-one has yet to mention the usefullness of my old equipment so my assumption is trash it. . I never expected to use it again anyway.

Thx everyone.
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:57 PM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

If you plan on 3d and pattern you might want to look at the Futaba 9C. It has more mixing capability than the hitech radio you mentioned...and you wont have to upgrade any time soon. and a sinth module is comming some time in the near future.

I have the 9C and find the programing fairly easy.
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Old 09-10-2004, 10:04 AM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

I too got back to RC a few years ago after a 10yr hiatus. I ended up selling all my old but still working Airtronics radios at swap meets. 10yrs is a long time in electronics years.

I first bought a Hitec Eclipse with Spectra, and then Futaba came out with the 9C a couple of months later. The switch was a no brainer. The 9C is so much more flexible and easier to program. These days, you can pick up a 9c system for about $100 more than the Eclipse. I guarantee that 6 months later you will realize that is the best $100 you've spent on your road back to RC. Don't skimp on TX.
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:27 AM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

Bob-I,

Welcome back to the hobby!

The Hitec is a good choice for a mid-range radio. It will serve you well as long as you remain a sport pilot. If you plan on getting into some more complicated setups you may be better off taking the next step and picking up a Futaba 9C (9-channel) or JR 8103 (8-channel) or maybe even the new JR 9303 (9-channel). I find that although not required I typically use an 8-channel receiver in my aerobatic planes. It makes setup and programming my Futaba 9C a breeze. I suggest you try to look into the future and see where you end up in the hobby. If you plan on flying giant scale aerobats with multiple servos on each flight surface or warbirds with flaps and retractable landing gear and bomb drops or turbine jets or even gliders with 4 wing servos take the next step.

Oh yeah, either way you go I would definately replace your old gear. Repairs probably don't make economic sense if they can be made at all. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

I find that many people are overwhealmed by their first computer radio. I would suggest purchasing the JR 6102. It is very easy to program and use. It can fly most planes. When you outgrow it, buy a JR 9303 and use the 6102 as a buddy box to teach someone else, or trade it off for something else.
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:41 PM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

As a beginner looking for second plane and computer radio why buy the 6102 if later planing to get the 9303. Why not just buy the 9303 now and continue to use it ?
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

I think you should skip the Spectra and go for a 9C. Honestly I do not know what the price difference is, but IMO the 9C has more features and is much easier to program. You may not use everything in the beginning, but if you step up somewhat you'll want to have some of the features.

We have one guy at our club who uses the Berg stuff and he is very pleased with the equipent. I don't think you can go wrong choosing it. I do agree with ZAG that you should go for the 6 channel Rx though.
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:30 AM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

ORIGINAL: fastplaneAs a beginner looking for second plane and computer radio why buy the 6102 if later planing to get the 9303. Why not just buy the 9303 now and continue to use it ?

Why? The 9303 (and the 8103 for that matter) are too much computer for most flyers. People who spend $500 for a radio they cant figure out will probably just get frustrated and leave the hobby. Buy a lower, but capable radio like the 6102 and you have money left over for servos, receivers, balsa, fuel, etc.

Just my opinion.
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Old 09-12-2004, 12:36 AM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

You do have a point. I know of quite a few people that just refuses to work with a computer radio. Instead, they tote 3-4 basic 4ch or 6ch TX to the flying field - one for each airplane. Nothing wrong with doing it that way. However, since the original poster is already contemplating the Eclipse and planning to fly several airplanes with a single TX, I doubt he belongs to that category.

You'd be surprised how quickly 8ch gets gobbled up by today's model airplanes. Dual aileron servos are just about the norm even with smaller ARFs these days, and dual elevator servos are standard on many .60 and up models. You've maxed out a 6ch radio just like that, with absolutely no room for anything else. A good TX you buy only once; "Y" cables and servo reversers will $7.99 you to death in the long run.
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:28 PM
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Default RE: Returning to RC flying, radio questions.

I haved used y-harnesses many times. They don't cost me any extra as I make my own. Of course I all of my servo leads are also custom length. I realize that most modelers can't do this type of soldering reliably...

I did what you guys did and bought pro-class radios. I even have a 10X. They will do everything under the sun, but you can do most anything with a lower tier radio with little effort and for much less money. I still suspect y-harnesses or even a matchbox or two with a 6102 are cheaper than buying a Futaba 9 or a JR 9303.

Just my opinion. I think that folks could could have a lot more fun in this hobby if they spent less $$$ on radios and more $$$ on the planes themselves...
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